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Saturday Devotion (The Gospel According to Jesus)

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Weekend Devotion: The Great Falling Away, What is the Gospel, The Prodigal, and Salvation. Looking at the words of Jesus (He is perfect theology). 

I have been thinking about prodigals and those who do not know God. I have also been thinking of those who believe they know God, yet what they have is religion not relationship. I started thinking about all the people told to simply pray a prayer to be saved (Jesus never did this) or told baptism and church membership saves them, and then live independently of God. When facing God, some will have an interesting awakening. 

The revelation will come that God is better than anything created and the words, “Depart from Me I never knew you,” will sting. 

How could a loving God reject someone? 

God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. The choice is set before everyone-choose life, choose the Son, follow Him, do what He says. God extends the invitation, mankind rejects God. 

I personally do not believe in once saved always saved. Why? I find scriptures that speak of those who fall away (Matthew 24:8-9), those who turn their backs on God, those who practice lawlessness and do not care for others being cast into the darkness (Matthew 7:21-23, Matthew 25:31-46). 

 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day [when I judge them], ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, and driven out demons in Your name, and done many miracles in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them publicly, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me [you are banished from My presence], you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands].’~Jesus (Matthew 7:21-23). 

And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he who endures until the end shall be saved~Matthew 24:12-13. 

And the longest passage comes from Matthew 25:31-46.

There is such a burning in my heart for every person to have a personal awakening and relationship with God. 

The Role of the Disciples of Jesus

The Church is to reveal to the world the heart, nature, compassion, and goodness of God. 

Jesus revealed the Father and the world came to know God. 

The Prodigal

The prodigal had to come to his senses. He thought what the world had to offer was better than the Father. He was wrong. 

The prodigal traded royalty for a pit. He gave up paradise for something far beneath his destiny. 

The devil works overtime to convince people life on earth is all there is. He shouts, “Live it up,” knowing life independent from God leads to destruction. 

The Spirit of This Age 

The spirit of this age blinds people to the truth of who God is, how good God is, and offers temporary pleasures that never, ever satisfy. They leave people empty, broken, wounded, confused and on a death march to hell with the devil. 
Even the spirit of religion blinds people to the truth of the Gospel. 

The Gospel is… 

  • God so loves the entire world (every people group, both genders, every ethnicity).
  • There is no racism or sexism or hierarchy of people/genders in God’s heart (1 John 4:8, Revelation 5:9). 
  • God empowers both men and women to have dominion on earth and do the works of Jesus (Genesis 1:28, Galations 3:28). 
  • God so loved the world He sent His Son Jesus to die for our sins (John 3:16).
  • Sin leads to death (Romans 6:23). The death penalty was on us all (Romans 5). 
  • Jesus paid for all sin on that rugged cross. So whosoever shall believe on Him and follow Him will be saved (John 3:16). Jesus invited people to follow Him (relationship).
  • He (Jesus) was born of a virgin, died for all sin, and was resurrected on the third day with all power in His hands (Matthew 1:18, 1 Peter 3:18, 1 Corinthians 15:4, Matthew 28). 
  • The same power that raised Jesus from the dead came on believers at Pentecost (Acts 2). It is available to every born again believer (Acts 1:8). 
  • Repentance (changing our mind about sin), accepting Jesus by faith and making Him Lord creates radical transformation in our lives. 
  • The old is passed away and the new comes (2 Corinthians 5:17). 
  • As far as the east is from the west, that’s how far our transgressions are removed from us (Psalm 103:12). 
  • We are crucified with Christ and it is no longer we who live, it is Christ who lives in us (Galatians 2:20).

My continual question on the street, in the market place, even at church is, “Do you know (have personal, intimate relationship) with Jesus?” 

Papa help us to know you, really know you. I pray for any person reading this devotion to have an encounter with you. I ask for radical encounters of your love, peace, joy, and wisdom. I pray for any not following Jesus to have a heart that turns to you. Let not one perish. Every spiritual scale fall off their eyes. Every bondage be broken. Every lie be seized. Holy Spirit of truth come and saturate us all. Come Lord Jesus and reveal yourself to each one. Breathe on us. In Jesus powerful name. Amen. 

Love, 

Erin Lamb 

 
 

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The Promised Gift (Holy Spirit University (HSU) Series Part I)

...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). 
Jesus promised the disciples a gift, a gift that would abide with those who place their ultimate faith in Him. 

