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Monthly Archives: March 2013

He is RISEN

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Jesus Has Risen

Matthew 28:1-10

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

The passage above brings great hope. The story does not end with the crucifixion. Jesus rose with all power in His hands. The resurrection brings hope to us because Jesus defeated not only sin, but our final enemy-DEATH. Those who enter into relationship with Him are offered life eternal. He said, “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am,” John 14:2-3.

Paul’s take on the resurrection. 1 Corinthians 15:19-28

If our hope in Christ is good for this life only and no more, then we deserve more pity than anyone else in all the world.

But the truth is that Christ has been raised from death, as the guarantee that those who sleep in death will also be raised. For just as death came by means of a man, in the same way the rising from death comes by means of a man. For just as all people die because of their union with Adam, in the same way all will be raised to life because of their union with Christ. But each one will be raised in proper order: Christ, first of all; then, at the time of his coming, those who belong to him. Then the end will come; Christ will overcome all spiritual rulers, authorities, and powers, and will hand over the Kingdom to God the Father. For Christ must rule until God defeats all enemies and puts them under his feet. The last enemy to be defeated will be death. For the scripture says, “God put all things under his feet.” It is clear, of course, that the words “all things” do not include God himself, who puts all things under Christ. But when all things have been placed under Christ’s rule, then he himself, the Son, will place himself under God, who placed all things under him; and God will rule completely over all.

So, sweet friends, I pray you celebrate all that Jesus paid for. We have a hope that does not disappoint. Have a wonderful, blessed, and joy filled Resurrection Day! You are deeply loved!

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Posted by on March 30, 2013 in From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Misunderstanding the Father’s Heart

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So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask Him, Matthew 7:11.

I will tell of the kindnesses of the LORD, the deeds for which he is to be praised, according to all the LORD has done for us– yes, the many good things he has done for Israel, according to his compassion and many kindnesses, Isaiah 63:7.

He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Romans 8:32.

Sweet friends, I wanted to talk about our heavenly Father. He is probably one of the most misunderstood members of the Trinity. He is often represented as out to get people, cold, stern, or everything He is not. Some say we must cling to Jesus for He protects us from our grumpy Father. Well, nothing could be further from the truth. The Father loves with the same intensity as the Son. They are one.

Some things to ponder.

  • You were the Father’s idea. Every person was a thought in His mind before conception (Psalm 139).
  • The Father sent His Son. I don’t know about you, but I would not send my son to die for people who were guilty.
  • Jesus only did what He saw the Father doing; the good we see in Jesus is also in the Father. Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, 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, John 5:19.
  • The Father wants us to have good gifts. Ephesians 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.”
  • Good gifts come from God. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning,” James 1:17.

There are people who have taught that poverty and suffering is a sign of humility. Think about it this way. If you have/had children, how would them being poor, sick, hungry, depressed, or suffering make you look? It would make you look like a dead beat parent. Children’s services would probably come and take your kids if you did not feed them, clothe them, or care for them. Why do we believe God is a dead beat dad? Why do we think God wants us to have less than what we would give our children? Why do we think God is delighted with our sufferings?

The Bible says we will suffer for living in a sinful world. The Bible also tells us that we are more than conquerors through Christ who gives us strength (Romans 8:37). Jesus tells us in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

Sometimes we take on the mind set that the will of God for our lives is to be miserable, poor, sick, and hurting until heaven. We are just making it through. There is a difference between suffering for preaching or teaching the Gospel and the suffering that comes from sickness, disease, poverty, lack, abandonment, abuse, or injustice. God isn’t sitting in heaven going, “10 million more of my kids died today from sickness, let’s party angels.” We read that the Father delighted in Jesus taking on our sins for we could be saved and He knew the grave would not hold His Son. The death and resurrection of Jesus brings life to many. Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand, Isaiah 53:10.

I am not hear to state God is our genie in a bottle and whatever we ask, He is obligated to oblige. Nor am I stating walking with God is a guarantee of a life free of problems. It isn’t. In the world we do and will have trouble. I am stating God is a good Father. He wants to bless us. He cares about us. He wants us to dream. He wants us to enjoy life. He wants us to be a blessing…

If I am poor, I can not help the poor.

If I am unhealthy, I can not serve others well. My sickness brings no glory to the Healer.

If I am always depressed, I can not give hope to others.

If I hate life, I am not going to encourage anyone! Nor will I have the joy Jesus paid for.

If I am always in need, I can not effectively help those in need.

