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Weekend Devotion (Repentance)

Weekend Devotion: Study of Repentance. Repentance is a gift. 

Repentance: In the New Testament, the key term for repentance is metanoia [metavnoia]. It has two usual senses: a “change of mind” and “regret/remorse.” In the Synoptic Gospels metanoia [metavnoia] indicated “turning away from sin” ( Mark 1:4)-Source Baker’s Dictionary of Biblical Theology. 

The ability to know God’s truth and turn from darkness to light is a gift. 

There is not as much talk about repentance today as there was in the time of Jesus and early apostles. There is a teaching of “You just do you, God must accept whatever you do and approve because He loves you.” This is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Jesus said, “Repent or you will perish (Luke 13:3, Luke 13:5). Stop sinning lest something worse comes on you (John 5:14).” The bible clearly states the wages of sin is death and the gift of God is eternal life (Romans 6:23). It also says those who live according to the flesh cannot please God (Romans 8:5-6). 

Now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance [not fully aware of what you were doing], just as your rulers did also. And so God has fulfilled what He foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ (Messiah, Anointed) would suffer. So repent [change your inner self—your old way of thinking, regret past sins] and return [to God—seek His purpose for your life], so that your sins may be wiped away [blotted out, completely erased], so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord [restoring you like a cool wind on a hot day];”~Acts 3:17-19. 

Grace (God’s riches at Christ’s expense) empowers righteousness, not lawlessness. Holy Spirit reveals truth and empowers believers to walk in truth. If being saved was just about professing Jesus then living like the devil, well that means Jesus died for nothing. Part of His death was to atone for our sins so we could be free of the bondage of sin and shame. He gave His life to FREE us from bondage, not leave us in bondage. 

Think about the ridiculousness of these statements: 

I know I beat my wife during the week and scream at my kids, yet Jesus loves me. I am clothed in His righteousness. There is no condemnation for me. You can’t judge me.” 

Oh yes, I have many sexual partners and live with one of them. I am so glad Jesus set me free to be me. Grace, amazing grace.” 

Both these people have misguided beliefs as to what it means to be in relationship with Jesus. Jesus never, ever clapped when someone sinned. He never placed nor places a stamp of approval on immorality, abuse, or partnership with satan. He told people, “Go and sin no more.” 

Love and approval are not the same. God loves everyone. God does not approve of everything humans do. If He did, God would cease to be holy and just. God is 100% love. God is also 100% holy.

Thinking we are not responsible for our choices blocks repentance. It keeps us in a state of perpetual immaturity and we do not grow to look/behave/love like Jesus. We stay in the shallow kiddie pool eating our mud pies, shouting, “You can’t judge me! No condemnation for me,” playing in the devil’s field Monday through Saturday…jumping up for a quickie date with Jesus on Sunday. 

Let us not mistake conviction for condemnation. 

Conviction: an awareness something is not right and needs corrected. A warning signal to turn around. 

Condemnation: sentencing someone, a final judgement. If you stand condemned before God it is a sentence to eternal life separated from him. “Go to hell,” is a condemning statement. 

People quote there is no condemnation for those in Christ without reading/quoting the rest of that passage (Romans 8) which says, “God did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit (Romans 8:4).” Paul states after there is no condemnation verse 4 which is above…we who no longer follow our sinful nature but follow the Spirit. A person who proclaims Jesus then lives completely independent of Him is not the objective of salvation. Screaming, “I am in Christ,” to bypass responsibility for my choices or to live a sin filled life is ungodly. 

True believers are not condemned if they are in Christ because their eternal fate is wrapped up in Jesus. This does not mean their poor actions are excusable, they are no longer accountable for bad choices, repentance is not required, or God approves of their sin. If so, the New Testament letters to churches would be meaningless. Why address sin within the church which Paul and others did if God pretends believers are perfect? 

God does not pretend we do not need repentance. God encourages renewing of the mind (Romans 12:2), taking every thought captive and making it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5), making amends when we mess up (Matthew 5:24), humility (1 Peter 5:5), loving one another (John 13:34-35), sexual purity (Ephesians 5:3), and seeking first the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33). Most of all Jesus invites us into intimate relationship with Him. Knowing Him, abiding in Him, is transformative. It becomes, “It is no longer I who lives, but Christ who lives in me and through me (Galatians 2:20).”

It is not about striving to be good. It about abiding in the One who is good. Union with God, through relationship, leads to good fruit (John 15:4-5). 