Holy Spirit is an incredible gift, a gift that sustains, equips, empowers, loves, comforts, intercedes, blesses, gives spiritual gifts, imparts wisdom, and helps believers in incredble ways. 

Holy Spirit University (HSU) series is about doing life with the blessed Holy Spirit. I can not overstate the importance of Holy Spirit. 

Holy Spirit is not a wind or dove or fire-though symbolized this way in scripture. Holy Spirit has emotions, a will, a mind, insight, a voice (Holy Spirit speaks and teaches), and is perfect in every way.

Yielding to the Holy Spirit is vital to living a victorious life. 

Let’s read some scripture together: 

While being together and eating with them, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Of which,” He said, “you have heard Me speak. For John baptized with water, but you will be baptized and empowered and united with the Holy Spirit, not long from now.”

So when they had come together, they asked Him repeatedly, “Lord, are You at this time reestablishing the kingdom and restoring it to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know the times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority. But you will receive power and ability when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be My witnesses [to tell people about Me] both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the ends of the earth.”-Acts 1:4-8. 
Jesus spoke of this gift from God that would empower and equip the disciples. The Holy Spirit would give them holy boldness to be His witnesses. 

What on earth does Holy Spirit do? 

Part of the role of Holy Spirit is to empower us to do what Jesus did. 

Jesus did not say, “I am going to give you this gift that will help you do nothing. Please sit and do nothing until I return or you die. Also please stay the same way I found you.” 

The Holy Spirit within is a power house. This promised gift was to love, bring comfort, to teach, to be a seal on believers that they belong to God, to give power, holy boldness, counsel, give strength, reveal the righteous nature of God, sustain, impart spiritual gifts, provide wisdom, and so much more. 

Ready or not, here comes Holy Spirit!

The disciples walked with Jesus. I am certain there was attachment. He told them it was better that He go to the Father than remain with them. The Spirit of God would come and dwell with believers and inside of Spirit baptized believers. They would have this power house within them.

God fulfilled His word at Pentacost (Acts 2:1-13):

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place, and suddenly a sound came from heaven like a rushing violent wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. There appeared to them tongues resembling fire, which were being distributed [among them], and they rested on each one of them [as each person received the Holy Spirit]. And they were all filled [that is, diffused throughout their being] with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues (different languages), as the Spirit was giving them the ability to speak out [clearly and appropriately].

Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout and God-fearing men from every nation under heaven. And when this sound was heard, a crowd gathered, and they were bewildered because each one was hearing those in the upper room speaking in his own language or dialect. They were completely astonished, saying, “Look! Are not all of these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears in our own language or native dialect? Among us there are Parthians, Medes and Elamites, and people of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia [Minor], Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and the visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes (Gentile converts to Judaism), Cretans and Arabs—we all hear them speaking in our [native] tongues about the mighty works of God!” And they were beside themselves with amazement and were greatly perplexed, saying one to another, “What could this mean?” But others were laughing and joking and ridiculing them, saying, “They are full of sweet wine and are drunk!”
Many went on to share the Gospel of Jesus with exceptional boldness and clarity. This power house filled those in the upper room and changed their lives forever. 

The gift that produces victory!

It is impossible to live a victorious life without Holy Spirit. 

…you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.)~Romans 8:9.

…the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words,~Romans 8:26. 

For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God,~Romans 8:13-14. 

When you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed in Him, you were also sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,~Ephesians 1:13. 

Without the Holy Spirit our flesh or soul (human mind, will, emotions) will dictate our lives. The mind of the flesh wars against God, it cannot please God. Without the Holy Spirit, according to Romans 8:9, we do not belong to God.  We need this gift and to honor the blessing of the Holy Spirit. 

As we contunue on this study of Holy Spirit I pray we grow to have deeper intimacy with God. I pray we grow to know more about Holy Spirit and cultivate greater friendship with Him. 

Love, 

Erin Lamb 

 
 

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Gifts from Heaven

 

For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless,~Psalm 84:11. 

I normally don’t post back to back. No worries, I’m not starting a new trend. I won’t be posting this upcoming week or weekend. Or next week. Busy days ahead…mostly filled with fun. 

