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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

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

 

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Character Development (Holy Spirit University (HSU) Series Part IV)

One of the roles of Holy Spirit is to reveal the Son of God and help us know Jesus. Holy Spirit is also a wealth of wisdom, love, joy, peace, power and helps to develop our character.

We, if we are believers in Jesus as Lord, are invited to live by the Spirit and not after the flesh.

The flesh represents the carnal nature of mankind. The flesh tends to be selfish and self focused. The mind of the flesh wars against God. The character of the flesh, carnal nature, is quite immature and self centered.

One of the ongoing classes in Holy Spirit University is character development. Though God loves us as we are, the intention is not to leave us the way He found us.

The invitation to salvation is more than keeping us from hell, it is an invitation for heaven to live in us and transform us from the inside out.

God knows exactly what is needed to develop our character so we grow to look like Jesus.

Character Counts:

Why does it matter that we grow to possess godly character? One, we are called to be God’s Ambassadors of heaven on earth; two, godly character brings God glory.

Have you ever met someone who is anti-God because they have had horrible experiences with Christians? I have. I went through a season in my own life where I dreaded church. I loved Jesus, His Bride was scary, judgmental, rude, and unloving at times.

Advertising for Heaven:

Our love and character is a billboard for Jesus! He stated His disciples would be recognizable by their great love.

What does our billboard say? Does it say, “God loves you. I love you!” Or does it say, “I can’t be trusted, your fears about trusting God are justified.”

The devil does not mind a body of believers who’s character is so questionable it resembles more of his kingdom than God’s. Carnal (flesh driven, selfish, rude, and unloving) Christians are some of the most effective tools to drive people away from God.

Growing Into Maturity with God:

God does not force us to grow up. He does provide His Spirit. He does place us in situations to grow and learn to rely on Him. He does invite us to listen, abide, know Him, and yield to Him.

As we yield to God, good fruit emerges (John 15:4-5). It does not happen by our striving, or extensive self help.

Good fruit and character development are a byproduct of abiding (relationship with God), intimacy (knowing God), yielding to God, and listening to Holy Spirit and following Him.

Romans 8 tells us the following:

For those who are living according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh [which gratify the body], but those who are living according to the Spirit, [set their minds on] the things of the Spirit [His will and purpose]. Now the mind of the flesh is death [both now and forever—because it pursues sin]; but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace [the spiritual well-being that comes from walking with God—both now and forever]; the mind of the flesh [with its sinful pursuits] is actively hostile to God. It does not submit itself to God’s law, since it cannot, and those who are in the flesh [living a life that caters to sinful appetites and impulses] cannot please God.

However, you are not [living] in the flesh [controlled by the sinful nature] but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God lives in you [directing and guiding you]. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him [and is not a child of God]. If Christ lives in you, though your [natural] body is dead because of sin, your spirit is alive because of righteousness [which He provides]. And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you (Romans 8:5-11 (AMP)).

If we are in Christ, the old has passed away and the new has come. We are invited to live out our new identity as sons and daughters of God.

As we walk with God we begin to resemble God. We become like the God’s we worship. Our lives begin to manifest the fruit of our deepest intimacy.

We can have Holy Spirit and He does not have us. Yielding is an exceptional way see the character of God manifest in our lives.

Papa God, help us to yield to you and the Holy Spirit’s leading. Help us to abide and cultivate intimacy with you. You love us, may we abide in that love, and manifest that love in the world. Grow us up in you. In Jesus powerful name. Amen.

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2017 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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The Field & Estate (Parable)

Morning Devotion: Seek First the Kingdom of God (Parable of the Field & Estate).

There was a man who had been given an inheritance that included a field. This field was so valuable. Of all the lands on earth it was the field that would continue to produce fruit and vegetation forever. Despite the world conditions, this field would produce crop after crop. The man was told to invite others to gleen from that field, invite others into his inheritance. This was not a small field, it stretched farther than the eyes could see. When other fields had their crops destroyed, this field continued to bear perfect fruit.

The man decided since the field would always be there, he would ignore that field and do other things. No one would take the field away from him. So he would come by some weekends and taste some of the fruit, then he would leave. He did not live at the estate on the field. He visited when he needed something.

Some of the other heirs had festivals on their estate. They invited the poor, the lame, the broken, the hungry to come and feast with them. Those people too were grafted into the inheritance. Those heirs increased the land. More and more fields were growing and inviting others into a glorious inheritance.