It not about legalism-trying to obtain right standing with God through works. It is about abiding in Jesus and receiving grace-Jesus paid for my freedom. Since I am free in Him, I will not become a slave again to bondage. Sin will not be my master. I am empowered by God to follow Jesus. I abide in His truth. Believing His truth sets me free.

Papa I ask any place in our minds not aligned with Your truth be set right today. Help us to renounce lies and turn from darkness to light. Help us to abide in You. Saturate our minds with Your truth. Anything not like Jesus, may it be laid before You. Thank You for the gift of repentance. 
Love, 

Erin Lamb 

📷: Pinterest, Repentance

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Identity Matters (Saturday Devotion)

  
Photo source: Pinterest
Morning Devotion: Identity matters. As a man or woman thinks, so are they. 

If you want to destroy a person or people group, convince them they are nothing, less than, not valuable, inferior, not intelligent, like wild animals, and not capable. Convince them to disagree with God. Convince them they are superior to others (racism/sexism). Lead them into pride (insecurity/inferiority or arrogance/superiority). That is the tactic Satan used with Eve. She was already made in God’s image, yet he sowed doubt to who she was in God. We must know who we are. 

People say Eve was targeted because she was weaker. I disagree. I believe Eve was targeted because she was the one chosen to give birth to life. Anything sown in a woman has the potential to be multiplied, bring forth life. The devil loves death. So target the one chosen to birth life and multiply what is given. If you turn the one chosen to protect life against the one chosen to birth life, you can destroy humanity. Since then women have been some of the greatest targets of abuse, sexual abuse, male violence. Every 30 seconds a woman is trafficked, every 9 seconds a woman is beaten, domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined (Domestic Violence Stats Org). 

If you can convince someone they are not who God says they are, they will rise to the level of their thinking. They will act out what they believe. 

Our words are powerful. They are more powerful than we understand. Our agreement is powerful as well. When we agree with God, we empower His work in our lives. When we agree with what is not God, we empower a disempowered devil. 

I hate verbal abuse, harsh sarcasm, and put downs. Why? Because each word is sowing a seed for hell. If not rebuked, refuted, uprooted, rejected, that word places a target on that person for destruction. 

The power of life and death is in the tongue,~Proverbs 18:21. 

It is no wonder we have generations of people okay with killing, murder, hatred, slander…we were taught in school we evolved from apes. Not we were created in the image of God (Genesis 1). 

Animals are not like God (created in His image). They lack the identical capabilities for reasoning, morality, and so much more. Animals will kill to get their way, “Survival of the fittest.” They will mark their territory and attack anyone who crosses. They will (some) kill their young. We were created higher than the animals. Yet if we believe we are just like the animals at the zoo, we will behave not much better than zoo animals. 

Who do you believe you are? What voice rings the loudest? Does it align with what God says? 

When you ask most people who they are, they respond with what they do or what they have or their martial status/children? Yet we are human beings, not just human doings. 

Who we are is children of God (if we are in Christ), created in the image of God, ALL deeply loved. When we operate out of this identity our behaviors begin to look similar to our Heavenly Father. We thrive when we agree with God. 

You are deeply loved sweet friends. Praying you and I live out of who God says we are. We are nothing more and nothing less. God bless you! 

Erin Lamb 

 
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Posted by on October 1, 2016 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Draw Near to God in Trials (Abiding & Intimacy with God Series Part 8)

  
Image created by Wordswag, used with permission. 

I have been thinking of you. I have been thinking of the world. If you turn on the news it is quite easy to become unsettled, fearful, or to experience great sorrow. 

I asked the Lord what to share and His response was, “Share a message of hope. My children need hope.” 

What message could possibly be shared to lighten the load of mother’s losing their children, children losing their parents, bombings, shootings, terrorist attacks, viruses, and the sorrow that is repeated on the news? What about hope in the midst of our own challenges?

Last week I sat in a funeral watching my friend, his children, and our mutual friends grieve a great loss. What do I say to two young children who lost their mother? What do I say to my friend who I know loved his wife deeply. We had so many conversations about the healing power of God. What could I say through his tears and my own? I wept for a very long time. My heart ached deeply. Yet life had to go on right? I spent the night before the funeral trying to clear up other issues. I could not even grieve. 

Those around me did not feel or know the pain. It was not their pain. Some did not even acknowledge I had any grief. God, however, did. He did what He does best. He stepped in as a best friend, and brought His unfailing comfort. 

Last week and the past month have   presented some deep challenges and awesome truimphs. Such is life, right? I found hope, love, help, joy, and comfort in the place I know best, the heart and arms of God. 

