RSS

Tag Archives: Forgiveness

Jesus is the Solution (Weekend Devotion)

Photo source: Pinterest

Morning Devotion: The only solution, Jesus.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yeshua come… ישו באה

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

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

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

You are so deeply loved and prayed for too!

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

 
2 Comments

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

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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 

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Heartfelt Apology for the Behavior of Christians 

  
Photo Source: Wordswag, Used with permission. 

I normally do not post this close together. I felt so strongly in my spirit the need to apologize for the church’s behavior to the world and each other. 

I stand in the gap to say, “I am grieved by the behavior of some believers. Please do not judge God by our actions.” 

I pray if you have been deeply wounded by the church, a professing Christian, there would be great healing. You are so deeply loved and valued by God. 

The Body of Christ deeply wounds people sometimes and for this I am sorry. 

If you have been negatively impacted or wounded by Christians, myself included, I am deeply sorry. I ask for forgiveness. We are flawed, imperfect people in need of the same grace, forgiveness, and mercy as everyone else. We are not better than anyone else. Our professed salvation does not negate our responsibility for our actions. We are accountable to others and God for what we do and say. 

We are not demi gods or little saviors on earth. 

I wish I could say look to us to know what God is like, yet you will be disappointed. God is still working on us to look, love, and behave like Him. 

Look to Jesus who perfectly represents the Father. Start there. Jesus! Jesus who gave His very life, while we were yet sinners. Start with Jesus. He is the earthly manifestation of the Father. 

I can say this..

God is not cold hearted, nor ego driven.

God is not a control freak or bully. 

God is not manipulative. 

God is not selfish.

God is not greedy. 

God is not uncompassionate nor lacking love.

God does not use people. 

God does not condone abuse of any form (emotional, verbal, sexual, or spiritual).

God is not racist; He created one race-human. Humans created the boxes for black, white, asian, latino, etc…it is a man made thing that has no validity in heaven. 

God is not sexist; He places high value on women and does not see them as sex objects, servants, or gullible children. He highly esteems women. He made woman and said, “It is very good.” 

God is not a politician or political party. They too are not a part of heaven. Heaven has a King. His reign eternal. 

God is not filled with hatred. 

God is not easily angered. 

God is not impatient. 

God is not rude. 

God does not behave like a lunatic. 

God is not the author of confusion. 

God cares about everyone, not just those who agree with Him. 

God cannot lie. 

God is faithful to His word. 

God is not wishy washy or a flake. 

God is not a sinner. He is holy. 

God is not a hypocrite. 

God is not out to destroy people; He seeks to redeem them. 

God is not a snob; He gets low to lift others higher. 

God is not unjust; He brings righteous justice to every situation. His timing just isn’t the same as ours. 

God is not blind to pain, nor does He pretend He does not see you when you are hurting. 

God is not after your money; He wants your heart. 

God is not mocked; whatever a man sows, he reaps. 

God does not talk about love and do nothing else. He demonstrates love. 
God is good. It is not always our idea of good, yet God works all things together for eventual good for those who love Him. He will correct us, rebuke us, challenge us, and prune us. Yet His ultimate goal is not to control us, demean us, or hurt us…it is to make us more fruitful-the best version of ourselves. 

Once again, may we look to God to know Him. My prayers are His Bride comes into looking more and more like Him. He is glorious. Please forgive us for not loving you like Jesus loves you!

 
2 Comments

Posted by on November 13, 2016 in From the Author, God's Heart

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Closing Open Doors (The Spiritual House Series Part III)

  
If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come. In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house without first tying him up. Then he can plunder the strong man’s house,~Jesus (Mark 3:24-27).

Hello sweet friends. I hope you’ve been enjoying this series on the spiritual house. I started it because I’ve seen the good fruit of inner healing. I’ve also peer counseled several over the years who had issues of the soul, sins they couldn’t seem to break free from, and though their spirit was free and in Christ, their soul was sick and afflicted. 

The Bible says, “Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers,”~1 John 1:2. Our physical sickness can be the result of our soul sickness. When our soul is sick it causes relational problems, mental problems, and financial problems. I want to be healthy and whole. How about you? 

So, let’s talk more about open doors. How does our soul get sick? Last post I talked to you about lies. How believing lies opens the door for the evil one to gain access to our lives. Once we start believing lies, we begin acting on them because as a man thinketh, so is he (Proverbs 23:7). The body will go where the mind has been. 

Today I will touch on some of the other open doors. You ready for some house cleaning? 

Open doors list: 

  • Unforgiveness/Offense
  • Trauma/Abuse
  • Neglect/Abandonment
  • Gross Sin/Sexual Sin
  • Unbelief
  • Choices of Entertainment
  • Occult Involvement 
  • Generational Sin (Your Ancestors Opened the Door) 

I don’t have the space to touch on each one of these in detail. It’d be pages of information. I will once again share resources at the end so you can learn more. 

Door number 1: Unforgiveness and Offense. 

The Bible is very clear that if we don’t forgive others, we are not forgiven (Matthew 6:15). Jesus never gave us a pass on this one. We must forgive. What does not mean? It means we refuse retaliation or revenge. We surrender the offender to God. We pray for them. We cease carrying heavy stones in our pockets to assault the offender. Is it denying their bad behavior, no? Does forgiveness mean you have to be best friends, no? Does forgiveness equal reconciliation, no? Reconciliation is restoring the relationship. This is not always possible. 

Forgiveness is saying, “I refuse to hold on to what you have done. I lay it at the feet of Jesus. He paid for all sin, yours and mine. He will repay according to His perfect love, mercy, and judgment.” God has a far better way of dealing with people than we can imagine. He’s just! He’s fair. He’s good. 

So let’s close some doors in our lives! 

Prayer: 

Holy Spirit, search our hearts. Please reveal anyone or the people we are holding grudges against. Please reveal anyone or people we are harboring offense against (pause and listen). 

Father right now I choose as an act of my will to forgive ______________(insert name), for their sin of __________(insert offense). I ask God you would forgive them as You’ve forgiven me. I ask the sins of unforgiveness and offense would be washed from my heart and soul in Your Son’s cleansing blood. I shut the door to unforgiveness and offense in my life. I freely receive Your forgiveness and freely give it away. 

Holy Spirit release Your dunamis power into every wound created in my soul by these events and being sinned against. Heal my soul of all wounding caused by sin. Flood my soul with Your incredible resurrection power. Heal every place that was hurt or wounded. In Jesus powerful name, amen. 

You may need to forgive yourself or God. Some are angry with God. He is sinless, yet if we are holding a grudge against Him, we need to surrender it to Him. 

Door 2 and 3: Trauma, Abuse, Neglect, and Abandonment

We were created by God to be accepted, unconditionally loved, cherished, protected, adored, and cared for. We were created to feel safe. The original design was a mother (woman) and father (man) would bring up children in an atmosphere of God’s incredible, unconditional love. There was no trauma, abuse, neglect, or abandonment in the Garden prior to the fall. These doors open us up to spirits of rejection, the orphan spirit, self hatred, insecurity, fear, fear of man, rebellion, control, and more.

I unfortunately have tons of experience with these two doors. I wish I didn’t, but I do because of the sinful choices of my ancestors and family members. Rejection and fear were spirits I battled for a long time. I still have things I must take to God so He can do an even deeper work. I won’t elaborate here, maybe later in a testimony post. 

Prayer: 

Father I thank You for the cleansing power of Your Son’s blood shed on the cross. I forgive every person who has traumatized me, abandoned me, rejected me, hurt or abused me, or caused great harm by withholding love, affection, or acceptance. I release them and each situation to You. I ask right now Your Holy Spirit would go back in time to every entry point of wounding and open doors to my soul. I plead the blood of Jesus on those moments. Cleanse me of all wounding and I ask for Your resurrection power to fill my soul. I ask for complete healing of my mind, emotions, memories, and body from trauma, abuse, neglect, and abandonment. Fill me to overflowing with Your perfect love! Bathe every memory in Your love and purging fire. Consume any dross in me as a result of being afflicted. Give me a deeper understanding of Your unfailing love! Fill me to overflowing. Break off anything in me that would attract me to people who would abuse, neglect, reject, hurt, or abandon me. Send those filled to overflowing with Your amazing love! 

Eviction notice prayer for those in Christ:

Any spirit that attached itself to me due to these open doors I command them to leave and go to a dry uninhabited place never to return. Holy Spirit flood every place with Your love and light. In Jesus powerful name, amen. 

