Today's Bible Readings
     Exodus 15
     Job 33
     Luke 18
     II Corinthians 3
''So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, you still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me. But when he heard this he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich." (Luke 18:22-23)
            He is known to this day as the rich young ruler. Following this encounter he went away from Jesus speechless, with sorrow, having nothing to say in response to Jesus' words. Have you ever heard the Master say something that was very difficult for you? If you haven't, I question whether you have ever heard Him say anything at all. The demands of Jesus are always challenging.
            Jesus knew the heart of this young man. He knew he was a good man who had done his best to keep the commandments. He also knew his intense love for material possessions. The Master said to him ''sell all that you have . .  and come follow Me." Our Lord never pled with him or tried to lure him - He simply spoke the strictest words that human ears have ever heard and then left him alone.
            I remember those times when the Lord put His finger on those sensitive areas of selfishness and fleshly ambition in my own heart. As He made me aware of my own weakness, it became a stinging rebuke. This rich man heard the Lord clearly and realized the full impact of what He said, and it broke his heart. He did not go away as a defiant person, but as one who was sorrowful and discouraged.
            Have you ever been there? Has God's Word ever come to you pointing out an area of your life, requiring you to yield it to Him. Maybe He has pointed out certain personal qualities, desires and interests, or possibly relationships of your heart and mind. If so, then you have often been speechless with sorrow. As He did with the rich young ruler, the Lord will not go after you and He will not plead with you. Every time He meets you at the place where He has pointed, He will simply repeat His words saying, ''If you really mean what you say, these are the conditions."
            When Jesus said to this young man, "sell all that you have'', He meant he was to yield everything he possessed to the Lordship of Christ. Jesus was not referring only to material riches. I can be so rich in my own poverty or in the awareness of the fact that I am nobody, that I will never be a disciple of Jesus. I can be so rich in the awareness that I am somebody that I will never be a disciple. Am I willing to be destitute and poor even in my sense of awareness of my destitution and poverty? Am I willing to abandon everything to His lordship and His will.
            If you abandon everything to Jesus and come when He says, ''come'', then He will continue to say ''come'' through you. You will go out into the world reproducing the echo of Christ's ''come''. That is a result in every soul who has abandoned all and come to Jesus.
            If you come to Him, will you come now?  Make the right decision when He calls.
            As we consider the prayer needs for the People's Republic of China, we must realize that a modem missionary miracle has been taking place there for a number of years. A great foundation was laid by western missionaries for many years in China. Communism expelled them and closed the door to Christian missions in China, yet with nothing but the total commitment of their lives and the House Church Movement, the church in China has now grown to more than 100 million members.  Consider these few facts about China's religious and spiritual background. These will help you to pray.
During the Cultural Revolution, even these puppet structures were banned and all religious activities forced underground, giving birth to the House Church Movement. We rejoice over the commitment level, ingenuity, and faith of this group of believers that is growing phenomenally. Take time today to pray for House Church members in China who will, today, face persecution for their faith, and could lose their lives today for their faith.
A student came to a Scottish professor, asking him how long he might safely put off his decision for Christ. “Until the day before your death” was the strange reply. “But I cannot tell you when I shall die”, said the youth. True, replied the Professor, “Then decide now."