RSS

Monthly Archives: June 2016

Becoming like Jesus (weekend devotion)

Morning Devotion:

Sanctification is a process (becoming more like Jesus in our soul-the mind, will, emotions). 

I have a friend who believes there is no God. Interesting relationship, eh? I love God deeply. I care about my friend too. We have had some interesting dialogue about Christianity. Sharing some with you. 

Only Jesus perfectly represented the Father in human form. I have met Christians who claim no flaws, yet those around them can testify this is so false. 

We never know when we meet someone how close their walk is with Jesus, how much of their life is submitted to Him, their heart, their experiences. Therefore it is best to look to Jesus to know what the Father is like. 

The church has not arrived at reflecting Him with no flaws (this includes me). We are all in process-those who abide in Him going from glory to glory. And there are some who do not abide and can behave just like the devil. Pray for them and know becoming like Jesus in character is a process, a journey. It requires abiding and intimacy with Him (John 15:4-5). Grace baby grace…

Being a “Christian” is hard. Following and being with Jesus is so much easier. “Christian” can come with labels, ideas, boxes, traditions of man, cultural things, and conditions I do not always meet. 

Jesus accepts me through my faith and relationship in Him. He did not give me 10,000 firery hoops to jump through. He did not give me a packet that said, “Look this way, sound this way, go to this church, you must be married-have lots of children, homeschool them, be quiet, you have too much passion-dial that down, sing softer, you vote this way, and no you cannot do anything except children’s ministry.” 

I am not against marriage, children, or children’s ministry. I am making a point that following Jesus is about relationship with Jesus-not the things people call “Christian”. 

Jesus never tried to force me into anything. He came and loved. He came and He forgave. He comes and reveals truth. He leads in sacrificial love and gently. He said, “Come as you are. Believe in Me. Lay your past mishaps before Me. Let Me change you from the inside out.” 

Yes, there are guidelines outlined in His word. He does not try to shame or guilt me into doing them. He loves so deeply and models how His way leads to tremendous blessing. You fall in love with Jesus, He loves you back intensely, then you realize He only wants the very best for you and He is pointing to what brings life-so you yield out of love. Sometimes you do not wish to or feel like it, but love motivates you to keep on following. 

Jesus does not spend each day telling me how awful I am, criticizing my weaknesses, looking at my past, nor trying to mold me into cookie cutter image of Suzy Super Christian. He and the Holy Spirit continually reveal who they are, who the Father is and their righteousness, holiness, and virtues.

I am changing by His love, by being with Him, through intimacy, and submitting to Him. And I am not like everyone else. He never told me to be like anyone else. He repeats over and over, “Look at Me.” As I behold Him I am changing into who He created me to be, His idea, His workmanship, and one to reflect His heart. 

So in summary, look at Jesus. Stay connected to Jesus. By no other name can anyone be saved (Acts 4:12). Sanctification is a process so give yourself and others lots of love, compassion, mercy, and grace. The world is challenging enough. We do not need more people beating us up for our imperfections. Only God is perfect. Everyone else is a WIP-work in progress. May we continually abide in Him and bear good fruit. 🍑🍐🍇🍏🍌🍎

Love, 

Erin Lamb 

 
3 Comments

Posted by on June 24, 2016 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

Tags: , ,

Be with God (Abiding & Intimacy with God Series Part 6)

   
Image created with WordSwag, used with permission. 

Hello beautiful people. I have been off my phone, and social media for over a week. It has been a sweet time of listening, and so much more with God that I will keep in my heart. I do want to share what I drafted this weekend. 

Weekend notes: 

God promises to supply ALL our needs according to His riches in glory (Phil 4:19). It is not about what we have or do not have. It is about who He is. He is the God who raises dead things to life (John 11:25) and multiplied the fish and the loaves (Mark 6:30-44). 

It’s not about our circumstances. It is not about who we are or who we are not. It’s about who He is.

Who is God to you? 

Do we believe God is who He says He is? Do we believe nothing is impossible for Him?

Unbelief blocks so many blessings as does poor speech (poor word confessions). Our words are seeds. What do we want to see grow? 

The Bible says the power of life and death is in our tongues (Prov 18:21). So the gossip, complaining, grumbling, put downs, “I can’t do this. This will never work!! My life sucks! I only attract this kind of person. Woah is me. Bad things happen to me. Nobody loves me…,” are toxic to the body, spirit, and soul.

