Lion and Lamb
Lion of Judah and The Lamb

 

In The Word
 
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning."
John 1.1

 

 

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EARLIER NEWSLETTERS

 

LETTERS TO INTERCESSORS

(Studies In The Word)

2007 No.2 and No.3

“Give Thanks To The Lord, Call On His Name, Make Known Among The Nations What He has Done”

I wonder how big is your perception of God. God, who by definition, can do anything at all. Who has no one and nothing, equal to or greater than him. God who set in motion the universe with its created history and keeps it developing and evolving. God who commands everything, spiritual and physical and anything in between.


God is BIG


and because of this, it is astonishing that he involves himself in our affairs and even more astonishing, that he has commanded us to call upon his name. Just think about that for a moment, the God of Gods, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, giving us access to call upon him. It is truly extraordinary.

But he also commands us to give thanks to him and this command is really beyond our comprehension, because to give thanks to someone means that we have received, personally, something from them. To give thanks to God means that we have received something from God. Little you and me have received something from God himself.

So what is it that we have received? The really big gift of all from God, the gift that is incredible, unbelievable, remarkable, is the gift of God’s love for each one of us. The gift of his love for you and for me. Try saying it aloud - ‘God Loves me!’ Out of this love flows our very lives through the breath of God involved in our creation as a human being and then as we acknowledge Jesus, there is the love gift of salvation, the saving grace of Jesus standing in for us so that we might have eternal life.

God’s love for us is eternal. Paul teaches us that of all the gifts that God gives us, the greatest is love. Read again 1 Corinthians 13, the whole of it, and we learn that love is eternal and never fails because God himself is love. Love is eternal. But if love is eternal, then so too must be the response to love, the response to this wonderful gift from our mighty God.

And what is that response, but thanks. Are we saying that thanksgiving to God is also eternal? Are we saying that as we understand the eternal nature of the love of God for us, so we understand the desire, nay the passion to give thanks to God eternally? Of course we are! The early Jewish leaders, the chief priests, the rabbis, were aware of this and they teach us, yes us, the Christians, in the literature surrounding the Midrash, the following wonderful truth.


“In the future all sacrifices will cease, but the offering of thanks will not cease to all eternity.
Similarly, all confessions will cease but the confession of thanks will not cease to all eternity.”

Pesikta Kahana 9 (79a) quoted in Kittel IX page 410


Now link this to what Paul teaches in 1 Corinthians 13.7-8


“Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”


With love like that coming from God to each one of us, is it any wonder that our hearts desire is to be thankful, and to be full of praise and worship throughout all eternity? Thank you, Jesus for loving me!


Now, what does this mean for us? What does this mean for those who are HIV positive? We can put it these ways:-


When we know that we are loved, we feel better;

when we feel better, our body works better;

when our body works better, our immune systems are working better;

when our immune systems are working better, HIV has less opportunity to kill us.


When we know that we are loved, we want to express our thanks for that love to the giver of that love; we find that we express our thanks, not just in words, or praise, or worship, but also in our actions, by thanking God through living the way he wants us to live, living Kingdom Lives in accord with the King and without HIV.


Thus, we have a story to tell, a story to make known about what God has done for us, so that we can tell of his glory and we can tell of his love and we can tell of his actions in our lives and in the midst of this HIV/AIDS pandemic.

End Note
In ‘London Link’, the occasional newsletter of the Southeast London Fellowship of Operation Mobilisation ,we find this wonderful quotation from David. Whilst in the context of the recent martyrdom of three Christian men in Turkey, it is also a splendid reminder to us, about the need to call upon the Lord for His mighty power to prevail.

“Please don’t take lightly the effectiveness of your prayers.
We are convinced that in this spiritual battle,
only God can turn the tide, only God can save souls,
and so naturally we must turn to him and call on his mighty power.