Sign up to receive My Devotional, daily Biblical encouragement from Michael Youssef delivered right to your inbox.

Yes! I want to receive My Devotional.

Read My Devotional archive.

We Preach Christ (Booklet)
No Barriers

By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Yesterday we read about the Spirit’s movement in the life of Cornelius. Today we will continue looking at what the Spirit did in Acts 10 as part of God’s mission to spread the Gospel to every corner of the world.

While God was moving in Cornelius’ life, He was preparing Peter’s heart to witness to Cornelius. God had to change Peter’s view of Romans and all Gentiles, a belief system developed over a lifetime of teaching from his parents, his church, and his community. God effectively transformed Peter’s thinking through a vision.

God portrayed food that the Jews had always considered as unclean as an analogy to the Gentiles, who were considered even more unclean. No Jew would have ever invited a Gentile into his house nor entered a Gentile home.

Yet, in Acts 10:15, we learn that the voice in the vision said to Peter, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”

At the Spirit’s direction, Peter soon found himself traveling to Cornelius’ home.

Are there barriers in your life that are keeping you from sharing the Gospel with someone? Perhaps God wants to use you to witness to someone you’ve always kept at a distance.

Prayer: God, forgive me for putting up barriers in my life that have kept me from being completely available to You. Help me to be willing to go to whoever you call me to so Your Gospel can spread to every corner of the world. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands” (Psalm 119:60).

An Obedient Response

By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Many Christians desire to see a great harvest of souls, but the idea may seem daunting. So many sin barriers, cultural barriers, and faith barriers would need to be torn down. Acts 10 is a reminder of how God can break through these barriers to spread the Gospel to every corner of the world. What He did then, He can do today.

In this story, we see the Holy Spirit accomplishing things man never could. God brings about a memorable conversion by preparing the hearts of an unbeliever and a witness. What happens next is spectacular.

It started with Cornelius, and today we will look at how the Holy Spirit moved in his life.

As a Roman centurion, Cornelius had 100 men reporting to him. He had heard of Yahweh, God of the Jews, and respected Him enough to donate to the church. Still, Cornelius was not a committed believer.

That changed one afternoon when an angel of the Lord appeared to Cornelius. Acts 10:4-5 states, “The angel answered, ‘Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God. Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter.’”

The angel in shining clothes appearing inside his house had Cornelius’ attention, and he obeyed. God was preparing Cornelius’ heart for a life-changing message.

Prayer: God, thank You for the power of Your Spirit to lead me and to change lives. Help me to respond in obedience to Your promptings. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands” (1 John 2:3).

Bring Them to Jesus

By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

You may have made sacrifices in your life to help others have life’s necessities, an education, or better opportunities. They are all worthy sacrifices, but the ultimate sacrifice is made when we step out in faith to bring another to Jesus.

In Mark 2:1-12, we see four friends who did not allow seemingly insurmountable obstacles to prevent them from bringing their friend to Jesus. They watched as their quadriplegic friend lay immobile, destined to a life of physical infirmity. The men developed an irrepressible commitment to bring him to Jesus for healing.

The day they did, the crowds were alarmingly large and aggressive. No one would give up his place near Jesus. This did not dissuade these men. They did not stop in the face of impossible circumstances. They climbed onto the top of the building where Jesus spoke, dug a hole in the roof, and lowered their friend down to Jesus.

What struck Jesus first was not the man’s paralysis but rather his friends’ faith. They could not heal the man physically or convert him spiritually, but they had an undaunted faith that Jesus could. The men believed that if they could just bring him into the presence of Jesus that He would do the rest—and Jesus honored that faith.

Jesus’ first move was not to heal the man’s paralysis. Instead, He addressed the man’s spiritual condition. Jesus saved him from eternal death and gave him eternal life. His friends could not have given him a greater gift.

Like these men, when God brings people into our lives and places their unsaved condition on our hearts, we can trust Him to honor our faith. Our only task is to bring them to Him. They may have no faith at all, but God will honor our faith.

Prayer: God, give me an undaunted faith that my unbelieving friends will come to know You. Help me to do everything possible to bring them to You. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven’” (Mark 2:5).

