God Cares How We Love, Live, and Represent Him

Morning Devotion: God Looks at How We Love, How We Live, and Steward What He Gives. It Matters How We Live and Love.

It does not matter the title, position, influence in Christiandom, where you travel, who celebrates you, if you stand on a platform or stage, how much money is made, what celebrity Christian applauds you, the miracles-signs-or wonders, how many books are sold, who you marry, how many kids you have, how big the church is, if you are on tv, how many conferences you preach at, who thinks you are the who’s who on earth, how many supernatural encounters are had, etc…God cares how we love. He cares how we treat people. He cares how we live and how we represent Him. Does the world see anything in us that looks like Jesus?

Jesus did not come to earth and build a fan club or try to sell Jesus swag. He came and made disciples. He came and did the will of the Father. When people encountered Jesus they encountered heaven on earth. Jesus did not have a roped off section from the poor, destitute, and marginalized. Jesus got low and washed feet. Jesus stated, “The greatest among you will be your servant.” Jesus modeled Kingdom of Heaven. The behavior of Jesus reflected the character of the Father. He did not live for the praise or applause of men. He lived for the already given applause of the Father. Jesus did not need to buy followers, nor force people to follow Him. The authenticity of Jesus compelled people to follow Him.

What does it profit a person to gain the whole world and lose their soul? Heaven does not care how popular we are on earth. What causes the applause of man is not what causes the applause of heaven. Heaven looks at what we did with the knowledge of Jesus, how we loved, and how we stewarded what He gave us. God does look at obedience and stewardship (Matthew 25:14–30). Heaven rejoices when one sinner repents (Luke 15:7).

The voice of Jesus:

‘Why do you call me “Lord, Lord,” but you do not do what I tell you?’A person comes to me. He hears what I say and obeys me. I will show you who he is like.He is like a man who built a house. He dug down deep in the ground and made it stand on a rock. The water in the river came up high. The water beat hard against the house. But the house did not move, because it was built on a rock,~Jesus from Luke 6:46-48 (WE)

My heart mourns because some will hear at the end of their lives, “Depart from Me, I never knew you,” from Jesus. They may have preached in His name, attended churches, collected offerings, preached all over the world, cast out demons, seen the sick healed, yet they did not have life union and intimacy with Jesus. See Matthew 7:23. I pray I do not betray Jesus nor make my life more about doing for Jesus than being with Jesus.

Paul tells us this in 1 Corinthians 13 (The Passion Translation):

If I were to speak with eloquence in earth’s many languages, and in the heavenly tongues of angels,[yet I didn’t express myself with love, my words would be reduced to the hollow sound of nothing more than a clanging cymbal.

And if I were to have the gift of prophecy with a profound understanding of God’s hidden secrets, and if I possessed unending supernatural knowledge, and if I had the greatest gift of faith that could move mountains, but have never learned to love, then I am nothing.

And if I were to be so generous as to give away everything I owned to feed the poor, and to offer my body to be burned as a martyr, without the pure motive of love, I would gain nothing of value.

Love is large and incredibly patient. Love is gentle and consistently kind to all. It refuses to be jealous when blessing comes to someone else. Love does not brag about one’s achievements nor inflate its own importance. Love does not traffic in shame and disrespect, nor selfishly seek its own honor. Love is not easily irritated or quick to take offense. Love joyfully celebrates honesty and finds no delight in what is wrong. Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best for others. Love never takes failure as defeat, for it never gives up.

Perfect Love

Love never stops loving. It extends beyond the gift of prophecy, which eventually fades away. It is more enduring than tongues, which will one day fall silent. Love remains long after words of knowledge are forgotten. Our present knowledge and our prophecies are but partial, but when love’s perfection arrives, the partial will fade away. When I was a child, I spoke about childish matters, for I saw things like a child and reasoned like a child. But the day came when I matured, and I set aside my childish ways.

