Troubles, How Will They End

How will your troubles end

The movie toy story has a cute little song associated with it, and part of the words say, “You’ve got your Troubles, I’ve got’em too.”

We’ve all got em!

And I suspect that we all deal with them the same way, namely, “LORD! Please get rid of this!”

What if I could tell you of ONE, ABSOLUTELY SURE PROMISE about your trouble.

Do you know how your trouble will end?

I Do! I Know!

And I want you to know too.
Believe me, you will love the answer!
It’s a PROMISE you can count on,
–if you’re saved.

How’s your prayer-life?

Mark S Mirza Signature

Why Doesn’t sataN Want You Praying

sataN does not want you to pray

Stop and think about this!

sataN DOES NOT want you to pray.

But Why

When you know, it will re-excite your prayer-life.

I guarantee it!

But, don’t let your first thought, as top why he doesn’t want you to pray, be your only thought.
That is his deception.
Trust me on this one.

Watch the short video:

How’s your prayer-life?

Mark S Mirza Signature

September Prayer

Conference Call Prayer. . .

. . . is important to our ministry.

We pray for numerous ministries every week, usually with the principals.

WOULD YOU JOIN US?

We want to pray EVERY DAY during September, just as Ken Ham, from Answers In Genesis, has asked.

Answers In Genesis (AIG) is sending out 266,000 books to every church in the USA. They are also sending another 30,000 books to various churches around the world.


WOULD YOU JOIN US?We will host this call every day during Septmeber.

We ask you to join us when you can.

AIG September Prayer

5:30pm (Eastern)
15-30 minutes every day

Call In No. (641) 715-3680
Access Code 347361#

Prayer Structure During the Call:
1st:   Praise
2nd: Pray for YOUR church’s receipt of this mailer
3rd:  Pray for OTHER churches’ receipt of this mailer

What to Pray:
Pray that they will:
. . . Read the Book
. . . Take Advantage of the Free Tickets/Media
. . . Utilize the VBS and the Apologetics Curriculums

Answers in Genesis Reset Prayer Collaboration

WOULD YOU JOIN US?

 

Mark S Mirza Signature

 

 

 

Prayer and Politics

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Rebuilding the Foundations of Prayer (Psalm 11:3)

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Quasi Political Posts, Actually, not really.

Do you think you’re thwarting sataN with your politics?

sataN and Politics:

To read the short post, click on the photo above, or CLICK HERE.


Can Prayer be Denied and in NOT be Political?

You may not like this VERY, VERY short post because it makes you answer a hard question.

Thwarted Prayer:

To read the short post, click on the photo above, or CLICK HERE.


 

Prayer Basics Video Series:

To read these posts and videos, click on the photo above, or CLICK HERE.


ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Of course, we have plenty of additional resources for you to view. Many are from other authors but you can also purchase Mark’s works:

  • His Novels

  • His Prayer Made Alive series

  • His Prayer Classics, which include:

    • A Children’s book from 1887

    • A Daily Devotional from the 1830’s

Just click the icon below or simply CLICK HERE.

You can also find Mark’s KINDLE BOOKS HERE. His are the top 5 on the list.


FINALLY

Zero pressure, but the following items may interest you . . .

MARK’S YOUTUBE CHANNEL


Uplifting, Short Videos

To see Mark’s YouTube channel simply click on the icon above, or CLICK HERE.

Many of these videos have matching posts with additional explanations and information on our website (http://markmirza.com/)


DONATIONS

Zero Pressure!

But if you would like to know how you can help, let us show you what we at Common Thread Ministries are trusting God for in 2018:

You may also choose to give to our 501c3 on a monthly basis, either as a personal donation, or a church giving to a ministry and/or missionary. We are blessed to have a number of folks that honor us with $25.00 per month up to $100.00 per month.

To give, CLICK HERE.


CALENDAR

Lots Going on Every Day!

Please take the time to check it out by clicking the red calendar box above. And, if you will, use it to pray for us as we continue to pray that God will open doors so that we can spread this message and spread it boldly.

Thank you for praying.


Mark S Mirza
Founder/Speaker/Writer for Common Thread Ministries
E: Mark@CTMPrayer.org
W: www.MarkMirza.com
F: MarkMirza
F: CommonThreadMinistries
F: ThePray-ers

T: @CTMPrayer
T: @ThePray_ers
I: CTMPrayer

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sataN Is Not Thwarted

He’s Not Thwarted By Our Politics

He merely changes his tactic.