These poor or negative confessions attract demonic spirits. The devil is super negative. They attract negative situations. 

How about saying, “I am who God says I am. I am blessed and highly favored of the Lord. I am healed by the stripes of Jesus. Good things happen in my life. I am delivered. 

God is working all things for good. I have more than enough. My Daddy is King!! I am stepping into greater breakthrough. I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. I am the head and not the tail…Above and not beneath! 

I attract the right people at the right time, in the right seasons. No good thing does God withhold from me. I have an inheritance that is secure. I am wealthy in Christ Jesus. 

God opens doors for me that no man can shut. I have favor on my life.  

I choose to receive all Jesus paid for and believe/agree with God. Greater is He who is in me than in the world! I am more than a conqueror through Christ. 

I have the authority to heal the sick, cast out devils, and take territory in Jesus name!

I learned in self defense classes you never want to fight your enemy on the ground, on his level. You rise above him and disable him from above. 

God said He placed the enemy under our feet. Therefore, we fight from victory knowing the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but MIGHTY for the pulling down of strongholds (2 Cor 10:4). 

If you listen to the enemy’s chatter in your ear, you will find he’s nasty, critical, condemning, looking for the worst, sowing fear, pointing out all that is wrong. He is hateful. 

Jesus is above poverty, above lack, above sickness, above anxiety or depression, above family drama, above all the works of the devil. Jesus says to us…”Live from My vantage point, of what I have already done! Stay here in your place in Me. Know that I have already won.”

God says, “Come up here!” Meaning, get away from the noise, chaos, confusion, and just be with Me. Just be with Me. 

God is the Source of all good. Being with Him leads to a greater knowing of who He is and who we are. 

We live from heaven down. If we have accepted  Jesus as Lord, we are seated in heavenly places with Him (Eph 2:6).  

Journey with God…

People see me smile, laugh, and encourage them. They do not see the warfare that sometimes happens behind the scenes. The devil hates love, hates joy, hates truth, and hates people. If you are his opposition, he will oppose you. Oh my yes. Every battle is an oppprtunity for advancement.  Recall the devil is so defeated. He needs reminding of his loser status from time to time. 🙂

God said in His word, “No weapon formed against you will prevail.” It will be formed. 

Our greatest weapons against the devil are peace, rest, joy, love, hope, worship, abiding in Jesus, and the word of God. When the devil attacked Jesus He responded, “It is written!” 

God is good and has done so many great things. He loves us. He fights for us. See Psalm 91 for encouragement. 

God has reinforced for me the super importance of rest! Jesus operated out of rest. He would remove Himself from the crowds. He would get alone with the Father (Luke 5:16). Are we better than Jesus? The answer is no. If we see Him doing something, it is important. 

What is God speaking? Above every  other voice we need to hear Him. 

We can not hear Him if we are busy doing for Him instead of listening to Him or we are continually speaking or we are being pulled in 10,000 directions by people around us, “Help me! Do for me. Listen to me!

I have learned God is God. I am not. Thank the good Lord! He can meet everyone’s needs and requests. I am to follow the assignments given by God, and to do what I see Him doing. I am not all things to all people. I am His beloved child. Mostly people need Him not me. I do what the Holy Spirit leads me to do. When I step outside His leading it can lead to stress. 

My greatest encouragement is be with God. He is the Source of all good. Intimacy is cultivated by being alone together. He loves us more than anyone and longs for our undivided attention. 

My second encouragement is use the word of God as your weapon. Feast on His word. It is written. Pray it, speak it, and proclaim it! 

My third encouragement is rest! Oh my, rest and play. God likes to have fun. One of my favorite things is laughing with God. I become downright childlike and ridiculous. 

My fourth encouragement is ask God to send you fellow warriors on the frontlines willing to do all God called them to do to stand with you (Not one sided, mutual support). 

Who is your support system aside from God? 

He created us for community. 
God first, then He sends us people. Fellow warriors who say, “If you are on the frontlines, I am too. I am praying for you as you pray for me. I am going to speak life into you as you speak life into me. You are not alone!! I am standing right here with Jesus and you. I am not letting you fall into a ditch. Not on my watch.” 

My fifth encouragement is speak life. Even when the odds seem stacked against you, speak life. Even when it feels horrible, speak life. Speak the very words of God to that mountain.

