Revival is Outside Our Worship Gatherings (Stories from the Streets)

Morning Notes & Stories: True Christianity is More Than Praying & Attending Services/Conferences. The Disciples of Jesus Went Out and Did What They Saw Jesus Doing. Prayer Does Not Replace Action.

If anyone sees a fellow believer in need and has the means to help him, yet shows no pity and closes his heart against him, how is it even possible that God’s love lives in him?

Beloved children, our love can’t be an abstract theory we only talk about, but a way of life demonstrated through our loving deeds. We know that the truth lives within us because we demonstrate love in action, which will reassure our hearts in his presence.~1 John 3:17-19.

Jesus came and fulfilled Isaiah 61. The Spirit of the Soveriegn Lord was upon Him to do something to help others know God, connect with God, be healed, set free, and delivered. Jesus did not go into the Temple and sit down. He did not just teach people. He did not just hold prayer meetings. Jesus took the disciples out and had them do the stuff. Jesus activated the 12 and then they mulitpled. Jesus actually made disciples who replicated His teaching and actions.

Revival is a super buzz word. It sounds amazing. I think people believe just praying will usher in this great societal revolution. What people fail to realize is God partners with human beings to accomplish His will on earth and that moves beyond prayer. If my neighbor has no groceries or is starving, my prayers will not get them groceries. I have to either partner with God to meet their practical needs or ask God to send someone else who can.

I struggle with non participation in circles of people say they desperately want revival.

Last year I spent a year serving with the city and their initiative for the poor. I was the only born again, spirit person on their committee-that I knew of anyway. I asked them why they did not have more churches involved, there are so many in my city. They stated churches often turn them down and refuse to help-they have their own programs to support. We can pay thousands of dollars to have big name people come preach to us or sing to us, and not help the city with poor??? It does not make sense.

If all the believers took just one tiny slice of the pie, it could transform a city. Transforming a city trumps filling buildings and having packed out conferences.

If I am constantly wrecked in the glory of God that does not shift my priorities and heart to care about what He cares about, something is wrong. Either I am not truly connecting with God or I am disobeying God.

When I talk to people about helping the poor or abused, I will constantly get the response, “I am not called to do that,” or “I asked God and He told me not to support your ministry,” those same people (some not all) will come back with ways I can help support their vision, mission, and mandate from God. People love to give money, not so much the time, service, or feet on the ground.

I am not asking people to join forces with me on the street. I do ask people to serve somewhere, do something other than consume, take the Gospel out somewhere, go help someone who genuinely has nothing. Jesus was not a bench dwelling passive person. The early apostles and early church were not passive bench dwellers.

In an age of technology, the Gospel can be shared quickly with hundreds to thousands of people. If cat videos can go viral, why not Jesus? An encouraging text or email is easy to send. Letting someone go first in the grocery line-“God loves you, you go first.” Put blessing bags in the car for the homeless-include an encouraging note or bible. Stop for the neighbor and ask how they have been. Listen when people talk instead of dominating the conversation. Be a great friends instead of a one sided one. Find out what the city is doing to help people and tag along. Start a discipleship group-help people grow in their gifts. There are so many options beyond prayer. If I am starving to death, yes prayer is great. What is better is getting me a sandwich.

I was out last winter looking for people to feed. As we were in the park, we saw a man go into the port o john and not come out. One of the ladies said, “Let’s check on him.” I was reluctant to go knock on the port o john door. Yet would not let her go alone. The man came out of the port o john eating chips. He stated he was in there to block his body from the wind and cold. We offered him more food and winter gear (socks, hand warmers, scarves, etc). He was shocked someone wanted to help him. He was reluctant to take what he needed because he said there were so many in need. I told him to take what he needed. He was so excited about socks. Socks made his day. I could have just offered him prayer and the Gospel. Yet it was far better to demonstrate the Gospel, “God cares about every single detail of your life, including your cold feet and hungry belly.”

I was out one night with a team under the bridges. I met this elderly grandma and her grandchild. Since she had no home, her mom dropped off her child at the homeless camp for visitation. It was below freezing. This little girl had on a spring jacket, not a winter jacket. She had the most joy filled eyes. She was happy to be with grandma. I cried once I left them. I cried and cried and cried.

Love is more than sweet words that escape our lips yet never move us to do anything.

Love is more than warm fuzzy feelings that drive us to do only what is comfortable for us.

Love is more than an anthem we sing that never forces us to shift our perspective or actions.

Love is a verb that moves us beyond talking to doing.

