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Weekend Devotion (Repentance)

Weekend Devotion: Study of Repentance. Repentance is a gift. 

Repentance: In the New Testament, the key term for repentance is metanoia [metavnoia]. It has two usual senses: a “change of mind” and “regret/remorse.” In the Synoptic Gospels metanoia [metavnoia] indicated “turning away from sin” ( Mark 1:4)-Source Baker’s Dictionary of Biblical Theology. 

The ability to know God’s truth and turn from darkness to light is a gift. 

There is not as much talk about repentance today as there was in the time of Jesus and early apostles. There is a teaching of “You just do you, God must accept whatever you do and approve because He loves you.” This is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Jesus said, “Repent or you will perish (Luke 13:3, Luke 13:5). Stop sinning lest something worse comes on you (John 5:14).” The bible clearly states the wages of sin is death and the gift of God is eternal life (Romans 6:23). It also says those who live according to the flesh cannot please God (Romans 8:5-6). 

Now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance [not fully aware of what you were doing], just as your rulers did also. And so God has fulfilled what He foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ (Messiah, Anointed) would suffer. So repent [change your inner self—your old way of thinking, regret past sins] and return [to God—seek His purpose for your life], so that your sins may be wiped away [blotted out, completely erased], so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord [restoring you like a cool wind on a hot day];”~Acts 3:17-19. 

Grace (God’s riches at Christ’s expense) empowers righteousness, not lawlessness. Holy Spirit reveals truth and empowers believers to walk in truth. If being saved was just about professing Jesus then living like the devil, well that means Jesus died for nothing. Part of His death was to atone for our sins so we could be free of the bondage of sin and shame. He gave His life to FREE us from bondage, not leave us in bondage. 

Think about the ridiculousness of these statements: 

I know I beat my wife during the week and scream at my kids, yet Jesus loves me. I am clothed in His righteousness. There is no condemnation for me. You can’t judge me.” 

Oh yes, I have many sexual partners and live with one of them. I am so glad Jesus set me free to be me. Grace, amazing grace.” 

Both these people have misguided beliefs as to what it means to be in relationship with Jesus. Jesus never, ever clapped when someone sinned. He never placed nor places a stamp of approval on immorality, abuse, or partnership with satan. He told people, “Go and sin no more.” 

Love and approval are not the same. God loves everyone. God does not approve of everything humans do. If He did, God would cease to be holy and just. God is 100% love. God is also 100% holy.

Thinking we are not responsible for our choices blocks repentance. It keeps us in a state of perpetual immaturity and we do not grow to look/behave/love like Jesus. We stay in the shallow kiddie pool eating our mud pies, shouting, “You can’t judge me! No condemnation for me,” playing in the devil’s field Monday through Saturday…jumping up for a quickie date with Jesus on Sunday. 

Let us not mistake conviction for condemnation. 

Conviction: an awareness something is not right and needs corrected. A warning signal to turn around. 

Condemnation: sentencing someone, a final judgement. If you stand condemned before God it is a sentence to eternal life separated from him. “Go to hell,” is a condemning statement. 

People quote there is no condemnation for those in Christ without reading/quoting the rest of that passage (Romans 8) which says, “God did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit (Romans 8:4).” Paul states after there is no condemnation verse 4 which is above…we who no longer follow our sinful nature but follow the Spirit. A person who proclaims Jesus then lives completely independent of Him is not the objective of salvation. Screaming, “I am in Christ,” to bypass responsibility for my choices or to live a sin filled life is ungodly. 

True believers are not condemned if they are in Christ because their eternal fate is wrapped up in Jesus. This does not mean their poor actions are excusable, they are no longer accountable for bad choices, repentance is not required, or God approves of their sin. If so, the New Testament letters to churches would be meaningless. Why address sin within the church which Paul and others did if God pretends believers are perfect? 

God does not pretend we do not need repentance. God encourages renewing of the mind (Romans 12:2), taking every thought captive and making it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5), making amends when we mess up (Matthew 5:24), humility (1 Peter 5:5), loving one another (John 13:34-35), sexual purity (Ephesians 5:3), and seeking first the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33). Most of all Jesus invites us into intimate relationship with Him. Knowing Him, abiding in Him, is transformative. It becomes, “It is no longer I who lives, but Christ who lives in me and through me (Galatians 2:20).”

It is not about striving to be good. It about abiding in the One who is good. Union with God, through relationship, leads to good fruit (John 15:4-5). 

It not about legalism-trying to obtain right standing with God through works. It is about abiding in Jesus and receiving grace-Jesus paid for my freedom. Since I am free in Him, I will not become a slave again to bondage. Sin will not be my master. I am empowered by God to follow Jesus. I abide in His truth. Believing His truth sets me free.

Papa I ask any place in our minds not aligned with Your truth be set right today. Help us to renounce lies and turn from darkness to light. Help us to abide in You. Saturate our minds with Your truth. Anything not like Jesus, may it be laid before You. Thank You for the gift of repentance. 
Love, 

Erin Lamb 

📷: Pinterest, Repentance

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Holy Spirit Series Coming Soon! 


There is a new series coming and it’s about one of my favorite members of the Godhead. Gosh, love them all. We will talk about Holy Spirit. 

Holy Spirit is incredible. I want to spend some time discussing what I call Holy Spirit University. When were you enrolled? You and I become students of HSU upon conversion. Repentance and accepting Jesus as Savior opened the door for enrollment in HSU. 

Holy Spirit works to teach, train, and empower believers. Holy Spirit also comforts, encourages, convicts, reveals truth, loves deeply, provides insight, and reveals Jesus. 

Holy Spirit is so vital to an empowered life! 

Without Holy Spirit we will not grow into the likeness of the Son (Jesus), grow to know the heart of the Father, nor produce the fruit of the Spirit in abundance. 

I am quite excited to embark on this study and exploration of the work, purposes, and life of Holy Spirit. I hope you are excited too! 

Let’s settle into the word of God, feast there for awhile, and invite God to teach us more. There is always more to learn about God. 

Papa thank You for the opportunity to know You and enjoy You. Teach us all about glorious Holy Spirit. Thank You for all You are and all You have done. We are want to know You more. In Jesus powerful name, amen! 

Love, 

Erin Lamb 

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2017 in From the Author, God's Heart

 

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A Day on the Streets (Operation God is Love) 


One of the joys of my life is going out into the city to share the Gospel with the unchurched, broken, and people living on the streets. 

Honestly, sometimes I am tired. Getting up early, loading up my car with supplies, and spending a Saturday on the streets can be tiring. Yet the people I meet, I do not forget their faces nor their stories. They are etched into my heart, similar to initials carved into a tree. 


On the streets I see people God loves, yet many are considered the invisible people. 

It would require quite a bit of time to stop for every single person we see with a sign or hurting. It is not about stopping for everyone, it’s about stopping for the one God highlights. He will highlight someone and some days many people. He is so faithful, if we ask God to place someone on our path who needs an encounter with His love He will. 

On the streets and in the free clinic, I see Jesus. I sense His strong love for people. I confess, sometimes I weep. Sometimes I weep with them. I am not a feeler personality so weeping with strangers is a big deal. My heart is overcome with compassion and love for people God loves. How He loves the world. 

Today we met people with various stories; some young, some old, some male, some female. They were each looking for food on this cold, blistery, 20F day. Some had no gloves. Some were happy to get beef jerky, sandwiches, blankets, water, supplies, and clean socks. 


One man had tucked himself away in the Port o Jon in the park. Concerned he was in there too long, we knocked on the door. He was in there to keep warm and eat his chips. What joy was on his face to find out food was waiting on him. 

One man stood, solemn faced, shaking his cup while people walked by overlooking him. He just kept shaking his empty cup. He stood in the blistery cold, just looking for something to eat. One of my teammates is a 65 year old grandma. I said, “I am not sure we are going to get to him and not miss the light,” (we were driving). She replied, “Watch me!” She hopped out of the car, shuffled over to the man, handed him a bag of food and supplies, and ran back chasing the car. She has a bad back, yet did not desire to miss someone God wanted to feed today. 

Another elderly lady was begging for food outside the bars. People passed her, though her sign was simply asking for food. We will call her Faith. Faith has a smile you would not forget. 

Why tell you stories? Because you can make a difference in someone’s life in one small act of kindness. Some say, “Why give someone a hand out. You are not helping anyone.” Yet they are not the people who get up early, wipe tears of people on the street so happy to be seen. They do not hug the drunk or drug addict or person who smells of urine or vomit. They are not close to the pain, so they are not aware of what God can do in one moment. 

