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The Promised Gift (Holy Spirit University (HSU) Series Part I)

...the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you,~Jesus (John 14:26). 
Jesus promised the disciples a gift, a gift that would abide with those who place their ultimate faith in Him. 

Holy Spirit is an incredible gift, a gift that sustains, equips, empowers, loves, comforts, intercedes, blesses, gives spiritual gifts, imparts wisdom, and helps believers in incredble ways. 

Holy Spirit University (HSU) series is about doing life with the blessed Holy Spirit. I can not overstate the importance of Holy Spirit. 

Holy Spirit is not a wind or dove or fire-though symbolized this way in scripture. Holy Spirit has emotions, a will, a mind, insight, a voice (Holy Spirit speaks and teaches), and is perfect in every way.

Yielding to the Holy Spirit is vital to living a victorious life. 

Let’s read some scripture together: 

While being together and eating with them, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Of which,” He said, “you have heard Me speak. For John baptized with water, but you will be baptized and empowered and united with the Holy Spirit, not long from now.”

So when they had come together, they asked Him repeatedly, “Lord, are You at this time reestablishing the kingdom and restoring it to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know the times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority. But you will receive power and ability when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be My witnesses [to tell people about Me] both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the ends of the earth.”-Acts 1:4-8. 
Jesus spoke of this gift from God that would empower and equip the disciples. The Holy Spirit would give them holy boldness to be His witnesses. 

What on earth does Holy Spirit do? 

Part of the role of Holy Spirit is to empower us to do what Jesus did. 

Jesus did not say, “I am going to give you this gift that will help you do nothing. Please sit and do nothing until I return or you die. Also please stay the same way I found you.” 

The Holy Spirit within is a power house. This promised gift was to love, bring comfort, to teach, to be a seal on believers that they belong to God, to give power, holy boldness, counsel, give strength, reveal the righteous nature of God, sustain, impart spiritual gifts, provide wisdom, and so much more. 

Ready or not, here comes Holy Spirit!

The disciples walked with Jesus. I am certain there was attachment. He told them it was better that He go to the Father than remain with them. The Spirit of God would come and dwell with believers and inside of Spirit baptized believers. They would have this power house within them.

God fulfilled His word at Pentacost (Acts 2:1-13):

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place, and suddenly a sound came from heaven like a rushing violent wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. There appeared to them tongues resembling fire, which were being distributed [among them], and they rested on each one of them [as each person received the Holy Spirit]. And they were all filled [that is, diffused throughout their being] with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues (different languages), as the Spirit was giving them the ability to speak out [clearly and appropriately].

Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout and God-fearing men from every nation under heaven. And when this sound was heard, a crowd gathered, and they were bewildered because each one was hearing those in the upper room speaking in his own language or dialect. They were completely astonished, saying, “Look! Are not all of these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears in our own language or native dialect? Among us there are Parthians, Medes and Elamites, and people of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia [Minor], Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and the visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes (Gentile converts to Judaism), Cretans and Arabs—we all hear them speaking in our [native] tongues about the mighty works of God!” And they were beside themselves with amazement and were greatly perplexed, saying one to another, “What could this mean?” But others were laughing and joking and ridiculing them, saying, “They are full of sweet wine and are drunk!”
Many went on to share the Gospel of Jesus with exceptional boldness and clarity. This power house filled those in the upper room and changed their lives forever. 

The gift that produces victory!

It is impossible to live a victorious life without Holy Spirit. 

…you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.)~Romans 8:9.

…the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words,~Romans 8:26. 

For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God,~Romans 8:13-14. 

When you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed in Him, you were also sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,~Ephesians 1:13. 

Without the Holy Spirit our flesh or soul (human mind, will, emotions) will dictate our lives. The mind of the flesh wars against God, it cannot please God. Without the Holy Spirit, according to Romans 8:9, we do not belong to God.  We need this gift and to honor the blessing of the Holy Spirit. 

As we contunue on this study of Holy Spirit I pray we grow to have deeper intimacy with God. I pray we grow to know more about Holy Spirit and cultivate greater friendship with Him. 

Love, 

Erin Lamb 

 
 

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Weekend Devotion: God is Our Peace

Weekend Devotion: Peace in the storm. Navigating through extreme challenges with God. Prayer at the end. 

How many of you have had a wilderness experience with God? How many have had a series of challenges that seemed overwhelmingly hard? I have. 