I did want to encourage you before I take a break…yes. I wanted you to be on the lookout for surprises from heaven. God is so generous. He blows me away! I’m praying miracles and tremendous blessings your way. 

If God gives good gifts, where are mine? Is that what you’re thinking? 

I used to think God was blessing everyone but me. I had some time in the wilderness. I like to call it the 7 levels of hell. It was no fun. During that season I watched others celebrating life. Some of those days I was either sick, watching my mum die, helping my family sustain through many challenges, etc…and well the verse above didn’t seem to apply. I had days where I’d say, “God I know you’re good. I can’t see much good in today.” I didn’t see much goodness. Pain has a way of clouding perspective. I saw a string of trials, challenges, tragedies, tears, sorrow, disappointment…Hindsight is 20/20 eh? 

Here’s what I learned about God’s gifts. You ready? 

1. God is the greatest gift, relationship with Him. Some of the sweetest, most intimate moments were in the most intense trials of my life. We are best friends for life. When you’ve been in the fire with God, no one can convince you He’s not real. God kept my mind during things I know I would not have made it through without Him. 

2. Unbelief, murmuring, and complaining block many blessings. God doesn’t delight in complaining. Unbelief blocks the flow of heaven. Everything in the Kingdom works by faith. When I started saying what He was saying, giving thanks for what I did  have, I saw such a radiant light shine in the darkness. I saw gifts I had never seen before. 

3. Gifts don’t always come in the packages you expect or how you expect them. I prayed for a long time for kindred spirits, covenant friends, intercessors. God provided them in the most mysterious ways. Divine appointments with strangers and for some instant love/friendship. Some are old enough to be my parents or grandparents. Age doesn’t matter. Distance doesn’t matter. They are knit in my heart. I love them with my heart and spirit. 

4. God goes for the wow factor. It’s exceedingly and abundantly above all you could ask or imagine. I’ve heard people say, “If it’s too good to be true, it’s probably not for real.” Well…not so with God. He longs to bless your socks off. He’s not offering crumbs off the table. He gives custom gifts. It’s perfect for you or the need you’ve expressed. He is beyond lavish. 

5. He will wait until you’re ready. Some gifts are weighty and require maturity. You wouldn’t give your 2yr old the keys to your car. They wouldn’t know what to do with them. He also won’t give us things or relationships to replace Him or for us to find our identity in them or things we can’t handle.

I stopped praying, “Please give me,” and started praying, “God prepare me. Refine my character.” I want to be an excellent steward and representative of heaven. 

6. Some things God places in front of us to be pursued. Not every gift is FedEx’d with instructions. An easy way to find out is to ask, “God is this for me?”  

I have a guy associate who wants to be married. He will not pursue getting to know anyone. I asked him, “How will you ever get married if you avoid getting to know women?” He had no response. I’m not sure who told singles that angels would sing over their future mate or they’d hear the audible voice of God…I truly think if God places someone on your path it’s okay to have coffee. Coffee is not a marriage proposal, last I checked. Though Chiptole may be (it’s a funny story of a nice man who invited me to dinner then proceeded through his wife must haves checklist. Yep…Chiptole may be a bad choice (insert laugh here)). 

7. If you ask and are being led by the Spirit, He will let you know if it’s not for you. Not everything is to be pursued. If it’s not for you, God is so awesome He will tell you or show you. I pray, “God is this from you? If not, let it pass on through.” Or “Show me who this person really is.” He’s so faithful to answer. Yes! It saved me from getting married to the wrong person in my early twenties and from taking many assignments that weren’t mine to take or even recently from continuing on in a relationship where God said, “This isn’t the right man for you.” He’s great, yet our lives are headed in two different directions. I’m called to international ministry. He wants to be local and is starting med school. We are good as friends, not as two that would become one. How can two be joined together lest they agree? Two visions leads to division. Truly believe God connects people who are better together than apart, they build together. They have similar vision. 

8. God doesn’t forget promises. Some things He spoke 10 years ago are just now starting to surface. He’s faithful. 

9. Say what God says until you see what God says. Our words matter. Decree and declare His words. 

I hope you’re on the lookout for great things from above. God gives awesome gifts. He’s the greatest gift. He’s the center of it all…so worthy!

I bless you. Seeking Him first is the best. He’s outstanding.

You are SO loved and lifted up continually. Write to you in a few weeks!!! 

