Sunday Devotion (Know God’s Heart)

Shorter Sunday Note: We Need to Know God’s Heart to Understand His Word Properly and Intimately Know His Person. Remove the Heart and It is Not a True Picture of God.

Truly, I think (could be wrong), one of the biggest missing pieces sometimes in Christianity is understanding the heart of God. One can know the bible well, be anointed, and quote God and miss His heart.

The Pharisees knew the Torah, they lacked intimacy with God. Their interpretation of God was WAY OFF because they lacked true knowledge of God. They were religious and harmful. They cared more about being right by their eyes and looking pious than doing what was right by God. They neglected the most important things and focused on religious things.

Throughout history you can trace the misinterpretation of the bible back to a lack of understanding the heart of God and who He is and how He operates. There is no part of God that is not love. His love simply does not always match our understanding of love.

Knowing the very heartbeat of God and living out of abiding in His heart is what Jesus did. He stated His life source was living out of the Father’s love. This is one of the reasons Jesus was and is the most effective representation of heaven on earth.

Those who do not love do not know God (1 John 4:8).

A person can preach and teach and not know God.

A person can pastor and prophesy and not know God. I have met some pretty mean spirited pastors and prophets. And while they claim to just tell it like it is, many miss the true voice of God because the purpose of being a messenger for God is to connect people with His heart, not just relay information.

Those who do not know God will not accurately represent God nor release heaven on earth. Jesus was not rude, mean spirited, reckless, selfish, religious, hateful, political, sexist, racist, unfeeling, lacking compassion, disinterested with the poor, orphan or widow, interested in just filling meeting and not stopping for the one.

May we know God, and not the God of our traditions. May we know the real God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob. The God whose heart beats passionately for ALL of humanity. The God who loves better than anyone on this planet.

Our world needs Ambassadors of heaven, not replicates of the Pharisee.

Lord help us (including myself) to know you, and know the height, depth, width, and vast expanse of your love. Help us to be like Jesus and live out of that love. Knowing your heart and living out of your heart is how the world will see Jesus through us. He said His disciples would be known for great love.

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

Empowered & Free Website

When Prayer is An Excuse Not to Love

Morning Short Devotion: When Prayer is An Excuse Not to Love.

I am pro action. I believe our actions tell a greater story than our words. If I speak with the tongues of men and angels, yet have not God love, I am only making noise. I love that Jesus did not just talk about loving people, the love of Jesus was demonstrated through His actions, even to death on a cross.

Love came down and pierced through the darkness, not by ego or eloquent sermons. Love extended a hand, washed feet, mentored, discipled, and met with people outside the Temple walls. Love engaged on a personal level with the least, last, and the lost.

He stated:

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me, for the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed,~Isaiah 61:1.

Love is verb and moves us beyond talking about the goodness of God to manifesting the goodness of God. The love of God, as Mama Heidi says, looks like something. I say, the love of God looks like someone, Jesus. All of His life centered around this one pivotal thing, “The Father’s love.”

I can see a person eating from a garbage can and offer them prayer. Or I can run to the store, if possible, and get them a sandwich.

There have been people around me who suffered great loss and I could have just offered prayer, or offered groceries, a listening ear, a connection with someone else who could help them, help them with their resume or send them job alerts, check in, go sit in hospitals/hospice with them, send gift cards, offer to hang out to take their mind off their troubles. Why? Love is demonstrative.

We cannot do everything, we can do something. There are some people I have said no to before. They sought to take advantage of kindness or I simply could not offer any assistance. I try to point people to someone who may be able to assist them. I did not have the capability to offer anything and it was not helpful. Codependency is not what I am advocating, where we think it’s our job to save people. I am advocating thinking of what is the most loving thing to do? What would we want done for us? Most importantly what would God want done for the person?

I love the story of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) because he refused to leave someone in a painful and vulnerable state. When others walked on by, the good Samaritan saw an opportunity to love.

Recent studies have shown people are more prone to take photos or video of someone suffering or a bad accident than help. Please call 911. Don’t just watch someone drown hoping your video goes viral. Seriously.

