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)

2010_01

"Feed My Sheep"

Dear Prayer Partners,

There are many passages in the Bible which appear to give an order or sequence for doing things - you do this and then you do that. The question is, is the order relevant / is it vital that we understand what the sequence or order is and then follow it carefully? We believe that it is relevant and that it is vital to follow that sequence.

Take for example the command of Jesus to Peter ‘Feed my sheep’ (John 21.15-17). Are there any characteristics in the passage that could affect our understanding and hence the way we obey that command? Well, first of all, it is one of the last recorded statements of Jesus before his Ascension, so it just might be an important instruction for this reason alone. Secondly, the statement is repeated three times as part of the same dialogue to Peter, so again, it just might be being given emphasis and importance by Jesus.

But the statement or command is only part of that dialogue that is repeated three times. The other part is a question ‘Do you truly love me?’ It is not a general question to the general population, but a specific question to a specific person, in this case, Peter. Jesus also puts that question to me, personally, to you, personally, ‘Do you truly love me?’

The question and command are linked by an order, a sequence, that is vital, a positive answer to the question means that we are then qualified to obey the command. And it is a command, just as valid as any of the ten commandments. If we love Jesus, we are commanded to feed his sheep. Put bluntly, ‘Do you love Jesus?’ Then feed His sheep!

Exactly the same thing occurs in the summary of the law, we are commanded to love God and then to love our neighbour, in that order (Matthew 22.37-40). Always, it is God first, then God’s task/command back to us. We cannot undertake the task without a God focus first. So at the breakfast on the beach, Jesus is ensuring that Peter is made absolutely aware that he has no licence to feed the sheep of Jesus unless he, Peter, loves Jesus. Then and only then, is he able to receive and act upon the command, ‘feed my sheep’. The same applies to us. We are to be sure that we love Jesus in order to be enabled or competent to feed His sheep (not my sheep, but His sheep!).

There has to be a God focus, a God knowledge, a God love, before, during, and after, we set out to minister to the people, the sheep of Jesus. Without that focus, we are burned out, the sheep starve and are thrown to the wolves, (Ezekiel 34.8) and chaos reigns. Ministry after ministry will stumble and fall when, after years of effort, they lose their God focus and substitute ‘professionalism’ instead. We are seeing early, but worrying signs of this happening in the ministry of Jesus to His sheep who are HIV positive. The prayer, that dependency upon God, is weakening.

We are drawing attention to the need for this God focus because we have to deal with real issues; the man who has been positive for over 20 years and is now well able to mask his hurt and pain but underneath, for all his eloquence, is still hurting. Another young man who has learnt some months ago, that he is positive - his pain is raw and naked and frightening - we met examples of both last month. The baby who dies in your arms; the mother beset with concern as to what will happen to her children when she dies. These are the sheep of Jesus, that we are expected to feed; but we are unqualified to feed them without ourselves first loving Jesus, so that we can be Jesus to them.

We are asking all who read this, especially the men and women responsible for proclaiming the Gospel, - the ministers, priests, clergy, leaders of missions - that it is time to take a long, cool, look at what you are doing and then to place yourselves in the shoes of Peter, on that beach in Galilee, as he is asked by Jesus, that question

‘Do you truly love me?’ and is then commanded ‘Feed my sheep!’

ooOoo

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United Kingdom - HIV/AIDS Update

Health Protection Agency HIV Report November 2009


“The number of people living with HIV in the UK continues to rise, with an estimated 83,000 infected at the end of 2008 [latest available data], equivalent to 1.3 people per 1,000 population in the UK.

Over one quarter (27% 22,400) were estimated to be unaware of their HIV infection. ...

Of the persons newly diagnosed with HIV in 2008, an estimated 49% (3,550) acquired their infection within the UK...

Preventing the infections acquired in the UK, and subsequently diagnosed during 2008 would have reduced future HIV related costs by £1.1 billion.

ooOoo

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HIV/AIDS Pandemic

UNAIDS Update December 2009


In December 2009, UNAIDS issued an update on the state of the epidemic around the world and on page 19 published a table showing the prevalence of HIV amongst the 15-49 age group in various populations around the world. We have listed below, those countries in the table that have a prevalence of 10% (ie 1 in 10) or greater.

Swaziland 25.9 (1 in 4)

Botswana 25.0 (1 in 4)

Lesotho 23.4 (1 in 4)

Zimbabwe 18.1 (1 in 5)

South Africa16.9 (1 in 6)

Zambia 14.3 (1 in 7)

Malawi 12.7 (1 in 8)

We are asking that, as intercessors, a real prayer boost be given for each of these countries.

ooOoo

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End Note
During Lent, through the pain of Good Friday, the overwhelming resurrection of Easter Sunday, the glory of Ascension and the empowering of Pentecost, we learn of the reality of those words of Jesus
‘Do you truly love me?’ ‘Feed my sheep!’

 

Ray and Joy and all the Judah Trust Team


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