So, in thinking of what message I could share of hope, I can only think of one thing-God is our sure hope. I only know of one message that can bring hope to a hurting world. The message is Jesus. Hope has a name and it is Jesus. There is no greater name and no greater love or power than the love and power of God. 

If we are to place our trust in anyone or anything, let it be God. 

Some things we are delivered through…

There are so many things in life we are called to walk through. There is no, “Beam me up Scotty,” and we are transported to a place away from trials. God promises to walk with us  through every single challenge; I know no better friend or comforter. 

The Bible tells us there will be tests, trials, and tribulations as a result of the fall of humanity and persecution for living a godly life. The Bible says the godly WILL face persecution (2 Timothy 3:12). 

God did not leave us without hope. He gave the world His Son, His Spirit, His Presence, His promises, angelic help, and His Word. He also gave believers every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 1:3). 

Let’s take a look at His word. I love Psalm 23. Here is an excerpt. 

Even though I walk through the [sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with meYour rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort and console me,~Psalm 23:4. 

As stated, there are challenging situations we are called to walk through with God. God does not always deliver us from evil. He sometimes delivers us through evil. Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den. He was not consumed. 

We see the uncompromising, supernatural strength and power of God in challenging seasons if we lean on Him. We may be weak or challenged; His strength is made perfect in our weakness. 

In a world that says there is no hope, God says: 

The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows],~John 10:10 (AMP).

I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace. In the world you have tribulation and distress and suffering, but be courageous [be confident, be undaunted, be filled with joy]; I have overcome the world.” [My conquest is accomplished, My victory abiding.],~John 16:33 (AMP).

“You will keep in perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is steadfast [that is, committed and focused on You—in both inclination and character],

Because he trusts and takes refuge in You [with hope and confident expectation],~Isaiah 26:3. 

These verses give us keys to living in victory. 

  • Focus on God.
  • Trust God.
  • Take refuge in God.
  • Set the mind on God.
  • Be courageous, confident, filled with joy.
  • Fear no evil (from Psalm 23).

Abiding in God and deep friendship/connection with Him brings peace in the midst of trials, challenges, and storms. He is the Source of peace, agape love, joy, and hope. 

What are we hoping for, expecting from God? 

  1. God to keep His word! He cannot lie. If God said it, you can expect it to come to pass (1 Thess 5:24, Deut 7:9).
  2. God to work all things together for the eventual good for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes (Romans 8:28). 
  3. God to hear our prayers. The answer may not come exactly the way we think, yet God answers our prayers that align with His will (Matt 21:22, Job 22:27, 1 John 5:14-15). 
  4. God to bring comfort and deliverance (2 Cor 1:4, Psalm 34:19, Psalm 50:15). 
  5. God to empower us to destroy the works of the devil (Acts 1:8). If we have the Holy Spirit, we are already empowered! 
  6. God to help us overcome because He has overcome. For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith,~1 John 5:4. 
  7. God to turn our sorrow into JOY, our mourning into dancing (Psalm 30:11). 
  8. God to avenge the wrongs (Romans 12:19). 
  9. God to reward those who stand strong until the end and every person according to what they have done (Romans 2:6, Revelation 22:12). 
  10. Jesus to return and reign on the earth (Matthew 24:29-31). 

No matter what we face, we have a sure hope in God. I will share this last story and end in prayer for you. 

Part of Operation God is Love ministry is praying for the sick at the free clinic. Last Tuesday, I was on the schedule to go. My heart was already heavy from a loss and some relational issues going on in my circle. I had not slept well in days. Yet, I went and gave thanks. 

One of the first ladies prayed for was going  through some of the same things that I was either dealing with or had walked through in my life. I wept with her. Almost every time I start to feel a tinge of discouragement, God sends along someone going through the same things I have walked through in life. 

This woman left with tremendous hope. Her situation was far more dire than mine, yet to have someone to hold her while she cried and to mourn with her brought some healing. She stated she was over Christian counselors who offered scripture yet had no real experience with victory over pain. 

Your (our) challenge is not wasted. God wastes nothing. We can walk out of the fire and stand boldly with someone in their fire. We can be an instrument of hope for someone else.

Our friendship with God is also deepened in trials if we draw near to Him. God is close to the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18). 

May you and I draw near to God in every season. 

Papa God, I ask for every hurting soul to be bathed in Your comfort tonight. I speak peace over torment, pain, chaos, any strife, worry, or relational troubles. I speak life over every dead situation that You want to live. I speak comfort to every place that hurts. May each of us find hope in You alone. You do not fail! In Jesus mighty name, Amen.

