Jeremiah and The SBC

Featured Image using the SBC logo and Michelangelo's Jeremiah

SUBTITLE: UNITY IN THE CHURCH

 

BEING JEREMIAH

Let me just pretend to be Jeremiah for a moment and stand at the gates and make an observation or two. (Jeremiah 6:27) You decide if it is from the Lord or not.

Whether you have won or lost, have you considered that there is a judgment involved here? And if there is a judgment, could it be that God is judging us for not relying upon Him? (1 Peter 4:17)

Ray Stedman back in the ’60’s made a great observation when he exegeted 2 Corinthians 10:5 and said, and I’m paraphrasing, “in the church, we pattern ourselves and decision making like they do in Washington D. C., to our shame.”

This is not rocket science my friends. We say, “well, if I were running the show. . .” or we say, “well now that I am running the show. . .” And I don’t see that in Scripture. I’m not saying, “don’t be involved.” In fact, I believe that whatever your involvement, you should do it with excellence, because you are doing it as unto the Lord. (Colossians 3:23)

CHRIST’S BODY

The truth is, this disunity has given me an opportunity to speak openly, on a subject that I have only nibbled at for a number of years, Unity In the Body of Christ.

Let me switch gears now, from the SBC to the church in general. AND, I’m NOT speaking about the world, I expect the world to act like the world. It is the Body of Christ which concerns me.

And I want to ask you, Does the Body of Christ, and its lack of unity concern you?

THE POLITICS OF DISUNITY

Consider recent elections: November 2016, November 2012, November 2008, November 2004, etc., and of course, now at the SBC Annual Mtg, June 2018, the same thing has happened. What am I talking about? The evil one’s ability, by his deceit, to stick his hook into our mouth, and let his AGENDA, his schemes, designs, devices, plans, intentions, etc. drag us ANYWHERE he wants us to go. I see this happen regardless of which side of “the-win” we are on.

Again, I am NOT talking about the SBC in particular, although the shoe surely fits. I am speaking to the Body of Christ, as a whole, especially as it is impacted by our politics.

We have nearly ZERO unity within the church today! And I believe the reason is real simple, “Our Pride!”

THE REALITY OF DISAGREEMENTS

My focus is not whether we’re Republican or Democrat, whether we’re a Calvinist or a non-Calvinist, nor whether we speak in tongues or not, or immerse or sprinkle.

My focus and concern is your identity, and whom, or what, it is in. I am grateful that the evil one’s deceit has finally placed a spotlight on this. We are not finding our identity in Christ.

Let me tell you what I see in politics, both in the church and in Washington D.C.

OUR PRIDE

Our pride causes us to see “bad-people” associated with, what we believe are “bad-ideas.” And on the flip-side, our pride has blinded us to feel attacked by people because they disagree with us. Our pride takes our eyes OFF what we have in Christ, and places it ON our theology, our politics, our differences, our disagreements,  our, our, our. Do you see the problem?

Friends, Our Pride. . .

Has caused us to put our identity in our ideology, rather than in Christ.

It doesn’t matter the issue! We constantly prove that we in the church are no different than the world. Just look at our focus! Just look at what comes out our mouth from our heart. (Matthew 15:18) And if this be true, then why would ANYONE want our Jesus?

UNITY IN THE BODY

My goal is not to change your mind on your ideas, political or theological. The Holy Spirit has your address and He will contact you if and when He wants to. (I suspect He already has, but that is a message for another day)

My goal is not to win an argument with you. My goal is that we would have unity in the body, in the midst of disagreement. Does that last statement seem oxymoronic to you? At first glance you may think so, but I think God is big enough to allow unity in the midst of disagreement, but only when WE SUBMIT ourselves to Him, without us playing the Holy Spirit for others.

