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Monthly Archives: April 2013

The Eyes of Love

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Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love,~1 John 4:8.

There are so many verses in the Bible that tell us God is love. I thought when I started talking about God’s love people would rejoice about it! I mean He seems too good to be true, but He is not. He is better than good. I’ve found many people want God to be angry. They want God to punish the world. Many see Him as cold, cruel, unfeeling, unconcerned, weak, etc….Many people pick up old testament verses about God’s wrath and run with them.

Don’t get me wrong, God is perfect in holiness. He has the ability to give and take life. We honor Him, respect Him, and understand that without salvation we are lost and will pay the full penalty for sin. He is not a weak kitten; He is a consuming fire. He is passionate about justice. He cares how we treat Him and others. He is not a pushover. He is also not a bully. He made Himself vulnerable to us. He gave us a way to be close to Him.

If God is so good, why do we (humans) have such a hard time believing it…

1. We know God by faith. We must believe in order to receive. If we don’t believe in God, everything we see in the world will be filtered through that unbelief. If we don’t believe God loves us, our circumstances will validate our unbelief. Here’s an example. Have you ever met a person who believes the world is bad, people are bad, everything is bad? I have. They believe everyone is out to get them. So, anything that happens is filtered through that belief. I had a lady tell me that I did not like her as much as other people and she was convinced everything I did was to leave her out. On my end, I did like her. Anytime she felt slighted there was a logical explanation. She wasn’t a target for me. She believed she was the target, therefore her unbelief clouded her vision. If we believe God is angry, we will take our circumstances and make them fit that belief. If we believe God is good, then we view our circumstances through the lens of His goodness.

Example from life…

My car accident in January cost me a car and increased my expenses. If I think, God hates me, He is punishing me….then yes…that is what I will take away. If I think God loves me…He saved my life…I could have died…I have a nicer car…maybe the other car was about to break down and now I have a higher value for a totaled car than a trade in…then that is what I take away. What we believe is powerful.

2. We’ve had horrible experiences with people, especially Christians or parents. I wish it weren’t so, but people are sinful. People have done more to push people away from God than we’d imagine. None of us are perfect so we rely on grace. If a person has a horrible encounter with their parents or people who claim to know God, it can taint the view that God is love. Our parents are supposed to love us unconditionally as God does. Together they are to show us what love is. When they don’t, we have a hard time relating to God.

Christian means imitator of Christ. When we (Christians) fail to represent God’s love, we miss an opportunity for people to know how good He is. We can help push people away from God.

3. We’ve misread the Bible. People debate over the Bible all the time. I can say with true conviction that God is love. There are tons of verses on God’s love, mercy, forgiveness, desire for us, compassion, and grace. He does not love us in the way we may think, meaning our world’s belief that love means live as you please (that’s not real love by the way).

God has made the appropriation for all sin by sending His Son. I wouldn’t die for people I care nothing about. I would not send my son to die for people I did not like. I would not invite someone into relationship that I could not stand. God LOVES us.

4. We’ve based God’s love off our feelings or circumstances. If I wrote out for you my testimony you might question how I could say God is love. My circumstances have not always pointed to this truth. It is truth despite circumstances, feelings, or what we see. God is love, and He does and will work all things together for the good of those who love Him,~Romans 8:28.

5. We think love is a life with no pain and getting whatever we want, whenever we want it. I’ve met many people who say, “If God loved me then I wouldn’t have to go through this, or if God loved me, this would not have happened, or if God loved me, He would give me__________.” God loves us so much. He is not, however, obligated to do whatever we demand of Him. The Bible does not tell us a life with God means no pain. Jesus told us, in the world we would have trouble but to take heart as he has overcome the world. God’s love is not based on what He gives us, what He does for us, etc…Love is who He is. His love cannot change. We can’t see why He allows certain things to happen. I do know if He allows it, He brings something good from it. Read the book of Job, it’s encouraging.

Lastly, I will say if we ask for a deeper revelation of God’s love, we will begin to see it. It’s always on full blast and pointed in our direction. I believe it’s blocked many times by our unbelief. It’s there, we just can’t see it.

Papa, I pray any areas of our hearts that are not open to receiving Your love are softened. May we know the height, the depth, the width, and the vast expanse of Your love. When we see You, may we see love, the eyes of love. In Jesus name, Amen.

Love,

Erin

 

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

 

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God Speaks Your Love Language

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I have loved you with an everlasting love;I have drawn you with unfailing kindness,~Jeremiah 31:3

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things,~1 Corinthians 13:4-7

I’ve said it once, and I will say it again and again, “God is not cold, stern, aloof, distant, or unloving.” I echo the words of Mother Teresa, “God is kinder than you think.” God is love. You can take those verses in 1 Corinthians 13 and exchange love for God. He is love. He loves you.

