Greetings again my Brethren.  Wow where did 2020 go?  Some would say good riddance to 2020, but I will not go that far. Yes 2020 was a challenge, but what did you do in God to handle that challenge?  Did you draw closer to the LORD in 2020?  If not why?  What was your focus the pandemic or the LORD?  All questions I believe it would be good to answer before 2021 arrives.  Speaking of that I would encourage you to spend some extra time with the LORD before 2021.  I like to take the last week of the year and focus my attention of what the LORD is telling me for the next year.  What he wants me to do.  Of course we should be doing this all year along, but right before the new year is always a good time before it is too late. 

Okay let us finish up with the last thing we must overcome to be able to respond to the LORD’s call and that is material claims.  God is not going to be able to use us if we have a long list of things in our lives tagging along.  We must allow the LORD though His dealings and judgments in our lives to sever these things that easily beset us.  In the Greek it would be said, that so easily causes us to stumble and fall out of the way the LORD has for us to go. In Hebrews I believe to be Paul tells us, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,”  (Hebrews12:1) Of course that great cloud of witnesses is all that have gone on before in the Scriptures and who maybe have not laid aside some things or it may be the host of Angles as some say, or even the Saints who have gone ahead of us, but in any case.  It is our responsibility, The LORD has asked us to or we read “let us lay aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily beset” and of course the word “us” was added. Yes there are some things we have overcome in our lives to be used of God.  In Mark there is a wonderful encounter Jesus has with a rich young ruler.  This man had it all, he was rich, he was young, and he was a ruler.  What else could a man ask for? Well this rich young ruler came running after Jesus.  He even called Jesus “Good Master” we read,  “And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? 18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. 19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. 20 And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. 21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. 22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions. 23 And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!” (Mark 10:17-23) The rich young ruler was looking for eternal life not to be a server, but here Jesus show the rich young ruler just how religious he was then He takes it a few steps further.  Jesus said yes it is true all of these things you have done, but “One thing thou lackest: go thy way.” Before Jesus said this to the rich young ruler he thought he had done everything, there was nothing else he lacked to do, but he was wrong,  “One thing thou lackest: go thy way.”, The rich young ruler could not sell out. Now I believe he could have maybe sold “what thou hast” to the rich people, but that was not what Jesus said to do, oh no Jesus said to “give to the poor.”  The rich young ruler could not do this he could not sell out totally to what Jesus wanted him to do so this encounter ends with these word,  “And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.” Maybe he could have been a disciple maybe one of the original apostles, but sadly this is the last time in the Scriptures we hear of this rich young ruler. My friend to be used of God we must totally sell out, maybe not or maybe go sell all of our earthly possessions  as Jesus told the rich young ruler but in our heart we must be willing to give it all up to be used of the LORD.  That means maybe all of our earthly wealth, our authority, our influence I do not know, but Jesus knows what we have to give up to be used of the LORD because it is what we are holding on to is stopping us from being used.  Make no mistake my friend to be totally used of the LORD it will require us to be totally be sold out to the LORD.  In Luke Jesus drives this point home quite well,   “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.”  (Luke 14:33)  Did you get that?  Pretty strong words here from Jesus that we must heed before we open our big mouth like the rich young ruler, “whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.”

Next month we will start a new section looking at some areas we may not think about. Do you hear Him calling? Please know God is calling. Walter Beuttler said if you build God a temple He will inhabit it. Have  you built God a temple?  If you do He will abide and wait for you.  Written by David Stahl