My sixth encouragement is befriend likeminded on fire, faith filled people. They say we become like the people we are closest to. Who are you connected to that you would say, “I would love to see some of those same character traits in my life?” If everyone around you is depressed, oppressed, and possessed…guess what? You may struggle to walk in faith, love, hope, and joy. I am not saying ditch everyone not on the mountain top. I am saying if you’re in a ditch, find someone who’s not or got out of one and learn from them. 

If you need a starting point for speaking life…I love prayingscriptures.com. They have taken Bible verses and made them into prayers. There are also scripture prayers at the top of this website. 

God’s word does not return void. It accomplishes every single thing it is sent out to do. 

You are so deeply loved, prayed for, and the best is yet to come!

Love,

Erin Lamb 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on June 20, 2016 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Weekend Devotion: Killing Insecurity 

  

Image created with wordswag, used with permission. 

Weekend Devotion: Insecurity is not humility. Humility is a right assessment of oneself in relation to God. Let’s explore pride. 

Pride is preoccupation with self whether positive or negative. Pride refuses help-I don’t need or want assistance even if it is greatly needed. Pride fuels unbelief (not agreeing with God), bickering (I know better than you), jealousy (I deserve that attention), competition (I deserve to be first), put downs, mean sarcasm/excessive criticism, racism and sexism (someone must be inferior for me to feel superior), rebellion, self pity, insecurity, clamors to be promoted (give me a title, put me in charge), unwilling to serve/sacrifice for others. And a host of other things…
I did not feel bad about myself until I stepped into ministry. It is okay. God has healed the damage done by well meaning Christians. 

When I entered ministry I was told feeling like dirt was humility. I needed to pretend to be bad at things to give God glory. Not sure how that works? “Oh God, I am ugly, untalented, have nothing to offer, horrible“,. God responds, “Ummm I made you, so you are saying as a Creator/Artist I am not very skilled?” 

He is the Artist, we are His artwork. Insulting the artwork is insulting the Artist. 

I noticed people who ascribed to worm theology (some not all) struggled with loving others. Why? Because they thought so low of themselves. We can only give away the love we have first received. If I feel like dirt, how am I going to love, empower others? If I feel like dirt, I will most likely struggle with jealousy/comparison, and cut others down to feel better. 

I also realized worm theology and “I am dirt” is just the flip coin of pride. It is saying, “My opinion of me is more important than God’s. I know better than God. Me! Me! Me! Woah is me. I am but a wretched worm.” 
I love what Pastor Bill Johnson says, “I can not afford to have a thought in my head that God doesn’t have in His.” 

How do earthly parents feel about their kids? Just look at Social Media and you can see it. They brag on their kids all day, every day. God loves infinitely more. He is not looking to suppress what He has given or created. 

God is proud of His kids. He cheers for His kids. He believes in His kids. He says we are fearfully and wonderfully made. He, through Jesus, seated us in heavenly places and made us joint heirs with Jesus. We are His workmanship created for His glory. We are highly valued by God. Jesus paid for our lives with His. God doesn’t make junk. 

We are not God. We are not to be worshipped, elevated to His equal or above Him. We are though to honor what He created. It brings Him glory. 

How did Jesus walk out humility? I never read of Him having perpetual pity parties or insulting Himself, nor pretending He wasn’t who the Father said He was. 

Jesus served. He did not demand others serve Him. Humility is willing to serve, even without credit/glamor. 

Jesus forgives. Pride holds onto grudges. 

Jesus empowers others. He believed in the disciples, gave them chances before they proved themselves, and knowing sometimes they would fail. 

Jesus accepted help from others. Pride doesn’t want help. Jesus invited the disciples to pray for Him. 

Jesus sacrificially loved. Pride is “me focused”-serve me, love me, bless me. Me! Me! Me! 

Jesus acknowledged His dependence on the Father. 

Jesus had a right assessment of Himself in relation to the Father. 

Jesus gave others chances to shine/step into their destiny. After He multiplied the fish and loaves, He invites the disciples to do the same. 

Jesus associated with the weak, broken, outcasts of society. He wasn’t too good to be with the least of them. 

He did not look down His nose on others. 

Jesus empowered women and treated them with respect, honor, dignity. 

