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We Preach Christ (Booklet)
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Love Never Fails

By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

In the book First and Last Things, American historian H.G. Wells wrote how Jesus Christ repelled him, “this image of virtue, this terrible and incomprehensible Galilean.” Wells is not the first or the last to be repelled by the Lord.

The government of Christ’s day turned its back on Him. The Jews repudiated Him. Those gathered for His crucifixion jeered Him, and His friends, who had been with Him for three years of ministry, abandoned Him; going into hiding after His arrest. Only John followed Him to the cross.

It is not surprising that Satan is still at work in our world, seeking to deceive and to draw men and women away from the only One who can provide the hope they so desperately need.

The rejection of God’s Son can be subtle. The “good” person may say, “I am a Christian because I was raised in a Christian family, but I just don’t want to get too serious about church or the Bible.” Another person may mistakenly believe he can live any way he chooses, and God will still save his soul. God is not the one who condemns us. Jesus told His followers that His goal was to seek and save those who are lost. We are the ones who condemn ourselves when we reject God’s love and gift of salvation.

However, even when we are faithless, Jesus remains faithful. When we yield to temptation, He continues to love us, and when we seek His forgiveness, He becomes our strong advocate of mercy and grace before the throne of God.

He is your dearest friend, the One who will never abandon you. At the cross, He died for you, knowing that He was your only way to Truth and eternal life.

Prayer: Lord, I confess that I don’t understand the depth of love You displayed for me. I am forever indebted to You for Your selfless gift of love. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:8).


Joy Amid Sorrow

By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

For the child of God, joy does not mean the absence of sadness, trials or disappointment. In fact, in some cases it can mean the opposite. There can be joy amid sorrow. This was true of the apostle Paul's life. He faced being beaten, stoned, and imprisoned, yet he had a tremendous sense of joy.

During moments of great difficulty, we can experience the joy of the Lord in a far greater way than at any other time. For some, this may be hard to believe. Many times, when difficulty comes, we immediately look for a way out. A sudden trial leaves us feeling hopeless and wondering if we have done something wrong. But we must remember that adversity is a part of life.

When he wrote about joy, Paul was in prison. He knew how it felt to be discouraged and abandoned, but he also experienced a tremendous joy - one the Lord had given him. It is the same joy we can experience today.

Paul writes, "I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want" (Philippians 4:12).

Contentment for Paul was reflective of the deep sense of joy he felt within his heart. He had a promise from God - and we do, too. One day, like Paul, we will see the Savior face to face. Therefore, no matter what this world tosses at us, we can experience a true sense of joy right now.

Do you feel as though you have lost your joy? Or are you searching to regain it? The joy of the Lord is one of God's greatest gifts. Take a moment to be silent before Him. Worship Him and praise Him for His faithfulness to you and for His precious gift of joy.

Prayer: Father, restore my joy to overflowing that it may bubble up and infuse my life. May this overflowing joy be an example to others of Your love. Now, Lord, I sit before You in silence. Speak to me. I am listening. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

"[. . .] sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything" (2 Corinthians 6:10).


Joy from Within

By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

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 we will be happy when we buy a newer home. Or life will be better 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 achievement and social status. However, true joy comes from the knowledge that we are saved through the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus.

Prayer: God, please cut through the lies Satan would have me believe about happiness and joy. Reveal to me true joy. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer" (Romans 12:12).


Defeating Your Giants

By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

All of us face giants in our lives, whether individual, national, or global giants. What makes the difference between defeating these giants and these giants defeating us?

When Goliath was mocking the people of God, everyone was shaking in their boots until a shepherd boy with a godly perspective entered the camp. He took one look at the heavyweight champion of Gaza and said, "Who is that Philistine in comparison with my God?"

The shepherd boy understood that what was taking place was a spiritual battle between the living God and Satan. David, the young shepherd boy, was a foreshadowing of the Lord Jesus Christ, Chief Shepherd of the sheep.