I ask for a release over each of you the peace of God, spirit of adoption, and increased awareness/reception of the love of God. You are loved, cherished, adopted in God’s family (if in Christ), wanted, fully accepted based on what Jesus did, free of being an orphan or outcast, and given a new identity in Christ! 

Door 4: Gross Sin/Sexual Sin 

The Bible is very clear that sexual sin impacts us differently than other sins. Why? Because it’s sin against the body, the temple of the Holy Spirit. And sex was intended to join us (glue us) to another person physically, spiritually, and in our soul. It’s stronger than super glue. Have you ever super glued two things together and then wanted them apart? I have. You notice there’s a ripping or tearing when you get them apart. There’s residue on one and brokenness on the other. It’s scientifically proven that our brains do not know the difference between actual lawful sexual intercourse which releases hormones in the brain and all other activities that release those hormones. 

God designed sex and sexual release so humans would be drawn back to each other over and over. Hence the body’s craving for stimulation once activated. So no matter the source, it leads to bondage or addiction if not placed in its proper place within marriage (man and woman). Check out Moral Revolution for more information on sex and sexuality. 

We are also told not to keep on sinning (on purpose) once saved. Gross sin is: you know something is wrong and just keep on doing it without any repentance. Does this mean we strive for perfection? Ummm…no! We abide in Christ and confess our sins to Him. We rely on His empowerment, the indwelling and powerful Holy Spirit. Our spirit is saved if we are in Christ. We can still choose to sin which opens the door for the evil one to get a foothold or eventually a stronghold in our lives. 

Prayer: 

Holy Spirit search my heart. Please reveal any unconfessed sins so that I might repent of them (listen). 

Father please forgive me for ________(insert infractions). I’m sorry for choosing my way above Yours. I receive Your forgiveness. Help me to say yes to Your will. Father any place I’ve surrendered my purity for sex outside of marriage (man and woman) or engaged in immoral sexual activity I ask for Your forgiveness. I ask for the power of Your Holy Spirit to restore my hormone balance so I am not addicted or in any bondage. Any part of me that’s attached to another, I ask that it be returned to me washed in Your Son’s cleansing blood. Any part of another person that’s attached to me through immoral activity I ask that it be returned to them washed in Your Son’s cleansing blood. The spiritual super glue that bonded us together in unhealthy ways to receive the breaking power of Your anointing. I ask for wholeness in my soul. Holy Spirit heal my soul from all the wounds inflicted through gross sin and sexual sin. I want to be whole and walk in purity. Holy Spirit release Your dunamis power into every wound in my soul. In Jesus powerful name, amen. 

Eviction notice prayer for those in Christ:

Any spirit that attached itself to me due to these open doors I command them to leave and go to a dry uninhabited place never to return. Holy Spirit flood every place with Your love, purity, and light. In Jesus powerful name, amen. 

I ask for a release over each of you the purity of God, self control, comfort, and cleansing of the mind. 

Next time I will cover the other open doors. You are loved sweet friends! Let’s continue on this journey to wholeness in Christ. 

Resources: 

The Bondage Breaker by Neil T. Anderson
Soul Decrees by Katie Souza
Deliverance and Spiritual Warfare Manual by John Eckhardt
The Naked Truth about Sexuality by Havilah Cunnington 

Father thank You that You’ve given us everything we need to be free: sin cleared by Your Son’s blood and healing in the power of Your Spirit. We want to be whole; mind, body, soul, spirit. Do a deep work within so our souls look like Jesus. Heal every wound. Thank You Papa. May we receive fully all You have paid for. In Jesus powerful name, amen. 

Love in Christ, 

Erin 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on August 8, 2015 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I See the Cross (Beautiful Jesus! Wonderful Savior!)

Photo Credit: Pinterest

I normally post weekly to give people space to read and not be overwhelmed by multiple messages a week. My heart was so stirred yesterday to recall what love cost God. You see, genuine love is costly. Anyone can say, “I love you,” yet our actions demonstrate whether those words are true. Only the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob offered up His only begotten Son to take away the sins of the world. Our sin was no shock to God. He already knew we’d choose our way over His. It was in the plan all along that Jesus would die for humanity and rise again with all power. 

Only Jesus (God in the flesh) allowed Himself to be humiliated, beaten, mocked, shamed, hurt, rejected, and nailed to a rugged cross to fulfill the Father’s divine plan of redemption. He loved the Father and out of that perfect love and obedience, He went to the cross. He also loves and loved us enough to give His life. 

