The Chef & The Feast (Parable)

The Chef & the Feast (Parable)

There was a local Chef who loved to prepare feasts for those in the town. Daily the Chef would rise and spend hours in preparation for the feast. There was great joy in the Chef’s eyes to share. Years had been spent learning to prepare food. Years where others were able to simply laugh and play, there was due dilligence to study and learn to prepare feasts for others.

The daily feasts were quite the spread. Each detail was thoughtful, with the guest in mind.

Some would come to the feast and enjoy! They were honored to sit with the Chef and enjoy the food and company. They would even place their dishes in the sink when done.

Some would eat and complain, “I don’t like roasted chicken and beef. Why didn’t you prepare what I like?” The Chef would endure their consistent complaining day after day because they were concerned primarily for themselves and not others. They did not recognize they were not paying for the feast. Their selfishness and complaining blocked them from enjoying what was prepared for them.

Some threw their food in the trash or their plate on the floor, because they did not like the Chef. They could not receive because of who was serving. They felt they would be better at cheffing or the Chef needed to be a certain way. They too missed out on enjoying a daily feast and dishonored the Chef.

Some refused to show up to the daily feasts. They were so busy. They could never make time to just rest and enjoy.

Some would come and try to cook for the Chef and they were never asked to cook. They misunderstood their role at the feast.

Some would push their way to the front of the table, “Me first,” they would shout. They did not care who was there, they had to be the first to eat. This disheartened the chef because the intent was a table of family, not a hierarchy of importance.

Sometimes the heart of the Chef would leap with joy because the people were kind and sharing with one another. The Chef loved when they enjoyed the feast. Sometimes the Chef would slip away to the kitchen and cry. The guests would fight over their opinions and beliefs. They would fight to be the first people getting a plate. They would smash plates on the floor, and complain.

There were days were the Chef spent hours cleaning up the messes made. Yet every day, the Chef would rise and prepare a feast. The Chef was never paid for the feast nor the prep time. It was a sacrifice and labor of love.

One day the Chef decided to move to another town and try again. Maybe in another place and with other faces there would be a different experience. The Chef soon realized no matter the town, the people were similar. The faces were different, yet the experiences were similar.

The Chef’s heart sank. Why bother preparing a feast? The Chef closed up the shop and moved into an isolated mountain top. The view was glorious. The Chef still had a passion to create feasts. Therefore, the Chef would rise early in the morning and prepare a mini feast. Dining in solo the Chef would give thanks. Thanks for provision. Thanks for health. Thanks for peace on top of the mountain.

One day there was a knock at the door. An unfamiliar gentleman stood at the door. He said, “I heard you were a Chef and I wondered if a hungry traveler could dine with you. I have traveled a long way and I am famished.” The Chef look puzzled at how the traveler could have found the mountain top home. It was so secluded. He obliged the traveler and let him inside.

The Chef prepared the meal of a lifetime. Oh what a feast. The traveler was in awe of the level of detail and thoughtfulness placed on each dish. The traveler smiled with delight and enjoyed every moment. The traveler asked questions of the Chef and listened. The Chef was amazed because no one had cared about the things on the Chef’s heart before. People came, ate, pleased themselves or complained and dishonored the Chef. The traveler asked, “What can I do for you? You have prepared such a glorious meal for me.” The Chef was startled and taken aback. “I don’t know. No one has ever asked what I desired. I am uncertain of what I want.” The traveler smiled and replied, “If you could have anything, what would it be?”

The Chef pondered for what seemed like an eternity. He finally came up with an idea. “I would love my own garden, to grow my own food and prepare meals from the garden! Yes, a garden. Yet I am on a mountain top and things will not grow here. I travel down the mountain to purchase what I need. I would love to have more travelers like you who understand the feast. The feast is not about the food. It is about fellowship, family, and intimacy. You see, sharing a meal is a time to get to know each other. Yes, those are my dreams.”

The traveler listened intently. “I believe I can help you! I am on my way to another town, yet I will return for you.”

