Thursday, August 23, 2007

"A Precious Stone" 8-23-07

Good morning, Lord Jesus. Let me hear Your voice, so I can speak Your word. ... "To you then who believe, He is precious; but for those who do not believe, 'The stone that the builders rejected has become the very head of the corner,' and 'A stone that makes them stumble, and a rock that makes them fall' " (1 Peter 2:7-8). You've sent me to Estonia to speak Your words of life and encouragement to the pastors and people of this land who have endured centuries of oppression, yet the spirit of the faithful remnant remains strong and alive. I've been hearing stories about the four Methodist ministers who were martyred for their faith, defiantly refusing to renounce it in the face of communist tyranny. But their blood cries out from this land, and the seeds of their lives sown in faith will yet yield a great harvest of souls (Revelation 6:9-10). Nations will stumble and kingdoms will fall, but the Stone rejected -- "this Jesus" -- "has become the Cornerstone" (Acts 4:11). It seems I hear You say, "Estonia is to Me a precious stone." You are flooding my mind with Scriptures of stones -- with messages to encourage the people of Estonia -- "es - stone -- ia." As they arise into newness of life in their calling and destiny as a people of God, they are "living stones" being built up into Your spiritual house (1 Peter 2:4-10). Though they are small in numbers, they are as one of David's "five smooth stones" gathered on his way to battle the oppression of the people of God, striking the head of the enemy that the people might be set free from the threat of tyranny and the taunting of their God (1 Samuel 17:40-49). As the stone is rolled away from the tomb of their past and the bondage of death to their destiny, they are as Lazarus coming forth in response to Your call (John 11:39). They are as the "white stone" given to those who overcome and hear their new name to walk in their God-given identity and calling (Revelation 2:17). They will be as the stones crying out in praise of Your name (Luke 19:40). You are removing their "heart of stone," and giving them a "heart of flesh" with a "new spirit," refreshed, renewed, and empowered by Your Holy Spirit to be Your holy people to live out their destiny for Your glory (Ezekiel 36:26). I see with the eyes of my heart for this people two visions from a world map of this region of the earth. In one, I see their nation as a cornerstone, positioned at the northwest corner of Russia and all Asia. In the other, I see their nation as a cornerstone positioned at the northeast corner of Europe. Now I see the nation of Estonia in the center of an arch, like a keystone, between Europe and Asia at the top center of a gothic arch over the top of this eastern side of the earth. Yes, Lord. Use this tiny nation to be a cornerstone and a keystone -- strategically positioned -- to birth a revival in the harvest to come. Though there are now few believers of Christ in this nation, You love to use the "weakest" and "least" for Your glory, as in the days of Gideon (Judges 6:15). Yes, Lord. The seeds of the martyrs will reap a harvest -- "a hundredfold" of all they have suffered and all they have lost (Mark 10:28-30). Though it may seem now they are last and left behind, "many who are first will be last, and the last will be first" (v. 10:31). I am honored to join my heart with theirs as You fill my spirit with Yours to speak Your words of truth and life, encouragement and exhortation (1 Corinthians 14:3). All that is of You will come to pass in Your timing and Your way for Your glory (Isaiah 55:11). In Jesus' name I pray, Amen. In the Love of Jesus, Tommy Hays