The Stump in The Land
1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another:
"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory."
4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
5 "Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty."
6 Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 With it he touched my mouth and said, "See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for."
8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?"
And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"
9 He said, "Go and tell this people: "'Be ever hearing, but never understanding;
be ever seeing, but never perceiving.' 10 Make the heart of this people calloused;
make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed."
11 Then I said, "For how long, O Lord?"
And he answered: "Until the cities lie ruined and without inhabitant, until the houses are left deserted and the fields ruined and ravaged, 12 until the Lord has sent everyone far away and the land is utterly forsaken. 13 And though a tenth remains in the land,
it will again be laid waste. But as the terebinth and oak leave stumps when they are cut down, so the holy seed will be the stump in the land." (NIV)
Who is the stump in the land? Who is the holy seed?
In chapter 1 verse nine, Isaiah said, “Unless the Lord Almighty had left us some survivors we would have been like Sodom and Gomorrah.”
In Chapter 4 verse three he said, “Those who are left in Zion, who remain in Jerusalem, will be called holy, all who are recorded among the living in Jerusalem.”
The living are not those who have a heartbeat. They are those who breathe in and out the Spirit of God, who are born of the Spirit, who have been made alive, whose names have been recorded in the Book of Life.
Those who are left after the judgement of God has ravaged the land. The remnant of Israel who have continued to believe and hope for a future of peace and glory. They have endured through trouble and tribulation. They come out on the other side still believing in God.
These are they who have listened and not become hard in their hearts. These are they who still give praise and honor and glory to God Almighty when there seems to be nothing to praise Him for. These are they who listen to the Holy Spirit when the chips are down. They rely on God to see them through difficulties. They are not so concerned about getting what they want, as they are concerned about seeing that God’s will is done here on earth especially in their own hearts.
Have you given up and sat down longing for a peace that never seems to come?
Peace is not in the sitting. It comes as we march out into the gap between the walls of water standing up on each side. The peace of God comes as we watch Him do marvelous things. Peace comes as we walk into the lion’s den and face the lions God has prepared for us.
The peace of God is for the remnant who have faith enough to believe that God wants us to step out on faith and plan big; so big that if He does not intervene, we will fail.
Some of us need to encourage those who come after us to go on and carry out the plans God has put in their hearts. (repeat)
We need to get behind those who are working to see this congregation living and vital once again. Tomorrow’s leaders are beginning to take the lead and we need to let them know that we will support them in whatever they undertake in the name of the Lord.
Our job in the church is not to see that we follow every jot and tittle of the rules. Our job is to trust God and glorify Him by sharing the Good News with our community.
Money is not our problem here. Faith is our problem. Do you believe God wants to rebuild the Green Valley Church of God? I am not asking about a building. Do you believe He still has a work for us to do here?
No one will be as happy as I will be to be in our new building, in our own building. Building the building is just the beginning of our new start. We cannot continue to do things as we have always done them.
A new generation is out there waiting for us to share the good news with them. We, the stump, those who have been through the fire, figuratively and literally, must share our faith in God with young people.
This building, this beautiful new building that we are building must not become a shrine, or an idol to us.
It must be a tool that we recognize as a gift from God to carry out His work. When we do, we will invite all to come and worship with us. We will get the floors dirty. The windows will sometimes have fingerprints on them.
There will be trash left around the building. We can either complain about the abuse of the building, or we can pitch in and praise God that people are coming and hearing the good news that Jesus died for their sins and ours.
We are the stump. We are the remnant who have come through the storm and we still believe. We still trust God to be God. We have been made holy, not by our deeds, but by the work of God, by the coal from the altar of God, by the blood of Jesus Christ.
God has a plan. It is a plan for good and not for evil. We must trust Him to lead us. He wants to lead us to make disciples here in our community.
Does anyone remember this?
God has always had a people.
Many a foolish conqueror has made the mistake of thinking that because he had forced the church of Jesus Christ out of site, he had stilled its voice and snuffed out its life, but God has always had a people.
The powerful current of a rushing river is not diminished because it's forced to flow underground.
The purest water is the stream that burst crystal clear into the sunlight after it has forced its way through solid rock.
There have been those who like Simon The Magician sought to barter on the open market that power which cannot be bought or sold, but God has always had a people.
Men who could not be bought and women who were beyond purchase.
God has always had a people.
There have been times of affluence and prosperity when the church's message has been nearly diluted into oblivion by those who sought to make it socially attractive, neatly organized, financially profitable, but God has always had a people.
Yes it's been gold plated, draped in purple and encrusted with jewels.
It has been misrepresented, ridiculed, lauded and scorned but God has always had a people.
And these followers of Jesus Christ have been, according to the whim of the times, elevated as sacred leaders and martyred as heretics.
Yet through it all, there marches on this powerful army of the meek.
God's chosen people who cannot be bought, flattered, murdered or stilled.
On through the ages they march, the church!
God's church triumphant!
Listen child of God, its alive.
Discouraged pastor, it's his church and it's still alive.
Lonely missionary, sow that seed with confidence.
The church is still alive.
Old saint, you're not alone or forgotten.
The church is still alive.
Its alive my broken-hearted friend, it's still alive.
Busy mothers, just keep trusting in Jesus, the church is alive.
You're not alone out there young student serving the Lord.
The church is alive.
And faithful fathers, there's rest in the Lord.
God's church is still alive.
So cynical sceptic you have not killed God with your noisy unbelief.
Family of God lift your hands, lift your hands and praise the Lord.
The church, God's church triumphant is alive, it's alive my friends.
The church is still alive and well.
We are the stump!