Stop, and consider this for a moment.

Where are you on the photo above?

When you consider politics, are you:

  • SAD
  • MAD
  • HAPPY

Where are you?

Maybe a better question is, “Why Are You?”

You see, this is my concern in the church. I expect the world to act like the world, and so should you. But the church is what concerns me?

What Is Going On In The Church

It’s diabolitical (Sorry, Freudian slip) It’s diabolical.

But, do you see it?

Regardless of the side of the aisle we prefer, we are all plagued with THE SAME DECEPTION, namely, the priority our political goals play in our life.

NOTE: We think that if we get more people who think like us in positions of power then we will live peaceful and quiet lives (1 Timothy 2:2m).

Have you ever considered that the promise of that verse is NOT THAT GOD gives us peace and tranquility by giving us the right leaders, but He gives you the peace and tranquility BECAUSE YOU’VE PRAYED, regardless of whether or not your circumstances change!

But, that’s a message for later.

Getting Back To Our Deception

The deception in our politics is our focus.

I have a few friends that work in various positions in Washington D.C. One of them recently shared with me, “The only thing that will fix Washington D.C., is Jesus.”

Before you say, “Yah, yah, Mark, of course.” I want you to consider what winds you up more:

  • The political news you see on T.V., or
  • Your heart hurting for the unsaved in D.C.?

Depending on your answer, you  might want to stop for just a moment and ask the Lord for forgiveness. Or, you may not want to, but you should.

You see, that’s the problem isn’t it? We’re more wrapped up in what we want, than what God wants.

The Fallout From This Deception

Getting what we want does not thwart sataN.

Do you really believe that sataN packs his bags and runs away when more and more of your political party enters the city limits of Washington D.C.?

NOTE: I’m not speaking out of the other side of my mouth when I say that, if you are in politics, you are to work as if you are working unto the Lord and not man. Meaning, do what you do with excellence.

The evil one will not cease until Jesus throws him into the pit.

So what does sataN do now, if he doesn’t pack his bags and leave, when your guy/gal wins?

Simple

He changes tactics.

And we in the church are missing this. When we “win” at the ballot box, we think we’ve won in the spiritual realm.

Friends, to use a line from a completely different context, when we think this way, “We above all men are to be most pitied.” (1 Corinthians 15:19)

So, be on guard, for the evil one roams around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8)

And be aware that he may fool you, when he comes to you as an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:14)

Whatever else he does, expect him to return to you at an opportune time. (Luke 4:13)

Then What Should We Do

Simple: Follow Scripture.

Instead of telling God what you want, let His Word tell you what He wants.

We like to abide in His Son and in His Word so that we can ask whatever we want and get it, right?

STOP! That’s not what John 15:7 says!

NOTE: It really says, “If you abide in Me (Jesus) and [YOU LET] MY WORDS ABIDE IN YOU,  then you will ask whatever you will and it will be given unto you.”

Do you see the focus? The focus is His Word/s abiding in you. The reason you will get what you pray for is because you will be asking for Christ’s will, Christ’s words, because YOUR words will change to match His words.

Do You Believe The Bible

THEN DON’T READ Romans 13:1.

Why do I say, “Don’t read it?” Because you will be faced with an indisputable fact that the guy leading us in Washington D.C. is who God put there, and who God wants there.

And there’s another indisputable fact that you’ll be stuck with:

THE PASSAGE WAS TRUE THE PREVIOUS 8 YEARS ALSO.

So What

You may ask.

Here’s the “So-what.” Are you blaspheming God, by the way you are praying for the current leadership?

Or, did you blaspheme God by the way you prayed for the previous leadership?

How you answer that, will tell you why you are, whichever face you are, from above.

But more than that, I hope that you will hit your knees and ask for forgiveness, either for the way you pray, or the way you prayed.

Further, I hope you will pray for all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity, regardless of political results.

 

Blessings,

 

Mark S Mirza Signature

Prayer Denied

Featured image showing the denying of prayer

This is NOT Political

I know what you’re thinking, “Mark, anytime prayer is denied it is political!”

If you don’t believe me, just read on

What physical “needs” do you pray for?