I lived in the wilderness. I had a tent there, a water pail, a tear stained pillow, and it got to the point where I would not answer the phone because it was simply bad news after bad news. If people knew my story, they would understand why God is my best friend, why being with God trumps being with them, why worship and intercession are crucial parts of my life, why intimacy with God is the highest priority, and they would understand the intensity of my current joy. 

I would love to tell you God immediately takes away every challenge, pain, trial, or Judas experience. This is false. Every warrior, including Jesus, I have studied in the Bible went through a series of tests and challenges. James, who’s real name was Jacob, tell us the following…

Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing,~James 1:2-4 (AMP). 

Before you want to slap Jacob. I want you to change vantage points. Can you take a moment to look not from earth’s point of view, but heaven’s point of view? 

Earth is a temporary place. Heaven is eternal, forever, does not change, has no pain or suffering. We may live 100 years on earth. There is no end to heaven. 

Our loved ones who leave us far too soon, we will grieve. This I have walked through. The pain some days was almost unbearable. Yet I know for those in Christ, I will see them again. And we will be together forever, without end. Oh praise Jesus. 

Our hearts that end up broken by those who are void of God love, they can heal. This too I know all too well. God reminds me over and over, “The love you receive from people is directly proportional to the love they have received from me. They can not give what they do not possess.” So you pray as Paul prayed that people would know the height, depth, width, and vast expanse of God’s love. You forgive and allow God to love you to wholeness. 

Our disappointments are nothing compared to the glory of God. God withholds nothing good. Our idea of good often varies from God’s. God sees what is coming. We see today. We see earth, the physical realm. We do not see fully what God sees. Maybe that relationship or job would have brought hell on earth. Maybe that friendship ended to protect someone. Maybe destiny was on the line. Maybe something better is coming. Maybe that person left earth because they wanted to go home to Jesus. We do not see all. Therefore, our best bet is to climb up into the arms of God. 

No matter what happens, God is so good He can bring something good from the situation for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes and plans. 

What did I learn from the wilderness I could impart to you: 

1. It is temporary. 

Life in the wilderness is not the intention of God. Our mindset, murmuring, or complaining can prolong a short stay into a long one (read about the Israelites). 

2. It is often a call to intimacy or spiritual bootcamp. 

I am not saying God causes bad things to happen to get our attention. I am saying God does not prevent every challenge. Sometimes God does not immediately deliver us from, we are delivered through. I see prime examples of this in the life of Daniel, Jesus. God did not prevent all adversity. He did bring forth Kingdom advancement through adversity. 

3. We can learn more about God and our own beliefs in the wilderness. 

It’s easy to proclaim God is good when life is skipping through rose gardens, and every person prayed for is healed, when there is breakthrough after breakthrough. Is God still good when life feels like a massive storm? 

Our faith is revealed in the wilderness. Unbelief is exposed. Our true ideas of God are put on display. If we take our thoughts, pain, and disappointments to God, we can grow! Oh my, we can grow stronger in faith. 

4. We gather testimony of overcoming! There is power in being an overcomer. 

I love the quote, “Smooth seas do not produce skilled sailors.” If I were placed on the front lines of battle, I would not want my commander to be someone afraid or unable to withstand adversity. You want someone who has overcome and keeps on overcoming. There is power in facing adversity and refusing to let the storm kill you! 

We have authority in the storm where we maintain peace. Peace, dear ones, is a weapon. Tenacity and refusal to succumb to circumstances is powerful. It’s hard to beat someone who will not move or give up or give up ground. 

5. Our character is refined in trials and challenges, if we yield to God. 

The weakest person is the one who refuses to face challenges. They do not grow. They never allow their faith to be stretched. They shrink back, retreating from the next spiritual promotion. 

Character matters. Jesus was promoted (grew in favor with God and man) by overcoming tests. What if Jesus just threw in the towel? What if He said yes to Satan just like Adam? We would all be lost. He overcame. He turns to us and says, “In the world you will have trouble. Take heart, I have already overcome the world!” He overcame demonstrating we can overcome! Jesus maintained peace in storms because He knew the heart of the Father and the intentions of God are always good. Always! Not sometimes, always. Even when we do not see it or feel it or understand, God is good. 

Papa God, I thank you that these momentary afflictions are nothing compared to your glory which will be revealed within us. Change our vantage point so we live from heaven down. Help us to abide in your truth even when what we see is vastly different from your truth. You are always good. I declare peace into every storm. I ask for the anointing of your peace to flood every heart, soul, spirit, body of each reader. Take us higher, above the storms. You are greater. We can trust you. You will work it all for a greater good, even if we do not see it until heaven. We are going from glory to glory! May our faith not fail. In Jesus powerful name.