The Chef was excited and they parted ways with a grin. The Chef thought, “Could someone be thinking of me? Oh, will I have my own garden and kind travelers to feast with me?!”

Days turned into weeks, that turned into months. The Chef’s heart sank into disappointment. “The traveler has forgotten me! Yet at least I had a dream.” The Chef continued making feasts for one, watching the sun rise and set in isolation. Though the Chef missed the bustle of the daily feasts in the villiage, the Chef did not miss the behavior of the patrons.

One day, out of the blue, when the dream of a garden had long died there was a knock at the door. The Chef arose thinking, “Who could this be?” The face on the other side was the warm faced traveler. He was smiling from ear to ear. “I told you I would return for you! Can you come with me?” The Chef rubbed the amazement from each eye and packed a bag to go.

The traveler was beyond excited to go on this journey with the Chef. They traveled far from the mountain home to a place where the royals lived. The Chef was flabbergasted at the sights and smells. Aroma of baked bread filled the town square. People were smiling and waving at the traveler. They were bowing and displaying such honor. This perplexed the Chef. Who was this traveler? He (the traveler) looked so ordinary and plain.

The traveler journeyed into the Land where the King lived. The Chef had never seen the King. He only heard stories of the wealthiest King in the world. His heart pounded.

They arrived upon a mansion. The traveler said, “Let’s explore!” The Chef stepped onto the land which was lush and beautiful. The traveler took him on a tour of the mansion and then he said, “I must show you the garden!” He pushed open the double doors and guided the Chef into a garden as far as the eye could see. “This Chef is your garden! Welcome home. I have tasted your food for years and I thank you for every feast. Thank you for all you prepared for me. I am so grateful for you and every feast you prepared for villager after villager. Thank you for feeding the widows and orphans of your town. They had nothing to repay you. I can repay you. Thank you for cleaning up the messes people made, and enduring their complaining and harsh criticisms with grace. Thank you for continuing to make a feast when your heart was breaking. Thank you! This is your garden. This is your mansion. This is your home. I have assigned gardeners to you and other chefs to help you. You will have family and fellowship here. No one will throw your food in the trash or break your plates on the floor. They will come with open hearts to recieve and honor who you are.”

The Chef stood amazed. “How can you say such a thing? How have you tasted my food many times? We just met.”

“Oh I know you Chef. I came every day in a different disguise to meet with you. I would sit at the last place, the last one to be served. I would take my plate to the kitchen and say thank you! I have eaten with you at every daily feast. Even the ones where you were so busy serving you did not recognize me.”

The Chef realized there was always at least one guest who stayed to put their plate away and say thank you. The Chef cried deeply and stood amazed. “How can you offer so much to me? Aren’t you simply a traveler?”

“I am the King! Welcome to my Kingdom. I own everything you see. And you are invited to be my friend, part of my family, and if you are willing-my Chef! We will have feasts and daily bread. I am a rewarder of those who seek to love. Thank you for loving me. I appeared as lowly, sometimes dirty. You treated me like royalty. When I appeared at your mountain top home, you invited me in and treated me like royalty. It’s my turn to repay the favor.”

The Chef remained in the land of King, enjoying daily feasts with people who smiled, laughed, and honored the feast. There was so much joy in the heart of the Chef. The daily feasts took on a new meaning. The King was always there and the King’s opinion of the feast mattered most. Despite how the Chef was treated by villagers in the past, the Chef was storing up treasures for the true cheffing assignment. The Chef was always cooking and preparing a feast for the King.

Moral of the Story: It’s all for the King (Jesus). He shows up daily and our actions are not for people primarily, they serve a great King. He rewards us for our love, sacrifices, and service. Some may trample your efforts under foot, complain, under value, dishonor, or treat with disdain. It does not matter too much. What matters is the King saying, “Well done! Well done! Enter into my Kingdom.”

