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Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

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Re: Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

Post  Admin on Tue 03 Dec 2013, 12:14 am

Week of December 2
The Perfect Antidote
One of the greatest hindrances to accepting God's plan of salvation is the world's post-modern view that truth is not absolute but is determined by individual opinions. This mentality that "what is true for you is not necessarily what is true for me" is in direct contrast to the biblical Truth that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven.
We live in a world where God has been marginalized, and human wisdom has been elevated. Truth has ceased to be an absolute because every opinion is equally right. Outward appearance is more important than inward commitment. Emotions have overruled logic and intellect. Authority has lost its power. This post-modern thinking has permeated our literature, education system, courts, businesses, and even our churches.
We cannot combat the constant bombardment of this misguided philosophy without spending time in the Word of God. We cannot effectively witness to this world when we are trapped by its ways of thinking. We cannot offer the world Truth when we ourselves are inclined to see truth as a gray area. Only by immersing ourselves in the Bible can we begin to see clearly.
The Bible stands against the mentality of this world, and often that is difficult for people to accept. The Bible tells us that sin is lawlessness and an affront to a Holy, righteous God. The world says that "sins" are simply failing to live up to one's potential. The Bible tells us that immorality is a rebellion against God. The world says that individual choices are right for the individual. The Bible says that God's Word is the final authority, while people would prefer to believe they are the final arbiters.
Yet people's opinions do not change the mind or essence of God. The Bible warns against the world's distorted thinking in the book of Proverbs: "There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death" (Proverbs 14:12). Human thinking leads to suffering, but God's Word points the way to everlasting life.
As Christians we must be on guard against worldly thinking. "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever" (1 John 2:15-17).
The Word of God will strengthen us against the current culture. Only through constant prayer and Bible study can we recognize the will and mind of God: "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will" (Romans 12:2).
When we share the Gospel with nonbelievers, we cannot present the Bible as simply an inspirational collection of stories. We must convey the literal, inerrant Truth of God's plan of salvation and His call to humanity to follow Him alone.
We all have a choice between life and death. This world offers only death, but the words of the Bible show us the way to life. Commit to reading and living the Word of God to not only change your life, but the lives of those around you.  
"For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope." 
Romans 15:4
****
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Re: Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

Post  Admin on Mon 25 Nov 2013, 11:31 pm

Week of Nov. 25
The World's Most Relevant Book
Many of us revere the Bible as God's Holy Book. We cherish it as God's revelation to humanity. We recognize that God spoke through its writers in order to reveal Himself to us. We value its role in our Sunday worship services. Yet few of us truly live out the Word of God on a daily basis. Very few of us take to heart the lessons of the Bible through the daily study and meditation of God's Word.
The Bible is so much more than a Holy Book to be read from the pulpit. God gave us His Word to nourish our souls and to give us strength to live godly lives on earth. The Bible shows us our faults with the ability to cleanse and restore us. Our Bibles aren't meant to sit on our shelves in pristine condition but are meant to be worn down with daily use. 
How can we witness to others about God when we remain ignorant of His very words in the Scriptures? How can we share the plan of salvation without understanding how the Bible reveals the Messiah from beginning to end? When we begin to understand the magnitude of God's Word in our own lives, we can become a living testimony to the world. What better way to proclaim the Gospel than to live it?
The Bible is food for our souls. The Bible tells us that "man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord" (Deuteronomy 8:3). Job said, "I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread" (Job 23:12). We work hard to stay physically fit, to eat nutritiously, to challenge our intellect. Yet when it comes to feeding of our souls, we allow ourselves to be satisfied with the crumbs from the Word of God. We are spiritually malnourished and weakened because we neglect the study of Scripture.
The Bible empowers us for life here on earth. In its words is the power of God. It gives us power over sin, power over Satan, power over temptation, power over our circumstances, power over our illnesses, and the power to change people's lives. The Word of God contains His message of salvation. Paul proclaimed, "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes" (Romans 1:16).
The Bible serves as a mirror. Although it is difficult to confront our shortcomings, we must face them in order to mature spiritually. There is no better standard to which to compare ourselves than God's precepts. "I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path" (Psalm 119:104). The Bible will show us our complacencies, our compromises, our hypocrisies, and our double standards. The mirror points out these faults and compels us to repent.
The Word of God is also a shower that cleanses us. It does not simply point out our flaws, but provides the solutions to our problems. The Truth of God has the power to purify and cleanse. "Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart" (1 Peter 1:22). When the Bible shows us our anger and hatred, the shower will give us love for the unlovable. When the Bible reveals our envy and discontentment, the shower will give us joy unspeakable. When the mirror reflects our immorality, the shower will cleanse us and lead us to purity.
Are you spiritually malnourished? Begin spending focused time in God's Word every day. Pray for God's power to work in your life as you begin to immerse yourself in His Word.
"Your word, O Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens." 
Psalm 119:89
****
In a world gone mad with relativism and political correctness... What can we do to ignite spiritual renewal in our lives and in our churches? Read the passion Michael Youssef has for this subject in our free resource—"We Preach Christ." Download it today.
We are Leading The Way for people living in spiritual darkness, at home and around the world, to discover the light of Christ as we passionately proclaim uncompromising Truth. Visit us today at www.leadingtheway.org. 
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Re: Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

Post  Admin on Mon 18 Nov 2013, 11:38 pm

Week of Nov. 18
A Prayer of Expectation

Have you noticed that the higher our expectations, the greater our disappointment when they are not met? Whether our unrealistic expectations are placed in other people, in our own strength or in specific situations, we will always experience discouragement when things do not go as planned. This discouragement can easily lead to entrenched disappointment and depression.
But when our expectations are placed in the promises of God, we will never be disappointed. His timing may not always be as quick as we would like. His methods may be different from what we expected, but God will always follow through on His promises.
Luke 2:25-35. Simeon had placed his expectations on God's faithfulness. "Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Christ" (Luke 2:25, 26).
He had spent his lifetime anticipating the arrival of the Messiah. And because God had told him he would personally see the Christ, Simeon knew that Jesus would be born in his lifetime. After years of waiting and watching, Simeon was ready to be relieved of his post.
When he held the Christ child in his arms, he prayed to God, "‘Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel'" (Luke 2:30-32).
Simeon's prayer was a confident prayer. He was not surprised that God had fulfilled His promise. He knew God would remain faithful. "For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does" (Psalm 33:4).
Simeon's expectations were met because they were rooted in the promises of God. God had promised to send the Messiah, so He sent Jesus Christ to earth. Simeon never gave up on God, and God did not disappoint him.
What a contrast to the expectations we place on this world! We place high expectations in the wrong things and the wrong people and are surprised when we end up bitterly disappointed. We forget that the only One who will never disappoint us is God.
Have you been disappointed by this world? Has a friend let you down? Has a cherished relationship soured? Have your finances crumbled or your career detoured? Seek the comfort of the Lord today in each of those disappointments. He wants to hear your heart's cry. He has the desire to bring you peace unlike anything you have experienced.
Ask for the Spirit's help in identifying your unrealistic expectations. Ask for His help in releasing your expectations of this world.  Begin to develop expectations in the promises of God, which will never disappoint.
"And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." 
Romans 5:5

****
Don't be tempted to toss in the towel and give up running the race.  Shore up your confidence in God, today. Michael Youssef explores this topic in our free resource this month—"Don't Lose Your Confidence." Download it today.
We are Leading The Way for people living in spiritual darkness, at home and around the world, to discover the light of Christ as we passionately proclaim uncompromising Truth. Visit us today at www.leadingtheway.org
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Re: Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

