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Saturday Devotion (The Gospel According to Jesus)

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Weekend Devotion: The Great Falling Away, What is the Gospel, The Prodigal, and Salvation. Looking at the words of Jesus (He is perfect theology). 

I have been thinking about prodigals and those who do not know God. I have also been thinking of those who believe they know God, yet what they have is religion not relationship. I started thinking about all the people told to simply pray a prayer to be saved (Jesus never did this) or told baptism and church membership saves them, and then live independently of God. When facing God, some will have an interesting awakening. 

The revelation will come that God is better than anything created and the words, “Depart from Me I never knew you,” will sting. 

How could a loving God reject someone? 

God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. The choice is set before everyone-choose life, choose the Son, follow Him, do what He says. God extends the invitation, mankind rejects God. 

I personally do not believe in once saved always saved. Why? I find scriptures that speak of those who fall away (Matthew 24:8-9), those who turn their backs on God, those who practice lawlessness and do not care for others being cast into the darkness (Matthew 7:21-23, Matthew 25:31-46). 

 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day [when I judge them], ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, and driven out demons in Your name, and done many miracles in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them publicly, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me [you are banished from My presence], you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands].’~Jesus (Matthew 7:21-23). 

And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he who endures until the end shall be saved~Matthew 24:12-13. 

And the longest passage comes from Matthew 25:31-46.

There is such a burning in my heart for every person to have a personal awakening and relationship with God. 

The Role of the Disciples of Jesus

The Church is to reveal to the world the heart, nature, compassion, and goodness of God. 

Jesus revealed the Father and the world came to know God. 

The Prodigal

The prodigal had to come to his senses. He thought what the world had to offer was better than the Father. He was wrong. 

The prodigal traded royalty for a pit. He gave up paradise for something far beneath his destiny. 

The devil works overtime to convince people life on earth is all there is. He shouts, “Live it up,” knowing life independent from God leads to destruction. 

The Spirit of This Age 

The spirit of this age blinds people to the truth of who God is, how good God is, and offers temporary pleasures that never, ever satisfy. They leave people empty, broken, wounded, confused and on a death march to hell with the devil. 
Even the spirit of religion blinds people to the truth of the Gospel. 

The Gospel is… 

  • God so loves the entire world (every people group, both genders, every ethnicity).
  • There is no racism or sexism or hierarchy of people/genders in God’s heart (1 John 4:8, Revelation 5:9). 
  • God empowers both men and women to have dominion on earth and do the works of Jesus (Genesis 1:28, Galations 3:28). 
  • God so loved the world He sent His Son Jesus to die for our sins (John 3:16).
  • Sin leads to death (Romans 6:23). The death penalty was on us all (Romans 5). 
  • Jesus paid for all sin on that rugged cross. So whosoever shall believe on Him and follow Him will be saved (John 3:16). Jesus invited people to follow Him (relationship).
  • He (Jesus) was born of a virgin, died for all sin, and was resurrected on the third day with all power in His hands (Matthew 1:18, 1 Peter 3:18, 1 Corinthians 15:4, Matthew 28). 
  • The same power that raised Jesus from the dead came on believers at Pentecost (Acts 2). It is available to every born again believer (Acts 1:8). 
  • Repentance (changing our mind about sin), accepting Jesus by faith and making Him Lord creates radical transformation in our lives. 
  • The old is passed away and the new comes (2 Corinthians 5:17). 
  • As far as the east is from the west, that’s how far our transgressions are removed from us (Psalm 103:12). 
  • We are crucified with Christ and it is no longer we who live, it is Christ who lives in us (Galatians 2:20).

My continual question on the street, in the market place, even at church is, “Do you know (have personal, intimate relationship) with Jesus?” 

Papa help us to know you, really know you. I pray for any person reading this devotion to have an encounter with you. I ask for radical encounters of your love, peace, joy, and wisdom. I pray for any not following Jesus to have a heart that turns to you. Let not one perish. Every spiritual scale fall off their eyes. Every bondage be broken. Every lie be seized. Holy Spirit of truth come and saturate us all. Come Lord Jesus and reveal yourself to each one. Breathe on us. In Jesus powerful name. Amen. 

Love, 

Erin Lamb 

 
 

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Oneness, Intimacy, and Covenant (Sunday Devotion)

  
Sunday Morning Devotion: God is the Source we are the conduits. Let’s talk about oneness with God, intimacy, and marriage (oneness with another). 

