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Weekend Devotion (A Prophet Who Warns)

Weekend Devotion: The prophet who warns. God loves to encourage; part of love is also warning of upcoming disaster and discerning what is God and what is not God.

I am not into the mantra of, “God is punishing the world, that’s why disasters happen.” Jesus came to save the world (John 3:16). I am also not of the camp of “We do no wrong or God never says, ‘Hey, you need to pray because something not great is coming’.”

The truth is God speaks, God warns, God instructs, and God issues calls to repentance. Part of love is saying, “Pray, something not good is headed your way.” God raises up watchmen on the wall who listen to Him and pray with Jesus. It’s not their kingdom come, their will be done. It’s His Kingdom come, His will be done.

The truth is humanity sins. If you do not believe this truth, turn on your local news. Jesus paid to free us from slavery to sin. We are to be Christ focused, not sin focused. Yet our mass culture has a propensity to be neither God centered nor aware of the trauma sin brings nor the authority given to the evil one through our agreement.

Sin is agreement with the devil. Agreement with the devil means he is given authority where Jesus stripped him of authority. Where there was no power and authority, he is given the ability to kill, steal, and destroy. God put Satan under the believers feet. We can choose to agree with him or God.

I live in a country where repentance is sometimes a dirty word. There are people who teach that God does not see our lawlessness, He just sees Jesus. There are some who teach sin is no big deal, just live how you want and confess later. There are some who teach there are no consequences for our choices and we have zero accountability as believers. So what happens is the evil one is given access to believers lives and the lives of others through willful participation in partnership with the devil. Then the question for believers becomes, “Why is my life a mess? I love Jesus.” Well, the Bible is clear, “I set before you life and death-choose life,”~from Duet 30:15-16. There is a mega blessing attached to agreeing with God.

I also see throughout scripture God sounding the alarm with His prophets. Yes, there are false prophets all over who profess doom and gloom. There are also false prophets who preach and teach peace and what the people want to hear.

God is truth. God is balanced. God will tell those close to His heart, “Pray for your adversary the devil is on the prowl, seeking whom He may devour. Pray because the people have opened a door through immorality to the gates of the enemy. Pray lest you fall. Pray.

If you were standing on a train track and a locomotive was headed right for you, and I watched it hit you, would you say I love you? I hope not. The person who loves you yells, “Get out of the way. A train is coming!! You are going to die if you stay on this track!!! Choose life.” This is what I know of God. He is the One proclaiming, “Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand. Choose life; choose My Son.”

I have also seen God heighten discernment. Discernment is not simply deciphering between what is wrong and right. It is deciphering between what is right and almost right.

Satan is a liar, deceiver and twister of words. He does not always just present the biggest lie possible; often He presents a twisted truth, a subtle lie. It almost seems right, yet it’s not. Followers of Jesus are called to abide in His truth. If we know God, know His word, and His Spirit is in us, then we can prayerfully spot counterfeit from what’s real. The best way to know counterfeit is to become intimate with what is authentic.

I truly believe in prophets like Jesus who did not come to shame people, yet never tailored their message to win a popularity contest. Jesus spoke truth in love. Jesus warned of the consequences of partnership with the devil. Jesus preached repentance (agreeing with God). Jesus spoke of the things of Papa God’s heart. Jesus walked in the authority of the Father uncontaminated. Jesus was a true King, Priest, Son, and Prophet.

Papa God please forgive us for any agreement with the evil one. Help us to align with your truth. Please help us to listen and hear your voice above them all. Please lead us on a path of your truth. Help us to live out of your heart. Let your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Love,

Erin Lamb

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2017 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Sustaining Power to Overcome (Holy Spirit University (HSU) Series Part III)

Photo credit: Word of the Day

Holy Spirit is sustaining power if we abide. Our world is full of things that are not like God; pain, sin, death, destruction, rudeness, cruelty, abuse, and so much more. How do we overcome? We abide in the one who has overcome. Jesus suffered and died. He did not stay dead, He rose with all power in His hands. He says to born again believers, “I overcame, you can overcome. The same power, the same Spirit that raised Me, it abides in you.”

Since the Spirit of God lives in me, I can (so can you if you are a Spirit filled follower of Jesus), give thanks for adversity, opposition, and persecution.

Before you think I have lost my marbles or gone wackado…heres why?

Adversity, opposition, and persecution are opportunities for growth, refinement, and deeper intimacy with God.