For now we see but a faint reflection of riddles and mysteries as though reflected in a mirror, but one day we will see face-to-face. My understanding is incomplete now, but one day I will understand everything, just as everything about me has been fully understood. Until then, there are three things that remain: faith, hope, and love—yet love surpasses them all. So above all else, let love be the beautiful prize for which you run.

The love that Paul speaks about is love from God, it comes through abiding and relationship with God. It is a transformative love that brings about a greater representation of who He is in us. It is impossible to love like God without intimacy and life union with God. Jesus said He is the vine and we are the branches. If we abide in Him, we will bear abundant fruit (John 15:4-5). The fruit of God is goodness (love, peace, joy, gentleness, etc). If we abide in Him, the fruit of our lives will be good.

May we receive the great love of God and abide in His love. I know I need to abide, to soak, and God continually places me in situations to grow in love. I am still on the Potter’s Wheel. Thankful God continues to reveal more and more of who He is and His great love.

May you and I live for the applause of heaven! It matters far more to hear a well done from the Lord than from people. At the end of our lives, every person (believers included) will give an account to God for how they lived, how they loved, and how they stewarded who and what God gave them (Romans 14:12, 2 Corinthians 5:10, Matthew 25:14–30, Matthew 25:40, 45).

May we live and love for an audience of 1. May we steward everything God gives well. May we understand even as believers we are held accountable for how we love, live, and steward what belongs to God.

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

The Greatest Gift is God

Painting: Christ Art

Morning Devotion: The Best Gift is God, Not What He Gives or Has Created.

The best gift God gave the world, in my thoughts, is Himself. Even before the foundation of the earth God was. Before let there be light, there was the Light; the Light of the world.

God is amazing and my worst day with God surpasses my best day without Him. One of the things I prefer about God over people is God is stable, consistent, keeps His word, reliable, pure love, unselfish, and desires the best for everyone.

God does not love me today and sing my praises then tomorrow say, “I changed my mind about you.” God does not ignore me, play games, cause confusion, try to embarrass or humiliate me. God is not mean spirited or flakey (hot then cold). God is not unkind, rude, intrusive, pushy, hateful, or without compassion.

God actually cares about my dreams, hopes, desires. He cares about yours too!

God is not selfish.

God does not just show up when He has something for me to do. God is not kind to me nor does He give gifts to try to convince me to do something. He gives out of pure love.

God just loves me. God loves the world. God so loved the world He gave! See John 3:16. I do not know of anyone who loves more than God.

God, though the Creator of the Universe, does not spend each day bossing me around, “Now Erin do this, then that. Do I need to remind you that you were created for Me? You are the weaker one. I am the strong one, get low peasant and serve me. Oh and if you truly love me here are all the things you can accomplish for me before the day ends.”

God leads by love. God is kind, merciful, compassionate, holy, beautiful, gracious, serves the most, and overflowing with joy. Because God loves so well and infuses my heart with His love, I desire to love Him with all of my heart, soul, and mind. I serve because I love God. I give because I love God. I lay my life down because I love God. The love of God compels me to pour love back onto God and infuses our covenant.

Abiding in the steadfast love of God is life. Everything on this earth will pass away, yet His Kingdom will remain. Seek first the Kingdom of God and everything you need will be added unto you. Set your mind on eternal things, not the temporal which will fade away. God is the center of it all. It is His story for His glory. We are invited into the story of God.

Before mankind was, God existed. He is the Alpha and Omega, the bright and morning star. He is the reason all of life has it’s being. I truly believe He alone is worthy of our worship. I truly believe this love, His love, is the love worth most pursuing and knowing.

There is no greater love than the love God pours out on us. Some go looking for love in all the wrong places with all the wrong faces and it leads to heartache.

There is a God void inside of every human being that can only be satisfied with God. He fills to overflowing. He satisfies completely. He is the living water that quenches our thirst and satisfies our greatest cravings. Nothing in this world can surpass His great love. Nothing in this world can surpass the friendship of God and His wisdom.