Food, Clothing, Touch

What emotional “needs” do you pray for?

Security, Affection, Comfort

 

I have been burdened lately by Matthew 16:24, “. . . deny yourself. . .”

I wonder, how would our prayers would change if we denied ourselves, to follow Him?

 

Just wondering,

 

Mark S Mirza Signature

Book 2 Sneak Peek

Just like the title says,
I get to give you a
SNEAK PEEK of my book.

Forgive the photo. I don’t particularly like that shot, but the publicity department in heaven told me to use it.

Below is the FIRST CHAPTER. Give me your feedback:

CHAPTER ONE

Day One

 

 

 

Her sobbing was uncontrollable and watching her caused my throat to constrict. My chest wanted to heave and a tear, which I could not hold back, slipped from my eye. I was angry, really angry.

I couldn’t believe this was happening. I mean, I knew in my mind this would occur, but watching Mary bury her head into John’s shoulder, and hearing her sobs for her Son, they were heart-wrenching and impacted my emotions, something for which I was not prepared.

Somehow it comforted me to see John hold Mary close to his heart. As I watched her release her emotions, I wished I could too, but I was one angel amongst the twelve legions of angels[1] on assignment. We were literally on the most important call of our four-thousand-year-old lives.

Every sinew of my nine-foot-tall body burned. I had been on full alert for the previous twenty-four hours, muscles taut, leaning forward, unblinkingly watching the chaos around my God, and your Saviour. I awaited a call from our mutual Creator’s lips.

Anger wasn’t the only emotion I dealt with. I experienced a frustration I had never felt before or since.

We numbered more than eighty-thousand angels and represented every department in the Realm. My department is the Company of Guardian Angels, but I confess, right now I felt like we were worthless angels, not guardians at all.

While every single one of us were poised and ready to move, we just stood there. We watched the self-righteous Pharisees judge Jesus in their kangaroo court proceedings. We then stood and hovered watching the political leaders who were more interested in building relationships than making hard decisions.

Watching this, I had one overarching thought, “Give me the word, Jesus, Son of God, so I can race to my position, take my stance and bring You victory.”

The call I wanted to hear never came. Instead, Nesah, my immediate supervisor, an Undersecretary to Michael the Archangel, gave the order, “Hael, stand down.”

And just then I heard those words, “Into Your hands I commit My Spirit.”[2]

I wouldn’t be allowed to do a single thing. I could only watch. And I did, I watched as the lifeless body of my Creator hung there, limply, on a cross.

 

Outside of the Earthly Realm there is the Heavenly Realm which includes the Angelic Kingdom and the Demonic Kingdom. Technically the demons are angels too, but this nomenclature has worked best for us since the rebellion.

As a result of the two kingdoms being in the same Realm we can hear everything going on in both Kingdoms, which comes in handy for the Winged Rotating Oversight Committee (WeROC), which is located in the redacted department in Heaven.

But at Golgotha today, I didn’t need WeROC. I heard them. We all heard them, and they knew it.

They acted like they were on bleachers in a stadium watching a sporting event. They cursed and laughed, yelled and screamed, hooted and hollered. Their celebration seemed to know no bounds. It was nearly more than I could handle. But when they cheered in a unison chant, it unnerved me.

I had put up with it all day and the previous night.

It began when Jesus, in the garden sweating drops of blood, returned to Peter, James and John who were asleep.[3]

“Simon are you sleeping?” Asked Jesus.

When the agony in His voice became palpable to all of us, the demons cheered.

When Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss[4] and Jesus was then arrested,[5] the demons cheered.

During the physical abuse in the company of Annas, then Caiaphas, the demons cheered.

At Peter’s denials[6] the demons mocked the big fisherman, but when they noticed Jesus turn and look directly at Peter,[7] the demons cheered.

In Pilate’s courtyard, Jesus and Barabbas were offered to the crowd. When they rejected Jesus,[8] the demons cheered.

Pilate’s Roman soldiers mocked Jesus in the Praetorium, shoving a crown of thorns into his scalp. They stripped Him and led him out to be crucified,[9] and again, the demons cheered.

At the sight of the weakened Christ stumbling, falling and dropping his cross, the demons cheered.

When the soldiers put the mocking title on the cross, above Jesus’ head,[10] the demons cheered.

