Lion and Lamb
Lion of Judah and The Lamb

 

Bible

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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Isaiah Chapter 40 verses 1-5
Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the Lord's hand double for all her sins.
A voice of one calling;
In the desert prepare the way for the Lord, make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain.
And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it.
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
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OLD NEWSLETTER

 

LETTERS TO INTERCESSORS

(Studies In The Word)

2009_03

In The Desert Prepare The Way For The Lord

Where does one prepare the way of the Lord? What do we mean by ‘preparing the way of the Lord’? What is the reality of the call of God? What is the meaning of ‘God with us? Why are these questions relevant at this time and to this world of HIV/AIDS?


Isaiah chapter 40 (see text alongside) has some of the answers to these questions. In verses 1 and 2 we have the voice of God speaking words of comfort to all who listen. Then in verse 3 the voice cries out a command to the listeners.


“In the desert, prepare the way for the Lord!”


The command is very simple, if you are in a wilderness, you had better prepare a way, a road for the Lord that is straight and true, that has all our imperfections removed. And as the highway is prepared and completed, so the glory of God will be revealed to all flesh, to every person. HIV/AIDS arises from the wilderness of our worldly society where every human imperfection is rampant, creating a terrain that destructive and terrible.

We are in the wilderness when we face HIV/AIDS and the response to a wilderness situation is always ‘to prepare the way for the Lord’. That is why the response to HIV/AIDS requires the reality of Jesus and a change in life style from worldly living to kingdom living.

We plead with you to see that, first of all, the response to HIV/AIDS must take account of who we are in God - people made in His glorious image - for whom the designed way of living is in accordance with God’s standards. When we as a society, fall away from God’s standards, we leave ourselves open to disaster. When we, as societies and individuals, turn to the standards of Kingdom Living, we begin to operate and live as we were designed to. It is like trying to run a car in reverse all the time, it will do it, for a while, but it was designed to go forward most of the time, so let us turn around and head in the right direction.

HIV/AIDS is NOT a ‘manageable disease’. It is not disease that we can tolerate and live with. It is not a disease that becomes just part of our background lifestyle. Yet we now have a generation of people worldwide who have not known life without HIV/AIDS affecting the community. That does NOT make HIV/AIDS tolerable.

HIV/AIDS is a personal affront to human dignity. It is a personal disaster to those who are designed and meant to be living without disease and suffering. There is a terrible global complacency settling in around the battle against HIV/AIDS.

Careful reading of official pronouncements today shows that HIV/AIDS is no longer perceived to be a threat to the community and the world. It is increasingly difficult to rouse people and organisations to fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS. A terrible blindness seems to have settled over governments and communities.

So what can we do? What can you and I do about this situation? We can and must ‘prepare the way for the Lord’. This involves ensuring that the scales fall from our own eyes as to what is acceptable and unacceptable.

We do this by focussing on God, focussing on Jesus and his teaching for us. Doing this gives us clarity of vision.

Secondly we must speak out! We must make clear the truth about the consequences of our worldly living and that we can offer the most extraordinary gift, the gift that is ours as we turn to Jesus and Kingdom Living, the gift of life.

Thirdly, we must pray. We must intercede before God for the restoration of His values as a matter of life and death. Well over 25 million men, women and children have already died from this consequence of our collective focus on worldly living. This useless, wasteful, agonisingly painful, dying can be stopped and must be stopped.

God has made so wonderfully clear to us that He is with us (Matthew 1.23) and that He is faithful and just (1 Thessalonians 5.24). In this season of Christmas and the New Year let us focus once again on God, turn from the ways of the world, turn to the ways of Jesus (Kingdom Living) and intercede for this transformation to happen.

“In the desert prepare the way for the Lord.”

ooOoo

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Dear Intercessors,

We have had an astonishing roller coaster of a year. If anyone had told us a year ago that today January 6th 2010, (Epiphany) we would be looking out of a third floor waterside apartment window at the tide coming in and the snow falling heavily we would have been amazed and frankly disbelieving. But that is exactly what we are doing from our new home that we moved into on 5th December 2009.

We are in a place that is to become a high place of prayer and intercession; a place where the sense of the presence of God is very powerful; a place where there is a clear knowing that God has moved us here for a purpose. The whole process was startlingly swift and accelerated rapidly in the latter part of the year.

Ray’s health had been very bad for nearly two years and then suddenly, in August/September, it was all go; organise the prayer retreat; sort out longstanding pastoral / ecclesiastical issues; find gallstones; remove gall bladder; recuperate by putting house on the market; move the Judah Trust office into a container; purchase a new home; pack and move in. Unpack and try and find everything including that Prayer Diary that Joy wrote in November; relocate the paper for printing, the stocks of toner, stamps, envelopes, and all the paraphernalia that a mail out requires.

Try and discern what God is saying.
Ray “Retirement???”
God “No way! That word is not in my dictionary!”
Ray “Oh!”

Ray is now in pretty good shape and almost raring to go. Both of us are totally amazed, and for a pair of pensioners, we are getting quite excited at what God has in store.

All this is why this Newsletter & Prayer Diary has struggled to get into the post and is a little shorter than usual but we are just about there.

Joy is maintaining, along with Heather Drinkwater, the prayer input for the Surrey/Hampshire prayer team which has been meeting regularly on Tuesdays for a couple of years now to intercede into the prayer requests received during the previous week. These then form the back bone for the Prayer Diary. Ray is continuing to endeavour to discern the overall picture of HIV/AIDS and relate it to the situation of the individual. Richard & Prilla Rowland and Ian & Mary Hempshall have been carrying the teaching, ministry and medical work in eastern Africa.

We will be making arrangements for the quarterly Saturday ‘Servants of the Sanctuary’ intercession meetings in central London and are confirming the September booking for the midweek prayer retreat at the Oast Houses.

Our son is endeavouring to bring us into the electronic age and get the Newsletter and Prayer Diary on a more modern footing regarding maintaining address lists, email, and all those other things. Do keep an eye on our web site at www.judahtrust.org as we will be making more and more use of it.

We are both firmly convinced that the call for intercession has not gone away, indeed, it would appear to be increasingly vital that we continue to intercede before our Lord about the whole state of humanity as reflected in our capacity for flying in the face of what God wants, for us and the subsequent consequences of HIV/AIDS.

Bless you all, keep praising the Lord, keep interceding, and keep in touch,

Ray and Joy and all the Judah Trust Team


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