Photos: Feast (Pinterest)

Lovingly,

Erin Lamb

People Are Not Against You; They Are Primarily For Themselves

Happy Look Out For Someone Besides Ourselves Wednesday!

The Bible tells us to love one another and part of love is demonstrating the heart of the Father to others. I recognized years ago in my own walk in ministry that I grew to believe God loved the people I was ministering to more than me. It is untrue. Yet the lie grew from experiences with Christians. I was expected to give, to love, to pour out, to lay my life down, to be available in every crisis, to forgive, to show up even when I was overwhelmed or in my own crisis, to put myself last, to endure gross mistreatment with a smile, to be perfect, and they were not expected to do much.

I was expected to be Jesus. They on the other hand were not. I was to offer grace and mercy and give others unlimited access to my time and life.

The reciprocation of God love was low and sometimes non existent. I was expected to get love from God and show up again to pour out. I recognized I had to set limits with people. Say no to extra ministry tasks.

I found reciprocal relationships in the marketplace and through hobbies/outside the church activities. I thank God today there are a few reciprocal relationships with believers.

It is not true God desires one sided relationships for us. It is NOT true that God desires for us to love Him, then others, and ourselves last. Every time I see those bumper stickers, I want to rip them off. The Bible states we love because He first loves us. Then we are called to love our neighbor AS we love ourselves. Step 1. God loves us. Step 2. We RECEIVE God’s love for ourselves (we cannot give what we do not receive). Step 3. We give back to God and others the love we have first received from God.

Unselfish love-loving others without strings attatched and desire for selfish gain comes ONLY from God. It is agape love-the highest form of love. It’s the love Jesus invites us into so we represent His heart to the world. It is the love that marks His followers.

Pain and disillusionment can come when we expect agape from Christians who are incapable of returning agape. We can only give what we first possess. May we abide in agape (Jesus) so we demonstrate agape (Jesus) to others.

Love is not selfish.

I noticed people would and will ask things of me that they absolutely would be unwilling to do in return. I have heard more than one person tell me I was supposed to help their ministry or business, but God was not calling them to help me. Not that I asked them for help. I tend to ask God and ask Him who to ask for help. It saves me time.

At the root of all sin is selfishness and hyper concern for self. Self is the idol to be worshipped instead of God. What about me? Is the theme song.

I realized I would push myself almost to the point of breaking to keep my word, to be there for people who would not even pull their own weight or bother to show up. It taught me something. It taught me boundaries. It taught me to expect Jesus to be Jesus, and people to be people.

Expecting people to be like Jesus leads to disillusionment. I am still a work in progress, so is everyone else. Expectations can lead to unnecessary discomfort.

We, humans, can also have flawed visions of ourselves. I have met those who believe they are representing the heart of God, yet their primary focus is self: making sure their voice is heard, their ministry is supported, their needs are met, their political agenda pushed forward.

We imitate the God we know and at times treat people similar to the way we treat God. If God is only pursued to meet a needs list, then people treat other people like slaves too. Abiding in God love, which is not selfish, is the only way we manifest unselfish love.

When we can connect with people and love them NOT for what we can gain from them, that is real love God. Love fulfills the law because love does NO purposeful harm to it’s neighbor (Romans 13:10).

We can only give away what we receive first from God. Jesus stated His followers would be known by their unselfish, sacrificial love (John 13:34-35). May we abide in His love, and love others not for our gain but for their blessing!

Look for someone to love today!!

God love wins!

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

P.S If you like this devotion, don’t forget to check out our 4th of July sale which is 40% off through July 5th. The Confident & Free 30 day devotional is on sale. The new book study guide is on sale (Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse Book). We want you to save. Go to https://www.empowered-free.com/shop and use the code July4.

Our Reactions to Evil Matter (Pursuing Authentic Christianity)

Today I want to tackle reactions to evil in the world. When Jesus walked the earth there was evil, injustice, mistreatment of people groups, and he faced hatred/mockery/mistreatment.