Not only did their boisterous arrogance and cheering infuriate me, but the incredible number of them shocked me. I was surprised how many of them were arrayed around Golgotha. I had forgotten how many they are.

Not since the rebellion lucifeR perpetrated in heaven, shortly after the creation of Adam and Eve, had I seen the entire horde all in one place. Back then, when the demons chose to follow sataN, a full one third of the original angelic host[11] were huddled together leaving heaven.

They had just lost their positions of authority and rank, and were all leaving heaven, humiliated.

Today, they were anything but humiliated.

As I review and record the events of that night and day, I am reminded of the three hours of darkness which engulfed the entire land.[12]

I sensed a gleam of light, as it were, and want to record it for you. They were fearful. While the demons couldn’t put their clammy talons on it, they knew something was amiss.

Since this darkness came from the Lord, the demons knew they could not control it, and I sensed fear in them.

When the curtain in the sanctuary was ripped in two,[13] I sensed fear in them.

During Jerusalem’s earthquake,[14] I sensed fear in them.

When dead bodies of the saints were raised,[15] I sensed fear in them.

And then when they realized the hardened centurions were moved by this Nazarene Carpenter’s death,[16] I sensed fear in them.

I tried to imagine what these demons were thinking. Surely, they knew they had just suffered an incalculable loss. And while they had been arrogant for the previous twenty-four hours, the reality of their condition had to have finally hit them.

But that very evening, the strong influence of deception showed itself. These demons, initially created perfect, were like their chosen father, the devil. They spoke only lies, which is their true nature. And they constantly want to carry out their father’s desires, for there is no truth in them.[17]

Paradoxically, another noteworthy thing happened which I will never forget. When Jesus gave up His spirit, I saw lucifeR edge away from his demons, for the evil one knew something they did not yet comprehend.

The day sataN dreaded, had arrived.

[1] Matthew 26:53

[2] Luke 23:46

[3] Mark 14:37

[4] Mark 14:45

[5] Mark 14:46

[6] Mark 14:66-72

[7] Luke 22:61

[8] Luke 23:13-18, 24

[9] Mark 15:16-20

[10] Matthew 27:37

[11] Revelation 12:4

[12] Matthew 27:45

[13] Matthew 27:51a

[14] Matthew 27:51b

[15] Matthew 27:52

[16] Matthew 27:54

[17] John 8:44


Book 1

Buy it while you are awaiting book 2. You can click the picture below, or CLICK HERE.

The novel cover of The Pray-ers with the main characters for all 3 eras

 

Blessings,

Mark S Mirza Signature

 

The Mathematics Behind Prayer

Featured Image for Mathematical Prayer Formula

GET A YES WHEN YOU PRAY

The New and Improved (and coveted) . . .
SECRET MATHEMATICAL PRAYER FORMULA . . .

 

Y = P * 2A + (∞F ⟹ W) + (S ≈ I) – Ø(d+c)

 

Here’s the formula’s meaning

I WILL get a YES
When I PRAY,
If I ABIDE in Him AND I let His words ABIDE in me.
Then, my sufficient FAITH,
Subject to His WILL,
Allows me to SUBMIT to Him,
Since He’s already IN THE PROCESS of answering.
All this motivates me unto OBEDIENCE,
And the elimination of the word CAN in my prayers.

 

Mathematics

Have fun, as we go through this “Secret” formula.

Defining Terms

“Y” is the expectation of YES when I pray!

Have you ever considered that Jesus never went to the Father wondering about His answer? Jesus always prayed expecting a “YES” and so should you. Even when He gave us the model-prayer in Matthew 6:9ff the entire tenor of it is, expect God to answer. And earlier in verse 6, talking about prayer Jesus said, “. . . your Father . . . will reward you.”

If you are wondering about the Garden of Gethsemane experience Jesus had, consider two words, “wrestling” and “submitting.” Jesus wrestled and since He knew the Father’s will, He (Jesus) submitted to the Father.

Jesus’ dealings with prayer were ALWAYS with an expectation of a YES, as should your’s.

And remember, 1 John 5:14-15 are still in scripture, requiring confidence when we pray, not doubt (James 1:6-7)

 


“P” is the act of PRAYING.

This should be obvious, but you do realize that there are SOME THINGS that we do not have, because we do not ask? (See James 4:2).