One moment of, “Tell me your story,” can lead to radical encounters with God. One moment of touching that person no one will look in the eye can bring healing. One moment of filling a hungry belly can birth a big grin. One moment of putting gloves on frozen hands can lead to a, “Thank You God.” One moment of God loves you; God sees you, can lead someone into an encounter with God’s heart. 

The naysayers are not there to see the spirit of suicide leave people, to see the crippled walk, the lost give their hearts to Jesus (that’s a soul that was snatched from hell). They do not see the smiles, nor hear the laughter. They are not there. They judge from a distance.

I am telling you one moment with God can transform someone’s life. I told you of Bob (name changed) who in 6 weeks was off the street and with a job. He refused prayer when I met him. He said, “I do not believe in that healing crap. God heals…no I do not want prayer. My life is a mess.” I told him he could not stop me from praying for him. God turned his life completely around. In the end, Bob was praising God for loving him. He said, “No one had ever loved him so much.” Each time we would find him and love him. 

Love looks like Someone; love looks like Jesus. 

We can all gather together in clumps of salt and light each week, or we can take that salt and light out into the market place, the grocer, the gas station, our workplace, the street corners, our schools. The mission does not need to be oversees. The mission is love. The mission is Jesus. The mission is right in front of us. 

What can we do? Maybe you are not called to city streets like me. Yet you have a sphere of influence. Who are you loving for Jesus? Who are you serving for Jesus? You see, I am aware we are saved by faith not works. Yet truly knowing Jesus compels us to love our neighbor. Someone needs what we carry. Christ in us (if we are believers) is the hope of glory. If you do not know Jesus, click here. How to Know Jesus

I tell you these stories so maybe, just maybe when you see a broken, hurting, hungry person there may be a thought that arises, “I can not do everything, I can do something.” 

In the very words of Jesus…”Whatever you have done to the least of these, you have done to Me.” May we ask God on a regular basis to show us someone who needs His profound love! 

The world is hungry for His love. 

Sincerely, 

Erin Lamb

Founder/Overseer of Operation God is Love

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2017 in From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Thriving with God 


Weekend Devotion: Stay connected to the Vine and thrive baby thrive. Spiritual growth is a byproduct of intimacy with God, not self effort and striving. 

I am the Vine, you are the branches. If you remain in Me you will bear much fruit. Apart from Me you can do nothing,”~Jesus (from John 15:4-5). 

The miracle plants that have thrived in my house focus on their source. They grow towards the light, they respond to being watered/fed, they stay connected to their source. Any vine that disconnects, shrivels up and dies. Why? It has no source of it’s own. We each have a body. If you cut off part of your body from the blood supply, your beating heart, and your nerve ends are depleted of oxygen-guess what? That part of you will decay, die, rot, atrophy. 

Spiritual growth is similar. God is the Source. We are pretty special to God. We are not God. He is the all sufficient One. He knows exactly what is needed to grow us up into tall thriving vines. We can yield and grow or buck Him and stay the same size. 

God loves multiplication and growth. Stagnation is not His speciality. You read in the parable of the talents God likes to reproduce what has been given. Why? If we are blessed, displaying His glory, then more people can be blessed. We can pray for God to bless people, yet He empowers us to be a blessing. 

How do we grow….

1. Stay connected to God. 

One of my morning routines is, “Morning Papa, Jesus, Holy Spirit. Love You. Thank You for everything. What do You want to do today? What’s on Your heart. I invite You into my day.” It’s not every day or I feel bad. It’s a habit of letting God know He is welcome in my life. 

God is always there. He is not always invited to participate. He is sometimes relegated to the back seat. He is spoken to for needs, complaints, everyone else is busy, boredom, obligation, or never. God likes to be included. Not for control purposes, because He loves connection with humans (This I do not fully understand). 

Growth occurs through relationship. 

2. Eat 

God’s Word is food for the spirit and soul. His presence is living water. Digesting the Word with God (key word is with God) is life giving. I am not talking about obligatory reading. I am talking about inviting God in to feast on His Word together. It is great to go to a local assembly and be spoon fed the Word. It is far better to eat on a regular basis with God. You can live eating once a week, yet strength comes in daily feasts with God. “Lord here I am, speak to me through Your Word.” 