Can we do everything? No. Can we do something? Yes. It amazes me with all the hats I wear how many people will ask me to help them personally or support what they are doing. There are thousands to millions doing nothing but soaking up teachings, worship, and experiences and going home. Some aren’t even paying attention in services or to lessons. There is more in God and it is not about passive or idle Christianity. Revival involves transformation and transformation requires participation.

I have yet for God to tell me to do nothing at all for anyone but myself. God highlights people on a daily basis to invest in them. God is generous, loving, kind, compassionate, looking for someone to bless through us. Love looks like someone, Jesus. Love acts like someone, Jesus. Love is demonstrated in our choices and actions-not just our words.

If you see someone hungry, and you can feed them, feed them.

If you see someone freezing, and you can clothe them, clothe them.

If your city struggles with poverty, and you have the means to help, volunteer/serve/be a blessing to the city.

If someone in your church or fellowship looks discouraged, encourage them.

If you see someone struggling to pay their groceries, and you can help them, help them.

If God highlights someone to you that is hurting, reach out. I will say a silent prayer is not as powerful as picking up the phone and calling, “Hey, you have been on my heart. Are you okay? I love you.”

Love in word only is just noise (1 Corinthians 13).

God give us your eyes and heart. Help us to see as you see. Help us to move beyond just going to services and praying for revival to going out and releasing your goodness on earth. Light a fire in our hearts for transformation. Transform us from the inside out. Transformed people transform cities. We need Jesus in the places He is needed most, all 7 mountains of influence. Heaven come through us to leave the world better than it was before we entered.

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

OperationGodisLove.org

Facebook.com/OperationGodisLove

Upcoming Events (Speaking Events & Cozy Book Signing)!

This upcoming Thursday August 30th, 2018 marks the final installment of the 30 Day Speak Life Challenge! Wow how time flies. I hope you have joined us on this journey to dive deeper into God’s heart and speak life!

Join us at 6am Pacific or 9am Eastern on the 30th. I will be discussing dreaming with God, how God is fun, how insecurity is not humility-it’s actually pride, and so much more. Stop by Facebook Author Page and join the party.

Upcoming Speaking Event:

It is possible to end modern day slavery! ❤️👊🏽✊🏽

I will be in Columbus, Ohio in September speaking about social justice, missions, God’s heart for the abused/those exposed to human trafficking, and whatever else God wants shared. This is not about books or selling books. It’s about God’s heart for the abused, least, last, lost…we can do something; not everything-something.

My heart is to see cities and nations transformed by God’s love and power. I have a huge heart for infrastructure repair and improving systems/eradicating poverty.

Operation God is Love (my street ministry/missions initiative/service initiative for the poor) will be heading to Cambodia this fall to serve with Extreme Love Ministries. I believe in local missions (I serve on my city streets and with the immigrant population at the free clinic). OGL is expanding to the nations. If you are in Columbus, stop by or tune in live stream Vineyard Christian Church.

Want to help today:

Donate to Extreme Love! They are doing incredible things in Cambodia to help at risk children and rescue those trafficked.

Extreme Love Ministries .

I believe one person with God can make a significant difference in the world!

After the service there will be a short meet & greet, book signing. Probably 11:30am until 1pm.

Would love to say hello. If not, please pray for me and the Cambodia team. I have done overseas missions before, this will be my first time taking a team. Nine of us are going to serve women and children who have been rescued from human trafficking.

You are prayed for and loved!

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

https://www.empowered-free.com

Facebook.com/erinlambauthor

Facebook.com/OperationGodisLove

OperationGodisLove.org

Miracles Are For Today!

Morning Devotion: The Great Physician and Deliverer. God is Bigger Than Any Diagnosis or Any Enemy. Miracles Still Occur Today! (Testimonies & Prayer at The End)

I believe in miracles because God says that He is the Healer, Deliverer. It is His name. I also believe in miracles because I am one. I am the product of a miracle. I am a recipient of many miracles. My mother was told she would not and could not have children. But God had another plan. We can always insert, “But God!”

I have seen God do things that were absolutely impossible in the natural. I have been in situations where I would have died if it had not been for the great power of God. There is no, “Maybe this is a fluke.” There is a “You lived because the hand of God and power of God did what seemed impossible.”

Jesus said, “With God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). … It is the power of God that makes what seems impossible possible. Nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37).

