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Weekend Devotion (Repentance)

Weekend Devotion: Study of Repentance. Repentance is a gift. 

Repentance: In the New Testament, the key term for repentance is metanoia [metavnoia]. It has two usual senses: a “change of mind” and “regret/remorse.” In the Synoptic Gospels metanoia [metavnoia] indicated “turning away from sin” ( Mark 1:4)-Source Baker’s Dictionary of Biblical Theology. 

The ability to know God’s truth and turn from darkness to light is a gift. 

There is not as much talk about repentance today as there was in the time of Jesus and early apostles. There is a teaching of “You just do you, God must accept whatever you do and approve because He loves you.” This is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Jesus said, “Repent or you will perish (Luke 13:3, Luke 13:5). Stop sinning lest something worse comes on you (John 5:14).” The bible clearly states the wages of sin is death and the gift of God is eternal life (Romans 6:23). It also says those who live according to the flesh cannot please God (Romans 8:5-6). 

Now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance [not fully aware of what you were doing], just as your rulers did also. And so God has fulfilled what He foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ (Messiah, Anointed) would suffer. So repent [change your inner self—your old way of thinking, regret past sins] and return [to God—seek His purpose for your life], so that your sins may be wiped away [blotted out, completely erased], so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord [restoring you like a cool wind on a hot day];”~Acts 3:17-19. 

Grace (God’s riches at Christ’s expense) empowers righteousness, not lawlessness. Holy Spirit reveals truth and empowers believers to walk in truth. If being saved was just about professing Jesus then living like the devil, well that means Jesus died for nothing. Part of His death was to atone for our sins so we could be free of the bondage of sin and shame. He gave His life to FREE us from bondage, not leave us in bondage. 

Think about the ridiculousness of these statements: 

I know I beat my wife during the week and scream at my kids, yet Jesus loves me. I am clothed in His righteousness. There is no condemnation for me. You can’t judge me.” 

Oh yes, I have many sexual partners and live with one of them. I am so glad Jesus set me free to be me. Grace, amazing grace.” 

Both these people have misguided beliefs as to what it means to be in relationship with Jesus. Jesus never, ever clapped when someone sinned. He never placed nor places a stamp of approval on immorality, abuse, or partnership with satan. He told people, “Go and sin no more.” 

Love and approval are not the same. God loves everyone. God does not approve of everything humans do. If He did, God would cease to be holy and just. God is 100% love. God is also 100% holy.

Thinking we are not responsible for our choices blocks repentance. It keeps us in a state of perpetual immaturity and we do not grow to look/behave/love like Jesus. We stay in the shallow kiddie pool eating our mud pies, shouting, “You can’t judge me! No condemnation for me,” playing in the devil’s field Monday through Saturday…jumping up for a quickie date with Jesus on Sunday. 

Let us not mistake conviction for condemnation. 

Conviction: an awareness something is not right and needs corrected. A warning signal to turn around. 

Condemnation: sentencing someone, a final judgement. If you stand condemned before God it is a sentence to eternal life separated from him. “Go to hell,” is a condemning statement. 

People quote there is no condemnation for those in Christ without reading/quoting the rest of that passage (Romans 8) which says, “God did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit (Romans 8:4).” Paul states after there is no condemnation verse 4 which is above…we who no longer follow our sinful nature but follow the Spirit. A person who proclaims Jesus then lives completely independent of Him is not the objective of salvation. Screaming, “I am in Christ,” to bypass responsibility for my choices or to live a sin filled life is ungodly. 

True believers are not condemned if they are in Christ because their eternal fate is wrapped up in Jesus. This does not mean their poor actions are excusable, they are no longer accountable for bad choices, repentance is not required, or God approves of their sin. If so, the New Testament letters to churches would be meaningless. Why address sin within the church which Paul and others did if God pretends believers are perfect? 

God does not pretend we do not need repentance. God encourages renewing of the mind (Romans 12:2), taking every thought captive and making it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5), making amends when we mess up (Matthew 5:24), humility (1 Peter 5:5), loving one another (John 13:34-35), sexual purity (Ephesians 5:3), and seeking first the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33). Most of all Jesus invites us into intimate relationship with Him. Knowing Him, abiding in Him, is transformative. It becomes, “It is no longer I who lives, but Christ who lives in me and through me (Galatians 2:20).”

It is not about striving to be good. It about abiding in the One who is good. Union with God, through relationship, leads to good fruit (John 15:4-5). 