We see Jesus responding in sternness to the self righteous (Pharisees) and the disciples. We see compassion for those who were lost and not claiming to be right with God.

Jesus also has a one up on us. He was sinless. Jesus was willing to die for the same people He rebuked sternly. He was willing to be mocked, beaten, and even killed for the UNGODLY! Jesus died for His enemies. If Jesus rebukes someone sternly, He is perfect in His assessment and without any sin.

We can sin in our attempts to deal with people and be puffed up in ourselves while doing so. “Oh, I think sister Susie is wrong, let me grab my bible and go point it out to her.” Is it wrong to try to help someone? No. Yet the bible tells us to make sure we don’t have a big mega plank in our eye before we go trying to pull a splinter out of someone’s eye. We are also told to be gentle. We can be gentle, direct, and not nasty. Is it wrong as a leader to address people? No. Yet if we do not love them, our words can be correct and in the wrong spirit.

It is a trap of the evil one to convince us that we are the Holy Spirit or Jesus. We point to God. We do not become God.

It is a trap of the evil one to respond in the same spirit as the evil of this age. We overcome evil with good. If someone comes at us crazy, it does not mean God gives us permission to act crazy.

God has tested this in my life over and over. It appears as weakness to some people. Yet I do not need to yell or act crazy because someone approaches me with ignorance, hatred, evil, or nonsense. We can rebuke and address in great love understanding that the spirits of this age blind people to the truth of who God is.

They do not believe, because their minds have been kept in the dark by the evil god of this world. He keeps them from seeing the light shining on them, the light that comes from the Good News about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God,~2 Corinthians 4:4 (GNT).

Imagine going into a house and the lights are off and everyone is blind. Your method to help is to scream at them, “You are blind. You are in the dark!!!” Guess what, your screaming will not make them see. You can scream all day and it adds no value.

Imagine going to a graveyard and everyone is dead. You walk around screaming the Gospel at them. They can’t hear you! Dead people do not hear or see. The only reason a believer in Jesus can see or hear is because God opened blind eyes, deaf ears, and revealed Himself.

You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins,~Colossians 2:13 (NLT).

One of the ways we can help the world is by actually living a life that is a living testimony of the goodness, love, and power of God. I had several coworkers who were atheists, agnostic, or other faiths inquire about Jesus because of the way I acted at work. I did not bully them with the bible, point out everything they did that violated scripture, nor look down on them. I looked for ways to serve them, love them, and the topic of Jesus would just come up. One went to church because he said he could not figure out why I had so much joy. My Muslim neighbor said I was the only Christian he had encountered that did not mistreat him. One of my atheist coworkers hurt her back and because I did not mistreat her, she let me pray. God took all her pain away.

Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children,~Ephesians 5:1 (NLT).

The world has heard our sermons. Have they seen Jesus through us?

Do we respond to evil with the Spirit of Jesus? Do we see people God loves and desires to redeem? Or are we like the Pharisees, our hands are full of heavy stones and we are crying out to God to punish them? I will tell you sin alone is great punishment. Without Jesus, people will have ledgers marked with every sin. Do we care about their souls or just the way they treat us?

We also don’t need to beat people up with the bible. I saw this old movie years ago called Saved. It basically mocked Christians for hypocrisy and improper methods of evangelism. I have included a very short clip of the groups attempt to lead Mary back to Jesus. This involves beating her with an actual bible. The Gospel is Not A Weapon . It’s worth watching! It is about 5 minutes long.

I am not stating we condone sin.

I am not stating we condone immorality.

I am stating the way we deal with people can be part of the determining factors on whether they turn to Jesus or run from Him.

I am stating if we don’t live what we claim to believe it impacts the world. All of creation is groaning for sons and daughters of God to rise up and shine bright (Romans 8:19-23)!

We do have a small role to play. If we are hypocrites, hateful, only love people who are a certain way, then we demonstrate to the world that our God is that way. It misrepresents Jesus to the world.

