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Monthly Archives: June 2013

Intimacy…Closeness to God

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When you say the word intimacy in our culture people normally relate it to only a relationship between a couple in a romantic relationship. Our culture defines intimacy in terms of physical affection. Intimacy is far more than physical touch. Intimacy can be defined as closeness, knowing (being known). The most intimate (close) relationship we can have is with God.

A friend, spouse, child, person cannot know everything there is to know about us. They cannot meet all our needs. God created us to need Him first, then people. Adam had a personal relationship with God before He had a relationship with Eve. While Eve was being created, Adam was asleep. They both knew God before they ever knew each other.

We were born with a deep-rooted desire for intimacy. God created us with the desire and need to be known, accepted, and unconditionally loved. He gave us a desire and need that He can fill. I’ve heard people say we have a God sized void, I believe it’s true. We can try to fill it with so many things, but none of them will completely fill us. People try food to fill emptiness, it leads to food addictions and obesity. People try relationships and sex to fill emptiness, and find they need more and more and aren’t completely satisfied. People try activities and busyness, and they end up discontent. Our need for intimacy must first be met by God in order for there to be balance in our lives.

Our world puts God somewhere towards the bottom on the list of relationships. He’s someone to seek out when we’re bored, hurting, need something, or not at all. The One who created all things, pursues our hearts with pure love. He longs for us to have an intimate (close) relationship with Him. He does not need our love. He wants our love. He knows that His love transforms who we are into who we were created to be.

Covenant Love:

God invites us into a covenant with Him. A covenant is an agreement, usually formal, between two or more persons. Covenant love is binding, it’s intended to be for life and in the case of God, for eternity. We have to refuse Him and walk away from Him; He is always faithful to us.

Old vs. New Covenant:

Under the old covenant, people could not come boldly into God’s presence. Priests performed rituals in order to be able to enter His presence. Under the new covenant, Jesus paid the price so all who have faith in Him can come boldly into the presence of God. He paid for our sins, so we could have unhindered access to the Father and the deposit of His Holy Spirit. God extends an invitation to intimacy. God has always longed to be with His children. He has always desired relationship with us.

The fundamental basis of this new covenant relationship is the conversion process, whereby each day the believer draws closer to God:

Therefore we do not lose heart.  Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.” (2 Corinthians 4:16)

. . . for it is God who works in you both to WILL and to DO for His good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13)

This change of nature results in an intimate relationship with God.

We all have the opportunity to have a flourishing, close, and intimate relationship with God. Nothing on earth can fill the void in us; it’s where He belongs. He loves us more than we can imagine, and His love fills us to overflow. When we receive God’s love and love Him in return, we have overflowing love for others. All areas of our lives flourish when we put God first. When God is first, addictions diminish. When God is first, insecurities diminish. God always wanted and planned to be first in our lives…

You are deeply loved friends. Have a great week. Praying your relationship with God goes even deeper…

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Posted by on June 30, 2013 in Devotions, From the Author

 

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Alabaster (From the book I Thought I Knew What Love Was)

Alabaster Box

Alabaster Box

Beautiful friends, here is an excerpt from I Thought I Knew What Love Was. It was written during a time of worship and contemplation on all God has done. He is so worthy of our love and pure devotion. I hope you are encouraged and inspired. God bless you. You are deeply loved.

Alabaster, Copyright 2011 © Erin Lamb.
Written August 11, 2010
“Love Letter to Abba.”