I suspect some of you are thinking, “Why ask? Doesn’t God already know our needs BEFORE we ask (Matthew 6:8)?

Have you considered why we pray at all? It is for one reason. God WANTS a relationship with you! Think about that! In spite of you (and me), He wants a relationship with you (and me).

Your prayer-life is a barometer of your Intimacy with God.


“A” double dips into the word ABIDING.

The equation is “2A” above because the word “Abide” appears twice in John 15:7 and both occurrences are very significant, and very different from one another.

I recently heard a pastor quote this verse by saying, “. . . abide in Him and in His word.” BUT MY READERS, that is not what the passage says. It says that you are to ABIDE IN HIM and you are to let His words ABIDE IN YOU.

When His words abide in you, that is when you start asking His will. This happens because they are His words, His will. And then the last part of the verse becomes true, “then you will ask whatever you will and it will be done unto you.”

Look, you can abide in Him all day long but if you don’t let His words abide in you, you don’t have a prayer. Sorry for the pun.


“F” stands for FAITH.

But not just any faith! It stands for “∞F” which is an “infinite amount of faith.”

Now before you start to get depressed, because your faith isn’t that great, let me remind you of Jesus’ teachings on faith. I’ll first tell you what Jesus did NOT say.

  • Jesus did not say you have to have a TON of faith. The AMOUNT OF YOUR FAITH is not the issue.

So, what did He say? I’m glad you asked!

  • Jesus DID say, you could have as little faith as a mustard seed and accomplish that which is His will (Matthew 17:20).

Ginormous Faith

At another time we’ll discuss why teachers tell you to build your faith to astronomical proportions, but not here.

What I will tell you though, is why you can have “infinite, sufficient, perfect-faith,” even if your faith is only comparable to a mustard seed.

The answer is the next portion of the equation.


“W” points us to God’s will.

The equation says, “∞F ⟹ W”

Remember that ⟹ W” means “If and Only If it is centered on God’s will.”

So, putting the entire parenthetical thought together, it is saying, “infinite faith occurs, if and only if it (your prayer) is centered on God’s will.”

Look at 1 John 5:14-15 again. When does God’s answer come? The passage clearly says, when we ask according to His will.

It ain’t rocket-science, is it?

But it does require the next portion of the equation.


“S” is the act of SUBMITTING to God.

I’m sorry, but you knew that the “S” word would enter this equation somewhere, didn’t you?

The problem with the “S” word is that it requires you to trust Him.

Do you think you trust God? Are you sure? Or are you just hoping you trust Him?

May I Test You?

This test will open your eyes:

  • Get a blank piece of paper.
  • At the top write, “God’s Will for My Life.”
  • And then sign-it, BLANK.

Sign it WITHOUT knowing what He has up His sleeve?

The math is becoming more and more scary, isn’t it?

Okay, I just told you the PROBLEM with the “S” word. Now let me give you the “ginormous benefit” of the “S” word.

This “GINORMOUS-NESS” is found in both Mark 11:24 and the rest of the equation that is within the parenthesis. Watch and see


“I” represents God already “IN THE PROCESS” of answering your prayer.

Mark 11:24 tells us that we are to pray as if WE ALREADY HAVE that which we are praying to him for.

When “S≈I” are together it means that “S and I are Congruent to one another” or, in harmony one with another.

The idea is that God is ALREADY In The Process of doing His will in your life. Our job is to submit to God, no matter what He wants to do, in your life.

SCARY? Math usually is!

To see this more clearly, work the Secret Mathematical Prayer Formula backwards:

  • “I” . . . God is already “In the process” of answering my prayer,
  • “S”. . . When I submit
  • “W”. . . To His will,
  • “F”. . . With my mustard seed faith

The Rest of the Story Equation

“Ø” represents an empty or “null” set

“d” represents DISOBEDIENCE.

“c” represents using the word CAN when you pray.

The mathematical term in front of this parenthetical portion, “Ø” means “an empty or ‘null’ set” of both the “d” and the “c” which are inside the parenthesis.

In other words we are not to have any “d” and any “c” in our life.

NOTE: Because of James 1:6-7, “d” could also have represented “doubting” but we have addressed that with the understanding of “confidence” above.

“c” is the act of using the word CAN when you pray.