God is love. He knew by no other means could mankind be truly be saved. So, He offered Himself. He took the penalty for us, for the wages of sin is death. God’s wrath was poured out on that cross so we would not have to face eternal damnation. 

Have you celebrated His sacrifice today? Thanked Him? Worshipped Him? Will you join me today in celebrating the greatest love anyone will ever know? He’s worthy of continual praise! Thank you Papa God. Thank you Jesus. Thank you Holy Spirit. 

Here’s an excerpt from I Thought I Knew What Love Was…hope it leads you to worship. You are SO deeply loved. 


I See the Cross
written by Erin Lamb October 25, 2007 
Copyright© 2011 may not be reproduced without permission

I see the cross,
so vividly in front of me;
one nail pierced hand on the left
and another on the right.
I see His head hanging there
with the thorns positioned, oh, so tight.
I see the blood
dripping from the pure, spotless Lamb.
I kneel before Him
laying my sins,
all of them,
there.
I see the cross.
I see the beauty of God’s unmerited favor
and His forgiveness.
I see love in the eyes of the One who took my place.
For no greater love lies within a person,
than to surrender His life for His friend.
I see the cross,
that rugged cross;
my freedom was purchased with His blood.
He has been and always will be,
the One who paid the greatest price.
I was purchased by His life’s offering.
I am forever seated with Him in the heavenlies,
and my name is written in His heart.
His children are seated next to Him in heavenly places,
for on the cross He did not remain.
He rose again with all power in His hands.
The same power that raised Him from the dead,
now lives inside of me.
It lives inside of you.
It is that great power at work in us
that changes us from the person we are,
into the person that He chose us to be.
It is that same power that transforms a wicked man
into a righteous man.
I see the cross;
my Deliverer
is hanging there.
He purchased my freedom,
my healing,
and every blessing in the heavenly realm.
Some blessings I see now,
and some are yet to be seen.
I see the cross.
Do you see Him?
Do you celebrate here;
the place where tattered rags of our wretchedness
are exchanged for a robe of righteousness?
This place, the place,
is where scarlet sins are washed white as snow.
This is the place we must go.
The cross is where miracles occur.
The greatest miracle of all
is that God would seek to be reconciled with a sinful world.
I see my Father’s love here.
He cared enough
to send His only Son to save the least, the last, and the lost.
I see the cross,
a reflection of what real love is.
Selfishness died on the cross
when He said, “Father not my desires, but all Your purposes be
accomplished.”
Death was triumphed over on the cross
when He spoke, “It is finished.”
We know that we will see Him again,
and this life here is not the end.
We know that when the trumpet sounds,
the dead in Christ will rise
again.
We know that we will have eternity to worship Him
and eternity to love Him.
I see the cross,
and it is all I must see.
Even if the world around me fades away,
I know that through my Savior I am
reconciled,
restored,
and made complete.
This body may fade and wither,
friends and family may come and go.
I have knelt before that rugged cross enough times to know
that my days are in His hands;
so are His purposes and His plan.
He is the reason I live.
He is the reason I rejoice.
No man would sacrifice his life,
put his very life in jeopardy, for someone who was guilty.
He gave His life,
so we may stand before Him completely unashamed.
Take a moment and look to the cross.
Ponder the wonderful cross.
I hope I find you there,
basking in the love of the Father.
He is the One who deeply loves you
and cares for you.
He is there
carrying your infirmities,
collecting every tear,
rejoicing when you rejoice,
and weeping when your soul has had its wear and tear.
You are never alone
and never abandoned.
I see the cross,
engrained forever in my memory.
The cross is a picture of the greatest love.
He is a love so true
and a love so dear.
He is a love that will never end.

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.

If you’d like to read more psalms, poems, love letters to and from God, you can purchase right here on the site there’s a link entitled Get Your Copy or you may purchase through: http://www.westbowpress.comhttp://www.barnesandnoble.com. and http://www.amazon.com or iTunes store.

Love, 

Erin 

Photo credit: Pinterest

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Believe, Know, Listen, & Follow-Intimacy with God (Part II)

IMG_0416.JPG

Photo credit: Son of God movie

John 10:25-30.

Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.”

