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Saturday Devotion (The Gospel According to Jesus)

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

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

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

How could a loving God reject someone? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Role of the Disciples of Jesus

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

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

The Prodigal

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

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

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

The Spirit of This Age 

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

The Gospel is… 

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

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

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

Love, 

Erin Lamb 

 
 

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

...the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you,~Jesus (John 14:26). 
Jesus promised the disciples a gift, a gift that would abide with those who place their ultimate faith in Him. 

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

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

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

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

Let’s read some scripture together: 

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

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

What on earth does Holy Spirit do? 

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

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

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

Ready or not, here comes Holy Spirit!

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

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

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

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

The gift that produces victory!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love, 

Erin Lamb 

 
 

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Miracles (Intimacy with God Series Part XII)



Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received!~Jesus (Matthew 10:8).

Jesus felt sorry for them and touched their eyes. Instantly they could see! Then they followed him,~Matthew 20:34. 

I believe in miracles. Mainly because I believe in Jesus. He was and is a miracle worker. 

One of the greatest miracles is salvation. That God could and would take a sinful person and change their life completely, washing them white as snow, and that He would send His Spirit to abide in mankind.

A miracle is defined as: 

  • 1. An event that appears inexplicable by the laws of nature and so is held to be supernatural in origin or an act of God. 
    • 2. One that excites admiring awe; a wonderful or amazing event, act, person, or thing.

    When people say God doesn’t perform miracles today, I smile and laugh. If they are talking to me, they are looking at a miracle. Before I was conceived my mother was diagnosed with cancer. She was also told she wouldn’t have any children, she could not have children. But God had another plan. My mother was completely healed of cancer and not by drugs, by the power of God. She also gave birth to other children. 

    There was great trauma before my birth and my grandmother told the doctors if they didn’t get me out I’d probably die. There was tons of prayer around my birth. I’m here today because of the power of God and prayer. I was born early and without any defects. 

    Since my birth I’ve cheated death over a half dozen times including an incident in childhood where a cousin slammed a glass door on me and the glass went through my arm. I still have the scar. The nearest hospital to our farm was over an hour away. Yet my family believes in the power of God and prayer. My father was able to find a clinic doctor to get the glass shard out of my arm without me bleeding to death. 

    I experienced a near death experience during a routine tonsillectomy. I had an allergic reaction to anesthesia and they didn’t stop the operation. I came out of surgery unable to breath. I woke up hooked up to machines and in a special care unit. My lungs filled with fluid, my resting heartbeat 150 beats per minute, and I was on oxygen. After days in the hospital and seeing so many doctors, they decided to send me home…loaded with meds and tons of appointments to go to. The day they decided to take me off oxygen my mother said, “Do a pulse ox on her.” When they did, I was nowhere near normal. I would’ve died in my sleep. I wasn’t getting enough oxygen. 

    Fast forward…I grew tired of the Beta Blockers (heart pills) and all the pills I had to take. You never expect to go in for a routine surgery at 19 and come out sick. I had issues with my heart, my hair begin to fall out, I was exhausted, I would lay awake exhausted from an overworked heart and adrenal system. I cried out to God one day in my car driving away from the doctor. “God I know you’re the Healer. I know you can fix me. I know you can!” With tears streaming down my face, hurt in my heart, and faith bubbling out of my spirit I said to my Father, “If you don’t heal me, I’m going to die, but I refuse to take any more of these pills.” I stopped taking my medication. I don’t recommend anyone doing what I did. I was so desperate and filled with faith.

    I’m delighted to say my heart is great! My doctors say my health is great. There’s only one residual effect of that surgery that I continue to pray for yet it does not negatively impact my life.😊 Thanks Papa God for what Jesus paid for. 

    I told you in a previous post about God saving my life from being trapped in my car under water. 911 never came for me, but Jesus did. My mother prayed for me before the water got up over my head. She prayed the engine would turn over. My engine had already flooded. There was no way it would start under water and already flooded. The pressure of the water kept me from opening the doors. My windows wouldn’t roll down without the car starting. She prayed and said, “Try again.” My car turned over for 60 seconds. Just long enough for me to get out. 

