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Monthly Archives: December 2012

Where’s God When Bad Things Happen? (Part I)

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For He looks to the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens, Job 28:24.

By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before Him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and He knows everything, 1 John 3:19-20.

And no creature is hidden from His sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account, Hebrews 4:13.

Have you ever asked the question, “Where is God when bad things happen?” If you have ever suffered, watched someone you love suffer, or seen suffering on the news you probably have asked that question.

When bad things happen, God is there. God knows all. God is everywhere. It does not make sense to our minds, but God knows all, sees all, and can be with all. You may ask, “Why doesn’t God prevent all the bad things that happen, if He can foresee them?” I hope to offer some insight from my own walk with God. I hope this blesses you. I hope this post helps unravel some of the question.

Evil exits in the world because of sin. Humans can choose to sin. God gave Adam a command.

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” Genesis 2:15-17.

God gave Adam the ability to choose to disobey Him. Adam disobeyed the command. We can read about the impact of disobeying God in Genesis 3. Sin, evil, sickness, and death entered the world.

I’ve heard people state God is in control. It is true nothing happens outside His realm of knowledge, and He can do what He pleases. God, however, gave humans the ability to defy Him. We can sin. He does not force us to do life His way.

Since God won’t force us to do what’s right, and sin entered the world through Adam and Eve, we live with the consequences of living in a sinful world. People can choose to reject God, reject His will, perpetrate evil, and hurt themselves or others.The impact of living in a sinful world is sickness, death, suffering, evil, and a host of negative things.

Before you become depressed, let’s look some solutions.

Jesus:

The Father sent His Son to solve the problem of sin. Jesus paid the penalty for sin and gave us access to the Father. Any person who chooses to follow Christ has been given a new life, freedom from being enslaved to sin, and a promise of life with God after death. You can read more about what is given in a relationship with Jesus on my Bible study/devotional blog, http://morena242.wordpress.com. Not only does Jesus save us, the Holy Spirit comforts, heals, restores, and helps.

Prayer:

God responds to those who seek Him. Jesus tells us to pray and taught the disciples how to pray.

 “This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,but deliver us from the evil one.’ Matthew 6:9-13 (NIV)

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT).

I believe there are many tragedies that are prevented because someone was praying or someone prayed. I believe we would see far more evil in the world if no one ever prayed (asked God for help).

What if you are following Jesus, praying, and bad things still seem to happen? Welcome to the world not yet perfected by God’s Kingdom. What is God doing when bad things happen? Here is my idea. I believe He’s shouting in the ear of the abuser or person inflicting pain, “Stop…you don’t have to do this.” That person may not listen, they may reject God’s voice, or have no desire for God. God does not delight in suffering, sin, or pain. We will talk more next post about how God turns bad things into blessings.

Father, I pray for every person who reads this post to have a deeper revelation of Your heart. May they know You do not delight in pain, suffering, or bad things happening to people. Heal, restore, and bring hope for restoration. May they feel You near today and every day. In Jesus name, Amen. Love, Erin.

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Posted by on December 28, 2012 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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When Heaven Comes Down (from the book I Thought I Knew What Love Was)

Lovely friends, here is an excerpt from I Thought I Knew What Love Was. I hope it blesses your heart. You are deeply loved.

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When Heaven Comes Down

Written by Erin Lamb Copyright © 2011, all rights reserved.

When heaven comes down,

there is light that pierces through every level of darkness;

a ray of pulsating light

breaks off all the chains of the captive.

His presence,

a full cloud of glory,

saturates the ground,

leaving pools of His splendor that are heavenly and holy.

One touch from Him,

and the heart and the soul are transformed;

no longer does it remain vacant,

cold,

or broken.

When heaven comes down,

every knee must bow,

for He is majestic;

no one can stand upright in His presence.

The body shakes and

the earth quakes,

for He is a rolling thunder.

His voice drowns out

the noise,

the chatter,

and He silences all of man’s agenda.

He stands in full authority,

speaking to the wind;

He commands it to obey.

He brings with Him

justice and mercy,

setting wrong things right.

He is establishing a Kingdom that diminishes all darkness with

immense light.

When heaven comes down,

there is a healing rain;

it heals the heart,

heals the soul,

and builds up the spirit.

There is a downpour of love

that reaches down, even to the human cellular level.

It moves through and

navigates through,

every cell,

every tissue,

and every vein.

It brings life-giving oxygen

to a depleted heart.

He brings His love, His comfort, and His saving power to those who

are lost.

When heaven comes down,

we begin to understand

He has a great purpose.

He has always had a great plan.

