Supplementing Your Faith Sunday School Lesson Take Aways

head shot of Common Thread Ministries CEO Greg Nicholaides

Dear Class:

 

We continued our study of Galatians with a focus on Gal. 3:1-18 in which we saw how Paul uses logic to explain how foolish it is to reject salvation by grace alone in favor of a works-based system.

As the quote from Bob Deffinbaugh in the attached Take Aways says so clearly, God’s strength is perfected in our weakness.  Most of us still fall into the bad habit of trying to please God by working hard at it.  We read our Bible, go to church, join a Bible study group, tithe, pray whenever we think about it, show kindness to strangers, etc., etc., etc.  None of these things are bad, but we shouldn’t do them to please God.  In Psalm 51, David tells us what really pleases God – For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart—These, O God, You will not despise” Ps 51:16-17.

David understood that unconditional surrender to God’s sovereignty is the sacrifice that pleases Him most.  When we learn to stop trying so hard to “be holy” by virtue of our works and simply get out of the way so that God can direct our thoughts, words, and actions through His in-dwelling Holy Spirit, that’s when we will “be holy” – for God is holy.

Please note that next Sunday, September 23, we will continue our study of Galatians with a focus on Gal. 3:19-4:7 in which Paul speaks about the believer’s adoption into God’s family as a joint heir with Jesus Christ.

 

In His Service,

 

cid:image003.png@01D2EF29.A62A66E0

Greg Nicholaides
supplementing your faith sunday school class

 

You Pray TOO MUCH!

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Rebuilding the Foundations of Prayer (Psalm 11:3)

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THREE NEW VIDEOS

All are short (1:41, 1:58 and 2:10) and all were made at the beautiful and very green, Guido Gardens in Metter GA

I think that you will be challenged and encouraged by them.

Why doesn’t sataN want you to pray?

 

Don’t let your first thought be your only thought.
That is his deception.
Trust me on this one.

To watch the video on this short post, click on the photo above, or CLICK HERE.


How will YOUR Trouble end?

 

I have your answer.
And you will love it!
It’s a PROMISE you can count on,
–if you’re saved.

To watch the video on this short post, click on the photo above, or CLICK HERE.


What and How Much Should I Pray?

 

What if I told you that YOU PRAY TOO MUCH!
Yes, I’m still a prayer guy.
A second issue, is where your prayers come from.
From where do you draw, WHAT you are to pray?.

To watch the video on this 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.

 

How’s Your Prayer-Life?


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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You Pray Too Much

Pray the right thing

What would you think if I told you that?

But I’m Serious

This short video addresses 2 issues.

  1. Whose doing all the talking when you pray, and
  2. How to pray what you ought to pray

The tips from this video will help.

How’s your prayer-life?

Mark S Mirza Signature

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

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

Common Thread Ministries

850 Piedmont Ave NE #1506

Atlanta, GA 30308

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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

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.

 

Mark S Mirza Signature

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