Adversity reveals the authencity of what we proclaim to believe. Without adversity we can claim to trust God, claim to have faith, yet the fire of affliction reveals what is in us. If there is unbelief, it rises to the surface in panic in moments of adversity. If there is pride, it rises to the surface. Adversity reveals what we believe and exposes any flaws in our character or identity that need refined.

Opposition is an opportunity to rely on the Spirit of God and not our flesh. Can we love like God when we are being opposed, sabatoged, mistreated, and persecuted? It’s easy to be kind when life is peachy. Can we be kind when hell is going on around us? Can we stay in a place of honor, even when dishonored? Can we represent Jesus well even when hated without cause? Opposition reveals our love walk.

Persecution, if yielded to God, brings forth the oil of His glory or bitterness. An olive is pressed to bring forth more oil. If we let hurt or offense in, the stench of bitterness arises and the fragrance of hatred flows from us. If we yield to God, more and more of the character of God is manifested in our lives.

Persecution can also deepen our intimacy with God. “God here I am. What do I do? Help me to love those who hate me. Help me to love and honor those who mistreat me. Forgive them God for they know not what they do. Invade their hearts with your love. Help me to abide in you and not respond in my flesh. May you be glorified.”

The Psalmist stated, “My suffering was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees,”~Psalm 119:71.

It is so tempting to run from Gethsemane, yet nothing crucifies the flesh or exposes our blind spots like testing, trials, adversity, opposition, and persecution.

If you are in the fire today or your faith or love walk is being tested, my prayer is, “Don’t jump out of the fire ahead of time. Some things we are delivered from and some through. The only thing consumed in the fire (if we are linked to God) is what limits us, the dross, the stuff unlike God.”

It is not by our strength or power, it is by His strength and power. God is able to sustain us and help us thrive in the midst of the worst adversity, opposition, trials, and persecution.

Disclaimer: this does not apply to abuse (sexual, physical, emotional, or spiritual abuse); get out, get help. If you physically or emotionally sick, Jesus wants you healed.

Papa God, for those weary in well doing I ask for a wave of your goodness and glory to wash over them. For those beaten down and afflicted, I ask for a raising of a standard against the enemy, let not our faith fail. For those persecuted, I pray comfort, healing, and your sustaining power. Help us to lean on you and not ourselves. Increase our awareness of your love, peace, goodness, and joy. Take us deeper into intimacy with you. Holy Spirit come and saturate our body, soul, and spirit with Shalom. In the mighty name of Jesus amen.

You are so deeply loved! You are prayed for too on a regular basis.

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2017 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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God is Not Punishing the World; Sin Brings Destruction

Morning Devotion: God is not punishing the world; sin brings torment, death, and destruction. Jesus came to save the world. Prayer of repentance at the end.

The thief (the devil) 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]. I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His [own] life for the sheep,~Jesus (John 10:10-11).

The Lord does not delay [as though He were unable to act] and is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is [extraordinarily] patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance,~2 Peter 3:9.

With almost every disaster you get the people who rise up declaring God is punishing someone. It is a misunderstanding of God’s heart and how natural order works.

Jesus did not come to destroy the world. He came to save the world. Sin on the other hand is partnership with Satan and brings forth death. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord,”~Romans 6:23.

People do not always believe this, Adam and Eve did not believe God, yet it’s true. How can I say this? Well, look at earth today. It only takes a few minutes of watching the news to see that sin brings destruction. Person A gets angry at person B and decides to run them over with their car. Person B dies because person A has a rage problem, lack of self control, and a pride problem. We can also look at the consequences of the choices of Adam and Eve. Death, destruction, decay, immorality, and trauma entered humanity when they surrendered their will to the devil.

All of creation suffered because of their choices and we still suffer today. Jesus came to empower humanity to have life to its fullest.

Sin entraps an individual into thinking, “It’s just about me. My choice. It does not impact anyone else.” This is false. Sin is like a hurricane, it impacts everything around it and the course is death and devastation.

It does not mean if you suffer persecution, trauma, tragedy, etc…that you personally have gross sin in your life. Jesus suffered at the hands of other’s sins. Sin hurts someone. Sin lead humanity to nail an innocent man to the cross. God is not the one trying to kill, steal, or destroy…those are the devil’s job descriptions.