    After that incident I struggled with overwhelming fear whenever I was surrounded by other cars in traffic. I would shake. I would be filled with dread. I went to my pastor for help. He wanted me to go to counseling. I left church feeling defeated. I then went to my Papa. I offered myself before Him. I said, “God I know you’re the Healer, and I’m asking you to free me from this fear.” As I was driving and praying there was an intense warmth that moved the top of my head to the bottom of my feet. I never had that sense of overwhelming dread again. 

    I’ve seen Him heal the worst cases including my uncle who was dead…pronounced dead….called dead…without oxygen for a long time and God raised him to life. His doctors were astonished. He’s still alive and calls me to chat. A brain without oxygen for that long should not function. He was pronounced dead. No heartbeat, no brain activity, nothing. 

    I will end with this story. I was in worship one night. Having an amazing time. I’m normally that person having a great time during worship. I get excited! I was doing my thing when I just starting weeping. Weeping went to excessive crying, grief, sorrow, life seemed so pointless. I left worship and entered the women’s room. I began to pray. I didn’t know what else to do. I prayed for about a half hour before the sorrow lifted. I went back to church thinking, “What was that?” 

    Later that week I connected with an old friend. We hadn’t talked in awhile. I asked how she was doing. She told me that Sunday night she was going to commit suicide. She was so overwhelmed with grief and sorrow and life seemed so pointless. I’m not always the sharpest pencil in the box. I did not put two and two together. She said she was overwhelmed by the love of God and couldn’t do it. It was the exact same time I was praying in the bathroom. God saved her life! 

    I could go on for days with the miracles God has performed in my life. Everything from physical healing, emotional healing, financial miracles, divine appointments, and so much more. I could spend even more time talking about the miracles I’ve seen Him perform in others lives; blind eyes opening, deaf ears healed, cancers healed, dead raised, deformities healed, ADHD healed , tumors gone, spines aligned, addictions healed, sexual deviants/preditors delivered, paralyzed healed, fear and anxiety healed, degenerative joints healed . God can do more in a moment than we can in a lifetime. 

    I’ve found that the more I know Him and abide in Him, the more miracles I see. For knowing Him leads to an increase in faith. Faith increases our risk. When we believe God we are bold in prayer. 

    I don’t care how bad it looks. I care what God says about the situation. One word from God changes everything! 

    Father, for every person reading this I ask for an increase in faith. I ask they would listen for Your voice and pray bold prayers. I ask for an uprooting of unbelief and saturation of  truth. Nothing is impossible for You! You are limitless. In the powerful name of Jesus, amen. 


     
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    Posted by on March 15, 2015 in From the Author, God's Heart

     

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    God is JOY!

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    Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.

    Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God,~Hebrews 12:1-2.

    Joy is the serious business of heaven,~C.S Lewis.

    God is joy. The fruit of His Spirit is given in Galatians 5:22-23…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

    We who are in Christ have the ability to live joy filled lives because God is joy. If Christ is in you, you have the unlimited source of joy.

    Joy is not the same as happiness. Happiness is delight based on what’s happening. Joy is a part of God’s character. It is the ability to maintain hope even in desperate situations because of the truth of God’s unfailing love, His unyielding faithfulness, and glorious provision. Joy is rooted in God and will yield fruit in any season.

    You may be saying, “Yeah right Erin, you don’t know what I’m going through.” I may not know the details of your story. I do know the details of my own, the story of Jesus (who endured the worst suffering), and the stories of many other people who have lived hellish experiences on earth.

    My dad for example was abandoned by his father and left to help raise his siblings. He endured great ridicule for his disability, lack of formal education, for his skin color, and gave up many of his dreams to help his mother. He joined the Army and monthly sent home the majority of his pay for his 12 siblings. His first born son was murdered by a man who never served any jail time and continued to live in the community. My dad chose to love the man who killed his son. He lost both his parents, many siblings, survived cancer, and lost his wife to cancer. Yet, in all my years, I’ve never heard him complain. My dad wakes up singing (loudly) to God. He spends his retirement visiting nursing homes, preaching the Gospel, praying for the sick, and caring for orphans. He devoted his life to full time ministry and has overseen his church for over 40 years without requiring a salary. Any money given him is invested in helping the poor and to spread the Gospel. He told me last night, “I’ve had some hard times, yet I’d live them again to know what I know now. God takes care of everything!” He knows what it’s like to be poor, unloved, abandoned, hurting, unseen, and lonely. He understands suffering, yet devotes his life to comforting others in their suffering.