I recommend reading all of John 10. In this passage Jesus refers to Himself as the good Shepherd. Shepherds were overseers of flocks. Sheep are not the brightest animals. They will fall into ditches, see another sheep in a ditch and fall in…they can wonder off and be destroyed because they are not wise. Shepherds protected their sheep. They were invested in keeping them safe. They’d lay at the gate to prevent them from escaping. They spent time with the sheep. They rescued wayward sheep.

Jesus is the good Shepherd. We are like the sheep. He’s responsible to care for us, reveal who He is to us, and we are to know and follow Him. We are not an obligation to God. We are His dearly loved children.

In the verses above Jesus is responding to the questions of the Pharisees about who He is. Is He the Christ? I love His responses. He stated, “You do not believe, therefore you are not my sheep. My sheep know and follow me.

Intimacy with God starts with faith. It starts with belief.

Do you believe God is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do?
It is not enough to simply believe there is a God or Jesus is the Son of God. Even the demons believe and tremble. (James 2:19), yet they are not saved. There’s no salvation for them. There is for humanity.

If you’re reading this and you’ve never confessed your sins before God, repented (made a decision to turn from sinning and turn to God), asked God to cleanse you of your sins, placed your faith in Jesus Christ as the appropriation for your sins, and asked Him to be your Lord and Savior, I invite you do so. There’s no salvation apart from Him. There’s no entrance to heaven without going through the Son. We can’t do enough good works to earn holiness or righteousness. Jesus did it for us. We by faith, receive what He’s done and accept His righteousness as our own.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me,” John 14:6.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith,~Romans 3:23-25a.

If you invited God into your life, I would love to hear from you and provide more information to you.

The second step in intimacy with God is being with Him.

Sheep spent their time with the shepherd. They learned his voice, his smell, his mannerisms. It’s impossible to have intimacy (knowing) with someone and you never spend any time. If Sunday morning is the only time you spend with God, well your level of intimacy is not going to be high.

I am not stating you attend worship services all week, lock yourself in a room to pray and read the Bible all day. I am saying we can commune with God every day, as much as we’d like. One of my morning activities is to start the day with worship and thanksgiving. “Good morning God! I love you. Thank you for who you are and all you’ve done. I invite you to be a part of my day. What do you want to do? Who do you want to bless?” And there are days where I’m just listening. What is God doing? What is He saying? It’s not a ritual, it’s relationship.

Intimacy with God involves listening and knowing His voice.

The Bible says God speaks. There are some who teach He doesn’t and that does not align with scripture. God speaks to His children. If you had children and wrote an instruction manual for them, would you then say, “I refuse to speak to you. Go read the book I gave you.” That would seem insane. Yet some teach God only speaks to us through the Bible. God spoke to people in the Bible through dreams, visions, directly, through prophets, even through a donkey. Before you get too excited, let’s lay down some ground rules.

1. When God speaks He will not tell you to sin or violate His already written word.

I had someone tell me once the Holy Spirit told her not to read the Bible ever and only to listen to the voice she was hearing. That’s wrong and violates scripture.

I heard someone say God told them to leave their spouse for someone else. That’s wrong. It violates many scriptures.

Our culture says do whatever feels good for you and if it’s “love” or feels good, God must approve of it. That’s wrong. If there’s no place in scripture where God is condoning a behavior, you can’t condone it either and claim it’s God. There are some verses that seem to contradict each other which is why God gave His Holy Spirit to teach us.

We can’t toss out the Bible and rely on feelings, human wisdom, angelic visitations, or voices we believe are God.

2. All prophecy (speaking God’s word) is to be tested. Meaning the following:

Does it align with God’s word? Example, there are many false prophecies about when the world will end. Well, the Bible states the following:

“No one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows,”~Matthew 24:36.

Does the prophecy fit the character of God?

I’ve had destructive words spoken over me. There was no life in them. God does give warnings. He also provides redemption. Those who repent can find hope and life in Him. Jesus came to save, not destroy. If people are destroyed, it will be because they refused the gift He offered and refused repentance.

Finally intimacy with God involves following Him.

We are called to obey God. It’s not a popular teaching, yet Jesus taught it often. Christianity is not simply praying a prayer, it’s following a person. That person is Jesus. We cannot claim to love God and live a life where we refuse to do what He says. He gives us grace and His Spirit to enable us to do His will. If we cease to obey, we will eventually cease to hear from Him. If He continues to speak, we are held accountable for what we know. So if you feel super disconnected from God, one thing to ask is , “Has He told me to do something I have not done?”