Life example. I used to have Sunday school with my family. We had one cousin who would try to get others in trouble. Once he got everyone laughing, he would slip into the background. We (those laughing) would get in trouble. The devil works the same way. He convinces people “God is not good, look at what you don’t have, do what is best for you, you need to get your needs met, do what feels good, don’t think about consequences, nothing bad is going to happen to you, this feels good-do it, it’s your life“…then he slips into the background and watches the drama unfold. Once the consequence for sin is set in motion, someone must be blamed, “Oh let’s blame God. If God loved the world bad things would not happen.” Yet humanity consistently partners with the devil then gets angry when that partnership goes foul.

I have heard people say, “If God loved the world, there would be no sin or hungry people or disasters.” Well, God gave humans dominion on earth and the ability to choose. Evil exists because of the abuse of free will. We have starving children on this planet because of thievery and greed. Africa was robbed of her natural treasures (diamonds, minerals, resources) and her people left to die. Millions of dollars come into churches each year tax exempt and some do nothing to help the poor.

The sins of people are the reason our world is a hot mess. We were also called to be stewards of this planet, yet we pollute it to gain profits and have more money and then complain when the earth decays, “Why did God let this happen?” Why did we let it happen?

The blame game started in the Garden of Eden and has never fixed anything. Repentance does help heal the land. Repentance is agreeing with God.

“God we release our judgement against any person and forgive them. We release them to you, along with all bitterness, malice, and resentment. Reduce us to love like Jesus. God we are sorry for our sins; our pride, hatred, apathy, mistreating people and this planet, lack of love, misplaced priorities, idolatry, valuing things more than people, valuing politics more than people, racism and sexism, thinking more highly of ourselves than we should, cursing, cursing others, putting things or people above you, self righteousness, passivity, disobedience, rebellion, lust, perversion, murder, killing the innocent, siding with injustice, not caring for the poor, for not adhering to sound doctrine, for selfishness, greed, and everything not of you. Please forgive us and have mercy on us. We break our partnership with the devil. We renounce any covenant with darkness. We appropriate the blood of Jesus to our sins. Restore our hearts, heal our souls, cleanse our land. Thank you for mercy. In Jesus powerful name amen.”

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2017 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Look At the Fruit (Character Matters)

Photo: Devon Franklin

Morning Thoughts: A tree produces fruit of it’s roots. Look at fruit, not just the words people speak or the title they carry.

The bible talks about wolves in sheeps clothing (Matthew 7:15) and we are to test things (1 John 4:1) and examine fruit (Matthew 7:18). Yet over the years I have seen countless people become enamored with people with poor character. Yes they may be gifted, talented, they may even preach well or see miracles. Yet they are not even remotely like Jesus in their treatment of people, character, lifestyle.

We are not to put people on pedestals and worship them. No matter their title or clout or what they say, we are to worship God and God alone. We are to examine character and test fruit. We are to look at how that person lives, treats others, behaves. It’s not passing judgement; it’s exercising wisdom.

We are also to test prophetic words, sermons, counsel and the things people speak into our lives or the lives of others. Does it align with scripture? Does it align with the character of God? In order to test something against the word and character of God we must study the bible with God and pursue knowing God for ourselves.

Discernment is more than knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right.”

The purpose of examining fruit is not to throw stones nor develop a superiority complex. It provides wisdom so you know who to invite into deeper fellowship, who needs to sit at the inner table, and who’s counsel is valid.

It is also beneficial to invite God to examine our hearts and lives. What is the fruit coming off our tree? Is it love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, meekness (strength under control), and self control. What is our character? Are we trustworthy, faithful, loving, truthful, compassionate, unselfish, a servant, good to people, honoring, righteous, full of integrity?

No person is perfect, perfection is not the goal, yet we can save ourselves loads of heartache if we pay attention to fruit. We can also grow in maturity if we invite God to deal with us so we look, behave, and love more like Jesus.

Love in Christ,

Erin L. Lamb

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2017 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Holy Spirit the Teacher (Holy Spirit University (HSU) Series Part II)

When they bring you before the synagogues and the magistrates and the authorities, do not be worried about how you are to defend yourselves or what you are to say; for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”~Luke 12:11-12.

But the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you~Jesus (John 14:26).

I love Holy Spirit. Though depicted as a dove, fire, or wind, Holy Spirit has a mind, will, emotions, intellect, and personality.

Holy Spirit is fully God, and the greatest teacher of mankind.

Holy Spirit is the promised gift given by God to bless humanity.

Holy Spirit leads and guides us into God’s truth, wisdom, knowledge, and continually reveals Jesus.