3. Listen 

God speaks. Sometimes His voice is missed due to unbelief, “God does not speak, those people are crazy.” 

The unbelieving will continue to miss God. For everything in the Kingdom works by faith. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). Sometimes His voice is missed because we are too busy. “Lord I will be right back, I got this, I know what to do.” 

I LOVE consultations with God. Why? He sees everything. He sees the heart, motives, past, future, impact, everything. God’s view is not tainted nor one sided. He sees it all. 

Seeking God grows us up in wisdom. The counsel of God is unparalleled. I highly value godly counsel from wise Christians, yet they never trump God. I take what they say to God. “Hey Papa, what are we keeping? What are we throwing in the garbage?” 

4. Worship 

We become like the gods we worship,~Ralph Waldo Emerson. 

Worship is more than singing songs. Worship is a lifestyle of adoration. Worship is love. Who or what do we love? Where is our identity rooted? Only God is worthy of worship. Why? He alone is 100% good. Worship pleasure, become an addict. Worship beauty, become vain. Worship food, become glutton. Worship money, become greedy. Worship power, become a dictator/tyrant. Worship self, become grossly selfish. Worship people, become a people pleaser. 

Worship of God takes our eyes off ourselves and places them on God. Looking inward, navel gazing, leads to self defeating behaviors and pride. We are either looking inward and seeing all that is wrong or looking inward and patting ourselves on the back for how awesome we are. The truth is we are not the source of light, God is. Our true growth comes by basking in His light, not looking for our own. 

One of the greatest tools of the enemy is getting humans to turn their gaze away from God. He will even use good things like relationships, family, ministry, serving. If he can replace activity for intimacy, then he knows eventually that person will run out of steam. 

The power and growth is not in self, it is in God. Look up. Look at Jesus. Focus on who God is. Focus on what God has done. The devil since the beginning has been trying to put a wedge between God and humanity. He knows God is good. He is also jealous of the connection between mankind and God. He wants to be worshipped, if not directly he will settle for false gods. Anything to keep people from knowing God and loving Him. 

5. Yield to pruning 

Plants need pruned. Our hearts do too. Weeds can sprout and grow…weeds such as bitterness, fear, unforgiveness, selfishness, lust, pride,…they come to choke out love. We were created by Love (God), to be loved, then to love others. 

Trials come sometimes as tools of pruning. We need more patience so God allows some challenges. Every challenge or storm is not the devil. God allows some things because we need to grow up. Let me give you an example. I am the “Let’s get this done, we have plan A, B, C. What is our contigency plan? Early is better than late. I will do what I said. Let’s be efficient, excellent,” type personality. God allows me to be connected with others who have no plan, are not organized, everything is last minute, oh I forgot-was that today, always late, no concerns about efficiency-what’s that?, just go with it…type people. At first it caused frustration. Then I learned to yield to the challenge. 

I learned to set boundaries, invite tardy people earlier than they needed to be there, cast vision, inspire planning, and go with the flow when it’s unnecessary to map it all out. I learned to love those very different from me and appreciate their personality. They are looking to have fun. I am normally seeking to build, develop strategies, multiply, and be efficient/excellent. I have fun. I also like building. 

That challenging person may be God’s way of producing greater patience or love. That season of waiting is not God is doing nothing. If we yield we see a seed is hidden in the dirt a long time before it pops through the soil. I baby is in the womb 9 months. We prefer trees over a field of seeds, and fully developed babies over fetuses. 

Yielding to correction is also a way to grow. 

The, “You can not tell me anything,” attitude leads to immaturity…it leads to a plant covered with weeds, not producing good fruit. Even correction in the wrong spirit can cause growth. Over my life I have been exposed to lots of Holy Spirit polices. They feel it is their job to police everyone and their issues. God did not give them a badge. They are self appointed officers of the law, like the Pharisees. One can be angry with the Pharisee or take their verbal lashing to God. “Is any of this true? If so, help me. If not, garbage.” 

People who buck correction fail to grow. Feedback can be such a helpful tool. Pride says, “I know it all, you cannot correct me. I do not need any help.” Humility says, “What can I learn from you?” 

God created us to be fruitful. Being fruitful is more than having children. Being fruitful is taking the seeds God has sown, the gifts, talents, skills, and putting them to use for His glory. Being fruitful is yielding to God so the fruit of the Spirit is on display for the world to see Him. Being fruitful is being faithful to whatever and whoever God placed in front of us. Being fruitful is abiding in God so we are a loving blessing. 