    I too, have endured things I never thought I could or would live through. Unlike my dad, there have been seasons of complaining, fear, and doubt. I’ve found though, the more I trust God…the more joy I have! He will and does take care of everything. I know what it’s like to be abandoned, rejected, betrayed, persecuted, lied on, abused, and left to suffer with God alone. What I can tell you is this: God will not fail you! No matter what it looks like, no matter the pain or sorrow, no matter who’s abandoned you in your hour of need, no matter the circumstances or sickness you face…God is able. He will never leave you. He will never forsake you! He will come through for you!

    As someone who’s cheated death many times, I can say with full confidence that nothing is ever impossible with God. He heals. He restores. He makes a way where there is no way! He’s the Friend who sticks closer than a brother. God is JOY.

    If you need joy today, connect with God. Set aside time to be with just Him. Soak in His Presence. Rest in His embrace. Find life in Him! He’s the only Source that never runs dry. He’s not put off by or intimidated by weakness. God loves and cares for you. He comforts like no other. He’s amazing!

    Abba, I ask for anyone reading this who lacks joy to find it in You. Provide heavenly perspective. Help us to see life from Your point of view. We have hope in You. You promised to supply ALL our needs according to Your riches in glory. We are trusting in You. You never fail. Thank you for all You are, all You’ve done, and for the blessings to come. We wait expectantly for You! In Jesus powerful name, Amen.

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    Posted by on June 4, 2014 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

     

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    The Supremacy of Jesus

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    There are so many images of Jesus on the cross. There are many images of Him in a manger. It is important to recognize the beauty of His birth (God came down and entered humanity) and His death on a cross for our sins. The life of Jesus is supernatural, amazing, and filled with hope!

    We cannot leave Jesus in a manger (sweet little baby Jesus). Nor can we leave Him hanging on a cross for our sins. If Jesus was just a good man who walked the earth preaching and performing miracles, we would all still be lost. Why? Because this life would be powerless and we would be without His resurrection power working in us. We would be without the Life Giving source which is Christ in us. We would have no hope for our own mortal bodies to be quickened.

    Let’s see what Colassians and Ephesians have to say about Jesus.

    Col 1:15-23

    The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

    Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.

    Ephesians 1:19-23.

    I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.

    Jesus is supreme. The Father did not leave Him on a rugged cross, but raised Him on the third day with ALL power in His hands. He is high and lifted up. He is seated at the right hand of the Father. He has all authority. He reigns victorious! He defeated all our enemies including death. Those who belong to Him will not perish, but have eternal life with Him in paradise. Jesus is not depressed; He’s alive and filled with joy. He has nothing to fear for He is not and cannot be defeated! What a mighty God we serve.

    There’s no evil and no person more powerful than Jesus!

    There’s no situation so hopeless it cannot be redeemed by Jesus!

    There is no person so far gone they can’t be transformed by Jesus!

    There’s no problem so challenging it cannot be answered by Jesus!

    What are you facing in life my friends? What’s burdening down your heart and spirit? Have you taken it to Jesus? He is more than willing to step into any situation and bring you help, comfort, peace, strength, love, joy, and so much more!

    This season let’s keep our eyes fixed on a Jesus. He is the gift that keeps on giving. He is our Savior, Redeemer, Healer, Strength, and Joy! You are so deeply loved (John 3:16), and if you’re following Jesus-you have a sure hope. He’s empowered you to live a victorious life. Praying you and I live empowered by the supremacy of Christ! He is King!

    Love in Christ,

    Erin

    Jesus is wonderful, powerful, beautiful, glorious, matchless in every way!!!

     
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    Posted by on December 1, 2013 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

     

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