I challenge you to believe that God speaks your love language. If you are unfamiliar with the popular book, The 5 Love Languages, it is an enlightening book. Basically we all receive love in a different ways. God did not make us all the same, so what works for me, may not work for you. I am not really a gift person. If someone gives me a nice gift, I appreciate it, however the words people speak are important to me as well as their willingness to be there (acts of service). I care far more about how a person treats me than the gifts they have to offer. I am also not reward driven. I do what I do from internal motivation, not for rewards. God knows this about me. Therefore, my interactions with Him are tailored to my love languages. God responds to my individual needs. He does not offer blanket love. He is creative and perfect in the ways He interacts with His children.

I do not have children, but I do have younger siblings. What works for one, does not work for the other. My sister loves quality time, the more time you spend with her the better. My brother could care less about quality time, but delights in gifts. They both respond very differently to discipline. If I try the same thing for both of them, the results are not guaranteed to be good. God knows you. He knows every hair on your head, every tear you have ever shed. He knows more about you than you know about yourself. Why would He attempt to love you in a way you could not receive? Love seeks what is best for the other person.

We have many people saying they are speaking for God and some times what they have to say is negative. It makes it seem like God hates us until we accept Christ and then He only cares for us because of Jesus. This is untrue. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). Before Christ, after Christ…God sees someone He loves. No one gives their life to save something they consider to be junk, nor do they invite someone into relationship to mistreat them, ignore them, or simply put up with them. God loves you! He wants to love you in a way that is tangible and real to you.

My prayer:

Papa, I ask that every person who visits this site will have a life changing encounter with You. We can not fully grasp the great love You have for us. It is personal. It is beautiful. It is wonderful. I ask that we would know the height, the width, the breath, and the vast expanse of Your great love for us. Anything hindering us from receiving Your love, I ask it be removed. Thank You for Your great love. In Jesus name, Amen.

 
 

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Magnificent Grace!

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Magnificent Grace!

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our fleshand following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do, Ephesians 2:1-10.

One man paid the price so all could know God intimately. All who believe in Him and follow Him will inherit not only eternal life, but every spiritual blessing in heavenly places. What is so magnificent about grace? Grace is God’s gift to us and it reaches beyond what our minds can comprehend. When we understand all that God has given us, we live differently. We respond to Him differently.

Grace can be scandalous in our eyes because God reaches from on high to save the lowest of the low. I heard someone say once,”Grace is offensive to the self-righteous and seems too good to be true for the sinner. ” You see, God’s grace is not earned. We can not do enough good works to earn His favor. We are not good, He is good. We can take no credit for His favor on our lives, nor can we deny grace and mercy to those we deem unworthy. God’s grace is unmerited. We are recipients of His grace by faith alone. We can not add to it or take away from it. God’s grace covers a multitude of sins and washes away the most putrid stains. What manner of love is this that God would grant us favor based solely on what He has done, not on who we are or what we have done?

Grace is opposite of our culture. We live in a culture that says, “Only the strong survive!” The world says, “If you want it, you have to earn it!” We favor, bless, honor, cherish, and love the loveable, the wealthy, the famous, the “good” people, those with titles, gifts, talents, and fame. God extends His favor to the poor, the wretched, the weak, the forgotten, the sinner, the worst of sinners, and those willing to believe Him. He takes the lost causes and creates something beautiful.

Grace is saving power. God is so good. He says, “You’re lost, you can’t save or help yourself, so I am going to come and do what needs to be done for you. Not only that, I will give you My favor, My inheritance, My favor, My Spirit, so you have all you need to live the abundant life. It’s not about what you do. It’s about what I have done.”

Grace not only saves us, it enables us to do His good will and pleasure. We can not in our own strength and effort save ourselves. We cannot do all that He asks us to do without His help. He said, “My grace is sufficient for you. My strength is made perfect in your weakness,” 2 Corinthians 12:9. He encourages us to rest, rely on, depend on, and submit to Him. His yoke is easy, and His burden light (Matt 11:30).

Grace is not a license to live as we please. Paul explains it to us in Romans 1.

Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness, Romans 1:15-18

I think of sin as a deadly disease. It enters the body to infect and destroy it. It not only destroys its host, but attacks anyone in close proximity. God has provided the cure for the disease. No matter how sick we are, He has the cure. He will always administer the cure because He loves us. He’s the Great Physician. Shall we keep seeking a disease because He has the cure? Absolutely not. If you knew you’d die from eating say bananas, you’d avoid them like the plague even if you knew someone had a cure. God says, “Don’t choose sin simply because I paid to save you.”

