Michael Youssef - Rebuilding Broken Families
Lorna Dueck: Dr. Youssef, you challenge us in your study on Nehemiah that rebuilding our broken world is very close to God's heart.
Dr. Michael Youssef: Absolutely.
Lorna Dueck: Does this work for my family? If I've got a broken family, where do I start?
Dr. Michael Youssef: Well, I think we all have broken families or family members somewhere. Everybody, and it's not a matter of being broken, or experiencing brokenness, or seeing brokenness in our families, but how you go about the rebuilding of those brokenness. Now, there are brokenness that comes to us from the outside, unwanted, unwelcomed. We didn't do anything. There's some brokenness that we bring upon ourselves, when we live in disobedience, when we run around and think we don't need God, and then we get to the point and said, "Whoops, I was wrong". But that only comes when I'm broken, and I've seen it in my pastoral work. And I've been ordained now for 45 years, and I have seen it in every continent. I pastored in Sydney, and I pastored in the West Coast, and here in Atlanta, as well as ministered all over the world. And so, brokenness that comes as a result of pride, when pride comes in and conspires with the flesh, and then we start doing it, yeah, the do-it-yourself religion. And then we get broken because of that, because God wants to get our attention. These are brokenness we brought upon ourselves. There is brokenness that comes to us, we had nothing to do with it. In either way, I believe the Lord is the God of 2nd, and 3rd, and 100 and 2,000 chances, and he wants us to come back to him and I said, "Okay, I blew it. How can I rebuild my broken world"? and he will guide us.
Lorna Dueck: I love how you point out in the book that we're doing this month, "God Help Me Rebuilt My Broken World," the ancient Sheep Gate. Now, even if it's... whatever it is, broken in my family, broken any which way, it has to start with this basic coming to Jesus.
Dr. Michael Youssef: Yes.
Lorna Dueck: Explain the lessons you drew from the Sheep Gate and Jesus today.
Dr. Michael Youssef: On the surface, you say, "Well, what if Nehemiah just started with the Sheep Gate? Just as he could've started with another gate, any of the 12 gates in the wall". But that's not really... I mean, it was deliberate. It was clear why he started the Sheep Gate. This is the gate in which these thousands and thousands every year of sheep that go in there to be slaughtered as an offering sacrifice in the temple. And without the shedding of blood, the Bible said, there can be no redemption, there can be no forgiveness of sins. Even from the day when the angel of death came to Egypt and God told Moses, "Have them slaughter a lamb and paint the blood on the doorpost". And so, the angel will come and see the blood and he'll pass. That's where it comes, Passover. From that moment on, it's the shedding of blood. Or even before that, it was when Adam and Eve sinned. God slaughtered a lamb in front of them, which probably the most... first time they saw it, and they were horrified. But he was showing them that sin, it has an enormity that it can only be shocked into understanding it, and then he covered them with it. So, from the very beginning, the blood is very important. And so, the sheep are going in there to be slaughtered as offering sacrifice, where people repented of their sins, and the high priests would go in and offer the sacrifice. They have to begin there. They have to begin repentance. That's really a symbol of repentance, and turning to God, confession of sin. And so, the Sheep Gate was important for that, and that's why in the New Testament, our Sheep Gate, Jesus said, "I am the door of the Sheep Gate" in John chapter 10. "I am the door. Anybody comes through me comes through that door. Anyone who jumps the fence is an imposter. Don't follow him". And so, everything has to begin with the shed blood of Jesus Christ on Calvary.
Lorna Dueck: How does a person today access that?
Dr. Michael Youssef: Well, the invitation is to everyone. "Come unto me all who are travailed and are heavy-laden, and I will refresh you". And so, the first thing, you come to Jesus and say, "Look, without your blood, I'm not redeemed. Without your blood, I would've been still in my sin. Without your blood, I would not experience forgiveness". And so, you come and plead the blood of Christ. That's the first thing a a broken person who wants to rebuild his wall, whether it's relationship, whatever it may be, is to come to Christ and say, "You shed your own blood for my sin, and I come to you believing in that sacrifice of atonement on the cross". And then, take it from there step, by step, by step. As you read the Scripture and spend time with God, intimacy with God, God will begin to rebuild our broken walls.
Lorna Dueck: Dr. Youssef, we're gonna leave it right there for today. And you know, we do have our prayer lines for you at home. If you call that line, you too can get help in rebuilding your relationship through the gift of Jesus, through his shed blood. Give that prayer line a call and we'll be back with Dr. Michael Youssef again tomorrow.