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Sunday Devotion: Understanding Condemnation & Godly Correction.

Morning Devotion: Understanding condemnation, godly correction, and what God requires from the mouth of Jesus.

Sometimes the desire to be merciful and extend grace is simply enabling. Jesus said to those caught in sin, “Go and sin no more (John 8:11). Stop sinning lest something worse happen to you (John 5:14).” This was an invitation to true heart repentance. God continues to give us opportunities to repent (change our mind about sin and agree with Him).

Heaven rejoices when one sinner repents (Luke 15:7). Why? It is the breaking of agreement with Satan (who brings death/destruction/division) and partnership with God (brings life to the fullest).

True repentance is the goal of mercy, and the kindness of God. When God says, “Kindness leads to repentance,” He is not desiring for us to stay in bondage nor keep sinning. Why? Sin is partnership with Satan. Satan is the author of death. God prefers life. We are not to be married to God and dating the devil. If we are, we need to repent and break up with the side chick Satan.

If we do not tell people that sin leads to destruction and death, we do not truly love them the way Jesus does. Love protects. Love speaks truth in love. God love never, ever condones sin. God does not wink at sin, think it’s cute…it cost Jesus His life. He was marred beyond what we could imagine to free us from lifestyles of unrighteousness.

Condemnation is to judge someone with a penalty of death. Only God can condemn someone to hell. It is not condemnation to preach or teach what Jesus did. It will forever be, “The wages of sin is death yet the gift of God is eternal life (Romans 6:23).” Jesus came to offer the world eternal life (John 10:10, John 3:17).

It is troubling to me when people try to exclude certain teachings of Jesus because they do not wish for people to feel bad or condemned. Which is better, to be temporarily hurt by the word and repent leading to everlasting life or having your feelings coddled until death and hear Jesus say, “Depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness, I never knew you (Matthew 7:23).”

Eternity in hell is a long time to be remorseful. I would rather be corrected while living than suffer in eternity void of God; full of torment, roommates with Satan and every demon. No thanks.

Hell was made for Satan and his minions. God does not force heaven or hell on anyone. We get to choose. He says, “I set before you life and death, choose life.”

God will not force Himself on anyone. Heaven is all about God, therefore no one who does not love God, believe in God will abide there. Heaven is about Jesus.

Jesus loudly declared, “The one who believes and trusts in Me does not believe [only] in Me but [also believes] in Him who sent Me. And whoever sees Me sees the One who sent Me. I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes and trusts in Me [as Savior—all those who anchor their hope in Me and rely on the truth of My message] will not continue to live in darkness. If anyone hears My words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge and condemn the world [that is, to initiate the final judgment of the world], but to save the world.

Whoever rejects Me and refuses to accept My teachings, has one who judges him; the very word that I spoke will judge and condemn him on the last day. For I have never spoken on My own initiative or authority, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment regarding what to say and what to speak. I know that His commandment is eternal life. So the things I speak, I speak [in accordance with His exact instruction,] just as the Father has told Me.”~John 12:44-50.

The condemnation that Jesus spoke of dealt with the final sentencing into hell. He tells us in this passage that whoever refuses His teachings and rejects Him would be condemned on the last day. We cannot stop the passage at Jesus did not come to condemn the world, therefore live it up. We must read the entire passage and gather understanding of what God is requiring.

Sin entered the world when Adam and Eve obeyed the devil instead of God. God provided a way to reconcile us back to the First Estate as sons and daughters of God. Before Jesus people lived in faith of Messiah to come. Not everyone is a son or daughter of God, though all created in His image, only those who place their faith in the Son are reconciled to the Father.

You (born again believers), however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ,~Romans 8:9.

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God,~Romans 8:14.

Do not be conceited, but [rather stand in great awe of God and] fear [Him]; for if God did not spare the natural branches (Jews) [because of unbelief], He will not spare you (Gentiles) either. Then appreciate the gracious kindness and the severity of God: to those who fell [into spiritual ruin], severity, but to you, God’s gracious kindness—if you continue in His kindness [by faith and obedience to Him]; otherwise you too will be cut off,~Romans 11:20-22.

Papa God, I ask for the full mantle of wisdom from scripture be imparted to us. Help us to know full passages of scripture, not just verses. Help us to understand what you are inviting us into. Help us to repent when we choose death over life. Give us a full understanding of grace and mercy. May we understand what Jesus paid for on the cross. Our lives are no longer our own, they belong to you. May we be yielded to your Holy Spirit and teach your truth in love. In Jesus name. Amen.