Post  Admin on Tue 12 Nov 2013, 12:12 am

Week of Nov. 11
A Prayer of Brokenness
Have you ever been broken before the Lord? Have you come to the end of yourself, realizing that your efforts had failed and your only hope remains in God? Brokenness is never easy to experience, but God can bring great blessings through your trials.
1 Samuel 1. Hannah was a selfless, gracious woman trapped in a miserable situation. She was unable to bear a child for her husband Elkanah. His other wife, Peninnah, not only had provided him children, but she constantly antagonized and mocked Hannah. "And because the Lord had closed her womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her. This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the Lord, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat" (1 Samuel 1:6, 7).
After years of longing for children and enduring the constant humiliation from Peninnah, Hannah was broken. In her desperation and anguish, she turned to God in prayer. She turned her den of misery into a chamber of prayer. She had been emotionally weakened, but she was spiritually strong in the Lord.
Through her tears, she vowed to God, "O Lord Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant's misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head" (1 Samuel 1:11).
Hannah knew God was the only One who could answer her cry for a son. She knew God was the only One who could sense the agony of her spirit. He is the same God today who knows the depth of our despair. He knows our deepest desires and greatest longings. He wants us to cry out to Him in our brokenness. "In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears" (Psalm 18:6).
God responded to Hannah's cry, and she gave birth to Samuel. In keeping with the vow she made to God, she gave Him her only child. Although Samuel grew up serving God at the temple, Hannah was not bitter over releasing her son to God. Instead, she gave a heartfelt prayer of thanksgiving: "There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God" (1 Samuel 2:2).
God continued to bless Hannah with children. After years of what looked like a hopeless situation, she received her prayer request not just once but several times. "Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, saying, ‘May the Lord give you children by this woman to take the place of the one she prayed for and gave to the Lord.' Then they would go home. And the Lord was gracious to Hannah; she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord" (1 Samuel 2:20,21).
God wants to bring blessings out of our brokenness. He is a loving provider whose power is limitless. People and things will fail us, but God's security and strength abide forever. His compassion is inexhaustible. His peace is unexplainable.
In your hour of desperation, where do you turn? Do you tell your troubles to anyone who will listen, or do you seek the throne of grace?
"The Lord has heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayer." 
Psalm 6:9

****
Don't be tempted to toss in the towel and give up running the race.  Shore up your confidence in God, today. Michael Youssef explores this topic in our free resource this month—"Don't Lose Your Confidence." Download it today.  
 
We are Leading The Way for people living in spiritual darkness, at home and around the world, to discover the light of Christ as we passionately proclaim uncompromising Truth. Visit us today at www.leadingtheway.org
To follow Leading The Way on Twitter, click here.
Listen to Today's Broadcast of "Leading The Way"
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Re: Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

Post  Admin on Mon 04 Nov 2013, 11:06 pm

Week of Nov. 4
A Prayer for Guidance
How do you begin important tasks? Do you make a list of steps and requirements? Do you seek the counsel of experts or do you stop and ask God for His wisdom and guidance?
Read Genesis 24.  In this passage we see that Abraham entrusted his servant, Eliezer, with a most special commission: the choosing of a wife for his beloved son, Isaac. Eliezer knew that a job of this importance required prayer and God's providence.
Abraham not only wanted the best wife for his son because he loved him, but he also knew the significance of his son's line: "Then God said, ‘Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him'" (Genesis 17:19).
So instead of choosing a wife among the pagan Canaanites, Abraham sent this servant to his homeland of Nahor. Abraham wanted Isaac's wife to be a woman of character, faithfulness, and commitment. Abraham told Eliezer, "‘I want you to swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living, but will go to my country and my own relatives and get a wife for my son Isaac'" (Genesis 24:3, 4).
When Eliezer arrived in Nahor, the first thing he did was to pray. He did not begin inquiring about the local families. He did not send out scouts. He did not even rest after his long journey. He first and foremost sought God's guidance in finding a godly wife for Isaac. 
Eliezer knew firsthand the importance of prayer, having witnessed the faithfulness of God in Abraham's life. He learned from Abraham's example of devoted prayer. He saw God's faithfulness as He blessed Abraham and Sarah with their long-awaited son Isaac. So Eliezer knew God would answer his prayer for aid in such an important task.
Eliezer's prayer was one of a matchmaker's: "Then he prayed, ‘O Lord, God of my master Abraham, give me success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. See, I am standing beside this spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. May it be that when I say to a girl, "Please let down your jar that I may have a drink," and she says, "Drink, and I'll water your camels too"—let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master'" (Genesis 24:12-14).
Why did Eliezer present the scenario that Isaac's chosen wife would offer to water the animals? Because generosity is a hallmark of a woman of character. Eliezer was seeking a hospitable, self-sacrificing woman who would give above what was expected of her.
His prayer was powerful, not because he asked in a certain way, but because his heart was aligned with God's will. He sought a God-ordained marriage for his master's son. His heart was obedient to what God wanted for Isaac and his descendants.
Eliezer trusted in God's providence, and God intervened. "Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder" (Genesis 24:15). God provided Isaac's wife, and Eliezer responded in a prayer of thanksgiving: "Then the man bowed down and worshiped the Lord, saying, ‘Praise be to the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not abandoned his kindness and faithfulness to my master. As for me, the Lord has led me on the journey to the house of my master's relatives'" (Genesis 24:26, 27).
We can learn from Eliezer's example. Like this humble servant, we must depend on God in all we do. We must actively seek to do God's will as we pray. We should believe in big things from a big God. We must never forget God's past blessings and interventions, yet always remain grateful for His faithfulness.
Are you facing a daunting task? Stop and ask the Lord what He wants you to do. Ask Him how you can bring Him glory through the situation.
"If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him." 
James 1:5

****
Don't be tempted to toss in the towel and give up running the race.  Shore up your confidence in God, today. Michael Youssef explores this topic in our free resource this month—"Don't Lose Your Confidence." Download it today.
We are Leading The Way for people living in spiritual darkness, at home and around the world, to discover the light of Christ as we passionately proclaim uncompromising Truth. Visit us today at www.leadingtheway.org
To follow Leading The Way on Twitter, click here.
Listen to Today's Broadcast of "Leading The Way"
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Re: Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

Post  Admin on Tue 29 Oct 2013, 12:50 am

Week of October 29
The Fulfillment of God's Promise
Immediately following God's incredible, supernatural intervention on Mount Carmel, Elijah told King Ahab, ""Go, eat and drink, for there is the sound of a heavy rain" (1 Kings 18:41) Ahab went down to eat and drink.  Elijah climbed to the top of Mount Carmel where he knelt on the promise God had given him.
The promise God gave Elijah was a conditional promise. While Elijah was still in Zarephath with the widow, "the word of the LORD came to Elijah: ‘Go and present yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the land.'  So Elijah went to present himself to Ahab" (1 Kings 18:1-2). The Lord said He would send rain if Elijah presented himself to Ahab.  At this point, it had not rained in three and a half years.  There was a great famine and people were desperate.  Elijah's obedience was the condition of the fulfillment of God's promise.
Some people today love to claim the promises of God while trying to escape the conditions.  God must be true to His Word.  If a promise comes with a condition, the condition must be completed so the promise can be fulfilled.  God set these conditions, and He is not going to change them. An example is sowing and reaping.  Paul wrote to the Galatians, "A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life" (Galatians 6:7-8).  It takes time for a crop to yield its harvest, but you will always reap what you sow.  A man who sows corn does not reap cotton.
The promise God gave Elijah was a personal promise.  It was given to Elijah for that time and place. Do not try to make a personal promise in Scripture a universal promise.
Elijah had a personal, conditional promise from God.  He had fulfilled the conditions of the promise and was praying for its fulfillment—for rain.  Elijah knew He was going to see the answer to His prayer.  He knew God's character—God always tells the truth and He always keeps His promises. Still, he prayed persistently. 
He sent his servant out seven times to check for rain. On his seventh trip, he saw a small cloud in the distance.  Expectantly, Elijah alerted Ahab to take cover because rain was coming.  Humbly, Elijah ran before the King all the way home—refusing to steal the glory of this victory from the Lord.
What are you doing with the conditional promises of God? Are you refusing to keep the condition of the promise? Or have you simply just given up?
Please examine your heart and ask the Lord to take away any hindrance to fulfilling the conditions of His promises or in persisting in prayer for the fulfillment of His promises.  May the Lord empower you to never give up!
"The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance."--2 Peter 3:9   
****
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We are Leading The Way for people living in spiritual darkness, at home and around the world, to discover the light of Christ as we passionately proclaim uncompromising Truth. Visit us today at www.leadingtheway.org
Listen to Michael Youssef on Today's Broadcast of "Leading The Way" at OnePlace.com
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Re: Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