If you desire a true, lasting, and eternal love, connect with Jesus. Jesus said, “No one comes to the Father except through the Son.” He gave His life as an atoning sacrifice so we could put on His righteousness and stand before a holy God. This love cost the Father His Son, and the Son His life.

What manner of love is this to lay down His life to save us while still sinners. My mind cannot fully grasp the intensity of God’s love for humanity. My question is, “Do you know Jesus?” My second question is, “Have you made Jesus the center of it all?” The love that comes through the Son of God is remarablle. It is beyond comprehension. It is available to all.

How to know Jesus: https://ithoughtiknewwhatlovewas.com/how-to-know-jesus/

God thank you for everything, especially who you are. You are amazing, beyond amazing. I cannot thank you enough. I ask that this year would overflow with your deep love. May we know the height, depth, width, and vast expanse of your love. Fill us to overflowing. Draw us into the profound corridors of your heart. Show us what real love is. Thank you for Jesus and your precious Holy Spirit. Thank you.

Photo Source: Embracing Jesus (Pinterest)

You are so deeply loved!

Erin Lamb

Know God and the Bible for Yourself (Testing Revelation)

Morning Devotion: Knowing God’s voice.

Every voice is not God. Our soul and spirit speak too. The evil one can give impressions, contaminate dreams, visions, and implant thoughts. Believers are called to test every spirit and all prophetic words/dreams/visions. Today’s post covers testing words, impressions, dreams, visions, and “God told me.”

I have met numerous people in my life who have derailed their life with “God told me.” The voice they heard or the dream/vision did not come from God at all yet it was never tested. The person had followed either their own voice or a false Holy Spirit. Yes, there are demonic spirits who pretend to be God. This is why the Bible says, “Test every spirit and see if it’s of God.”

Everything that looks good or sounds good is not God. The Bible should be the standard or compass. God is not going to tell someone to sin. God is also not double-minded, tossing someone back in forth in confusion. When God speaks, He means what He says and will fulfill what He said.

Trouble can come in several different ways:

1. The person does not cultivate intimacy with God. They are highly dependent on other people telling them what God said instead of reading the Bible for themselves, listening and testing with God.

Jesus said, “My sheep will know My voice and the voice of a stranger they will not follow.” Intimacy with God helps us to know His voice from our voice and our voice from the enemy.

2. They do not ask others to test what they are hearing. They have their own isolated bubble with zero feedback and they end up in a ditch.

A prophetic and Spirit-filled community also helps with learning the voice of God. This is where we invite others into what we think we are hearing from God and accept feedback. Those who refuse any feedback or loving correction do not grow.

3. Pride. “I know I hear from God, and therefore I am not in need to test this word, vision, dream, impression. I am accurate or seasoned.” Pride is the devil’s playground. Those who think they are standing sometimes fall because they refuse to acknowledge the fact that they may not have seen or heard correctly. They do not accept accountability or feedback. Or they surround themselves with people who are yes men and women, they have no one to challenge their thoughts or expressions. Pride is one way to miss fully or clearly seeing and hearing what God is doing.

4. A critical spirit or grossly wounded soul can contaminate what God is saying or doing. Our deep wounds can fracture our lenses and cause what we see or hear to not match what God has said or shown us. Our interpretation can be flawed because our wounds are guiding our seeing/hearing. Our vantage point can become our place of woundedness instead of the heart of God. Jesus spoke from the heart of God.

5. Deception. The person has partnered with a spirit of deception by believing lies. God’s word is a great place to soak to bypass gross deception and knowing God for ourselves. A prophet who does not read and study the Bible can be in big trouble as well as every believer. Know the word of God for yourself.

So how do we test?

A. Hold up whatever it is against the word and character of God. God will not tell a person to sin. He will not tell a person to run around in confusion or double-mindedness. One day God says go left, another day turn around…I have seen people run around in utter confusion because they refused to test what they sensed was God. God is not hateful, nor critical. God is not crazy. Cultivating intimacy with God and learning His character is vital to hearing clearly. You can not repeat something from someone you don’t know.

