Groundwire is really good at reaching those people that would not say they are atheists but do not believe God is relevant to our lives today. They are seeing tens of thousands of young people turn to Christ each year, and the positive pattern is showing no signs of slowing down. “We’re not going after the atheists,” Sean Dunn, president of Groundwire, told Faithwire. “The media would want us to believe that everybody’s an atheist, but, truthfully, 71% of Millennials [and] Gen Z believe that God’s a real being.” Still, young people, despite believing in God, tend to ignore Him, especially in today’s chaotic culture. That’s why Groundwire, a group that seeks to help youths enter into a personal relationship with Christ, uses popular media channels to connect with Millennials and members of Gen Z in the digital spaces through which they currently engage. Find out how Groundwire is reaching so many young people with Christ.
Tag Archives: humble and contrite heart
WHERE WERE YOU WHEN I LAID THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE WORLD?
This is the question God asked Job. For thirty-five chapters Job seeks answers to why tremendous calamity has overcome him.
“God doesn’t give Job an explanation. He just shows Job who He is. … and then says,
‘I ask the questions and you give the answers. Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Job 38:4
We know why calamity overtook Job, God allowed Satan to bring it upon him. To most of us, this seems unjust, even offensive. Even though we know that God restored Job’s fortunes, twice as much as he had before, it is only when we read Job’s final response that we get to understand what God had achieved. Moreover, it is obvious who is in control of all that occurred.
“Then Job answered the Lord and said: “I know that you can do all things and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. ‘Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me.’ I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:1-6
As Francis Chan said in a recent sermon, “For any of us who think that we can come into the presence of God and say, ‘God, why did you make me this way? Why did I go through this? This is my body, my choice.’ God says: ‘No, wait a second. No. Nothing is yours. I spoke this world into existence.’ The world is the Lord’s and everything in it. It’s all made by Him. And He doesn’t owe us an explanation for what He does in it.
Chan also referenced Isaiah 66:2, where God says: “This is the one to whom I will look, he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at My Word.”
“Do you tremble at the Word of God? Do you tremble? Because if you want God to choose you and see you, you need to tremble at His Word. Do you tremble at James 4:6, where it says, ‘God opposes the proud? If there’s ever a verse to tremble at, that might be it,” Chan said.
Chan warned the audience against becoming like those who say they are Christians, but “they are not close to God, not the God of the Bible.” He added that they “can sing … [and] cry, they can talk about their quiet time, but if they are proud, then they’re not very close to that throne.”
“Those who are closest to God are those who are most humble. … Do you understand this God that we pray to? When people were close to God, they were not proud. Chan said, ‘whenever I see pride in my life, the answer to that is not OK, let me try to be more humble.’ No. ‘Let me try to get closer to God.’ Because when I’m in the presence of God, there is not going to be pride there.”
“As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.” James 5:10-11
FOCUS ON GOD’S LOVE FOR YOU
God’s love for you is unchanging He loves you regardless of your love for Him. If we focus on achieving love rather than receiving love, we have the gospel backward.
Thank goodness we have examples like Peter who when Jesus was arrested, Peter drew his sword and cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant. Unfortunately, Peter’s passion to defend Jesus when he was present was not evident when Jesus was not present and his own life was threatened. He would soon learn the painful lesson that his love for Jesus was imperfect.
Jesus warned the disciples that each of them would abandon Him. Despite the warning, Peter stood in strong opposition. “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will” (Matthew 26:33). Peter’s overconfidence in his love for God at this moment is striking. He felt that his love for Jesus was unflappable.
Paul once said, “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.” Romans 12:3
On the night that Jesus stood on trial with the Sanhedrin, a girl approached Peter and insisted that he was one of the disciples. This was followed by several other people who made the same accusation. In each case, Peter vehemently denied knowing Jesus. “I don’t know the man!” he pushed back (Matthew 26:72). Finally, Peter realized that his resolve to love Jesus had failed miserably. He broke down in tears at the realisation.
This must have been a tough lesson for Peter, but it also represented the start of an exciting new season. We must all reach the point where we understand our ability to love God is limited to human strength. The believer’s ability to love has been initiated, developed, and strengthened by God; therefore, we must place our confidence securely in the love of Christ. John the apostle said it best: “This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:10). The message of the gospel has always been God’s love for humanity, not the other way around.
The moral of the story is simple. We can’t love without first being loved. We are merely conduits of God’s love to the world. Therefore, we must learn Peter’s lesson so that we place no confidence in our love for God. We must rest firmly in God’s love for us. The message of the gospel is clear. We love because he first loved us (1 John 4:19), not the other way around.