Post  Admin on Mon 21 Oct 2013, 6:42 pm

Week of Oct. 21
What God Has Joined Together
We talk about the rising divorce rate in modern times, but divorce has been a problem since the days of the Old Testament. Even during the time of Christ, religious leaders were reinterpreting God's Word on the issue of divorce. In Matthew 19:1-12, we see the Pharisees trying to trap Jesus with the question, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?" (Matthew 19:3).
During that time, women were often divorced at the whims of their husbands. Men would divorce their wives for trivial reasons like a bad dinner or a word of criticism. The Pharisees supported this system of easy divorce. They twisted God's Word into a self-serving misinterpretation. The Pharisees knew Jesus did not go along with this popular notion, and they wanted Jesus to publicly discredit Himself by speaking out against it.
How did Jesus handle the situation? He quoted Scripture. "‘Haven't you read,' he replied, ‘that at the beginning the Creator "made them male and female," and said, "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh"?  So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate'" (Matthew 19:4-6).
Jesus' response is the perfect model for us when we are confronted on biblical issues. Instead of promoting our own opinions, we should simply share from the Bible and let God's Word speak for itself.
The Scripture passage that Jesus points out to the Pharisees illustrates the purpose for God's creation of man and woman. He pointed to what God's Word said about the importance of marriage.
Marriage, as God intended it, is a total commitment to self-giving, forgiveness, and fulfillment. Marriage is a lifelong covenant. Marriage is for a man and a woman to complement and support each other for life. Marriage is an act of God. And that is why divorce is not an act of God—it is an act of man.
Yet the Pharisees did not give up; they pointed to the divorces allowed by Moses. "Why then did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?" (Matthew 19:7). They chose to see only what they wanted. They chose to follow the Scripture passages that suited their desires.
"Jesus replied, ‘Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery'" (Matthew 19:8,9).
Divorce is never recommended in the Bible, only permitted in certain circumstances. Yet the culture of Jesus' day allowed for re-marriage in all circumstances. Even Jesus' disciples were shocked at His words: "The disciples said to him, ‘If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry'" (Matthew 19:10).
Yet with God's grace and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, it is possible for a man and woman to remain committed to each other for a lifetime. Has your marriage hit some turbulence? Are you contemplating separation or divorce? Seek to understand God's purpose for marriage and why He hates divorce. Seek His help in overcoming the obstacles in your marriage. Seek the forgiveness of God and your spouse for the wrongs you have committed in your marriage.
"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh." 
Genesis 2:24
****
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Re: Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

Post  Admin on Tue 15 Oct 2013, 11:14 pm

Week of Oct. 14
The Eye of the Needle
How has your financial status, whether strong or weak, affected your faith?
Read Matthew 19:16-30 In this passage, the man who approaches Jesus was wealthy and powerful. He was religious, yet he had not experienced the inner peace that comes from knowing Christ. He was restless. He was discontented. So the man asks Jesus how to find eternal life. "Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, ‘Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?'" (Matthew 19:16).
With the question, the man was hoping to be able to find out how to earn or buy his way into heaven. What he was really asking was, "How much will it cost me?" He wanted to know if there was some secret formula to eternal life.
Jesus responded, "Why do you ask me about what is good?...There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments" (Matthew 19:17). The man claimed he followed all the required commandments. Then he asked Jesus, "What do I still lack?" (Matthew 19:20).
This time, the man received an answer he could not follow. "Jesus answered, ‘If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.' When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth" (Matthew 19:21-22).
Even though the man had convinced himself he was perfect, he was a sinner. This man thought he was living a life for God, but in reality it was his money that he worshiped.
Jesus warned, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God" (Matthew 19:23-24). Jesus was not saying money itself prohibits us from entering heaven. He is saying that money can so easily become our god that we never really truly follow Christ.
The rich man had allowed his wealth to create a false sense of security and self-sufficiency. He allowed his wealth to create a false sense of attachment to this world and that he had God's favor. He relied on his money more than on God. He thought he was in control of his life.
The Bible tells us to live differently from that rich ruler. Paul told Timothy, "Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment" (1 Timothy 6:17).
When we focus too much on our earthly resources, we easily become tied to those things. Jesus said, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:19-21).
This young ruler was entrenched in a mentality that fostered greed and selfishness. He probably thought he could make a sizable donation and buy his way into heaven. Yet Jesus is saying this attitude was wrong. Jesus was saying that no one can come to God the Father through his or her own efforts. No amount of good deeds, carefully-followed rules, or financial offerings can gain a person's salvation. Only when we approach God the Father through Jesus Christ the Son can we spend eternity with Him. "Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible" (Matthew 19:26).
Only God can change a sinful heart. Only God's grace can change a person's destiny from eternal torment to eternal bliss. No matter our financial situation, we can only come to God through the blood of Jesus Christ shed on Calvary.
Is money your god? Or is it some other earthly distraction? Seek God's forgiveness for the idols you have created. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you put God first in your life.
"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money." Matthew 6:24
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Re: Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

Post  Admin on Tue 08 Oct 2013, 10:15 am

Week of Oct. 9
Inward vs. Outward Peace
Only God can bring us true peace in this world. Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid" (John 14:27). Isaiah prophesied the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and called Him the "Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6). So why does Jesus say, "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword"? (Matthew 10:34)
In Matthew 10, Jesus is not referring to the inner peace that we only find by accepting Him as our Lord and Savior. He is not talking about everlasting, spiritual peace. What Jesus means is that the same Gospel of peace that brings eternal joy and contentment to believers will be the Gospel that is rejected by the world. The Gospel of peace that reconciles sinners to a holy God will create animosity in the hearts of nonbelievers.
The same people who reject the Gospel of peace also reject the proclaimers of that peace. This rejection, conflict, and disharmony are what Jesus warns about. Following Christ will bring us inner peace, but it will also place us in situations where our outer serenity is disturbed. We may feel a lack of peace in terms of our relationship with the world, but our spiritual peace cannot be taken away from us.
The more we depend on being liked and desired by others, the more unsettled and disturbed we will feel when people reject the Gospel. The closer a person is to us, the more we will feel their rejection. We are far more troubled over a loved one's rejection of the Gospel than that of an acquaintance. This rejection can lead to discord in the home. "For I have come to turn ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—a man's enemies will be the members of his own household'" (Matthew 10:35, 36).
Jesus Himself is not sowing the seeds of discord but He is warning us that we will experience a temporary loss of outward peace because of those who reject His Gospel. However, Jesus does not tell us to avoid these people who disrupt our outer peace. He does not tell us to pretend that everything is fine though people around us are going to hell. Instead, we are to continue witnessing and sharing about Christ, even if the results are stressful for us. Even if our countenance is shaken, we are to continue loving, ministering, serving, and reaching out.
In humility we are to love everyone, even those who criticize us. We are to pray for those who hate us. We are to reach out to those who reject us. Even when our outer peace has crumbled, we are to lovingly speak the Truth of the Gospel.
Do you keep quiet about Christ for the sake of harmony and temporary, superficial peace? Seek God's forgiveness for the times when you have been fearful or embarrassed to speak His name. Seek His strength to face the conflicts that will occur because of your faith. Pray that your life will continue to testify to Christ, even when your relationships endure discord.
"So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God." 
2 Timothy 1:8

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Re: Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