B. Pray and ask others to pray. There are several things in my life that looked good or sounded good yet I paused and prayed. I asked God to show me what was really going on and to confirm if it was Him. I did nothing until I had more insight from God. Thankful because after praying, “God show me your truth about this person, this situation, this dream or vision or prophetic word,” there was an increased clarity and wisdom given by God. Asking others to pray with me and for me or test what I think God is saying has been helpful as well.

C. Write it down and come back later. I have found that God when He gives something, knows the perfect timing for its release. God is not pushy, not in a mega hurry. He is okay with sitting something aside to pray, weigh, test, examine, etc…Sometimes in the process of writing it out and coming back later, a person can see where their soul was speaking and it does not sound like God at all.

D. Ask God for deeper revelation, insight, and to confirm what is Him. I have had several people tell me that God brought them into my life and it was a lie, lie, lie. The devil brought them across my path. As I prayed over their words, character, etc…God revealed their heart was not good. I have had numerous marriage words that were false. I tell people don’t just run with something someone tells you or even your own dreams/visions/words. Ask God, “Show me who this person really is. Show me God the heart of this person. Confirm if this is from you. Show me the source of this dream, information.” You pray and PAY ATTENTION. Some bypass red flags because, “God told them,” and they end up in devastation. Watch how that person treats you. Watch their character. Watch how they treat other people. I have seen God unravel things over time that looked like Gold in the beginning and it was gold plated.

I had a lady tell me she was my Jonathan and she later brought hell, confusion, pain, and craziness into my life. If I had taken what she said and asked God for confirmation, then I could have bypassed some crazy. I did not. I trusted her because she said she knew God and seemed to be on fire for Jesus. She also had another set of voices that needed cast out and deep brokenness that caused “Prophalying.” I learned a valuable lesson. Love everyone, test everything.

Some will be attracted to the anointing on your life, not you. If that anointing does not benefit them or ceases to fill their need bucket, they will go find the next person who will. There is a great difference between who loves you and who loves what they think you can do.

I have also had people drawn to who they think I am and when they find out I am not the tell you just what you want to hear, they abandon the relationship. They said, in the beginning, they prayed for someone like me and God answered, yet the reality was, I think and could be wrong, they saw something they wanted and put it on God. When it did not meet their expectations, God obviously changed His mind and they left the connection. If God leads us to someone, like He did with David and Jonathan, it is not an “I’m in as long as you do and say what suits me.” It is a committed love. It is mutual and not one sided.

E. Examine the heart and nature of God. God is not pushy nor manipulative. God allows choice. Even Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane had a choice. God did not force Him, pressure Him, nor try to bully Him into the cross. Adam and Eve had a choice. We get to choose.

Caution: Be careful with the God told me to hire this person, marry this person, connect with this person, etc…I have seen people get a word, have a dream, yada yada and they never tested it. They hired that person, connected with that person, married that person or were rejected by that person and blamed God (He was not the source of that intel), and end up in a ditch. God does not force connections. God will introduce two people and let them choose. He does not force marriages or partnerships. And I have only met a few people who God told them who their spouse was and it was a great marriage, the rest married into hell. They did not test what they heard or saw.

Truly believe God wants us to know Him for ourselves and cultivate intimacy with Him. I also believe there are false prophets in the world and knowing God, testing what we see or hear is vital. God told us to do it. Leaning on the words of internet prophets or platform prophets or even the local prophet is not wisdom. Wisdom is getting in the word and secret place with God. Wisdom is testing ALL things. “God is this really you? I will not move or act until I know that this is you and not my soul or spirit and not the voice of the enemy trying to deceive me. God keep me in a place of humility where I am continually submitting what I see and hear to you and when needed seeking wise counsel. Help me to be an accountable prophet or prophetic person. Heal my soul of any wounds or deception so I can see, hear, and speak the clear uncontaminated word of God”

Art: Yongsung Kim

Love in Christ,

Erin L Lamb

Jesus the Greatest Prophet

Morning Devotion: The Role & Purpose of a Prophet. Prophets do more than prophesy (speak forth the word and will of God), they are transformational agents who deliver solutions and reveal the heart of the Father.