We do not have unlimited resources. God does. I do not have the time nor energy to help everyone. I do have the ability many times to do more than pray. There are blessing bags in my car. I have helped people look for jobs. I have helped distract kids at the checkout so their mom has a break. I have baby sat for free so parents could get a break. I have offered odd jobs to people out of work. I have helped people clean houses when they were sick. I have given people free business start up advice. I have mentored for free. I have been a friend to the lonely. I have gone to hospitals and nursing homes and just sat with the hurting or taken my guitar. I have listened to people download their issues for hours when I needed someone to be there for me. Love is so very costly. It costs us something to love well. Yet love moves us beyond just sticking bandaids on broken bones.

God love will transform the world, not sermons, politics, religious programs, nor meetings. The world needs genuine love and concern. God so loved the world He gave His Son. The Son so loved the world He gave His life. If we so love the world, what evidence of love is present? If prayer is removed, what evidence is there of love?

For more devotions, check out Confident & Free:

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This weekend journals and books are on sale. I Thought I Knew What Love Was is already marked down. Use the Code Labor Day for Confident & Free and Journals.

Love,

Erin Lamb

Revival is Outside Our Worship Gatherings (Stories from the Streets)

Morning Notes & Stories: True Christianity is More Than Praying & Attending Services/Conferences. The Disciples of Jesus Went Out and Did What They Saw Jesus Doing. Prayer Does Not Replace Action.

If anyone sees a fellow believer in need and has the means to help him, yet shows no pity and closes his heart against him, how is it even possible that God’s love lives in him?

Beloved children, our love can’t be an abstract theory we only talk about, but a way of life demonstrated through our loving deeds. We know that the truth lives within us because we demonstrate love in action, which will reassure our hearts in his presence.~1 John 3:17-19.

Jesus came and fulfilled Isaiah 61. The Spirit of the Soveriegn Lord was upon Him to do something to help others know God, connect with God, be healed, set free, and delivered. Jesus did not go into the Temple and sit down. He did not just teach people. He did not just hold prayer meetings. Jesus took the disciples out and had them do the stuff. Jesus activated the 12 and then they mulitpled. Jesus actually made disciples who replicated His teaching and actions.

Revival is a super buzz word. It sounds amazing. I think people believe just praying will usher in this great societal revolution. What people fail to realize is God partners with human beings to accomplish His will on earth and that moves beyond prayer. If my neighbor has no groceries or is starving, my prayers will not get them groceries. I have to either partner with God to meet their practical needs or ask God to send someone else who can.

I struggle with non participation in circles of people say they desperately want revival.

Last year I spent a year serving with the city and their initiative for the poor. I was the only born again, spirit person on their committee-that I knew of anyway. I asked them why they did not have more churches involved, there are so many in my city. They stated churches often turn them down and refuse to help-they have their own programs to support. We can pay thousands of dollars to have big name people come preach to us or sing to us, and not help the city with poor??? It does not make sense.

If all the believers took just one tiny slice of the pie, it could transform a city. Transforming a city trumps filling buildings and having packed out conferences.

If I am constantly wrecked in the glory of God that does not shift my priorities and heart to care about what He cares about, something is wrong. Either I am not truly connecting with God or I am disobeying God.

When I talk to people about helping the poor or abused, I will constantly get the response, “I am not called to do that,” or “I asked God and He told me not to support your ministry,” those same people (some not all) will come back with ways I can help support their vision, mission, and mandate from God. People love to give money, not so much the time, service, or feet on the ground.

I am not asking people to join forces with me on the street. I do ask people to serve somewhere, do something other than consume, take the Gospel out somewhere, go help someone who genuinely has nothing. Jesus was not a bench dwelling passive person. The early apostles and early church were not passive bench dwellers.

In an age of technology, the Gospel can be shared quickly with hundreds to thousands of people. If cat videos can go viral, why not Jesus? An encouraging text or email is easy to send. Letting someone go first in the grocery line-“God loves you, you go first.” Put blessing bags in the car for the homeless-include an encouraging note or bible. Stop for the neighbor and ask how they have been. Listen when people talk instead of dominating the conversation. Be a great friends instead of a one sided one. Find out what the city is doing to help people and tag along. Start a discipleship group-help people grow in their gifts. There are so many options beyond prayer. If I am starving to death, yes prayer is great. What is better is getting me a sandwich.