You want an action point to prove my seemingly oxymoronic statement? I’ll give you three:

  1. Start thanking the Lord for your opponent. (Ephesians 5:20) Forget about “why” you can thank Him, for him. Just start “blindly” doing what He says to do.
  2. Go to the Lord and ask Him where YOU have not followed His Son, relative to your opponent. (Romans 15:5) I’m not saying reach out to them and become their buddy, just do what He says to do in this verse. And,
  3. Accept the truth that your “opponent” is not your opponent, for your struggle is not with flesh and blood. (Ephesians 6:12) This will become an unwelcome barometer for you.

Let me put this last statement (point #3 above) into terms that we can ALL understand. I say this all the time when I am in churches, so my wife knows that I preach the following, okay! I always say, My wife is nearly perfect. She really is. There are only a couple of things I want to see “fixed” and they aint a big deal.  She even agrees! Nevertheless, I have had to come to the disappointing conclusion that the reason my wife is wired the way she is has to do with God. You see, God knows there are things in MY LIFE that I WOULD NOT DEAL WITH if Naida were “fixed.”

Do you know why those people are in your life that you disagree with? Remember, God already has their address and He knows how to fix them if and when He wants to. They are in YOUR LIFE so that you will deal with YOUR ISSUES and rely upon God to deal with everyone else, which may include Him using you, but not at the cost of unity in The Body.

Again, I’m not saying don’t get involved, and I reiterate, whatever you do, do it with excellence.

BACK TO JEREMIAH

Let me finish this by metaphorically standing at the gates of our churches, as Jeremiah did in Jerusalem long ago, and say what I think Jesus would say, in light of John 17:21, “The way they will know that I came from the Father, has nothing to do with your ability to parse doctrine.  The way they will know that I came from the Father, has nothing to do with love. I’ll bring that up in a couple of sentences. The way they will know that I came from the Father is if you have unity. And you DO NOT have unity. No wonder people do not want Me as their Saviour. They know you, and they see the disunity, in your home, in your church, in your denomination! Why would they want to be a part of that? They already have that kind of disunity in their world, every day of their life!”

My friends, go back to my three action points above. I believe they will change your life for the rest of your life.

Blessings,

 

Mark S Mirza Signature

 

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Dust On The Bible

Video Still of Jerry Tucker Singing Dust On The Bible

Some Music is So Rich

I teach that you should pray with your Bible open as often as you can. This wonderful song, played by my friend tells you why.

CLICK BELOW for a short music video on NOT opening your Bible.

The video’s points:

  1. Dust on the Bible?
  2. Then expect a storm in your soul
  3. Pray with your Bible open
  4. And watch the storm receed

My friend Jerry Tucker is singing. He and his brothers have a CD with a number of wonderful songs, much like this.

Contact him at s.tucker@windstream.net – He’ll need your address, and if you can give them $10.00 for their CD, they’ll appreciate it.

So seek Him. He’s already given you victory. Live it, in Him.

 

Blessings,

Mark S Mirza Signature

Praying For Miracles

PRAYING FOR MIRACLES:

God Does Miracles

God does Miracles, NOT because you are praying about it.
God does Miracles because God WANTS to do miracles.
You’re not praying to coerce God to think your way and do your will, your miracle.
You are praying to allow God to coerce your thinking to His ways and His will, and therefore His miracle.

John 15:7

This is the essence of John 15:7.
When you abide in Him AND you let His words abide in you,
HIS WORDS CHANGE YOUR WILL
and then the last one third of that verse becomes true, “whatever you ask you receive.”

Whose Will

Why does that occur?
Simple!
Because you are praying HIS WILL not your will.

Abide in Him

Often, especially when we want a miracle
We Begin by praying our will,
but over time
God changes our will to His will
as we abide in Him AND we allow His words to abide in us.