Let’s look at what Jesus said (Luke 6:32-36 (AMP)

If you [only] love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend [money] to those from whom you expect to receive [it back], what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners expecting to receive back the same amount. But love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; for your reward will be great (rich, abundant), and you will be sons of the Most High; because He Himself is kind and gracious and good to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful (responsive, compassionate, tender) just as your[heavenly] Father is merciful.

Expecting people who don’t know Jesus to act like Jesus, is like asking a person who cannot swim to compete in Olympic swimming. They can not. We cannot. Unless we have the Spirit of God we will not manifest the likeness of His character.

Honestly, I have met numerous people in my lifetime in churches who claim Jesus and look and act nothing like Jesus. I have had some of them yell at me, leave my fellowships, act hateful and nasty because I actually taught them what Jesus said. I could write a mega book on mistreatment from professing believers. Shouting “Praise the Lord,” on Sunday and gossiping about you on Monday. I will not even unpack the prejudice, jealousy, competing, pettiness, sexism, sabotage, and racism that I have encountered with professing Christians.

My point is as follows, to expect the world or people who do not know Jesus to flow in tune with God is unreasonable. It is also unfair if we (Christians) are not willing to submit to God to act in ways that actually look like God and then tell others they need God. It confuses the world when the Gospel we teach is not the Gospel we live.

How we react to evil is important. We do not condone it. We do not agree with it. We also do not stoop to low levels of conduct and act in ways unbecoming of Jesus to deal with it. If we were committing evil or out of line, how would we want to be treated? Would we want to be cussed out and condemned? Or would we want someone to say, “I love you and there is a better way?”

I love that even the rebukes of Jesus come because He longs for us to be right with God. Sometimes I think in culture its about us being right and not about the person being right with God.

Love is who God is and how He operates. I appreciate every rebuke and correction of God. Mainly because when God corrects it is to restore. When people do it, sometimes (not always), it is simply a critical spirit or pride. It lacks love, lacks compassion, and lacks tact. A critical spirit can seem like discernment, yet it’s not. God reveals to heal and so we can intercede or help. A critical spirit is rooted in pride and loves pointing out the flaws of others while rarely seeing it’s own flaws.

I am praying I walk in authentic Christianity. Rather than pointing the finger at others, I am asking God to help me walk out authentic faith. When people encounter me, I hope they walk away saying, “I want to know the God you worship,” not “Oh my gosh, get this person away from me. Whoever they worship must be a flake or a freak.”

I actually had a conversation with God Sunday about the way the church represents Him. I put myself in the shoes of someone completely unchurched. Would I desire Jesus just based on my encounters with believers over the years? Other than my parents and a handful of people, well, probably not. Yes, I have met some amazing people, yet as a whole (the summary of my life in Christiandom) have seen a culture that loves those who are already on the path better than the sinner. I would not feel comfortable as a way out there sinner coming into a community of faith. I would not feel comfortable as someone who was labeled liberal or alternative. I would not feel safe. How can I say this? Because I have spent my life in churches and seen the way “outsiders” are treated by a good chunk of people. The person can be a “get them saved project” or “be nice to them only at worship gatherings-ignore otherwise.” Gosh, I have encountered people who withhold love from other Christians because they go to another church or align with another political party. I have seen some pretty amazing believers too, yet as a summary-just my thoughts, we can do better.

I think we (I) can do better by abiding in Jesus (John 15:4-5). We can pray for revival all day, yet if we are not revived internally and begin to actually manifest Jesus, I do not think we will positively impact the world. I hear people chant, “They just need to get saved and come to the church.” Yet, how are we going to treat them when they get there? Is anyone going to mentor or disciple them? Is anyone going to genuinely love, invest, and treat them like Jesus would? We want these millions of souls to come to know Jesus and join our churches, yet have we learned to love the people already right in front of us?

Love is the highest standard. God speaks truth in love. The devil will tell the truth in the wrong spirit to hurt people or inappropriate times to create issues. If you don’t believe demons and the devil can speak truth, read the passages where demons cried out Jesus was the Son of God and He silenced them because it was not His time (Luke 4:41), or the slave girl who followed Paul around speaking truth from the wrong source (Acts 16).