Darkness trembles

and bows its head,

for in the presence of His light

even darkness must acknowledge He is good, and He is divine.

When heaven comes down,

the soul begins to weep;

it knows it has encountered the King above all Kings.

The heart may race

and pulse increase,

for He is so incredible;

our eyes can barely see.

We can barely take Him in.

We are captivated,

elated,

and motivated

to seek more and more of Him.

His goodness

is so alluring;

we want nothing more.

When heaven comes down,

we see ourselves as we were meant to be;

loved,

esteemed,

highly thought of,

and part of a divine family.

He washes away our insecurities.

He clothes us in His acceptance;

He declares, “I made you for Me.”

When heaven comes down,

our lives will change,

our world will change,

and our perspectives will change.

There in His presence,

wisdom is imparted into the mind of man;

not human wisdom,

but Godly wisdom.

His ways are drastically different from ours.

His thoughts are not the same as our thoughts.

An encounter with Him

brings our high thoughts low.

We are humbled by His presence;

overwhelmed by His grace.

How could someone so holy

want to stand with us, face to face?

When heaven comes down,

the conflict between the already, and the not yet, ceases to be,

for He stands loaded with His promises;

He holds all the elements of time and space in His hands.

He proves to be the miraculous working God,

time and time again.

Copyright © 2011 Erin Lamb. Excerpt from,  “I Thought I Knew What Love Was.”

All rights reserved. No part of the material may be used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, without the written permission of the Publisher, Westbow Press (www.westbowpress.com), or Author, Erin Lamb. The only exception is in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

Book available: http://www.westbowpress.com, http://www.barnesandnoble.com and http://www.amazon.com

 
 

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The True Meaning of Christmas (A King was Born)

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The Birth of Jesus, Luke 2:1-20 (NIV)

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Christmas is a time of the year where most people focus on time with family, shopping for presents for friends and family, eating lots of good food, and parties. It’s a time of the year where people talk about elves, Santa Claus, Christmas tress, cookies, and holiday cheer. Though Jesus was not likely born in December if you go by the Jewish calendar, the intent of Christmas is to celebrate the birth of a King. The King of the Universe came down and humbled Himself. He entered into humanity to eventually save the world.

Jesus was not born in a 5 star hotel. He was not born to rich and wealthy parents. He was not born in the best of circumstances. He was born in a manger. I grew up on a farm, and I can tell you animals stink. A manger is a trough that animals eat from. The Savior of the world was born in a place where animals dwelt. He entered into a world filled with sin, darkness, and pain. He came to be the atoning sacrifice for the world’s sin.

I never want to forget that Christmas is supposed to be about celebrating His birth and life on earth. He left paradise for our sinful world. Not only did He leave paradise, He entered the world the way we enter the world. He was born. Jesus had to grow up just as we do. He did not show up as a fully grown adult. He learned to crawl, walk,  and be taught by His earthly parents. He experienced the same life issues we experience. He grew from a baby to an adult.

We have such a great Savior. He came for love. He came out of His great love for humanity. He came in the most humble way. This Christmas may we think of gifts to give God for the birth of His Son. Christmas isn’t about us and what we can acquire for ourselves. It’s the most beautiful love story ever lived and told. Jesus is the reason for the season. What the world needed and still needs is God’s great love.

Thank you God that love came down and dwelt among us.

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Posted by on December 22, 2012 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Understanding God’s Heart

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If you’ve read the back cover of I Thought I Knew What Love Was, you will see God sparked my curiosity as a child. We see in the Old Testament that God often met with and spoke to people. I was especially intrigued by His relationship with Moses. Who wouldn’t want to be close friends with the Creator of the Universe. Jesus is the key to unlocking a personal relationship with the Father. In Jesus, under the new covenant, we are as close to God as we can be and as close as we want to be. At 7 years old I gave my life to the most incredible person who ever walked the earth, Jesus. A journey began to know Him.

My prayer was to see God face to face. God’s response to me, “I meet with you heart to heart.” I could not have explained this to you years ago. The details of what God spoke made no sense to me. Over the complicated course of grief, tragedies, betrayal, loss, unrequited love, forgiving the most painful hurts, and longing to love people who could not receive my love, I found God’s heart. I know there is more to Him than what I have experienced, and I will never claim to have Him all figured out. All I can tell you is that He is real, His heart is the beautiful place I have ever ventured in to, and He feels more than we give Him credit for. Here are some examples.