Jesus did not have to send out business cards “Messiah”, or walk in the room and say, “I am here, bow to Me peasants.” He walked in agape love and power; it drew people to Him and the Father. 

Jesus washed feet. He served those who would later betray Him. 

Jesus said, “When you see Me, you have seen the Father.” He invites us to abide in Him so other’s see the Father. 

Jesus submitted His entire life to the Father. Out of love He submitted. Pride hates to come into agreement with others. It demands it’s own way. 

Good news, if we have pride there is forgiveness and mercy. I am not immune from pride. I have found when I disagree with God, that’s pride. When I focus too much on me, pride. When I overshare out of excitement and forget to listen or to consider my audience, pride. God says, “Come be loved by Me.” 

Pride melts away in His Presence. He doesn’t beat me up. He loves me to life. Being with Him and agreeing with Him leads to transformation. He, as the Masterful Surgeon, prunes away in love. We are all in process, being transformed from glory to glory. 
So may you and I abide in His love, stay connected to the Vine, agree with God, and love ourselves as He does. The love we receive can be poured out on Him. Then we can love our neighbor as ourselves.

You are SO deeply loved. You are also prayed for. I would love to hear your thoughts on pride and humility. Leave a comment below! 

Love, 

Erin Lamb 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on June 11, 2016 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The Father’s Heart (Abiding & Intimacy with God Series Part 5)

  
If you then, evil (sinful by nature) as you are, know how to give good and advantageous gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven [perfect as He is] give what is good and advantageous to those who keep on asking Him,~Matthew 7:11 (Amplified). 

God loves His children more than an earthly parent loves their child. I do not have children, yet I have a niece I deeply love. She is pure joy. God has shown me through interactions with her an even deeper revelation of His love for humanity. 

When I have the opportunity to spend time with my niece, I enjoy every moment. I play the games she wants to play. I laugh with her. I watch her figure things out and smile. I celebrate her. I tell my close friends the things she does that are so great. I show off her pictures, drawings. I am impressed by even the little things she does. 

Sometimes she has tantrums, she is a toddler. I do not beat her, scold her, scream at her, nor criticize her. The goal is to help her understand if possible and love her. 

For some strange reason God has been reduced below an earthly parent. He is portrayed as fault finding, critical, full of Himself, cold, stoic, mean spirited, scolding, condemning, and He certainly does not want you celebrated or honored. It is His glory. He must be given all the attention and we are His minions. 

God is a loving Father. He does not wish for us to worship anything other than Him because He alone is worthy; the worship of false gods leads to bondage. He is not a narcissist. He celebrates His children. 

He took us while we were yet sinners and invited us into deep fellowship with Him. He chose us, without merit, to become joint heirs with His Son. He clothed us in His righteousness and heaven rejoiced when we repented. 

God did not say, “You are nothing. You are worthless. I pitied you, so kneel peasants.” He said, “Come join My family.” 

I was talking to a close friend last evening and I gave her a compliment. She replied, “All glory to God.” It is a Christian thing to deflect everything that brings honor to us. I heard Pastor Bill Johnson say something that stuck with me. He said, “God said He would not give His glory to another. You are not another, you are His child.” So we thank people for choosing to honor us and then praise God for the gifts or whatever they gave us because of Him. 

I taught my niece a dance. When she began to do the dance, people liked the dance. It was cute what she did. I loved the smile on her face as she noticed people admiring her dance. I did not jump in to say, “Don’t applaud her. I taught her that dance. All glory to me.” I simply smiled. I loved that she was having fun. 

God said apart from Him we can do nothing (John 15:4-5). We are to thank Him and praise Him. Yet He delights in celebrating His children. He does not have an ego problem. Jesus perfectly represented the Father; He empowered others. He got low to wash feet. He served. 

God models leadership through sacrificial love and service. 

I listen to parents brag on their children often. It is all over social media. Yet for some reason God only celebrates Himself. Untrue. He loves, honors, cherishes, delights in, sees the best in, encourages, and gently leads His children. He is a far better parent than an earthly parent. He loves infinitely more. 

Oh to know His heart. 

My niece does not love vegetables. If she eats one, there is a celebration. Sometimes there is creativity for getting her to eat some. There is not a scolding, “You never eat vegetables. If you ate more we wouldnt have to do this!” It is, “Yeah you ate one!!!” There is a celebration of progress. 