Bottom line-we overcome evil with good.

Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good,~Romans 12:21 (CSB).

Love,

Erin Lamb

Insecurity is Not Humility

Humility is a right assessment of oneself in relation to God. It is not self abasement nor “I am but a wretched worm.” It is not arrogance, “I am better than others.”

Jesus possessed humility and confidence. He could get low and wash feet. He could also stand in the synagogue and declare the words of Isaiah 61. He stated, “Today this scripture is fulfilled.” He stood bold and confident against the Pharisees. He did not shrink back and claim false humility.

The truth is, Jesus knew who He was in relation to the Father. When He prayed, it was with sincere confidence that God the Father heard His plea. Jesus is our model. Jesus is perfect theology.

I am pursuing doing a two day Confident & Free event because I believe God is raising up a company of believers who know who He is and know who they are in Him.

In Christ we are not less than nor better than; we are redeemed children of God. We are joint heirs. We are His workmanship created for His glory. Insecurity brings no glory to God! It is the flip side of pride.

False humility brings no glory to God, “Let’s pretend we are not who God says we are so others think we are humble.” God wants to free us of agreement with the devil. The devil approached Jesus and said, “If you are the Son of God.” Jesus knew who He was and responded in confidence, “It is written.”

Speakers for the Confident & Free Event will be announced this month! Whooohoooo! Instead of people coming to listen to me speak at 3-4 sessions a day for 2 days, I wanted to give others a chance to share their experiences with gaining godly confidence and freedom.

God has continued to press into my heart a need for people to see themselves as He does; not arrogant and not insecure. I sense and often see confusion over what it means to be confident and deal with numerous people in soul healing sessions who hate themselves, hide, feel bad about who they are, or a few have grandiose ideas about who they are. God intends we live in balance, and love ourselves in healthy ways. We love our neighbor AS we love ourselves.

We will have 7-8 speakers, 7 sessions, 2 panel discussions (you can ask questions), and a wonderful/intimate prophetic worship team.

The focus of day 1 is FREEDOM. Let’s break out of legalism, limiting mindsets, tear down religious strongholds, get the soul and body healed, dream BIGGER with God. I am carving out space for extended ministry time. Need healing, come! Our prayer teams would love to pray for your soul or body healing.

Day 2 is focused on confidence. What does it mean to be confident? Is confidence arrogance? What does it mean to be loving and bold? We want to talk about how to have an intimate relationship with God, hear and test His voice, step out of the boat with Jesus, properly understand and use authority, and share real testimonies of overcoming with Jesus.

The plan is to pour into those who attend. The mission is love. The mission is Jesus. The mission is getting people activated to move beyond just going to listen to someone else speak and do the works of Jesus. The works of Jesus are not just for some people or a select elite. It’s for every person who places their faith in Him!

In Christ you can see the sick healed!

In Christ you can share and preach the Gospel!

In Christ you can see people delivered from tormenting spirits!

In Christ you can love the broken!

In Christ you can make disciples!!

You can! You can! Oh yes you can!!

Jesus said, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.” We, those who follow and abide in Jesus, have empowerment by God to do even GREATER! If you don’t know Jesus, come, we would LOVE to share who He is and how much He loves you.

I hope you join us for two days of jam packed teaching, activations (you get to participate-not just watch us do the stuff), worship, laughter, giveaways, ministry time, prayer, equipping, mentoring, and hopefully answering some questions you may have!!

Come party with us for 2 full days and invite some friends. Right now tickets are discounted to $89. That is roughly $10-12 a session. We also don’t plan on taking up offerings-people can donate to a charity represented there or speaker, yet I won’t be passing the plate to cover event costs. You will also have an opportunity to hear about human trafficking and support being part of the solution.