I also think of what it cost God to save us. The Father gave His Son. The Son gave His life. Jesus left Paradise. He entered the world through the most humble of circumstances. He walked the earth for 33 years making friends and enemies. He was tempted in every way and did not sin. He chose to endure an excruciating death, all for love. When we think about what our cure cost Him, how can we willingly choose a life of sin? We entered into a relationship and covenant with God. When we love someone, we want to do what is right by them. We want to cultivate a healthy relationship based on love. How can we choose another love that leads us to destruction? He is the best thing that could happen to us.

My dear sweet friends, it truly is…Amazing Grace! Love in Him,~Erin.

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Posted by on April 9, 2013 in From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Encounter with the Risen Christ (from the book I Thought I Knew What Love Was)

I Thought I Knew What Love Was

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 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, and encouragement from God. I hope it blesses your heart. Here is an excerpt from the book.

Encounter with the Risen Christ, Copyright 2011 © Erin Lamb.

I kneel my heart before the risen Christ.
He stands so perfectly
with the glory of our Father
surrounding Him.
He is Holy.
He is King.
His reign is eternal.
He has risen,
for death could not hold Him,
and the grave could not keep Him.
He has risen with all power in the palm of His hands.
His hands are marked with scars of where they pierced Him.
I see the nails He took for you and for me,
so we would no longer have to carry the weight of our shame.
He seeks to reconcile the entire world to His Father,
knowing that His Kingdom is the only kingdom
that will last forever.
I kneel before the risen Christ.
I take in His sweet fragrance,
the fragrance of love.
He laid down His life,
so He and I could live in paradise.
One tear I shed, leads to many,
for I understand I have nothing to repay Him with.
So I commit to Him for life.
My tears of adoration bathe His feet,
for there is no greater gift than the one He’s offered.
He has offered a new life.
I gaze upon Him
dressed in fine white linen,
in breathtaking radiance He stands.
There are flames of eternal fire in His eyes.
His presence is so overwhelming and captivating.
If only we could truly encounter the risen Christ,
the same Christ who with one touch
healed the woman with the issue of blood.
He is the One who heals our diseases
and delivers us from the penalty of our sins.
He was bruised for our transgressions,
and the price for our peace rested on His shoulders.
He stood blameless,
taking on the weight of sin from the entire world.
The burdens of all people He carried.
He still carries our burdens and our ailments today.
He was there in the beginning.
He is here, now.
He is there in the end.
He is in complete communion with the Holy Spirit and the Father.
There is nowhere we can go
where we are out of His reach.
There is nothing that can separate us from His love.
Though we may not feel loved,
we are loved.
I see love every time I gaze on the cross,
for God so loved the world that He sent His Son,
to die for us,
and to be the payment for all our sins.
He knew we had no ability to pay.
If only we could encounter the risen Christ,
who delivers the tormented
and sets all captives free.
He brings complete liberty,
so people are no longer chained and shackled.
He brings freedom so we may live the abundant life He has promised
to give us.
We bow before the risen Christ
who, alone, can change a sinful man
into a holy man.
He is the One who can take something completely broken,
and make it whole again.
If we could only encounter the risen Christ,
who still walks on the water and has the ability to calm all storms.
The winds and the waves are still subject to Him.
He is the same yesterday, today, and always.
He has not changed, nor will He ever change.
If we could only encounter the risen Christ
and see Him in the fullness of His glory;
to have that mighty power that was at work raising Him from the dead,
at work in our lives
and at work in our hearts.
If only we could encounter the risen Christ
and have that transforming power
changing us into the image of the Father.
We were purchased by Christ’s blood
and set apart to do His bidding.
We are no longer slaves,
but God’s children.
We are the children He loves.
We are the children He adores.
What a perfect sacrifice!
With acceptance of His sacrifice and belief in Him,
we become a part of His family forever.
We enter into a royal priesthood,
and we are set apart for His glory.
If only Satan knew
that on the third day
Jesus would rise again.
If only Judas knew that his betrayal
was a part of the plan.
The plan was to reconcile the world to the Father.
That one act
would help lead people to encountering the risen Christ.
He is risen.
Death could not hold Him.
Death has no power over Him.
He took the keys of death and hell.
He proclaimed victory over all who believe.
If only we could encounter the risen Christ,
who spoke and it was.
The truth of His words
permeate and saturate the soul.
His words are sharper than any sword
and able to divide the bone from the marrow.
If only we could encounter the risen Christ;
walk in holiness,
with purity of heart and purity of mind.
He walked the earth,
tempted,
yet, He did not sin.
He proved that sin did not hold Him,
and there is freedom from sin for all who believe.
He is our hope,
our salvation,
and our Deliverer.
He is Faithful and True.
He came to save the world,
cleanse the world,
and change the world.
If only we could encounter the risen Christ,
who has defeated death,
who has defeated sin,
and who has reunited us with our loving Father.
We do not accept defeat,
for He has already won the battle.
So let us rejoice
that Christ is RISEN!

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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Posted by on April 1, 2013 in From the Book, God's Heart

 

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