If you want me to talk your ear off, ask about intimacy with God. It is my greatest pursuit; I ask Him questions/ search His Word for greater revelation. I am still learning and on this journey with Him. I hope you join me. I hope this post blesses you. 

God invites each person into personal relationship with Him. The invitation is personal, it is a 24/7 lifetime covenant relationship. It is the strongest covenant (commitment) a person can enter into (see Hebrews 8-9 for the new covenant info). 

God does not come simply for weekend visitations. He comes for a habitation-an indwelling of His Spirit. He comes to take up residence. He knocks on the door of our hearts saying, “I want to live here with you, abide in you, and you in Me.” He wants to be one with us. 

How on earth is God one with us? What is this oneness? Well, let’s start off talking about what it is not.

1. We Do Not Become the Other Person

Marriage is a good example of this. Husband and wife are to become one. This does not mean they become the other person (though some twist (pervert) it that way). They do not become conjoined twins who can not function without the other. They do not share a brain or body parts. They are still two individuals with their own likes, brains, dislikes, free wills, and personalities. God is not asking them to morph into the same person. 

God unites two people so they can agape love (unconditional, sacrificial, unselfish love), have a higher level of intimacy (knowing and being known), and so the blessings of each one can flow into the other. They connect deeply and like a conduit there is a flow back and forth. It is intended for mutual blessing, love. 

Spiritually and in the soul they connect through covenant and physical intimacy on a level that goes beyond just friends. Their bodies, souls, and spirits connect. Hence sex being so powerful. You are saying, “Whatever is in your soul or spirit, I invite it into me. Let’s be one, joined together.” 

In the spirit and soul realm, husband and wife are connected (This happens with all other sexual relationships too (1 Corinthians 6:16)). They are not the same person. That’s why when spouses die, or cheat, or are involved in pornography/immorality…one spouse may feel it. 

In death or divorce/breakup spouses may feel a part of them died. Why? They were connected and in covenant. Yet they are not the same person. If that were so, if one died they both would need to die. If one sinned, they would both be guilty. Yet we know this to be untrue. Each individual will give account for their individual life to God (Romans 14:12). 

God enters our lives through an eternal covenant. We repent and receive through faith in His Son Jesus. For born again believers the objective is for the Holy Spirit to take up residence in us (2 Timothy 1:14, Romans 8:11). If we do not have His Spirit, we do not belong to God (Romans 8:9). He is our seal, guarantee of what is to come (2 Corinthians 1:22). 

The Spirit of God (Holy Spirit/Holy Ghost) is connected to the Son, and the Father. They are one. Yet the Father is not the Son, the Son is not Holy Spirit. They are the Godhead manifested in unique, yet connected forms. 

So being one with God does not make us God. God does not become us. He comes in covenant with agape love, gifts, and the blessings of God flow in and through us. We also gain the highest form of intimacy-knowing God and being known by Him. He is the only One who will know everything about us. Through covenant we become the truest and best versions of ourselves. The love He gives, we give it back to Him. 

2. We Do Not Possess Unlimited Authority 

I am one with God, through Jesus. I am not Jesus. I am not Father God. I am not Holy Spirit. Even Jesus said, “I only do what I see the Father doing and say what I hear Him speaking (John 5:19).” 

It is dangerous to try to use authority that has not been given. Authority comes from the top down. God alone has ultimate authority. Even with ultimate authority He works within the framework He created to allow humans to choose. This means control, manipulation, and abuse of authority are a no go. Being one with God does not give us ultimate authority over everything and everyone. We are not demi gods. We do not have ultimate authority over everything or everyone. 

3. We Are Not Equal to God 

We are made in the image of God. We are His workmanship created for His glory. We are, if we are in Christ, raised up and seated with Him in heavenly places. We become joint heirs with Jesus. We do not become equal to God. God reaches down low to raise us up. He does not remove Himself from His throne and place us there. 

As Pastor TD Jakes says, “If God is on the throne, my flesh is on the cross. If I am on the throne, I am trying to put Jesus back on the cross.” 

We are not equal to God. We are children of God. He chooses to adopt us and work through us. He will always be God, the Great I AM, the Creator. 

Nothing God created is equal to His majesty. He values us tremendously, yet does not surrender His throne to us. Why? He is God. He also knows anything and anyone we worship other than Him brings bondage and is fueled by pride. Look what happened to Lucifer (Isaiah 14:12-17). God alone is 100% good. 

This is important in the picture of marriage too. God gave earthly marriage as a picture, not for the picture to replace Him or reality. What do I mean? Jesus is God. God alone is to be worshipped. 