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2017 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Character Development (Holy Spirit University (HSU) Series Part IV)

One of the roles of Holy Spirit is to reveal the Son of God and help us know Jesus. Holy Spirit is also a wealth of wisdom, love, joy, peace, power and helps to develop our character.

We, if we are believers in Jesus as Lord, are invited to live by the Spirit and not after the flesh.

The flesh represents the carnal nature of mankind. The flesh tends to be selfish and self focused. The mind of the flesh wars against God. The character of the flesh, carnal nature, is quite immature and self centered.

One of the ongoing classes in Holy Spirit University is character development. Though God loves us as we are, the intention is not to leave us the way He found us.

The invitation to salvation is more than keeping us from hell, it is an invitation for heaven to live in us and transform us from the inside out.

God knows exactly what is needed to develop our character so we grow to look like Jesus.

Character Counts:

Why does it matter that we grow to possess godly character? One, we are called to be God’s Ambassadors of heaven on earth; two, godly character brings God glory.

Have you ever met someone who is anti-God because they have had horrible experiences with Christians? I have. I went through a season in my own life where I dreaded church. I loved Jesus, His Bride was scary, judgmental, rude, and unloving at times.

Advertising for Heaven:

Our love and character is a billboard for Jesus! He stated His disciples would be recognizable by their great love.

What does our billboard say? Does it say, “God loves you. I love you!” Or does it say, “I can’t be trusted, your fears about trusting God are justified.”

The devil does not mind a body of believers who’s character is so questionable it resembles more of his kingdom than God’s. Carnal (flesh driven, selfish, rude, and unloving) Christians are some of the most effective tools to drive people away from God.

Growing Into Maturity with God:

God does not force us to grow up. He does provide His Spirit. He does place us in situations to grow and learn to rely on Him. He does invite us to listen, abide, know Him, and yield to Him.

As we yield to God, good fruit emerges (John 15:4-5). It does not happen by our striving, or extensive self help.

Good fruit and character development are a byproduct of abiding (relationship with God), intimacy (knowing God), yielding to God, and listening to Holy Spirit and following Him.

Romans 8 tells us the following:

For those who are living according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh [which gratify the body], but those who are living according to the Spirit, [set their minds on] the things of the Spirit [His will and purpose]. Now the mind of the flesh is death [both now and forever—because it pursues sin]; but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace [the spiritual well-being that comes from walking with God—both now and forever]; the mind of the flesh [with its sinful pursuits] is actively hostile to God. It does not submit itself to God’s law, since it cannot, and those who are in the flesh [living a life that caters to sinful appetites and impulses] cannot please God.

However, you are not [living] in the flesh [controlled by the sinful nature] but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God lives in you [directing and guiding you]. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him [and is not a child of God]. If Christ lives in you, though your [natural] body is dead because of sin, your spirit is alive because of righteousness [which He provides]. And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you (Romans 8:5-11 (AMP)).

If we are in Christ, the old has passed away and the new has come. We are invited to live out our new identity as sons and daughters of God.

As we walk with God we begin to resemble God. We become like the God’s we worship. Our lives begin to manifest the fruit of our deepest intimacy.

We can have Holy Spirit and He does not have us. Yielding is an exceptional way see the character of God manifest in our lives.

Papa God, help us to yield to you and the Holy Spirit’s leading. Help us to abide and cultivate intimacy with you. You love us, may we abide in that love, and manifest that love in the world. Grow us up in you. In Jesus powerful name. Amen.

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2017 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Sustaining Power to Overcome (Holy Spirit University (HSU) Series Part III)

Photo credit: Word of the Day

Holy Spirit is sustaining power if we abide. Our world is full of things that are not like God; pain, sin, death, destruction, rudeness, cruelty, abuse, and so much more. How do we overcome? We abide in the one who has overcome. Jesus suffered and died. He did not stay dead, He rose with all power in His hands. He says to born again believers, “I overcame, you can overcome. The same power, the same Spirit that raised Me, it abides in you.”

Since the Spirit of God lives in me, I can (so can you if you are a Spirit filled follower of Jesus), give thanks for adversity, opposition, and persecution.

Before you think I have lost my marbles or gone wackado…heres why?

Adversity, opposition, and persecution are opportunities for growth, refinement, and deeper intimacy with God.

Adversity reveals the authencity of what we proclaim to believe. Without adversity we can claim to trust God, claim to have faith, yet the fire of affliction reveals what is in us. If there is unbelief, it rises to the surface in panic in moments of adversity. If there is pride, it rises to the surface. Adversity reveals what we believe and exposes any flaws in our character or identity that need refined.

