Devotionals by Dr. Michael Youssef

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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Fearless Living in Troubled Times
 
Imagine a life of peace and purpose in the midst of global instability, national tension, and personal crisis. Dr. Michael Youssef’s new book Fearless Living in Troubled Times provides the vital information needed to unlock that life. Living in constant fear and anxiety are not God’s plan for your life, and this book focuses on living a God-honoring life, overcoming fear through the right perspective, and understanding the true nature of the end timesGet your copy today for your gift of any amount.

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.ltw.org/

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About Leading The Way

Along with partners committed to changing the world, Dr. Michael Youssef is leading the way for people living in spiritual darkness to discover the light of Christ. By passionately proclaiming uncompromising Truth through print, web, television, and radio, this international team of experts is uniquely providing hope that is revolutionizing lives at home — and around the world.

What began as a small local radio ministry in 1988 has grown into an international ministry reaching millions for Christ — including a vast audience in the Muslim world seeking Truth in closed countries. Leading The Way's television and radio programs are broadcast in more than 25 languages to audiences across six continents. Leading The Way also produces DVDs, CDs, books, a monthly devotional magazinesolar-powered Navigators, and daily e-devotionals to spread the light of Christ. In 2009, the ministry launched its own 24/7 satellite TV channel, reaching the Muslim world with Gospel programming in English, Arabic, French, and Indonesian. Leading The Way utilizes field teams to evangelize and disciple viewers in closed countries and help persecuted Christians on the ground.

Dr. Youssef and the Leading The Way staff are committed to sharing the Gospel with the lost and equipping believers to grow into a deeper walk with Christ. Learn how you can partner with this unique ministry today.

About Dr. Michael Youssef

Michael Youssef, Ph.D., is the Founder and President of Leading The Way with Dr. Michael Youssef, a worldwide ministry that leads the way for people living in spiritual darkness to discover the light of Christ through the creative use of media and field ministry teams. His weekly television programs and daily radio programs are broadcast more than 13,000 times per week in multiple languages throughout the world. He is also the founding pastor of The Church of The Apostles in Atlanta, Georgia.

Dr. Youssef was born in Egypt and lived in Lebanon and Australia before coming to the United States. In 1984, he fulfilled a childhood dream of becoming an American citizen. Dr. Youssef holds degrees from Moore College in Sydney, Australia; Fuller Theological Seminary in California; and a Ph.D. in social anthropology from Emory University. He has authored more than 30 books, including his most recent, Fearless Living in Troubled Times. He and his wife reside in Atlanta and have four grown children and 10 grandchildren.

Contact Leading The Way with Dr. Michael Youssef

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