I know God does not want us consumed with the desire for things or blessings. He wants us to be consumed with passion for Him. He is the greatest blessing and reward. We cannot believe that in any way that it glorifies Him for His children to be poor, in need, in lack, sick, full of disease, hurting, or depressed. It sends a message to the world, “God doesn’t take care of His own.”

As we prepare for Easter, I pray we thank the Father for all He does and has done for us. I also hope we cling not only to our salvation, but embrace all Jesus paid for. We have a Father who gave His very best to save us. May we be free to dream with Him, embrace the beauty of life with Him, and enjoy Him. May we ask for more so we can bless more people. May we believe God is the Perfect Father and our desires touch His heart. Bless you friends, in Jesus name, Amen.

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2013 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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His Thoughts Towards You…

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How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me, Psalm 139:17-18.

How does God feel about you? I think it is a question worth asking. When I started writing poetry that ended up in the book I Thought I Knew What Love Was, I had only a glimmer of God’s love. I knew Jesus died for my sins and felt I had some understanding of His love. I was only tapping the surface of God’s great love for us. The book spans 7 years of my walk with God, and even in the last year the revelation of God’s love has grown. God’s love simply cannot be fully measured or adequately explained. It is vast beyond measure. We simply attempt to explain something so wonderful; we rarely do it justice in our verbal expressions.

King David tells us in the verses above (Psalm 139:17-18) that God’s thoughts towards us outnumber the grains of sand. How many grains of sand do you think there are in the world? The University of Hawaii gives us a theoretical number, for to count them all would be impossible.

According to the University of Hawaii’s answer:

There are seven quintillion five quadrillion grains of sand on all the beaches of the world. That’s a 75 with 17 zeros following! God has more than 7,500,000,000,000,000,000 good thoughts about you.

You can say, “I am not good. I make mistakes. I am not perfect. How can God have so many good thoughts about me?” God created you. You were His idea.

God knows everything about us and not only sees who we are, but who He created us to be. I think of King David who committed adultery with Bathsheba and had her husband killed. God called David a man after His own heart (Acts 13:22). Abraham lied quite a bit. He continued to tell people his wife was his sister. God called Abraham a man of great faith and His friend.

God sees us with the eyes of love. He’s not blind to our imperfections. He  loves us despite them and works in us to transform us. His love isn’t based on our behavior, or maturity, or merit. It’s who He is. God is love. God sees the best in us because we are His children.

Example from real life.

I used to volunteer with children’s ministry. I normally ended up in the infant or 2-4 year old room. There were many times the kids would not listen, try to fight each other, behave in ways that were not kind to each other. I did not think, “They are awful little monsters.” Nor did I yell at them, “You are so selfish. Get it together.” They are kids. I know that they have to learn to get along. They are not bad, they are acting out of what they know and what is best for them. God knows that we are children. When we come to Him, we do not behave like Him. He is patient, kind, loving, and filled with grace. He knows we need Him. He sees someone He loves. Someone He paid a high price for.

As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children, Psalm 103:13-17

So, my friends, you are deeply loved. God loves you. He has great plans for your life (Jer 29:11). You are valuable to Him.

For studies on our identity in Christ please join my Bible study blog, http://morena242.wordpress.com. Blessings and love,~Erin.

 

 
 

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I See the Cross (from the book I Thought I Knew What Love Was)

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Hello sweet friends,

I would love it if you check out I Thought I Knew What Love Was. You can purchase right here on the site there’s a link entitled Get Your Copy or you may purchase through these wonderful sites: http://www.westbowpress.com, http://www.barnesandnoble.com. and http://www.amazon.com or the iTunes store.

I thought I knew what love was until I encountered the King of the Universe. This book is filled with prayers, psalms, letters to God, & encouragement from God. I hope it blesses your heart. Here is an excerpt from the book.

