I believe this can be the global churches finest hour to rise up and demonstrate to the world who God is. God is love.
We can go love our neighbors. If we cannot leave the house, we can reach out online. If we can go to the grocery store/pharmacy, we can leave care packages on porches. We can be kind. We can refuse to hoard because God is our provider. We can check in on people. “How are you? I heard you were laid off, do you need anything?” We can pray for the sick. My dad cannot go in hospitals or nursing homes right now as a Chaplain so he has been going to the parking lot to pray. We can pray over businesses and if we have money get gift cards from them. We can share Jesus online and gather people to worship through technology. If we have enough, we can share. We can cease spreading negativity and look for ways to lift others up!! We can look for ways to be a blessing in word and deed.
God is love. Love looks like something. It looks like someone-Jesus.
I find no where in the Bible where it tells me to think only of myself and go sit down idle waiting on Jesus to return. I find passages that encourage me to GO be light, GO love my neighbor, GO be a blessing, GO share the Gospel, GO be an example. We lead by example. Our sermons may make people feel good, yet the way we demonstrate what we believe leaves a lasting impression on people.
I told my brother last night that loving Jesus, following Jesus transforms the way we live. We begin to care about who and what God cares about. God cares that people are hungry, scared, uncertain, in great need. If I claim to love Him, what moves Him moves me. We are united in love.
Yesterday for We Will Rise worship gathering we did reverse offerings. They received money, not me. I do not take up offerings for me for teaching the Gospel. What good am I taking money from people who may not be able to eat when I have enough? Blessing them was the priority. It warmed my heart they nominated others in the community instead of just themselves. Love is looking out for others.
Arise and shine! Arise and shine!! Arise and shine!!!
We cannot do everything; we can do something!
If you have a grocery need, or know someone in need, the giveaway is this evening. My not for profit is doing a grocery giveaway. Go to http://www.OperationGodisLove.org.
Peace is not the absence of a storm or adversity. Peace comes in the presence of Christ. He is the one the winds and waves still obey. If He does not calm the storms around us, He calms the storms within us.
An encouragement I sensed from Jesus for the world. Certainly weigh it, test it against the word of God and character of God. Shalom.
“Beloved, I have come that you may have peace. Peace that surpasses your understanding. It will fill your heart and mind as you trust in Me. I love you and I am not unprepared nor unqualified to care for you in any and all circumstances. I am the Alpha and Omega. I have stood with My people through plagues, severe persecutions, wars, and turmoil since they began. I am the one who has the superior wisdom and all power.
I am the one who is speaking above the storms. The media cannot be your source. Sink into My word, My words, and surrender your fears at My feet. My yoke is easy and my burden is light. I disarmed every principality and power, spirits of wickedness in high places. I hold all authority. The Father and I still hold ALL power! We have never been defeated.
Do not allow the evil one to rob you of the peace and joy I paid to give you. Listen, listen, listen…turn your ears to heaven. Lift your voices to heaven. Turn your heart to worship. Worship is war song. It reminds the evil one that he has been defeated. When you worship in spirit and in truth it recalibrates your atmosphere, your soul, and body. We do not encourage worship out of ego. The Father and I know that worship releases heaven in your realm. There is no sickness, death, fear, or sorrow in heaven.
The Lord your God is all powerful. You do not need beg for help. Those who are united with Me through faith come BOLDLY before our throne of grace in times of need. It is your inheritance. I AM your provider. I AM your healer. I AM your peace. I AM your joy. I AM the all sufficient one. I AM your Deliverer.
Break your agreement with the spirits of fear and anxiety and command that spirit to FLEE! Your inheritance is peace despite the circumstances.
Those united with Me will bear fruit in every season. You are not defeated nor backed into a corner unless you come into agreement with the defeated one. I defeated him. I defeated death, hell, and the grave.
Lay down the idols that cannot save you. Place your trust in Me. Some trust in their bank accounts, their leaders, themselves, their spouse, their pastors, their military, yet behold only those who place fully in God will see themselves rise above the storm instead of sink into despair and poverty.
I have the power to take what you have and multiply it! I still have the power to send provision from heaven and call it from the sea. We are still working miracles.