Post  Admin on Mon 30 Sep 2013, 4:15 pm

Week of September 30
Occupy Till I Come
Christ will return and His return should motivate us to work hard and give sacrificially for the work of God. In the parable of the ten minas in Luke 19, Jesus essentially said that we are to remain occupied in working hard for His kingdom until He returns.
Luke 19:12-26. A nobleman left ten of his servants with money and instructions to invest it wisely while he was away. When the man returned, he found that some of the servants had worked hard to increase his wealth. For those servants, the man praised and rewarded them. "‘Well done, my good servant!' his master replied. ‘Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities'" (Luke 19:17).
But one servant hid the money away out of fear he would fail. For that servant, the master said, "‘I will judge you by your own words, you wicked servant! You knew, did you, that I am a hard man, taking out what I did not put in, and reaping what I did not sow? Why then didn't you put my money on deposit, so that when I came back, I could have collected it with interest?' Then he said to those standing by, 'Take his mina away from him and give it to the one who has ten minas.…I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away'" (Luke 19:22-24, 26).
Like the servants in this illustration, there are two types of Christians: those who occupy themselves with God's work and those who do not. Which one are you? Are you taking advantage of every opportunity to witness for Christ? Are you being faithful with God's blessings and resources? Are you serving God with all of your heart and soul? Or are you like the servant who kept his resources to himself?
Like the hard-working servants who were rewarded, we will also receive our rewards in heaven. We cannot buy or work our way into heaven. Our salvation is only through Jesus Christ. However, what we do here on earth for God's kingdom will determine our reward in heaven. Paul explains, "For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames" (1 Corinthians 3:11-15).
During this life we will be refined with fire that will test us: are we laying a foundation of material wealth or of eternal blessings? Are we working for our own glory and comfort, or for the furthering of God's kingdom? When we pass through the refiner's fire, still seeking to honor God and bring Him glory, that work and dedication is going to shine like the sun. But if we only focus on what we can gain for ourselves in this life, our efforts will be nothing but smoldering ashes.
What does God want us to do until He returns? As Christians we are called to serve Him willingly and obediently to whatever He calls us to do. We are to witness to those who do not follow Christ, lovingly warn them of the coming judgment and joyfully share of God's love and plan of salvation. We are to equip and encourage our fellow believers so that they may also go forth and further God's kingdom.
What will you do with the opportunities that God has given you? Will you turn your back on them? Or will you joyfully give back to God in tithes, offerings, service, and praise to Him? We cannot out-give God. Whatever rewards we receive in this life are infinitesimal compared to what we will receive in the glory of heaven.
"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize."
1 Corinthians 9:24
****
The circumstances of life do not have to get you down. Learn how you can turn negative situations into ones of hope and promise in our free resource this month—"When Life Gets You Down, Look Up!" Download it today.
We are Leading The Way for people living in spiritual darkness, at home and around the world, to discover the light of Christ as we passionately proclaim uncompromising Truth. Visit us today at www.leadingtheway.org.
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Re: Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

Post  Admin on Tue 24 Sep 2013, 9:31 pm

Week of Sept. 23
Living by Love

First Corinthians 13 is one of the most well-known passages in the Bible. It is often quoted, yet seldom comprehended. It is routinely read at weddings but is soon forgotten.
Hollywood only shows passionate, romantic love. Friends talk about having warm feelings toward each other. Yet the type of love that Paul is describing in this passage is far greater than any emotions-based love. Agape love is a self-giving and self-sacrificing love. The focus is not on how we feel about the other person, but on how we can give of ourselves in love. Agape love has no room for pride, vanity, arrogance or selfish desires.
Without this kind of love, any accomplishment, activity, or relationship we have is in vain. Paul describes this futility of loveless action: "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing" (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).
Proclaiming the Truth of God is nothing without love. Immense knowledge is worthless without love. Whatever we do—even if it is the name of God—is meaningless if it is not motivated by agape love. We are to "do everything in love" (1 Corinthians 16:14).
The Church in Corinth lost its first love for Jesus Christ. They maintained their spiritual activities but did them without love. Many people in today's church face the same problem. They have become so consumed by committees, rules, programs and personal agendas that they have forgotten about love. So many Christians today have lost their vision and mission because they do not serve in love. As Jesus rebuked the church in Ephesus, "Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love" (Revelation 2:4).
What does agape love look like? Paul tells us: "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails" (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).
Paul's description paints a picture of the love of Jesus Christ. He is the one against whom we are to measure ourselves. We are to love others as Christ loves us. Jesus said, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another" (John 13:34,35).
Has your love been met by rejection? By betrayal? Has you love been met by cold indifference or by anger? Has your love been met with hatred? Has your love been met with selfishness, jealousy, and resentment? Keep loving, for only love endures forever.
Spend time in prayer today thanking God for His indescribable love. Pray for the ability to love others as Christ loves us.
"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." 
John 15:13  

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Don't be tempted to toss in the towel and give up running the race.  Shore up your confidence in God, today. Michael Youssef explores this topic in our free resource this month—"Don't Lose Your Confidence." [u][u]Download it today[/u][/u].
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Re: Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

Post  Admin on Tue 17 Sep 2013, 1:50 pm

Week of Sept. 16
Abandoning Our Pride

We've all heard, "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall" (Proverbs 16:18). But do we really understand this proverb? It doesn't only mean that our overconfidence leads to failure because we placed too must trust in our own abilities. Pride's danger is far deeper than that.
Pride does not mean having a healthy self-confidence. Pride is about an ungodly elevation of self. Pride says we know what is best for ourselves; therefore, God's desires come second to our own. And this is why pride is often the root of our sins. "Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked, are sin!" (Proverbs 21:4).
Wickedness and pride are closely tied in the Bible: "In his pride the wicked does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God. His ways are always prosperous; he is haughty and your laws are far from him; he sneers at all his enemies. He says to himself, 'Nothing will shake me; I'll always be happy and never have trouble'" (Psalm 10:4-6).
The Corinthians were growing in pride. They felt they were above temptation and sin. They were overconfident in their faith. Because of pride, they were in danger of losing their effectiveness for Christ.
Read 1 Corinthians 10:1-13. Paul reminds the Corinthians of the failures of the Israelites in the wilderness. They had experienced supernatural blessings, yet they fell into immorality and rebellion. Their pride led to their disqualification from entering the Promised Land. "God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered over the desert" (1 Corinthians 10:5).
When we allow God's blessings to feed our ego, we set a similar path of pride and willfulness. We begin to take credit for what God has given us—our intellect, wealth and resources. We start to think that our opinions are always right, and that God would benefit from our wisdom. We brag about our accomplishments in God's kingdom. We convince ourselves that our way is the best way, and we start to interpret God's Word according to our own human wisdom.
The more we become self-confident, the less we depend on God's Word and His Holy Spirit. The more self-confident we are, the more careless we become in our spiritual walk. This pride opens us up to temptation. Paul warns, "So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man" (1 Corinthians 10:12,13a).
But the Israelites provide us a powerful lesson: "Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did" (1 Corinthians 10:6). When we are humble before God and seek His guidance, He will keep us from stumbling. "And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it" (1 Corinthians 10:13b).
Are you facing difficulty in a relationship? Has your walk with God slowed to a crawl? Have you ceased to long for God to do great things? Pride is somewhere at the core of those problems. Confess to God the pride of your heart. Offer it to Him as a sacrifice today.
"You save the humble but bring low those whose eyes are haughty." 
Psalms 18:27

****
Don't be tempted to toss in the towel and give up running the race.  Shore up your confidence in God, today. Michael Youssef explores this topic in our free resource this month—"Don't Lose Your Confidence." [u][u][u][u]Download it today[/u][/u][/u][/u].
We are Leading The Way for people living in spiritual darkness, at home and around the world, to discover the light of Christ as we passionately proclaim uncompromising Truth. Visit us today at http://www.leadingtheway.org/
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Re: Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

Post  Admin on Tue 10 Sep 2013, 9:40 pm

Week of September 9
The Guidance of God
Our society seems to take one misstep after another. People around us are wandering aimlessly through life, not knowing what they truly believe or whom they should follow. Politicians and community leaders have strayed off course as they have ignored the divine wisdom and guidance of God in order to follow their own human principles.
God wants to show us how to live abundant and joyful lives. He desires to lead the way for us through life, steering us away from temptation and sheltering us in the storms. He wants to give us guidance in our decisions. We are not to live as the world does, chasing after every new philosophical trend. Instead we are to live confidently knowing that the only One we need to follow is God.
Sometimes as Christians we allow ourselves to become obsessed with discerning God's will. We pour over the fine details, examining every possible option, worried that one wrong step will send us out of God's favor. We doubt past decisions that did not turn out the way we had hoped. We doubt our ability to discern God's will. We waste time regretting and worrying.
Instead of obsessing over our choices, we should focus on our complete willingness to obey the will of God when He shows it to us. We need to first be in a place of submission before God, willing to follow wherever He leads. We build that type of obedience by spending regular time with God in prayer and in His Word.
The psalmist declared, "He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way" (Psalm 25:9). If we focus on humbly obeying God, we can trust that He will guide us on the right paths. For many Christians, this is easier said than done. In theory, we all claim to want to be obedient to God, but in reality we hold on to our own plans. We are willing to accept God's will for us when it suits us, but we balk when He points in a direction outside of our comfort zones. We pray for Him to show us His will, secretly hoping it will be something we desire. We claim obedience, but remain latched on to our own wants.
Sometimes God's plans for us do not make sense. Sometimes they are uncomfortable or even painful. But if we truly walk in obedience to God, we will find contentment whatever circumstances He may bring. We can rejoice even in the times of teaching, training, and testing. We can trust that even if we make a misstep, our sovereign God can lead us back into His will.
The psalmist discovered the joys and benefits of obedience to God: "Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long.…I have more understanding than the elders, for I obey your precepts. I have kept my feet from every evil path so that I might obey your word. I have not departed from your laws, for you yourself have taught me. How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path" (Psalm 119:97, 100-105).
Unlike the worldly culture around us, we are not rudderless. We have God's guiding Holy Spirit to show us the best course. But first we must surrender completely to following His will and His commandments, even when they do not match our personal desires. We must spend regular time in prayer learning His voice and His heart. The more we know God, the easier it will be to discern His voice from our own self-serving thoughts. If you are resistant to giving God full control of your life, confess this to Him in prayer. Pray for His help in developing a humble and obedient heart in you. Pray that He will awaken the hearts of Christians across the country so they will also seek to obey His guidance.
"We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands."--1 John 2:3
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Re: Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