Husbands are not God; they are not to be worshipped. They are to be respected and loved just like wives are to be respected and loved. The Church is to worship God. The wife is to worship God. He said, “Have no other gods before Me (Exodus 20:3).”

Husbands are to imitate Jesus in their sacrificial, unconditional, unselfish love for their wives. Part of Christ being the Head of the Church is He is the Chief Cornerstone, providing the most support and He sacrificed the most even to the laying down His life. Wives are to respond to that love and support with agape love, respect, and a willingness to yield to what honors God. Husbands too are to be willing to yield (Ephesians 5:21). All believers are to be willing to yield (submit)-same verse Ephesians 5:21. 

Both husband and wife are to yield to God, then each other. Neither is to become God for the other person. If that were so, God would have said, “You must worship two Gods-Me and your spouse.” He did not give us God alternatives. Our primary allegiance is to always first be to God. 

If a spouse tells us to do something that violates our relationship with God or is immoral or illegal, we are to forsake yielding to them and yield to God. Spouses are also to point each other to God. So going along with abuse or what is sinful or wrong is unGodly. 

Husbands who use their position in the family to abuse, hurt, control, manipulate, dominate, or mistreat their wives and/or children will be held accountable to God. 

Jesus told the disciples, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and give His life as a ransom (Matthew 20:28).” 

God views authority as a vehicle to protect from the attacks of the enemy, empower others, sacrificially and unselfishly love, honor, and serve. 

Jesus is the perfect model for leadership, authority, a disciple, a yielded (submitted) One. Jesus is the perfect model of a pastor or man or human or husband or leader. 

The one given the highest authority has been given the greatest capacity for sacrifice and is to abide in God to agape love. The highest calling isn’t boss or dictator-those are anti God leadership models for humans. The highest calling is agape (unconditional, sacrificial, unselfish, laid down love) and being a servant. 

Confusion comes when the picture of Jesus and the church is misused and misapplied in marriage.

Let’s jump back to oneness with God…

So becoming one with God comes through covenant and His Holy Spirit. God does not become us. We do not become God. We connect with God. Our spirit connects with His Spirit. His Spirit is to take up residence in our physical house. It is a connection that is meant to flow from this life into eternity. It is the only eternal covenant. Marriage is an earthly covenant that breaks at death, or in some cases divorce. 

Oneness with God provides us with: 

  • Intimacy with God/Friendship with God (the ability to know Him) 
  • Joint Heirship with Jesus 
  • Access to God (we do not need a liaison aside from Jesus-He is the mediator between God and mankind (1 Timothy 2:5))
  • Gifts of the Holy Spirit
  • Supernatural wisdom, revelation, and insight
  • Forgiveness of Sins/the Gift of Repentance 
  • New Identity in Christ 
  • Divine Deliverance 
  • Profound Understanding of His Word
  • Manifestations of His Glory/His love/His power
  • Partnership with God 
  • Name Written in the Lamb’s Book of Life 
  • Ability to Bless the World
  • Every Spiritual Blessing in the Heavenlies in Christ 
  • Advocate in Christ
  • An Eternal Covenant  

May you and I pursue deeper intimacy with God and increased revelation of oneness with Him. 

Here are some additional scriptures to back up this post: Ephesians 1, Ephesians 5, Exodus 20:3, John 17:20-24, Mark 10:7-9, Colossians 3:19, 21, Romans 14:12, Hebrews 8 and 9, 2 Timothy 1:14, Galatians 5:13-26, Romans 8

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2016 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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When Life Makes You Want To Run From Jesus!

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Photo Credit: the Soul Doctor

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you, Duet 31:6.

The words of Deuteronomy 31:6 are so comforting to my soul. I don’t know about you, but life has dealt me some challenging circumstances. In hard and challenging seasons one of the greatest temptations presented to us is to run from God instead of to Him.

The enemy of our souls whispers,

“If God loved you, your life wouldn’t be this way.”

“If God were so good, then why aren’t your prayers being answered?”

“If God cared about you, your circumstances would be better.”

“Look God’s blessing everyone but you!”

The problem with the whispers of the enemy is that he’s a liar. God’s goodness and love are not determined by our circumstances. Love is who He is. Goodness is an attribute of His character.

Another great truth is:

Jesus already overcame the world and our greatest enemy death!

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.

When God Doesn’t Remove Your Challenges:

God doesn’t remove every challenge from our lives. Why? I can’t answer for everyone. I can only give you some insight from scripture and my own life.