The greatest prophet to walk this earth is Jesus of Nazareth. It was not Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Deborah, or Moses. Jesus is the perfect model for the prophet. If you desire anyone’s anointing, let it be Jesus.

Jesus walked in love, wisdom, and power. He knew when to be direct and when to speak in parables. He knew how to address religious leaders and hypocrites and could sit with the sinner. He overflowed with compassion and love.

There was no pride nor a critical spirit in Jesus. When He saw problems He also saw and spoke solutions. His agenda was repentance, restoration, and reconciliation of a sinful world to the Father.

Prophets are more than ones who speak, they initiate change and point to repentance. Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand. Look and see what God is doing, get on board. Turn your ear and hear what God is saying, adjust your mind to align with His.

God is the ultimate authority and calls and commissions agents of transformation on earth. Prophets have an assignment and linked to that assignment is mandate to release, speak, and see heaven invade the earth. Prophets shift not only the spiritual atmosphere, they shift culture, organizations, and congregations.

Prophets see and/or hear the heart of the Father and their role is not just to tell people like it is. It is to provide revelation that increases intimacy with God. People are transformed by intimacy with God. Flowery words are not the same as a prophetic key that unlocks a heart which unlocks a destiny. Intimacy with God increases revelation which leads to transformation. Transformed people transform cities. Transformed cities, transform lives.

The true prophet reveals the heart and will of the Father. Jesus said, “I only do what I see the Father doing.” A true prophet is rooted in the love of God.

It is false a prophet is a fortune teller and also false their role is to hand out candy coated words that make people feel good yet never connect them with the will of God. Jesus did not do that, nor did any true prophet of the Bible. Being rude, critical, and harsh are also not the model of Jesus, nor is denying truth or repentance. Jesus did not lie nor tell people what they wanted to hear. He told them the truth in love.

The prophet wipes the smeared lenses to reveal a clearer picture of who God is, what God is highlighting, and the will of God. The prophet often stands up for God’s truth in a time of compromise and immorality. The prophet stands against oppression, idolatry, immorality, and injustice. The prophets of old were persecuted greatly for cutting against the grain and upholding God’s truth which was counter to culture.

Heaven is constantly moving towards intimacy with humanity. Heaven rejoices when one sinner repents. Heaven is looking for relationship and not second hand relationship. Prophets do not replace God, they point to God. They issue an invitation that invites humanity into relationship with the heart and will of God.

Everyone who prophesies is not a prophet. Prophets are chosen, selected, called, commissioned, and assigned by God. True prophets are not self appointed, they are God ordained. God sets up His own training program for prophets. Many prophets go on to train other prophets. Prophets do not just speak, they equip and invite others into learning and hearing the voice and heart of God.

Once again if we are to ask for anyone’s leadership in the prophetic or call of a prophet, may it be Jesus. May we desire the anointing of Jesus to flow uncontaminated. He is the visible representation of the heart and will of the Father.

Love,

Erin Lamb

Overcoming with Jesus

Morning Devotion: Walking with Jesus as an overcomer.

Adversity is an opportunity for advancement, a problem is a setup for a miracle, and sometimes you are delivered through instead of delivered from a trial.

I hope to encourage someone this morning! We become overcomers by having something to overcome.

Walking with God does not mean you will live a life free of troubles, struggles, trials, or persecution…Jesus stated very plainly “In this world, you will have troubles, yet take heart, I have overcome the world,”~John 16:33.

I have walked through many things I thought at the time may overtake me; trapped in a car under water, death threats, racism, sabotage, 7 near death experiences, sickness, chronic sickness for a while, persecution, being left to die, lied on, cheated, heartbroken, abandoned by those who cried out, “You are my family. I love you!”, and so much more.

