Which Jesus Are You Following?

I love Jesus. I hope to follow Him all the days of my life, even if it cost me my life.

Following Jesus has cost me “friendships” and invited persecution. Most of the persecution coming from people who claim to know Him. They have called me names (heretic, demonized, weird, another colorful b-word), slandered my name, a few threatened violence, I was struck once by a woman who called me a liar and I was not lying (she claimed to be a Spirit-filled Christian. I refused to hit her back out of love and she was far older than me/over twice my age), cursed my ministry, cursed me, cussed me out, boycotted things I was doing for Jesus, cursed me from pulpits, mocked me, tried to shame me, publically set me up to be humiliated, talked badly about me, stopped talking to me if I disagreed with their understanding of scripture, tried to turn entire groups against me, posted hateful or disrespectful comments on my blogs or social media, tried to debate me for hours and talked down to me like I was stupid, written me nasty notes, called me a bad Christian and untrustworthy, called my ministry for God illegitimate, etc…all in the name of Jesus.

I don’t know the Jesus who acts like that. Jesus said you will know my true disciples by their agape (sacrificial, unselfish) love. Jesus also stated you would know a tree by its fruit. The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentlenesses, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law (Gal 5:22-23). Love fulfills the law because it does no harm to its neighbor (Romans 13:10).

Why share these things, and I promise I am not complaining? Because if our picture of Jesus is violent, hateful, nasty, rude, unkind, mean spirited, argumentative, proud, hostile, etc…it’s not Jesus of Nazareth. The spirits behind the behaviors in paragraph one are demons. Mockery is a demon. An accusatory spirit is a demon. Pride is a demon. These are the chief characteristics of Satan. It’s easy to build an image of God that is not God at all. Cursing people is the language of demons. Slander and gossip, are demons.

God invites us to know Him, who He really is. Even in my highest levels of ignorance or rebellion God never responded to me in a hateful way. Never. The conviction of God never pushed my face in the dirt and stepped on my neck. The Pharisees partnered with the devil and wanted to stone people for not following their understanding of the law. Jesus did not.

If you feel compelled to violence or mean-spiritedness against people, that is not the Holy Spirit. If you feel compelled to send nasty notes, leave rude and hateful comments, that is not the Holy Spirit. If you feel led to mock people and curse their ministry, that is not the Holy Spirit. A genuine Spirit of God will go gently and speak privately with someone in great love. The Bible tells us to go first privately and to make sure we don’t have a plank in our eye. See Galatians 6:1, Matthew 7:4-5, 1 Timothy 5:1-2, Matthew 18:15-17. If you behave in these ways, I encourage repentance.

I truly believe once we (collectively who claim Jesus) get the love thing right, everything else will fall into place. I am not bitter over the behavior of other people. I forgive them, pray, and move forward. I am deeply saddened by the misrepresentation of Jesus. Why? The world is watching those who claim Jesus to find out who God is. If our actions do not align with the heart of God, why on earth would anyone want to know Jesus? The devil never tells people how their actions will impact others. He pushes humanity to pride.

My prayer is we choose the way of Jesus. I am still being refined and having my heart tended by God. I am still learning from Jesus. I am still yielding myself to God. My hopes are no one will be able to say I brutalized them in the name of Jesus or made a mockery of who He is. Why? I love Jesus. How I behave is a reflection of our intimacy.

My greatest prayer this morning is for those who claim Jesus to truly know Him. Jesus said if we abide in Him, we will bear good fruit (John 15:4-5).

I do not desire to worship a Jesus made in mankind’s image. I want Jesus of Nazareth, the humble king who washed feet and chose nails even for His enemies. My urgent plea is seek to know the real Jesus. The Holy Spirit promises to be our teacher and guide. If we ask God, He will reveal Himself to us.