God celebrates the small steps, the progress. He celebrates the work of His hands, us. He speaks life. 

I truly long for false humility,hyper  criticism, and religious antics to be thrown out of Christian community. Someone says, “You are a gifted painter,” and the reply is , “Oh no it was Jesus!” Was it? He is perfect, I would expect a painting with no flaws. Or is the truth Jesus provided the gift, the person had to pick up a paint brush?

There is such fear of accepting what God says is true. Low self esteem and low self worth is celebrated as humility when it is reality the sin of unbelief. We are called to agree with God, that is faith and humility. 

God loves us and longs for our deep understanding of His heart. He loves so powerfully! 

God bless, 

Erin Lamb 

 
 

Tags: , , , ,

Stories from the Street

  
Hello beautiful friends! I have not forgotten about you. May was a busy month. We will reconvene the series on Abiding and Intimacy with God soon. 

I wanted to chat with you today about Operation God is Love. This is the third year of taking God’s love to the streets. My primary area is the arts district, and the surrounding areas. There are not churches in this area, with the exception of one Orthodox church. There are numerous bars, gay bars, shops, new age shops, and art galleries. 

There is also a large homeless population that gathers there to beg or look for food, supplies. 

I felt a pull in my spirit to this area. What better place to go than the area where there is minimal light. 

People have told me the most effective evangelism is relational, that it is a waste of time to go out monthly to love on people. I have been told as a women it is just not safe for me. God has not told me not to go. I also believe anywhere we take the Light of Jesus is making some impact for the Kingdom of God. So, I have included some stories from the street. I hope they inspire you to follow Jesus wherever He may go. 

Sebastian (name changed for privacy): 

We were looking for someone with a blue sweatshirt that day. We had prayed God would highlight someone who needed His love. I got the impression “Blue Sweatshirt”. As we walked the streets of the city it did not take long to find him. He was right there eager to know us. We were tied up with another man named John (name changed). I thought, “God let us find this man again,” and we did. 

Hours later while walking and praying we saw Sebastian sitting on a ledge with his head downcast. We asked about his life. He told us a very sad story that involved being kicked out of his house. He made the decision that day to kill himself. We asked him if we could pray for him. He responded yes. As we prayed, I bound the spirit of suicide and of death and commanded them to lift off him. You could see his countenance change. He stated he wanted to live. 

You can change a life by listening to God. 

Becky (name changed for privacy): 

As we were walking the streets and praying we came across Becky. Becky was selling newspapers to support the homeless. We asked about her life and once again tears began to flow. The Lord provided words of comfort, hope, healing that spoke right into her situation. She was blessed to be seen, loved, encouraged. 

Not every person you meet with a smile is smiling on the inside. Deposit hope wherever you go! 

John (name changed for privacy): 

John had a story that woukd break your heart. This was a 30 something man without any hope. We stopped for him and took him for pizza. He could not believe someone wanted to eat with him and be seen with him. He carried a heavy cloak of shame. Life had done a number on him. One of his statements stuck with me. He said, “You have no idea how many people look down on me. How many keep on walking by me. How many do not see me at all.” John cried. I still have his face burned into my memory. 

We can make a difference by acknowledging a life. It takes only a moment to smile and say, “God loves you,” or “Hello.” 

You and I have this awesome privilege of being Ambassadors for Jesus! We do not know if that person is suicidal or oppressed or what they truly need from God. We do know that God called us to love! 

Love looks like something,~Heidi Baker. 

Trisha (name changed for privacy): 

Sometimes I drive through this area and just worship/pray. One day I was driving and saw a lady begging on the corner. I normally give food, gift cards, not cash. I finally found a way to park and get to her. A meeting with one person led to a group gathering to talk about God’s love, His provision, and healing. 

One of the ladies who came could barely walk. I asked if I could pray over her. She said yes. I prayed a simple prayer commanding her body to come into alignment with heaven. She was able to walk away. God is the Healer. 

We can save a life! We can partner with Jesus to heal the brokenhearted. We can stand with God for the freedom of the oppressed. We can see God heal the sick. 

Today I go out again! I go with His love. I go expecting God to bless people. I am only one person, yet God only needs one. My team is small. What matters is following Jesus and allowing Him to love through us. You and I can partner with God to see lives transformed. 

Love, 

Erin Lamb

 

Tags: , , , , ,