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.

 

 

Unity In The Church

Subtitles:

  • #ChurchUnity

  • Unity Because We Need It

  • Unity Because We Don’t GOT it

I am spending a lot of time in the Old Testament book of Jeremiah lately. While it was specifically written to the Israelites, I believe that it gives us some interesting “jumping-off” points that we can apply to our lives.

Please hear me when I say that I’m not being critical toward either political party or various theologies, even though I have strong beliefs myself. I am being critical towards us, in the church, us that are saved, that are NOT IN UNITY with one another simply because we think differently than others.

Look, they may baptize, or pray, or vote, or look different from us, so instead of getting off our soapbox for a few minutes, we choose #DISUNITY.

Remember, we are the problem, when it comes to lack of unity, not the world! The world is acting like the world. The problem is us, the saved, the church. We are acting like the world. And that has got to change! Let me confess to you, I’m talking about me as well as you. When I use the word “you,” I’m using it in the Southern sense “y’all,” which includes me.

We have prayed 2 Chronicles 7:14 for years that God would fix Washington DC, or Nairobi, or Mexico City, or Tegucigalpa, depending upon where you live. But we have completely ignored the first clause in that verse, which is humbling ourselves before God. We can point out the ills in everybody else’s life but we refuse to talk to God about the sin in our life.

To my shame, I know that I sure do. And I don’t think I’m that much different than many of you.

Here is an article that I read today and it prompted this post. What caught my heart was the end of the post and the reference to Christians:
https://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=WA18G17&f=WU18G07

Christians’ Future

The article above made me think about what the future portends for Christians. And I believe that WHATEVER is in our future will directly tie to the issue of unity, and specifically, the current disunity that we have in The Body.

Friends, WE HAVE the opportunity, the GREAT opportunity, and, I believe, responsibility, to demonstrate UNITY IN THE MIDST OF DISAGREEMENT, which the world does not have the ability to do, or to flesh-out.

In the article above, Dianne Feinstein (now considered too conservative for the democrats to support) is quoted as believing that Christians are “unfit for public office.”

But she isn’t the only one who thinks Christians are ineligible for public office. I remember some 10 or 12 years ago listening to Neal Boortz on the radio when he said, “If you believe the earth is only 6,000 years old you should not be allowed to vote.” I remember this clearly because I immediately called the radio station, was put on hold for 45 minutes, and when Mr. Boortz came on the line he said, “I don’t care if you ever listen to me again and hung up on me.”

By the way, I have reached out to Neal Boortz and will put his response below, if he responds.

(Insert Neal Boortz’ response, 500 words max)

But are these two folks the only two who think this way?

Again remember, the purpose of this post is to advocate #ChurchUnity within the body. I am NOT WRITING THIS so that you can focus on how you’d “change other people’s minds.” This is NOT about winning an argument, this is about unity within the Body of Christ that we are SOOOOO LACKING today.

Look at the radicalization of attitudes in our world, such that, we see people in Great Britain tearing down bus advertisements (https://www.facebook.com/FranklinGraham/posts/2013195845403253) because they don’t want others to hear Rev. Franklin Graham talk about hope.

Again, this is the world, and we expect that from the world!

Obstinate Church

I’m concerned that in the Church we are just as obstinate.

If you know the Mission Statement for Common Thread Ministries, “Rebuilding the Foundations of Prayer” from Psalm 11:3, you may know that the reason this is our Mission Statement is because I believe that things are going to get much worse before Christ returns. You may have even heard me say that “if your prayer-life is not solid, when things get worse, you will cave.”

I told you that I have been spending a lot of time in the Old Testament book of Jeremiah, and again, while this was written to the Israelites of old, I fear there are solid applications for us today.

God, speaking to Jeremiah says:

“. . . They will cry out to me, but I will not hear them.”
Jeremiah 11:11b (HCSB)

And then three verses later we read that God tells Jeremiah:

“As for you, do not pray for these people. . .”
Jeremiah 11:14a (HCSB)

Remember, that God is talking about His chosen people in the two passages above. Nevertheless, While I DO NOT THINK that God has said this to us yet, is He getting ready to?

Have we SOOOO DROPPED THE BALL that we have been asked to carry, that what portends us is, and should be, scary?

Remember, my SOLE-REASON (you may want to say “soul-reason” and I’d agree), for writing this is to point us to unity in the Body of Christ!