1. Delay isn’t always denial. Sometimes the manifestation of our prayer requests or God’s promises don’t immediately surface. Think Abraham and Sarah, Hannah, Mary and Martha for Lazarus…the answer to their prayers didn’t immediately surface. God’s timing isn’t always our timing.

2. God’s no runs deeper than what we see on the surface. We see in part and know in part. God sees every detail and though it hurts at times, we have the choice to trust Him or not trust Him.

3. God promises to never leave us in the midst of challenging circumstances. The greatest intimate moments I’ve had with God have been during seasons of great pain. Jesus was the only One I felt safe enough to talk to or confide in, and He’s safe. Also, Jesus doesn’t mind our tears! He isn’t put off by brokenness, pain, or the hurting. He’s not too busy or too important in His own eyes to reach low to raise us up high.

4. We forget we have a very busy adversary. He’s not more powerful than God; He’s still busy. He can’t steal your salvation. He can try to discourage, oppress, and harass you. I heard a respected pastor say, “If you never face any opposition, you may not be following Jesus.”

The enemy has been defeated, it’s our responsibility to recognize he’s not bigger or more powerful than God, yet he attempts to bully those God loves.

5. Some trials produce perseverance. Some, not all. I don’t like when people take every situation and say, “God is teaching you something.” Yes, God is big and strong enough to take any situation and use it. I don’t believe He authors every situation to teach us something. We live in a sinful world. Some situations are orchestrated by the enemy to destroy people things like abuse, rape, murder, slavery, incest, violence…

A friend gave me a helpful analogy once. A surgeon and a butcher both cut things open. The butcher to kill. The surgeon to heal. God is the master surgeon! The devil is the butcher.

What About Jesus, He Suffered:

For those who use the life of Jesus as a model for suffering; note, Jesus’s death was for a reason, purpose, to save the lives of many. Many people believe their horrible circumstances are from God, when they may not be.

I hope these points encourage you to run to Jesus instead of away from Him. He’s suffered in ways we could not imagine. There’s no one who knows how you feel and how to heal like Jesus!

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2013 in From the Author, God's Heart

 

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He is RISEN

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Jesus Has Risen

Matthew 28:1-10

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

The passage above brings great hope. The story does not end with the crucifixion. Jesus rose with all power in His hands. The resurrection brings hope to us because Jesus defeated not only sin, but our final enemy-DEATH. Those who enter into relationship with Him are offered life eternal. He said, “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am,” John 14:2-3.

Paul’s take on the resurrection. 1 Corinthians 15:19-28

If our hope in Christ is good for this life only and no more, then we deserve more pity than anyone else in all the world.

But the truth is that Christ has been raised from death, as the guarantee that those who sleep in death will also be raised. For just as death came by means of a man, in the same way the rising from death comes by means of a man. For just as all people die because of their union with Adam, in the same way all will be raised to life because of their union with Christ. But each one will be raised in proper order: Christ, first of all; then, at the time of his coming, those who belong to him. Then the end will come; Christ will overcome all spiritual rulers, authorities, and powers, and will hand over the Kingdom to God the Father. For Christ must rule until God defeats all enemies and puts them under his feet. The last enemy to be defeated will be death. For the scripture says, “God put all things under his feet.” It is clear, of course, that the words “all things” do not include God himself, who puts all things under Christ. But when all things have been placed under Christ’s rule, then he himself, the Son, will place himself under God, who placed all things under him; and God will rule completely over all.

So, sweet friends, I pray you celebrate all that Jesus paid for. We have a hope that does not disappoint. Have a wonderful, blessed, and joy filled Resurrection Day! You are deeply loved!

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Posted by on March 30, 2013 in From the Author, God's Heart

 

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When Love Came Down (from the book I Thought I Knew What Love Was)

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When Love Came Down
written by Erin Lamb © 2011, all rights reserved.