The same God who spoke the world into existence, pulled man from the earth and breathed into him, opened barren wombs, raised the dead, cleansed the lepers, provided food in the wilderness, led His people into victory against countless enemies, opened blind eyes, sent forth His word to heal the sick, delivered the oppressed, turned wicked men into righteous men, delivered Nations, multiplied fish and loaves, multiplied the widows oil, gave children to those way past child bearing years, shut the mouths of the lion, protected the hebrew boys in the fiery furnace, placed His words in the mouth of the prophets, opened the earth to swallow treacherous men….is the same God we worship today!

God has not ceased being loving. God also has not ceased being powerful. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is at work today. Will we choose to believe and partner with God? Will we look with an eager expectation for God to do what mankind says cannot be done? Can we move past the disappointment and “This did not work before,” to live out of a place of, “God, your word says nothing is impossible with you! I want to live as a person who sees the impossible made possible by your strength and power.”

It is not by our might nor our strength, but by the power of God! He is the all powerful and all sufficient one. He is the alpha and omega, the everlasting God; the great I AM. He is not the I was nor the I will be. He is the very sustainer of life. With one word from God, all of creation would feel the impact of His glory.

God chooses not to force His will on humanity, hence evil in the world. Yet we must understand that God can do anything! His abilities are limitless.

I recall a season of sickness in my life that I was not prepared for mentally or emotionally. I went in for a routine tonsilectomy and left on numerous meds and with a resting pulse of 150 beats per minute. I went from healthy to sick in one day. One surgery changed my life. I was on heart meds, scheduled to see so many doctors I wanted to scream. I love medicine, I do not love being poked and prodded. Some said, “We don’t know what is wrong with you.” Some offered a diagnosis and prognosis that if I did not take heart medication I would develop heart disease and not get very far in life.

I recall being tired, weak, my hair falling out, not sleeping, being winded, hurting, losing pills (there were too many to keep track), trying to study and having little energy to do work. As a chemical engineering student, being able to retain information was important. I was sick and tired of being sick. Some Christians were absolutely unhelpful in their counsel. If I just prayed a certain way or believed enough I would be well. Zero compassion and absolutely not helpful.

I recall crying out to God for breakthrough. I understood God still healed the sick. My parents prayed for the sick often and saw miracle after miracles. My dad kept letters of those who wrote in their praise reports. I knew in my heart that God was not only a healer, but the Healer!

One day I just became fed up with pills and doctor visits. I was quite passionate about freedom! I was driving in my car leaving the doctor’s office and I cried out loudly to God, “I do not want to take these pills any longer and I won’t. You are either going to heal me or I will die!!” The loud passionate cry to God was met with no audible response. I simply said no to sickness. I never took those heart pills again. My heart is beyond healthy today. I have no issues with my heart. There was another issue that was treated easily and I was back on the road to healthy.

I am not stating anyone should do what I did. I am stating that there is something about pressing in to touch the hem of His garment. There is something about God that moves in the direction of faith. There is something so powerful about God that can take a diagnosis and rip it to shreds. He is the most powerful being in the Universe. I was adamant that sickness was not my identity nor my destiny. No matter what the doctor said, I was empowered to get better and live healthy. There was a fight in my spirit not to live in a place of pain, lack, sickness, and exhaustion.

This same power to heal is available today. I recall my business classmate who had been diagnosed with thyroid cancer, they had done the initial tests and biopsies. I asked my teacher if I could pray for people after class. She agreed. Weeks later my classmate messaged me to say in the repeat biopsy they could find no cancer. They had to cancel her treatment plan.

I recall the lady who was bleeding out like the woman with the issue of blood and we prayed by texting. She messaged back the next day her bleeding had stopped.

I recall the lady born partially deaf who could not hear without an implant, who God opened her ears. She had to take her implants out.

I recall the man in his back brace prepping for surgery who Jesus took all his pain away.

I recall the lady told her baby would be severely retarded and she should abort who has a healthy baby today.

I recall the woman bound to crutches, limping, and God removed all swelling from her body and restored her knees.

I recall the young man crippled since infancy and bound to a wheelchair who got up unassisted and stood for the first time in his life.

I recall the woman with facial swelling and pain who’s face returned to it’s normal size with prayer.

I recall the knees, backs, joints, hearts, and souls mended by God.

I recall the man pronounced dead on the operating table, who laid there for minutes lifeless that Jesus rose to life.

I recall the demonized, oppressed, tormented, and harrassed finding substantial freedom. God is beyond able to take dead things and make them living things. Can these dry bones live? Not only can they live, they can become an army!