I will continue this series because I truly believe we perish for lack of knowledge of who God is. We are called to know Him, to be loved by Him, to love Him, and enjoy Him. God is not boring, cold, stern, a kill joy, or mean spirited. He is good, holy, exciting, adventurous, overflowing with love and joy. He’s beyond amazing. He’s generous, faithful, merciful, and forgiving. The evil one doesn’t want the world to know who God is and how good He is. Once you know Him, it’s almost impossible to resist Him.

Will you join me on this relentless pursuit of God’s heart? I hope so.

You’re continually in my thoughts, prayers, and you are deeply loved (John 3:16).

Love,

Erin

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 15, 2014 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Love Everyone…Even Your Enemies

IMG_2381.JPG

Jesus didn’t tell me to only love those who love me. He told me to love everyone, “…love your enemies & pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven,”~Matt 5:44-45. The person who doesn’t love does not know God, because God is love,~1 John 4:8.

What is God like?

God is love. And I’m not talking about the Christian love we do of telling people we love them with flowery words, yet our actions do not demonstrate God like love.

How does God love you?

That’s the love He asks and commands us to give others. I’m not perfect in this area. No one other than Jesus got this right, yet throughout the Gospels God repeats Himself, “Love! Love! LOVE one another!” Jesus told the disciples the world would know we were following Him by our love for one another.

We cannot claim to love God and hate people. We cannot claim to truly be following Jesus and withhold love from people. It’s ungodly-not like Him.

What if God didn’t forgive us and wipe our slates completely clean?

What if God kept bringing up our past sins and rubbing them in our faces?

What if God was impatient and without compassion?

What if God only dealt with the people who were really good to Him and loved Him well?

What if God treated us the way we treat people?

What if God was stingy and rude?

What if God chose to one day hold grudges?

What if God completely ignored us though we were repentant or offered Him love?

What if God only showed up when love suited His best interests?

What if God never supported, encouraged, helped, or invested in us?

What if God ignored our needs because He was too busy or we were too needy?

What if God only showed up when He needed something?

What if God was like us?

The world would be HELL, far worse than it is now and billions of people would have no hope. Fortunately God doesn’t become like us. He empowers us to be like Him. He said in John 15:5, “I am the Vine and you are the branches. Those who abide in me will bear much fruit. Apart from me, you can do nothing.”

We are called and empowered to love. It’s not optional for a follower of Jesus. It’s not something we bypass and slide into heaven. God is serious about love.

He doesn’t ask us to be God for people, only He can meet people’s needs completely. He does call us to reflect Him and point to Him. He does call us to obey Him.

Jesus said, “Why do you call me Lord, Lord and not do what I say?

Many will come to me and I will say, depart from me, I never knew you. I was hungry and you didn’t feed me. Naked and you didn’t clothe me…whatever you did to the least of these, you did unto me.

How to we move forward…

We confess the sin of being unloving and disobedient and we repent (turn from it).

We forgive ourselves and others for being unloving. If we don’t forgive, we are not forgiven.

We invite the Holy Spirit to give us His eyes for people and His heart.

We abide in the Vine. If you have no personal relationship with Jesus Christ, there’s no way to abide in Him or have salvation.

We obey God. Obedience to God has never been optional though some teach it is. Jesus never taught that we could live as we please and somehow honor God. He states, “I’d rather you be hot or cold than lukewarm, lest I spit you out.” The Bible states obedience is better than sacrifice. We don’t obey to gain love or approval or righteousness. We obey out of love for God. If we don’t obey Him, we don’t love Him. It doesn’t mean He doesn’t love us.

We let God love us so we have love to give. We cannot give what we haven’t received. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. His mercy is new every morning.

Father forgive me and us for our lack of love for others. Teach us to love like you. May we be imitators of God as dearly loved children. Give us your eyes for others and ourselves. May we be known by our great love, compassion, generosity, faith, forgiveness of others, mercy, and goodness. May we overflow with good fruit. A sweet fragrance and bright light in our world. For Your glory. In Jesus powerful name, Amen.

Love in Christ,

Erin

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 12, 2014 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,