I was out last winter looking for people to feed. As we were in the park, we saw a man go into the port o john and not come out. One of the ladies said, “Let’s check on him.” I was reluctant to go knock on the port o john door. Yet would not let her go alone. The man came out of the port o john eating chips. He stated he was in there to block his body from the wind and cold. We offered him more food and winter gear (socks, hand warmers, scarves, etc). He was shocked someone wanted to help him. He was reluctant to take what he needed because he said there were so many in need. I told him to take what he needed. He was so excited about socks. Socks made his day. I could have just offered him prayer and the Gospel. Yet it was far better to demonstrate the Gospel, “God cares about every single detail of your life, including your cold feet and hungry belly.”

I was out one night with a team under the bridges. I met this elderly grandma and her grandchild. Since she had no home, her mom dropped off her child at the homeless camp for visitation. It was below freezing. This little girl had on a spring jacket, not a winter jacket. She had the most joy filled eyes. She was happy to be with grandma. I cried once I left them. I cried and cried and cried.

Love is more than sweet words that escape our lips yet never move us to do anything.

Love is more than warm fuzzy feelings that drive us to do only what is comfortable for us.

Love is more than an anthem we sing that never forces us to shift our perspective or actions.

Love is a verb that moves us beyond talking to doing.

Can we do everything? No. Can we do something? Yes. It amazes me with all the hats I wear how many people will ask me to help them personally or support what they are doing. There are thousands to millions doing nothing but soaking up teachings, worship, and experiences and going home. Some aren’t even paying attention in services or to lessons. There is more in God and it is not about passive or idle Christianity. Revival involves transformation and transformation requires participation.

I have yet for God to tell me to do nothing at all for anyone but myself. God highlights people on a daily basis to invest in them. God is generous, loving, kind, compassionate, looking for someone to bless through us. Love looks like someone, Jesus. Love acts like someone, Jesus. Love is demonstrated in our choices and actions-not just our words.

If you see someone hungry, and you can feed them, feed them.

If you see someone freezing, and you can clothe them, clothe them.

If your city struggles with poverty, and you have the means to help, volunteer/serve/be a blessing to the city.

If someone in your church or fellowship looks discouraged, encourage them.

If you see someone struggling to pay their groceries, and you can help them, help them.

If God highlights someone to you that is hurting, reach out. I will say a silent prayer is not as powerful as picking up the phone and calling, “Hey, you have been on my heart. Are you okay? I love you.”

Love in word only is just noise (1 Corinthians 13).

God give us your eyes and heart. Help us to see as you see. Help us to move beyond just going to services and praying for revival to going out and releasing your goodness on earth. Light a fire in our hearts for transformation. Transform us from the inside out. Transformed people transform cities. We need Jesus in the places He is needed most, all 7 mountains of influence. Heaven come through us to leave the world better than it was before we entered.

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

OperationGodisLove.org

Facebook.com/OperationGodisLove

Racism is Cured by God Love

Morning Story: How My Racist Neighbor Became My Friend. God Love Overcomes Hatred.

When I moved into my house, they warned me of the old grumpy man who lived across the street. He was old, cranky, a former cop, racist. I was told to avoid him because he hated everyone especially middle eastern people, blacks, and hispanics. He would frequently call the cops on our Saudi Arabian neighbor (I loved Raja. He was the sweetest guy).

I saw my cranky racist neighbor as an opportunity to share God’s love. The only thing he could do was call me names. I only respond to my name. It’s not what people call you, it’s what you answer to that matters.

So when I saw him, I would smile big and say, “Good morning neighbor, how are you?” At first he was grumpy and grumbled under his breath. I kept waving, smiling, and saying hello.

One day I saw him hobbling to get to the mailbox. I asked him, “Hey are you okay? Are you hurt? Can I help you?” He looked stunned. He proceeded to tell me how he was sick, he could not drive, and needed to get groceries and his medicine. I said, “I can take you or go get those things for you! I would be honored to help you.” He looked at me with sad blue eyes. I saw a person God loved; a person Jesus died for. I felt zero animosity. I felt this deep well of God’s love and compassion.

Something broke in my neighbor’s heart that day. He let me help him. And I spent the next 3-6 months serving. Picking up groceries, checking on him, praying for him, and being a friend. We had fun chats. I even got him to laugh!! 🤣🤣🤣

He would stop by and say hello. One day he showed up with a dozen red roses and a gift. He said, “Thank you for helping me.”

When he could drive again he went and purchased a car just like mine. He stated, “I hope you don’t mind. I really like your car.” I laughed and replied, “We are car twins. I love it!!” He smiled so big.