David placed a stone in his sling, a foreshadowing of the Rock of Ages, and he aimed it at Goliath's forehead and yelled, "Timber!"

When David came and saw how this giant was mocking the people of God, he was filled with awe - not of the giant, but of his God. David's secret to victory was his right view of God: "Oh Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!" (Psalm 8:1). David's perspective was founded on the Rock of Ages.

When your perspective is founded on the Rock of Ages, the only one who defeats giants, whether real or imaginary, then you, too, will be able to defeat the giants in your life.

Prayer: Rock of Ages, I pray that my perspective would be founded on You. Help me to remember that, with Your help, I can defeat the giants in my life today. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

"Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation" (Psalm 95:1).


A Living Sacrifice

By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Everywhere you look, you see people in search of personal fulfillment. Even genuine Christians are bouncing around looking for emotional and spiritual fulfillment apart from Christ.

In Romans 12:1-2, Paul said that the key to personal fulfillment is to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice to Christ, to avoid conformity with the world, and to be renewed in our minds by His Truth.

While the Scripture tells us that God, our loving Father, does chastise and discipline the disobedient child (Hebrews 12:5-8), the motive for surrendering our all to God should not be fear of chastisement and discipline, but from a heart of gratitude that says: "God, take everything. Everything belongs to you."

Paul said in Romans 12:1, "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship." All God wants is somebody who will say, "Lord, I am ready to offer myself, my body, as a reasonable sacrifice. I am ready to give it all!"

Prayer: Father, I confess that I, too, often look for fulfillment apart from You. Help me to remember that I will only be fulfilled when I offer myself as a living sacrifice to You. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

"Do not conform 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 ñ his good, pleasing and perfect will" (Romans 12:2).


Reasons to Celebrate

By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Today, we continue looking at the eternal guarantees that come with salvation in Jesus Christ.

We have purpose in our suffering. The suffering we experience for living a righteous life here has a purpose so we "rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope" (Romans 5:3-4). Our sufferings are refining us to rule and reign with Christ. Righteous suffering has eternal purpose.

We have His overwhelming love. In Romans 5:5-10, Paul explains that God's love for us is not dependent on how loveable we are, but rather is in line with His perfect character and divine love. When we were utterly helpless and dead in our sins, God loved us. We were completely unworthy of His love, but God loved us. When we were powerless to escape from sin and death, God, in His sovereignty, loved us and reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ. It is a love that should overwhelm us for eternity.

Finally, we have overwhelming joy as we "rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation" (Romans 5:11).

Every time you are tempted to allow something to get you down, remember your eternal guarantees. You have been reconciled to God. You have peace with God. You have God's favor. Your life is filled with His hope. Your suffering has purpose. You are passionately loved by the God of the universe. If that does not cause you to be overwhelmed by joy, check your pulse!

Prayer: God, thank You that there is purpose in my suffering. Thank You for Your overwhelming love. Thank You for the joy that comes in knowing You. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit" (Romans 15:13).


Your Eternal Guarantees

By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Salvation is a gift from God that comes with six eternal guarantees. Today we will look at the first three.

First, salvation brings peace with God. "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1). This peace is a fact. It is not dependent on feelings.

The world is longing for peace, but there can be no peace unless there is peace with God. The only way you receive peace with God is through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Second, we receive favor with God. Through Christ Jesus "we have obtained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand" (Romans 5:2). When the supreme Judge of the universe grants you favor, there is no higher court that can overturn His decision. You are forever favored by God. Once saved, you live in an atmosphere of grace.

Third, we have hope in God. In fact, "we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God" (Romans 5:2). This hope is not a wish; it is sure knowledge. This hope is a definite assurance. We have absolute assurance that when we close our eyes in death, we will be face to face with Jesus. We are jubilant in this hope.

Prayer: God, thank You for the guarantees that come with salvation. Thank you that we can have peace, favor, and hope in You. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

"From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another" (John 1:16).


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