  • When is it? May 17 and 18, 2019
    • Sessions: 9 am, 2 pm, and 7 pm (mid day sessions have more than one speaker)
    • Where is it? 1055 McNaughten Road, Columbus Ohio 43213
  • Use the coupon code: EarlyBird
    • When should you sign up: As soon as possible. Seats are limited and we are already at 18% capacity with registration opening January 1.
    • Who’s Invited: Everyone (yet we will not have childcare for this event). Come and bring your teenager or preteen.

    Godly confidence is for everyone!!

    Love,

    Erin Lamb

    Founder/Owner/CEO of Lamb Enterprises LLC

    (Authoring, Publishing, Events, Masterclasses, Mentoring, Soul Health, and Wellness)

    #Confidence #ConfidentandFree #JointheParty

    Monday Encouragement

    Revelation of God’s Heart Regarding Relationships (Encouraging Word).

    Have you ever wondered how God feels about relationships, conflict, betrayal, loss, mistreatment? I have. I was taught that God loves the sinner (He does). There was far less focus on God loving the one sinned against. I was told to forgive (we should), keep giving, keep pouring out, keep investing because love never fails. What I found was a string of bad or one sided relationships. Yes I was loving. Yes I wad attempting lay my life down. Yes I was giving, giving, giving. I was also in a cycle of feeling unloved, used, abused, mistreated, and had no joy in those relationships. Mostly I wanted to escape those people yet felt obligated to stick with them because God is love.

    I failed to realize God wants me to be loved in return. God created relationships to be mutually beneficial. He designed family, community, and what we call the church. It was never intended to be one sided, abusive, harmful, nor for people to be consumers. Love gives.

    One of the issues present in our culture is things are being loved, and people are being used. God expects us to steward our lives and hearts. We, not God, must set boundaries. Boundaries are healthy and demonstrate love for ourselves. We love our neighbor AS we love ourselves. Below are the words I sensed from God yesterday. Certainly weigh and test them. God wants you loved well!

    The Lord spoke some profound things to my heart that I hope bless someone else.

    “I will never bring someone into your life to abuse you, use you, manipulate you, or hurt you. People have free will and they do not always make the right choices. I desire that you are loved well! I desire that you are treated well, honored, celebrated, and cared for the way My Son loves you.

    Gosh we love you and we are so honored to know you and call you beloved. I desire for your dreams to be fulfilled and EXCEEDED. I do not delight when people mistreat you. It brings great sorrow to My heart. People think because I can turn bad situations into good ones that I am the source of the bad things. Some believe I am an unloving Father, that I want the very least for them, that I enjoy struggle, pain, betrayal and loss. They do not understand My heart.

    I LOVE My children MORE than anyone could love them. I want the VERY BEST for them. I want them to have JOY. I want them to see My heart for them through others whether that is through a spouse or friend or family.

    I am deeply grieved when My children hurt each other, out of their brokenness, pride, insecurity, and lack of receiving My love. It is not My will that My children are abused, wounded, put down, rejected, abandoned, or left to suffer. I run towards the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds.

    Understand that I am for you. I will expose and move people away from you who seek to destroy your heart or life. I love them the same as I love you. I am also a protective Dad. I come to stand as an Advocate and the Lover of your soul.

    I will remove you from people and situations where I gave you as a gift and they trampled that gift under foot. Just as I took the one talent from the unwise servant and gave it to the one with ten, I will remove you from unwise stewards of your heart and plant you in fertile, healthy soil. I will connect you with those who see your value, know their value, and will steward you as I intend.

    I love you! I love you! I am for you!! You are a gift, My gift. You were carved out of My heart and bear the seal of My Son. You are our workmanship, created by Love, to be loved and then to love!

    I want you to thrive in EVERY area of life! Love Dad.”

    I believe this applies to each of us. God is a really good Father! God loves His children MORE than we could ever love ours. If we ask for bread, He will not give us a stone. If we who are sinful know how to give good gifts to our children, how much MORE will our heavenly Father who is perfect in love give us.