I hear the sound of Your footsteps,
in the corridor of my soul.
You can see through the walls,
knowing what my hands hold.
It is there that I gather
all that I have
and all that I am;
placing aspirations,
dreams,
and fragments of any good,
into a box of alabaster to be poured out for You.
I feel the wind of Your presence
and with its gentle touch,
single tear drops are whisked away,
for Your love means so much.
My heart is hurried,
so as not to miss one second with You.
One moment in Your presence
and this heart is renewed.
You move me.
You stir my soul,
and it begins to dance.
I know You.
We have met here before.
You walked through the shadows,
stepped over the broken glass,
moved past the walls I built,
and You offered a love that would last.
It was You, alone, who heard my silent cries
while the world continued to pass and walk on by.
The anguish that they did not see,
You felt deep inside.
In compassion,
You met me where I was
with love and mercy in Your eyes.
It was there I met You,
so long ago,
with baskets of shattered wishes
and sighs of desperation.
We met in the hallways of my broken dreams,
surrounded by what seemed to be nothing.
You sought to fill every empty place.
As love was poured out
there at your feet;
Your love was returned,
and healing took place.
It was You, who saw me,
in the midst of the storm.
It was Your arm
that reached down to rescue me;
with tender care You said, “My love, I will carry you on.”
What can I offer?
What can I give?
All that I have
and all that I am;
I lay it here.
I lay down all that I have,
in its entirety,
poured out and
emptied
from this alabaster box.
I lay my life here at Your feet.
I am humbled by Your extravagant grace
that flows like a waterfall
over an undeserving soul.
Oh how my heart has loved You
because You first loved me.
We walk this path,
hand in hand.
It is You that my heart longs for;
a fire kindles in my heart for more knowledge of You.
Oh, the wonder,
and the mystery in Your eyes!
To know You,
to love You;
what an honor,
and what a joy.
You have filled this once broken vessel
with an expectation of something more.
You have painted Your murals of unfailing love
on the walls,
in the halls,
and have draped Your righteousness over the windows of this soul.
You rebuilt my crumbled devastated foundation
and sealed every empty space with Your love.
This heart is Your home.
What else can I desire,
but to dwell with You in this place?
In the darkness, You were my light.
In my hurting, it was Your arms that held me tight.
In my joyfulness,
it was You who danced
and sang songs of praise.
It was You who said You’d love me for all of my days.
In my times of crisis, it was You who refused to let go.
In my fear and isolation,
it was You who reached down into my valley.
You cleared out the debris and the dust,
and You breathed life into every part.
It was You;
it has always been You.
Here,
in this moment,
with tears of gratitude,
I pour out
all that I have,
to say that I love You,
and to say that I need You.
I am here saying, “There is no one who can take Your place.”
They may not understand
why, when I think of Your love,
the wellspring of tears seems to flow and flow.
But they weren’t there when You saw and came to my rescue.
They don’t know how much it cost
for You to stand in my place;
as Redeemer,
as Savior,
as Healer,
and as friend.
As You have laid down Your life,
let my offering to You be a pleasing sacrifice
and a fragrant aroma of love.
Let my love be
a symbol of my appreciation,
for a life Your love did spare.
May my love for You grow and grow.
May my passion for You never grow cold.

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.

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

 

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What Children Have Taught Me About The Father

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If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! ~Matthew 7:11.

I am not a mother. I am an older sister. I have spent years volunteering off and on in children’s ministry. I adore children. I love their candor. I love their sense of adventure and creativity. No one has told them to stop dreaming yet. They are for the most part carefree, full of energy and life! In interacting with children here are some things they have taught me about our heavenly Father.

1. The Father is patient. We know from scripture that God is perfect in patience. The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love, ~Psalm 103:8. Children make messes. They are curious. They can be selfish and self-centered. When I see a child acting as child I don’t scream at them, “Get it together, you are so awful and selfish.” There’s a part of you that knows the level of understanding a child has is far different from an adult. The goal in dealing with a child is teach them. God knows what we know and what we don’t know. He knows whether we are acting out of pure rebellion or ignorance. God is patient and wants to teach us. He knows we do not understand everything. He longs to lead us to maturity. He parents out of love. The goal is to help us not hurt us.

2. The Father delights in us. I love to watch kids be who they are. If they paint, it’s fun to paint with them. If they like a movie, it’s fun to sit down and watch one with them. If they have a school event or sport, you go to cheer for them. Their interests and success brings you great joy. You are their biggest cheerleader. How can we who fail to love perfectly, expect anything less from a perfect Father? God is excited when you win that game, achieve that goal. He is cheering from the heaven’s “That’s my kid!” He delights in us.

3. The Father loves quality time. I babysit sometimes for friends and it’s such a joy to spend time with kids. God loves to spend time with us!

4. The Father forgives. Children do things that are unwise. A loving parent says, “I love you because you are mine.” When we confess our sins to God, He is faithful to forgive our sins. He does not keep bringing up our forgiven sins. He says, “It’s over, get back out there and play.” We don’t abuse His forgiving nature by continuing to do what’s wrong because of His kindness. We seek to align our lives with His will for He is perfect, holy, and just.