There were times I stood on mega faith and contended for a breakthrough. There were times I pulled in other seasoned believers to stand with me through the valley of the shadow of death. There were seasons of supernatural joy and others of profound grief. I believe every single experience was and is used by God to be a source of hope for someone else. I saw the power of God in profound ways during some of the most challenging moments of my life. Doctors said one thing, God said another. People said and did destructive things, God spoke life. I learned God is my very best friend and nothing on earth compares to Him. Take the world and give me Jesus.

I do not tell you these things for empathy or sympathy. I do not tell you because I am nursing an emotional wound. It is well with my soul. I tell you because overcoming means you will have something to overcome! We overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony (Revelation 12:11).

We impart hope to others when we take our Christian masks off and say, “This was a challenge and look what God had done! This is what I have walked through and this is the power of God.” I have no time for pretend when there are people living in despair, despondency, and hopelessness because no one is real. Let’s be real. Life will punch you in the face at the times, even if you decree/declare/read the word/fast/etc…the goal is not to stay down. Get back up with Jesus!

If I can walk through many fires with God and come out with mega joy, so can you! With God you can and will overcome! Just like the woman with the issue of blood for 12 years. She did not know how long she would suffer, then along came Jesus. Her heart, I believe lept…If I could just touch the hem of His garment, I will be (not maybe) made whole. Hope flooded the scene when Jesus came. We too can find hope in Jesus.

The strength is not our own, it comes from God. The healing and deliverance is in the person of Jesus. Not by our power or strength, but by His Spirit (Zechariah 4:6)!! Hallejuah! Praising my heart out!!

Can we worship God? Can we say with utter honesty, “This is challenging, but you are good?” Through it all God is still God. These earthly afflictions are so temporary, God is eternal. God never ceases to be good.

I look to those who walked before us…

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”~Daniel 3:16-20.

They chose not to base their devotion to God on their deliverance. They chose God despite the outcome. This is love.

I am healed, whole, and full of joy because of God! This is for you too. It does not matter how long the storm has raged on or the diagnosis or prognosis. What matters is the presence of God. Is God there? Has God been invited into the storm? He can with one word calm the storm. If He does not, He will see us through it all.

When I look at Jesus, I see perfect theology. He said, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” He was not speaking of His maleness for God is Spirit, those who worship God must worship in Spirit and in truth. He was speaking of His heart, His compassion, His character, His desires for the least/last/lost, His purity.

When I look at Jesus I see someone who was betrayed, mocked, abandoned, sabotaged, whipped, assaulted for His faith, rejected, had His heartbroken. He was lied on, humiliated, disappointed, and gave His very life for the ones who yelled, “Crucify Him!!” I am no better than Jesus. He had no sin and faced many challenges. We have hope in someone who already defeated our worst enemy, death. What He overcame, I can overcome and you can too by the power of the Holy Spirit.

God does not ask us to overcome in our strength. God does not expect us to be the superheroes of the story, He is the Savior/Deliverer/Healer. God invites us to abide in Him and overcome in His strength.

If we cannot run, we walk. If we cannot walk, we crawl. If we cannot crawl, we reach up into the arms of God. We cling to who God is and all He has done before. God is a way maker and a sustainer of life. I am living, walking additional evidence that nothing is impossible for God.

The odds may seem against you, you may feel alone in the storm. The doctor report may be grim…the circumstances beyond hope. Yet I know a man. A man who raised from the dead and walks in resurrection power. His name is Jesus. I know a man who opened blind eyes and deaf ears and set the captives free! I know a God who has done what mankind could not do. The same God who saved my life over and over is calling out to you! Speak life to the dead situations God told you should live!! Say what God says until you see what God has said.

We stand on an unshakable God and in an unshakable Kingdom!! Most of all we can have bold confidence that in the end, God wins!!

Let hope arise…hope in the only one who cannot ultimately fail.

Love in Him,

Erin Lamb

Growing in Love (Holy Spirit University (HSU) Series Part V)

Holy Spirit is the greatest teacher. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God. Once He dwells in us, Holy Spirit seeks to develop godly character in our lives.

One of the greatest works of Holy Spirit is to reveal the love of God to us and the nature of God. God is love.

