Sunday Devotion (Know God’s Heart)

Shorter Sunday Note: We Need to Know God’s Heart to Understand His Word Properly and Intimately Know His Person. Remove the Heart and It is Not a True Picture of God.

Truly, I think (could be wrong), one of the biggest missing pieces sometimes in Christianity is understanding the heart of God. One can know the bible well, be anointed, and quote God and miss His heart.

The Pharisees knew the Torah, they lacked intimacy with God. Their interpretation of God was WAY OFF because they lacked true knowledge of God. They were religious and harmful. They cared more about being right by their eyes and looking pious than doing what was right by God. They neglected the most important things and focused on religious things.

Throughout history you can trace the misinterpretation of the bible back to a lack of understanding the heart of God and who He is and how He operates. There is no part of God that is not love. His love simply does not always match our understanding of love.

Knowing the very heartbeat of God and living out of abiding in His heart is what Jesus did. He stated His life source was living out of the Father’s love. This is one of the reasons Jesus was and is the most effective representation of heaven on earth.

Those who do not love do not know God (1 John 4:8).

A person can preach and teach and not know God.

A person can pastor and prophesy and not know God. I have met some pretty mean spirited pastors and prophets. And while they claim to just tell it like it is, many miss the true voice of God because the purpose of being a messenger for God is to connect people with His heart, not just relay information.

Those who do not know God will not accurately represent God nor release heaven on earth. Jesus was not rude, mean spirited, reckless, selfish, religious, hateful, political, sexist, racist, unfeeling, lacking compassion, disinterested with the poor, orphan or widow, interested in just filling meeting and not stopping for the one.

May we know God, and not the God of our traditions. May we know the real God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob. The God whose heart beats passionately for ALL of humanity. The God who loves better than anyone on this planet.

Our world needs Ambassadors of heaven, not replicates of the Pharisee.

Lord help us (including myself) to know you, and know the height, depth, width, and vast expanse of your love. Help us to be like Jesus and live out of that love. Knowing your heart and living out of your heart is how the world will see Jesus through us. He said His disciples would be known for great love.

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

Empowered & Free Website

When Prayer is An Excuse Not to Love

Morning Short Devotion: When Prayer is An Excuse Not to Love.

I am pro action. I believe our actions tell a greater story than our words. If I speak with the tongues of men and angels, yet have not God love, I am only making noise. I love that Jesus did not just talk about loving people, the love of Jesus was demonstrated through His actions, even to death on a cross.

Love came down and pierced through the darkness, not by ego or eloquent sermons. Love extended a hand, washed feet, mentored, discipled, and met with people outside the Temple walls. Love engaged on a personal level with the least, last, and the lost.

He stated:

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me, for the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed,~Isaiah 61:1.

Love is verb and moves us beyond talking about the goodness of God to manifesting the goodness of God. The love of God, as Mama Heidi says, looks like something. I say, the love of God looks like someone, Jesus. All of His life centered around this one pivotal thing, “The Father’s love.”

I can see a person eating from a garbage can and offer them prayer. Or I can run to the store, if possible, and get them a sandwich.

There have been people around me who suffered great loss and I could have just offered prayer, or offered groceries, a listening ear, a connection with someone else who could help them, help them with their resume or send them job alerts, check in, go sit in hospitals/hospice with them, send gift cards, offer to hang out to take their mind off their troubles. Why? Love is demonstrative.

We cannot do everything, we can do something. There are some people I have said no to before. They sought to take advantage of kindness or I simply could not offer any assistance. I try to point people to someone who may be able to assist them. I did not have the capability to offer anything and it was not helpful. Codependency is not what I am advocating, where we think it’s our job to save people. I am advocating thinking of what is the most loving thing to do? What would we want done for us? Most importantly what would God want done for the person?

I love the story of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) because he refused to leave someone in a painful and vulnerable state. When others walked on by, the good Samaritan saw an opportunity to love.

Recent studies have shown people are more prone to take photos or video of someone suffering or a bad accident than help. Please call 911. Don’t just watch someone drown hoping your video goes viral. Seriously.