Unrequited Love: I thought I would start with the part of His heart that we fail to acknowledge at times. God is perfect in love. The Father demonstrated His love by sending His only Son. The Son demonstrated His love on the cross. There is no greater representation of love. However, God is in my estimate the most rejected Being in the world. He loves; He is rejected. He loves well, and people still reject Him. I never thought about the impact to God’s heart until I was placed in the position to love people who would never love me in return. You go out of your way to love and they don’t return your love or never acknowledge your love. They don’t value it, value you, nor are they grateful. On the other end your heart is breaking for the other person to know how valuable they are to you, how much they are loved, yet they don’t want your love.

I can tell you unrequited love hurts. It cuts deep into the core of your heart and it aches. No medicine cures it. No comfort heals it. You simply hope one day that person will realize they mean the world to you. Unlike God, I have been able to move on from relationships without the longing. God, however, loves deeper. His heart longs for those He loves. He pursues relentlessly. His love is stronger than any love I could feel. I can’t imagine if the longing I felt in my heart was amplified for billions of people. Knowing that a person will reject you does not change the pain you feel when they do.

The Blame Game: God is blamed for many of the bad things that happen in the world and often not praised for the good things that happen in the world. He is Sovereign. Nothing happens without Him knowing, and He can do anything He wishes. He, however, gave humans earth and certain freedoms out of love. We have chosen to defy Him and make a mockery of the world He gave us. When things go wrong, they are a result of the sin in the world. He allowed us to choose, and we made horrible choices. I never understood the blame game until I got a bit older. I’ve been placed in situations where people blame me for their problems. It’s my fault they aren’t enjoying life; it’s my fault they have a temper; it’s my fault they are unhappy; it’s my fault they have insecurities. I asked God why I always end up being the scapegoat for people. Why, when I am minding my own business, doing my best to love people, am I the person they end up blaming. Guess what? God gets blamed for things He played no part in or authored. I can tell you being blamed is not only irritating, it’s hurts your heart.

Seeking You Only When I Need You: God is love. Any time we seek Him; He is excited. He longs to be with His children. I have noticed though that God is sought after in times of difficulty. He is often ignored in the good times. We are more enamored with what He gave us than we are with Him. We talk about our families, friends, jobs, material possessions, accomplishments, and only seek Him when it’s a crisis or we need Him. I have people who I only hear from them in times of crisis or when they are bored. I am invisible until they are in need. More than hurting my heart, it’s a nuisance. When you are expected to drop what you are doing and be attentive and loving to someone who has no time for you otherwise. On your end it’s not a real relationship, on the other person’s end it’s the perfect relationship. They never have to invest anything, give anything, or love you. You are simply there to support them. As stated, God is far more loving than I am and if I were always allowing Him to love through me I would not be annoyed. He loves unconditionally. I often wonder, “Who loves God? Who truly loves Him for who He is and not what He can do for them?” Of course He knows who loves Him, and He continues to love even those who will never love Him. I am certain His heart aches for those who will continue to reject until the end.

I’ve written quite a bit for today. We will connect again soon. My prayer is that we continue to have a revelation of God’s heart. You are deeply loved, ~Erin.

God will always love you!

God will always love you!

 
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Posted by on December 15, 2012 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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God the Ultimate Gift Giver

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For God so loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him, John 3:16-17.

This season we focus on the birth of Jesus. I wanted to take some time to talk about the Father. Have you ever stopped to think about the sacrifice of the Father? I did not think about this for a long time. It was easy to see Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and miss the sacrifice of the Father. I can not think of any parent who would want to send their child into a hostile environment to die for a bunch of people who weren’t worthy to be saved. The Father did. He sent His only Son. Maybe if He had numerous sons the sacrifice of one would be slightly more understandable. I used to ask the question (humor me), “Why didn’t the Father come down Himself?” Why send His Son. I don’t claim to have the answer as to why God does everything He does, but here is something my heart settled on.

God is a gift giver. He gave the world His only Son. He gave His precious son. I do not have children, but I can not imagine giving my child to anyone, especially for people who would not appreciate him or love him. I would say, “Take me, but you can’t have my son.” It moves my heart to think of the Father watching His Son mistreated, rejected, despised, and beaten. The Father loves the Son more than we can imagine. He loves Jesus more than we love Him. Jesus is a gift that is of high value.

The Father loves us dearly. It is easy to focus only on Jesus, who does deserve our praise and honor, but Jesus only did what He saw the Father doing. “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by Himself; He can do only what He sees His Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does,” Jesus (John 5:19). Our heavenly Father is deserving of our praise and honor for loving us so well. Here are more verses reflecting God’s love and generosity.

