by admin | May 30, 2017 | Peace, Problems
That we live in a society where things are going from bad to worse should not surprise Christians, after all didn’t Paul warn of this? Look at what he says in 2 Timothy 3:13 “Evil people and impostors will become worse, deceiving and being deceived.”
If we look at all of chapter 3 we could outline it as follows:
- Expect difficult times in the end
- Expect to be persecuted
- Trust Scripture
- Be complete and equipped
Not exactly a harbinger of smiling times, eh?
So what does all this have to do with the public vitriol we see today? Simple!
Let me preface this by telling you that I hope I am wrong. I WANT to be wrong. I would LOVE for you to find this post in 3 years and say, “Mark, you are NOT a prophet! You completely got this wrong!”
THE NEW NORM
That being said, and meant, let me tell you my concern. I believe this public vitriol that we see on the news, in our politics, in our families, and yes, in our churches is becoming the new norm.
Now I’m not concerned about the unsaved “becoming worse” because I expect that. Paul said that above.
Look at my outline above. I’m not focused and therefore concerned about “difficult times” coming and “persecutions” coming. They are a fact of life. My concern for the church is that we are missing the next two points. I don’t see us “trusting Scripture” and therefore, I don’t see us “complete and equipped” which tells me that we will cave to the pressures and the vitriol of the day when real difficulties and persecutions come our way.
Let me back up in time a few years. There is a reason that the Vision Statement for Common Thread Ministries was written as it is, “Rebuilding the foundations of prayer” (from Psalm 11:3). The reason is that when (not “if”) things get worse in your hometown, if your prayer life isn’t solid you will cave. And THAT is my concern for my Christian brothers and sisters.
Friends, this public vitriol is becoming the new norm, which, I suspect, will be focused upon the Christians before long. And my question is simple, “Are you ready?”
Forgive me for stepping all the closer to your toes, but I must. If you think the cartoon above is the way to handle public vitriol, namely, giving-it-back just as hard as it comes to you, then you have forgotten Jesus’ example who, “when He was reviled, He did not revile in return; when He was suffering, He did not threaten but entrusted Himself to the One who judges justly.” 1 Peter 2:23
May I give you some hope? The hope comes in a “backdoor sort-of way” from Romans 8:6, which basically says that if I focus on the things of the flesh, I end up with death. But if I focus on the things of the spirit, I have life and peace (that’s a Mark Mirza Paraphrase). I believe that the best way to understand this verse is to look at it in reverse. This is what it is saying. Again, in Mark Mirza paraphrase:
If you do not have peace, I don’t care how “righteous” or “self-righteous” you are, you are NOT focusing on the things of the Spirit.
You might be asking where the hope is, and here’s the hope.
Let the verse be a simple wake-up call to you, that if you are NOT at peace, you simply need to go back to the Lord, go back to His comforting Word, for your focus has become the things the evil one wants you to focus on, namely, the things of the flesh, the angst, and the vitriol, which may soon be the new norm.
Let me take one possible argument away from you before the evil one convinces you to forget my plea to you, okay?
I am NOT SAYING, “do not be aware” of what is going where this vitriol is served up, I am merely saying, “Don’t FOCUS On It!”
DEALING WITH WORRY
Let me end with this. If you struggle with worry, go to my short 3 minute video where I address that subject for ALL of us:
Worry, You Don’t Gotta
by admin | May 29, 2017 | Uncategorized
It is always amazing to me the truth in many of these church signs. Especially this one, because the truth is nothing that God expects of us he has not already given us the grace to accomplish.
We often hear people say, “Oh God please give me the strength to accomplish this or accomplish that.”
But the truth is he already has, praise the Lord.
The only question, is are you willing to submit to the Lord and his desires?
The truth be told, that’s the difficult part.
by admin | May 29, 2017 | Uncategorized
Memorial Day became a Federal holiday in 1971, but the memorial has its roots in the memorials held after the Civil War.
In this FREE short story Gretchen brings in the great man of prayer, the German, George Müller, who built orphanages in England and has taught us about faith ever since. The memoir that Gretchen tells will go back and forth into time.
And then the demon katepA is in the background causing more havoc than normal. Beware that when he leaves, he leaves the scene with a threat, that I suspect Gretchen will address in her next short story.
Get this short story and all of the short stories by clicking on the icon of Gretchen’s short stories, or by CLICKING HERE.
And remember, to sign up for these FREE short stories to be sent to you directly, please go to Gretchen’s own page, where you will see a discount for the purchase of the book.
To do that go here: https://markmirza.com/gretchen
Blessings my friends, and please, GIVE ME your feedback.
by admin | May 28, 2017 | Uncategorized
This last week I had the chance to participate in a webinar put on by my friend Daniel Henderson. He has been a leader in encouraging pastor’s prayer lives for years.
Below you will find some of my quick quotes/paraphrases from the webinar, but more importantly, you will see the link, giving you access to the webinar itself.
Trust me, it’ll be worth your time.The
Teaching on prayer thru a Strategic Renewal live webinar:
“We agree” with one another, all over the congregation
Most of life is mundane, and that’s okay.
Be flexible on the form, to capture the participation.
Prayer leading is one of the most faith-filled things I do. I don’t look at the parking lot when I drive in because it is too depressing.
Kids learning to pray by watching adults pray. So we only have nursery, we do not have children’s groups those Sunday nights that we do our monthly prayer meeting.
Our leadership team ministers in the context of Prayer, meaning we PRAY with people..
We are prone to self-trust.
Where is the place that your church prays?
Making a value that isn’t practiced is a hope. A core value of Prayer CANNOT be on the list of core values until we actually pray!
The power of “AND” meaning if we do not focus on both the Bible AND Prayer you’re missing both!
I hope you’ll take the time to watch and/or listen. It’ll be worth your while.
by admin | May 28, 2017 | Uncategorized
Today we concluded our study of Matthew (Part 2) with a focus on 28:16-20. Before His ascension, Jesus issued what has come to be called The Great Commission. When Jesus spoke these words directly to His disciples, and indirectly to us, He was giving the church her marching orders. The disciples took the Lord’s command seriously. They went into the world and shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Their witness was so effective that their critics accused them of “turning the world upside down” – Acts 17:6.
Is it possible to be a saved child of God and not be a disciple (follower) of Christ? Yes, we can live a godly life with the assurance of heaven as our ultimate destiny but miss the process of maturing as a disciple of Jesus. Being a disciple involves becoming a learner, a student of the Master. It means developing an ongoing relationship with Jesus through prayer and study – making His priorities, His agenda, and His mission our priorities, our agenda, and our mission. There is a cost associated with doing this which is why many back away from discipleship.
The eleven men that Jesus spoke to on a mountaintop about discipleship were ordinary people like us. It was Jesus’ plan to use them to lay a foundation for His church and the rest is history. Jesus still needs disciples to carry on the work which He and those eleven men started. The first step is submission, a willingness to choose what Jesus wants over what we want. After that, it’s learning how to get out of His way and allow Him to live His life through us.
Please note that next Sunday, June 4, we will begin our study of the Book of Psalms as we consider Psalm 1:1-6. This passage shows us that God allows us to choose the path on which we will walk in this life.