Love in Christ,

Erin ❤

 
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Posted by on July 20, 2016 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Be with God (Abiding & Intimacy with God Series Part 6)

   
Image created with WordSwag, used with permission. 

Hello beautiful people. I have been off my phone, and social media for over a week. It has been a sweet time of listening, and so much more with God that I will keep in my heart. I do want to share what I drafted this weekend. 

Weekend notes: 

God promises to supply ALL our needs according to His riches in glory (Phil 4:19). It is not about what we have or do not have. It is about who He is. He is the God who raises dead things to life (John 11:25) and multiplied the fish and the loaves (Mark 6:30-44). 

It’s not about our circumstances. It is not about who we are or who we are not. It’s about who He is.

Who is God to you? 

Do we believe God is who He says He is? Do we believe nothing is impossible for Him?

Unbelief blocks so many blessings as does poor speech (poor word confessions). Our words are seeds. What do we want to see grow? 

The Bible says the power of life and death is in our tongues (Prov 18:21). So the gossip, complaining, grumbling, put downs, “I can’t do this. This will never work!! My life sucks! I only attract this kind of person. Woah is me. Bad things happen to me. Nobody loves me…,” are toxic to the body, spirit, and soul.

These poor or negative confessions attract demonic spirits. The devil is super negative. They attract negative situations. 

How about saying, “I am who God says I am. I am blessed and highly favored of the Lord. I am healed by the stripes of Jesus. Good things happen in my life. I am delivered. 

God is working all things for good. I have more than enough. My Daddy is King!! I am stepping into greater breakthrough. I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. I am the head and not the tail…Above and not beneath! 

I attract the right people at the right time, in the right seasons. No good thing does God withhold from me. I have an inheritance that is secure. I am wealthy in Christ Jesus. 

God opens doors for me that no man can shut. I have favor on my life.  

I choose to receive all Jesus paid for and believe/agree with God. Greater is He who is in me than in the world! I am more than a conqueror through Christ. 

I have the authority to heal the sick, cast out devils, and take territory in Jesus name!

I learned in self defense classes you never want to fight your enemy on the ground, on his level. You rise above him and disable him from above. 

God said He placed the enemy under our feet. Therefore, we fight from victory knowing the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but MIGHTY for the pulling down of strongholds (2 Cor 10:4). 

If you listen to the enemy’s chatter in your ear, you will find he’s nasty, critical, condemning, looking for the worst, sowing fear, pointing out all that is wrong. He is hateful. 

Jesus is above poverty, above lack, above sickness, above anxiety or depression, above family drama, above all the works of the devil. Jesus says to us…”Live from My vantage point, of what I have already done! Stay here in your place in Me. Know that I have already won.”

God says, “Come up here!” Meaning, get away from the noise, chaos, confusion, and just be with Me. Just be with Me. 

God is the Source of all good. Being with Him leads to a greater knowing of who He is and who we are. 

We live from heaven down. If we have accepted  Jesus as Lord, we are seated in heavenly places with Him (Eph 2:6).  

Journey with God…

People see me smile, laugh, and encourage them. They do not see the warfare that sometimes happens behind the scenes. The devil hates love, hates joy, hates truth, and hates people. If you are his opposition, he will oppose you. Oh my yes. Every battle is an oppprtunity for advancement.  Recall the devil is so defeated. He needs reminding of his loser status from time to time. 🙂

God said in His word, “No weapon formed against you will prevail.” It will be formed. 

Our greatest weapons against the devil are peace, rest, joy, love, hope, worship, abiding in Jesus, and the word of God. When the devil attacked Jesus He responded, “It is written!” 

God is good and has done so many great things. He loves us. He fights for us. See Psalm 91 for encouragement. 

God has reinforced for me the super importance of rest! Jesus operated out of rest. He would remove Himself from the crowds. He would get alone with the Father (Luke 5:16). Are we better than Jesus? The answer is no. If we see Him doing something, it is important. 

What is God speaking? Above every  other voice we need to hear Him. 

We can not hear Him if we are busy doing for Him instead of listening to Him or we are continually speaking or we are being pulled in 10,000 directions by people around us, “Help me! Do for me. Listen to me!

I have learned God is God. I am not. Thank the good Lord! He can meet everyone’s needs and requests. I am to follow the assignments given by God, and to do what I see Him doing. I am not all things to all people. I am His beloved child. Mostly people need Him not me. I do what the Holy Spirit leads me to do. When I step outside His leading it can lead to stress. 

My greatest encouragement is be with God. He is the Source of all good. Intimacy is cultivated by being alone together. He loves us more than anyone and longs for our undivided attention. 

My second encouragement is use the word of God as your weapon. Feast on His word. It is written. Pray it, speak it, and proclaim it! 

My third encouragement is rest! Oh my, rest and play. God likes to have fun. One of my favorite things is laughing with God. I become downright childlike and ridiculous. 

My fourth encouragement is ask God to send you fellow warriors on the frontlines willing to do all God called them to do to stand with you (Not one sided, mutual support). 

Who is your support system aside from God? 

He created us for community. 
God first, then He sends us people. Fellow warriors who say, “If you are on the frontlines, I am too. I am praying for you as you pray for me. I am going to speak life into you as you speak life into me. You are not alone!! I am standing right here with Jesus and you. I am not letting you fall into a ditch. Not on my watch.” 

My fifth encouragement is speak life. Even when the odds seem stacked against you, speak life. Even when it feels horrible, speak life. Speak the very words of God to that mountain.

My sixth encouragement is befriend likeminded on fire, faith filled people. They say we become like the people we are closest to. Who are you connected to that you would say, “I would love to see some of those same character traits in my life?” If everyone around you is depressed, oppressed, and possessed…guess what? You may struggle to walk in faith, love, hope, and joy. I am not saying ditch everyone not on the mountain top. I am saying if you’re in a ditch, find someone who’s not or got out of one and learn from them. 

If you need a starting point for speaking life…I love prayingscriptures.com. They have taken Bible verses and made them into prayers. There are also scripture prayers at the top of this website. 

God’s word does not return void. It accomplishes every single thing it is sent out to do. 

You are so deeply loved, prayed for, and the best is yet to come!

Love,

Erin Lamb 

 
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Posted by on June 20, 2016 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Striving is not Abiding (Abiding & Intimacy with God Part 2)

  
Striving is not abiding. 

I grew up in church. I sat through hundreds of Sunday school lessons. I don’t recall one that taught me how to abide in Christ. They may have taught it; I may not have been paying attention. The main points were: understand what Jesus did for you, repent, receive the gift of salvation through faith and repentance, be baptized, read your bible, go to church, give, use the gifts of the Spirit for others, love God, love people, share the Gospel. 

Doing things for God is supposed to be the fruit of abiding. If we do not learn to receive from God and abide first, doing things for God results in works of the flesh birthed out of striving. 

Abiding is remaining in God. He is the Vine, we are the branches. I’ve never seen a branch produce anything but death when it’s disconnected and cut off from the vine or tree. It’s life source is the vine or tree. It has no life of its own. 

I have vine plants and one that looks like a mini tree. There are times where branches will break off, vines will break off; they wither and die. 

I’ve heard people say, “You need to be in church services. You need to be connected to other believers lest you wither up and die spiritually.” 

I agree we need to fellowship with other believers. Iron sharpens iron. Two are better than one for many reasons; if one falls in a ditch, the other can pull them out. 

I have also encountered some people who do “the stuff” but are not connected to the Source or seek to be fulfilled by the Church instead of by God. 

God is the Source, not people. He will not allow people to fill the void for Him. He alone fulfills the human heart. He completes mankind, not people. We need community; we need God first and most. Anything we place in God’s place will bring disappointment or eventual destruction. 

The Church is not God, people are not God. God is God. Only He can meet our deepest needs. 

Jesus gave us great wisdom on how to live a fruitful life in John 15:1-11 (Amplified version).

Jesus Is the Vine—Followers Are Branches

“I am the true Vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that continues to bear fruit, He [repeatedly] prunes, so that it will bear more fruit [even richer and finer fruit]. You are already clean because of the word which I have given you [the teachings which I have discussed with you]. 

Remain in Me, and I [will remain] in you. Just as no branch can bear fruit by itself without remaining in the vine, neither can you [bear fruit, producing evidence of your faith] unless you remain in Me. I am the Vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him bears much fruit, for [otherwise] apart from Me [that is, cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing. 

If anyone does not remain in Me, he is thrown out like a (broken off) branch, and withers and dies; and they gather such branches and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 

If you remain in Me and My words remain in you [that is, if we are vitally united and My message lives in your heart], ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified and honored by this, when you bear much fruit, and prove yourselves to be My [true] disciples.

I have loved you just as the Father has loved Me; remain in My love[and do not doubt My love for you]. If you keep My commandments and obey My teaching, you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and remain in His love. I have told you these things so that My joy and delight may be in you, and that your joy may be made full and complete and overflowing.

So how do we abide instead of strive? How do we know when we are striving? I will start with question number 2. 

Am I striving?

Striving produces bad stress. “Oh, I have to work hard to bear fruit! I will just try so hard. I can do this! Uggggghhhh…Failure.” 

Let me tell you a little secret, okay it’s not really a secret, we cannot love like God or manifest His character on our own. It’s impossible. Jesus said, “Apart from Me, you can do nothing!” The definition of nothing is “no thing, nada, zero.” 

When we start trying to make ourselves like Jesus we have slipped into striving. It’s like taking the engine out of your car and trying to start it. “Come on car. You can do this! Oh, if I just had more faith. Maybe I can get out and push the car to it’s destination. I can do this!” It’s futile and funny in an illustration. Or we can say, “God I need You. I can’t do this on my own. I want to rest in what You’ve already done, what You’ve already paid for. I receive what’s done.” God responds, “Awesome! Let’s do this!” 

The engine (God) turns over and off you go. I liken the Holy Spirit to the car’s internal navigation system. Listen to Him; He will get you to where you need to be. 

  • Striving produces bad stress, guilt, shame, condemnation, and burnout. 
  • Abiding produces rest. Abiding flows from a place of rest. Rest is not ceasing all activity, it’s actively relying on God. 

My plants don’t strive to produce leaves or branches. They stay connected to their life source. Our life source is God.
How do we abide instead of strive?

Jesus gave us keys to abiding. 

God reliant:

Jesus only did what He saw the Father doing. Meaning He was focused on the Father not Himself. He didn’t walk around saying, “I’m Jesus look at what I can do!” He had a heart attitude of, “What is My Father doing? I will stay in tune with Him.” 

Time alone with the Father: 

Be with God. Jesus regularly retreated from the crowds and the disciples to be alone with the Father. He pursued a heart to heart connection with the Father. He stayed full. His source was intimacy with the Father.

Intimacy with God:

How do we cultivate intimacy with someone? 

There’s first an introduction. The Father draws us to Him and offers an invitation to relationship through His Son, Jesus. 

After the introduction there’s an invitation to be together. We will not know anyone we don’t spend time with and invest time in getting to know. One of my greatest prayers is, “Who are You God? I want to know You for myself.” 

One of my favorite things is mornings with God. He’s my first hour or couple hours of the day. We chat. I start the day with Him. I am not saying this is for everyone. Each relationship with God is unique. I’m a morning person. You may not be. You may connect in different ways. 

Inquiry and listening: 

When we are with someone and getting to know them, we ask questions and we listen. I highly recommend asking God questions and setting your ears to listen. Be expectant. Learning to hear God’s voice isn’t complicated. He said, “My sheep know My voice (John 10:27).” 

I encourage journaling or writing down and dating what you sense of from God. Why? We learn over time. I can go back 10-15 years and look at what I felt God was saying and say, “Oh yes, this happened. Yes we prayed this together. Yes! He did this. Yes that was God’s voice.” It builds documented history with God. Some things He spoke 10 years ago are just now coming to pass. 

How do I know it’s God and not me or the evil one or my imagination? 

Quick guide: 

  1. God doesn’t violate scripture nor sin. He won’t tell you to rob a bank or cheat on your spouse.
  2. God is good, holy, pure. If it’s perverted, hateful, immoral, leads to shame-it’s not God.
  3. God is love. This is not our world’s version of love that says everything is permissible. See 1 Corinthians 13 for God’s view of love.
  4. God edifies, redeems, protects, corrects to restore, encourages, empowers. God is not controlling, manipulative, or a bully. If the voice is condemning, pushy, or controlling, it’s not God. Love allows you to choose. 

Every day adventures with God (the invitation):

We invite others into our lives to cultivate intimacy. Invite God into your family, workplace, shopping, paying bills, traveling… 

God I love You. I give You this day. I invite You into every situation, every conversation, every thing I’m doing today. What would You like to say? What would You like to do today? I’m listening God. I love You!” 

It’s great to be invited, right?! Have you ever had a close friend throw a party and they didn’t invite you? Then their response was, “You should’ve known you were invited!” Or have you ever been invited and then the person pretended you weren’t there, that you were invisible? I have. It doesn’t feel awesome to be ignored, especially when people act as if they don’t know you then show up later asking for something. God has feelings sweet friends. We can quench or grieve Him (Ephesians 4:30). 

I am not saying you have to get into rituals of doing things to include God in everything or feel condemned. I’m stating we grow to know someone by investing time, being with them, and including them in our lives. 

The more we are with God, the easier it is to abide in Him and what He’s already done. 

Father God thank You for the finished work of the cross. Thank You for all Jesus paid for. Thank You for the invitation into the greatest love story ever written. You are wonderful. How excellent You are. Teach us Your ways. Show us how to abide, rest in You. Help us to receive ALL that Jesus paid for on the cross and through His resurrection. Flood our hearts today with Your love, Your wisdom, Your goodness, Your power. We can do nothing apart from You. Help each one of Your children to cease striving for what’s given in Your Son. In Jesus powerful name, amen! 

Sweet friends, you are loved and prayed for often. 

Love in Christ, 

Erin Lamb 

 
 

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Glory to Glory (Manifesting Sonship Series Part V)

  
Photo credit: Pinterest 

And we all, with unveiled face, continually seeing as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are progressively being transformed into His image from [one degree of] glory to [even more] glory, which comes from the Lord, [who is] the Spirit,~2 Corinthians 3:18 (Amplified).

God’s glory is the external manifestation of His being. God’s glory is something that appears ( Exod 16:10), is revealed (Isa 40:5), or can be seen (Num 14:22)-source BibleStudyTools.

Holy Spirit is glorious! He is fully God and marks/seals believers as belonging to God (2 Corinthians 1:22). He works within us to reveal Jesus, righteousness, and to take us from glory to glory. 

I’ve heard some preach that since we are saved by faith and God loves us as we are, that means we are to stay as we are when God encountered us. This isn’t what the Bible teaches. It neglects the powerful work of the Holy Spirit.  When God encountered Paul (formerly Saul), he was persecuting and killing Christians. After his radical encounter with God, Paul became one of the most radical preachers of the Gospel. We see a murder and persecutor completely transformed.  

We worship a God who makes all things new. 

We too are called to transformation. It’s not transformation that is the result of striving. It’s a result of beholding Him and abiding (remaining) in Him (John 15:5).  

Our spirit is made new at conversion. Our soul (mind, will, emotions) and character are being transformed/sanctified. 

The Road to Tranformation…

Faith: It starts with believing God. My thoughts about God will determine what I become. If I believe God is harsh or critical, it will manifest in my behavior and response to Him. 

Believing the revelations of God’s word, nature, and character brings transformation. 

Truths I’d love for us to digest and meditate on today: 

  • God is love. It’s who He is, not simply what He does. It’s not based on our merit, behavior, or performance. 
  • God is truth. He cannot lie! Every word He speaks is truth. Every promise in Him is yes and amen. 
  • God is good. Every good and perfect gift comes from above from the Father of Lights who does not change like shifting shadows. 
  • God is holy. There’s no sin in God, and He will never lead you down a path of sin. We were born into sin; He paid the price to free us from sin. 
  • God is perfect in patience. God has infinite patience. He is not like humans who may toss you aside if you fail. Think of the prodigal son story. The Father was looking for the son! He ran out for his wayward son. If everyone else gives up on you, God will take you back. Come running…if you move an inch He will run miles. 
  • God cares for every detail of our lives. What matters to you, matters to Him. He knows every hair on our heads, every tear we have shed. He knows our thoughts, dreams, desires. He cares more than anyone else.  

His Word: I truly believe we are to be people of His Word. He gave it to us as food and a blueprint. We read, study, and seek Him with the Holy Spirit. I ask the Holy Spirit to teach me. 

Worship: Loving God, honoring God, celebrating God, and putting Him first in all things leads to such encounters. He inhabits the praises of His people. It takes the focus off who we are, what’s happening around us, and places the focus on Him. 

Intimacy with God: God invites us into relationship with Him. A deep, pure, growing relationship that’s life giving. It’s more than a Sunday morning activity. It’s a daily love relationship, more intimate than marriage.  

Obedience: Scripture tells us we are a slave to whoever we obey (Romans 6:16). We are either obeying God or the evil one. Obedience is better than sacrifice. Jesus perfectly obeyed the Father. I’m not suggesting perfectionism or striving. I’m stating there’s blessing in obeying God. If we miss the mark, we go to our Father and say sorry. He’s so eager to forgive. No shame and no condemnation (sentencing). 

What If What We See Isn’t Jesus? 

It’s a process. So the focus is God. If I sit down and look at the character of Jesus and my character, I have so far to go. He’s perfect. I am not. The objective isn’t a self help program or to try to make myself like Jesus. The objective is to remain in Him, let Him love me, and keep my eyes on Him. 

It’s not what we see. It’s what God sees and who He says we are. We are His image bearers in the earth!   
Photo credit Pinterest. 

You are so deeply loved friends! Lifting you up. God bless you. 

Love in Christ, 

Erin Lamb

 
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Posted by on December 5, 2015 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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You’re Never Too Broken for God (Spiritual House Series Part V)

  
Beautiful friends, I hope this post deposits hope and seeds of faith in your hearts. God loves you with a deep, pure, and everlasting love. 

God’s love is not based on performance or merit. He loves us as we are; while sinners, while broken, while messed up, while self righteous and prideful, while scornful, while we are rejecting Him or trying to use Him, while immature…God is love. 

You and I are never so broken or too broken for God. As we receive His love, we are transformed from the inside out. We are made whole through relationship with Him. 

One of my favorite passages is from Isaiah 61. I taught on this passage Sunday. Why did Jesus come to earth? It wasn’t simply for our forgiveness of sins and to get us into heaven. God longs to get heaven into us so we are restored, renewed, and full of His glory. He came so we could have life, and life abundantly (John 10:10). 

Here are verses 1-3. 

“THE SPIRIT of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed and qualified me to preach the Gospel of good tidings to the meek, the poor, and afflicted; He has sent me to bind up and heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the [physical and spiritual] captives and the opening of the prison and of the eyes to those who are bound, [Rom. 10:15.] To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord [the year of His favor] and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, [Matt. 11:2-6; Luke 4:18, 19; 7:22.] To grant [consolation and joy] to those who mourn in Zion–to give them an ornament (a garland or diadem) of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garment [expressive] of praise instead of a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit–that they may be called oaks of righteousness [lofty, strong, and magnificent, distinguished for uprightness, justice, and right standing with God], the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭61:1-3‬ ‭AMP‬‬

http://bible.com/8/isa.61.1-3.amp

What if your life right now is a mess? What if you hurt every day? What if those around you just want you fixed so they don’t have to deal with your brokenness, depression, grief, heartache, or pain? What if people would rather ignore you than walk with you? What if grief is your bedfellow? Well, dear hearts, I know Someone who is close to the broken hearted. No matter the pain, sorrow, grief, or sin…God moves towards not away from the hurting and sinful. 

I’ve been there. Maybe not in the same exact place, yet I understand suffering and prolonged suffering. I recall being sick in my body, losing my hair, being mocked for losing my hair, told by relatives I wasn’t truly sick or I could do more than I could, and I recall hurting day after day-night after night. Some nights the pain was so bad I’d cry out for numbness, to feel nothing. 

I know what it’s like to hurt beyond the capacity to pray. There was no one there but me and God in some dark moments. I can say with confidence God didn’t turn away. He didn’t remove all pain. He did walk me through the pain that wasn’t immediately healed. 

There was excruciating pain and agony in seasons. God was there. He never left. He never said, “You’re too sick to heal. You’re too broken to deal with right now or ever. You’re a mess! You’re not worth my time.” I have had people in Church and family/”friends” do those things, God never has. 

God stayed right with me in hospital rooms. God kept me from dying. God spoke words of encouragement when others were super discouraging. Even when I couldn’t hear His voice, He didn’t let me die. He was and is a miracle worker.

So my encouragement to you is this…

If you’re hurting today, that doesn’t mean your condition is permanent. I never thought I’d have lasting joy or relief from chronic pain. I spent many years waiting for the next bad thing to happen. Yet God gave me joy for mourning. 

If you’re severely broken or struggling, God isn’t looking down His nose at you in disdain or disgust or trying to run from you. He’s longing to heal and restore. He reaches down low and lifts up the broken. 

No matter what is happening in you or around you, God longs to be an Advocate, Comforter, Lover of your soul, and Healer for you.  You are SO deeply loved (John 3:16). 

Please don’t give up!

Please don’t run from God, run towards Him! 

No one loves you more!

Papa God, I ask for the souls of everyone reading this to prosper and be in good health. I ask for healing of the mind, body, soul…restoration and renewal. I ask for freedom from shame, excessive hurt, comfort for grief, and freedom from all sickness, disease, depression, hopelessness, despair, infirmity, and pain. In Jesus powerful name, amen. 

Love to you all…you’re continually in my prayers. Yes indeed. 

Love in Christ, 

Erin Lamb 

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

 

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