Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Stump and the Shoot 5-31-06

Good morning, Lord Jesus. Fill me afresh with the life of Your Spirit as I open my heart and spirit to You in worship and prayer. ... "A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. The Spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord" (Isaiah 11:1-2). As we gathered each day for worship and teaching in the sanctuary of Holy Trinity Brompton in London last week, I was struck by the marriage of ancient and modern. We were surrounded by centuries-old gothic arches, stained glass, and organ pipes; but spiritual life was teaming from every corner from casually-clad worshippers, led by guitars and drums. An ornately carved pulpit with steps leading high above us stood off to the side with the marble baptistery and other antique religious artifacts stacked underneath to make room for expressive worship and extensive times of prayer ministry following the messages. Across England, most of the old churches are no longer even churches, being used for museums and remodeled as bookstores, boutiques, and bars -- drying up and falling away like the lingering stump of a felled tree. As in so many of the main-line traditions and ritualistic religion without living relationships, the generations begin to turn away from church as a relic of the past and turn to culture to try to find the answers to the emptiness of their souls. But You began breathing Your Spirit of Life into the dry bones (Ezekiel 37:1-6). You began speaking to the mountains of lifeless religion and dying tradition to cast them into the sea (Mark 11:23). You began to call forth a fountain to spring up and flow out with Your Living Water to touch the nations (Joel 3:18). Out of the dead and decaying stump rose a tender shoot of new life in Your Spirit. Though the Alpha Course You birthed in this church, generations were drawn back to the ancient wells of truth in welcoming relationships with the safety to ask hard questions and express honest ideas. This movement is now flowing to the nations in every stream and tradition of Your Church as part of Your renewal of resurrection life. Lord, continue to awake Your New Life in me. Continue to put Your axe to the root of what is dead in me and my church and my tradition, pruning the branches of what is bears no fruit so that the life of Your Spirit may draw the hearts of this generation to You. Deliver us from pride and fear and renew us with courage and life. Let this tender shoot rise up from the ancient stump into a Tree of Life that bears fruit for the glory of Your name. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen. Be encouraged this day! In the Love of Jesus, Tommy Hays To subscribe/unsubscribe, or to order my teaching and prayer dvd's (and now cd's) for spiritual transformation through inner healing and deliverance, write to me at Messiah Ministries"Preparing the Way of the Lord." 2800 Tates Creek Rd; Lexington, Kentucky 40502: Come to The Fountain the 3rd Friday night of every month at 7 pm for our citywide gathering for prayer, praise, and healing worship. Daily archives of my devotional: