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Jesus is the Solution (Weekend Devotion)

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Morning Devotion: The only solution, Jesus.

My spirit has been grieved this week over our world. We have tried protests, policies, judgements, for some Facebook/Social Media rants, division, petitions, etc…yet none of these things deal with the root. They may temporaily deal with fruit, yet they do not remove the root.

The root resides deep inside the soul and spirit. Unless there is an encounter with Jesus in those places, there will continue to be fruit that does not look Jesus.

Striving and self help are not our ultimate friends. We can not will ourselves to be like Jesus nor love like Jesus. It comes straight from the mouth of Jesus, “If you abide (remain, stay connected to) in Me, you will bear much fruit (from John 15:4-5).”

Abiding in Jesus is the key to love, peace, joy, and the ability to have compassion even for those who hurt you, persecute you, or hate you.

Sometimes I have to just drop into the arms of Jesus. “Here I am, I do not know what to do. My heart needs you. I need you.” Jesus responds every single time.

God is good and loves us all. Our world needs Jesus.

  • In a world full of craziness, the solution is Jesus.
  • In a world full of hatred, the solution is Jesus.
  • In a world full of gross selfishness, the solution is Jesus.
  • In a world full of identity crisis, the solution is Jesus.
  • In a world full of deception, the solution is Jesus.
  • In a world full of messes, the solution is Jesus.
  • In a world full of misplaced priorities, the solution is Jesus.
  • In a world full of dishonor/disrespect, the solution is Jesus.
  • In a world full of insecurity, the solution is Jesus.

Yeshua come… ישו באה

So my prayer today is our world encounters Jesus…truly encounters Jesus…not the Jesus painted in the image of mankind (our ideas), the real Jesus seated at the right hand of the Father.

Sometimes chaos is brought to the surface so we can seek God and heal…not leaders, politicians, etc…Jesus. We need God. Apart from God there is no agape love (perfect, sacrificial, unselfish love).

Lord, help us to surrender to your Lordship in every area of our lives. We need you! Our world needs you. Help those of us who claim you to abide in you and help others encounter you. Bring revival at the heart level that brings about transformation of cities and Nations. We need radical change on the heart level. Heal and restore us from the crazy of the world. In Jesus powerful name. Amen.

You are so deeply loved and prayed for too!

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2017 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Be with God (Abiding & Intimacy with God Series Part 6)

   
Image created with WordSwag, used with permission. 

Hello beautiful people. I have been off my phone, and social media for over a week. It has been a sweet time of listening, and so much more with God that I will keep in my heart. I do want to share what I drafted this weekend. 

Weekend notes: 

God promises to supply ALL our needs according to His riches in glory (Phil 4:19). It is not about what we have or do not have. It is about who He is. He is the God who raises dead things to life (John 11:25) and multiplied the fish and the loaves (Mark 6:30-44). 

It’s not about our circumstances. It is not about who we are or who we are not. It’s about who He is.

Who is God to you? 

Do we believe God is who He says He is? Do we believe nothing is impossible for Him?

Unbelief blocks so many blessings as does poor speech (poor word confessions). Our words are seeds. What do we want to see grow? 

The Bible says the power of life and death is in our tongues (Prov 18:21). So the gossip, complaining, grumbling, put downs, “I can’t do this. This will never work!! My life sucks! I only attract this kind of person. Woah is me. Bad things happen to me. Nobody loves me…,” are toxic to the body, spirit, and soul.

These poor or negative confessions attract demonic spirits. The devil is super negative. They attract negative situations. 

How about saying, “I am who God says I am. I am blessed and highly favored of the Lord. I am healed by the stripes of Jesus. Good things happen in my life. I am delivered. 

God is working all things for good. I have more than enough. My Daddy is King!! I am stepping into greater breakthrough. I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. I am the head and not the tail…Above and not beneath! 

I attract the right people at the right time, in the right seasons. No good thing does God withhold from me. I have an inheritance that is secure. I am wealthy in Christ Jesus. 

God opens doors for me that no man can shut. I have favor on my life.  

I choose to receive all Jesus paid for and believe/agree with God. Greater is He who is in me than in the world! I am more than a conqueror through Christ. 

I have the authority to heal the sick, cast out devils, and take territory in Jesus name!

I learned in self defense classes you never want to fight your enemy on the ground, on his level. You rise above him and disable him from above. 

God said He placed the enemy under our feet. Therefore, we fight from victory knowing the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but MIGHTY for the pulling down of strongholds (2 Cor 10:4). 

If you listen to the enemy’s chatter in your ear, you will find he’s nasty, critical, condemning, looking for the worst, sowing fear, pointing out all that is wrong. He is hateful. 

Jesus is above poverty, above lack, above sickness, above anxiety or depression, above family drama, above all the works of the devil. Jesus says to us…”Live from My vantage point, of what I have already done! Stay here in your place in Me. Know that I have already won.”

God says, “Come up here!” Meaning, get away from the noise, chaos, confusion, and just be with Me. Just be with Me. 

God is the Source of all good. Being with Him leads to a greater knowing of who He is and who we are. 

We live from heaven down. If we have accepted  Jesus as Lord, we are seated in heavenly places with Him (Eph 2:6).  

Journey with God…

People see me smile, laugh, and encourage them. They do not see the warfare that sometimes happens behind the scenes. The devil hates love, hates joy, hates truth, and hates people. If you are his opposition, he will oppose you. Oh my yes. Every battle is an oppprtunity for advancement.  Recall the devil is so defeated. He needs reminding of his loser status from time to time. 🙂

God said in His word, “No weapon formed against you will prevail.” It will be formed. 

Our greatest weapons against the devil are peace, rest, joy, love, hope, worship, abiding in Jesus, and the word of God. When the devil attacked Jesus He responded, “It is written!” 

God is good and has done so many great things. He loves us. He fights for us. See Psalm 91 for encouragement. 

God has reinforced for me the super importance of rest! Jesus operated out of rest. He would remove Himself from the crowds. He would get alone with the Father (Luke 5:16). Are we better than Jesus? The answer is no. If we see Him doing something, it is important. 

What is God speaking? Above every  other voice we need to hear Him. 

We can not hear Him if we are busy doing for Him instead of listening to Him or we are continually speaking or we are being pulled in 10,000 directions by people around us, “Help me! Do for me. Listen to me!

I have learned God is God. I am not. Thank the good Lord! He can meet everyone’s needs and requests. I am to follow the assignments given by God, and to do what I see Him doing. I am not all things to all people. I am His beloved child. Mostly people need Him not me. I do what the Holy Spirit leads me to do. When I step outside His leading it can lead to stress. 

My greatest encouragement is be with God. He is the Source of all good. Intimacy is cultivated by being alone together. He loves us more than anyone and longs for our undivided attention. 

My second encouragement is use the word of God as your weapon. Feast on His word. It is written. Pray it, speak it, and proclaim it! 

My third encouragement is rest! Oh my, rest and play. God likes to have fun. One of my favorite things is laughing with God. I become downright childlike and ridiculous. 

My fourth encouragement is ask God to send you fellow warriors on the frontlines willing to do all God called them to do to stand with you (Not one sided, mutual support). 

Who is your support system aside from God? 

He created us for community. 
God first, then He sends us people. Fellow warriors who say, “If you are on the frontlines, I am too. I am praying for you as you pray for me. I am going to speak life into you as you speak life into me. You are not alone!! I am standing right here with Jesus and you. I am not letting you fall into a ditch. Not on my watch.” 

My fifth encouragement is speak life. Even when the odds seem stacked against you, speak life. Even when it feels horrible, speak life. Speak the very words of God to that mountain.

My sixth encouragement is befriend likeminded on fire, faith filled people. They say we become like the people we are closest to. Who are you connected to that you would say, “I would love to see some of those same character traits in my life?” If everyone around you is depressed, oppressed, and possessed…guess what? You may struggle to walk in faith, love, hope, and joy. I am not saying ditch everyone not on the mountain top. I am saying if you’re in a ditch, find someone who’s not or got out of one and learn from them. 

If you need a starting point for speaking life…I love prayingscriptures.com. They have taken Bible verses and made them into prayers. There are also scripture prayers at the top of this website. 

God’s word does not return void. It accomplishes every single thing it is sent out to do. 

You are so deeply loved, prayed for, and the best is yet to come!

Love,

Erin Lamb 

 
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Posted by on June 20, 2016 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Building History with God (Intimacy with God Part X)



I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness,~Jeremiah 31:3. 

I love reading the stories of people’s relationships with God in His word. One of my favorite passages is actually Hebrews 11. It is called the hall of faith. The passage is long so I won’t post it, yet you can read it here:  Hebrews 11. 

The people listed in Hebrews 11 have incredible stories with God. They overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles with God. God delivered some from and others through. He drew His people with loving kindness. He established a covenant with His people; one He upheld by His power, love, and provision. 

I’ve said this many times and will state again, there are things we can only learn about God through experience

Have you ever done missions? Or a team building exercise? Or gone through a struggle with someone? It knits you together. You learn things about them you would not learn by just reading their bio or even meeting with them for an hour or so once a week. 

God longs to be known by us. 

I was in a Bible study fellowship for a few years with a group of passionate young adults. Many of us ended up on a mission in the Amazon Jungle together in Brazil. I thought I knew the people on the team. We met weekly for Bible study. 

I learned so much about my team and myself those few weeks of traveling in a truck, hiking in 100F weather, handling heat stress, living under banana leaf huts, sleeping in hammocks, bathing in the Amazon River, and being in close proximity. Stories were written down, stories told, intimacy built, laughs had, tears shed, prayers offered, and bonding occurred. 



I learned new things about God on that trip. He wrote some great things into my story…

One that I could preach. I could hear from God in an instant for a perfect stranger. I could survive flying home with a partially dislocated hip. I could lead worship in Portguese. Spanish is my second language, Portuguese is my third (so much to learn). I grew in sharing deep parts of my heart with people on my team. It grew me. I had to rely on God fully. It’s a part of my story with God that’s marked with miracles and wonder. 

God is writing our story with Him.

He longs for the closest promximity and highest priority in our lives. You see, in heaven it’s all about the Kingdom. There’s no marriage, kids to be had, PTA meetings, bills to pay, singles events…it’s His Kingdom. This life, though it’s not marketed as such, is preparation for what’s to come. The relationship built with God on earth will continue on into eternity. Time on earth is the shortest time we will ever live. The greatest covenant and relationship is with God. 

What will be the theme of your story? 

Will it be faith? 

Will it be love? 

Will it be overcoming? 

Will it be the power of Jesus? 

Will you be known as one who walked closely with God like Enoch? Will you get to heaven and realize many people came to know Jesus because of your faithfulness on earth?

Will you encounter God not only as Father as a best friend?

We can learn from others stories and history with God, yet we build our own history with God.  

I love the way God communicated with Moses. I love God. I love who He is. I love being with Him more than anyone else. I desired greatly as a youth to have continual communication with God. At one point in my walk I told Him, “I want to be like Moses. He met with you face to face (intimately)-Exodus 33:11. Your glory passed over him. You spoke to him through a burning bush.” God’s reply to me was, “I meet with you heart to heart.” 

We each have our own story with God.

You see, I am not Moses. We certainly have a better covenant than Moses and the indwelling of the Spirit. My story is my story with God. We meet heart to heart. I’m not a feeler. I’m a thinker. I’m prone to logical/analytical thought patterns and do not rely on feelings for processing. Yet God supernaturally deposits His heart for people into mine. I feel what they feel. I feel what He feels. He moves me through my heart, though my personality is driven to be led by my brain. 

He’s writing a story marked with His radical, passionate, compassionate, and profound love. It’s also a story marked with His power. I’m alive because of His great power to heal, protect, and perform miracles.

We each have a unique and divine purpose. We are carved out of the heart and imagination of God. The good times matter, the challenges matter, the struggles matter, the joy matters. We are a part of a greater story, His story. We join the story of God and champion our King! 

We learn the Book (His word) and allow it to lead us into an encounter with Him. Our greatest need is to know the Author. 

Every situation an opportunity to deepen intimacy with God. What is He doing? What is He saying? Who in His word has experienced something similar? What is God teaching us? How can we cling to Him and grow to know Him better? 

Sweet friends, you are so loved, valued, appreciated, significant, and your story matters! You matter to God.  Don’t worry about anything. Pray about everything (talk to and listen to God). One day you’ll look back and smile. Your heart will say, “What a testimony of God’s love, power, and provision.” 

Whether we believe it or not, God is always working things together for the eventual good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes (Romans 8:28). 

Praying for you! 

Love in Christ, 

Erin 

 
 

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Receiving and Abiding in Love (Intimacy with God Part IX)

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Our greatest strength comes from abiding (remaining) in God.

John 15: 1, 4-17.

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener…Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.

Culture vs. the Kingdom of Heaven

Our culture promotes self. If you want something, you go for it in your own strength. You make it happen. You persist. You press harder or push harder. The central character is us, the created ones. Our culture celebrates the “self-made” person.

The Bible teaches us that we can do nothing apart from God. Nothing means no thing. He is the Source of human life, even for the wicked and unbelieving. We exist because of Him. The central character of God’s story is God. The Kingdom of heaven celebrates the person dependent on God.

It hurts the pride and bruises the ego to realize that God is above all. He is above us. We are not God or demigods, though some teach this. God doesn’t force us to obey Him or comply, He’s still God and there are consequences for our choices. We are never truly independent from His Sovereignty.

If we are in Christ, then it’s good to recall that we are to rely on His strength. Our striving produces stress. Abiding produces abundant fruit. He is the Source of love, peace, joy, hope, faith, goodness, life, patience, meekness, gentleness, and self control. He’s the Vine. If we remain in Him, there’s flourishing life.

Example from Gardening…

I had a plant with vines. I noticed it would grow towards the light. Any parts of the vine that fell off, died. It was disconnected from its life source. The root system of that plant was supplying nutrients. The branches produced no life on their own. If I forgot to water or fertilize the soil, it died.

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We need intimacy (relationship) with God more than anything else. We need the Light (God). We need water (His Spirit). We need fertilizer and food (His Word). When we place other things in front of Him, we suffer. God doesn’t cease loving us, we cease producing fruit.

Fruit is the result of fellowship and intimacy (abiding, remaining). We will always see fruit of our fellowship. If we fellowship with fear, the fruits are worry, anxiety, insecurity, suspicion, unhealthy stress, people pleasing, jealousy…

God knew and knows that we will suffer if He’s not first. We can’t produce Light and His Love without Him. He is Light; He is love.

Our first step in intimacy with God is salvation. The second is abiding. We receive first, then we give.

The highest priority isn’t doing for God, it’s being with God.

So beautiful friends, may we seek Him first. May we meet with Him, talk with Him, listen to Him…

What is God doing? What is He saying? What does His word say? What is God teaching us at this moment?

May we soak in His Presence and allow God to heal, restore, saturate us, and minister to us. God can do more in a moment than we can in a lifetime. He contains solutions to all the world’s problems.

Father, Abba Pai, help us to first receive from You and abide in You as Jesus did. Teach us to rest in Your love and the finished work of the Cross. May we have a deeper revelation of what’s already been paid for in Your Son. May we know heart, mind, and spirit the height, depth, and vast expanse of Your love for us. May we rely on Your strength and Your Spirit. In Jesus powerful name, Amen.

Praying for you! You are deeply loved (John 3:16).

Erin

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Photo credit: Pinterest

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2015 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Believe, Know, Listen, & Follow-Intimacy with God (Part II)

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Photo credit: Son of God movie

John 10:25-30.

Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.”

I recommend reading all of John 10. In this passage Jesus refers to Himself as the good Shepherd. Shepherds were overseers of flocks. Sheep are not the brightest animals. They will fall into ditches, see another sheep in a ditch and fall in…they can wonder off and be destroyed because they are not wise. Shepherds protected their sheep. They were invested in keeping them safe. They’d lay at the gate to prevent them from escaping. They spent time with the sheep. They rescued wayward sheep.

Jesus is the good Shepherd. We are like the sheep. He’s responsible to care for us, reveal who He is to us, and we are to know and follow Him. We are not an obligation to God. We are His dearly loved children.

In the verses above Jesus is responding to the questions of the Pharisees about who He is. Is He the Christ? I love His responses. He stated, “You do not believe, therefore you are not my sheep. My sheep know and follow me.

Intimacy with God starts with faith. It starts with belief.

Do you believe God is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do?
It is not enough to simply believe there is a God or Jesus is the Son of God. Even the demons believe and tremble. (James 2:19), yet they are not saved. There’s no salvation for them. There is for humanity.

If you’re reading this and you’ve never confessed your sins before God, repented (made a decision to turn from sinning and turn to God), asked God to cleanse you of your sins, placed your faith in Jesus Christ as the appropriation for your sins, and asked Him to be your Lord and Savior, I invite you do so. There’s no salvation apart from Him. There’s no entrance to heaven without going through the Son. We can’t do enough good works to earn holiness or righteousness. Jesus did it for us. We by faith, receive what He’s done and accept His righteousness as our own.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me,” John 14:6.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith,~Romans 3:23-25a.

If you invited God into your life, I would love to hear from you and provide more information to you.

The second step in intimacy with God is being with Him.

Sheep spent their time with the shepherd. They learned his voice, his smell, his mannerisms. It’s impossible to have intimacy (knowing) with someone and you never spend any time. If Sunday morning is the only time you spend with God, well your level of intimacy is not going to be high.

I am not stating you attend worship services all week, lock yourself in a room to pray and read the Bible all day. I am saying we can commune with God every day, as much as we’d like. One of my morning activities is to start the day with worship and thanksgiving. “Good morning God! I love you. Thank you for who you are and all you’ve done. I invite you to be a part of my day. What do you want to do? Who do you want to bless?” And there are days where I’m just listening. What is God doing? What is He saying? It’s not a ritual, it’s relationship.

Intimacy with God involves listening and knowing His voice.

The Bible says God speaks. There are some who teach He doesn’t and that does not align with scripture. God speaks to His children. If you had children and wrote an instruction manual for them, would you then say, “I refuse to speak to you. Go read the book I gave you.” That would seem insane. Yet some teach God only speaks to us through the Bible. God spoke to people in the Bible through dreams, visions, directly, through prophets, even through a donkey. Before you get too excited, let’s lay down some ground rules.

1. When God speaks He will not tell you to sin or violate His already written word.

I had someone tell me once the Holy Spirit told her not to read the Bible ever and only to listen to the voice she was hearing. That’s wrong and violates scripture.

I heard someone say God told them to leave their spouse for someone else. That’s wrong. It violates many scriptures.

Our culture says do whatever feels good for you and if it’s “love” or feels good, God must approve of it. That’s wrong. If there’s no place in scripture where God is condoning a behavior, you can’t condone it either and claim it’s God. There are some verses that seem to contradict each other which is why God gave His Holy Spirit to teach us.

We can’t toss out the Bible and rely on feelings, human wisdom, angelic visitations, or voices we believe are God.

2. All prophecy (speaking God’s word) is to be tested. Meaning the following:

Does it align with God’s word? Example, there are many false prophecies about when the world will end. Well, the Bible states the following:

“No one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows,”~Matthew 24:36.

Does the prophecy fit the character of God?

I’ve had destructive words spoken over me. There was no life in them. God does give warnings. He also provides redemption. Those who repent can find hope and life in Him. Jesus came to save, not destroy. If people are destroyed, it will be because they refused the gift He offered and refused repentance.

Finally intimacy with God involves following Him.

We are called to obey God. It’s not a popular teaching, yet Jesus taught it often. Christianity is not simply praying a prayer, it’s following a person. That person is Jesus. We cannot claim to love God and live a life where we refuse to do what He says. He gives us grace and His Spirit to enable us to do His will. If we cease to obey, we will eventually cease to hear from Him. If He continues to speak, we are held accountable for what we know. So if you feel super disconnected from God, one thing to ask is , “Has He told me to do something I have not done?”

I will continue this series because I truly believe we perish for lack of knowledge of who God is. We are called to know Him, to be loved by Him, to love Him, and enjoy Him. God is not boring, cold, stern, a kill joy, or mean spirited. He is good, holy, exciting, adventurous, overflowing with love and joy. He’s beyond amazing. He’s generous, faithful, merciful, and forgiving. The evil one doesn’t want the world to know who God is and how good He is. Once you know Him, it’s almost impossible to resist Him.

Will you join me on this relentless pursuit of God’s heart? I hope so.

You’re continually in my thoughts, prayers, and you are deeply loved (John 3:16).

Love,

Erin

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2014 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Finding JOY in Giving

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Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you,~Luke 6:38.

Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too,~Phil 2:4.

One of the major causes of depression is selfishness. You might think, “No way!” Yes way. When our focus is always ourselves we will not be happy or have joy. Why? Because God did not create us to be self centered.

We were created to connect first to God, then others. The God sized void can only be filled by Him. Once He fills us up, He intends for us to pour out. If we don’t, we implode.

Have you ever had a plant that grew wildly? I have. I have a set of plants that once they grow to a certain size they stop because they are root bound. They need split or repotted to keep growing. If I over water or over feed them, they die.

God intends for us to grow, to help others grow, & to enlarge His Kingdom.

We don’t give to earn God’s favor. We don’t give to primarily get from God-though He rewards givers with pure motives. We don’t give so people think well of us. We give because God’s love causes us to become generous. We give for His glory, His fame, and His goodness to be shed abroad.

It’s not about us or them. It’s about Him. It’s about the world encountering Christ in us. He’s what the world needs.

There’s joy in seeing other people encounter God. There’s always someone in a worse situation. That’s not to say God ignores where we are. He doesn’t. I do think at times He whispers to us, “Go help this other person. I will handle your problem.

Introspection, self pity, self focus, what about me?, look how bad it is for me, poor me,…has never solved anything. Jesus is the one we focus our eyes on and entrust with our burdens.

I can say this because I used to have pity parties. I’d even invite Jesus to come. “Jesus, don’t you see how bad this is…why me?” I love how God handles His children. His response, “Do you want my help? Or do you want to have a tantrum or pout? I will let you choose. I love you. I will be here when you are done.

God has brought great comfort in dark seasons of my life. In loss, tragedy, betrayal, sickness, etc…He never refuses comfort. He does not, however, enter into pity with me. He brings hope. Do you want help? If not, then I still love you, but I can’t force help on you.

Which leads to my last point. It’s incredible to help other people and love them. It’s a trap to aimlessly pour out. Some people don’t want help. Some people are in the situation they are in because they created it and trying to get them out will hurt them-they won’t learn from their choices. Some people want others to do for them what they need to get directly from God or for themselves. Some people are users and look for anyone they can drain dry. Some people will take what you give and throw it in the garbage. Giving, like anything else, requires wisdom.

When we do street ministry, we feed people, provide necessities, etc…we do not give cash. Many of the people, through their own confessions, have substance abuse problems. We love them. We don’t enable them. If your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he’s naked, clothe him. Unless God prompts you to, I wouldn’t empty my bank account to some random person and say I’m generous. God intends for seeds sown to produce a harvest for Him. God is generous and wise. Just read about the parable of the talents (Matthew 25). God intends for us to do something with what He gives. Freely you receive, freely give,~Jesus.

If you have a million dollars and you give 1 dollar to a million people, have you helped them? Versus splitting it between 10 people. God knows where you should sow to yield the greatest harvest for His Kingdom.

I’ve spent years pouring into people and situations that yielded nothing but frustration. Why? It wasn’t my field of harvest. The people I targeted to love and pour into were chosen by me, not God. And since I was raised to be a giver, I chose to give 100% to everyone. That dear friends leads to burnout and being used and abused.

Jesus had 12 disciples and chose 3 of them to be closest to Him. We think God is out fixing everyone’s messes, but He’s not. That’s not good parenting. He allows us sometimes to face the earthly consequences of what we’ve done. If we repent we are forgiven in heaven, yet there are some consequences on earth.

Where’s the joy in giving?

You see heaven invade earth!

You see God move radically in the lives of others.

You invest in a Kingdom that cannot be shaken.

You imitate Jesus who came to serve, not just be served. You re-present Him to the world.

You demonstrate to the world who God is: generous, kind, compassionate, and loving.

When you partner with God there’s joy.

What we do primarily for ourselves dies with us. What we do for His Kingdom remains eternal. What can we do to partner with Jesus so He gets the greatest reward? Where does God want us to sow? How can we fix our eyes on Him and eternity not the temporary things of this world? There is joy in being a blessing to Jesus by investing in His Kingdom.

May our eyes be upward then outward. Someone needs what we carry. May we be led by the Spirit to bring Jesus the greatest reward!!!

Love in Christ,

Erin

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Posted by on August 2, 2014 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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EnJOYing God

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Photo Credit: Pinterest (text added with Over app)

In God’s presence is the fullness of joy! We may not feel joyful, yet being with God elevates our spirits to joy.

I had a conversation with my cousin this past week and she asked me, “Why are so many Christians miserable when God is so good?” I am not the spokesperson for all Christians nor do I want to be. Every person has a different journey.

I do know the Bible tells us over and over to rejoice!

Rejoice that your sins are forgiven.

Rejoice your names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

Rejoice that you are God’s child.

Rejoice that you can come boldly before God’s throne of grace!

Rejoice that you are invited into a Kingdom that cannot be shaken.

Rejoice that heaven is your home.

Rejoice that you have been given every spiritual blessing in Christ.

Rejoice in tribulations that produce patience, character, and endurance in your life!

Rejoice because God loves you and invites you into relationship with Him.

Rejoice that you’ve been given the Holy Spirit; He’s fully God and empowering your life.

Rejoice that you don’t get what you deserve (death) and you receive what Jesus deserved (honor, a seat in heavenly places).

Rejoice that you are no longer under the law but under grace.

Rejoice that God is with you and for you!

Rejoice that Jesus defeated every enemy on the cross and rose with all power in His hands.

Part of the Christian walk is enjoying God; finding joy in who God is and cultivating relationship with Him.

Life is hard. Life can be overwhelming, painful, and tiring. The refreshment and joy comes from God. Jesus said, “Come to Me all who are weary and heavy laden; I will give you rest!

Daily God is handing out His peace for our turmoil, His rest for our weariness, and His joy for our sorrow.

There are two of His promises in particular that bring great joy:

1. Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you!

2. Nothing can separate you from My love.

In the worst seasons of my life, God has been there. When no one else could be or wanted to be, God was there. We have had moments of laughter together. He’s the best thing that’s ever happened to my life. He’s faithful, generous, kind, truthful, creative, encouraging, compassionate, hopeful, and good! He’s the best listener and encourager. As I grow older with Him I’m even thankful for His correction. Being with God has brought more joy than anything in this world. I enjoy God; not what He gives, who He is. He is beyond amazing.

In the seasons of my life where I haven’t enjoyed God it’s been due to a lie I believed about Him, my lack of spending time with Him, my focus on myself or circumstances, and my striving (I must do x,y, z). The sweetest thing is simply to abide in Him.

My prayer for us:

Father I pray we’d enjoy being in relationship with You. Help us to rest in You, abide in You. May all the distractions of life be removed and joy flood our hearts. We are Your beloved! That’s worth celebrating. Help us to recall all Jesus paid for and seek first Your face. You are abounding joy. In Jesus powerful name, Amen!

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Posted by on June 18, 2014 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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