Jesus did not invite people to pray a prayer, join a local church, and attend meetings (though connecting with other faith filled people is encouraged in Hebrews 10:25). He said, “Place your faith in me, deny yourself, and follow me.” To follow means to link hearts with Jesus and move in the direction Jesus is going.
It’s easy to be a fan of Jesus that gathers in buildings or stadiums to cheer for Him. It is quite another to yield our entire lives to God; to yield the time, the way we spend our time, resources, what we take into our eye gate, money, what we eat, and what we do with our bodies to God.
Over the years I have encountered numerous fans of Jesus, and fewer disciples of Jesus. Disciples are intimate with God. Disciples apply what they learn and see Jesus as King (Lord). He is not an add on in crisis, someone to turn to just to get needs met, someone to claim, but not do anything He says.
When we truly receive God’s love, and fall in love with Jesus, then the desires of His heart become the desires of our heart. Imagine being married and you mainly saw your spouse 1 or 2 times per week. Imagine only pursuing them in crisis. Imagine mainly talking to them to get your needs met. Imagine along with your spouse you have multiple other relationships that take priority. Imagine your spouse letting you know what they like and their desires, you in turn do nothing they desire unless it benefits you. I do not see that relationship thriving.
The covenant with God is supposed to be more important than a human spouse relationship. It is eternal, whereas an earthly covenant is temporary. God desires to lavish us with a love that is deeper and more profound than anything in this world. As we receive His incredible love, we are then able to pour that love back onto God and love our neighbors as we love ourselves.
Is God first? Are we fans or followers? Following Jesus produces good fruit, purity, an aroma of heaven, Christ likeness, and joy. There is far more to gain than what is left behind. Denying our flesh does not feel good at first, yet once we link hearts with Jesus we begin to see the fullness of His beauty. We are transformed from the inside out by His great love.
Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me,~Luke 9:23.
“What good does it do for you to say I am your Lord and Master if what I teach you is not put into practice? Let me describe the one who truly follows me and does what I say. He is like a man who chooses the right place to build a house and then lays a deep and secure foundation. When the storms and floods rage against that house, it continues to stand strong and unshaken through the tempest, for it has been wisely built on the right foundation. But the one who has heard my teaching and does not obey it is like a man who builds a house without laying any foundation whatsoever. When the storms and floods rage against that house, it will immediately collapse and become a total loss. Which of these two builders will you be?”~Luke 6:46-49 (TPT).
Beloved friends, what should be our proper response to God’s marvelous mercies? I encourage you to surrender yourselves to God to be his sacred, living sacrifices. And live in holiness, experiencing all that delights his heart. For this becomes your genuine expression of worship.Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes,~Romans 12:1-2 (TPT).
God loves you! Blessing you and praying for you. Let’s seek the King (Jesus) in this season and every season.
I believe this can be the global churches finest hour to rise up and demonstrate to the world who God is. God is love.
We can go love our neighbors. If we cannot leave the house, we can reach out online. If we can go to the grocery store/pharmacy, we can leave care packages on porches. We can be kind. We can refuse to hoard because God is our provider. We can check in on people. “How are you? I heard you were laid off, do you need anything?” We can pray for the sick. My dad cannot go in hospitals or nursing homes right now as a Chaplain so he has been going to the parking lot to pray. We can pray over businesses and if we have money get gift cards from them. We can share Jesus online and gather people to worship through technology. If we have enough, we can share. We can cease spreading negativity and look for ways to lift others up!! We can look for ways to be a blessing in word and deed.
God is love. Love looks like something. It looks like someone-Jesus.
I find no where in the Bible where it tells me to think only of myself and go sit down idle waiting on Jesus to return. I find passages that encourage me to GO be light, GO love my neighbor, GO be a blessing, GO share the Gospel, GO be an example. We lead by example. Our sermons may make people feel good, yet the way we demonstrate what we believe leaves a lasting impression on people.
I told my brother last night that loving Jesus, following Jesus transforms the way we live. We begin to care about who and what God cares about. God cares that people are hungry, scared, uncertain, in great need. If I claim to love Him, what moves Him moves me. We are united in love.
Yesterday for We Will Rise worship gathering we did reverse offerings. They received money, not me. I do not take up offerings for me for teaching the Gospel. What good am I taking money from people who may not be able to eat when I have enough? Blessing them was the priority. It warmed my heart they nominated others in the community instead of just themselves. Love is looking out for others.