Custom Learning:

One of the things I love about HSU-Holy Spirit University is the curriculum is tailored to the student. You and I may have completely different seasons and syllabi. Yet the objective for all of humanity is to continually reveal the nature of God and the person of Jesus.

What God is teaching me at the present moment may differ from what God is teaching you. God knows where we are spiritually, and emotionally. The path mapped out for each of us is custom.

In every season we can ask God, “What are you teaching me? What are you revealing about Jesus to me in this season, trial, challenge, and situation?”

Do Overs/Welcome to Graceland:

Lessons taught by Holy Spirit are not only custom, you get many chances to learn. If you fail love 101, no worries…you get to take it again.

Have you ever faced something and it felt so familiar? It seemed as though you had been through it before? Have you encountered the same scenario over and over? I have. In those moments either we did not learn from the first situation or God is giving us a chance to demonstrate what we have learned again.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor (fellow man) and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may [show yourselves to] be the children of your Father who is in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on those who are evil and on those who are good, and makes the rain fall on the righteous [those who are morally upright] and the unrighteous [the unrepentant, those who oppose Him]. For if you love [only] those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do that? And if you greet only your brothers [wishing them God’s blessing and peace], what more [than others] are you doing? Do not even the Gentiles [who do not know the Lord] do that? You, therefore, will be perfect [growing into spiritual maturity both in mind and character, actively integrating godly values into your daily life], as your heavenly Father is perfect,~Jesus (Matthew 5:43-48).

Love is something God wants us to learn and demonstrate. God gives us numerous opportunities to learn to love. Many times it comes in the form of an unloveable person. That person who drives you crazy is an opportunity to grow in God love. It’s fairly easy to love the loveable. It requires God to love the hateful, unkind, spiteful, and nastiful (my made up word for full of nasty).

We can cry, scream, and ask for relief from the nastiful, yet they will be present this side of heaven and teach us the most about God love.

Are we always the most pleasant to be around? Are we always easy to love? How do we treat God? Our experiences with other people can teach us so much about how to love God and others.

Growing Up in God:

Who wants to be an infant forever? I hope the resounding answer is, “Not me!”

God loves to see us grow and learn just like natural parents love to see their kids grow and learn. Staying in the same place has never been the plan or design of God. The plan has always been for fruitfulness, growth, maturity, Godly character, and Christlikeness.

…become imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well-beloved children [imitate their father];~Ephesians 5:1.

Jesus is the role model and standard. I am not pushing striving or trying in our own strength to be like Jesus. I am a proponent of abiding (remaining, staying connected to, and intimacy with God).

As we yield to Holy Spirit there is a manifestation of His character and fruit put on display. God is the Source of goodness. Abiding in Him produces Christlikeness in our lives.

We are told to yield to Holy Spirit and not quench the Holy Spirit. Therefore, our lives are rooted in life in God, not striving to be like God. We yield, abide, and grow!!

Studying the Bible:

I cannot think of anyone more beneficial to learn the scriptures from than God. I highly recommend inviting God into study times, “Lord come and reveal your truth through your written word. I want to know you and what you intended with these verses. Teach me your truth.” There is something powerful that opens up with study with Holy Spirit.

Papa God, thank you for the precious Holy Spirit who teaches us and reveals His truth. Thank you for the wisdom imparted by Holy Spirit! What a gift!! Help us to yield to Holy Spirit and grow in Christlikeness. You are so good. Grow us up in love! In Jesus powerful name. Amen.

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2017 in From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Wednesday Devotion (Loving Like God)

Morning Devotion: Understanding the set up of God.

Sometimes God will allow people to cross your path who will not love you. These people are teachers and developers in the school of love.

It's easy to love the loveable and those who love us. The true test of love is when God sends you to serve those who hate you, attempt to use you, are indifferent, humiliate you, are selfish or unkind. These people reveal whether our love flows from our spirit or our flesh.

The flesh has no agape love. The flesh is disinterested in loving those who do not serve it or meet it's needs. The flesh is led by feelings, "Does this person make me feel good?" If not, then the flesh withdraws love. For it was not love at all.

The Spirit of God continually seeks to love, even when the person on the other end is hateful or unloving. Why? God is love. Those who abide in Him will love. How? God is love. Love is a fruit of abiding in the one who is love.

Agape love says, "Your behavior does not dictate my love. It is not dependent on you because the source is God." It moves us beyond, "How does this person make me feel," to "How can I reveal the heart of the Father to this person?"