We do not have unlimited resources. God does. I do not have the time nor energy to help everyone. I do have the ability many times to do more than pray. There are blessing bags in my car. I have helped people look for jobs. I have helped distract kids at the checkout so their mom has a break. I have baby sat for free so parents could get a break. I have offered odd jobs to people out of work. I have helped people clean houses when they were sick. I have given people free business start up advice. I have mentored for free. I have been a friend to the lonely. I have gone to hospitals and nursing homes and just sat with the hurting or taken my guitar. I have listened to people download their issues for hours when I needed someone to be there for me. Love is so very costly. It costs us something to love well. Yet love moves us beyond just sticking bandaids on broken bones.

God love will transform the world, not sermons, politics, religious programs, nor meetings. The world needs genuine love and concern. God so loved the world He gave His Son. The Son so loved the world He gave His life. If we so love the world, what evidence of love is present? If prayer is removed, what evidence is there of love?

For more devotions, check out Confident & Free:

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This weekend journals and books are on sale. I Thought I Knew What Love Was is already marked down. Use the Code Labor Day for Confident & Free and Journals.

Love,

Erin Lamb

What is Love?

Morning Notes & Stories: What is Love?

When we truly love someone or something, we take care of it. This is why I have struggled in life with people who rant and rave about how much they love something then treat it poorly. If we don’t water our plants, they die. If we don’t feed our pets, they die. If we invest nothing in our relationships, they die. Yes, there are times where we are not as connected or people grow apart. If we mistreat people, most likely, they will not wish to stay connected to mistreatment.

I do know the people I love, I think about them, I try to reach out sometimes. I cannot do that with thousands of people. I can do that with several dozen. Hey, how are you? I don’t want anything, just checking in or saying I was thinking about you. I try not to harm people. If we can not be a mega blessing, we can at least not harm people.

Love is not just a pretty word. It is a lifestyle of stewarding people, resources, time like it has significant value and impact. When we truly value something or someone, we do not put ourselves in a position to lose them. When we truly value ourselves, then we can love our neighbor AS ourselves.

Beloved children, our love can’t be an abstract theory we only talk about, but a way of life demonstrated through our loving deeds,~1 John 3:18 (The Passion Translation).

Over the course of my life I have met numerous people who say boldly, “I love this person so very much,” yet there is no evidence. Their actions do not demonstrate love, genuine concern, value. I asked God about this. He said, “People can only give away the love they have received. If they have not received My love for them, they will have nothing to give to you or anyone else. People who do not love themselves cannot love anyone else. The way they love Me and receive love from Me will be the way they love you.”

I have stated again and again that the order of love is not God first, others second, and us last. It’s not in the Bible. The Bible says, “We love because God first loves us.” It then says, “Love God, then love your neighbor AS you love yourself.” So the order of love is as follows:

God loves us first

We receive God’s love for ourselves

We love God

We love ourselves

We love our neighbor AS we love ourselves

God invites us to abide in this overflow of His love and I tell you we then are not forced, it comes naturally to love Him and others. I used to try the love God, love others, and put myself last. I mean that was humility right? I will tell you I mostly felt used, was grossly mistreated. Why? If we do not demonstrate love and value for ourselves, others will not either. The martyr becomes the doormat people wipe their feet on with no remorse. Give until it hurts is not wisdom. Wisdom says, “What is proper in this situation? Healthy self esteem and boundaries says, “I will love you the way I love me. I will talk to you the way I talk to myself. I will invest wisely.”

I had a lady I was helping get to church once. She was rude, slammed my car door-even when asked not to, called to dump her issues on me. I thought because Christianity can sometimes condition people to put up with crap Jesus would not put up with that I was just to turn the other cheek. Well I grew tired of her mistreatment and rudeness. She was treating me the way I let her. I will tell you I was far more fiesty before stepping into leadership. She would have slammed my door one time and had an instant come to Jesus moment. I eventually told this woman I was not going to subject myself to her poor treatment. I drove miles out of the way to get her each Sunday. Having a ride was a gift, not an obligation. She eventually stopped riding with me.