Arise and shine! Arise and shine!! Arise and shine!!!
We cannot do everything; we can do something!
If you have a grocery need, or know someone in need, the giveaway is this evening. My not for profit is doing a grocery giveaway. Go to http://www.OperationGodisLove.org.
Peace is not the absence of a storm or adversity. Peace comes in the presence of Christ. He is the one the winds and waves still obey. If He does not calm the storms around us, He calms the storms within us.
An encouragement I sensed from Jesus for the world. Certainly weigh it, test it against the word of God and character of God. Shalom.
“Beloved, I have come that you may have peace. Peace that surpasses your understanding. It will fill your heart and mind as you trust in Me. I love you and I am not unprepared nor unqualified to care for you in any and all circumstances. I am the Alpha and Omega. I have stood with My people through plagues, severe persecutions, wars, and turmoil since they began. I am the one who has the superior wisdom and all power.
I am the one who is speaking above the storms. The media cannot be your source. Sink into My word, My words, and surrender your fears at My feet. My yoke is easy and my burden is light. I disarmed every principality and power, spirits of wickedness in high places. I hold all authority. The Father and I still hold ALL power! We have never been defeated.
Do not allow the evil one to rob you of the peace and joy I paid to give you. Listen, listen, listen…turn your ears to heaven. Lift your voices to heaven. Turn your heart to worship. Worship is war song. It reminds the evil one that he has been defeated. When you worship in spirit and in truth it recalibrates your atmosphere, your soul, and body. We do not encourage worship out of ego. The Father and I know that worship releases heaven in your realm. There is no sickness, death, fear, or sorrow in heaven.
The Lord your God is all powerful. You do not need beg for help. Those who are united with Me through faith come BOLDLY before our throne of grace in times of need. It is your inheritance. I AM your provider. I AM your healer. I AM your peace. I AM your joy. I AM the all sufficient one. I AM your Deliverer.
Break your agreement with the spirits of fear and anxiety and command that spirit to FLEE! Your inheritance is peace despite the circumstances.
Those united with Me will bear fruit in every season. You are not defeated nor backed into a corner unless you come into agreement with the defeated one. I defeated him. I defeated death, hell, and the grave.
Lay down the idols that cannot save you. Place your trust in Me. Some trust in their bank accounts, their leaders, themselves, their spouse, their pastors, their military, yet behold only those who place fully in God will see themselves rise above the storm instead of sink into despair and poverty.
I have the power to take what you have and multiply it! I still have the power to send provision from heaven and call it from the sea. We are still working miracles.
Break up any seeds planted of unbelief. Your faith opens up a realm of the supernatural. Let your faith rise above the storm. Speak what heaven is speaking. Do not come into agreement with the reports of mankind. Mankind sees in part and knows in part. I SEE all, KNOW all, and stand ABOVE it all.
We have listened to mankind cry out for revival, yet leaned on their own strengths and agendas. We will do it our way. We will pour out glory over neighborhoods and communities. We will transform hearts and not a single person will hold the glory. Idols will fall. Demonic systems will fall. Religious systems not built on the foundation of My Kingdom will fall. My Kingdom will remain.
Those who worship in spirit and truth will see things in their day they could not even imagine. The trumpet has been blasting for years to turn, ‘Turn back to God.’ Mankind in their rebellion built monuments and idols to worship. Those idols cannot save!!! They cannot save.
I sent spokesmen and spokeswomen to blast the trumpet, ‘Turn from these idols. They seek to destroy you.’ Many were ignored. The earth began to shake and quake under the demonic idols of the land. For the evil one seeks to devour your world. He has been after worship since pride entered his heart. Mankind’s agreement gave him authority. I took back that authority and gave it to the sons and daughters of God.
I am not punishing the world. The demons beyond the idols are exercising the rights they have been given through human worship and human agreement to attack the world. When times are good, many sons and daughters of Adam turn their faces from us, ‘Who needs God?’ They blatantly sin and mock the precepts of God. Oh yet when crisis falls upon the earth, the same some ones cry out, ‘Where is God? Why did God allow this? Help us God!’
We are merciful. We hate to see the world suffer. Creation is groaning and crying out for the sons and daughters of God to arise to be light, to shine our light into the darkness. I tap on the shoulders and hearts of My friends and children of God to participate in My agenda for the world. Some ignore Me. Some buck the words of the Father in pursuit of self comfort and selfish ambition. My heart cries out ‘Wake up!!! A storm is coming. Wake up! The world needs what we placed inside you. Do not go to sleep.’ Some hear Me. Some ignore Me. Yet I stand in truth, love, mercy, and justice seeking whomever will listen and turn.