Agape love moves us beyond being offended to compassion and intercession. Love sees the deficit and seeks for that person to be reconciled to God. A person disconnected from Jesus will not produce God love. We will never be able to give away what we do not possess.

Only a person connected to heart of God can display the heart of God. Only a person who is intimate with God can produce the likeness of God and character of God. Only a person who receives God's love, grace, mercy, and goodness can give that away to others. It starts with God. God is the Source, then that love must be received. We receive the love of God by faith. Once our hearts are saturated in God love, God love pours out of us onto others. It gushes out like a waterfall. It is like a firehose that is on full blast, day after day.

What can we learn from those who can behave outside their true identity…

1. There is a God love deficit. The one who abides in God loves.

2. There is an identity deficit. When we know God, we begin to manifest our true identity as a son or daughter of God.

3. There is an opportunity to reveal the heart of the Father.

4. God love wins. The consistent, steadfast, and incredible love of God wins.

5. They show you how not to behave. Some of the greatest lessons I have learned have developed from being treated poorly-do not do this to other people. You will often find me at events looking for the person no one will talk to or connect with or acknowledge. Why? I understand what is like to be absolutely ignored, treated as insignificant, or be invited places or pulled into things and then treated poorly. I choose on purpose not to do these things to others.

6. It is not about you, it's about that person and their heart. How people behave and talk is an outward manifestation of what is going on in their heart and soul. Pray for them.

7. God is with you! You are not doing this love walk alone. The Lord led me to Isaiah 53 this weekend. It talks about the challenges of Messiah. He was despised and hated by His own people. Though we paint Him beautiful, scripture says, "There was nothing about His appearance to draw us to Him." Jesus loved perfectly and was mistreated more than anyone. His own disciples betrayed Him and refused to help Him. Yet Jesus continues to love!

Papa move us beyond feelings into the realm of the Spirit. Deepen our intimacy with you so we manifest your heart. Help us to receive your incredible love. Then help us to pour out that love and not just to those who love us. What reward shall we have if we only love those who love us. Develop our character and love muscles so what the world sees when they encounter us is profound love.

You are so deeply loved!

Erin Lamb

 
 

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Weekend Devotion (God Wants Relationship) 

Photo: Nay Crumors 

Morning Devotion: Knowing God (intimacy with God) is the most important thing…Not church attendance, tithing, church affiliation, serving, or being entertained. God is after personal, intimate relationship. 

Being with God, knowing God, trumps doing for God. Being is to lead to doing with the motivation to love God and others. 

When intimacy with God and knowing His heart and character are removed from Christianity you end up with powerless religion. 
We can spend our lives in church, paying tithes, doing Christian stuff, having great worship, and go to hell (totally miss God). How can I say this? Well, it came straight from the mouth of Jesus. Read Matthew 7:21-29, Matthew 25:31-46. 

Religion void of relationship leads to idolatry and oppression. The Pharisees had religion not relationship with God. 

Mankind without connection to the Vine (Jesus) yields no good fruit. See John 15:4-5. There is a form of godliness in religion void of transformative power and genuine agape love. That’s why the Bible was used as an excuse to kill millions of Native born Americans (First Nations people) or enslave Africans (deny them any human rights) or abuse women and deny them equal rights. So many horrific things have been done under the mask of “Christianity,” yet Jesus made it very plain. He stated, “You will know My followers by their agape love.” See John 13:35. 

Love fulfills the law because it does no harm to it’s neighbor (Romans 13:10). Love is holy and without any sin, including selfishness the most destructive sin. Love involves freedom and equality. Love is not rude nor full of mean sarcasm. Love builds up. Love gets low to serve not seeking to be served. Love has no prejudice. Love honors even the dishonorable. Love seeks the best interests of others. Love possesses humility (others matter). Love does not seek to dominate, control, hurt, harm, abuse, use, or harass others. 

There is a huge difference between someone who claims God and someone who knows God. The one who knows God grows to resemble God (1 John 4:8). Some of what we call Christianity is not about Jesus at all. It is traditions of men and void of God’s love, purity, and power. 

God invites us to know Him. All the other things flow out of knowing God. If I am intimate with God, I will want to give. If I am intimate with God, I will grow more loving. If I am intimate with God, I will want to fellowship with other believers. If I am intimate with God, I will want to serve. If I am intimate with God, I will want to share the Gospel. If I am intimate with God, I will humble myself and serve others. If I am intimate with God, the fragrance on my life will draw others to Him. Our strength lies in intimacy with God. 

Love, 

Erin Lamb 

 

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