Post  Admin on Tue 03 Sep 2013, 7:51 pm

Week of Sept. 2
Understanding God's Grace

How do you handle the "gray areas" of life? If you're like many Christians, you probably struggle with the balance of grace and legalism. You want to please God, yet you're not always sure where the line is between sin and acceptable. How much freedom do we have with regard to behavior not explicitly forbidden in the Word of God?
As Christians, we fall into the temptation of lopsided faith—we either become too legalistic, or we take license with God's grace. Legalism places rules above faith. It says keeping rules is more important than our relationship with God. At the other extreme, too much grace leads to sinfulness and excess, all the while saying "God's grace covers my sin."
Christ did not die on the cross so that we can take sin lightly and flaunt our freedoms without consequence. He also did not die in order to give us a constricting and rigid life. Either extreme is a limited version of the Christian faith.
We must balance both legalism and grace. When we fully understand the cost of our sin, we choose not to take God's grace for granted. When we fully understand Jesus' sacrifice and love, we begin to cherish our relationship with Him above all else. When we love God with all our heart, soul, strength and mind, we will hate sin and crave a closer relationship with Him.
This balanced faith helps discern how to handle those gray areas of life. But even with balance, we must be cautious in using the freedoms of grace. What may seem inconsequential to us may wound the conscience of another person. What we may think of as a harmless action could damage the spiritual walk of another believer.
The Corinthians also struggled with these gray areas. In 1 Corinthians 8:1-13  Paul addresses the issue of food. The Corinthians lived in a polytheistic culture which offered animal sacrifices to the pagan temples. Whatever prime cuts of meat the priests could not eat, they would simply sell at temple markets.
Some Christians viewed this meat as no different from any other. Other Christians could not separate the meat from the idol worship, causing them great distress. Because of the predominance of this meat in their culture, Corinthian Christians could not escape this dilemma.
Paul warned those who ate the meat not to flaunt their liberties. "Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak" (1 Corinthians 8:9). The more mature Christians may have had the knowledge of what was right or wrong, but they did not act in love toward their new brothers and sisters in Christ. "If your brother is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love" (Romans 14:15). They understood biblical truth, but they did not relate it to other people.
We may think we have all the answers. We may be well-grounded in our beliefs regarding the gray areas. But if we put our knowledge and desires above the welfare of other Christians, then we act out of selfishness and pride instead of love.
The apostle Paul warns: "So this weak brother, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. When you sin against your brothers in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall" (1 Corinthians 8:11-13).
Who is watching you today? Someone is, whether you notice them or not. If you have been a careless Christian, confess that to God. Seek to become a good example of loving faith for others.
"You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love." 
Galatians 5:13

****
Don't be tempted to toss in the towel and give up running the race.  Shore up your confidence in God, today. Michael Youssef explores this topic in our free resource this month—"Don't Lose Your Confidence." [u][u][u]Download it today[/u][/u][/u].
We are Leading The Way for people living in spiritual darkness, at home and around the world, to discover the light of Christ as we passionately proclaim uncompromising Truth. Visit us today at www.leadingtheway.org
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Re: Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

Post  Admin on Mon 26 Aug 2013, 11:47 pm

            


Week of Aug. 26
Kindness

While traveling from one city to the next, a man was overtaken by robbers. Taking his clothes and possessions, they left him badly beaten. Not long after the attack, a priest traveled the same road. He passed by without stopping. Then another traveler saw the man but did not offer to help.
Finally, someone stopped—a Samaritan. He put bandages on the man's wounds and took him to an inn for the night. The next day he gave the innkeeper money and instructions to take care of the wounded man.
The parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10 is a wonderful example of godly kindness. It also demonstrates that kindness often requires something of us—time, plans, privacy, and desires. The Good Samaritan interrupted his travel plans to help a stranger. What better example to follow than that of Christ? He gave us the ultimate gift of kindness—He died that we might live.
However, we cannot learn to be kind simply by disciplining ourselves. Kindness can be hard work, and from time to time, this may mean that we have to face difficult situations that drain us emotionally and physically.
Often kindness cannot grow apart from conflict and strife. We learn to be kind through the kindness of others, but we also learn a greater kindness when we are called to be kind and caring in difficult situations.
A disagreement with a co-worker, spouse, friend, or family member can tempt us to be abrupt or uncaring. Circumstances appear out of focus and God's fruit of kindness becomes lost in the battle. However, through the power of Christ we are able to act in kindness even toward those who hurt us. Is there someone who needs your kindness today?
Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble (1 Peter 3:8).
The Holy Spirit possesses a dynamite-like power that works within a believer to blast out anything that is unlike God. Michael Youssef explores this topic in our free resource this month—"Dynamite Power." Download it today.

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Re: Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

Post  Admin on Tue 20 Aug 2013, 9:40 pm

Week of Aug. 19
The Bow and Arrow
Have you ever been described as an impatient person? It is easy to feel impatient. Maybe traffic isn't moving fast enough and you are going to be late for your meeting. Or you can't get through the checkout lane quickly enough to pick up your children from the babysitter. These daily irritations can zap your strength and cause you to lose sight of what really matters.
The source of true patience is the Spirit of God. His patience toward us allows us the opportunity to grow and to become more like Him. He does not give up on us. When we are stubborn and fail to learn what God wants to teach us, He continues to demonstrate His patience.
Many times, we grow impatient with a colleague, friend, child, or spouse and forget that God is patient with us and requires us to do the same with others. One of the causes of impatience is spiritual shortsightedness. Our view is limited. Therefore, many times we only see what has a direct impact on our lives. We become impatient because we can't see life from God's perspective!
God has a greater plan. While He does not always show us the details, we can know the big picture—we are in His loving hands.
Oswald Chambers writes:
Patience is more than endurance. A saint's life is in the hands of God like a bow and arrow in the hands of the archer. God is aiming at something the saint cannot see, and He stretches and strains, and every now and again the saint says, ‘I cannot stand anymore.' God does not heed, He goes on stretching till His purpose is in sight, then He lets fly. Trust yourself in God's hands.
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience (Colossians 3:12).
The Holy Spirit possesses a dynamite-like power that works within a believer to blast out anything that is unlike God. Michael Youssef explores this topic in our free resource this month—"Dynamite Power." [u]Download it today[/u].