Lord help us to stay connected to You, to live out of Your heart, and thrive through the work of the Holy Spirit. Help us to cease trying to be our own light or looking for others to be our source. You are our Source. Deepen our connection with You in 2017. Take the focus off insignificant things. Help our gaze be fully on You! In Jesus powerful name. Amen. 

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2017 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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God Partners with Ordinary People (Morning Devotion)

Morning Devotion: God partners with ordinary people to do extraordinary things. Man judges by his natural eyes; God sees with His Spirit. Everyone rejected by man is not rejected by God. 

One of my favorite quotes from Kathryn Kuhlman is, “God is not looking for golden vessels or silver vessels, He is looking for yielded (willing-surrendered) vessels.” 

The true power is not in the person. It is in God. 

Jesus demonstrated what flows out of a person fully yielded to the Father. He demonstrated total surrender. He stated very plainly, “I only do what I see the Father doing and say what I hear Him saying.” 

We witness through Jesus the power of abiding and surrender. Intimacy with God produces GOOD fruit. Our strength lies not in our intellect, human wisdom, gifts, titles, accolades of man, or talents. Our strength lies in intimacy with God. Out of abiding flows abundant good fruit (John 15:4-5). 

David was overlooked by his natural father. No one was looking for him. Yet God knew He placed inside of David the heart of a King, a warrior, and a man who understood worship. David would have appeared to his peers as ordinary. Yet God anointed him to be extraordinary and do extraordinary things. 

What is rejected by man is not rejected by God. 

There are many other men and women who were outcasts or overlooked by man and elevated and promoted by God. God isn’t looking for the opinions of people to do His will. He does not function in a democracy. When God chose Apostle Paul, he was first Saul-murderer of Christians. He was disliked and feared. God knew who He created Paul to be. It was not truly about Paul, it was about the power of God and spreading the Gospel to the Gentiles. God often displays His love and power through weak and broken people. Why? It’s not ultimately about us, it’s about God. 

How many times in life have we discounted ourselves or someone else because of the outside package, weaknesses, past experiences, lack of titles, no one else seems to vouch for the person, lack of celebrity, brokenness or imperfections, or lack of star appeal? It is imperative no one is discarded or treated as though they have no value. A diamond in the rough looks like a simple rock. It is a rock worth millions. God does not create junk. Every person has tremendous value. 

It also will hopefully prevent us from worshipping people and turn our faces to worshipping God. God is the One who anoints, appoints, promotes, demotes, gives wisdom, insight, and glorious displays of love and power. God alone we worship. We fix our eyes on God. “God You are invited to do what only You can do.” 

It is not about what we can do or what another person is anointed to do. We will never be qualified enough on our own to do all God called us to do. Why? God is so much bigger than our dreams or limitations. He is GOD. It’s about Him. It’s His story for His glory. His super invades our natural. 

God partners with ordinary people to do extraordinary things so the world can see His outstanding love. It’s not about ego for God. He is after connection, relationship, and intimacy. He proclaims to humanity, “Let Me show You My great love.” He partners with ordinary, imperfect people to bless the world! 

My encouragement is look up to God, connect with His heart, and know God is SO much bigger than any brokenness, pain, limitation, barrier, colored past, lack, or man made qualifications. Man judges with the natural eyes and God looks at the heart. Is God vouching for you? If so, no man on earth can stop Him. The goal is connection with God. 

God is outstanding and He is seeking willing vessels. Is that you? Is that person you think is not good enough or qualified? God uses the small, overlooked vessels to display His awesome love and power.

The miracle is not in who we are or what we have. The miracle is rooted in who God is. It is not about what mankind can do. It’s about what God can do through mankind. 

May the limitations be taken off God and the worship of the titles or people He partners with to bless the world. All eyes on God. He is outstanding!! 

 
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Posted by on February 1, 2017 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Is the Church Helping or Hurting the Spread of the Gospel? 


Sweet friends, I am going to dig into some issues tonight because I want us to think about them, pray about them, and examine the question, “Are we representing God (Yahweh), the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, or trying to bully the world into thinking our way? Do we only love some people or everyone?”
Addressing the spirit of religion…

Sometimes the “Christian” way of thinking is not God at all. It is the spirit of religion which is oppressive, demeaning to women, hateful to those who are different or do not agree, full of control, legalism, pride, bullying, self righteousness, and manipulation. It is more concerned about being “right in it’s own eyes,” than loving thy neighbor. It’s void of agape love (unconditional, sacrificial, unselfish love). It is void of Jesus. It is antichrist. It is brutal. If you stand against the spirit of religion, or the idols behind it you may receive a tongue lashing or beating. 

If you do not live in America or do not know Jesus, please do not use the American church as the standard for what God is like. Look to Jesus. He perfectly represents the Father. Please open your bible and examine Jesus. He is still working on His Church so she loves like Him and follows Him. God loves you. 

Please do not allow the behavior of some unloving/misbehaving “Christians” to run you away from God. There are some incredible people who love Jesus and represent Him well in the western church, there is still room for improvement in the body of Christ overall. We are growing in maturity, hopefully. 🙂 

The aftermath of Election 2016…

Some of the evangelical church and charismatic church seemed to back one candidate and demonize the other and anyone who did not agree. It was okay to hurl insults, slander, gossip, dishonor, break friendships, verbally lash people, have a nasty attitude, and act like a crazy person all in the name of God. 

I want you to know God is not a manipulator or control freak. God is also not rude or spiteful. He is not the author of confusion or a lunatic. 

I have yet to see God try to guilt or bully me into doing something. He comes in love then allows me to choose. The devil is pushy, controlling, manipulative, arrogant, selfish, and gets very angry when he does not get his way. There were people who told me, “You need to vote for this person because this person had a prophesy. If you vote for that person, well you are going to hell.” No, I test all prophecies, and I need to pray and seek the Lord for myself. 

I am not a part of group think. I am following Jesus. People are not God. If we truly trusted God, bullying and manipulation would not be needed. Also regardless of the candidates positions, we are called to imitate Jesus. The nastiness that has been spewed out by some believers has been just as bad as the world. We are called to be salt and light. 

God is not a bully… 

We see in the Garden of Eden God gave Adam and Eve a choice. He told Adam not to eat from the tree of good and evil, yet Adam and Eve could still choose evil. 

I have been floored by the lack of God love from some believers during and after this election. I even went to God, “How do you feel about women, brown/yellow/dark brown people, foreigners…because some of Your children make it seem as though You only love some people. Please help me to understand. Please help.” My entire life I was taught God loves everyone. This election, some of the church sent the message, “God loves certain people. If you agree with us then He loves you. If you don’t, then you are not loved.” My views are attatched to the Gospel, to Jesus. Yet I did not feel the need to demonize anyone. Neither candidate stood as Jesus, nor represented fully His heart for the world in my opinion. And it’s not just over political views. This election brought out the inner bigot/racist in some people. What was hidden under praise the Lord surfaced in, “Those people.” 

I am being quite sincere in sharing my thoughts. At first I thought internally, “Do not put your thoughts out there.” It has gotten me pretty beat up by Christians in the past. Then I thought, ” Let them beat me because someone needs to say it loudly, ‘Refusing to love is sin. If you hate anyone, you can not claim to love God (1 John 4:8).’” Withholding love and apathy is a form of hatred. If we can watch another suffer and say, “That’s not my problem,” our love tank is running low or empty. Jesus loves everyone. If we lack love or compassion, we can not put that on God. 

You may be thinking, “How could you think this way, America just had 8 years under Obama. Hidden Figures is bringing in the money at the box office. Women are empowered. A woman ran for President. We are all one big happy family.”  I can say this as someone who walks around with tan/light brown skin and as a female; racism and sexism are still a problem in the world and it is still an issue in the global church. Not just racism or sexism, but the lack of love or honor for anyone who votes differently or has a varying opinion. If you do not believe me, scroll through some Facebook or Social Media or even church tv programs, look at the comments. I dare you to disagree with someone on an issue. 

Let me take out my bible and slap you senseless with it. I bet you feel stupid now.” And the Christian who proved to the internet or world how much Bible they know, just wounded a bunch of people and made God look like a unloving bully. Not sure how that makes people want to know Jesus, but it happens. I have encountered it over and over. 

I have athiest and agnostic associates who were driven away from God and the church by an unloving church and unloving Christians. I have had seasons in my own life where I have said,”God I love You, yet some of Your children are so very mean or unloving. Can I please have a pass not to fellowship today?