I watched God transform a heart by His love. Hatred melted away with love. Fear melted away with love. Bigotry melted away with love. Pride melted away with love. I even asked a guy friend of mine to do home repairs for him and they became buddies.

He did not want to talk about Jesus and my agenda was not to shove Jesus down His throat. My agenda was to love him. Jesus said love even your enemies. If we only love those who love us, what credit is that to us? Even the pagans do that. God loves the entire world, even those who hate Him. Why? Because God is love.

Legislation does not cure hatred, pride, insecurity, and fear-God love does.

If we want to see the world transformed, it starts with God’s love! For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. When we position ourselves to love no matter who it is, we release heaven on earth. God love is our superpower! Choose love! ❤️

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

P.S join us tomorrow morning at facebook.com/erinlambauthor for the live webcast teaching on hearing the voice of God.

Miracles Are For Today!

Morning Devotion: The Great Physician and Deliverer. God is Bigger Than Any Diagnosis or Any Enemy. Miracles Still Occur Today! (Testimonies & Prayer at The End)

I believe in miracles because God says that He is the Healer, Deliverer. It is His name. I also believe in miracles because I am one. I am the product of a miracle. I am a recipient of many miracles. My mother was told she would not and could not have children. But God had another plan. We can always insert, “But God!”

I have seen God do things that were absolutely impossible in the natural. I have been in situations where I would have died if it had not been for the great power of God. There is no, “Maybe this is a fluke.” There is a “You lived because the hand of God and power of God did what seemed impossible.”

Jesus said, “With God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). … It is the power of God that makes what seems impossible possible. Nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37).

The same God who spoke the world into existence, pulled man from the earth and breathed into him, opened barren wombs, raised the dead, cleansed the lepers, provided food in the wilderness, led His people into victory against countless enemies, opened blind eyes, sent forth His word to heal the sick, delivered the oppressed, turned wicked men into righteous men, delivered Nations, multiplied fish and loaves, multiplied the widows oil, gave children to those way past child bearing years, shut the mouths of the lion, protected the hebrew boys in the fiery furnace, placed His words in the mouth of the prophets, opened the earth to swallow treacherous men….is the same God we worship today!

God has not ceased being loving. God also has not ceased being powerful. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is at work today. Will we choose to believe and partner with God? Will we look with an eager expectation for God to do what mankind says cannot be done? Can we move past the disappointment and “This did not work before,” to live out of a place of, “God, your word says nothing is impossible with you! I want to live as a person who sees the impossible made possible by your strength and power.”

It is not by our might nor our strength, but by the power of God! He is the all powerful and all sufficient one. He is the alpha and omega, the everlasting God; the great I AM. He is not the I was nor the I will be. He is the very sustainer of life. With one word from God, all of creation would feel the impact of His glory.

God chooses not to force His will on humanity, hence evil in the world. Yet we must understand that God can do anything! His abilities are limitless.

I recall a season of sickness in my life that I was not prepared for mentally or emotionally. I went in for a routine tonsilectomy and left on numerous meds and with a resting pulse of 150 beats per minute. I went from healthy to sick in one day. One surgery changed my life. I was on heart meds, scheduled to see so many doctors I wanted to scream. I love medicine, I do not love being poked and prodded. Some said, “We don’t know what is wrong with you.” Some offered a diagnosis and prognosis that if I did not take heart medication I would develop heart disease and not get very far in life.

I recall being tired, weak, my hair falling out, not sleeping, being winded, hurting, losing pills (there were too many to keep track), trying to study and having little energy to do work. As a chemical engineering student, being able to retain information was important. I was sick and tired of being sick. Some Christians were absolutely unhelpful in their counsel. If I just prayed a certain way or believed enough I would be well. Zero compassion and absolutely not helpful.

I recall crying out to God for breakthrough. I understood God still healed the sick. My parents prayed for the sick often and saw miracle after miracles. My dad kept letters of those who wrote in their praise reports. I knew in my heart that God was not only a healer, but the Healer!

One day I just became fed up with pills and doctor visits. I was quite passionate about freedom! I was driving in my car leaving the doctor’s office and I cried out loudly to God, “I do not want to take these pills any longer and I won’t. You are either going to heal me or I will die!!” The loud passionate cry to God was met with no audible response. I simply said no to sickness. I never took those heart pills again. My heart is beyond healthy today. I have no issues with my heart. There was another issue that was treated easily and I was back on the road to healthy.