By Passionately Proclaiming Uncompromising Truth, Leading The Way is revolutionizing lives at home and around the world. Discover more at www.leadingtheway.org.
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Re: Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

Post  Admin on Mon 12 Aug 2013, 6:23 pm

Week of August 12
Seeking Godly Wisdom
What is the difference between godly wisdom and human wisdom? How can we discern between right and wrong thinking? The apostle Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 1:18-31.
Human wisdom is any viewpoint or worldview invented by people and not rooted in God's Word. It is any statement, philosophy or false gospel that contradicts or twists the Bible. Human wisdom seeks to elevate self-will, pride and independence from God, diminishing His wisdom and absolutes. "Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a 'fool' so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight" (1 Corinthians 3:18,19).
God's wisdom is so far above our human understanding that we consider it foolishness. For centuries, humanity has tried to make sense of this world with philosophies and theories, because it could not grasp the Truth of God. Only God's wisdom will lead us on the right path. "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God" (1 Corinthians 1:18).
From our limited human perspective, it seems impossible that God would become man, die on a cross, rise three days later, then ascend into heaven. It seems even more impossible that our salvation—our only chance to spend eternity in heaven—is rooted in our belief and following of Jesus Christ who died on that cross for our sins. Humanly speaking, how could the death of one man so long ago determine the destiny of every human being ever created? God's act of redemption makes no sense to the natural mind. Human wisdom cannot comprehend the Cross.
Yet no matter how unfathomable God's wisdom is, only God can give us the answers to the questions that we have no answers for—the meaning of life and our purpose here on earth. No human wisdom can provide true peace, joy, fulfillment or contentment in life. "For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength" (1 Corinthians 1:25).
Human wisdom may show us the problems of life, but it fails to give us the solutions. The root of all of our problems is sin, which humanity refuses to acknowledge. The unrepentant heart justifies and explains away sinful behavior. Human wisdom asks, "Who needs the Cross when we are good people?" However, human intellect cannot save us from an eternity in hell. "There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death" (Proverbs 16:25).
People consider the cross foolishness because admitting their sinfulness and the need for Christ's redemption means they must also surrender to God. They must give up their own wisdom and glory for God's. And most people are unwilling to admit God's ways are better than theirs.
Are you trying to apply human wisdom to God's Word? Are you seeing what you want to see in the Scriptures? Confess to God the times you abandoned His wisdom for your own. Pray for the Spirit's discernment in identifying God's Truths and applying them in your life.
"See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."
Colossians 2:8
 
We are Leading The Way for people living in spiritual darkness, at home and around the world, to discover the light of Christ as we passionately proclaim uncompromising Truth. Visit us today at www.leadingtheway.org
Listen to Michael Youssef on Today's Broadcast of "Leading The Way" at OnePlace.com
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Re: Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

Post  Admin on Mon 05 Aug 2013, 8:41 pm

Week of Aug. 5
The Root of All Evil

Money and prosperity not only have the ability to create conflict between family members and friends, they can also wreak havoc in the Christian community. In many ways, nothing has a greater ability to derail ministry work than a rich endowment.
Some Christian leaders may balk at this statement, but the truth is not hard to discern. Many of America's universities were founded on Christian principles and values, but have since abandoned their faith. When their endowments grew larger, their commitment and devotion to godly education grew smaller. They adjusted their ethics to reflect the views of their contributors.
Both Lot and Abraham were wealthy men. However, there was a tremendous difference in their love for God. Abraham's quest was to follow God by faith, while Lot lived for the moment and to gain more than he had been given.
Have you ever been tempted to make the same type of decision? You may have waited a long time to enjoy the goodness of God's blessing, but be careful. Don't allow the temptation of self-centeredness to grasp your heart. Remember, you do not have to be wealthy to be consumed by thoughts of greed. Anyone can become entrapped by the world's lusts and passions.
Abraham refused to allow his wealth to control him. Lot, on the other hand, allowed the size of his herd and bank roll to negatively influence his worship of God. Open your life up to the Savior. Trust Him for your future and lay aside the destructive thoughts of envy and jealousy.
Lord, teach me how to enjoy what You have given and not allow it to take Your place.
Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness (Genesis 15:6).
*****
Don't be tempted to toss in the towel and give up running the race.  Shore up your confidence in God, today.  Michael Youssef explores this topic in our free resource this month—"Don't Lose Your Confidence." [u]Download it today[/u].

By Passionately Proclaiming Uncompromising Truth, Leading The Way is revolutionizing lives at home and around the world. Discover more at www.leadingtheway.org.
[b style="color: purple;"]And don't forget to listen to Dr. Michael Youssef at OnePlace.com![/b]
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Re: Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

Post  Admin on Mon 29 Jul 2013, 2:48 pm

The Spirit of Control

Have you ever tried to fix God’s plan? Maybe you grew impatient with waiting 
on God’s timing or thought you had a better solution. You probably learned
quickly that trying to improve on God’s plans and purposes spells disaster.

Read
2 Kings 4:38-44
In the region of Gilgal, the people were experiencing a famine. Elisha had 
just returned from traveling and told his servant to prepare a large pot of
stew to feed the prophets. Even during a famine, Elisha had faith God would 
provide for His children.

Throughout the Bible, we see that in the midst of disaster, God takes care 
of His faithful people. Think on the times in your own life when you were 
surrounded
by oppression or grief, yet God watched over you and provided for you. “For 
the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good
thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless” (
Psalm 84:11).

God always blesses those who surrender to Him. He delights in those who 
yield to Him. When God provides, He always satisfies. When we appropriate 
His provision,
we will always be contented. When we are wounded, He is the balm. When we 
are sick, He is the medicine. When we are poor, He is our wealth. When we 
are
hungry, He is the Bread of Life. When we are thirsty, He is the Living 
Water. When we are in debt, He is our surety. When we are in darkness, He is 
the
sunshine. When we face a gathering storm, He is our anchor.

Yet we will find frustration when we try to take things into our own hands. 
We will find heartache when we try to intrude on God’s purpose. We will find
dissatisfaction when we try to modify God’s plan.

In Elisha’s story, we see that he had a hearty stew cooking during a famine. 
Things were going according to plan. Then one man decided he wanted to 
improve
on things. He wanted to have control over the situation. “One of them went 
out into the fields to gather herbs and found a wild vine. He gathered some
of its gourds and filled the fold of his cloak. When he returned, he cut 
them up into the pot of stew, though no one knew what they were” (
2 Kings 4:39).

But we can’t improve on God’s recipe. In fact, trying to take over God’s 
plans can lead to disaster: “The stew was poured out for the men, but as 
they began
to eat it, they cried out, ‘O man of God, there is death in the pot!’ And 
they could not eat it” (
2 Kings 4:40).
Not only did this man’s idea ruin the meal, but he could have poisoned the 
prophets. In his effort to control the situation, he nearly brought death 
upon
the camp.

Yet even when we mess up, God still has the power to set things right. 
“Elisha said, ‘Get some flour.’ He put it into the pot and said, ‘Serve it 
to the
people to eat.’ And there was nothing harmful in the pot” (
2 Kings 4:41).
The flour was a type of the resurrected Christ. The grain of wheat had to be 
crushed in the mill of the Cross before it could become the Bread of Life.
Jesus is the flour who is thrown into the pot of death and sin. The poison 
in the pot— brought by man’s intervention, by man’s effort, by man’s 
work—had
to be absorbed out of the pot.

The power of the resurrected Christ can also deliver us from the spirit of 
control. His power can save us from ourselves and our self-assertion, 
stubbornness
and sin. Are you battling with the spirit of control? Do you have trouble 
allowing God to do His plan His way? Have you been guilty of poisoning the 
pot?
If so, surrender that control to God. Surrender the spirit of perfection. 
Surrender your tendencies to thwart God’s purpose. Surrender your 
persistence
in trying to improve God’s plan. Surrender your declaration of independence. 
Pray to be set free from the spirit of control.

****
In a world gone mad with relativism and political correctness. .. What can we 
do to ignite spiritual renewal in our lives and in our churches? Read the 
passion
Michael Youssef has for this subject in our free resource—”We Preach 
Christ.”

By Passionately Proclaiming Uncompromising Truth, Leading The Way is 
revolutionizing lives at home and around the world. Discover more at
www.leadingtheway.org.
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Re: Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

Post  Admin on Mon 29 Jul 2013, 1:52 pm

Faith in Our Choices
Life is a series of choices. We can choose wisely or unwisely as we are 
confronted with decisions, temptations, and priorities. Sometimes we will 
make the
wrong decision, but hopefully we will learn from our mistakes in order to 
make better choices in the future. We learn which choices lead to eternal 
blessings
and which lead to short-term happiness. We learn which choices lead to 
spiritual success and which lead to failure. While some decisions are minor, 
others
have eternal consequences. We must learn how to choose wisely because many 
decisions will determine the quality of our lives. Poor choices lead to a 
life
of misery, while wise choices lead to peace and contentment. God wants us to 
make life decisions based on what will have eternal benefits, what will 
bring
Him glory, and what will expand our faith.