Going back to Mark 11:24, where we are told to “believe that we have already received” that which we are praying for, does NOT MEAN we pray, “Oh Lord, I know You CAN do this . . .” No! It means we are to pray, “Lord, I trust that you are ALREADY in the process of . . .”

I’d like to ask you, the reader, to do something for me, okay?

I would like you to BE EMBARRASSED the next time you use the word “CAN” when you pray!

And here’s why.

Assuming the Holy Spirit didn’t make a mistake, and Mark 11:24 can be believed, God is already in the process of giving you your answer! Think about that! Since that is the case, why are you asking Him if He “CAN” do it?

Let’s get back to the “d” word for a moment. In Psalm 24:3-4, we are told to enter His presence with “clean hands and a pure heart.” Why? Because sin has an impact on your prayer life (Proverbs 28:9, Isaiah 59:2, and a host of others).


Putting It All Together Again

I WILL get a YES
When I PRAY,
If I ABIDE in Him AND I let His words ABIDE in me.
Then, my sufficient FAITH,
Subject to His WILL,
Allows me to SUBMIT to Him,
Since He’s already IN THE PROCESS of answering.
All this motivates me unto OBEDIENCE,
And the elimination of the word CAN in my prayers.


We hope you enjoyed this fun formula.
Don’t forget about our resources.
They are on sale THRU AUGUST . . .

Resources that will help you with THE MATHEMATICS OF PRAYER:

Front Cover

I am very excited about my latest Historical Christian Fiction novel. Based on the worst tragedy on US soil until 9-11. The angel Hael tells you the back story around men, women and boys and girls deaths, their entering heaven, and the lives of people who had to stay on earth, after the tragic flood.

Truly, you will see God in the midst of tragedy.

CLICK HERE to purchase the paperback, for $22.50 (normally $28.50)

It will be on Kindle soon.


In my novel, The Pray-ers, watch these men and women model prayer, based on God’s will.

I often teach that, “if you want to learn how to pray, get around people that pray.” This book does that, in the fun of a novel.

CLICK HERE to purchase the paperback, for $15.00 (normally $23.95).

CLICK HERE  to purchase the Kindle version for $6.99.


 

Originally written in the 1830’s, we have taken this Daily Devo with “A Precept, A Promise and A Prayer” for each day and molded them into a powerful prayer tool. This is one of our CTMPrayer Classics and believe me, it is.

CLICK HERE to purchase the paperback, for $12.00 (normally 16.95).

CLICK HERE to purchase the Kindle version for $4.99.


Allow this incredible history of the godly and obedient Moravians to motivate your life, including your prayer life. You will be moved by their commitment and challenged by the questions at the end of each chapter, making this book an excellent 7 week, small group study guide.

Originally written 90 years ago, it is an important addition to our CTMPrayer Classics. The questions were added by me and have been well received.

CLICK HERE  to purchase the paperback, for $9.99 (normally 14.99).

CLICK HERE to purchase the Kindle version for $2.99.

 

Blessings,

 

Mark S Mirza Signature

Church Unity, Then and Now

Church unity, then and now, featured picture

Demonstration of Unity

I have been spending a lot of time with the book of Colossians. Because book 2 of my current novel series, (which I just finished this week, YIPPEE!!!) includes a major section that centers around the ancient city of Colossae (you can find book 1 HERE).

I was up late last night rereading the beginning of Colossians and it struck me that Paul says, “hello” to so many of his churches by telling them how much and how often he and his entourage thank the Lord for them.

Love in the Colossae Church

And though I have read it dozens and dozens of times over these this last few months. It struck me how this view of Love in the Colossae Church must differ from ours in the 21st century Church.

Now I recognize that I am painting churches with one broad brush and that is unfair. I give that to you and I apologize if am wrong about your church, which I know I will be.

Love For All the Saints

But I started thinking about many, many of the people that I pray with and I recognized that I see Love For All the Saints in Jerry and Todd, and in the 3 Davids, in Lew and Derrick and Tony.

Love For All the Saints is evident in Bryan and Greg and Aaron and Bryant.

There is Love For All the Saints in Tom and in Bennett, in Brandon and Ben and Marc, in Jerry and Vince and Victor.

I also see Love For All the Saints in Roger and Eugene, in Don in Craig and in John and Reed.

I even see Love For All the Saints in the women that I pray with on these conference calls.

They all pray!