I am not stating anyone should do what I did. I am stating that there is something about pressing in to touch the hem of His garment. There is something about God that moves in the direction of faith. There is something so powerful about God that can take a diagnosis and rip it to shreds. He is the most powerful being in the Universe. I was adamant that sickness was not my identity nor my destiny. No matter what the doctor said, I was empowered to get better and live healthy. There was a fight in my spirit not to live in a place of pain, lack, sickness, and exhaustion.

This same power to heal is available today. I recall my business classmate who had been diagnosed with thyroid cancer, they had done the initial tests and biopsies. I asked my teacher if I could pray for people after class. She agreed. Weeks later my classmate messaged me to say in the repeat biopsy they could find no cancer. They had to cancel her treatment plan.

I recall the lady who was bleeding out like the woman with the issue of blood and we prayed by texting. She messaged back the next day her bleeding had stopped.

I recall the lady born partially deaf who could not hear without an implant, who God opened her ears. She had to take her implants out.

I recall the man in his back brace prepping for surgery who Jesus took all his pain away.

I recall the lady told her baby would be severely retarded and she should abort who has a healthy baby today.

I recall the woman bound to crutches, limping, and God removed all swelling from her body and restored her knees.

I recall the young man crippled since infancy and bound to a wheelchair who got up unassisted and stood for the first time in his life.

I recall the woman with facial swelling and pain who’s face returned to it’s normal size with prayer.

I recall the knees, backs, joints, hearts, and souls mended by God.

I recall the man pronounced dead on the operating table, who laid there for minutes lifeless that Jesus rose to life.

I recall the demonized, oppressed, tormented, and harrassed finding substantial freedom. God is beyond able to take dead things and make them living things. Can these dry bones live? Not only can they live, they can become an army!

There are too many stories to place in one post. My encouragement is to believe God is bigger. It is not easy when the test results come back and it’s you who needs a miracle. It’s not easy when the person under attack is you or someone you love. It is not easy when you pray and see no immediate results. It’s not easy when you see others getting breakthrough and you still need breakthrough. It’s not easy knowing God is the Healer and still burying someone you love. I have walked those roads. I understand the tears, disappointment, the places of not understanding why God does not prevent everything bad from happening.

I have had my life threatened, people try to kill me physically or emotionally, walked through years of persecution, walked through sickness, walked through workplace bullying/harrassment, walked through all my parents battling cancer, walked through being hated without cause, walked through facing death over and over and over. I have lived through more than some 80-90 year olds and I am not even mid life yet. I have decades of life to live still. Whew! I will tell you still that God is the most powerful being in the world. He kept my mind. He walked with me through the valley of the shadow of death. He sustained me when no one was with me. God is my very best friend. God stood with me when people stood against me. God is more powerful than anyone and anything.

If you are in the fire, look for Jesus. Invite Jesus.

If you are in the valley, look for Jesus. Invite Jesus.

If you are facing death, look for Jesus. Invite Jesus.

If you are tired, sad, grief stricken, and worn out, look for Jesus. Invite Jesus.

He is the resurrection and the life. Jesus! He is the one who calms the raging seas with one word from His lips. He is the one who sends forth His word and heals the sick. He is the same God who called for Lazarus to come forth and his body, soul, and spirit had to obey the command of the Lord! Jesus! Beautiful Jesus. If He does not deliver you immediately from, He will walk with you through the trial, through the pain, through persecution, through grief, through it all! God is MIGHTY to save.

Papa for anyone reading this who needs a miracle, I ask for your powerful Kingdom to come. Let heaven come. Invade their circumstances with your goodness, love, life, healing, joy, peace, power! Reverse the diagnosis. I declare life. I bind the spirits of death, disease, trauma, infirmity, mental illness, pain, hurt, grief, dissociation, PTSD, and anything not of you God. Let there be light in every place where darkness had been. Holy Spirit wash over each one, head to toe. Be healed and whole in Jesus name.

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

Image Source: Pinterest

God Cares How We Love, Live, and Represent Him

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

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

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

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

The voice of Jesus:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Perfect Love

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

The Greatest Gift is God

Painting: Christ Art

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

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

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

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

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

God is not selfish.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo Source: Embracing Jesus (Pinterest)

You are so deeply loved!

Erin Lamb