Romans 5:8 but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 8:37-39  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

1 John 3:1  See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know Him.

Ephesians 1: 3-10 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will—to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding,He made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ,to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

Our heavenly Father loves us and has given us so much! I pray this Christmas we take time to give thanks for all God has done. There is no one who can or will love us more! Live loved dear friends.

navity

 
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Posted by on December 8, 2012 in From the Author, God's Heart

 

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When Love Came Down (from the book I Thought I Knew What Love Was)

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When Love Came Down
written by Erin Lamb © 2011, all rights reserved.

When love came down,
there was a glorious light that shined penetrating the darkness,
for His glory no man could fully fathom.
His light pierces the darkness,
dispelling all that is untrue.
When love came down,
He walked the earth with no sin
to present Himself as the perfect sacrifice
that would pay the ultimate price to save me and to save you.
When love came down,
there was hope given to the world,
a world so full of death, sin, and darkness.
He came down to rescue us all.
He knew that no other love would suffice
and man would be perpetually unsatisfied,
for without Him there is no real peace, love, or life.
There are only counterfeits and substitutes that seek to numb the pain,
please the flesh,
and leave man hungry for more,
while giving man less and less.
When love came down,
He came to cover a multitude of sins
and reconcile a sinful world to a loving Father.
He is a loving Father
who cares so genuinely
that He sent His only Son
to pay the price for those who are lost.
When love came down,
He captured the essence of what God’s love is;
for love requires a sacrifice.
A spotless Lamb was led to the slaughter,
rejected, spat on, and abused.
How many lashes did He take for me,
and how many did He take for you?
Laying on the altar of sacrifice,
He said, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will,
but yours be done.”
When love came down,
He took the keys to death and hell
and triumphed over them;
passing on to all who follow Him,
eternal life
and access to the Holy One.
He is the One who made it all.
We are able to go boldly to the Throne of His Grace,
freely forgiven,
with no guilt or disgrace.
When we confess our sins to Him,
He blots them out, and He does not remember them again.
The Creator of the Universe
sent His love into the world and even calls us His own.
I know no love so satisfying.
I know no love
that has the capability to renovate,
redeem,
and save all who have gone astray.
He is the only One who can love us past our sin.
He extends His love in
healing,
transforming,
delivering,
and freeing the captive soul.
There is no person out of love’s reach,
and no issues that love cannot touch.
There is no heart that God cannot mend and restore.
When love came down,
we began to truly see
what the word, love, really means.
Nothing can separate us from His love.
He is there even when we turn from Him,
run from His will,
stumble and fall,
seeking to do life our way.
I see Him standing there
with loving eyes saying, “You are Mine;
‘See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands’.
My covenant of love with you I will keep.
I am here waiting for you to realize
that I am all that you need.
I seek to give you the very best of Me.
I want to fill every void and meet your every deficiency.
Even if the entire world turns and walks away,
My love for you will always be the same.
It out spans time,
for I am not limited by time or space.
I have loved you
before you could even say your name.
I never sleep.
I have no requirement for rest.
I watch over My children
and even give My angels to watch over them.”
When love came down,
He washed the scarlet sins of a contrite heart
white as snow.
Much was given,
and there is much required.
Love cries out,
“Be My hands.
Be My feet.
Be My mouth,
and show the world what love truly means.
Love others,
forgive others,
and shine your light so brilliantly before men
that they praise your heavenly Father.”
No matter your place in the world,
it does not matter;
you were chosen, and appointed to go and bear much fruit.
You were handcrafted,
handpicked;
a masterpiece in the hands of the Father.
He does not see just who we are,
but who He created us to be.
When love came down,
He entered the world through humble circumstances.
Who would have thought a carpenter’s son,
the Son of God, would walk the earth
and then change the world?
He humbled Himself,
even to death on a cross;
the innocent One taking away the sins of the lost.
Never forget the love of God
that was here before you
and will exist after you.
Love is who He is,
and no other love can substitute
what God has done for you.
You can search the world forever,
looking for love and acceptance
in all the wrong places.
You will find real love,
true love, the most rich and purest love,
in the arms of the Father.
When love came down,
He said, “Enter into My family.
Come feast at My royal table.
Be united with Me,
and enjoy Me forever.
All the earthly things will pass away,
but My love for you will always remain.”

Copyright © 2011 Erin Lamb. Excerpt from,  “I Thought I Knew What Love Was.”

All rights reserved. No part of the material may be used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, without the written permission of the Publisher, Westbow Press (www.westbowpress.com), or Author, Erin Lamb. The only exception is in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

Book available: http://www.westbowpress.comhttp://www.barnesandnoble.com and http://www.amazon.com

I Thought I Knew What Love Was

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2012 in From the Book, God's Heart, Poetry

 

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