    Love,

    Erin Lamb

    The Reason for the Season

    Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    My heart has been pondering the true meaning of Christmas. Jesus came into the world to seek and save the lost. He had His eyes fixed on people that others called outcasts or the unloveable. Jesus took on the role of a servant and loved sinful humanity. While yet sinners, Jesus died for us. What love, what a sacrifice.

    I believe we can pay it forward by loving others this season. We can sacrifice something for someone else.

    In my area, it is cold. It is winter time.

    Though I am on ministry break, it does not stop the part of me that cares deeply for humanity. Ministry is not a job, it is a lifestyle of loving God and loving people. One does not simply turn love off.

    While out looking for wrapping paper, getting a few things this week, I saw a man along side the road begging for food. Do you drive past and pretend you do not see, or stop for the one? I believe Jesus would stop for the one. I believe God would feed the one hungry and cold. Not just because it’s the season to love, but because God is love.

    I saw a shivering, skinny, and lonely man begging for food. His face was downcast, maybe shame or despair have crept in on his heart. I saw someone Jesus loves.

    I had no blessing bags in the car this time. I cleaned out my car it was starting to look like Costco!! For reals. I did have the chance to stop at Burger King to grab a hot meal for this man. What is one meal? It’s better than nothing. If he has not eaten in days, one meal is better than no meals. What is a short interaction on side of the road with a stranger? I think it’s a way to demonstrate to someone in a practical way that God sees them. God loves them.

    Love does not just go away on vacation. It springs forward to do something, not everything-something.

    This frosty season, maybe God will place an angel on your path who could just use a meal or hot chocolate. Maybe that person needs to see and hear that “God sees you. God loves you! I will pray for you.” Maybe that person needs to see and hear the Gospel (good news).

    I don’t tell you these things so you think highly of me. I tell you because maybe it will place some of the invisible people on someone’s radar. Not everyone has a home this Christmas. Not everyone has a family. Some are hurting deeply and wondering where this good God is. If we are in Christ, God lives in us. The greatest gift abides in us and we can partner with God to pay it forward.

    I cannot do everything. You cannot do everything! We cannot stop for everyone. We can do something!

    We say Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus, though He was born in Autumn. If it is truly the celebration of His birth, may we look for some way to bless Jesus. I believe He would be looking for someone else to bless on His birthday. His heart is unselfish and overflowing with love.

    Matthew 25:40-42 The Passion Translation (TPT)

    “And the King will answer them, ‘Don’t you know? When you cared for one of the least important of these my little ones, my true brothers and sisters, you demonstrated love for me.’

    “Then to those on his left the King will say, ‘Leave me! For you are under the curse of eternal fire that has been destined for the devil and all his demons. For when you saw me hungry, you refused to give me food, and when you saw me thirsty, you refused to give me something to drink,~Jesus.

    Merry Christmas!

    Love in Christ,

    Erin Lamb

    Photos: Pinterest

    Hidden in Jesus

    Enjoy being hidden. Find home in God’s heart. ❤️

    I love my cave. I actually prefer being in hidden seasons with Jesus. I never prayed to be seen nor to have a platform. My prayer was to be one of God’s very best friends. I think He is the greatest gift to humanity.

    In hidden seasons you can simply enjoy God. No one is looking at you nor looking for you. You have an intimacy no one asks about and often they don’t even see you. Yet God sees you.

    His eyes are the only ones that matter and He is the best thing.

    Oh my, I could go on for days about God. Don’t forget to ENJOY God. Don’t forget to find yourself lost in His gaze. There is more pleasure in God than anything He created. There is more joy in God than any human.

    He is worth knowing and pursuing…to say, “I want you God. I desire you. Here I am, laying all I am before your feet, to be swept up in love and intimacy. You are who my heart longs for…more of you.”

    May we pursue Him. If no one on earth is looking at you, God is. Look back into those eyes of fire and let the intensity of that love wreck you!!!

    Love,

    Erin Lamb