Break up any seeds planted of unbelief. Your faith opens up a realm of the supernatural. Let your faith rise above the storm. Speak what heaven is speaking. Do not come into agreement with the reports of mankind. Mankind sees in part and knows in part. I SEE all, KNOW all, and stand ABOVE it all.
We have listened to mankind cry out for revival, yet leaned on their own strengths and agendas. We will do it our way. We will pour out glory over neighborhoods and communities. We will transform hearts and not a single person will hold the glory. Idols will fall. Demonic systems will fall. Religious systems not built on the foundation of My Kingdom will fall. My Kingdom will remain.
Those who worship in spirit and truth will see things in their day they could not even imagine. The trumpet has been blasting for years to turn, ‘Turn back to God.’ Mankind in their rebellion built monuments and idols to worship. Those idols cannot save!!! They cannot save.
I sent spokesmen and spokeswomen to blast the trumpet, ‘Turn from these idols. They seek to destroy you.’ Many were ignored. The earth began to shake and quake under the demonic idols of the land. For the evil one seeks to devour your world. He has been after worship since pride entered his heart. Mankind’s agreement gave him authority. I took back that authority and gave it to the sons and daughters of God.
I am not punishing the world. The demons beyond the idols are exercising the rights they have been given through human worship and human agreement to attack the world. When times are good, many sons and daughters of Adam turn their faces from us, ‘Who needs God?’ They blatantly sin and mock the precepts of God. Oh yet when crisis falls upon the earth, the same some ones cry out, ‘Where is God? Why did God allow this? Help us God!’
We are merciful. We hate to see the world suffer. Creation is groaning and crying out for the sons and daughters of God to arise to be light, to shine our light into the darkness. I tap on the shoulders and hearts of My friends and children of God to participate in My agenda for the world. Some ignore Me. Some buck the words of the Father in pursuit of self comfort and selfish ambition. My heart cries out ‘Wake up!!! A storm is coming. Wake up! The world needs what we placed inside you. Do not go to sleep.’ Some hear Me. Some ignore Me. Yet I stand in truth, love, mercy, and justice seeking whomever will listen and turn.
Turn to Me, I love you. Bring your heart to Me, I love you. Lay down your idols, your busyness, your selfish ambition, and listen. Seek first the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom is advancing. Come into agreement and alignment with heaven. Heaven is speaking. Heaven is pursuing you. I am pursuing you. Look at Me! Will you listen and turn your heart to Me? Turn, turn, turn! My heart is here looking for your full heart. Come to Me!! COME!”
May you and I turn to God and surrender. God is speaking to turn. There can be idols in Christian culture. The things and people that are clung to and trusted more than God. Let’s turn. God alone saves. Turn from idols of busyness, self, selfish ambition, comfort, pleasure, people, politics, worship of ministry/ministers/church/family, entertainment, and anything else. May the reverence for the Lord return to us.
God you alone are God. May we find our identity, security, and comfort in you! Please forgive us for choosing any other god. They cannot save. Jesus is LORD! And His Kingdom will reign for ever and ever!!
From moments with Jesus discussing his heart for a hurting world.
Written by Erin Lamb
The world may be quaking & shaking, yet I know a man who speaks peace into storms, raises the dead to life, is still opening deaf ears/blind eyes, still loving the world, still working miracles, still saving the lost, delivering the oppressed. He is Jesus!
It is quite easy to be critical and judge. It is so easy to throw stones at other people and not see the plank in our own eyes. Why? We see in part and know in part. We can think we know and know nothing. God does not simply see the behaviors of humanity; God sees why people do what they do.
How many of you have been harmed greatly by someone who seemed to not get what the problem is? How many of you have been harmed by a professing Christian? Ah, it stings a bit more when they claim to love Jesus and do not love others right? Yet there is a part of the puzzle God sees that we may not. God sees how much of His love they have actually received. We can only give away what we possess.
We tell people to love God and others. “Love God, love others, love yourself last.” This mantra has led to loads of dysfunctional and sometimes codependent relationships. “I will love myself last and God will be so proud.” Well, it sounds noble. The problem is that is it is not biblical.