5. The Father hates what destroys us. Sin is not only a big deal because God is holy. Sin is a big deal because sin destroys who and what God loves. Sin destroys us, it destroys relationships, it destroys families. Sin causes sickness, death, destruction, wars, affairs, and wages war like cancer in our souls. God hates sin; sin is aimed at killing us. The wages of sin is death (eternal separation from God); but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord,~Romans 6:23.

My opinion: God doesn’t want to be in heaven without you so He sent His Son to redeem you. It cost Him greatly to pay for our sins. If I saw a child eating poison, I would run and do all that I could to stop them. God isn’t trying to ruin our fun. God is trying to save us from death. He also cares when things hurt us or we are suffering from living in a sinful world. He sent His Spirit to comfort, heal, and restore. You hurt, God hurts. He collects your tears.

6. The Father disciplines His own. Children need correction and direction. We don’t abuse them, hurt them, or mistreat them. We do point them in the direction they need to go; we lead them. God knows what works for every child. His parenting is tailored for every person. He does and will correct us if we are headed in the wrong direction, this normally starts with conviction (a nudging in the spirit that something is not right). He gives us the opportunity to repent. If we don’t listen, He continues to nudge us. God is perfect in knowing what to do. If we refuse His correction, He can and does let us jump head first off the cliff. If we turn around, He receives us with open arms (ex. Prodigal Son) and seeks to restore us. He does not seek to control or manipulate us. He seeks to lead and guide us.

Final Notes:

The Father loves you more than any parent could love a child. More than any person could or ever will love you. He wants to be with you more than you could ever want to be with Him. He cares about every single detail of your life. You were worth dying for. You are an extension of His heart. You were God’s idea. You are wanted, cherished, and cared for. I pray you bask in the Father’s love.

God will always love you!

God will always love you!

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2013 in From the Author, Uncategorized

 

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Dream with God

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If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!~Matthew 7:11.

I love Matthew 7:11. Sometimes I think we forget that God is not only interested in giving us salvation, but other good things as well. As a loving parent, He cares about what we care about. We can put God in a box and say, “As long I do what God wants, He is pleased. And when I get to heaven He will give me good things if I perform well on earth.” God does care about obedience and there is blessing in doing what He says. However, our favor with Him is based on what Jesus did, not what we have done. We can’t earn what’s given in His Son.

God is quite generous and longs to bless us. Many fear talking about His generosity for fear they will be labeled as someone promoting a “Prosperity Gospel.” A prosperity gospel says, “If you follow Jesus, you will have everything you want when you want it, and your life will be problem free!” That is not what this post is about or what Jesus taught. We will have troubles in this life and God is not obligated to do what we want when we want, but He does long to be good to His kids. We can have a great time if our complete trust is in our Father. There is love, peace, joy, hope, and blessing in God. 

God cares about the things we like and desire and invites us to dream with Him. He delights in us and takes delight in our enjoyment of His blessings.

Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart,~Psalm 37:4. If our hearts are evil or have evil intentions, God won’t grant our requests. He doesn’t lead us to sin, harm ourselves, or others. The verse says, “Delight yourself in the Lord.” If our hearts are delighted in Him, then our hearts are being transformed by Him. Here’s an excerpt from my book, I Thought I Knew What Love Was.

God continually challenges me to dream with Him, to seek Him for the desires of my heart, to believe Him for good things. He is not and will never be a dead beat dad. Hope this blesses you and you dream big! God is unlimited, and He loves you.

Dream Little Ones
written October 16, 2004 by Erin Lamb (all rights reserved)
Dream little ones.
Don’t let this time pass you by.
The tides of life will roll away,
and what will you say for the time that has been lost?
Dream little ones,
and reach for those dreams;
don’t allow them to be strangled by life’s uncertainties.
Reach out,
like you are reaching for heaven.
Dream little ones,
and leave the past mistakes behind.
Fill your heart and mind with all that can and will be.
You are not alone on this journey.
I have made provisions
to send you help from heaven.
Dream a dream that you think you can’t achieve,
and I will lift you
to the heights you can’t reach.
There is nothing too large,
or too far out of My reach.
I hold it all in the palm of My hands.
Dream little ones,
and don’t give up.
Don’t give in.
You have so much potential
that lies within.
I have built a bridge of love in your heart
that leads from you to Me.
I am looking forward to getting you to the place where you are
content in My embrace.
I do not want to stifle you,
or cripple you;
I only wish to grant you love.
So dream little ones,
and trust I can make dreams a reality.

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.

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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Photo credits: Pinterest

 
 

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