It not about legalism-trying to obtain right standing with God through works. It is about abiding in Jesus and receiving grace-Jesus paid for my freedom. Since I am free in Him, I will not become a slave again to bondage. Sin will not be my master. I am empowered by God to follow Jesus. I abide in His truth. Believing His truth sets me free.

Papa I ask any place in our minds not aligned with Your truth be set right today. Help us to renounce lies and turn from darkness to light. Help us to abide in You. Saturate our minds with Your truth. Anything not like Jesus, may it be laid before You. Thank You for the gift of repentance. 
Love, 

Erin Lamb 

📷: Pinterest, Repentance

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Love Corrects to Restore

Morning Devotion: Love corrects to restore. 

Whosoever loves instruction loves knowledge: but he that hates reproof is senseless (brutish),~Proverbs 12:1. 

Love is not about people pleasing, agreeing with what is wrong, forsaking accountability, and being reckless with the hearts/resources/lives of people, etc…love does not enable sin, unrighteousness, or poor behavior. 

Love comes to restore the broken pieces so there is more fruit; we begin to resemble the One we worship. Grace empowers righteousness. His kindness and love lead us to repentance. 

Repentance is a gift from God to lead us into greater fruitfulness. God corrects (provides instruction) and sometimes reproof/rebuke of those who are His children. See Proverbs 3:12. The purpose of His correction is restoration and growth. He is a very good Father. 

I prefer to be corrected than to live in error. Even the people who execute it very poorly, I have been able to take their statements to God, “Is this truth, if so, please help me to walk in Your truth, love, and life.” If God says, “Nope toss this. Here are My thoughts,” I listen to God and His Word. 

Pride says, “I know it all. No one can correct me.” Pride is constantly looking and seeing the error and faults in everyone else. Humility says, “There is always room to grow, learn, and I should listen.” Even if the person is wrong, we can learn from correction. 

What can be learned? 

1. How to hear from God for ourselves. 

God knows the heart. People judge by what they see. They see in part and know in part. Perception can sometimes become a tainted reality. If someone comes to us in the wrong spirit, with a word of correction…we have the chance to take that to God. “God is there any truth in what they said? What is Your truth?” God is the Master Heart Surgeon. He knows what to dig out and how to do it so we are not traumatized. 

2. Humility

Pride wants to lash out, act nasty, be defensive, and prove something. I have been misunderstood oh so many times and called many things that are not my name. I had a lady from a church once call me the B word to my face in front of a table of other believers. Her basis was the gossip and lies she was listening to from a lady who was offended by my lack of reception to her misguided and controlling spirit. I sat there without responding to her insult. That is not my name.

It does not matter what people call you. It’s what you answer to that matters. I did not try to defend myself. I did not engage. I left her in the hands of Jesus. I am not stating I am the most humble person. I ask God to deal with me daily to grow to be like Jesus. I am (we are) works in progress. Only God knows who I truly am. I am saying pride says, “I will show you.” Humility says, “I know who I am and who I am not. God defends me. His opinion of me is what matters most.” 

3. Love 

Okay so we love correction done in love. You leave convicted yet not destroyed. You are happy someone told you there was room to grow. I am so thankful for an old coworker who corrected me one day for complaining about my job. She said, “God wants us to give thanks.” I thanked her for correcting me. 

I had a mentor tell me, “You invest so much in these people are you assessing what they are doing with that investment? Are you wasting time?” She also told me, “Wisdom is knowing proper timing.” Both invited me to grow. So I took those words and asked God to help me. I still pray God helps me to walk in wisdom and love. These ladies showed me love. God love. 

People who go along with whatever we do even if it’s dead wrong do not truly love us. I am not saying we become the sin police. No no no…I am saying love wants what is right in the eyes of God. Love protects. Love is righteous. Love does not enable poor behavior or treatment. Love seeks to correct to restore and produce optimal growth. 

I have lost some friends and connections along the way for saying no to things that hurt me, hurt others, and were wrong. Yet almost every time the person came back later to say thanks. Correction does not always feel good, yet it is a blessing if we allow it to be. 

In a world that says, “Anything goes,” may we be people who say, “What is loving in the eyes of God? What is His standard? What is His truth in love?” May we correct people with the heart to love them, treat them the way we would want to be treated, and see the greatest restoration/growth. It is not about punishment or humiliating people or proving we are right. It’s about loving them into maturity and fruitfulness.