Before I went to sleep last night I deleted a nasty comment off my author page. I wrote about women in ministry which created a firestorm. The defenders of their version of the law came out with Bibles raised to beat me with their level of understanding. What they do not realize is I spent years studying the Bible. I read through it almost every year, and I am not ignorant. I have been pursuing knowing Jesus for most of my life. I do not speak about things I do not study with God. I bless them, forgive them, delete their hatefulness, pray for them, and move along.

If you have been beaten up by professing Christians, I am sorry. Jesus is sorry. God is not mean nor cruel. God loves you! God is patient and kind. God is good and merciful. God is not hateful. God is love. I wrote my third book Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse this year because we have way too many Christians in bad shape because of the treatment and abuse of other Christians. If you are hurting, grab it. It has 5 star reviews and has helped numerous people step out of pain and into healing. You can grab off Amazon.com or Empowered-Free.com/shop.

I hope something written here blesses you! Praying for you, me, the global church. Let’s choose love!

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

Photo Source: Pinterest

Grief is Like a Ninja

Grief is Like a Ninja!

I realized Thursday night that I had not grieved the death of a friend this year, nor my aunt who died, nor anyone who died really the past 12 months. It may sound strange, yet with so many challenging things going on at once, you learn to press forward and not process everything.

I sat in an empty office with tears filling my eyes. As I wicked them away, I thought, “Why now?!” Grief has a way of showing up at unexpected times.

I had this thought while sitting there, grief is like a ninja. It shows up at these unexpectant moments. The tears flow, the truth of the situation sinks in and you face grief. It’s standing right in front of you declaring, “I will not be ignored.” Your attempts to bury grief, focus on other things, just keep going, is stalled by moments where reality sets in, “I will not see you again until eternity. Oh how I miss those moments with you!”

We do not wallow in grief, we unpack it. We process it. We come to terms with loss, betrayals, and so much this side of eternity. There is an understanding that God walks with us through the seasons. Through it all, God is with us. We are never forsaken. God does not scream at us to “Get it together, suck it up!” There is no harshness in God. God comes alongside us and whispers, “I love you; I bring comfort.”

The love of God is so deep! Vast beyond measure. Jesus comes along to unpack the pain, mend the ouchies, and deposit even greater love.

If the ninja has snuck up on you, it’s okay to process the loss. It’s okay to be fully human. It’s okay to be still and let the tears flow. It’s okay to process and heal. It’s okay to gracefully walk with Jesus and take it one day at a time. The ninja eventually visits less often. You may even find yourself dancing through a memory of a loved one, instead of tears. In the meantime, be gracious to yourself.

You are forever loved!

Love,

Erin Lamb

Jesus=Pro Women!

I cannot find in the Bible a machismo (ego driven) Jesus, nor a lustful Jesus, nor a bigoted or sexist Jesus. I cannot find a Jesus who said, “Let the women be silent.” He actually sent Mary to tell others He had risen knowing in that culture the testimony of a woman was not held in as high esteem. I don’t see Jesus saying, “Women are weak, they are weaker vessels, send them home to tend to children and husbands.”

Jesus sat with women, served women, comforted women, befriended women, listened to women, treated women with so much respect/honor/dignity that their worship of Him was lavish. He stopped for women, taught women, had close friendships with women, and 4 women financially supported His ministry. I see no ego or abuse or “men are better” in Jesus. If we don’t see it in Jesus, it does not exist in the Father.

People misquote and misunderstand the Bible. Paul’s letters are the most misunderstood. Some twist to fit their selfish narrative. God is not selfish nor sexist. Jesus perfectly represents who God is. If our biblical understanding violates who Jesus is, then our understanding is not accurate.

May we know who Jesus is and be imitators of Christ. I am not a worshipper of Paul, Timothy, or other disciples of Jesus. I follow Jesus.

I simply wanted to encourage women today! In a world that makes fun of you, tries to sexualize you, where 1 in 4 women are victims of abuse, where millions of women and children are trafficked daily, where men make fun of other men by calling them a girl, in a world where you are pushed down or told to be quiet-God loves you! It is not His heart to see you mistreated, abused, talked down to, hurt, molested, or treated with disdain. Cling to Jesus! He says you are of infinite worth!