Turn to Me, I love you. Bring your heart to Me, I love you. Lay down your idols, your busyness, your selfish ambition, and listen. Seek first the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom is advancing. Come into agreement and alignment with heaven. Heaven is speaking. Heaven is pursuing you. I am pursuing you. Look at Me! Will you listen and turn your heart to Me? Turn, turn, turn! My heart is here looking for your full heart. Come to Me!! COME!”
May you and I turn to God and surrender. God is speaking to turn. There can be idols in Christian culture. The things and people that are clung to and trusted more than God. Let’s turn. God alone saves. Turn from idols of busyness, self, selfish ambition, comfort, pleasure, people, politics, worship of ministry/ministers/church/family, entertainment, and anything else. May the reverence for the Lord return to us.
God you alone are God. May we find our identity, security, and comfort in you! Please forgive us for choosing any other god. They cannot save. Jesus is LORD! And His Kingdom will reign for ever and ever!!
From moments with Jesus discussing his heart for a hurting world.
Written by Erin Lamb
The world may be quaking & shaking, yet I know a man who speaks peace into storms, raises the dead to life, is still opening deaf ears/blind eyes, still loving the world, still working miracles, still saving the lost, delivering the oppressed. He is Jesus!
It is quite easy to be critical and judge. It is so easy to throw stones at other people and not see the plank in our own eyes. Why? We see in part and know in part. We can think we know and know nothing. God does not simply see the behaviors of humanity; God sees why people do what they do.
How many of you have been harmed greatly by someone who seemed to not get what the problem is? How many of you have been harmed by a professing Christian? Ah, it stings a bit more when they claim to love Jesus and do not love others right? Yet there is a part of the puzzle God sees that we may not. God sees how much of His love they have actually received. We can only give away what we possess.
We tell people to love God and others. “Love God, love others, love yourself last.” This mantra has led to loads of dysfunctional and sometimes codependent relationships. “I will love myself last and God will be so proud.” Well, it sounds noble. The problem is that is it is not biblical.
The Bible says we love because God first loves us (1 John 4:19). The starting point is God. God is love (1 John 4:8).
God is the source of agape (unselfish, sacrificial, unwavering love). This love is the highest of all loves. It trumps eros (romantic/sexual), philia (brotherly love), and storage (family love). Jesus stated His disciples would be known by their agape love (John 13:34-35). This love is the 1 Corinthians 13 type of love.
The next step is receiving God’s love, then giving that love back to God and loving our neighbor AS we love ourselves (Matthew 22:37-39). We will not be able to love God or our neighbor if we do not FIRST RECEIVE agape from God. “God here I am in need of your love, help me to receive the fullness of your love for me,” is a great starting prayer.
It is so vital that we learn how to receive love from God and believe God loves us.
Our thoughts matter! We will not out behave our thought life. Those who think they are the scum of the earth tend to treat others poorly. Those who have not fully accepted they are profoundly loved and accepted by God tend to struggle with loving God, themselves, and others. Your greatest adversary lacks God love. The person who mistreated or abused you lacked God love. The people who dishonored you, they lacked God love.
We cannot give away what we do not possess.
When we move beyond judging behavior to recognizing the root, compassion fills our heart. We move from being critical to praying the other person knows intimately the height, depth, width, and vast expanse of God’s love. We can only reveal to others the God we know. We can only honor others when we have experienced His honor and approval.
When people ask “How could you sit with the homeless, they are so dirty and gross?” I think, “How could I not? I see someone God created with great love. Under all the dirt, is a treasure.” I can honor what society calls, “The least of them,” because I know how much God loves me. If I were dirty and on the streets, I would anticipate God sending someone to love me. I am greatly loved, so are they, and so are you.
Jesus was able to move in high levels of compassion because He was one with the Father. He was not led by His flesh. Jesus knew how greatly He was loved, therefore He could take the lowest place. He could honor the least, last, lost, sinners, and lepers of society because He knew His worth. Those who do not know their own worth or value will not be able to see yours or anyone else’s.
