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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

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2018 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Painting: Mary and Elizabeth (Source Pinterest)

For those celebrating the birth of Jesus today, Merry Christmas!!!

I simply love celebrating Jesus every day. He is the greatest gift of all. Scholars believe Jesus was born in a season other than winter based on the events surrounding His birth, yet December 25th was chosen by the Catholic Church.

Whether you celebrate His birth today or another day, He is worthy. My encouragement is worship Him and love on someone today. Holidays can be joyous for some and painful for others.

If you do not know Jesus, I highly recommend getting to know Him. He is far better than any Christian has represented Him to be. He loves you with an everlasting love!

Jesus is perfect love. Born to humble circumstances, Jesus lived a life of unselfish, sacrificial love. He was the word made flesh to dwell among us. He existed before the foundations of the earth and still came to demonstrate God’s love for humanity as one of us-fully human, fully God.

Isaiah 9:6-7 (NKJV)

For unto us a Child is born,

Unto us a Son is given;

And the government will be upon His shoulder.

And His name will be called

Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of His government and peace

There will be no end,

Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,

To order it and establish it with judgment and justice

From that time forward, even forever.

The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

What a life! Thank you Papa God for Jesus. Love came down and blessed the entire world. Jesus is the gift that keeps on giving. May we celebrate Him every day.

From my house to yours, praying blessings over today and the year to come!

I leave you with one of my favorite Christmas songs O Come O Come Emmanuel. Bless you and your families this season.

You are so deeply loved.

Love,

Erin Lamb

 
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Posted by on December 25, 2017 in From the Author, God's Heart

 

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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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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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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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