I See the Cross Copyright 2011 © Erin Lamb.
I see the cross,
so vividly in front of me;
one nail pierced hand on the left
and another on the right.
I see His head hanging there
with the thorns positioned, oh, so tight.
I see the blood
dripping from the pure, spotless Lamb.
I kneel before Him
laying my sins,
all of them,
there.
I see the cross.
I see the beauty of God’s unmerited favor
and His forgiveness.
I see love in the eyes of the One who took my place.
For no greater love lies within a person,
than to surrender His life for His friend.
I see the cross,
that rugged cross;
my freedom was purchased with His blood.
He has been and always will be,
the One who paid the greatest price.
I was purchased by His life’s offering.
I am forever seated with Him in the heavenlies,
and my name is written in His heart.
His children are seated next to Him in heavenly places,
for on the cross He did not remain.
He rose again with all power in His hands.
The same power that raised Him from the dead,
now lives inside of me.
It lives inside of you.
It is that great power at work in us
that changes us from the person we are,
into the person that He chose us to be.
It is that same power that transforms a wicked man
into a righteous man.
I see the cross;
my Deliverer
is hanging there.
He purchased my freedom,
my healing,
and every blessing in the heavenly realm.
Some blessings I see now,
and some are yet to be seen.
I see the cross.
Do you see Him?
Do you celebrate here;
the place where tattered rags of our wretchedness
are exchanged for a robe of righteousness?
This place, the place,
is where scarlet sins are washed white as snow.
This is the place we must go.
The cross is where miracles occur.
The greatest miracle of all
is that God would seek to be reconciled with a sinful world.
I see my Father’s love here.
He cared enough
to send His only Son to save the least, the last, and the lost.
I see the cross,
a reflection of what real love is.
Selfishness died on the cross
when He said, “Father not my desires, but all Your purposes be
accomplished.”
Death was triumphed over on the cross
when He spoke, “It is finished.”
We know that we will see Him again,
and this life here is not the end.
We know that when the trumpet sounds,
the dead in Christ will rise again.
We know that we will have eternity to worship Him
and eternity to love Him.
I see the cross,
and it is all I must see.
Even if the world around me fades away,
I know that through my Savior I am
reconciled,
restored,
and made complete.
This body may fade and wither,
friends and family may come and go.
I have knelt before that rugged cross enough times to know
that my days are in His hands;
so are His purposes and His plan.
He is the reason I live.
He is the reason I rejoice.
No man would sacrifice his life,
put his very life in jeopardy, for someone who was guilty.
He gave His life,
so we may stand before Him completely unashamed.
Take a moment and look to the cross.
Ponder the wonderful cross.
I hope I find you there,
basking in the love of the Father.
He is the One who deeply loves you
and cares for you.
He is there
carrying your infirmities,
collecting every tear,
rejoicing when you rejoice,
and weeping when your soul has had its wear and tear.
You are never alone
and never abandoned.
I see the cross,
engrained forever in my memory.
The cross is a picture of the greatest love.
He is a love so true
and a love so dear.
He is a love that will never end.

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.

 
 

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He Chose Nails

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As we approach Easter I wanted to take some time to talk about Jesus. Sometimes our holiday celebrations overshadow the real meaning they were intended to be. Christ’s birth (though not born on December 25th) has been overshadowed by Santa Claus, trees, lights, and presents. Christ’s death and resurrection has been overshadowed by Easter bunnies, eggs, candy, and pastels.

Jesus endured pain that most people will never endure. He did it to complete the Father’s will, to redeem what Adam lost. Love hung on a rugged cross for us. As I reflect on Isaiah 53, I am reminded that He not only chose nails, He lived a life without comfort. Let’s read below.

Isiah 53

Who has believed our message

and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

He grew up before him like a tender shoot,

and like a root out of dry ground.

He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,

nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

He was despised and rejected by men,

a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.

Like one from whom men hide their faces

he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he took up our infirmities

and carried our sorrows,

yet we considered him stricken by God,

smitten by him, and afflicted.

But he was pierced for our transgressions,

he was crushed for our iniquities;

the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,

and by his wounds we are healed.

We all, like sheep, have gone astray,

each of us has turned to his own way;

and the Lord has laid on him

the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and afflicted,

yet he did not open his mouth;

he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,

and as a sheep before her shearers is silent,

so he did not open his mouth.

By oppression and judgment he was taken away.

And who can speak of his descendants?

For he was cut off from the land of the living;

for the transgression of my people he was stricken.

He was assigned a grave with the wicked,

and with the rich in his death,

though he had done no violence,

nor was any deceit in his mouth.

Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,

and though the Lord makes his life a guilt offering,

he will see his offspring and prolong his days,

and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.

After the suffering of his soul,

he will see the light [of life] and be satisfied;

by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,

and he will bear their iniquities.

Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,

and he will divide the spoils with the strong,

because he poured out his life unto death,

and was numbered with the transgressors.

For he bore the sin of many,

and made intercession for the transgressors.

The King of the Universe left a palace on high to bring salvation to the lost. I hope we never forget our freedom cost Him greatly. We are so blessed that He did not remain on the cross. He rose again.

Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him,” ~Acts 2:22-24.

He has given us more than freedom from sin. He has given us a hope for life eternal. This Easter may we continue to ponder the wonder of the cross. We have a love that was tried and a love that is true. I don’t know anyone who endure what Jesus did for the guilty. For me and for you, He chose nails.

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Posted by on March 1, 2013 in From the Author, God's Heart

 

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