Love,

Erin

Painting: Pinterest (Wash His Feet With My Tears)

Stay in Your Lane

Happy Live Unrivaled Tuesday!

The Bible discourages comparison. Let’s talk about our cultural obsession with keeping up with the Joneses.

We each have a unique voice and journey. Each person has their own assignment and pace. Looking to the left or the right can bring significant bondage. When we compare it leads to either self righteousness or pride (I am better than this person) or insecurity which is the flip side of pride (I am not as good or capable as this other person).

Sometimes jealousy, envy, and strife are rooted in comparison. Look at what the other person is doing (especially on social media). How do you measure up? Jealousy is being upset someone else is getting attention or a blessing or has something the person thinks they deserve. Envy is not wanting them to have it. Strife is the fighting, gossiping, arguments, and bitterness that emerge from the sin.

Our measure of how well we are doing in life, in ministry, in business, etc…is best rooted in God. If your church has 10 people that you are faithfully serving-praise God. If the other church has 10,000 whooohoo. Comparing numbers is a waste of time. Heaven rejoices when one sinner repents.

I had a lady tell me my outreach to the poor was just giving out handouts and their ministry was training people for jobs. Well, awesome you have resources for job training. I have resources to help people not eat out of the garbage for a day and get saved. Then we connect them with larger ministries who help them with rehab, job placement, daily meals, after care, discipleship, etc…Jesus stated if your enemy is hungry feed him. Why worry about what that other ministry is doing. Stay in your lane. I rarely look at what other people are doing unless it’s for inspiration. I am not them, they are not me.

God creates. He does not clone. We are NOT to be cookie cutter duplicates of each other.

I had someone else tell me I needed to be more like this other minister who travels the world preaching. I said no. I reach 144 countries through my blogging (I have two blogs) and social media, sometimes 10,000 people a week. What I need to do is stay rooted in Jesus and do what I see the Father doing. If one person get’s saved, I rejoice. We had one salvation at outreach Sarurday. Thank you God! I don’t care if another outreach saw 100s.

Comparison is toxic. The Bible says the following:

Galatians 6:4-5 Each of you must examine your own actions. Then you can be proud of your own accomplishments without comparing yourself to others. Assume your own responsibility.

2 Corinthians 10:12 We wouldn’t put ourselves in the same class with or compare ourselves to those who are bold enough to make their own recommendations. Certainly, when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves to themselves, they show how foolish they are.

James 3:16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.

Proverbs 14:30 A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.

1 Corinthians 3:3 For you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?

Our world loves comparison, God asks us to be of the Kingdom-not the world.

Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

1 John 2:15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

We don’t live for people. We live for God.

Philippians 2:3 Don’t act out of selfish ambition or be conceited. Instead, humbly think of others as being better than yourselves.

Galatians 1:10 Am I saying this now to win the approval of people or God? Am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be Christ’s servant.

Isaiah 2:22 Stop regarding man in whose nostrils is breath, for of what account is he?

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

May you and I stay focused on the most important thing; God. May we ditch comparison and focus on running our own race with Jesus. In the end, we will all give an account for our own lives, not anyone else’s. Ditch comparison and find joy in the journey with God. We are not with God to perform or tally metrics. We are with God to love Him, know Him, and enjoy Him! It is impossible to have our eyes fixed on God while hyper focusing on what our neighbor is doing.

May we also stop comparing each other. “Oh you need to be more like (fill in the blank).” I honestly cannot be someone else. I am called to be Erin Lamb, the one Father calls Judah. I do not have the same capacity, heart, giftings, etc…as the person next to me. I do what I am called to do by the power of God in me. I encourage that for everyone. What has God given you? Use that for His glory.

Love,

Erin Lamb

Empowered-Free.Com/Shop (check out books, teaching materials)

EmpoweredandFreemerch.com (check out our tshirts, merch, mugs, and more. Part of the proceeds go towards helping the poor, homeless, and victims of human trafficking)

OperationGodisLove.org (charity work)

P.S If you are in Ohio, I would love to connect with you at the next two book signings!