There are too many stories to place in one post. My encouragement is to believe God is bigger. It is not easy when the test results come back and it’s you who needs a miracle. It’s not easy when the person under attack is you or someone you love. It is not easy when you pray and see no immediate results. It’s not easy when you see others getting breakthrough and you still need breakthrough. It’s not easy knowing God is the Healer and still burying someone you love. I have walked those roads. I understand the tears, disappointment, the places of not understanding why God does not prevent everything bad from happening.

I have had my life threatened, people try to kill me physically or emotionally, walked through years of persecution, walked through sickness, walked through workplace bullying/harrassment, walked through all my parents battling cancer, walked through being hated without cause, walked through facing death over and over and over. I have lived through more than some 80-90 year olds and I am not even mid life yet. I have decades of life to live still. Whew! I will tell you still that God is the most powerful being in the world. He kept my mind. He walked with me through the valley of the shadow of death. He sustained me when no one was with me. God is my very best friend. God stood with me when people stood against me. God is more powerful than anyone and anything.

If you are in the fire, look for Jesus. Invite Jesus.

If you are in the valley, look for Jesus. Invite Jesus.

If you are facing death, look for Jesus. Invite Jesus.

If you are tired, sad, grief stricken, and worn out, look for Jesus. Invite Jesus.

He is the resurrection and the life. Jesus! He is the one who calms the raging seas with one word from His lips. He is the one who sends forth His word and heals the sick. He is the same God who called for Lazarus to come forth and his body, soul, and spirit had to obey the command of the Lord! Jesus! Beautiful Jesus. If He does not deliver you immediately from, He will walk with you through the trial, through the pain, through persecution, through grief, through it all! God is MIGHTY to save.

Papa for anyone reading this who needs a miracle, I ask for your powerful Kingdom to come. Let heaven come. Invade their circumstances with your goodness, love, life, healing, joy, peace, power! Reverse the diagnosis. I declare life. I bind the spirits of death, disease, trauma, infirmity, mental illness, pain, hurt, grief, dissociation, PTSD, and anything not of you God. Let there be light in every place where darkness had been. Holy Spirit wash over each one, head to toe. Be healed and whole in Jesus name.

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

Image Source: Pinterest

Weekend Devotion (God Wants Relationship) 

Photo: Nay Crumors 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love, 

Erin Lamb 

Saturday Devotion (The Gospel According to Jesus)

Photo Source:Pinterest 

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 

God’s Love Is Deeper, Higher, and Better.

  

Photo Credit: WordSwag, used with permission. 

Midweek Devotion: The love of God (agape) is greater, higher, better, and far exceeds human love. 

God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever shall believe in Him (join in covenant with Him) would not perish but have everlasting life…adaptation of John 3:16. The Son so loved the Father and the world that He gave His life. He left Paradise and a place of no sin, sickness, or despair to become our sin. The innocent Lamb of God took on our punishment. What manner of love is this? It is agape; unconditional, radical, unselfish, generous, lavish, sacrificial, poured out love. 

Jesus told His disciples, “As I have (agape) loved you, (agape) love one another. They will know you are My disciples by your (agape) love,” (John 13:34-35). 

Agape is not about niceness (people pleasing). Agape is not eros (romantic/sexual love). It is not philia (friend love). It is above storage (family love). It is the highest form of love and it is costly. It comes from God to us, then it is to flow through us. We freely receive, then we freely give to God and others. Agape love is void of selfishness, self centeredness, and this love is transformative when fully received. 

Agape love is not codependent nor does it enable. It will speak truth in love and cease helping when the help is hurting instead of helping. It is holy, pure, true, and always good. It is the highest form of love. God is agape love and whosoever abides in Him will begin to produce this kind of love. 

When humans say I love you, I am not always certain what it means. It can mean: 

  • I like you. 
  • I value you. 
  • I like what you do. 
  • I love what you do.
  • I enjoy spending time with you. 
  • Being with you makes me feel better. 
  • I am attracted to you (from males).
  • I desire you (from males).
  • I need you (people need God, not me). 
  • I benefit from connection with you.