Hateful, unloving, apathetic Christians affect the spreading of the Gospel. The “I am saved. I can treat people how I want. You can’t judge me, there’s no condemnation for me,” is impacting the lost. Why seek a God with followers who are hateful and unloving when you can find some acceptance in the world? 

God is love…

Are we loving the world? Are we drawing people to Christ by our actions or repelling them? 

I have heard people say, “I have not seen any issues,” so that means the issue does not exist. Well, sweet friends, America and the entire world has a long way to go to represent Jesus as He is. I am sure He is not enjoying the fighting, offense, slander, judging, racism, sexism, I hate liberals, gossip, self righteousness, I’ve had enough of “those” people, beating people with the bible, lack of love, celebrating the suffering of another person, etc…He said very plainly, “As I have loved you, love one another. The world will know My disciples by their love. Love your enemies.” 

Jesus did not say you will know My followers by their opinions or political views, or their denomination or country of origin, or their skin color, nor by their church attendance or tithing. You can go to church and still go to hell. 

A country and world in need of an agape love revolution…

This election brought out the boil on the bottom of America we refused to acknowledge. We have some deep spiritual problems that need addressed in the church. While pointing a finger at the world, we have three pointed back at us. Do we know Jesus? We need Jesus. Are we representing Jesus?  We have some idols that need cast down. Some of them being politics, politicians, self, patriotism, and church leaders. Loving people and sharing the Gospel is far more important than who they voted for. 

We have some heart issues that need healed and mended. There is no amount of legislation that can fix heart issues. We need Jesus. There is still a void of agape love from the church for the world. There is still a void of receiving God’s love. We can only give away the love we have received. 

Ditching those people need Jesus…we all need Jesus. 

Oh those people, they just need Jesus!” We all need Jesus. Did you (we) love “those” people? “Well ‘those’ people are hurting our country or they are reprobate.” Are we sinless? Did we perfectly represent Jesus today? If not, we can put down our bible billy club and thank the good Lord for mercy. 

Not sure why, yet sometimes being saved leads to abounding self righteousness and pride. It is “us” vs. “them”. Do we forget no person was born saved? Do we (the global church) care about the spreading of the Gospel and loving our neighbor or just promoting our ideals and political agenda?

America the Melting Pot…

 “Those people need to go back to their country.” Well, America had inhabitants before European settlers arrived here. They were Natives, Mexicans, and some Africans. Some of my ancestors were on this land before it was “discovered.” 

America is a melting pot of immigrants. If you are not Native, slamming other ethnic groups and telling them they do not belong is childish. I believe in due process of citizenship, yet many ethnic groups including Europeans migrated to America. So if everyone has to go back to their country that leaves some Natives, some Mexicans, and a few Africans to stay. 

Are we loving the ones God sends…

Please come to our church, pay tithes, serve, and if you get out of line we are going to beat you senseless with the Bible and withhold love. Oh, and you need to think like us and vote like us or you’re going to hell.” Sounds harsh right. Yet I have seen it. I have experienced some of my worst verbal assaults, betrayals, heartaches from “Christians.” Singing and clapping on Sunday, cussing me out or talking crazy on Monday. On a positive note,  I thank God for the loving Christians there are in the world and this country. I pray we all have deep encounters with God’s love. May the global church be known by the agape love of God. 

Ditch us vs them…

In our world there are so many categories of them. Do we care about “them” or is it, “That’s their problem. Give me my Starbucks and leave me alone. I will pray for ‘them.’“Yet that is not the love Jesus showed the world. He did not say to the Father, “Forget them. They sinned. That’s their problem.” Jesus died for all even the most wicked of sinners. There was no “them” to be left behind or cast aside or ignored. What if God treated us the way we treat the world?

Is the church ignoring or mistreating the very people Jesus came to die for? How would Jesus treat “them”. 

I prefer we are all one race of people, human. Men and women have equal value to God. The foreigner and the native born are uniquely and passionately loved.

I stand with Jesus! 

God SO loved the world…

It is not enough for the church to love the unborn. We need to love the person right in front of us. We need to love the Native, the African, the Mexican, the South American, the Canadian, the Chinese, the Japanese, the Middle Easterner, the Indian, the Greek, the Norwegian, the Russian, the Australian, the British, the whole world! 