One day, the overseer of the estates decided to go to each field to see how it was going. He was delighted as he saw many growing, mulitplying, and thriving.

When he stopped at the one man’s field it was vacant. The estate was filled with dust. The dishes were not used, as he had not invited others in to dine with him. He had not cared for the poor, the lame, the broken. He had not cared for the field.

The overseer was saddened. He had been given so much and shared it with no one. He had been given an inheritance worth sharing. Everything he needed was provided on that field. The overseer waited for the man. He kept waiting. Hours turned into days. Finally the man showed up one weekend with his baskets to pull resources for himself. The overseer watched him from the estate.

The overseer went out to him and inquired, “What have you done to this estate? Your inheritance was meant to be shared. You were given this land and estate to be a blessing to those around you.

The man looked perplexed. He replied, “I only accepted this land for my needs. Others can get their own land. I am also too busy to live on this estate and I do not have time to go find people to invite inside, plus they are poor-why would I invite them into such a nice place to ruin it? I would love to keep chatting with you but I have business appointment soon. I just stopped by here to get what I needed and be on my way. I have things to do.

The overseer sadly replied, “Since you have chosen to live selfishly off your inheritance, what you have will be taken from you and handed over to the man over the hill. You see he took the field I gave him and has invited so many people onto his field that it has multiplied ten times over. He was given little and it has been continually muliplied. You have done nothing with what I gave you.”

The man was angry, “You can’t do that. This is my land.”

On the contrary. This land belongs to the King, you are are a steward of what belongs to the Royal Estates. You were invited into our estate. You were to be faithful over your inheritance. Since you are not faithful, what you have will be taken and given to the one who is most faithful.

The man dropped his basket in disbelief. The overseer pulled his name from the estate door. He took the keys, and drove down the road to meet with the one mulitplying fields.

The unfaithful servant wept. He had spent years doing nothing with what was given to him. He only took from the estate and field. He never followed the instructions of the overseer. He lived independently of the Royal guidelines. He was selfish and never cared for the poor, hurting, or forgotten. He cared only for himself. In return, he forfeited his inheritance. He was not given his inheritance based on his works. He, though, chose to forfiet his inheritance by his selfishness, disobedience, and lack of love for the King.

God has given each of us an inheritance in Christ, if we are followers of Jesus. It is not to be taken lightly or treated as nothing. We are to adhere to the principles of Jesus. We are not saved by works, lest no man can boast. Our inheritance comes by faith in the Son. Once we receive our inheritance, we are responsible for what we do with it. We are to invite others into knowing God, share with the poor, care for others, disciple others, share, be a blessing, increase what He has given. The parable of the talents tells us that God is looking at stewardship (Matthew 25:14-30).

Our freedom cost Jesus his life. God went to great lengths to graft us into His family. It is not an invitation to lawlesness (live independent of God) nor selfishness. It is an invitation to covenant. A covenant with God is stronger and more binding than a marriage covenant between humans. Married couples do not get married then one only visits when they need something. Hopefully, we would wince at the thought. Yet God is treated like a store, and He’s not. Come shop, get what you need, feel good, go home and live seperate from God. Jesus gave His life for a habitation-dwell with Him, be married to Him, seek Him first (even above a spouse or family), and invite others into the estate. God is after our whole heart. May you and I seek first the Kingdom of God.

The Kingdom of God is like this field and estate that King’s son laid down His life to share with the world. His death opened them up to a world of blessing. It is to spit on the King’s Son to abuse His legacy. The proper response is honor. We honor the King and say thanks. We listen to His principles and through relationship with God seek to follow Royal guidelines. We are no longer slaves, we are heirs.

Love,

Erin Lamb

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2017 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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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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The Parable of the Bride

The Parable of the Bride

The wealthiest king in the Province wanted a Bride. His intention was for someone to love, to cherish, to add significant value to her life. He and His Father were willing to take a commoner, someone not of Royal blood and graft her into their lineage. She would have access to His entire kingdom, her name written on the royal register, her every need would be taken care of, and she would be fully loved forever.

His family was the most prominent family on the earth. She would join the Royal guardians and have her name engraved on His crest.