One of the greatest choices we make is to obey Christ in all things. 
Obedience does not come naturally for us. Our sinful nature often influences 
our decisions,
choices, habits, and priorities. We must consciously strive to follow Christ 
every day in order to live a life of faithfulness to God. We must choose to
walk by faith. We must choose to spend time with God. We must choose to 
fellowship with God in prayer. We must choose to feed upon the Word of God. 
We
must choose to be witnesses for Christ to our neighbors and friends and 
co-workers. We must choose to live for Christ instead of ourselves. We must 
choose
to place God and only God as the top priority in our lives. We must choose 
how to use the talents, resources, and opportunities that God places in our
lives.
Read Hebrews 11:23-29
Moses was a man who was given great advantages in life: he held power, 
wealth, and prestige. Moses was the adopted grandson of the ruler of the 
world's
most powerful, wealthiest, and advanced country of that time. And he was 
faced with a great dilemma. Moses had to choose between two completely 
different
lives: the life that led to him one day becoming pharaoh with untold 
prestige and power, or the life that would abandon everything he knew in 
order to
lead God's people out of slavery. His choice was between the temporary 
earthly wealth and the everlasting rewards of heaven. The Bible tells us 
that Moses
chose wisely: "By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as 
the son of Pharaoh' s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the 
people
of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. He 
regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the 
treasures of
Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward" (
Hebrews 11:24-26).

Moses gave up what most of us dream about: ultimate earthly power and 
wealth. What would you have done in Moses' place? Would you have just played 
it safe,
waiting for your time to become pharaoh, convincing yourself you could do 
more good with more power? Would you have turned your back on your people 
out
of fear or selfishness or apathy? Would you easily part with the royal 
palace in order to wander through the desert?

When we place our lives and futures and families and businesses in the hands 
of God, we can trust that God will take us to the places where His plans are
to be found. When we place our faith in God and His plans and promises and 
purposes, we can move forward, even if it means leaving other things behind.

Where do you seek your honor—in the eyes of society or in the eyes of God? 
Heavenly rewards are eternal, but they often come with a price. When we 
choose
to obey and honor God above our own selfish desires, we will sometimes 
sacrifice our comfort, the opinions of others, and our social standing. 
People may
reject us, ridicule us, and despise us for our faith. Committed faith is not 
always easy in the short-term, but our rewards will be eternal—and God's 
rewards
are always better than the world's rewards.

What kinds of choices do you make? Do your decisions reflect earth-bound 
priorities or God's kingdom? Are your accumulations in earthly banks or in 
your
heavenly home? Do you play it safe or do you take risks for God? Spend time 
today examining the choices that you make and what they reveal about your 
faith
in God. If your choices reflect a weak faith, confess this to God and seek 
His forgiveness. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in making wise, eternal 
choices
and to give you the strength to step out in faith..

****Enjoy 365 Biblical daily devotional emails from Michael Youssef 
by registering for My Devotional today.
We are Leading The Way for people living in spiritual darkness, at home and 
around the world, to discover the light of Christ as we passionately 
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uncompromising Truth. Visit us today at
www.leadingtheway.org
 
Week of July 29 
Envy
Imagine a man who is happily married to a woman whose physical and emotional companionship he values and cherishes. He is successful in his profession. His children are well-behaved and accomplished. He is satisfied with his life until he attends his twentieth college reunion.
This is where he makes a crucial mistake. He tells himself that many of his former classmates have achieved a higher social and professional status than he. He also mistakenly believes that they are married to more educated and more attractive wives, and that they seem to have more money and to have traveled more often than he has.
A sense of failure begins to grow in his heart. Once a happy man, he is now wrongly focused on his circumstances. He loses his peace and contentment to envy and jealousy.
Proverbs 14:30 states, "A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones." King Ahab of Israel had everything. But he wanted a vineyard that was close to his palace. When Naboth refused to sell, Ahab pouted and sulked until his wicked wife, Jezebel, plotted to kill Naboth and to take his field to satisfy the envy of King Ahab.
There are people who have everything and are still envious for more. Even a godly man like King David coveted what another man had. As a result of his actions, he committed adultery and murder, and lost his peace by harming his fellowship with God.
Envy always leads to strife and a loss of peace. Are you longing for what you cannot have? Look to Jesus. Only He can satisfy the desires of your heart. He alone brings peace and contentment to your life.
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:23).
Don't be tempted to toss in the towel and give up the race. Shore up your confidence in God today. Michael Youssef explores this topic in our free resource—"Don't Lose Your Confidence." Download it today.

By Passionately Proclaiming Uncompromising Truth, Leading The Way is revolutionizing lives at home and around the world. Discover more at www.leadingtheway.org.
And don't forget to listen to Dr. Michael Youssef at OnePlace.com!
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Re: Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

Post  Admin on Mon 22 Jul 2013, 4:26 pm

Week of July 22
Joy from Within
Polls and surveys consistently show that the top three things people want the most in life are love, happiness, and peace. So often we confuse happiness with joy. There is a difference.
Happiness is the result of getting what we want. We tell ourselves that we'll be happy when we get a newer home. Or life will be great if we get a promotion at work and a pay increase.
However, getting what we want only offers a temporary form of happiness that fades over time. We get our new home, and we are so happy until we realize that we, in order to remain happy, must have all the furniture and decorations to go with it. This kind of happiness is dependent on our circumstances, and can be accompanied with a fear that we may lose whatever it is we feel has made us happy.
Joy, however, is a fruit of the Spirit. It comes from within and not from external conditions. Jesus said that we are to abide in Him so that our joy can be complete (John 15:9-11). We can experience the joy of the Lord regardless of our circumstances because joy is dependent on our relationship with Jesus Christ.
The apostle Paul instructed the Philippians to rejoice always in the Lord (Philippians 4:4). While this group of believers was anxious about their material needs, Paul reminded them that their joy came from God. They were oppressed and persecuted by the Romans. They suffered economic hardships. Yet they had a reason to be joyful—their lives belonged to the Lord.
The world tries to persuade us that joy is found in material possessions, worldly achievements, and social status. However, true joy comes from the knowledge that we are saved through the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus.
****
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him (Romans 15:13).
By Passionately Proclaiming Uncompromising Truth, Leading The Way is revolutionizing lives at home and around the world. Discover more at www.leadingtheway.org.
 
And don't forget to listen to Dr. Michael Youssef at OnePlace.com!
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Re: Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

Post  Admin on Tue 16 Jul 2013, 5:19 pm

Week of July 15
Love Will Lift You

Love lifts a broken heart—not just any love, but the love of God. Most of us have sung James Rowe's hymn, "Love Lifted Me." The first verse contains these words:
I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore,
Very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more. 
But the Master of the sea heard my despairing cry, 
From the waters lifted me—now safe am I.

Love lifted me! Love lifted me! 
When nothing else could help, love lifted me!

Sometimes nothing can lift our hearts like the love of God. Friends abandon us. Colleagues try to bypass us. Even our families may fail to understand us. But God's love for us never changes.
Even when we act unlovable, God continues to love us. When we are undesirable, He embraces us. When it seems that the world has turned against us, God's love remains. He has promised never to leave us hopeless.
Difficulties in life can certainly leave us feeling broken and confused. Many times, disappointments come in order to teach us more about the depths of God's love. In desperation, we turn to God. This is when we discover that only His love can truly lift us up and restore our sense of hope.
We may struggle to find another way around our problems, hoping that someone or something will bring relief, but nothing can help us outside the love of God. Only His love has the ability to satisfy our every need.
Maybe you are wondering if God really loves you. Have you yielded to sin? Or have you allowed the world and its trappings to come between you and your Savior? Cry out to Him and He will restore the joy of your salvation. When nothing else can help, love will lift you.
***
Love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:8).
Don't be tempted to toss in the towel and give up the race. Shore up your confidence in God today. Michael Youssef explores this topic in our free resource—"Don't Lose Your Confidence." [u]Download it today[/u].

By Passionately Proclaiming Uncompromising Truth, Leading The Way is revolutionizing lives at home and around the world. Discover more at www.leadingtheway.org.

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Re: Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

Post  Admin on Mon 08 Jul 2013, 8:28 pm

Week of July 8
Love Will Lift You

Love lifts a broken heart—not just any love, but the love of God. Most of us have sung James Rowe's hymn, "Love Lifted Me." The first verse contains these words:
I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore,
Very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more. 
But the Master of the sea heard my despairing cry, 
From the waters lifted me—now safe am I.