Love, 

Erin L. Lamb

 
 

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Weekend Devotion (Repentance)

Weekend Devotion: Study of Repentance. Repentance is a gift. 

Repentance: In the New Testament, the key term for repentance is metanoia [metavnoia]. It has two usual senses: a “change of mind” and “regret/remorse.” In the Synoptic Gospels metanoia [metavnoia] indicated “turning away from sin” ( Mark 1:4)-Source Baker’s Dictionary of Biblical Theology. 

The ability to know God’s truth and turn from darkness to light is a gift. 

There is not as much talk about repentance today as there was in the time of Jesus and early apostles. There is a teaching of “You just do you, God must accept whatever you do and approve because He loves you.” This is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Jesus said, “Repent or you will perish (Luke 13:3, Luke 13:5). Stop sinning lest something worse comes on you (John 5:14).” The bible clearly states the wages of sin is death and the gift of God is eternal life (Romans 6:23). It also says those who live according to the flesh cannot please God (Romans 8:5-6). 

Now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance [not fully aware of what you were doing], just as your rulers did also. And so God has fulfilled what He foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ (Messiah, Anointed) would suffer. So repent [change your inner self—your old way of thinking, regret past sins] and return [to God—seek His purpose for your life], so that your sins may be wiped away [blotted out, completely erased], so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord [restoring you like a cool wind on a hot day];”~Acts 3:17-19. 

Grace (God’s riches at Christ’s expense) empowers righteousness, not lawlessness. Holy Spirit reveals truth and empowers believers to walk in truth. If being saved was just about professing Jesus then living like the devil, well that means Jesus died for nothing. Part of His death was to atone for our sins so we could be free of the bondage of sin and shame. He gave His life to FREE us from bondage, not leave us in bondage. 

Think about the ridiculousness of these statements: 

I know I beat my wife during the week and scream at my kids, yet Jesus loves me. I am clothed in His righteousness. There is no condemnation for me. You can’t judge me.” 

Oh yes, I have many sexual partners and live with one of them. I am so glad Jesus set me free to be me. Grace, amazing grace.” 

Both these people have misguided beliefs as to what it means to be in relationship with Jesus. Jesus never, ever clapped when someone sinned. He never placed nor places a stamp of approval on immorality, abuse, or partnership with satan. He told people, “Go and sin no more.” 

Love and approval are not the same. God loves everyone. God does not approve of everything humans do. If He did, God would cease to be holy and just. God is 100% love. God is also 100% holy.

Thinking we are not responsible for our choices blocks repentance. It keeps us in a state of perpetual immaturity and we do not grow to look/behave/love like Jesus. We stay in the shallow kiddie pool eating our mud pies, shouting, “You can’t judge me! No condemnation for me,” playing in the devil’s field Monday through Saturday…jumping up for a quickie date with Jesus on Sunday. 

Let us not mistake conviction for condemnation. 

Conviction: an awareness something is not right and needs corrected. A warning signal to turn around. 

Condemnation: sentencing someone, a final judgement. If you stand condemned before God it is a sentence to eternal life separated from him. “Go to hell,” is a condemning statement. 

People quote there is no condemnation for those in Christ without reading/quoting the rest of that passage (Romans 8) which says, “God did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit (Romans 8:4).” Paul states after there is no condemnation verse 4 which is above…we who no longer follow our sinful nature but follow the Spirit. A person who proclaims Jesus then lives completely independent of Him is not the objective of salvation. Screaming, “I am in Christ,” to bypass responsibility for my choices or to live a sin filled life is ungodly. 

True believers are not condemned if they are in Christ because their eternal fate is wrapped up in Jesus. This does not mean their poor actions are excusable, they are no longer accountable for bad choices, repentance is not required, or God approves of their sin. If so, the New Testament letters to churches would be meaningless. Why address sin within the church which Paul and others did if God pretends believers are perfect? 

God does not pretend we do not need repentance. God encourages renewing of the mind (Romans 12:2), taking every thought captive and making it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5), making amends when we mess up (Matthew 5:24), humility (1 Peter 5:5), loving one another (John 13:34-35), sexual purity (Ephesians 5:3), and seeking first the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33). Most of all Jesus invites us into intimate relationship with Him. Knowing Him, abiding in Him, is transformative. It becomes, “It is no longer I who lives, but Christ who lives in me and through me (Galatians 2:20).”

It is not about striving to be good. It about abiding in the One who is good. Union with God, through relationship, leads to good fruit (John 15:4-5). 

It not about legalism-trying to obtain right standing with God through works. It is about abiding in Jesus and receiving grace-Jesus paid for my freedom. Since I am free in Him, I will not become a slave again to bondage. Sin will not be my master. I am empowered by God to follow Jesus. I abide in His truth. Believing His truth sets me free.

Papa I ask any place in our minds not aligned with Your truth be set right today. Help us to renounce lies and turn from darkness to light. Help us to abide in You. Saturate our minds with Your truth. Anything not like Jesus, may it be laid before You. Thank You for the gift of repentance. 
Love, 

Erin Lamb 

📷: Pinterest, Repentance

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Holy Spirit Series Coming Soon! 


There is a new series coming and it’s about one of my favorite members of the Godhead. Gosh, love them all. We will talk about Holy Spirit. 

Holy Spirit is incredible. I want to spend some time discussing what I call Holy Spirit University. When were you enrolled? You and I become students of HSU upon conversion. Repentance and accepting Jesus as Savior opened the door for enrollment in HSU. 

Holy Spirit works to teach, train, and empower believers. Holy Spirit also comforts, encourages, convicts, reveals truth, loves deeply, provides insight, and reveals Jesus. 

Holy Spirit is so vital to an empowered life! 

Without Holy Spirit we will not grow into the likeness of the Son (Jesus), grow to know the heart of the Father, nor produce the fruit of the Spirit in abundance. 

I am quite excited to embark on this study and exploration of the work, purposes, and life of Holy Spirit. I hope you are excited too! 

Let’s settle into the word of God, feast there for awhile, and invite God to teach us more. There is always more to learn about God. 

Papa thank You for the opportunity to know You and enjoy You. Teach us all about glorious Holy Spirit. Thank You for all You are and all You have done. We are want to know You more. In Jesus powerful name, amen! 

Love, 

Erin Lamb 

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2017 in From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Thriving with God 


Weekend Devotion: Stay connected to the Vine and thrive baby thrive. Spiritual growth is a byproduct of intimacy with God, not self effort and striving. 

I am the Vine, you are the branches. If you remain in Me you will bear much fruit. Apart from Me you can do nothing,”~Jesus (from John 15:4-5). 

The miracle plants that have thrived in my house focus on their source. They grow towards the light, they respond to being watered/fed, they stay connected to their source. Any vine that disconnects, shrivels up and dies. Why? It has no source of it’s own. We each have a body. If you cut off part of your body from the blood supply, your beating heart, and your nerve ends are depleted of oxygen-guess what? That part of you will decay, die, rot, atrophy. 

Spiritual growth is similar. God is the Source. We are pretty special to God. We are not God. He is the all sufficient One. He knows exactly what is needed to grow us up into tall thriving vines. We can yield and grow or buck Him and stay the same size. 

God loves multiplication and growth. Stagnation is not His speciality. You read in the parable of the talents God likes to reproduce what has been given. Why? If we are blessed, displaying His glory, then more people can be blessed. We can pray for God to bless people, yet He empowers us to be a blessing. 

How do we grow….

1. Stay connected to God. 

One of my morning routines is, “Morning Papa, Jesus, Holy Spirit. Love You. Thank You for everything. What do You want to do today? What’s on Your heart. I invite You into my day.” It’s not every day or I feel bad. It’s a habit of letting God know He is welcome in my life. 

God is always there. He is not always invited to participate. He is sometimes relegated to the back seat. He is spoken to for needs, complaints, everyone else is busy, boredom, obligation, or never. God likes to be included. Not for control purposes, because He loves connection with humans (This I do not fully understand). 

Growth occurs through relationship. 

2. Eat 

God’s Word is food for the spirit and soul. His presence is living water. Digesting the Word with God (key word is with God) is life giving. I am not talking about obligatory reading. I am talking about inviting God in to feast on His Word together. It is great to go to a local assembly and be spoon fed the Word. It is far better to eat on a regular basis with God. You can live eating once a week, yet strength comes in daily feasts with God. “Lord here I am, speak to me through Your Word.” 

3. Listen 

God speaks. Sometimes His voice is missed due to unbelief, “God does not speak, those people are crazy.” 

The unbelieving will continue to miss God. For everything in the Kingdom works by faith. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). Sometimes His voice is missed because we are too busy. “Lord I will be right back, I got this, I know what to do.” 

I LOVE consultations with God. Why? He sees everything. He sees the heart, motives, past, future, impact, everything. God’s view is not tainted nor one sided. He sees it all. 

Seeking God grows us up in wisdom. The counsel of God is unparalleled. I highly value godly counsel from wise Christians, yet they never trump God. I take what they say to God. “Hey Papa, what are we keeping? What are we throwing in the garbage?” 

4. Worship 

We become like the gods we worship,~Ralph Waldo Emerson. 

Worship is more than singing songs. Worship is a lifestyle of adoration. Worship is love. Who or what do we love? Where is our identity rooted? Only God is worthy of worship. Why? He alone is 100% good. Worship pleasure, become an addict. Worship beauty, become vain. Worship food, become glutton. Worship money, become greedy. Worship power, become a dictator/tyrant. Worship self, become grossly selfish. Worship people, become a people pleaser. 

Worship of God takes our eyes off ourselves and places them on God. Looking inward, navel gazing, leads to self defeating behaviors and pride. We are either looking inward and seeing all that is wrong or looking inward and patting ourselves on the back for how awesome we are. The truth is we are not the source of light, God is. Our true growth comes by basking in His light, not looking for our own. 

One of the greatest tools of the enemy is getting humans to turn their gaze away from God. He will even use good things like relationships, family, ministry, serving. If he can replace activity for intimacy, then he knows eventually that person will run out of steam. 

The power and growth is not in self, it is in God. Look up. Look at Jesus. Focus on who God is. Focus on what God has done. The devil since the beginning has been trying to put a wedge between God and humanity. He knows God is good. He is also jealous of the connection between mankind and God. He wants to be worshipped, if not directly he will settle for false gods. Anything to keep people from knowing God and loving Him. 

5. Yield to pruning 

Plants need pruned. Our hearts do too. Weeds can sprout and grow…weeds such as bitterness, fear, unforgiveness, selfishness, lust, pride,…they come to choke out love. We were created by Love (God), to be loved, then to love others. 

Trials come sometimes as tools of pruning. We need more patience so God allows some challenges. Every challenge or storm is not the devil. God allows some things because we need to grow up. Let me give you an example. I am the “Let’s get this done, we have plan A, B, C. What is our contigency plan? Early is better than late. I will do what I said. Let’s be efficient, excellent,” type personality. God allows me to be connected with others who have no plan, are not organized, everything is last minute, oh I forgot-was that today, always late, no concerns about efficiency-what’s that?, just go with it…type people. At first it caused frustration. Then I learned to yield to the challenge. 

I learned to set boundaries, invite tardy people earlier than they needed to be there, cast vision, inspire planning, and go with the flow when it’s unnecessary to map it all out. I learned to love those very different from me and appreciate their personality. They are looking to have fun. I am normally seeking to build, develop strategies, multiply, and be efficient/excellent. I have fun. I also like building. 

That challenging person may be God’s way of producing greater patience or love. That season of waiting is not God is doing nothing. If we yield we see a seed is hidden in the dirt a long time before it pops through the soil. I baby is in the womb 9 months. We prefer trees over a field of seeds, and fully developed babies over fetuses. 

Yielding to correction is also a way to grow. 

The, “You can not tell me anything,” attitude leads to immaturity…it leads to a plant covered with weeds, not producing good fruit. Even correction in the wrong spirit can cause growth. Over my life I have been exposed to lots of Holy Spirit polices. They feel it is their job to police everyone and their issues. God did not give them a badge. They are self appointed officers of the law, like the Pharisees. One can be angry with the Pharisee or take their verbal lashing to God. “Is any of this true? If so, help me. If not, garbage.” 

People who buck correction fail to grow. Feedback can be such a helpful tool. Pride says, “I know it all, you cannot correct me. I do not need any help.” Humility says, “What can I learn from you?” 

God created us to be fruitful. Being fruitful is more than having children. Being fruitful is taking the seeds God has sown, the gifts, talents, skills, and putting them to use for His glory. Being fruitful is yielding to God so the fruit of the Spirit is on display for the world to see Him. Being fruitful is being faithful to whatever and whoever God placed in front of us. Being fruitful is abiding in God so we are a loving blessing. 

Lord help us to stay connected to You, to live out of Your heart, and thrive through the work of the Holy Spirit. Help us to cease trying to be our own light or looking for others to be our source. You are our Source. Deepen our connection with You in 2017. Take the focus off insignificant things. Help our gaze be fully on You! In Jesus powerful name. Amen. 

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2017 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Is the Church Helping or Hurting the Spread of the Gospel? 


Sweet friends, I am going to dig into some issues tonight because I want us to think about them, pray about them, and examine the question, “Are we representing God (Yahweh), the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, or trying to bully the world into thinking our way? Do we only love some people or everyone?”
Addressing the spirit of religion…

Sometimes the “Christian” way of thinking is not God at all. It is the spirit of religion which is oppressive, demeaning to women, hateful to those who are different or do not agree, full of control, legalism, pride, bullying, self righteousness, and manipulation. It is more concerned about being “right in it’s own eyes,” than loving thy neighbor. It’s void of agape love (unconditional, sacrificial, unselfish love). It is void of Jesus. It is antichrist. It is brutal. If you stand against the spirit of religion, or the idols behind it you may receive a tongue lashing or beating. 

If you do not live in America or do not know Jesus, please do not use the American church as the standard for what God is like. Look to Jesus. He perfectly represents the Father. Please open your bible and examine Jesus. He is still working on His Church so she loves like Him and follows Him. God loves you. 

Please do not allow the behavior of some unloving/misbehaving “Christians” to run you away from God. There are some incredible people who love Jesus and represent Him well in the western church, there is still room for improvement in the body of Christ overall. We are growing in maturity, hopefully. 🙂 

The aftermath of Election 2016…

Some of the evangelical church and charismatic church seemed to back one candidate and demonize the other and anyone who did not agree. It was okay to hurl insults, slander, gossip, dishonor, break friendships, verbally lash people, have a nasty attitude, and act like a crazy person all in the name of God. 

I want you to know God is not a manipulator or control freak. God is also not rude or spiteful. He is not the author of confusion or a lunatic. 

I have yet to see God try to guilt or bully me into doing something. He comes in love then allows me to choose. The devil is pushy, controlling, manipulative, arrogant, selfish, and gets very angry when he does not get his way. There were people who told me, “You need to vote for this person because this person had a prophesy. If you vote for that person, well you are going to hell.” No, I test all prophecies, and I need to pray and seek the Lord for myself. 

I am not a part of group think. I am following Jesus. People are not God. If we truly trusted God, bullying and manipulation would not be needed. Also regardless of the candidates positions, we are called to imitate Jesus. The nastiness that has been spewed out by some believers has been just as bad as the world. We are called to be salt and light. 

God is not a bully… 

We see in the Garden of Eden God gave Adam and Eve a choice. He told Adam not to eat from the tree of good and evil, yet Adam and Eve could still choose evil. 

I have been floored by the lack of God love from some believers during and after this election. I even went to God, “How do you feel about women, brown/yellow/dark brown people, foreigners…because some of Your children make it seem as though You only love some people. Please help me to understand. Please help.” My entire life I was taught God loves everyone. This election, some of the church sent the message, “God loves certain people. If you agree with us then He loves you. If you don’t, then you are not loved.” My views are attatched to the Gospel, to Jesus. Yet I did not feel the need to demonize anyone. Neither candidate stood as Jesus, nor represented fully His heart for the world in my opinion. And it’s not just over political views. This election brought out the inner bigot/racist in some people. What was hidden under praise the Lord surfaced in, “Those people.” 

I am being quite sincere in sharing my thoughts. At first I thought internally, “Do not put your thoughts out there.” It has gotten me pretty beat up by Christians in the past. Then I thought, ” Let them beat me because someone needs to say it loudly, ‘Refusing to love is sin. If you hate anyone, you can not claim to love God (1 John 4:8).’” Withholding love and apathy is a form of hatred. If we can watch another suffer and say, “That’s not my problem,” our love tank is running low or empty. Jesus loves everyone. If we lack love or compassion, we can not put that on God. 

You may be thinking, “How could you think this way, America just had 8 years under Obama. Hidden Figures is bringing in the money at the box office. Women are empowered. A woman ran for President. We are all one big happy family.”  I can say this as someone who walks around with tan/light brown skin and as a female; racism and sexism are still a problem in the world and it is still an issue in the global church. Not just racism or sexism, but the lack of love or honor for anyone who votes differently or has a varying opinion. If you do not believe me, scroll through some Facebook or Social Media or even church tv programs, look at the comments. I dare you to disagree with someone on an issue. 

Let me take out my bible and slap you senseless with it. I bet you feel stupid now.” And the Christian who proved to the internet or world how much Bible they know, just wounded a bunch of people and made God look like a unloving bully. Not sure how that makes people want to know Jesus, but it happens. I have encountered it over and over. 

I have athiest and agnostic associates who were driven away from God and the church by an unloving church and unloving Christians. I have had seasons in my own life where I have said,”God I love You, yet some of Your children are so very mean or unloving. Can I please have a pass not to fellowship today?

Hateful, unloving, apathetic Christians affect the spreading of the Gospel. The “I am saved. I can treat people how I want. You can’t judge me, there’s no condemnation for me,” is impacting the lost. Why seek a God with followers who are hateful and unloving when you can find some acceptance in the world? 

God is love…

Are we loving the world? Are we drawing people to Christ by our actions or repelling them? 

I have heard people say, “I have not seen any issues,” so that means the issue does not exist. Well, sweet friends, America and the entire world has a long way to go to represent Jesus as He is. I am sure He is not enjoying the fighting, offense, slander, judging, racism, sexism, I hate liberals, gossip, self righteousness, I’ve had enough of “those” people, beating people with the bible, lack of love, celebrating the suffering of another person, etc…He said very plainly, “As I have loved you, love one another. The world will know My disciples by their love. Love your enemies.” 

Jesus did not say you will know My followers by their opinions or political views, or their denomination or country of origin, or their skin color, nor by their church attendance or tithing. You can go to church and still go to hell. 

A country and world in need of an agape love revolution…

This election brought out the boil on the bottom of America we refused to acknowledge. We have some deep spiritual problems that need addressed in the church. While pointing a finger at the world, we have three pointed back at us. Do we know Jesus? We need Jesus. Are we representing Jesus?  We have some idols that need cast down. Some of them being politics, politicians, self, patriotism, and church leaders. Loving people and sharing the Gospel is far more important than who they voted for. 

We have some heart issues that need healed and mended. There is no amount of legislation that can fix heart issues. We need Jesus. There is still a void of agape love from the church for the world. There is still a void of receiving God’s love. We can only give away the love we have received. 

Ditching those people need Jesus…we all need Jesus. 

Oh those people, they just need Jesus!” We all need Jesus. Did you (we) love “those” people? “Well ‘those’ people are hurting our country or they are reprobate.” Are we sinless? Did we perfectly represent Jesus today? If not, we can put down our bible billy club and thank the good Lord for mercy. 

Not sure why, yet sometimes being saved leads to abounding self righteousness and pride. It is “us” vs. “them”. Do we forget no person was born saved? Do we (the global church) care about the spreading of the Gospel and loving our neighbor or just promoting our ideals and political agenda?

America the Melting Pot…

 “Those people need to go back to their country.” Well, America had inhabitants before European settlers arrived here. They were Natives, Mexicans, and some Africans. Some of my ancestors were on this land before it was “discovered.” 

America is a melting pot of immigrants. If you are not Native, slamming other ethnic groups and telling them they do not belong is childish. I believe in due process of citizenship, yet many ethnic groups including Europeans migrated to America. So if everyone has to go back to their country that leaves some Natives, some Mexicans, and a few Africans to stay. 

Are we loving the ones God sends…

Please come to our church, pay tithes, serve, and if you get out of line we are going to beat you senseless with the Bible and withhold love. Oh, and you need to think like us and vote like us or you’re going to hell.” Sounds harsh right. Yet I have seen it. I have experienced some of my worst verbal assaults, betrayals, heartaches from “Christians.” Singing and clapping on Sunday, cussing me out or talking crazy on Monday. On a positive note,  I thank God for the loving Christians there are in the world and this country. I pray we all have deep encounters with God’s love. May the global church be known by the agape love of God. 

Ditch us vs them…

In our world there are so many categories of them. Do we care about “them” or is it, “That’s their problem. Give me my Starbucks and leave me alone. I will pray for ‘them.’“Yet that is not the love Jesus showed the world. He did not say to the Father, “Forget them. They sinned. That’s their problem.” Jesus died for all even the most wicked of sinners. There was no “them” to be left behind or cast aside or ignored. What if God treated us the way we treat the world?

Is the church ignoring or mistreating the very people Jesus came to die for? How would Jesus treat “them”. 

I prefer we are all one race of people, human. Men and women have equal value to God. The foreigner and the native born are uniquely and passionately loved.

I stand with Jesus! 

God SO loved the world…

It is not enough for the church to love the unborn. We need to love the person right in front of us. We need to love the Native, the African, the Mexican, the South American, the Canadian, the Chinese, the Japanese, the Middle Easterner, the Indian, the Greek, the Norwegian, the Russian, the Australian, the British, the whole world! 

It is not God bless America and no place else! It is God bless the world! The entire world!! 

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is everyone but Jesus has sinned and is in need of a Savior. Jesus gave His life for ALL. Repent (change your mind about sin), confess your sins to God, believe Jesus is the Son of God, ask Him to be Lord of your life. Do not stop there, follow Jesus! Do what you see Him doing. He loved the least, last, lost! 

God loves the whole world! 

May born again believers not only know the Gospel, but abide in Jesus to live the Gospel. Jesus loves the world! John 3:16. The lost need to see Jesus in us the hope of glory. 

Bless you, 

Erin Lamb 

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2017 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Why Love? (Listening to Papa God)


Morning Devotion: Why Love? 

When I first started blogging/writing about the love of God it upset some people online. I have had people I care for deeply offline say, “The problem is not God, it’s people. People need to hear about the wrath and severity of God. They need to repent.” 

There is a severity to God, repentance is required and needed. I do not negate the holiness of God. No one comes to the Father except through the Son. He is not a cuddly, mushy, people pleaser. He is a Consuming Fire. He is also 100% agape love. Our view of love is sometimes different from His. Everything God does is motivated by love, even correction. 

I talked to God; He is the One who inspired me to write about His love. This was His reply. 

Many of My children know of Me, they do not know Me. They know of My love, what was taught to them, yet so many lack reception of My love and true understanding of My heart and character. They have created Me in their own image. Love has not been received or it has been perverted. One can only give away the love that has been received. One can only represent who and what they know. 

My heart greatly desires for My children to know Me. Everything I do is motivated by love, even the things they can not see or understand. I love them. Oh how I love them. Once they know My heart, the words written on the pages of their bibles will come alive in a new way. They will have more confidence. They will walk in My Son’s authority with love, grace, mercy, and power. They will live and love above their circumstances. They will not worry or fear, knowing that I love them. Oh how I love them. 

The world is suffering from a love deficit. The deficit is not because I do not love the world. The deficit is because the world has not fully received all My Son paid for on the cross. He paid for abundant life. 

Abide in My love. Demonstrate My love. Teach and model My love. My love is a love that is both pure and holy. My love does not enable sin or wink at unrighteousness. My love stands to empower righteousness, justice, and purity. 

I want My children, the whole world, to know what My love is and then give that love away. My love is a love that is concerned about the outcasts, poor, widows, orphans, invisible people, and downtrodden in society. 

I love the ENTIRE world, not simply one country, people group, or ethnic group. There is no bias or preferential treatment in My love. I love them all. I created one race of people, My people. My Son gave His life so any person could be redeemed through relationship with Him. He came to save the entire world. I love every tribe, every nation. I love both male and female. All have 100% of My love. 

My love is not divided up into portions. It is given out in whole pieces. It is possible because I AM. I am the all sufficient One. I can give all of Me to each one and never be depleted. They do not have to compete for My love, receive My love. Believe. Receive! 

How I long to see creation redeemed and living/loving from their renewed estate. My Son paid for restoration and redemption so each person who follows Him can stand in their heavenly identity. Love, My love, is the most powerful force in the Universe. They desperately need to know in their hearts, My unfailing love.” 

So…love it is. I have met people who have been Christians longer than I have been alive who do not know nor recognize God’s love. They know scripture. They know how to go to church and pay tithes and serve. They do not know the unfailing, uncompromising love of God. Therefore, they can not give agape to anyone else. 

Agape is God love; unconditional, unselfish, sacrificial love. We can only give what has first been received and release what we carry. I am still learning His love. My heart cries out, “More Lord. Deeper intimacy with You!” 

Papa God, anything hindering reception of Your love, I ask it is removed. Any views of You tainted by experiences with Christians, parents, or the spirit of religion I ask it be bound, healed, and removed. Help us to know You intimately. You are love. Redefine love from Your perspective, from Your vantage point, from Your heart. God may we know the height, depth, width, and vast expanse of Your great love! Thank You for loving us. In Jesus mighty name, amen.

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

 

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