Without love and God’s truth, we are missing the heart of God! 

Papa God I ask You would search our hearts. Anything not like You or of You, please reveal it so we can repent, be cleansed, and be restored. Help us to renounce wrong thinking, perceptions, pride, offense, deception, unforgiveness, a critical spirit, unloving ways. Deepen our reception of Your agape love. Only when we receive can we freely give. Bathe our hearts in Your love, purity, and fire. Reduce us to agape love. Fill us to overflowing with Your truth. Radiate Your glory through us. May the world see Jesus in us. In Jesus mighty name. Amen! 
God bless you today and every day. You are in my thoughts and prayers. 

Love in Christ, 

Erin Lamb 

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Recounting Some of the Miracles of 2016 

Created with Wordswag; used with permission

Recounting miracles of 2016

I recounted some the miracles of 2016. Hope they inspire you that nothing is impossible for God. 

Thank you God for prolonging the life of my friend with Stage IV cancer. You extended life far beyond what doctors said was possible. They were blown away!!!

Thank You God for allowing my business teacher to allow me pray for the sick in class and for You healing a classmate of thyroid cancer and my teacher of chronic pain. 

Thank You for healing the lady with breast cancer. Her doctors were baffled at the disappearing of tumors. 

Thank You for opening deaf ears. It was joy watching a person hear, enjoy sound. 

Thank You for pulling several patients/family out of ICU or the hospital and doctors saying, “No surgery is needed.” 

Thank You for healing/restoring people with dissociative identity disorder and chronic demonic harassment. For accomplishing in several hours what takes doctors years. 

Thank You for delivering power! 

Thank You for healing the mentally ill. 

Thank You for the baby given to the women who had a hysterectomy. Doctors could not figure out how someone with no womb could be pregnant with a child. 

Thank You for healing my dad’s close friend of chronic, crippling bulging disk pain. Thank You he went on to tell everyone what Jesus did for him, leading others to believe in Jesus. 

Thank You for the family members that gave their hearts and lives to Jesus. Thank You so much Jesus. 

Thank You for more volunteers for street ministry and a multiethnic/multi denominational/multigenerational team. 

Thank You for saving my life from death or great harm over and over. 

Thank You for the backs healed, the knees healed, the lifting of chronic pain. Healing that prevented surgeries. 

Thank You for those You provided free medical and dental care for through the free clinic. 

Thank You for healing the two people with internal bleeding. You did in a moment what would have required so much more. 

Thank You for speaking life to dry and dead bones! Live! Thank You for everything You brought to life at Your command. 

More than what You do, thank You for all You are. Thank You God. 

May you and I believe for greater things in 2017.

Love in Christ, 

Erin Lamb 

 
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Posted by on December 26, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Know Your True Enemy 

Post from my personal blog. It is important to know our true enemy. He comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Jesus comes that we may have life and to the fullest. Hope this blesses you. You are SO deeply loved.

Just Thinking Aloud


Morning Devotion: Understand your opponent. The key to continual victory is understanding your true enemy.

People are not the enemy, though there are people who cooperate with the devil to accomplish his will on earth. He requires human agreement.

People say Eve was gullible and that’s why the serpent chose to go to her first. I disagree. Eve was given the same mandate as Adam; fill and subdue the earth, have dominion (Genesis 1). She had authority. God did not say, “Adam have dominion, Eve go pick berries, clean the Garden, do whatever Adam tells you to do.” God said to both of them to have domion.

God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that…

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Posted by on November 30, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Saturday Devotion (Love looks like Jesus) 

  
Photo credit: overlyxclusive 

Morning Devotion: Love is costly. If it cost us nothing, it means nothing. Love looks like someone; Jesus. 

Love is a misunderstood word and overused word in our world. 

God is love. He is agape love. Agape is unconditional, sacrificial, and unselfish love. This love would die to save the guilty, most wretched sinner. 

Jesus gave His life for us while we were yet sinners. We were God haters, slanders, selfish, indifferent, prideful, full of lust, greed, and immorality. 

The Father said, “I love you so much, I am willing to give My most precious Son in exchange for you.” Jesus said, “Take My life instead and save them.” 

We all know He did not remain dead, yet He suffered greatly to love us to life. He turns around in John 13:34 and says, “As I have agape loved you, agape love one another.” 

As I have laid down all pride, lay yours aside. 

As I have laid down selfishness, lay yours aside. 

As I have sought to empower others, empower others. 

As I have forgiven, so you must forgive. 

As I have chosen a life of love, abide in Me and choose love. 

As I have come to serve and not be served, seek to serve others. 

As I have demonstrated lavish love, demonstrate lavish love. 

As I have loved those who do not love Me, love those who do not love you. 

As I surrendered fully to the Father, you surrender fully to the Father. 

He walked the way of love. Love will cost us something. Agape only flows from God through us. He is the Source. We must receive first from Him for it to flow through us to others. 

Our flesh wants to promote, “Me first. What about me. Bless me. Help me. Be there for me. What is best for me (all the time-not just in cases where it is quite necessary to consider your needs about another’s wants).” 

God loves says, “What about you? How can I bless you? How can I serve you? How can I be there for you? What can I do to add value?” 

If you love like God, let Him love through you, be prepared for the following. It happened to Jesus, it will happen to you. 

If you love like Jesus, you will be misunderstood. People will question your motives. 

If you love like Jesus, you may have your heart broken. People grieve the Holy Spirit too. We can hurt God.

If you love like Jesus, you may encounter those who seek to take and never give. They will see your love as an opportunity for selfish gain.

If you love like Jesus, you may find God is one of the only ones who loves you like this.

Let’s be positive…

If you love like this, you will bring so much glory to God and fulfill His command to love others as He loves you (John 13:34). 

If you love like this, you are a champion in heaven racking up heavenly rewards. 

If you love like this, thank you for being light-a demonstration of Jesus in a dark world. 

If you love like Jesus, you possess a superpower that wages war against all the powers of hell. Love is a mighty weapon that cuts through all the darkness. 

The devil can not love like God. He can lust, boast, pretend, say love is accepting sin (not love at all) and even preach the word. He knows Bible; He cannot live it or love like God. He cannot agape. He can try to mimic love, yet he fails to walk in  love because there is no love in him.  

When you and I agape love-we show the world Jesus and the Father. 
Love looks like someone; Jesus. 

Just in case no one tells you today, you are so deeply loved. I pray for you. Jesus lives to intercede for you. You are not alone in this great big world! God bless you, exceedingly, abundantly, above ALL you could ask or imagine. 

Love in Christ, 

Erin Lamb 

 
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Posted by on November 19, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

God is Pursuing You (Saturday Devotion)

  
A deep, intimate, flourishing relationship/friendship with God is available to any person who wants one. He so loves the entire world. We have as much friendship with God as we desire. He is consistently pursuing the world, to love the world. 
God is never too busy, or too annoyed to be an incredible friend, loving Father. I have not met anyone who holds a candle to Him. God love (agape) far, far, far surpasses human love and only His (agape) love does not fail. 
Looking for love, be with God. I love people, yet they are not my source of love or security or identity or joy or confidence. God is. 
Being with God and receiving His love leads to…💛
💫Loving God (we love because He first loves us). 
💫Loving ourselves (we receive perfect love for ourselves from God, and grow to love ourselves unconditionally).
💫Loving others (we can only give what we possess and release what we carry. We love our neighbor as we love ourselves).
💫Godly confidence (it’s not about our thoughts or what we think of who we are. Who does God say we are). 
💫Peace and Joy (God’s love brings with it peace, contentment, and overflowing joy).
💫Wisdom and Understanding (His thoughts are far higher than mans. His wisdom incomparable).
💫Awe (intimacy with God evokes awe-how marvelous, majestic, wonderful, and glorious He is!!!).
💫Healing and Restoration (no one does it better than God. He gives beauty for ashes and joy for mourning).
💫Purpose and Identity (The purpose of something is known best by the One who created it).
💫Transformation (we are deeply changed not by our striving, but by abiding. Apart from Him we can do nothing). 
💫Courage and Compassion (the more intimate we are with God, the more His heart becomes our heart. His courage becomes our courage. Fear, selfishness, and pride dissipate in His presence, when we receive). 
So sweet ones, the invitation is open to all. Whosoever will let them come. God will not force Himself on anyone or into any busy schedule. He knocks on the door of the heart and says, “I love you. May I come in? I long to be with you and be known by you.” How He loves us so.

Papa God help us to respondto your  relentless pursuit! May we know You for who You are and know who we are in you. Help us to cease being busy and make time for the greatest love we could ever have. Thank You for everything. In Jesus mighty name, Amen. 

I leave you with one of my favorite worship songs: Wrap Me in Your Arms

 
 

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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

 

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