Love in Christ, 

Erin 

 
12 Comments

Posted by on June 22, 2015 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Between Fear and Faith (Book Excerpt)

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The Bible says without faith it’s impossible to please God. In order to believe in God, there must be faith. We do not see Him the way we see people. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1).

Once we believe in God, I truly believe that’s just the beginning of the journey. The walk with God also includes believing God is who He says He is and will do everything He says He will do. There’s faith required to believe what He says in His word about us, about the future, and so much more.

It’s easy to talk about faith. It requires much more to live out our faith. Faith requires us to do something. When we believe God, we live differently. We experience peace and joy. We cease worrying.

God loves to show up in the lives of those who believe. God loves it when we place confidence in Him.

Fear is one of the many things that comes to choke out faith. It’s a belief that something or someone is more powerful than God. Fear is misplaced faith.

I’d love to tell you I’ve lived or live a 100% fearless life. That would be a lie. There are areas of my life where I have no fear, others where I cling to Jesus and ask for His courage. You won’t see me jumping out of a plane any time soon. 🙂

The Bible tells us to not be afraid because God knows we will be afraid. The more we experience His love, the more confidence we have in His ability to do what He says, including protect us.

Hope this book excerpt from I Thought I Knew What Love Was blesses you.

Between Faith and Fear
Written July 28, 2010 by Erin Lamb
Copyright© 2011 may not be reproduced without permission

There is a place between faith and fear,
where the heart, mind, and the spirit battle for who will win.
There is a consistent tug-of-war,
an outcry;
“Is God here?
Will He answer?
How will I overcome?”
The mind can waver from firm belief
that God will do what He has promised,
to a place of no hope and no peace.
The heart can be so overjoyed,
standing on the mountain of promise
thinking, “This is for me, Lord.”
It can quickly shift its place to the valley
allowing the place of faith
to shift to fear asking, “Will God leave me here?”
The spirit shouts from the mountain top,
to the echo of the valley;
“God is who He says He is,
so do not worry and do not fear.”
This is an uncomfortable place,
the place between faith and fear.
The cold sweats,
the rapid pulse, and
the times of jubilee;
will all connected parts line up and take the leap?
Will there be the leap of faith that says,
“Though I cannot see,
I will still believe?”
Will there be the leap of faith
that says,
“I cannot feel,
but I will trust that God is real.
I will believe despite emotions
that God is good and has the most pure motives.”
Between faith and fear,
a choice must be made;
which one will decide our fate?
There is a blessing on the other side of faith;
will fear strangle it,
devour it, and
destroy it?
Or will faith overcome
and be victorious?
There is no life
on the other side of fear,
just limitations,
speculations,
worry,
and lack of participation.
Fear
strangles all ambition,
shatters all dreams,
destroys anything in its path,
and leaves nothing good to be seen.
On the path between faith and fear,
choose faith.
God will not disappoint you,
nor turn away from any promise He has made.

 
 

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Do You Know Who You Are? (Book Excerpt)

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It’s been while since I have posted something from the book (I Thought I Knew What Love Was) and thought today this one is a good follow-up to the last post Chosen. God has so many good things to say about His children. He loves us with an everlasting love. It is a love that cannot be earned or lost. We must refuse His love. We must refuse to believe His love.

This poem was written in 2008. So many challenging things were happening in my life at the time. My quiet times with God often led to me writing down what He was speaking to my spirit. Do You Know Who You Are? was a sweet reminder from Him of my secure identity in Him. Our identity in Him is so important. Once we fully believe who we are in Him and how much we mean to Him-fear, pride, insecurity, and the temptations of this world lose their weight.

I hope this post blesses your soul. Don’t forget who you are! A beloved child of the King of the Universe.


Do You Know Who You Are?