The Bible says we love because God first loves us (1 John 4:19). The starting point is God. God is love (1 John 4:8).
God is the source of agape (unselfish, sacrificial, unwavering love). This love is the highest of all loves. It trumps eros (romantic/sexual), philia (brotherly love), and storage (family love). Jesus stated His disciples would be known by their agape love (John 13:34-35). This love is the 1 Corinthians 13 type of love.
The next step is receiving God’s love, then giving that love back to God and loving our neighbor AS we love ourselves (Matthew 22:37-39). We will not be able to love God or our neighbor if we do not FIRST RECEIVE agape from God. “God here I am in need of your love, help me to receive the fullness of your love for me,” is a great starting prayer.
It is so vital that we learn how to receive love from God and believe God loves us.
Our thoughts matter! We will not out behave our thought life. Those who think they are the scum of the earth tend to treat others poorly. Those who have not fully accepted they are profoundly loved and accepted by God tend to struggle with loving God, themselves, and others. Your greatest adversary lacks God love. The person who mistreated or abused you lacked God love. The people who dishonored you, they lacked God love.
We cannot give away what we do not possess.
When we move beyond judging behavior to recognizing the root, compassion fills our heart. We move from being critical to praying the other person knows intimately the height, depth, width, and vast expanse of God’s love. We can only reveal to others the God we know. We can only honor others when we have experienced His honor and approval.
When people ask “How could you sit with the homeless, they are so dirty and gross?” I think, “How could I not? I see someone God created with great love. Under all the dirt, is a treasure.” I can honor what society calls, “The least of them,” because I know how much God loves me. If I were dirty and on the streets, I would anticipate God sending someone to love me. I am greatly loved, so are they, and so are you.
Jesus was able to move in high levels of compassion because He was one with the Father. He was not led by His flesh. Jesus knew how greatly He was loved, therefore He could take the lowest place. He could honor the least, last, lost, sinners, and lepers of society because He knew His worth. Those who do not know their own worth or value will not be able to see yours or anyone else’s.
One of the greatest revelations I had from God regarding people was during a season I was being grossly mistreated by Christians. God spoke to my heart, “People will not treat you any better than they treat me. People can not give you what they do not possess.” I recognized in that moment people say they love God, yet if you observe them, some do not honor, cherish, respect, obey, listen to God, etc… For some people, God is their sugar daddy or fire insurance. Loving God to gain something from Him is not loving God.
You can tell quite a bit about how a person feels about themselves by how they treat other people.
You can also gain insight into how people will treat you if you look at how they treat God. If God is only pursued to gain something, that is how they will treat you.
I am learning not to take things personally. How people behave, myself included, is a reflection of the inner condition. Those who know they are loved, love well. Those who try to “fake it til they make it,” tend to hurt tons of people because their love is shallow or deficient.
Before we throw stones, get offended, or hurt by people, pause. Press pause and ask God for His view point of the person, situation, and what is not as visibly seen.
I had a friend chat with me about missing friend gatherings. More than my introversion, there is normally a reason aligned with everything I say no to. Instead of taking on offense, he asked me about it and we talked. His heart grew with compassion.
The evil one will tell you to judge, jump to conclusions, criticize people, be nasty, look for all the things the other person is doing that could be wrong. Love moves us deeper into compassion. Maybe, most likely, there is something more going on than meets the eye.
May you and I sink deeper into compassion. It is a fruit of God’s love.
“…when he (Jesus) saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion for them, because they were distressed and scattered, as sheep not having a shepherd,”-Matthew 9:36.
I hope to release book 4, Killing Insecurity, either later this year or 2021! I hope it leads many into freedom. God longs to see us live bold, confident, and FREE!!
P.S You can support our mission to love the homeless, poor, and victims of human trafficking by supporting our new merch store. Go to empoweredandfreemerch.com.
Jesus had deep friendships with women. A note to Christian men-it is normal & godly to love someone of the opposite gender without romantic intentions & to be loved in return with agape love.
Chatting with women and my own experiences with Christian men we all have had some bad experiences with men who either act weird, or do not love well. Love is focused only on the woman they want to marry or their biological family.
There is the guy who constantly has to say, “sister in Christ.” I confronted a guy in love once who was excessive saying that to me. I asked him, “Do you keep saying that because you think I want to date you? If so, you can stop. I have no such desire.”
I spoke to a lady where men would not even look her in the eye. She was avoided. This caused deep hurt. Why? Because in Christian community it is supposed to be more like a family than an organization. Imagine going to a family gathering and people avoided you, would not talk to you, ghosted you, refused to have any godly contact, they reminded you often they only talked to you because you are related.
I had a guy tell everyone but me I was trying to date him simply because I periodically encouraged him in the Lord because that is what the Bible said to do. It was not fun when I found out. I stopped trying to have Christian men as friends for a long time. God blessed me later with a few men who could give and receive agape love without being weird, suspicious, or immature. It healed so much and taught me so much about the love of God through a man.
Yes, have some boundaries. Also note Jesus did this well, so it can be done. My suggestions.
1. You can make eye contact and say hello.
2. Don’t assume every person of the opposite gender is interested romantically. Our culture is kind when they want something or to date. It is not that way in God’s Kingdom.
3. Before you leap to conclusions pray. “God how do I need to relate to this person?”
4. Ditch fear. More people have been wounded by fear than anything else. There is no fear in God love.
5. Understand no one can make you sin. It is possible to love with God’s love and not fall into sin if you choose to let God deal with the heart.
6. If you have an issue with lust, get deliverance. Lust is an internal issue.
7. If you think a woman is interested in you, pray (do this first) and ask God for His counsel-not everyone in the church. Treat that person how you would want to be treated. It may warrant an adult conversation or better boundaries. Please refrain from gossip, ghosting (just ignoring the person). It is not loving.
I have talked to several men in my lifetime. “Hey, what’s on your mind or heart about this connection?” Asking questions is better than assuming. Some people are just loving, kind, generous or friendly. If a guy states he is looking for a wife, we talk like adults. Intentions are shared and hearts are spared from mistreatment. Some we are still friends. I simply let them know my heart and intentions. Communication is vital.
If you are not romantically interested, it is still possible to love. Jesus loved women well! Gosh, He elevated women. I also believe for those who want to be married, learning to love women in a non eros (romantic) way will help you greatly in life.
I confess I have made associations with non Christian men because they related to me better, treated me better, did not act weird, and treated me like a person not a virus. We can, I think, do better in this area. 🙂
The dying AIDS patient who deepened my awareness of God’s love…
I have this thing with Jesus where if He asks me to do something, my heart melts under the weight of His love. I find Him mostly irresistible. Often He calls me to do things my base personality probably would not run towards. Like the day I met John (not his real name). John was covered in sores (scabbed over), dying, and sad. I stopped for John and tears filled his eyes as he told me there was no hope for him. The way he lived, the diagnosis, no hope. I felt led to pull John into my arms and hug him. Tears flowed freely from his eyes.
Could I be contaminated by John, sores covering his body, tears and saliva flowing? It did not matter in that moment. What mattered was John feeling the deep embrace of God. “John God sees you and loves you. Your life matters greatly to God. John there is always hope with Jesus.”
That day with John wrecked me. Who wanted to touch John? Most people avoided eye contact with Him. God wanted to touch John. There is no fear in love. I have attempted to love many people in my lifetime who could not see God’s love or responded poorly to love. Yet love (God) keeps calling me to love.
So my encouragement is abide in the one who is love, Jesus. When you do, love will FLOW out of you in abounding ways. No striving, abide in Him (cultivate intimacy with God). It won’t matter if you are highly introverted, or not into loving strangers. He will love through YOU! God is simply looking to love the world and it starts with me and you!
My prayer is our hearts receive more of God’s love and we give it away! The world needs love, love, love!!!
I took almost a week off social media and the news. I have one more week of ministry break. I took six weeks off from teaching, leading, free clinic, city outreach, mentoring, seeing deep inner healing clients, etc.
Honestly, it has not felt like a true break. People still have needs, want prayer, want advice or counsel, have crisis situations, etc. I had people messaging me on vacation with their crisis prayer needs. I have pondered quite a bit over this break what is the meaning of life? Yes, dear ones, it got real deep the past 5 weeks.
Why are we here? (I dive into the answer in a bit).
I asked God once if my life’s purpose was to simply be the go to person and support for everyone else. It has seemed that way at times. People forget I am a person not a resource, not their therapist, not a 24/7 crisis manager or their on call 24/7 prayer support, nor am I their on call prophet-“Can I get a word?!!”
I understand why pastors quit, suffer moral failure, or end it all. No I am not considering driving my life into the ditch. I do understand somewhat why it happens. Our lives must be rooted in something and someone GREATER!
We live in such a me centered society that unfortunately can revolve around finding someone to worship or meet their needs that is not God. I promise I am not God nor want His job. I need God desperately to survive and thrive. Our me centered culture also seeks out idols and putting people above God.
Our culture can be rooted in lack of tact (just read some of the online comments), or lack of consideration. “You are on break, well what about me?! You need space, what about me?!” Sometimes my heart crashes under the chorus of “me, me, me.” I run into my cave with God and dare not come out until my head stops spinning. It is not selfish to get away from the crowds.
People forget their source must be God not people. Part of the meaning of life is finding out who God is for ourselves and learning to live out of that relationship/depend on God. God must be our primary source.
Living in a World Filled With Bad News:
I returned to social media today to loads of needs, prayer needs, and tragedies. Our world needs a Savior; He has already come. We need Jesus.
I noticed if the tragedy happened to a celebrity in the world or in Christianity, people seem to care more. They cry over people they have never met simply because they were famous. In the past weeks I have seen people rally behind perfect strangers while ignoring the dying unknown person on their city streets. Am I judging? Just observing.
Our culture places a higher value on some lives over others. Jesus did not. From the thief, to the prostitute, to the tax collector, to the beggar on the street, to the leper…Jesus cared and cares about them all.
Part of life as a Christian is learning to love as God loves. Did we learn to love all people, not just famous people, not just athletes or movie stars, not just platform ministers or their children, not just people who benefit us? Did we learn to love the widow, the orphan, the slave, the poor, the outcast, and even our enemies? Did we learn to love? Love (God love-unselfish, sacrificial love) is why we are here.
We were created by love (God), to be loved, then to love.
While in LA, California a few weeks ago I made it close to Skid Row. Tents of people living on the streets. Some probably dying. I wanted to park my car and go inside their camp. I was supposed to be on ministry break. I was told it is unsafe to go there. Skid Row is full of disease, death, and gross poverty. I wondered if when someone’s child dies on Skid Row if churches would hold week long meetings to try to raise them from the dead. Where are the tributes for the dying there?
I hear people in my own city crying out for revival who will not even give a cup of water to a homeless person. Revival is bringing life to dead things. When I see Skid Row, I see a place prime for revival. It is not pretty, nor shiny. There are no celebrities or VIP people there. Yet I see Jesus walking into the pits of society to pull beauty out of the ashes.
Part of the meaning of life is learning to see as God sees. Heaven has a different vantage point than earth. Every life matters to God.
Earth is a temporary assignment that prepares us for an eternal one. It’s so easy to become fixated on what does not matter at all. Jesus said, “I was hungry and you did not feed me.”
I don’t know how long these feet will touch this earth. I do know, I want to stand before God and hear Him say, “Welcome home! Thank you for completing your assignments.”
We will not be floating on clouds in heaven. There are rewards and assignments. How we steward earth determines how we are rewarded in heaven. We don’t earn entrance into heaven, God does reward us for how we lived and loved on earth. This time on earth is the shortest time we will ever live.
My encouragement is don’t waste your life on what does not matter in the long run. Life is but a whisper. You could be here today and gone tomorrow. Forgive, love, get to know God, and live a presence driven life. Let the chorus of “me, me, me” fade into the background. May the song be, “God reduce me to love. Help me to learn how to love.”
I am still learning to abide in love. It’s a journey. God promises to meet us every step of the way. I don’t have all the answers. I hope to keep abiding in the One who does.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You above Your companions with the oil of joy,~Hebrews 1:9.
God is not stuffy, stoic, nor boring. God knows how to celebrate and have a good time. Pleasure was God’s idea; sin perverted pleasure and a religious/Pharisee spirit tries to dampen any fun with God. God is fun. There is more pleasure and enjoyment in God than anything He created.
I used to examine people who got so excited about God in wonder…until I got to know God for myself. Knowing God elevated my joy quotient significantly. Knowing God has been the greatest joy of my life. Words do not adequately express the beauty, majesty, and mystery of God.
What if I don’t feel joy?
Joy is not a feeling based on what is happening. It is an overflow of abiding in the One who is joy. Jesus stated plainly that abiding in Him brings forth abounding fruit. That is why we can go through a challenging season and still have joy. Paul wrote many celebratory letters from prison. God is good even when life is not going the way we desire. Focusing on who God is, takes the focus off our momentary sorrows.
Paradise is not just a place. It is a person. God is pure JOY. In His presence as the Psalmist proclaimed is the fullness of joy.
You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand,~Psalm 16:11.
Including part of my devotion this morning. My hopes are that joy bubbles up out of your spirit! God loves you and being with God bring joy.
“Go back as far as you can in prerecorded history, back to the dawn of the universe, and there you’ll find joy. The Creation is characterized by celebration (Job 38:6-7; Proverbs 8:22-31). Turning to the time of the New Testament, Christ is characterized by joy (John 8:29; 15:11). In the parable of the lost son, heaven in the present is characterized by joy, feasting, music, and dancing (Luke 15:11-32). Finally, looking forward to the future, John shows us a picture of heaven (Revelation 19:6-9). It will be a feast, where the people shout, “Let us celebrate, let us rejoice, let us give him the glory!” (verse 7).
The story of faith begins and ends in joy. And in between, there is joy. Joy permeated Paul’s life, even in the place you would have least expected it—in prison (see the book of Philippians). For more than twenty centuries, Christians have been exhibiting joy. There have been sad, even morose, Christians, to be sure. But the ones who have inspired us have been marked by joy…
Anyone who gets in touch with God gets in touch with joy. All true joy is derivative. It doesn’t originate from the world. It doesn’t originate from us. It originates from him. And when we get close to him, it rubs off,”~from the Marked by Joy devotion on YouVersion
Have you ever tried to love someone with God love and they either misconstrued it as eros (romantic love), rejected the love, misunderstood the love, did not believe you loved them, tried to use you, or trampled it under foot? I have. It used to bother me greatly, I confess. Then God allowed me to see Jesus loved everyone perfectly, yet some still could accept His love, receive His love, understand Him, nor reciprocate His love.
Jesus, the love of God through Him, was foreign to the religious. His love was not recognized, God was not recognized, He was neither believed nor accepted. The love of God is so lavish, so selfless, and so pure.
The world without knowledge of God cannot recognize what it has no grid for. Love in our culture is often lust (based on selfish gain, fleshly passions, self gratification). It is not holy, pure, nor does it sacrifice anything for another unless there is hopes to gain something.
When you love people without knowing them, it can scare them. If you are too lavish, some think you have ulterior motives. Why? Because our world system is upside down to God’s system. God loves us first and sacrificially. God is not selfish. My point is, and I have to say this to myself, love is not wasted. It may feel that way, yet if it’s for God it’s not.
I served a homeless guy for a bit who ended up off the street and with a job. He rejoiced and thought I was amazing while he was being blessed. Years later I saw him drunk and back on the streets. He cursed me and shooed me away. Did I waste my time for that year I served him and helped him? That hot summer day he cursed me in broad daylight it felt that way. Yet the truth is, Jesus was glorified that year. That man cannot stand before God and say no one ever showed me your love. And guess what, I still keep showing up on the streets.
Whether people clap, boo, talk about me, slander my name, wrongly judge my intentions, trample love underfoot, I keep waking up to love the world. Yes, use wisdom and set boundaries. But don’t let people not full of God’s love destroy your desire to love. Those who do not love, do not know God, for God is love (1 John 4:8).
My encouragement is ask for wisdom and keep your love on for Jesus. Sometimes the prayer is, “God help me to love!”