Love as stated before, does not position itself to lose what it values. She did not value being picked up and not paying gas. She did not value the situation so she lost it.

My last point is value yourself. It’s not pride. The bible says, “Do not think more highly of yourself than you ought to.” It does not say, “Be a doormat. Treat yourself like garbage. Think you are nothing and not worthy of being treated well.” To insult God’s handiwork is to insult God. God doesn’t create junk.

After college I was going through a phase where I was quite unhappy with the relationships I had. I did not feel valued by most of those people. I was never petty and did not understand why people acted in such a way. God posed the question of why I was choosing to be connected to those people. I thought it was the Christian thing to do. Befriend everyone. I learned I am to love people, and be friendly/kind, yet close friendship was reserved for certain people.

When we value ourselves, we value what we have to offer as well. We see that time wasted is not returned. If people choose to mistreat us, we set boundaries and for some people put distance. We do not owe anyone best friendship or a close relationship.

For more devotionals check out Confident & Free Devotional book. Purchase Confident & Free Book.

If you are in Columbus, Ohio, stop by the book signing this Sunday August 19, 2018 (noon until 2pm) at 1055 McNaughten Road, Columbus Ohio. You may register at http://www.empowered-free.com see the upcoming events tab.

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Love,

Erin Lamb

Confidence Comes From Knowing God

Morning Devotion: God Did Not Create Insecure People. Sin Brought In Insecurity, Fear, Shame, Rejection, Abuse, Hatred, Self Hatred, and Low Self Esteem. Insecurity Is the Root of Many Problems, Let’s Pursue Freedom.

Jesus is our truest model of a healthy person. Jesus was not prideful nor insecure. He knew exactly who He was in relation to the Father. Jesus did not wonder whether or not the Father would provide for Him nor if the Father loved Him.

Jesus was not driven by people pleasing or the demands of the crowd. Jesus often left people without an explanation. They were offended, yet His agenda was to do the will of His Father.

We see in Jesus holy boldness and godly confidence. He was not arrogant, nor bossy, nor did He try to force His will on others through manipulation or control. The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and give His life as a ransom (Matthew 20:28).

A secure person can get low and take the lowest place. A secure person can refrain from pushing themselves to the front of the line. A secure person does not need to dominate nor control others. They lead by example and others follow. They inspire and influence in a good way. A secure person has no desire to push others into the dirt. There is zero abuse or mistreatment that flows from a secure person.

How Did We Become So Insecure?

It started in a garden. God created two powerful people to coreign together. Adam and Eve were created to coreign together and have dominion on earth. They were not intended to be competitors, nor for Adam to rule over Eve.

After sin entered God simply stated what would happen, not His desire for what would happen. Because of Eve’s choice, she would seek to please her husband (become a people pleaser) and he would seek to rule over her. Insecurity entered the world through two imperfect humans. One (Eve) would diminish her worth and seek to please. The other would blame her and seek to have dominion over her. Inflated ego and suppressed ego are both rooted in insecurity. When we know our true worth we do not seek to diminish ourselves nor dominate other people. Some of what people call normal male ego is simply insecurity and sin. And female self deprecation is also sin.

When we know who God is, what Jesus paid for, and who we are in Him-insecurity must bow it’s head to the Soveriegn Lord.

People state our world is suffering from a sin crisis. I disagree. Our world, since the fall of mankind, has been suffering from an identity crisis. If we do not pursue intimacy with God, we will not have healthy/godly self worth and esteem nor a healthy identity. Why? We can not know the value, worth, identity, or purpose of something without knowing its Creator.

The frame of reference must be God. The things of this world pass away: beauty can fade, jobs can be lost, spouses can leave, money can be stolen, identity outside God can be confused. In the end, we need something (someone) who is eternal. God is steadfast and eternal.

Every human life came from God and is incomplete without a revelation of God. Yes mankind may attempt life anti God and with the mantra of “I don’t need God,” yet there is a part of us that was created to know Him and thrive out of that relationship.