Love lifted me! Love lifted me! 
When nothing else could help, love lifted me!

Sometimes nothing can lift our hearts like the love of God. Friends abandon us. Colleagues try to bypass us. Even our families may fail to understand us. But God's love for us never changes.
Even when we act unlovable, God continues to love us. When we are undesirable, He embraces us. When it seems that the world has turned against us, God's love remains. He has promised never to leave us hopeless.
Difficulties in life can certainly leave us feeling broken and confused. Many times, disappointments come in order to teach us more about the depths of God's love. In desperation, we turn to God. This is when we discover that only His love can truly lift us up and restore our sense of hope.
We may struggle to find another way around our problems, hoping that someone or something will bring relief, but nothing can help us outside the love of God. Only His love has the ability to satisfy our every need.
Maybe you are wondering if God really loves you. Have you yielded to sin? Or have you allowed the world and its trappings to come between you and your Savior? Cry out to Him and He will restore the joy of your salvation. When nothing else can help, love will lift you.
****
Enjoy 365 Biblical daily devotional emails from Michael Youssef by [b style="text-decoration: none; color: rgb(51, 102, 180); outline: 0px; font-weight: bold; cursor: pointer;"]registering for My Devotional today.[/b]
We are Leading The Way for people living in spiritual darkness, at home and around the world, to discover the light of Christ as we passionately proclaim uncompromising Truth. Visit us today at www.leadingtheway.org
[b style="color: purple;"]Listen to Michael Youssef on Today's Broadcast of "Leading The Way" at OnePlace.com
[/b]
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Re: Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

Post  Admin on Mon 01 Jul 2013, 7:21 pm

Week of July 1
A Healing Spirituality

Do you find your Christian life exhausting? Are you trying to do so much good work for God that you are left feeling burned out? Do you feel like your emotional or spiritual baggage is holding you back in your faith journey? The Christian life is like a marathon, and if we try to run it like a sprinting contest or trying to carry excess baggage, we will end up ineffective and weak.
After the thorough listing of faith role models in Hebrews 11, the author then encourages us to follow their example in Hebrews 12: "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart" (Hebrews 12: 1-3).
The Christian faith is not a sprint, but a marathon. Many Christians try to run the Christian race as if it was a sprinting contest. They rush from one Bible study to another, attend meeting after meeting, and join every committee they can; however, no one can keep up that pace for very long, and eventually they tire and give up in exhaustion. Instead of working for Christ, they become burned out and ineffective. Then after a sufficient rest, they are back to their frenzy of service and studies and meetings. They spend their entire lives in this sprinting pattern with periods of intense work and periods of burnout.
If we run the Christian race as a marathon instead of a speed race, we will set a steady pace that we can maintain until the race is finished. Our race should not be about the speed we run, but about the consistency of our running. We will still occasionally stumble or slow our journey, but we should always remain focused on moving steadily forward.
When we run for a long distance, we need to "throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us" (Hebrews 12:1). Excess baggage and weight will only hinder our marathon and will lead to tired and ineffective running. These added weights could be feelings of anxiety, worry, bitterness, or greed. Our weights could be unconfessed sins or doubts about God's power. These hindrances can slow our race down to a halt. We can look at the examples of the faithful in Hebrews 11 and realize that they overcame many obstacles and weaknesses. They overcame, and so can we.
One of our greatest hindrances is our preoccupation with ourselves. Instead of staying focused ahead on the road that we are running, we begin to compare ourselves to other runners. We begin looking to our sides and behind us, instead keeping our eyes forward. We need to keep our eyes on Jesus who stands at the finish line waiting for us to complete the race. He should always be the focus of our faith because He is the giver and wellspring of faith.
Jesus Christ Himself is our greatest role model for finishing the long marathon. During His life on earth He endured opposition and ridicule and scorn and blasphemy and torture and betrayal. Yet Jesus endured because He was motivated by the glory that was awaiting Him in heaven. Jesus' prize is our prize. When we finish the marathon, we will find our rewards in heaven. That should be enough motivation to keep us running, persevering, and moving forward.
Are you feeling discouraged in your Christian race? Are you like the sprinter who does too much then experiences burnout? Are you the overburdened runner who is encumbered by doubts and sins and worries? God is calling us to move forward. If you are feeling weak, tired, and unmotivated; fix your eyes upon Jesus. He is the greatest role model of faith and wants to motivate you and encourage you and equip you in your race. Pray for His help today so that you can become a long-distance runner in your faith journey. 
****
Enjoy 365 Biblical daily devotional emails from Michael Youssef by [b style="text-decoration: none; color: rgb(51, 102, 180); outline: 0px; font-weight: bold; cursor: pointer;"]registering for My Devotional today.[/b]
We are Leading The Way for people living in spiritual darkness, at home and around the world, to discover the light of Christ as we passionately proclaim uncompromising Truth. Visit us today at www.leadingtheway.org
[b style="color: purple;"]Listen to Michael Youssef on Today's Broadcast of "Leading The Way" at OnePlace.com
[/b]


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Re: Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

Post  Admin on Mon 24 Jun 2013, 3:33 pm

Week of June 24
The Spirit of Control
Have you ever tried to fix God’s plan? Maybe you grew impatient with waiting on God’s timing or thought you had a better solution. You probably learned quickly that trying to improve on God’s plans and purposes spells disaster.
Read 2 Kings 4:38-44  In the region of Gilgal, the people were experiencing a famine. Elisha had just returned from traveling and told his servant to prepare a large pot of stew to feed the prophets. Even during a famine, Elisha had faith God would provide for His children.
Throughout the Bible, we see that in the midst of disaster, God takes care of His faithful people. Think on the times in your own life when you were surrounded by oppression or grief, yet God watched over you and provided for you. “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless” (Psalm 84:11).
God always blesses those who surrender to Him. He delights in those who yield to Him. When God provides, He always satisfies. When we appropriate His provision, we will always be contented. When we are wounded, He is the balm. When we are sick, He is the medicine. When we are poor, He is our wealth. When we are hungry, He is the Bread of Life. When we are thirsty, He is the Living Water. When we are in debt, He is our surety. When we are in darkness, He is the sunshine. When we face a gathering storm, He is our anchor.
Yet we will find frustration when we try to take things into our own hands. We will find heartache when we try to intrude on God’s purpose. We will find dissatisfaction when we try to modify God’s plan.
In Elisha’s story, we see that he had a hearty stew cooking during a famine. Things were going according to plan. Then one man decided he wanted to improve on things. He wanted to have control over the situation. “One of them went out into the fields to gather herbs and found a wild vine. He gathered some of its gourds and filled the fold of his cloak. When he returned, he cut them up into the pot of stew, though no one knew what they were” (2 Kings 4:39).
But we can’t improve on God’s recipe. In fact, trying to take over God’s plans can lead to disaster: “The stew was poured out for the men, but as they began to eat it, they cried out, ‘O man of God, there is death in the pot!’ And they could not eat it” (2 Kings 4:40). Not only did this man’s idea ruin the meal, but he could have poisoned the prophets. In his effort to control the situation, he nearly brought death upon the camp.
Yet even when we mess up, God still has the power to set things right. “Elisha said, ‘Get some flour.’ He put it into the pot and said, ‘Serve it to the people to eat.’ And there was nothing harmful in the pot” (2 Kings 4:41). The flour was a type of the resurrected Christ. The grain of wheat had to be crushed in the mill of the Cross before it could become the Bread of Life. Jesus is the flour who is thrown into the pot of death and sin. The poison in the pot— brought by man’s intervention, by man’s effort, by man’s work—had to be absorbed out of the pot.
The power of the resurrected Christ can also deliver us from the spirit of control. His power can save us from ourselves and our self-assertion, stubbornness and sin. Are you battling with the spirit of control? Do you have trouble allowing God to do His plan His way? Have you been guilty of poisoning the pot? If so, surrender that control to God. Surrender the spirit of perfection. Surrender your tendencies to thwart God’s purpose. Surrender your persistence in trying to improve God’s plan. Surrender your declaration of independence. Pray to be set free from the spirit of control.
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