One of the greatest revelations I had from God regarding people was during a season I was being grossly mistreated by Christians. God spoke to my heart, “People will not treat you any better than they treat me. People can not give you what they do not possess.” I recognized in that moment people say they love God, yet if you observe them, some do not honor, cherish, respect, obey, listen to God, etc… For some people, God is their sugar daddy or fire insurance. Loving God to gain something from Him is not loving God.
You can tell quite a bit about how a person feels about themselves by how they treat other people.
You can also gain insight into how people will treat you if you look at how they treat God. If God is only pursued to gain something, that is how they will treat you.
I am learning not to take things personally. How people behave, myself included, is a reflection of the inner condition. Those who know they are loved, love well. Those who try to “fake it til they make it,” tend to hurt tons of people because their love is shallow or deficient.
Before we throw stones, get offended, or hurt by people, pause. Press pause and ask God for His view point of the person, situation, and what is not as visibly seen.
I had a friend chat with me about missing friend gatherings. More than my introversion, there is normally a reason aligned with everything I say no to. Instead of taking on offense, he asked me about it and we talked. His heart grew with compassion.
The evil one will tell you to judge, jump to conclusions, criticize people, be nasty, look for all the things the other person is doing that could be wrong. Love moves us deeper into compassion. Maybe, most likely, there is something more going on than meets the eye.
May you and I sink deeper into compassion. It is a fruit of God’s love.
“…when he (Jesus) saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion for them, because they were distressed and scattered, as sheep not having a shepherd,”-Matthew 9:36.
I hope to release book 4, Killing Insecurity, either later this year or 2021! I hope it leads many into freedom. God longs to see us live bold, confident, and FREE!!
P.S You can support our mission to love the homeless, poor, and victims of human trafficking by supporting our new merch store. Go to empoweredandfreemerch.com.
Jesus had deep friendships with women. A note to Christian men-it is normal & godly to love someone of the opposite gender without romantic intentions & to be loved in return with agape love.
Chatting with women and my own experiences with Christian men we all have had some bad experiences with men who either act weird, or do not love well. Love is focused only on the woman they want to marry or their biological family.
There is the guy who constantly has to say, “sister in Christ.” I confronted a guy in love once who was excessive saying that to me. I asked him, “Do you keep saying that because you think I want to date you? If so, you can stop. I have no such desire.”
I spoke to a lady where men would not even look her in the eye. She was avoided. This caused deep hurt. Why? Because in Christian community it is supposed to be more like a family than an organization. Imagine going to a family gathering and people avoided you, would not talk to you, ghosted you, refused to have any godly contact, they reminded you often they only talked to you because you are related.
I had a guy tell everyone but me I was trying to date him simply because I periodically encouraged him in the Lord because that is what the Bible said to do. It was not fun when I found out. I stopped trying to have Christian men as friends for a long time. God blessed me later with a few men who could give and receive agape love without being weird, suspicious, or immature. It healed so much and taught me so much about the love of God through a man.
Yes, have some boundaries. Also note Jesus did this well, so it can be done. My suggestions.
1. You can make eye contact and say hello.
2. Don’t assume every person of the opposite gender is interested romantically. Our culture is kind when they want something or to date. It is not that way in God’s Kingdom.
3. Before you leap to conclusions pray. “God how do I need to relate to this person?”
4. Ditch fear. More people have been wounded by fear than anything else. There is no fear in God love.
5. Understand no one can make you sin. It is possible to love with God’s love and not fall into sin if you choose to let God deal with the heart.
6. If you have an issue with lust, get deliverance. Lust is an internal issue.
7. If you think a woman is interested in you, pray (do this first) and ask God for His counsel-not everyone in the church. Treat that person how you would want to be treated. It may warrant an adult conversation or better boundaries. Please refrain from gossip, ghosting (just ignoring the person). It is not loving.
I have talked to several men in my lifetime. “Hey, what’s on your mind or heart about this connection?” Asking questions is better than assuming. Some people are just loving, kind, generous or friendly. If a guy states he is looking for a wife, we talk like adults. Intentions are shared and hearts are spared from mistreatment. Some we are still friends. I simply let them know my heart and intentions. Communication is vital.
If you are not romantically interested, it is still possible to love. Jesus loved women well! Gosh, He elevated women. I also believe for those who want to be married, learning to love women in a non eros (romantic) way will help you greatly in life.
I confess I have made associations with non Christian men because they related to me better, treated me better, did not act weird, and treated me like a person not a virus. We can, I think, do better in this area. 🙂