Copyright© 2011 Erin Lamb (all rights reserved-may not be reproduced without permission)
Written May 12, 2008

Do you know who you are?
Do you know who you really, truly are,
without the name of your natural father,
or the labels given to you by man?
For I have given you My name,
and I call you, “Chosen.”
If you knew who you were;
the integrity of the kernels of faith
and spiritual gifts I have placed inside you;
you would no longer bow your head in shame.
You would understand that for all your sins I stood in your place.
Do you know who you are?
You are not defined by your past,
or even your present.
Each day is just setting the stage to tell your story;
where you are,
is not where you are going.
I do not define you by what you have done,
what you are doing,
or what you will do.
I have placed My name on you.
Your body is My temple,
and I long to always reside with you.
When you sleep and rest in the night hours,
I am awake.
I am watching over you,
waiting enthusiastically until you awaken.
I am longing to meet with you
and shower you with My love.
My love is constant, steadfast, and as enduring as the sun.
Do you know who you are?
I have set you apart to be holy;
for I am Holy.
You are clothed in My righteousness.
You cannot earn My redemption.
It is freely given by your faith and obedience.
My love for you is not dependent upon what you do,
or what you fail to do.
What I accomplished on the cross is finished.
The veil was torn
and your access granted to the most sacred of all.
When you confess your sins
and forgive others,
you are forgiven.
Your slate is wiped completely clean.
My blood covers each and every sin,
so you no longer have to feel guilt or shame.
Do you know who you are?
If only you could see,
what I see.
I wish you could view yourself through My eyes,
the eyes of love.
I have embraced you in the darkness of the night,
knowing that I wanted you.
My heart’s desire was, and is, to search for you,
to look for you,
to pursue you;
what I have for you is beyond your wildest imaginings.
I long to give you more of Me.
I know that My love can satisfy even your most profound needs.
I created you,
looked upon you,
and smiled on who I had made.
I am shaping and molding you into the person I created you to be.
I want the world to get a glimpse of My glory.
I long to radiate from you,
for all the world to see
My glorious splendor.
I am the One who created everything.
There is not one who can rank above Me.
I am above all,
in all,
and I have the power to change, create, and breathe life into any dead
thing.
Your right now is simply an infinitesimal step along the journey
which leads you closer to Me.
No matter what label the world chooses to place on you,
the only significant one
is the one I have given,
and I have called you, My child.
I call you My friend,
My co-laborer,
My dearly loved one,
My family,
and most of all, I call you redeemed.
Do you know who you are?
If only you could see what I see,
for you were birthed with a purpose;
a story uniquely written for you.
I have the ability to turn even the fine particles of the earth
into something that is living and breathing.
Won’t you surrender your identity to Me?
Trust that I am the One who will make you complete.
You are not to be compared to any other human being.
I made you to be you,
and I have placed on you My fingerprints.
I placed together your DNA,
and there is no one exactly like you.
You are My masterpiece.
Don’t look to this world to define you;
look to Me.
I am the One who designed you.
I know everything about you.
I know every breath you take,
and your life is not in vain.
Into you I breathed life,
so I might use you
to reflect My image.
You are My image bearer.
Do you know who you are?
Do you understand the authority you have been given, in My name?
You were created to be about My business.
You were created to reach out to the least, the last, and the lost.
You were created to worship the Creator
and not created things.
Your life is not your own;
it was purchased with My blood.
I took your lashes.
I carried your infirmities.
I took the nails for you.
I took your shame.
You no longer stand condemned,
but freely can receive My grace.
Do you know who you are?
Chosen one,
you are set apart to bear the image of the King.
You are My child.
You are the one I love.
You are the one I adore,
and I know you personally.
Each breath you take is sweet music to My ears.
It is the sound of the breath I Myself have placed there.
I know you.
I made you for a reason.
Each gift, placed inside you, is to play an integral part
in reflecting My kingdom,
in reflecting My creativity, and My love.
You are not a mistake,
a mishap,
or a blip on the screen of life.
You are not insignificant;
I knew you before the foundations of the earth.
Before your parents knew you,
I called you by name
and said, “This one belongs to Me.”
I know your name,
and I will always know your name.
I cannot forget you.
I know the measure of your days;
I have them numbered,
and your time is written on My hands.
Your end will be better than the beginning,
if you will trust Me,
even with the things you don’t understand.
I am the God of all creation.
If you cannot answer who you are,
look to Me.
Do you know who I am?
I have created you in My image,
and I delight in all that I have made.
I do not make mistakes.
I love you, now,
and I will love you, always.

All rights reserved. No part of the material may be used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, without the written permission of the Publisher, Westbow Press (www.westbowpress.com), or Author, Erin Lamb. The only exception is in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

You can purchase right here on the site there’s a link entitled Get Your Copy or you may purchase through these wonderful sites: http://www.westbowpress.com, http://www.barnesandnoble.com. and http://www.amazon.com or iTunes store.

 
 

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