The Root of Gun Violence

I hate that we continue to see the same repeat patterns of violence in our culture. Yet history has a way of attempting to repeat itself. Millions of Native Americans and Africans were murdered and enslaved with the establishment of America. Bloodshed is rooted in the DNA of this country. Rape, violence, and mistreatment of people who were marked as different were parts of the foundations of this Nation.

Freedom for all was for white men only for quite some time. Women could not vote, own property, and were more like property than partners. Native and African women were stripped from their partners and raped. Many forced to have children by slave owners who would also become property. Native and African men were tortured, murdered, men raped too (something some history books omit), and even forced to watch the rape of their wives and children. Africans and Natives were denied basic human rights.

Natives and Africans were torn from their partnerships. There were Africans here before the slave trade. Forbidden to marry, and divide and conquer was the name of the game. This too is not always told in history courses in America.

Why do I bring these things forward in light of the rise of mass shootings in America? Because if we do not examine our history and learn from it, it is bound to repeat itself. When we look at history we see a pattern of lack of value for certain lives. We see violence and murder. It did not start in America. It started with Cain and Abel.

The sins of humanity leads to destruction. It truly is not guns killing people (though I am not against laws to protect people), it is selfishness, lack of God love, and sin.

Do I love America? Yes. Do I value this country? Yes. Do I also understand her history and transgressions? Yes. I want a better future for the children coming up behind us. I do not want them to live in terror or suffer from PTSD. How frightening it is that schools, churches, and places that should be safe are no longer considered safe or sacred? We can do better.

I don’t believe video games or mental illness are causing mass shootings. There were no video games when millions of Natives were slaughtered on this soil, or thousands of African men hung from trees. There was hatred, insecurity, and sin.

There is a fundamental lack of God love prevailing in our culture and the world. Love that seeks to do not harm to its neighbor (Romans 13:10) and chooses to forgo selfishness. People who care only about themselves or their people group are dangerous.

Also where you find jealousy, you also find a murderous spirit (Saul with David, Cain with Abel, Joseph’s brothers, the Pharisees with Jesus). Some people do not murder with guns or knives, they murder with lies, slander, gossip, back biting, and nasty online posts or comments.

When there is fear and hatred, you find people may do the most ungodly things in acts of perceived threat or self preservation. It becomes “Us vs. Them” instead of “We were all created in the image of God.”

Our world is suffering from a spiritual and moral crisis that I do not believe will be completely resolved by natural means. Should we do our best to protect people? Yes. Do we also understand there is a spiritual element at work?

Evil is not only the abuse of free will, it is a manifestation of a heart that is sick and sinful. I hope we can look at the spiritual condition of society and stop blaming everything on games or mental illness. I know plenty of people who have suffered from mental illness who never grabbed a gun and shot up random people. The issue is the depravity, sin, and evil in the heart. Only God can transform a wicked heart.

Our world needs God love (unselfish, sacrificial, and pure love for all of humanity). People who do not love do not know God for God is love (1 John 4:8). If we do not stop looking at fruit and start examining roots, I am concerned we will not see transformation in our culture. It is not supposed to be, “God bless me and no one else,” or “My way is best,” or “I am only concerned about people who look like me, vote like me, or believe like me.” Love seeks what is best for EVERYONE!

God, I repent on behalf of my country for our selfishness, greed, idolatry, gluttony, lack of love, senseless murder, the rape/violence/human trafficking, for not truly honoring you or your commandments, for our sin, our lack of honor, our treachery and betrayal, our mistreatment or abuse of any people group, our lust and pride, our calling evil good, our strife/fighting, our deception, our poor conduct and immorality, our complacency and passivity, our dishonor of you and creation, and our failure to set a godly example for the world. I am sorry for our sins. Please cleanse and heal our land.