Opposition is an opportunity to rely on the Spirit of God and not our flesh. Can we love like God when we are being opposed, sabatoged, mistreated, and persecuted? It’s easy to be kind when life is peachy. Can we be kind when hell is going on around us? Can we stay in a place of honor, even when dishonored? Can we represent Jesus well even when hated without cause? Opposition reveals our love walk.

Persecution, if yielded to God, brings forth the oil of His glory or bitterness. An olive is pressed to bring forth more oil. If we let hurt or offense in, the stench of bitterness arises and the fragrance of hatred flows from us. If we yield to God, more and more of the character of God is manifested in our lives.

Persecution can also deepen our intimacy with God. “God here I am. What do I do? Help me to love those who hate me. Help me to love and honor those who mistreat me. Forgive them God for they know not what they do. Invade their hearts with your love. Help me to abide in you and not respond in my flesh. May you be glorified.”

The Psalmist stated, “My suffering was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees,”~Psalm 119:71.

It is so tempting to run from Gethsemane, yet nothing crucifies the flesh or exposes our blind spots like testing, trials, adversity, opposition, and persecution.

If you are in the fire today or your faith or love walk is being tested, my prayer is, “Don’t jump out of the fire ahead of time. Some things we are delivered from and some through. The only thing consumed in the fire (if we are linked to God) is what limits us, the dross, the stuff unlike God.”

It is not by our strength or power, it is by His strength and power. God is able to sustain us and help us thrive in the midst of the worst adversity, opposition, trials, and persecution.

Disclaimer: this does not apply to abuse (sexual, physical, emotional, or spiritual abuse); get out, get help. If you physically or emotionally sick, Jesus wants you healed.

Papa God, for those weary in well doing I ask for a wave of your goodness and glory to wash over them. For those beaten down and afflicted, I ask for a raising of a standard against the enemy, let not our faith fail. For those persecuted, I pray comfort, healing, and your sustaining power. Help us to lean on you and not ourselves. Increase our awareness of your love, peace, goodness, and joy. Take us deeper into intimacy with you. Holy Spirit come and saturate our body, soul, and spirit with Shalom. In the mighty name of Jesus amen.

You are so deeply loved! You are prayed for too on a regular basis.

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2017 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Look At the Fruit (Character Matters)

Photo: Devon Franklin

Morning Thoughts: A tree produces fruit of it’s roots. Look at fruit, not just the words people speak or the title they carry.

The bible talks about wolves in sheeps clothing (Matthew 7:15) and we are to test things (1 John 4:1) and examine fruit (Matthew 7:18). Yet over the years I have seen countless people become enamored with people with poor character. Yes they may be gifted, talented, they may even preach well or see miracles. Yet they are not even remotely like Jesus in their treatment of people, character, lifestyle.

We are not to put people on pedestals and worship them. No matter their title or clout or what they say, we are to worship God and God alone. We are to examine character and test fruit. We are to look at how that person lives, treats others, behaves. It’s not passing judgement; it’s exercising wisdom.

We are also to test prophetic words, sermons, counsel and the things people speak into our lives or the lives of others. Does it align with scripture? Does it align with the character of God? In order to test something against the word and character of God we must study the bible with God and pursue knowing God for ourselves.

Discernment is more than knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right.”

The purpose of examining fruit is not to throw stones nor develop a superiority complex. It provides wisdom so you know who to invite into deeper fellowship, who needs to sit at the inner table, and who’s counsel is valid.

It is also beneficial to invite God to examine our hearts and lives. What is the fruit coming off our tree? Is it love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, meekness (strength under control), and self control. What is our character? Are we trustworthy, faithful, loving, truthful, compassionate, unselfish, a servant, good to people, honoring, righteous, full of integrity?

No person is perfect, perfection is not the goal, yet we can save ourselves loads of heartache if we pay attention to fruit. We can also grow in maturity if we invite God to deal with us so we look, behave, and love more like Jesus.

Love in Christ,

Erin L. Lamb

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2017 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Jesus is the Solution (Weekend Devotion)

Photo source: Pinterest

Morning Devotion: The only solution, Jesus.

My spirit has been grieved this week over our world. We have tried protests, policies, judgements, for some Facebook/Social Media rants, division, petitions, etc…yet none of these things deal with the root. They may temporaily deal with fruit, yet they do not remove the root.

The root resides deep inside the soul and spirit. Unless there is an encounter with Jesus in those places, there will continue to be fruit that does not look Jesus.