Insecurity is the root of fear, worry, self hatred, abuse, abusing others, putting others down/mistreatment/bullying, racism, sexism, excessive competition, comparison, people pleasing, not setting proper boundaries, overindulging, promiscuity, using people, lack of love, self loathing, putting yourself down, bad relationships, control, manipulation, unbelief, and so much more!

There is a cure and it comes from God. God’s love smashes shame, insecurity, rejection, and self loathing under the weight of it’s power. God says we were worth dying for on that rugged cross. The love of God comes in like a wrecking ball and demolishes strongholds of fear and uncertainty.

Knowing God intimately builds our confidence because our trust is not ultimately placed in us (flawed human beings); it is placed in God. God is undefeated, unshakable, steadfast, dependable, loving, kind, good, hope filled, and pursues the bests interests of those who love Him.

We are not filthy worms just scurrying along waiting on God to pity us. If we are in Christ, we are a new creation! Our spirit is regenerated. Just like a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. The butterfly does not crawl back into the cocoon and say, “Oh what a wretched worm am I!” No! The butterfly flaps it’s wings and flies. It recognizes it is not who it was.

God invites us to live out of His thoughts and the truest identity in Him. He invites us into a bold and confident life! We were not intended to live as worms.

Is Confidence Pride?

Some say if you like yourself or love yourself then it’s pride. False. God said love your neighbor AS you love yourself. We have too many people who hate or dislike themselves trying to love other people. You cannot give away what you do not possess. Insecurity is actually sin; it is choosing to exalt our opinions of who we are above Gods. It is disagreeing with God who says:

We are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139).

God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10).

God paid a high price for you, so don’t be enslaved by the world (1 Corinthians 7:23).

Made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27).

Yet what honor you have given to men,

created only a little lower than Elohim,[d]

crowned like kings and queens[e] with glory and

magnificence.

You have delegated to them

mastery over all you have made,

making everything subservient to their authority,

placing earth itself under the feet of your image-bearers. [f]~Psalm 8:5-6.

d. Psalm 8:5 This is the same Hebrew word used for the Creator-God in Gen. 1:1.

e. Psalm 8:5 The concept of kings and queens is implied in the text by the word crowned.

f. Psalm 8:6 The Septuagint translation of 8:5–7 is quoted in Heb. 2:6-8. Today, all things are not yet under our feet. Even mosquitoes still come to defeat us. But there will be a time of restoration because of Christ’s redemption, when everything will rest beneath our authority. See Isa. 11:6-9; 65:25; Matt. 19:28; Rev. 20:4-6.

The righteous are as bold as lions (Proverbs 28:1). I have yet to see an insecure lion. They do not need to boast of being a lion, nor cower in the corner. They know their strengths. They stand tall (if they are not napping). God did not give us the spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7)! It’s time for a healthy group of believers to stand on who God says they are and thrive baby thrive!

Love,

Erin Lamb

P.S Check out Confident & Free! Available on Amazon.com or my store on https://www.empowered-free.com.

Confident & Free Book Released

I released my second book on 7/7/2018. I would love for you to check it out and leave me some feedback.

I truly believe God longs for us to live empowered lives by His Spirit where we are bold, confident, and free!

You and I were created to live confident, courageous, bold, and with healthy esteem. We were created by love (God), to be loved, then to love! We cannot love our neighbor if we do not love ourselves.

Studies show confidence is a better indicator of success than skill. Godly confidence involves healthy risks, courage, and freedom. Dive into this 30 day devotional aimed at drawing you into the heartbeat of God and building godly confidence.

Confident & Free Kindle and Paperback are available for purchase on Amazon.com! Get your copy today!

Kindle: Purchase the Kindle Version Here!

Paperback: Purchase the Paperback Here!

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

New Books Coming!

First let me say thank you for subscribing to the book blog! Thank you. You are prayed for and loved.

I wanted to let you know of upcoming books.

It has been quite a while since I Thought I Knew What Love Was was published. I hope you check it out! People have stated it was a source of encouragement and helped them connect with the heart of God. It has a 5 star rating.

Book update:

I have been working on several books. One will be released this year. It is entitled Confident & Free. It is a devotional book designed to help others connect with the heart of God in areas of overcoming; overcoming fear, overcoming trauma, overcoming rejection, overcoming persecution, and even overcoming when facing death. God created us to live confident and free. The Spirit of God is one of an overcomer.