What Are You Thinking

So, here is my question to you, as you have read what is above, what has been going thru your head? My experience tells me there are two responses that the majority of us have had.

1. Oh, those stupid people, why can’t they. . . Or,
2. Lord, my heart hurts for the church.

Are you getting “ramped-up” to convince everyone else you are right and they are wrong? Or is this “ramping-up” merely reinforcing that you do NOT want to engage with others?

Are you wanting to prostrate yourself before the Lord and ask Him for endurance and encouragement, for a spirit of unity, as you follow His Son (Romans 15:5)?

There is an entire message here, on Romans 15:5-6, but I will refrain from it.

Make The Main-Thing The Main-Thing

Beginning with those in The Church that disagree with you.

And what is the main-thing?

Jesus made it clear, and it HAS TO BEGIN with us. In John 17:21 (His high-priestly prayer) He said, “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 (which He brings up 2 verses later). The way they will know that I came from the Father, has NOTHING to do with your politics! The way they will know that I came from the Father, is if you have unity.”

And Baby We Do Not!

I could be way wrong on this, but here is my bottom line. Expect God to say to us what He did to Jeremiah, if we continue this constant salvo of pointing our fingers at others, including, and especially, fellow Christians.

We have no more for time for petty differences! There’s a reason people do not want our Jesus and it is because that know us! They see our lack of unity!

And if our lack of unity is a sin, then we have so many sins that we can’t see over them (Psalm 40:12).

Let me briefly say something that may sound to you like I am speaking out of the other side of my mouth. If you are in politics, remember that you are to work as unto the Lord, and not unto man. And whatever you do, do it with excellence because it is the Lord you are serving (Colossians 3:23-24).

Because of our arrogant choice to NOT BE IN UNITY, if He hasn’t already, I fear that God is getting ready to tell us what he told Isaiah, “I will not listen to you anymore. I don’t care, even when you raise your hands towards me or how often you pray” (Isaiah 1:15). Or maybe God is getting ready to say to us, when we pray, like He said to Moses, “Stop talking to me about this subject!” (Deuteronomy 3:26b).

What subject you ask? ANYTHING! If we refuse to be united with our Brothers and Sisters in Christ, I don’t think God is interested in listening to ANYTHING we have to say!

What Church Unity Looks Like

Church unity is best understood by looking at a foundational point of the Christian’s existence here on Terra Firma, namely, that this is not our home! Just look at Hebrews 13:14 and 1 Peter 2:11.

The truth of these two verses, and their impact on #ChurchUnity came home to me recently when I thought through Colossians 1:5 where we are told our “hope is in Heaven.” 

When our hope is NOT IN HEAVEN. Where is it?

That’s Right: When our hope is not in heaven, our hope is on things here, on earth. How foolish and how selfish we are!

I believe that when our focus is on the things of the earth, our selfishness does not allow us to submit to one another (Ephesians 5:21).

Does this short discussion of #ChurchUnity remind you of the passage that says, “deny yourself?” (Matthew 16:24) Well it should.

Unity In The Body

This is what the Lord requires of us.

Turn Him down to your peril, and to OUR peril, as a Body.

 

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Rebuilding the Foundations of Prayer (Psalm 11:3)

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Finally, We Need Your Help

In this 1887 Children’s book, Mark has turned it into a book that encourages prayer for children, as YOU pray with them one or two prayers in the morning and/or one or two prayers in the evening.

HERE’S WHERE WE NEED YOUR HELP:

Let us know if this book works, having it electronically for you to share with your kids, or grandkids.

We are waiting to add Book 2 (The Old Testament) until we get your feedback.


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.


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:

  •     Resources at Pastor’s Conferences
    •     Recommended Donation: $300.00 up to $450.00
  •     Support for the Pastor’s Conferences
    •     Recommended Donation: $1,000.00
  •     Empowering of Lay People with Support Material
    •     Recommended Donation: $25.00 up to $100.00

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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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 7 in which God promises that David’s royal dynasty would be the earthly pattern for a greater everlasting kingdom.  From David’s line would come the Messiah.

Like me, have you ever made a promise you didn’t keep?  You meant it at the time but something came up and you decided to blow it off.  There are many promises in Scripture that God has made.  In each promise, God pledges that something will (or will not) be done or given or come to pass.  These aren’t casual promises such as we often make; these promises of God are rock-solid, unmistakable commitments made by God Himself.  Because God is faithful, the recipients of the divine promises can have total confidence that what God has promised will indeed be realized (Num. 23:19).