Striving and self help are not our ultimate friends. We can not will ourselves to be like Jesus nor love like Jesus. It comes straight from the mouth of Jesus, “If you abide (remain, stay connected to) in Me, you will bear much fruit (from John 15:4-5).”

Abiding in Jesus is the key to love, peace, joy, and the ability to have compassion even for those who hurt you, persecute you, or hate you.

Sometimes I have to just drop into the arms of Jesus. “Here I am, I do not know what to do. My heart needs you. I need you.” Jesus responds every single time.

God is good and loves us all. Our world needs Jesus.

  • In a world full of craziness, the solution is Jesus.
  • In a world full of hatred, the solution is Jesus.
  • In a world full of gross selfishness, the solution is Jesus.
  • In a world full of identity crisis, the solution is Jesus.
  • In a world full of deception, the solution is Jesus.
  • In a world full of messes, the solution is Jesus.
  • In a world full of misplaced priorities, the solution is Jesus.
  • In a world full of dishonor/disrespect, the solution is Jesus.
  • In a world full of insecurity, the solution is Jesus.

Yeshua come… ישו באה

So my prayer today is our world encounters Jesus…truly encounters Jesus…not the Jesus painted in the image of mankind (our ideas), the real Jesus seated at the right hand of the Father.

Sometimes chaos is brought to the surface so we can seek God and heal…not leaders, politicians, etc…Jesus. We need God. Apart from God there is no agape love (perfect, sacrificial, unselfish love).

Lord, help us to surrender to your Lordship in every area of our lives. We need you! Our world needs you. Help those of us who claim you to abide in you and help others encounter you. Bring revival at the heart level that brings about transformation of cities and Nations. We need radical change on the heart level. Heal and restore us from the crazy of the world. In Jesus powerful name. Amen.

You are so deeply loved and prayed for too!

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2017 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Holy Spirit the Teacher (Holy Spirit University (HSU) Series Part II)

When they bring you before the synagogues and the magistrates and the authorities, do not be worried about how you are to defend yourselves or what you are to say; for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”~Luke 12:11-12.

But the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you~Jesus (John 14:26).

I love Holy Spirit. Though depicted as a dove, fire, or wind, Holy Spirit has a mind, will, emotions, intellect, and personality.

Holy Spirit is fully God, and the greatest teacher of mankind.

Holy Spirit is the promised gift given by God to bless humanity.

Holy Spirit leads and guides us into God’s truth, wisdom, knowledge, and continually reveals Jesus.

Custom Learning:

One of the things I love about HSU-Holy Spirit University is the curriculum is tailored to the student. You and I may have completely different seasons and syllabi. Yet the objective for all of humanity is to continually reveal the nature of God and the person of Jesus.

What God is teaching me at the present moment may differ from what God is teaching you. God knows where we are spiritually, and emotionally. The path mapped out for each of us is custom.

In every season we can ask God, “What are you teaching me? What are you revealing about Jesus to me in this season, trial, challenge, and situation?”

Do Overs/Welcome to Graceland:

Lessons taught by Holy Spirit are not only custom, you get many chances to learn. If you fail love 101, no worries…you get to take it again.

Have you ever faced something and it felt so familiar? It seemed as though you had been through it before? Have you encountered the same scenario over and over? I have. In those moments either we did not learn from the first situation or God is giving us a chance to demonstrate what we have learned again.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor (fellow man) and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may [show yourselves to] be the children of your Father who is in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on those who are evil and on those who are good, and makes the rain fall on the righteous [those who are morally upright] and the unrighteous [the unrepentant, those who oppose Him]. For if you love [only] those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do that? And if you greet only your brothers [wishing them God’s blessing and peace], what more [than others] are you doing? Do not even the Gentiles [who do not know the Lord] do that? You, therefore, will be perfect [growing into spiritual maturity both in mind and character, actively integrating godly values into your daily life], as your heavenly Father is perfect,~Jesus (Matthew 5:43-48).

Love is something God wants us to learn and demonstrate. God gives us numerous opportunities to learn to love. Many times it comes in the form of an unloveable person. That person who drives you crazy is an opportunity to grow in God love. It’s fairly easy to love the loveable. It requires God to love the hateful, unkind, spiteful, and nastiful (my made up word for full of nasty).

We can cry, scream, and ask for relief from the nastiful, yet they will be present this side of heaven and teach us the most about God love.

Are we always the most pleasant to be around? Are we always easy to love? How do we treat God? Our experiences with other people can teach us so much about how to love God and others.