The Responsibility of Witnessing

By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Christians are often relieved to learn they are not responsible for saving souls; that role is divine and not ours. Just as a witness is not responsible for the verdict, we are not held accountable for whether the people we invite to know Jesus accept that invitation.

A witness only shares his experience and then leaves the outcome up to the judge or jury. In the same way, we share the Good News and then the Holy Spirit takes over.

What was most effective about the Samaritan woman’s testimony was the joy that overflowed from her changed heart. She went from being a woman who drew water in the heat of the day so that she could avoid contact with the townspeople to actively engaging everyone she knew to tell of her wonderful experience. Her simple testimony was highly effective. John 4:39 says, “Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony.”

Do you want God to use you more this year to witness to the wonder of His love, mercy, and grace? We must first start with confession of any sin in our own hearts and repentance. Worldwide revival must start with facing our own sin.

Pray that God will reveal to you any sin you may have rationalized or not yet dealt with. Ask for a pure heart so you can go forward with His work. Then go out into the workplace, the gym, the classroom, or wherever God has placed you and share the story that only you can tell—the story of how you came to know Jesus and all that He has done for you. Someone you know needs to hear it!

Prayer: God, I pray for a pure heart and a joyful spirit that I might be a witness for You. Help me to be obedient to what You have called me to do and then trust You with the rest. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace” (Acts 20:24).

The Joy of Witnessing

By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

When the Samaritan woman accepted Jesus as the long awaited Messiah, she was instantly transformed into a new being. The woman at the well was so thrilled that she left her water jug behind in her eagerness to tell everyone what Christ had done for her! She went back to the streets where she had previously walked in shame as people whispered unkindly about her.

She had given her sin and guilt to Jesus and now could boldly engage each and every person she met in earnest conversation about her amazing experience. In short, she became a witness. John 4:27-42 tells the story.

Many Christians talk about witnessing, but most do not have an accurate understanding of what it means to be a witness. To better understand the term, just look at what a witness in a court trial does. His duty is simple: he tells the truth about what he experienced. He is not responsible for fully understanding the law or the process; he is only obligated to tell what he saw and heard.

Telling others what we experienced when we met Jesus is our duty as witnesses for Christ, and it should be our joy to do so. How can we keep the gift of salvation quiet and not share it with others?

Prayer: God, help me to remember what You have done for me and to count it a joy to share my salvation story with others. Help me to be a bold witness this week. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (3 John 1:4).

The Importance of the Truth

By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Historical revisionists and liberal Bible scholars are trying to apply modern-day values to the Word of God and to historical facts. They remove the pieces they don’t like. May we be warned: if we continue on this path, we will end up with a pack of lies and our children will not learn the Truth about the Word of God or the history of this nation.

Scripture is clear. In 2 Timothy, Paul warns his young friend to not be ashamed to preach the Gospel, saying: “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the Truth and turn aside to myths” (2 Timothy 4:2-4).

It is politically incorrect to say that Jesus Christ is the way, the Truth, and the life—but it is the Truth. Only His Truth changes lives and unlocks the beauty of our full worth as men and women who are made in His image. Only He can change our hearts so we are able to love our neighbors.

We must remember that the only thing that counts is true faith “expressing itself through love” (Galatians 5:6).

Prayer: Lord, thank You that You are the only way, the Truth, and the life. I pray that my church, my family, and my nation will not turn aside to myths, but will embrace the full Truth of the Gospel. Help us to be on guard against deception. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’” (John 14:6).

Proclaiming the Truth

By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Have you ever hidden your faith from others? Have you ever softened the message of God’s Word? If you find yourself feeling ashamed of the Gospel, remember this: No matter how Satan tries to trap us, no matter what other people can do to us or say about us, we can know that we already have eternal victory through Jesus Christ.

Our eternal victory doesn’t mean that proclaiming the Truth will be easy. We may lose friendships or face slander or hear insults. But Paul says, “And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day” (2 Timothy 1:11-12).

In this world, we will face the pressure to conform. We will encounter people who spread a false Gospel. But as we hold to the Truth, speaking it in love, we won’t have to hang on with our own strength. God will be there to help us and to uphold us in our battles.

Prayer: Father, give me courage and strength to boldly proclaim the Truth of the Gospel. Amen.

“Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold” (2 Corinthians 3:12).

Showing 1 - 7 of 915 results.
Items per Page 7
of 131