We know that the promise God makes to David to establish his throne forever (2 Sam. 7:16) was realized with the first coming of the Messiah and will be completely fulfilled with the second coming.  It’s unlikely that David fully understood what God had promised him, but it’s clear that David believed that God’s promise would be fulfilled (2 Sam. 7:29).  As believers, that’s how we’re expected to receive God’s promises.  Although we don’t have all the details of how and when God will deliver on His promise, we know that He will.  And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” Rom. 8:28.

Note:

Please note that next Sunday, July 1, we continue our study of 2 Samuel with a focus on 2 Samuel 8-10 in which we see that although David subdued the enemies surrounding the nation of Israel, he showed kindness to the only surviving descendant of King Saul and to the family of an Ammonite king who had died.

 

 

Reaching The “Big-Time”

Well, Kind-Of

Umm, Maybe, A Little

Actually, Not At All

But it is a Fun Photo

Have you been to the Ark Encounter yet?

Go! And see if you can be luck enough to get your photo taken!

First of 3 Photos from the Ark Encounter in Central Kentucky

We’re in here somewhere:

Second of 3 Photos from the Ark Encounter in Central Kentucky

Alright, that’s still a little tough to see. How about here?

Final of 3 Photos from the Ark Encounter in Central Kentucky

Thank you to my good friend Mark Looy of Answers in Genesis that pointed this out to me.

But seriously, GO TO THE ARK ENCOUNTER.

And while you are there, get up to the Creation Museum too.

Let me give you some advice:

Ark Encounter

  • Get there at 8:30 am and you’ll beat the crowds and go completely thru the Ark in 3/4 of a day.
  • If you’re lucky it will rain while you are there (think about it).
  • Until they change it, you can see the above photo/s here: https://arkencounter.com/things-to-do/

Creation Museum

  • Plan on a day and a half to see it all
  • Don’t miss the planetarium. They designed a BRILLIANT way for you to get a good sense of the size of the universe. It is well, well done.
  • As you enter the museum, you’ll walk through the “Hall of Dinosaurs” which was the motivation for my short story, “Sterling Meets A Pterosaur.” It’s a free short story you can download from MarkMirza.com.

Blessings friends (And thank Mark Looy for the heads up)

 

Mark S Mirza Signature

Prayer Focus – Results or Relationship

Featured image of mark making the video in this post

Which Prayer Focus is Yours?

Have you ever considered the question?

I think the church needs to be awakened to what prayer really is to be focused upon!

Take a quick listen to this 92 second video.

So, look at your prayers later today or tomorrow.

Ask yourself what your focus is when you pray.

And if your focus is “results” then own that, admit it. And ask the Lord to change your prayer focus.

Do you believe that your prayers are already “relationship” driven? Praise the Lord! And ask Him to give you a deeper sense of intimacy with Him.

I often give the following testimony:

I remember asking God to teach me what “Intimacy with God” meant. I told Him, “Lord, I understand intimacy with my wife, but what does intimacy with You look like?”

 

It felt like the Lord was silent for 3 years. And then it dawned on me (3 years after I started praying for it), my love for prayer was the answer to my prayer for intimacy.

 

God gave me a love for prayer, as an answer to my prayer for greater, deeper intimacy with Him.

He will answer your prayer too, and you will be on your way to having “relationship” focused prayers rather that “results” focused prayers.

So, what are you going to do? Remember Dr. Charles F. Stanley’s first life principle, “Intimacy with God, His highest priority for you life. . .”

Make it you highest priority also.

NOTE: I didn’t say that you are NOT to ask God for things, after all He says through James, “we do not have because we do not ask.” (James 4:2e) I’m merely saying, don’t let “results” be your focus.

Blessings my friend,

 

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My Mistake: I forgot the Discount Code!  [Your Order Pre-Release Special] The Johnstown Tragedy

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When Bad Things Happen to Good People

It was the worst loss of life in America before 9-11 (over 2200 people dead) and the question was, “Where was God” – “Does He Care?”

Order Mark Mirza’s newest book, The Johnstown Tragedy – God in Its Midst, and see heaven’s viewpoint of human tragedy.