Love you guys,

 

Mark S Mirza Signature

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Praying 25 Days of Christmas – 2017 (Day 25)

December 25

  • Background to today’s prayer
    • So today is the last day.
    • Why have you spent the time to pray this?
    • What result do you expect?
    • Below is my prayer, my expectation, for you…enjoy.
  • Today’s prayer

Lord this is the last day of this 25 Days of Prayer. And it is fitting  to end this with a picture of Jesus life AFTER His birth. Luke 2:40 and 52 tell us that He grew in strength, wisdom, grace, stature and favor, among both You and man. Father, my prayer is that each person praying during these 25 Days of Prayer would go from these prayers, and grow in the experience of Your presence, that comes so clearly as we spend time in close communing prayer with You Lord. Thank You Lord for this 25 Days of Prayer.

Praying 25 Days of Christmas – 2017 (Day 24)

December 24

  • Background to today’s prayer
    • We all have a past,
    • And there are probably some things in that past that we would prefer would just go away,
    • But as we said in an earlier prayer, God uses whom He chooses to use,
    • How exciting that God has a desire to use YOU!
  • Today’s prayer

Lord, as I think of Jesus’ visit to the temple when He was 12 (Luke 2:41-51), or John’s seclusion in the wilderness, until You wanted him on the scene (Luke 1:80b). And then I think of Daniel and Samuel, who lived godly lives, seemingly until their deaths. Lord these men seem so perfect. I want to bring You glory, and yet how can I bring You glory when I have the past that I do? I don’t know Lord, I don’t know. But, I thank You and praise You that there are men like David, Peter, Paul, and James, the half brother of our Lord, who grew up with Him and did not know Him. Oh Lord if these men would be used by You then I know that I too can be used. I submit myself to You Lord. Use me as You see fit. Use me to proclaim the message of Your Son, especially during this time of the year.

 

Praying 25 Days of Christmas – 2017 (Day 23)

December 23

  • Background to today’s prayer
    • Has to do with when the Lord’s plans are not clean and neat
    • We often think that if something is from God it will go smoothly right?
      • Think again!
      • Remember Job, the difficulties came at God’s insistence!
    • And so, because He’s sovereign,
      • Because the Holy Spirit does not make mistakes,
      • Because nothing is a surprise to God,
      • We can trust Him!
    • Psalm 103:19 tells us that, “His throne is above the heavens and He is sovereign over all.”
  • Today’s prayer

As I reread the account of the Magi’s visit (Matthew 2:1-12) and the flight into Egypt by Jesus’ family, including King Herod’s butchery (Matthew 2:13-18), I am reminded Lord that Your plans are not always clean and neat. We often find ourselves in a deep valley that You have brought us to. Father, thank You for Your many promises, of which Romans 8:28 is only one. It tells us that ALL THINGS work together for good, for those who are in Christ Jesus, Your son, the One who’s advent, who’s coming, we celebrate this Christmas season.

  • Follow-up to today’s prayer
    • People like to say that Job brought his issues upon himself, which doesn’t bear out in the text, (note Job chapters 1 and 2)
    • And look in the NT, Paul talked about it, Peter talked about it (1 Peter 4:13) rejoicing in and EXPECTING to suffer, with Christ
    • We make a grave error in the West by thinking that when difficulties come our way God wants us to wriggle out of them.
      • He has allowed them!!
      • God has allowed them for a reason!!

 

Praying 25 Days of Christmas – 2017 (Day 22)

December 22

  • Background to today’s prayer
    • Myrrh is an odd gift…for a baby?
    • But remember, this baby came to die
    • He came to die a HORRID death.
    • We need to remember this during the Christmas season,
      • There is NO MANGER scene without the cross.
    • Think about what that means…He came to suffer and die for you and me.
  • Today’s prayer

Lord, as Your Son came to earth, to go to the cross it is appropriate that one of the Magi’s gifts was Myrrh (Matthew 2:11) which is anointing oil, used at one’s death. We recognize now Lord, that His birth signified that His life would end in a bitter and ugly, embarrassing and alienating death on a Roman cross. Lord we know this because of passages like John 10:11-18 and John 16:16-22. So as we enter this season of prayer, we are reminded that their would be no manger, with a beautiful cooing baby Jesus, without a bitter and degrading cross, coupled with You turning Your back on Your Son for a time…for us to be saved. Lord we praise You, even as we beg You to show us brokenness, that we might understand Your heart and then pray for the nations and the church with the fervency that only a broken heart can.