Now you need to realize, these men and women come from all over the economic landscape and the spiritual maturity landscape. They come from all over the theological landscape, and, God forbid, the political landscape.

And it took me only half a second to realize what the common denominator was and is, in every single one of them. Surely you know what that common denominator is, don’t you?

They all pray!

The Colossae Leader Prayed

DON’T think I’m writing ONLY TO PASTORS!

Are you a leader in your home, with your siblings, at work, when you are alone and by yourself?

This message is to ALL OF US!

Is it any wonder that Epaphras who played an important role in the Colossae church (Colossians 1:7a) before he went to Paul’s side, is known and remained known as a man of Prayer (Colossians 4:12-13)?

Whose Fault is Dis-Unity

PS. You may want to stop reading this. Continue at your own risk. . .

There is a reason we do not have unity in the church . . . And it is our fault.

It’s not the fault of those that we believe are wrong in their thinking. It’s not the fault of those who won’t change “no matter how much we pray” that they do change.

I believe the problem is in us, the ones who won’t pray that we would love others unconditionally.

Love them when they see the light and get their act together? Absolutely!

But humbly come before the Lord and ask Him to fix me because I don’t like somebody, with a righteous dislike of course! Absolutely No Way!

What’s the Cost

Why don’t we have #ChurchUnity?

I believe the reason we do not have #ChurchUnity is because it is too costly. And we, the ones who “claim we want” unity are, for the most part, unwilling to pay the price.

Imagine what #ChurchUnity means. It means that I have to engage with, “those other people.”

Scripture and Unity

Romans chapter 15 verse 5 (Mark’s paraphrase) May the God of endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves, as you follow Christ.

You want unity? It’s the other guy’s responsibility, right?

Not at all. You want unity? It’s on you, not them.

John chapter 17 verse 21 (again, Mark’s paraphrase) The way they will know that I came from the Father has nothing to do with your ability to parse doctrine, how you baptize, how you pray or how you vote. The way they will know that I came from the Father is if you have unity. By the way that was Jesus speaking.

The next time you talk about unity in the church, would you ask yourself if you’re willing to pay the price to be united with those that you vigorously disagree with?

Blessings,

 

Mark S Mirza Signature

Supplementing Your Faith Sunday School Lesson Take Aways

head shot of Common Thread Ministries CEO Greg Nicholaides

Dear Class:

 

We continued our study of 2 Samuel with a focus on 2 Samuel 15-17 in which more of the predicted consequences for David’s sins of adultery and murder occur.  Although God forgave the repentant king, the consequences of David’s sins continued with the attempt by Absalom to depose his father and take the throne motivated by selfish ambition.

What is brokenness?  It can mean a lot of different things.  It may refer to extreme disappointment and discouragement.  It could mean heartbreak.  It might relate to physical weakness and infirmity.  For some, it’s a reason to expect pity; for others, it’s a way to be reminded of their imperfection.  There are some for whom it’s a “cool” and trendy concept, a way of appearing humble. There’s a lot we could talk about with regards to the meaning of brokenness.

What we saw today in our lesson about how David handled the unwarranted rebuke by Shimei is the result of brokenness before GodIn God’s eyes, to be broken in spirit over our sin, is to be broken before God.  David knew about that kind of brokenness.  In the moment in which Nathan confronted David with his sin David’s brokenness began.  The larger-than-life hero of Israel must admit that he is a sinner – a liar, an adulterer, and a murderer.  David’s spirit was crushed.  He knows that he can’t save himself, he is totally at God’s mercy.  As a broken man of God, how can David respond to Shimei’s curses in any other way than as he does.  As a matter of fact, as we’ll see in a future lesson, David forgives Shimei.

Yes, we must confess our sin before God which is literally agreeing with God that what we have thought, said, or done is sin and rebellion against Him.  But if such confession isn’t followed by brokenness, we miss the full value of our confession.  God delights in using broken vessels to accomplish His purpose.  He wants us to be His broken servants having died to self.  After all, “It is He who has made us and not we ourselves, we are His people and the sheep of His pasture” (Psalm 100:3).

Note:

Please note that next Sunday, July 29, we continue our study of 2 Samuel with a focus on 2 Samuel 18-19 in which we see how God saves and restores David’s reign and averts a breakup of the nation along tribal lines, at least for the time being.