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From the author: “Little did I know that 1 1/2 years after I started writing this book, it would go to the printers the week my father passes away. The book talks about what people experience at death and in heaven. The writer is an angel, named Hael. He describes men and women’s backstories, and it will give you comfort and hope – all of the things that my family experienced with Dad’s passing.”

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Premium bound, 384-page a Christian historical novel that presents the angel Hael’s comments on human tragedy.
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Supplementing Your Faith Sunday School Lesson Take Aways

head shot of Common Thread Ministries CEO Greg Nicholaides

Dear Class:

 

Today we continued our study of 1 and 2 Corinthians as we looked at 2 Corinthians 1-2.  In these chapters, Paul helps us understand why God allows His people to suffer.

Our Heavenly Father is the “God of all comfort”.  Comfort is found not in the absence of pain but in the midst of it.  Many Christians who are hurting believe that their walk with the Lord isn’t what it should be because of the suffering with which they’re dealing.  Being comforted has nothing to do with being comfortable.  Being comforted has everything to do with being strengthened.  When our Lord prayed for the cup of suffering to be removed, He was so physically and emotionally exhausted that an angel was sent to strengthen Him (Luke 22:43).

It’s OK to pray that God will remove our pain, our sorrow, our grief.  But He doesn’t always remove these things when we ask Him to because they serve a purpose that we don’t immediately understand.  What He does promise to always do however is to come alongside us in the midst of the suffering.  When we feel His presence at such times we have access to supernatural strength, and it’s His strength which sustains us and prepares us to be a comforter for someone else who will experience the same suffering.

“God does not comfort us to make us comfortable, but to make us comforters.” – J. H. Jowett

Note:

Please note that next Sunday, May 6, we will continue our study of 1 and 2 Corinthians with a focus on 2 Cor. 3:1-5:10 in which the Apostle Paul challenges the Corinthian church to maintain a focus on demonstrating the gospel through what they say and do.

 

 

Columbus GA Renovate Conference

Featured Image for the Renovate Conference

Church Renovation Conference

I’m very excited to participate in this. Thank you Jimmy Blanton for asking me.

In addition to a breakout session I will lead the folks in a National Day of Prayer, final event on Thursday.

Tuesday May 1st to Thursday May 3rd I will have a booth and be speaking at a couple break-out sessions.

Mark’s Schedule

Below is my Break-out session speaking times and date.

Schedule of my speaking at the Renovate conference

You’ll need to register at www.RenovateMyChurch.org

 

Blessings,

Mark S Mirza Signature

Death – Destruction – And God in its Midst

Rebuilding the Foundations of Prayer (Psalm 11:3)

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THE JOHNSTOWN TRAGEDY

God In Its Midst

Below is a short video introducing our latest book.

You’ll need to CLICK HERE for

  • Lots of highlights,
  • Information on availability, and
  • Some of Hael’s backstories.

This Book Was 129 Years In The Making

This photo of the cover is an actual picture of the remains of Johnstown shortly after the flood. With over 2200 people killed, it was the worst USA disaster until 911.

The original 1889 book by James Herbert Walker was a fascinating description of the tragedy, using newspaper accounts and his own on-sight interviews and investigations.

Our 2018 book, written by the Guardian Angel, Hael, gives you a Christian view, and behind the scenes look at death.

Far from being depressed, you will be encouraged, and moved.

Click on the above photo of the cover, or CLICK HERE for details.

Below is the original book cover from 1889 and some of its accompanying pictures. To see them better, and to see more complete explanations of them, CLICK HERE.


 

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:

  •     Resources at Pastor’s Conferences
    •     Recommended Donation: $300.00 up to $450.00
  •     Support for the Pastor’s Conferences
    •     Recommended Donation: $1,000.00
  •     Empowering of Lay People with Support Material
    •     Recommended Donation: $25.00 up to $100.00

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.

Remember our Men and Women’s Prayer Conference Calls.
Men: Monday, Wednesday & Friday 7 a.m.
Women: Monday, 10:15 a.m. / Thursday, 6:45 a.m.

  • All Times are Eastern
  • Call (641) 715-3680, Access Code 347361#

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

Copyright © 2018 Common Thread Ministries, All rights reserved.
We encourage your prayer life when you have had contact with Common Thread Ministries

Our mailing address is:

Common Thread Ministries

850 Piedmont Ave NE #1506

Atlanta, GA 30308

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