Before our bridegroom comes

Dear coworkers,

Do you remember that last Sunday Sophie earnestly called us to pray for Lana from Kurdistan, the only child of a single mom, as she headed into a relatively high-risk heart surgery? Sophie told us that she grew up in a similar household, so she could understood how much Lana means to her mum:

lana and mother

If you’re like me, it’s not easy to remember what you read a week ago, or to remember to pray. But if you were subscribed to the Shevet Achim Instagram feed, you would have received on your phone this urgent call to prayer for Lana a day later:

lana postop

Friends, as members of the body of Messiah, we need to be connected in real time, so that together we can make these needs known to our Father with thanksgiving. Prayer moves the arm that moves the world.  
And if you were on Instagram, you would already have had the joy of seeing this post of answered prayer earlier today:

lana 13th birthday

And that’s only one of the riveting moments of human emotion you would have seen just today:

mir not happy
musa and father
wareen turns one

What a glorious tool this is to “let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” With the tap of a finger we can share any of these stories with everyone we know. Other generations could only have dreamed of this power; and what are we doing with it? If you are not one of the more than one billion Instagram users worldwide, it is simple to download to your phone, and then search for and follow Shevet Achim. Let’s do it today. Time is short before our bridegroom comes.

On that note, I’d like to commend to you a blog posted this week by the respected Israeli leader Eitan Shishkoff, “The end is near! So what?

At a January Bible conference on last days prophecy, we spent long and fascinating hours poring over numerous passages to discern the signs. What must happen before Yeshua comes back? How does today’s geo-political landscape compare with Ezekiel 38 and 39? I liked what the study leader, popular author Joel Rosenberg, said. Rosenberg has sold 1.5 million thriller novels, all set in the end times and interwoven with biblical prophetic elements. At the end of all the discussions (filed as 25 pages of notes in my laptop!), he said “So what?” If we are nearing the end of this world’s systems, what should we do about it, personally?…

What should be my priorities, if indeed the end is near? And even if end time pundits are off a bit and Yeshua does not return for another hundred years, my biological clock is running. I am now in my 70s. I know, it’s hard to believe, but tempus fugit (time flies). So, I’m facing the “m” word … mortality. 

Two weeks ago the founder of Intercessors for Israel, Eliyahu Ben Haim, went unexpectedly to be with the Lord while traveling in Scotland, one of three Israeli leaders to die in the past two weeks. His words in a recent newsletter caught my attention:

How do we stand, withstand and keep praying (Ephesians 6:10-18) in this world wide descent into darkness? We need to keep in mind that this darkness has not only not taken God by surprise but that He has told us about it in advance. It is not the end, but a sign of the Lord’s imminent return.  

And our own Sophie wrote on this same theme in the excellent Shevet midweek email prayer update (subscribe here):

The angel Gabriel known as the messenger angel appears four times in the Bible initially to Daniel and later to Elizabeth and then most famously to Mary. To each of his listeners he is not just sent to deliver the message but God uses him to make the listener understand with a sense of urgency that which might otherwise be too much for the human mind to comprehend. The core of his messages seems to me to be this, Jesus is coming, watch for the signs and be prepared. His victory is set and it is coming. Isn’t that just great?! Just this morning in our devotional time we read the following in 1 Thessalonians which comes after Paul pleas with us to live a life prepared for the coming of the Messiah:

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will be the first to rise. After that, we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord.

How great is our God?! He has made a table for us, and soon and very soon we will share at the feast with him.

Jonathan for Shevet Achim

“Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity” (Psalm 133).