None of those things are agape. When I say I love you it means the following…

  • I am proactively looking for ways to bless, encourage, or give to you. 
  • I will tell you the truth, even if it cost me greatly or you hate me for being honest. 
  • I will sacrifice for you (within the boundaries of what is healthy, safe, and led by the Holy Spirit). 
  • I pray and intercede for you. 
  • If you can not eat, I will feed you. 
  • If you are naked, I will clothe you. 
  • I will forgive you, extend mercy. 
  • I will do my best to guard your reputation. 
  • I keep your secrets and confidences. 
  • I will look for the gold/treasure in you and call it out. 
  • Your name in safe in my mouth. 
  • I will set boundaries that protect others, not promote selfishness. 
  • I will look out for you. 
  • I will seek to protect your heart and what you hold dear. 
  • I will pursue kindness. 
  • I will care about you, and what matters to you. 
  • If you hurt (and I know), I will seek to comfort you. 
  • I will celebrate you, not compete with you. 
  • I will admit when I am wrong, and seek repentance. 
  • I will honor and respect you. 

Love to me looks like my Father, my Best Friend Jesus, and the sweet, glorious Holy Spirit. He is far above what I have listed. Yet the more I receive of His love, the more I love others the way He loves me. God love is higher. It is way higher! God love is better, far better! It comes from abiding in Him and His love. It is not manufactured in the flesh, for this love extends even towards His enemies. Do we love our enemies the way God loves us? 

When we say I love you, may we reflect back to the words of Jesus, the life of Jesus. May we reflect on 1 Corinthians 13:1-8. I leave you with those words. 

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love (agape) never fails.”

We are so deeply loved. God bless you today and always.
Love in Christ, 

Erin L Lamb 

Image Bearers (Intimacy with God Part III)

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…you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit,~Ephesians 2:19-22.

God invites us into relationship with Him. It is a covenant relationship. His connection with us is Spirit to spirit. He imparts Himself to us in the Person of the Holy Spirit. It’s not simply a visitation with God on Sunday mornings. It’s intended to be a habitation.

What is a habitation? (Source Dictionary.com)

1. The act of inhabiting or the state of being inhabited.
2. A natural environment or locality.
3. A residence.

God abides in born again believers. The purpose of habitation is not simply to get us into heaven. It’s so we are transformed into the image of His Son, Jesus. The Holy Spirit resides in us and continually points to truth, righteousness, and reveals Jesus. Day by day, moment by moment, He’s revealing the Son and we (if we are submitted to God) are being transformed into His likeness. This is a powerful work of the Holy Spirit. We cannot strive to be like God. Our attempts will fail.

Our outward expressions will always manifest our internal reality. Just as an apple tree continues to produce apples. You can chop off the fruit, but it will continue to produce fruit.

We are called to have the fruit of God’s Spirit and be His image bearers in the earth. It brings Him glory when we act like Him, that is the truest form of who we are. Genesis 1 states in His image God created them. We were created by Him, in His image, to represent Him.

How do we become like Jesus?

1. It starts with relationship (see previous post Intimacy with God Part II). If you’re not saved, you will not become like Jesus because the Holy Spirit is not in you. Human efforts are futile.

2. We abide.

I will talk more about abiding in the next post.

Jesus stated in John 15:5, “I am the Vine and you are the branches. Those who remain in Me will bear much fruit. Apart from Me, you can do nothing.”

3. We submit.

Submission sounds horrible when we are self willed and do not understand how much God loves us.

Submission is beautiful when you realize the One you are saying yes to has your best interests at heart. God wants the best for us. So when He says, “Don’t go there. Don’t do this. This is a bad idea. You should go this way,” it’s because He can see all things and knows that the penalty for doing things sinful is death.

We do not become like Jesus by being rebellious, stubborn, disobedient, and living life our own way.

Jesus was obedient even to the cross. What if He decided He was not going to do the Father’s will? You and I would be in a bad place as He’s the atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Lastly, God didn’t just save us so we could ride off into the sunset just as broken and messed up as He found us. He saved us out of love. He restores broken things and makes them brand new. He loves us as we are, yet out of that great love-never intends to leave us the way He found us. No parent would want their adult child wearing diapers. He loves us as is, yet the Holy Spirit works in us to grow us up in love, truth, maturity, and wisdom.

Our response to that great love is submission. We are transformed into our true identity.

As we become like Him in character, we become the greatest blessing to the world. We are salt and light. We reflect Him and bring His beautiful fragrance to the world. We will not impact the world by acting like the world. Our lives are meant to be beacons of light!

We reflect the nature, character, and goodness of God. We represent Him and heaven.

I want to stay connected to God and submitted to Him so when people encounter me, they encounter Him. I desire the pure essence of Jesus to be manifest in my life, for His glory.

Will you join me on this quest to know Him intimately?

I hope so!

Praying you are overwhelmed by His goodness, grace, love, and mercy! You are deeply loved.

Love,

Erin Lamb