The Bride once found, was playing in the dirt. She was not noble. She had boyfriends who led her into bondage. She was wounded. She was broken. She was not anyone who would be considered nobility.

The Groom said to her, “I want you. I choose you. I have so many incredible thoughts about you. Will you marry me? Will you forsake all others and join me?” She pondered the offer of the Groom. His eyes were filled with pure love. He did not come to consume as others had done. He came to invest and sow into her life. She fell for His love and said yes to His proposal.

With one yes, the Groom offered her a ring and new Royal garment signifying of her new identity. She was now part of the Royal family. Her name was added to the register of nobles. The Groom even offered to acquire her family and friends if they wanted to be a part of His kingdom.

The Bride was elated. She went from poverty to royalty with one yes. She was cared for, loved, accepted, given Royal authority and assignments (all the nobles had royal assignments including the Groom), her old identity was transformed, she was given a room with the Groom in the royal palace. She even had full access to the courts and the Royal Judge. She could go before the courts pleading the cause of the poor, oppressed, and even her own causes. She had access to the treasury. She was no longer poor.

The Bride at first enjoyed her luxury, yet her love for the Groom grew cold. Though she had everything she needed, she began to sneak out of the royal palace to seek out the old boyfriends. She knew the Groom would never betray His vows so she partied in the dark streets most of the week and visits the Groom for an hour or so on Sundays. Sundays were festival days in the kingdom. She found hobbies and friends that took up all her time and spent less and less time with the Groom. She did make time when she needed something. She would bake the Groom bread or give Him gifts with lists of things she wanted attatched to them. She mostly gave to the Groom with an expectation that He would give even more back to her.

Anytime the Groom asked for her partnership on a palace project, to join on a project of the nobles, or to help Him love the orphans or misfortunate near the kingdom, the Bride said no, “That’s not my duty. Please ask someone else. I am too busy to be a part of your projects.”

The Groom loved the Bride. He paid the highest price to include her in His lineage. He listened to her long lists of desires, He worked to make her life blessed. He was generous, loving, kind, pure, and the most respected and honored Kings of all time. Yet the Bride was more interested in what she could gain, than loving the Groom. She lived part time in the kingdom and part time in the land of the dead.

She and some others even built their own mini kingdom with the Groom’s name on it, yet their focus was primarily what they wanted to do. Sometimes they would give the Groom their agenda and tell Him to get on board with their plans.

They used the Groom’s name to manipulate others in the Province to gather funds to build their own towers, gardens, and villas. They robbed the poor and refused to feed the poor or care for others in the kingdom. They built their own celebrity circle and would perform for the commoners yet not allow the commoners to get close to them. They spent hours trying to build their kingdom, when everything they needed was in the Royal kingdom. The commoners worshipped the mini deities not realizing they were not truly representing the Groom’s heart for the people.

The Groom’s heart was grieved. He and his Father were grieved. They did not have a Bride who loved the King and his Kingdom. They had a Bride who loved herself, the world she came from, and her mini kingdom. The King tore His robe and wept. He loved the Bride. She knew His love was unwavering so she treated Him poorly knowing He would not abandon her. The heart of the Groom kept pursuing good hoping the Bride would reciprocate His incredible love.

The Groom is Jesus. The Bride is His church. Though this parable does not reflect all of the Bride, it is a picture to hopefully bring us into greater understanding of what God is offering and asking of us. He gave His life for love. If we look at the ways we love God, would we want to be loved that way? If we had a spouse who treated us that way, would we enjoy it?

God is after our hearts, all of our hearts. Jesus is not returning for a girlfriend, sleeping beauty, or a Bride with all her other lovers. Even a human spouse or family are not to take priority over God. He is not our genie in a bottle, slot machine, or cuddly Santa. God is the King of the Universe. The invitation has always been, “forsake all others and follow Me.” God wants it all. He desires our full devotion.

Papa God, thank you for offering us your righteousness for our wickedness. Thank you for offering us nobility, royalty, a kingdom, new garments, priestly robes, royal assignments, and most of all the King. Thank you! Help us to receive your love. Help us to return that love. Help us to be a Bride who loves the King more than anything. Forgive us for loving anything and anyone more than you. Forgive us for forsaking our heavenly assignments for our earthly ones. Forgive us for mistreating you. In Jesus powerful name, amen.

Love in Christ,

Erin L. Lamb

 
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Posted by on September 20, 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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