Agape love is pure, sacrificial, unselfish. It thinks of what is best for others, not just self. It is the love God has for the world (John 3:16).

There is no selfishness in God; His love is pure. His love is sacrificial.

Love came down and invaded a sinful world. Love left paradise and was born in humble circumstances.

Love laid His life down for sinful humanity. He gave His very best for humanity; He is God with us. He is Emmanuel. Love has a name; Jesus. The Father revealed His steadfast love for humanity through His Son. What an act of pure, unselfish love.

This is the same love Jesus tells us will mark His followers. “They will know you are my followers by your agape (unselfish, sacrificial) love,”~Jesus (John 13:35).

Though culture may say being a Christian is simply a cultural or political marker, a profession of faith, a church attendance card…Jesus marked His followers with great love. “You will know who follows Me by their pure, unselfish, sacrificial love.

This love flows from the Vine to us. He (Jesus) is the Vine and we are the branches. If we abide in Him (remain, are intimate with Him), there will be abundant fruit. The greatest fruit that flows from the Vine is love. The fruit of God’s Spirit is love.

…the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law,~Galatians 5:22-23.

Three things will last forever–faith, hope, and love–and the greatest of these is love,~1 Corinthians 13:13.

If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing,~1 Corinthians 13:2.

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another,~Jesus (John 13:34-35).

Love is a marker of one who knows God, abides in God, and follows Jesus (1 John 4:8). It is not like the love of the world that only loves those who love in return. It is not like the love of the world that focuses on pleasing self. It is a laid down life of honoring God, loving God, and loving others. One receives God’s love, basks in His love, then what flows out is God love.

We can not give away love we have not received. A bankrupt person cannot love like God. One must be rooted in the Vine and yielded to God. One may be saved and unyielded. God still allows us to choose sin after being saved.

Love involves choice. We can buck Holy Spirit and simply live to love ourselves. Holy Spirit will allow certain situations and circumstances to teach us to love like God.

Sometimes what we call an annoyance or annoying person is a love lesson. That family member that does not love us, that fellow believer who disappoints us, that coworker who behaves in ungodly ways…they are often tools to teach us how to love like God.

Love matters greatly to God. Revealing to us the love of God is vital. We thrive when we know we are loved well. We, as stated before, will not love others if we do not first receive love from God. We will not love ourselves if we do not first receive love from God. It all starts with God. We love because He first loves us (1 John 4:19) and Holy Spirit reveals the love of God to and through us.

May you and I learn from the one who is love. The courses on love are lifetime courses. God fully intends to return for a Bride (body of believers in Jesus) who love like Jesus. Love is paramount. It is not just so we can love Him. God longs for the entire world to know Him and our love shows them who He is.

Christians are some of the greatest causes for the world rejecting Jesus-our behavior and lifestyles demonstrate what we truly believe. Why follow a God who produces disciples that are nothing like Jesus?

Our lives are no longer our own, they were purchased with His life. Therefore, may our lives be marked with radical love. May the world see Jesus in us. May our love lessons teach us the deep love of God and may that love be seen in us.

Papa God, deepen our love walk and help us to love by your Holy Spirit. Help us to submit and yield to your love lessons. Help us to be vessels of profound love and show the world who you truly are. Enhance our love walk and increase our capacity to love. May we know the height, depth, width, and vast expanse of your great love! Thank you for your great love. In Jesus powerful name, amen.

Happy Holidays!

Erin L. Lamb

Sunday Devotion: Understanding Condemnation & Godly Correction.

Morning Devotion: Understanding condemnation, godly correction, and what God requires from the mouth of Jesus.

Sometimes the desire to be merciful and extend grace is simply enabling. Jesus said to those caught in sin, “Go and sin no more (John 8:11). Stop sinning lest something worse happen to you (John 5:14).” This was an invitation to true heart repentance. God continues to give us opportunities to repent (change our mind about sin and agree with Him).