Growing Up in God:

Who wants to be an infant forever? I hope the resounding answer is, “Not me!”

God loves to see us grow and learn just like natural parents love to see their kids grow and learn. Staying in the same place has never been the plan or design of God. The plan has always been for fruitfulness, growth, maturity, Godly character, and Christlikeness.

…become imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well-beloved children [imitate their father];~Ephesians 5:1.

Jesus is the role model and standard. I am not pushing striving or trying in our own strength to be like Jesus. I am a proponent of abiding (remaining, staying connected to, and intimacy with God).

As we yield to Holy Spirit there is a manifestation of His character and fruit put on display. God is the Source of goodness. Abiding in Him produces Christlikeness in our lives.

We are told to yield to Holy Spirit and not quench the Holy Spirit. Therefore, our lives are rooted in life in God, not striving to be like God. We yield, abide, and grow!!

Studying the Bible:

I cannot think of anyone more beneficial to learn the scriptures from than God. I highly recommend inviting God into study times, “Lord come and reveal your truth through your written word. I want to know you and what you intended with these verses. Teach me your truth.” There is something powerful that opens up with study with Holy Spirit.

Papa God, thank you for the precious Holy Spirit who teaches us and reveals His truth. Thank you for the wisdom imparted by Holy Spirit! What a gift!! Help us to yield to Holy Spirit and grow in Christlikeness. You are so good. Grow us up in love! In Jesus powerful name. Amen.

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2017 in From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Wednesday Devotion (Loving Like God)

Morning Devotion: Understanding the set up of God.

Sometimes God will allow people to cross your path who will not love you. These people are teachers and developers in the school of love.

It's easy to love the loveable and those who love us. The true test of love is when God sends you to serve those who hate you, attempt to use you, are indifferent, humiliate you, are selfish or unkind. These people reveal whether our love flows from our spirit or our flesh.

The flesh has no agape love. The flesh is disinterested in loving those who do not serve it or meet it's needs. The flesh is led by feelings, "Does this person make me feel good?" If not, then the flesh withdraws love. For it was not love at all.

The Spirit of God continually seeks to love, even when the person on the other end is hateful or unloving. Why? God is love. Those who abide in Him will love. How? God is love. Love is a fruit of abiding in the one who is love.

Agape love says, "Your behavior does not dictate my love. It is not dependent on you because the source is God." It moves us beyond, "How does this person make me feel," to "How can I reveal the heart of the Father to this person?"

Agape love moves us beyond being offended to compassion and intercession. Love sees the deficit and seeks for that person to be reconciled to God. A person disconnected from Jesus will not produce God love. We will never be able to give away what we do not possess.

Only a person connected to heart of God can display the heart of God. Only a person who is intimate with God can produce the likeness of God and character of God. Only a person who receives God's love, grace, mercy, and goodness can give that away to others. It starts with God. God is the Source, then that love must be received. We receive the love of God by faith. Once our hearts are saturated in God love, God love pours out of us onto others. It gushes out like a waterfall. It is like a firehose that is on full blast, day after day.

What can we learn from those who can behave outside their true identity…

1. There is a God love deficit. The one who abides in God loves.

2. There is an identity deficit. When we know God, we begin to manifest our true identity as a son or daughter of God.

3. There is an opportunity to reveal the heart of the Father.

4. God love wins. The consistent, steadfast, and incredible love of God wins.

5. They show you how not to behave. Some of the greatest lessons I have learned have developed from being treated poorly-do not do this to other people. You will often find me at events looking for the person no one will talk to or connect with or acknowledge. Why? I understand what is like to be absolutely ignored, treated as insignificant, or be invited places or pulled into things and then treated poorly. I choose on purpose not to do these things to others.

6. It is not about you, it's about that person and their heart. How people behave and talk is an outward manifestation of what is going on in their heart and soul. Pray for them.

7. God is with you! You are not doing this love walk alone. The Lord led me to Isaiah 53 this weekend. It talks about the challenges of Messiah. He was despised and hated by His own people. Though we paint Him beautiful, scripture says, "There was nothing about His appearance to draw us to Him." Jesus loved perfectly and was mistreated more than anyone. His own disciples betrayed Him and refused to help Him. Yet Jesus continues to love!

Papa move us beyond feelings into the realm of the Spirit. Deepen our intimacy with you so we manifest your heart. Help us to receive your incredible love. Then help us to pour out that love and not just to those who love us. What reward shall we have if we only love those who love us. Develop our character and love muscles so what the world sees when they encounter us is profound love.

You are so deeply loved!

Erin Lamb

 
 

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