My hope after Confident & Free is released is to send out book 3 which is Killing Insecurity.

We live in a world that seems to be plagued by violence, abuse, mistreatment of human beings. We also live in a world where there is money to be made off of insecurity. Marketing says, “Tell them who and what they have is not enough.”

God designed us in love (God=Love), to be loved, THEN to love. We have too many people trying to love others when they do not love themselves.

Some people say societal issues center around mental illness. I disagree. I believe at the root is fractured identity and insecurity. Insecure people cannot love their neighbor because they do not love themselves. We can not give away what we do not possess. We cannot value another while hating ourselves.

Insecurity is the root of bullying, abuse, racism, sexism, murder, jealousy, domination, competition, many addictions, mistreatment…lack of healthy identity and love creates systemic problems. We can deal with fruit all day, yet change happens when we pull up the roots.

Our world has an identity crisis and love deficit. These things can be overcome by the power and love of Jesus. These books are not designed to be self help. They are written to hopefully lead the reader into an encounter with the truth of who God is and an encounter with His heart. Once we truly encounter Jesus our lives are never the same. The securest identity is in Jesus.

My prayer for us today is we would know the height, depth, width, and vast expanse of God’s love!

I will let you know when Confident & Free is released! I hope you pick up a copy and leave some feedback. Most importantly, know whether you get a book or not, you are prayed for and deeply loved!

Love in Christ,

Erin L Lamb

OperationGodisLove.org (Missions/Street Ministry Website)

P.S Check out facebook.com/erinlambauthor for daily devotions!

Weekend Devotion (God Wants Relationship) 

Photo: Nay Crumors 

Morning Devotion: Knowing God (intimacy with God) is the most important thing…Not church attendance, tithing, church affiliation, serving, or being entertained. God is after personal, intimate relationship. 

Being with God, knowing God, trumps doing for God. Being is to lead to doing with the motivation to love God and others. 

When intimacy with God and knowing His heart and character are removed from Christianity you end up with powerless religion. 
We can spend our lives in church, paying tithes, doing Christian stuff, having great worship, and go to hell (totally miss God). How can I say this? Well, it came straight from the mouth of Jesus. Read Matthew 7:21-29, Matthew 25:31-46. 

Religion void of relationship leads to idolatry and oppression. The Pharisees had religion not relationship with God. 

Mankind without connection to the Vine (Jesus) yields no good fruit. See John 15:4-5. There is a form of godliness in religion void of transformative power and genuine agape love. That’s why the Bible was used as an excuse to kill millions of Native born Americans (First Nations people) or enslave Africans (deny them any human rights) or abuse women and deny them equal rights. So many horrific things have been done under the mask of “Christianity,” yet Jesus made it very plain. He stated, “You will know My followers by their agape love.” See John 13:35. 

Love fulfills the law because it does no harm to it’s neighbor (Romans 13:10). Love is holy and without any sin, including selfishness the most destructive sin. Love involves freedom and equality. Love is not rude nor full of mean sarcasm. Love builds up. Love gets low to serve not seeking to be served. Love has no prejudice. Love honors even the dishonorable. Love seeks the best interests of others. Love possesses humility (others matter). Love does not seek to dominate, control, hurt, harm, abuse, use, or harass others. 

There is a huge difference between someone who claims God and someone who knows God. The one who knows God grows to resemble God (1 John 4:8). Some of what we call Christianity is not about Jesus at all. It is traditions of men and void of God’s love, purity, and power. 

God invites us to know Him. All the other things flow out of knowing God. If I am intimate with God, I will want to give. If I am intimate with God, I will grow more loving. If I am intimate with God, I will want to fellowship with other believers. If I am intimate with God, I will want to serve. If I am intimate with God, I will want to share the Gospel. If I am intimate with God, I will humble myself and serve others. If I am intimate with God, the fragrance on my life will draw others to Him. Our strength lies in intimacy with God. 

Love, 

Erin Lamb