Heaven rejoices when one sinner repents (Luke 15:7). Why? It is the breaking of agreement with Satan (who brings death/destruction/division) and partnership with God (brings life to the fullest).

True repentance is the goal of mercy, and the kindness of God. When God says, “Kindness leads to repentance,” He is not desiring for us to stay in bondage nor keep sinning. Why? Sin is partnership with Satan. Satan is the author of death. God prefers life. We are not to be married to God and dating the devil. If we are, we need to repent and break up with the side chick Satan.

If we do not tell people that sin leads to destruction and death, we do not truly love them the way Jesus does. Love protects. Love speaks truth in love. God love never, ever condones sin. God does not wink at sin, think it’s cute…it cost Jesus His life. He was marred beyond what we could imagine to free us from lifestyles of unrighteousness.

Condemnation is to judge someone with a penalty of death. Only God can condemn someone to hell. It is not condemnation to preach or teach what Jesus did. It will forever be, “The wages of sin is death yet the gift of God is eternal life (Romans 6:23).” Jesus came to offer the world eternal life (John 10:10, John 3:17).

It is troubling to me when people try to exclude certain teachings of Jesus because they do not wish for people to feel bad or condemned. Which is better, to be temporarily hurt by the word and repent leading to everlasting life or having your feelings coddled until death and hear Jesus say, “Depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness, I never knew you (Matthew 7:23).”

Eternity in hell is a long time to be remorseful. I would rather be corrected while living than suffer in eternity void of God; full of torment, roommates with Satan and every demon. No thanks.

Hell was made for Satan and his minions. God does not force heaven or hell on anyone. We get to choose. He says, “I set before you life and death, choose life.”

God will not force Himself on anyone. Heaven is all about God, therefore no one who does not love God, believe in God will abide there. Heaven is about Jesus.

Jesus loudly declared, “The one who believes and trusts in Me does not believe [only] in Me but [also believes] in Him who sent Me. And whoever sees Me sees the One who sent Me. I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes and trusts in Me [as Savior—all those who anchor their hope in Me and rely on the truth of My message] will not continue to live in darkness. If anyone hears My words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge and condemn the world [that is, to initiate the final judgment of the world], but to save the world.

Whoever rejects Me and refuses to accept My teachings, has one who judges him; the very word that I spoke will judge and condemn him on the last day. For I have never spoken on My own initiative or authority, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment regarding what to say and what to speak. I know that His commandment is eternal life. So the things I speak, I speak [in accordance with His exact instruction,] just as the Father has told Me.”~John 12:44-50.

The condemnation that Jesus spoke of dealt with the final sentencing into hell. He tells us in this passage that whoever refuses His teachings and rejects Him would be condemned on the last day. We cannot stop the passage at Jesus did not come to condemn the world, therefore live it up. We must read the entire passage and gather understanding of what God is requiring.

Sin entered the world when Adam and Eve obeyed the devil instead of God. God provided a way to reconcile us back to the First Estate as sons and daughters of God. Before Jesus people lived in faith of Messiah to come. Not everyone is a son or daughter of God, though all created in His image, only those who place their faith in the Son are reconciled to the Father.

You (born again believers), however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ,~Romans 8:9.

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God,~Romans 8:14.

Do not be conceited, but [rather stand in great awe of God and] fear [Him]; for if God did not spare the natural branches (Jews) [because of unbelief], He will not spare you (Gentiles) either. Then appreciate the gracious kindness and the severity of God: to those who fell [into spiritual ruin], severity, but to you, God’s gracious kindness—if you continue in His kindness [by faith and obedience to Him]; otherwise you too will be cut off,~Romans 11:20-22.

Papa God, I ask for the full mantle of wisdom from scripture be imparted to us. Help us to know full passages of scripture, not just verses. Help us to understand what you are inviting us into. Help us to repent when we choose death over life. Give us a full understanding of grace and mercy. May we understand what Jesus paid for on the cross. Our lives are no longer our own, they belong to you. May we be yielded to your Holy Spirit and teach your truth in love. In Jesus name. Amen.

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb