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Returning to Our Roots

By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

What a tree's root system is destroyed the tree can no longer access the nutrients it needs, and it begins to weaken. The leaves wilt, the branches droop, the fruit ceases to grow. Eventually, the tree dies.

America was formed and developed from Biblical roots, but today our leaders chop away at our foundation. They deny the core of our purpose. They allow invasive roots to choke out the Truth. Yet what do Christians do? We cling tightly to the rotting fruit on the drooping branches, while underneath us the truth of our country's past and the hope for our present and future are being destroyed.

Without the root system, there can be no fruit. The secular thinkers of this country would like us to think our country was founded on humanistic values and ideals. They view our country's birth as a philosophical and political event. However, the original words from the colony charters, the Declaration of Independence, and early political speeches all point directly to our country's foundation upon the Christian faith and Biblical Truth. Our Founding Fathers believed that this is a nation with its roots in the Bible.

How horrendous that we have let these evangelical roots rot underneath us! The people of the prophet Jeremiah's day had also departed from their godly roots. The prophet understood that only God could change their hearts and said, "Restore us to yourself, O LORD, that we may return; renew our days as of old" (Lamentations 5:21).

The reason for our country's decay is because we have departed from the one true God. We have rejected the God of our Founding Fathers.

We need to pray that God will restore us to Himself, just as Jeremiah did. We need to pray that America, starting with ourselves, will turn back to God.

Prayer: God, forgive us for rejecting You. I pray that our nation will return to its Biblical roots as we turn to You. Amen.

"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:14).


In The Price of Liberty, Dr. Michael Youssef highlights the telltale signs of dangerous decay appearing in our nation and calls God's people to wake up, repent, and return to reliance upon almighty God. Become a Monthly Fellowship Partner today and receive your complimentary copy of this insightful booklet.


Let Truth Be the Light

By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

One of God's greatest desires for us is that we come to know Him intimately. He made the ultimate sacrifice so that we may have constant fellowship with Him, laying the foundation for a powerful relationship that transforms our lives and causes us to become who we were created to be. However, in relating to God, we must be honest about living and walking in the truth.

Getting what we know as truth actually to become real in our hearts takes work. We have heard all the right answers and know the correct response, but we act as if we do not really believe it at times. The truth of what we believe is more determined by how we live than what we say.

To walk in the truth is to walk in the light, unashamed of how we live before both God and man. When we are walking in the truth, living out God's Word in our everyday lives, there is no need to deceive. The truth needs to make no apologies or excuses for its deeds.

In our journey with God, walking in His truth must be the standard by which we live. It is in God's Word that we find His truth. And if we trust Him and His Word, we will be people who not only hear His truths but who incorporate them into who we are.

The book The Day America Told the Truth reports that two out of three Americans believe that there is nothing wrong with telling a lie. To thrive in our journey of faith, we must be people who swim up the stream of modern culture and let truth be the light that declares who we serve — a Holy God who uses truth to bring us out of the darkness and into the light of His perfect plan for us.

Prayer: Lord, help me to live out the Truth of Your Word in all that I do. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

"But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God" (John 3:21).


Whatever the Cost

By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

In the days leading up to World War II, Britain was all but defeated. Hitler was sending his vicious calling card of incessant bombings and threats of invasions. Repeatedly, England's Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, requested help from allied forces, but no help was sent. Countries outside Hitler's reach were hesitant to enter the conflict. Undaunted, Churchill persisted by requesting a meeting with American president Franklin Roosevelt.

In 1941, Churchill finally had his chance to meet with President Roosevelt and to present his case. While the president was stirred by the burden the British people were bearing, he was not yet convinced America should enter the war.

While Churchill was disappointed, he remained steadfast. England would not surrender. As Churchill had already stated:

We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air. We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.

Maybe you feel as though enemy forces have gathered around your life. Do you have a fixed focus on victory? Are you willing to fight for what God has given you and for what He is calling you to do for Him? The enemy has only two words for you: surrender and defeat. Churchill did not consider either of these plausible — and neither should you. With God's help and strength, go on to victory and never give up!

Prayer: Lord, I choose Your victory for my life. Protect and defend me as I stand on Your promises of triumph over evil. I pray in the name of Jesus, Amen.

"The Lord stood at my side and gave me strength" (2 Timothy 4:17).


Having Ears to Hear

By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Have you ever known someone who would call you on the telephone, talk what seemed like a thousand words a minute, and then, when he finished telling you what he needed to say, would hang up? Even before you had a chance to say a word, you heard a click.

Sadly, this is how many people treat God. They don't stay on the line long enough to hear from Him. They pray to Him in a flurry of words, expressing needs and desires, but they miss the most important part of prayer: worship and listening for God's still, small voice.

Prayer is a two-way form of communication. One of the reasons many avoid spending silent time in prayer is because they are afraid to hear what God has to say to them. They are sure that if they listen, He will say something that they don't want to hear.

Someone has called American Christianity "decaffeinated Christianity." If you think about it, decaffeinated Christianity won't keep you awake at night. It won't disturb you. It won't motivate you, and it certainly won't change you!

God is a gentleman. He will never force you to listen for His voice. He will never coerce you into meditating on His Word or taking time to pray. However, He will continue to draw you to Himself. Sometimes this is pleasant; other times it is not.

Allowing us to experience disappointment and frustration is one of the ways God gets our attention. If you feel as though you have been running away from God and prayer, ask yourself, "Isn't it time I stop running and avoiding the Lord?" Great things come to us when we stop rushing and begin seeking God with a humble, obedient heart.

Prayer: Lord, please forgive me for rushing through prayer and not stopping to hear Your voice. I pray You would help calm my mind and heart to hear You each day. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

"The Lord detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but the prayer of the upright pleases him" (Proverbs 15:8).


Achieve God's Goal

By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Have you ever wondered how Moses handled discouragement? Or how Paul maintained a positive attitude when he faced the criticism and threats of others?

Surely Paul fought with discouragement when he faced the threat of death. However, he kept his focus set on Christ, who was his infinite strength and eternal hope. We can do the same.

Life may have many challenges — especially when you are doing what God has given you to do. But you don't have to be overwhelmed by disappointment. We should long to be heroes of the faith — people who seek to win the race set before us and to achieve the goal that God has given.

When trouble comes, don't give up. Don't lose heart, and don't listen to harassment. God has a plan for your life. When you feel like quitting, think about Paul's life and all he did for the Lord. He was not called to be famous or to have a vast sum of money. He was called by God to preach His Word to the lost. Paul did exactly what he was given to do. He obeyed God and surrendered his life to Christ. He went from being a man of position in the Jewish faith to an outcast and traitor. What may have appeared to be failure from a human standpoint was actually the mark of true victory.

God does not ask you to cross a finish line with the goal of reaching worldly success. He does not hand out trophies that look good in a case or sitting on a shelf. The trophies of our faith come at a price. Just as Christ gave His life, are you willing to give your life to Him? Forsaking all else, will you follow Christ and proclaim His love and forgiveness to a dying world?

Prayer: Lord, help me not to lose sight of eternity. I pray that I would not lose sight of those around me who are in desperate need of You. Open my eyes today and use me to spread Your Gospel. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

"Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God" (1 John 5:5).


Claim God's Love

By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

God's redemptive love for us is beyond anything this world offers us. There is nothing we can do to earn it. It is a free gift that God has chosen to give us. It is, however, our responsibility to accept His gift by faith. Paul admonishes us to "fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses" (1 Timothy 6:12).

E. Stanley Jones writes:

I am inwardly fashioned for faith and not for fear. Fear is not my native land. Faith is. I am so made that worry and anxiety are like sand in the machinery of life and faith is the oil. I live better by faith and confidence than by fear, doubt, and anxiety.

We have been redeemed from eternal death through Jesus Christ. We no longer have an occasion to fear. Our fate has been sealed, and we have every reason to have hope for the future. Many people, however, do not realize the power of God's redemption. They cower in fear and worry about tomorrow.

Each one of us can think back to a time when we felt fearful and wanted to retreat. God, however, calls us to move forward in victory.

Fear stifles creativity.

Fear destroys our dreams.

Fear blocks God's love.

Fear prevents us from telling others about the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

Fear is one of Satan's favorite weapons against the believer.

The apostle Paul reminds us that we are more than conquerors through Christ who loves us and gave Himself for us (Romans 8:37). The redemptive love of God is yours to enjoy. Claim it by faith and refuse to allow fear to rob you of God's blessing.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for Your unending love. Help me to live out of faith instead of fear. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1).


Follow God's Leading

By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Not only did God save Israel from the Egyptians, He also destroyed the enemy of His people. Over the years, many people have tried to explain what happened at the Red Sea. They have tried to lessen God's involvement by saying the horses of Pharaoh's army got stuck in the mud of a shallow body of water and could not catch the fleeing Israelites.

But the truth is this: Pharaoh's army was washed away. The hand of God defeated them — not thick mud or a drifting waterspout:

[God] made the wheels of their chariots come off so that they had difficulty driving. And the Egyptians said, "Let's get away from the Israelites! The Lord is fighting for them against Egypt." Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea went back to its place. The Egyptians were fleeing toward it, and the Lord swept them into the sea. The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen — the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them survived (Exodus 14:25, 27-28).

When we place our trust in God, He will fight our battles for us. Remember that Pharaoh made a choice not to listen to the Word of the Lord. The nation of Egypt suffered through a list of plagues without making a heart choice to obey the Lord. Any one of us can have a touch of Pharaoh in our lives. This is why it is crucial to our spiritual growth to keep our hearts set on God and not on man.

If you sense the Lord leading you, be sure that you follow. Do not harden your heart, but freely give yourself to God and He will guide you into a broad place of ministry and service. His power is yours to experience when you surrender your life to Him.

Prayer: Lord, help me to follow Your lead, even when I would rather do otherwise. I surrender to Your plans today. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

"The Lord is a warrior; the Lord is his name" (Exodus 15:3).


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