Extracted from the article “Be Confident in God’s Love for You (Not the Other Way Around)’ by Robert Wachter, January 27, 2022 (www.patheos.com)
BEING LIGHTS IN THE WORLD
More tough Scriptures. It is amazing how you look at things very differently when you realise the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity lives within you and that you can grieve Him and quench His work in your life. Moreover, you come to realise that things in your life work out so much better when you get in step with Him.
“Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world... ” Philippians 2:14-15
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus…” Philippians 2:3-5
The reality is you now have a different vision: a way to see things that are unseen. To see this world through our Heavenly Father’s eyes. It means finding hope in the hopeless, blessings in the brokenness and even good in the bad.
What a way to live, living eternally now, knowing God and His Word and knowing how the story ends: life with all three persons of the Trinity on a new earth and heaven.
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away… And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:1, 3-4
HUMBLE OURSELVES AND PRAY
REPENTANCE BRINGS HIS JOY.
There can be no better witness to others who are in fear. You and I were born for this very time, to be anointed by the Father with the Holy Spirit. This was only possible through Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf. He alone made it possible for us to minister in the power of the Holy Spirit to those needing hope all around us. The Holy Spirit speaks to us today. He is our counsellor, teacher, and comforter He provides the gifts of the Spirit for ministry as we go He will lead and His power is evident.
“Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” 2 Corinthians 7:1
That is a wonderful “assignment” each day from the Lord. As we submit our will to His will, we are perfecting holiness in Him and truly living eternal now.
The LORD is in charge. He’s allowing the Covid 19 pestilence and the economic and political chaos to shake us like never before, certainly in my lifetime. Hopefully, it will awaken Christians in all nations, so that His people called by His Name will repent and pray.
“if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
Our prayers and daily repentance will support this process for His Will to prevail.
HEALTH EXPERTS FEAR CORONAVIRUS MAY BE ‘DISEASE X’
A new report from Bloomberg is enough to send chills up your spine! The World Health Organisation has been warning humanity for years that a mysterious “Disease X” could spark a global contagion. and this current coronavirus, with its ability to quickly morph from mild to deadly, is emerging as a contender and it’s not helping any that many are fearing that this outbreak is playing out like a Hollywood thriller called “Contagion,” In the film patient zero is seen contracting the virus in Hong Kong — via a sick bat that infected a slaughtered pig handled by a chef who later comes into contact with the woman who spreads the virus.
In less than three months, the coronavirus has infected almost 78,000 people, predominately in China, and has killed more than 2,300 and has spread to more than two dozen countries and now South Korea, Iran and Italy have stoked further alarm. “Whether it will be contained or not, this outbreak is rapidly becoming the first true pandemic challenge that fits the disease X category,” Marion Koopmans, the head of viroscience at Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, and a member of the WHO’s emergency committee, wrote Wednesday in the journal Cell.
The report is indicating that unlike SARS, the Covid-19 virus replicates at high concentrations in the nose and throat of the patient similar to the common cold, and appears capable of spreading from those who show no, or mild, symptoms. This was the case with a report of a Chinese woman who recently infected five relatives without ever showing any signs of an infection presenting solid evidence that the coronavirus can be spread asymptomatically. This makes it impossible to control using the fever-checking measures that helped stop SARS 17 years ago.
Veterinary pathologist Tracey McNamara told Live Science, “If we want to protect people, it makes sense that we should detect these threats in animal populations before spillover to human populations.” The most disturbing thing about this coronavirus is the fact no one has yet to determine the source of the virus and “patient zero” has not been found.
Christians should not be surprised at what is unfolding in our day, Jesus said that in the “end times” just prior to His return to this earth: “there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven.” Luke 21:11–12
God tells us that He sends pestilence among us and locusts to devour the land. Moreover He also tells us what we should do to put things right.
“When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:13-14
WANT TO BE USED BY GOD?
The big first lesson to learn: “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6 & Proverbs 3:34
God is opposed to the proud — He resists them — but He promotes the humble. Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less. If you want to be used by God, one of the essential things you need to do, is to choose to live humbly.
God is in love with process! The process will inevitably involve whatever is necessary to develop our character, repentance will be prominent in the journey. Process gives us the things that are needed to sustain the greatness that God wants in our life. The truth is we never get to be a person who “arrives”!
The trap of pride is one of the big obstacles. It’s easy to think, “I know more than someone else; I have a special relationship with God.”
The testimony of Ben Armstrong, Director of Bethel Prophetic Ministries is enlightening in this regard. You can see the whole interview on http://www.krisvallotton.com. The article by Kris prompted this post.
“For me, it was a 14 years process from the dream to actually becoming the Prophetic Ministries Director at Bethel. Whenever we are promoted in a healthy way, it is a combination of two things: the favour of God and the favour of man.
The favour of God can be judged by the fruit of the Spirit. Let me be clear: NOT the gifts of the Spirit but the fruits! Beyond that, the favour of man is two-fold — it lies in both the community you’re leading and the leadership that recognised you.
One thing that I wish I could tell all prophetic people is to fall in love with the process. Realise that if it’s taking longer than you expect to fulfil your destiny, it may be because there is a greater gift that God wants to instil in your life and He is making sure that you will be able to sustain it. So embrace the process and try and get all of the good things that God is trying to teach you in your present season. If you lean in, you will be a lot more mature and a greater resource to the people you are ministering to.
Q: IF THERE WAS ONE THING YOU COULD TELL YOUR YOUNGER SELF ABOUT THE PROPHETIC, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
A: Because prophets can see so much of the future, sometimes the trap of pride can take hold in their lives. It’s easy to think, “I know more than someone else; I have a special relationship with God.” Personally, I had to die to a lot of pride. It’s important to anyone who can see the future in people’s lives, and who have a propensity towards the prophetic, to learn patience and to humble ourselves enough to help people navigate the bread crumbs to their future.
Trust me because I did the whole gig where I impressed people with powerful prophetic words, but it never helped promote them into the future. In fact, it was actually an obstacle to their future because it was too big for the moment they were in. I learned through the School of Hard Knocks to give bread crumbs that led people along the path and helped them move to the future without keeping them from the steps that God had in mind for them.”
The practice of keeping our hearts and minds pure, repenting frequently, will help us to run and thrive, to be in the centre of God’s will for our lives!
THE SACRED THINGS OF GOD
For us there are many situations in Scripture which seem to involve a punishment that was too severe for the crime.
God kills Uzzah just because he tried to keep the ark of the covenant from falling. Uzzah touched the ark because the cart it was riding on hit a pothole (2 Samuel 6). It seems like a trivial mistake with good intentions. Sure, God had forbidden anyone from touching the ark, but what was Uzzah supposed to do? Let the holy ark of God fall to the ground?
What about Moses, who didn’t get to see the promised land because he struck the rock rather than speaking to it (Numbers 20)? After everything Moses went through, was it such a big crime to be frustrated with the people and strike the rock in anger?
Then there are Ananias and Sapphira. They were both struck dead because they lied about how much money they donated to the church (Acts 5). And this is in the New Testament! Really, who hasn’t exaggerated?
Sadly, we don’t understand what it means for something to be “sacred.” Jesus taught us in the Lord’s prayer to say “Hallowed be Your name” (Matt. 6:9; Luke 11:2). Do we really understand what we are saying? Like the high priest entering the holy of holy’s, we are to treat prayer as sacred.
“Guard your steps when you enter the house of God, and draw near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil. Do not be quick to speak with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God.
For God is in heaven, and you are on the earth; therefore may your words be few. For a dream comes when there is a great burden, and a foolish voice when there are many words.” (Eccl. 5:1-3).
In all the above situations, people rushed into something sacred and paid the price. We shouldn’t be surprised; we should be humbled. We have all done things more irreverent than those mentioned above. Let’s thank God for His mercy and tread more carefully into sacred matters. Others may treat these things as common, but we cannot. While others quickly judge God’s actions and question His commands, we are to be careful even to speak His name. We don’t carelessly question His actions or inaction.
We are a part of something much bigger than ourselves, something sacred. Through Jesus’ sacrifice, we have been joined to His church. Because of this, we are not only a part of God’s sacred temple but also a part of the heavenly community.
Take some time to read Revelation 4–5 as it describes the scene in heaven. It begins with a majestic picture of God on His throne. The scene is busy and intense: the four living creatures are declaring His holiness, the seven spirits of God are blazing, myriads of angels are praising Jesus with loud voices and the 24 elders are flat on their faces while laying their crowns before Him. Then in 5:8, we finally appear.
“When He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of saints” (Rev. 5:8).
Maybe you feel a bit insulted by this. You’re thinking, That’s it? My only part is that my prayers are lumped in with the prayers of all other believers to form a bowl of incense? Don’t worry—you’re also mentioned in verse 13 when your voice joins the chorus of billions.
“Then I heard every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that are in them, saying: ‘To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honour and glory and power, forever and ever!” (Rev. 5:13).
What is a tremendous, unspeakable honour may feel insufficient for those who are used to being god of their own blogs and Twitter accounts. It feels insignificant to those who have erected their own shrines on Facebook and Instagram, filled with beautiful pictures of themselves. They don’t realise that true joy comes from the opposite. Joy comes as we stand among those Jesus has redeemed and get lost in a sea of worship, becoming fully a part of something sacred.
Gathering with the church should lead us to holy ground. We get to come and worship someone else, with someone else. We get to pour out love to Him by serving those around us and considering them more important. It’s not about us. And we should be glad. Because this is something far greater. It is sacred.
Adapted from an article by Francis Chan in Ministry for Today Why These Scripture Passages Deeply Bothered Francis Chan