We need hearts transformed! My heart prayer for today has been, “God wreck our hearts in a good way with your unfailing love. We can only love our neighbors/others if we first receive your great love!”

Erin

God is Not the Problem. God=Love. People Misrepresenting God is the Problem.

Some people are angry with God or Christianity. They have their horror stories that normally fall back on 1. Someone who claimed to know God treated them horribly or 2. God did not perform the way they wanted or agree with their line of thinking.

They did not get their way or the miracle they wanted, so obviously God is bad. I cannot explain why God does not prevent every disappointment or hurt. I do know God gave humanity the ability to choose and some people choose unwisely.

I talk about God’s heart towards humanity in all my books. I hope they help people see God is not the monster hiding in the dark with lightening bolts to strike them.

God is not the problem, sin is and misunderstanding the Bible or the character of God. We must understand that the God of Christianity is love. The greatest commandment Jesus gave His followers was, “Love God and love your neighbor as you love yourself.” Love fulfills God’s law because it seeks to do no harm to it’s neighbor (Romans 13:10).

God love is not like human love that is based on feelings or agreement. There are people who believe that love is giving them everything they desire even if it us harmful. There are people who believe that love means absolute agreement. It does not. God is holy, without sin. Therefore, God can love us deeply and not agree with our poor choices that fall outside His boundaries. Disagreement is not hatred. God hates sin because sin destroys people. God loves people.

God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son (1 John 3:16). God loves the entire world, even those who do not love in return. It does not mean that God agrees with everything humanity does. Nor does it mean God accepts everything. God cannot agree with or accept sin because it is opposite of His nature. As stated before, God is holy (without any sin).

What about all these nasty Christians online or in your life. If God is love, why are you encountering hateful or bigoted/racist/sexist/prejudice/angry/hostile/mean/hurtful/abusive/selfish/unkind professing Christians? People can claim God all day long yet the Bible state plainly a tree can be known by it’s fruit. Jesus stated those who knew Him would love as He loves. The Bible also states that those who do not love do not know God (1 John 4:8).

This agape love is a byproduct of intimacy (knowing) with God. We imitate the God we know. There are people who are immature (immaturity is marked by selfishness), carnal (also marked by selfishness), or who struggle greatly with insecurity (insecure people can cause great damage because they need someone to be inferior to feel superior). Unfortunately there are some “Christians” who suffer from self righteousness or a holier than though complex.

The true Church, God, nor Jesus hurt you. A sinful person claiming to know God hurt you. One of the steps to healing is understanding people are NOT God and many falsely represent God and some grossly misunderstand or misinterpret the Bible. Some are immature or insecure Christians. Some are carnal. Some simply slipped out of abiding in the love of God.

God is good. God is holy. God loves people. If our view of the Bible does not align with the character of God then most likely we are wrong in our interpretation of the Bible or our definition of love/goodness. Some view love as agreeing on everything, no consequences for their actions, and approval-that is not the same as love. God love is unselfish, holy, pure, involves accountability, and is full of truth.

I repeat God is love-sacrificial, unselfish love. God is not petty, mean, selfish, flakey, rude, racist, prejudice, sexist, bigoted, harmful, nor awful. God is not the problem. People claiming to know God without full surrender to God are the issue. Jesus only did what He saw the Father doing. He lived a surrendered life!

I pray we heal from awful acting Christians. Forgive them. Release them to God. People can only give away the love they possess. Pray God gives them a good dunking in His love. If your heart is still hurting or wounded, I want you to get your soul healed! It is possible to heal from being grossly mistreated or abused by Christians or clergy.

I hope you surrender all the pain to God and get to know Him for yourself. God loves you deeply and profoundly.

Join the Get Your Soul Healed Tribe:

If you wish for help to process through the pain, you can join my 8 week study and freedom group. It’s no cost to join. You simply need to grab a copy of the new book and the study guide. The study guide is only $6.99. Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse Book and Study Guide. Once you grab the study guide, I will add you to the closed and private group. Sessions start August 1! At 7pm EST this Thursday night I will kick off the study! I hope to see you there. Soul healing activations are a part of the group.