Common Thread Ministries

Praying 25 Days of Christmas – 2017 (Day 21)

December 21

  • Background to today’s prayer
    • Anna, who was in the temple (and had fasted and prayed for years) at the same time as Simeon (who was content to go home to glory now that he had seen the Messiah).
    • They were both at the temple when baby Jesus was brought in to be dedicated,
    • Anna should be a symbol for our older women in our churches today.
    • Older women need to be there to bless the younger folks.
    • I am very blessed to have some older women in my life. They do everything from
      • Making me fudge,
      • To handing me down ties,
      • To remembering me in prayer (and many of them can really pray!),
      • And I have a GREAT relationship with them.
    • So, do you have any “Annas” in your life? If not, why not?
  • Today’s prayer

Lord as I think of Anna and her role to both Mary and Joseph, as well as all those “looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem” (Luke 2:38), which You gave us in the expression of Your Son, I cannot help think about the opportunities our older women in our churches have. Lord, we have so many “Annas.” Lord, thank You for the many “Annas” in my life. Forgive me Lord for the times I have “marginalized” them. My prayer Lord is that others in our churches will be burdened for the gifts that only the “Annas” can impart, as we let them minister in our lives. And Father, I pray also for the “Annas,” that they Lord, would be willing to listen to You, and impart what You lay upon their hearts. Thank You Father for the gift of the “Annas” in our churches.

Common Thread Ministries

Praying 25 Days of Christmas – 2017 (Day 20)

December 20

  • Background to today’s prayer
    • Simeon again, this time challenging us regarding thinking or, staying in our “safe” little box, when the reality is God is calling us to live a life that is abundant and full!
    • Because God is real,
      • His birth,
      • His life,
      • Imagine how much you are missing because you do not step out of, or think out of your box and think the way the Lord wants you to?
    • One way we are “cheated” out of His abundance is because we are angry towards someone
    • Think seriously about today’s prayer.
  • Today’s prayer

Luke 2:32, Simeon again, with something so contrary to the Israelites mode of thinking!, that the Messiah would be the “light for the Gentiles,” which was to bring glory to them, the Israelites. Imagine, glory to the Israelites, through the Gentiles! How counterintuitive that would have been for them Lord. And yet, do we miss Your glory, in our lives, because that which You want in our life, is so contrary to what we want? Oh Lord, forgive us for making our will an idol above You, above Your will. Forgive us Lord for not stepping out of our box, trusting Your lead and direction in our lives.

  • Follow-up to today’s prayer
    • I constantly teach this when I speak in churches.
    • I like to bring up verses we HATE to hear, IE
      • Ephesians 6:12 “Your struggle isn’t against flesh and blood…”
      • 1 Peter 3:7 “If there is anything between you and your spouse your prayers will be hindered.”
    • I know you think you have a right to be grumpy at someone close to you…but step outside of your box and…

Common Thread Ministries

Praying 25 Days of Christmas – 2017 (Day 19)

December 19

  • Background to today’s prayer
    • We hear people talk about being DEAD to sin and ALIVE to Christ.
    • But what does that mean?
    • Does it mean simply, to believe in the Lord?
      • No, even the demons do that (James 2:19).
    • It means to completely and constantly SUBMIT to Him,
    • So that He lives His life thru you
  • Today’s prayer

Lord, Luke 2:31, has Simeon saying something that is so outside of the way we think. He says that Jesus IS our salvation, not merely PROVIDING our salvation. Lord, as we are reminded of Your Son’s advent, unto us, give us the grace to remember that He IS our life, if we are saved, meaning that we trust You to give us the grace and mercy to live, dead to self, dead to our sins, and alive to Him, Your Son, Christ (Romans 6:11) submitting our entire lives, completely to You. Forgive us Father for trying to live partially submitted to you.

Common Thread Ministries