A long time ago, God created some really nice people who were born into slavery.
They built a pretty little blue church in the country, so they could worship the Lord God and give Him thanks for every little thing He had given them.
They raised children in homes constructed from left over materials from wealthier people, and some homes didn't even have a floor, except for the earth God provided them. They were grateful to God for the rain He gave them for their crops, because during dry weather they carried buckets of water to sustain their gardens. They realized that everything God gave them was a blessing, like manna from heaven.
At first they didn't have an organ or piano, so they sang beautiful hymns to the Lord without music. They read God's Word and lived by it, because God's Word can sustain a man or woman.
Deuteronomy 8:3 - "And He humbled you and allowed you to hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you recognize and personally know that man does not live by bread only, but man lives by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord."
During difficult times the little blue church was a place of refuge and God's Word healed and comforted them, like no man can.
Isaiah 51:11-13 -"11 [The Lord God says] And the redeemed of the Lord shall return and come with singing to Zion; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
12 I, even I, am He Who comforts you. Who are you, that you should be afraid of man, who shall die, and of a son of man, who shall be made [as destructible] as grass,
13That you should forget the Lord your Maker, Who stretched forth the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth, and fear continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, when he makes ready to destroy or even though he did so? And where is the fury of the oppressor?"
Every Sunday the little blue church was filled with happy people, and the children learned to love the Lord and be grateful to Him for all they had, because they grew up watching their parents praise God and give thanks. They had a huge bell that they rung by hand when there was a death in the neighborhood, or an emergency. If they rang it on Sunday, they knew they were beginning a service. If they heard it any other time, it meant trouble; come help.
The little blue church thrived and the Lord sustained the people through His Word. As time went on, people began to leave because God called them home, and some moved to distant lands.
The little blue church began to miss each person one by one, as they left. When the lady who had lovingly waxed the wooden panels left, the wood turned dull and dry. When the man who had lovingly planted the red bud trees left, the trees had to depend God for survival.
Slowly, one by one, the people left, until there were only two or three people left. If only the walls in the little blue church could talk. The bible says "To them I will give in My house and within My walls a memorial and a name better [and more enduring] than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that will not be cut off." Isaiah 56:5
The little blue church still stands, thanks to the grace of God, who gives that small handful of people the strength and desire to keep going, even though from the outside it might look like they are giving and not receiving. One might ask why those two or three people continue to go to an empty church.
Is it really empty? My bible says "For wherever two or three are gathered (drawn together as My followers) in (into) My name, there I AM in the midst of them." Matthew 18:20
So, if you go to church and no one is there, will you be lonely? You shouldn't be, because the Lord is there. If you go expecting to hear a great preacher and don't hear one, you may be disappointed, but then again, why did you go? Was it not to pay homage to our God like the people who built it? To give and not receive. To give thanks for all you’ve already received from the Lord.
Deuteronomy 8:18 - "But you shall [earnestly] remember the Lord your God, for it is He Who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day."
The small group of people are receiving from God an immense treasure of reward, and there won't be rooms large enough to hold, because it is written.
MALACHI 3:10 - "10Bring all the tithes (the whole tenth of your income) into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and prove Me now by it, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."
God rewards us for our efforts.
2 Chronicles 15:7 – “Be strong, therefore, and let not your hands be weak and slack, for your work shall be rewarded.”
Thank you Lord, for your Word.