If you do not join the group, I hope to see you at one of the upcoming book signings in Ohio! Come say hello and enter to win some great prizes!!

You are so deeply loved!

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

Empowered-Free.com

Empoweredandfreemerch.com

OperationGodisLove.org

People Are Not Against You; They Are Primarily For Themselves

Happy Look Out For Someone Besides Ourselves Wednesday!

The Bible tells us to love one another and part of love is demonstrating the heart of the Father to others. I recognized years ago in my own walk in ministry that I grew to believe God loved the people I was ministering to more than me. It is untrue. Yet the lie grew from experiences with Christians. I was expected to give, to love, to pour out, to lay my life down, to be available in every crisis, to forgive, to show up even when I was overwhelmed or in my own crisis, to put myself last, to endure gross mistreatment with a smile, to be perfect, and they were not expected to do much.

I was expected to be Jesus. They on the other hand were not. I was to offer grace and mercy and give others unlimited access to my time and life.

The reciprocation of God love was low and sometimes non existent. I was expected to get love from God and show up again to pour out. I recognized I had to set limits with people. Say no to extra ministry tasks.

I found reciprocal relationships in the marketplace and through hobbies/outside the church activities. I thank God today there are a few reciprocal relationships with believers.

It is not true God desires one sided relationships for us. It is NOT true that God desires for us to love Him, then others, and ourselves last. Every time I see those bumper stickers, I want to rip them off. The Bible states we love because He first loves us. Then we are called to love our neighbor AS we love ourselves. Step 1. God loves us. Step 2. We RECEIVE God’s love for ourselves (we cannot give what we do not receive). Step 3. We give back to God and others the love we have first received from God.

Unselfish love-loving others without strings attatched and desire for selfish gain comes ONLY from God. It is agape love-the highest form of love. It’s the love Jesus invites us into so we represent His heart to the world. It is the love that marks His followers.

Pain and disillusionment can come when we expect agape from Christians who are incapable of returning agape. We can only give what we first possess. May we abide in agape (Jesus) so we demonstrate agape (Jesus) to others.

Love is not selfish.

I noticed people would and will ask things of me that they absolutely would be unwilling to do in return. I have heard more than one person tell me I was supposed to help their ministry or business, but God was not calling them to help me. Not that I asked them for help. I tend to ask God and ask Him who to ask for help. It saves me time.

At the root of all sin is selfishness and hyper concern for self. Self is the idol to be worshipped instead of God. What about me? Is the theme song.

I realized I would push myself almost to the point of breaking to keep my word, to be there for people who would not even pull their own weight or bother to show up. It taught me something. It taught me boundaries. It taught me to expect Jesus to be Jesus, and people to be people.

Expecting people to be like Jesus leads to disillusionment. I am still a work in progress, so is everyone else. Expectations can lead to unnecessary discomfort.

We, humans, can also have flawed visions of ourselves. I have met those who believe they are representing the heart of God, yet their primary focus is self: making sure their voice is heard, their ministry is supported, their needs are met, their political agenda pushed forward.

We imitate the God we know and at times treat people similar to the way we treat God. If God is only pursued to meet a needs list, then people treat other people like slaves too. Abiding in God love, which is not selfish, is the only way we manifest unselfish love.

When we can connect with people and love them NOT for what we can gain from them, that is real love God. Love fulfills the law because love does NO purposeful harm to it’s neighbor (Romans 13:10).

We can only give away what we receive first from God. Jesus stated His followers would be known by their unselfish, sacrificial love (John 13:34-35). May we abide in His love, and love others not for our gain but for their blessing!

Look for someone to love today!!

God love wins!

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

P.S If you like this devotion, don’t forget to check out our 4th of July sale which is 40% off through July 5th. The Confident & Free 30 day devotional is on sale. The new book study guide is on sale (Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse Book). We want you to save. Go to https://www.empowered-free.com/shop and use the code July4.