It is not God bless America and no place else! It is God bless the world! The entire world!! 

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is everyone but Jesus has sinned and is in need of a Savior. Jesus gave His life for ALL. Repent (change your mind about sin), confess your sins to God, believe Jesus is the Son of God, ask Him to be Lord of your life. Do not stop there, follow Jesus! Do what you see Him doing. He loved the least, last, lost! 

God loves the whole world! 

May born again believers not only know the Gospel, but abide in Jesus to live the Gospel. Jesus loves the world! John 3:16. The lost need to see Jesus in us the hope of glory. 

Bless you, 

Erin Lamb 

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2017 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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God Created One Race, Human 

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Morning Devotion: God created one race, human. Cleansing from the sin of racism. 

In Genesis it does not say, “Then God created asian people, latino people, jewish people, native people, white people, and black people.” It said God created Adam and Eve. We humans came up with different races of people. God created one human race that has different expressions of His beauty and creativity. 

It amuses me how people cling to labels that were created to promote division and racism. Part of the US census was to keep “white” people from mingling with anyone with brown DNA. Brown DNA, especially African DNA is dominant. 

All of life began on the continent of Africa. Science has proven African is the oldest DNA. If you combine African, Asian, Native, etc…DNA with non brown DNA it is prone to be dominant. There was also a belief that those with brown skin were inferior and their culture was a threat to all things “white”. 

Boxes and labels were created to keep people segregated due to fear, pride, insecurity, and in many cases greed. If you want someone’s land or to exploit them, to ease your conscious you make them less than you. If your neighbor is not human, or an inferior human it does not feel as bad to kill them, rape them, steal their land, or abuse/enslave them. 

The Jews thrown in concentration camps were not considered human. The Africans enslaved were not human, or less than. The Natives raped, killed, and forced off their land were considered savages. The other brown people groups bombed, killed were considered less than. 

The point I am trying to make is racism is sin. It is a sin that greatly grieves the heart of God. It is void of agape love, God love. Those who do not love, do not know God because God is love (1 John 4:8). 

God created one race of people, humans. The labels we cling to were created by humans to promote division. White people are not really white (void of all pigment). White is a crayon color; It is not a people group. Africans can have pink/pale children with blond hair and blue eyes. Black is a crayon color, it does not encompass all the different ethnic groups that emerged from the continent (Africa is not a country, it is a continent) of Africa. There are people all over the world with brown to dark brown skin. 

The pride people take in things that have zero relevance to God astounds me. He sees people He loves. He’s not in heaven taking a census, “Oh wait, did you check the box latino for this one. Great. I need to make sure heaven is diverse, we meet our quota.” 

Father God is not like us, our ethnic group of choice. He is Spirit. Those who worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth. He is not our preferred ethnic group. He also created both male and female in His image. Every human being was God’s idea. God is not like an earthly male. Females were made in His image as well. I will touch on gender and sexism in a different post. 

When He sent His Son He sent Him through the lineage of the Jews; He made a covenant with Abraham. The Jews in the times of Jesus were olive skinned to brown/dark brown, had wool like/curly hair. Jesus would not be welcome today in many churches that claim Him. He would not be considered European or “white”. The portraits of Jesus with blond hair and blue eyes are artists reflections. Some of the earliest paintings of Him and Mary they were both brown. 

My prayer is we examine the labels we cling to. We examine how humanity birthed racism out of sin. The root being insecurity and pride, “Someone must be inferior to feel superior.” 

Racism is also a fruit of fractured identity and a soul void of God love. When we know our value in the eyes of God we can love and appreciate others. There are no inferior people groups in God’s eyes. We humans came up with putting others down to feel good about ourselves. 

Lord forgive us for the sins of insecurity, pride, and racism. You created one race, human. You love every single person on this planet. Oh how you love us. Help us to strip off labels given by man and be clothed in the labels given by You. Help us to view others from Your perspective. Help us to receive Your love and love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Break the bondages of pride, insecurity, and fractured identity off our country and world. Heal fractured identities and souls. The world needs Your agape love. Come Lord Jesus! Eradicate the deep roots of fear, insecurity, pride, racism, and sexism in our world. Please forgive our country and our world for our sins. Cleanse us of our iniquity. Heal our land. Let heaven come here. In Jesus powerful name. Amen.

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2017 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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