When love came down,
there was a glorious light that shined penetrating the darkness,
for His glory no man could fully fathom.
His light pierces the darkness,
dispelling all that is untrue.
When love came down,
He walked the earth with no sin
to present Himself as the perfect sacrifice
that would pay the ultimate price to save me and to save you.
When love came down,
there was hope given to the world,
a world so full of death, sin, and darkness.
He came down to rescue us all.
He knew that no other love would suffice
and man would be perpetually unsatisfied,
for without Him there is no real peace, love, or life.
There are only counterfeits and substitutes that seek to numb the pain,
please the flesh,
and leave man hungry for more,
while giving man less and less.
When love came down,
He came to cover a multitude of sins
and reconcile a sinful world to a loving Father.
He is a loving Father
who cares so genuinely
that He sent His only Son
to pay the price for those who are lost.
When love came down,
He captured the essence of what God’s love is;
for love requires a sacrifice.
A spotless Lamb was led to the slaughter,
rejected, spat on, and abused.
How many lashes did He take for me,
and how many did He take for you?
Laying on the altar of sacrifice,
He said, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will,
but yours be done.”
When love came down,
He took the keys to death and hell
and triumphed over them;
passing on to all who follow Him,
eternal life
and access to the Holy One.
He is the One who made it all.
We are able to go boldly to the Throne of His Grace,
freely forgiven,
with no guilt or disgrace.
When we confess our sins to Him,
He blots them out, and He does not remember them again.
The Creator of the Universe
sent His love into the world and even calls us His own.
I know no love so satisfying.
I know no love
that has the capability to renovate,
redeem,
and save all who have gone astray.
He is the only One who can love us past our sin.
He extends His love in
healing,
transforming,
delivering,
and freeing the captive soul.
There is no person out of love’s reach,
and no issues that love cannot touch.
There is no heart that God cannot mend and restore.
When love came down,
we began to truly see
what the word, love, really means.
Nothing can separate us from His love.
He is there even when we turn from Him,
run from His will,
stumble and fall,
seeking to do life our way.
I see Him standing there
with loving eyes saying, “You are Mine;
‘See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands’.
My covenant of love with you I will keep.
I am here waiting for you to realize
that I am all that you need.
I seek to give you the very best of Me.
I want to fill every void and meet your every deficiency.
Even if the entire world turns and walks away,
My love for you will always be the same.
It out spans time,
for I am not limited by time or space.
I have loved you
before you could even say your name.
I never sleep.
I have no requirement for rest.
I watch over My children
and even give My angels to watch over them.”
When love came down,
He washed the scarlet sins of a contrite heart
white as snow.
Much was given,
and there is much required.
Love cries out,
“Be My hands.
Be My feet.
Be My mouth,
and show the world what love truly means.
Love others,
forgive others,
and shine your light so brilliantly before men
that they praise your heavenly Father.”
No matter your place in the world,
it does not matter;
you were chosen, and appointed to go and bear much fruit.
You were handcrafted,
handpicked;
a masterpiece in the hands of the Father.
He does not see just who we are,
but who He created us to be.
When love came down,
He entered the world through humble circumstances.
Who would have thought a carpenter’s son,
the Son of God, would walk the earth
and then change the world?
He humbled Himself,
even to death on a cross;
the innocent One taking away the sins of the lost.
Never forget the love of God
that was here before you
and will exist after you.
Love is who He is,
and no other love can substitute
what God has done for you.
You can search the world forever,
looking for love and acceptance
in all the wrong places.
You will find real love,
true love, the most rich and purest love,
in the arms of the Father.
When love came down,
He said, “Enter into My family.
Come feast at My royal table.
Be united with Me,
and enjoy Me forever.
All the earthly things will pass away,
but My love for you will always remain.”

Copyright © 2011 Erin Lamb. Excerpt from,  “I Thought I Knew What Love Was.”

All rights reserved. No part of the material may be used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, without the written permission of the Publisher, Westbow Press (www.westbowpress.com), or Author, Erin Lamb. The only exception is in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

Book available: http://www.westbowpress.comhttp://www.barnesandnoble.com and http://www.amazon.com

I Thought I Knew What Love Was

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2012 in From the Book, God's Heart, Poetry

 

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You And I Are One (Poem)

Photo Credit: Microsoft Clipart

Many times we believe that God is watching the things that happen to us and it does not deeply impact His heart. I was going through a challenging time and God spoke to my heart, “You and I are one.” When you abide in Christ and He in you, He not only sees what you see. He feels what you feel. What hurts you, touches His heart.  Even for humans when we see someone we love hurting, it impacts us in a way. For we are connected to them through love and relationship. God loves us more than we can love anyone.

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me, ~John 15:4.

To abide means to dwell, to remain, or reside. This verse is speaking of the fruits of God’s Spirit, but if you take a plant say a vine and you chop off a portion of it or injure it, it will affect the rest of the plant. If you are in Christ then the things that happen to you touch Him as well. He’s not watching your life from a distance. He is in your life living it with you. We are also told in scripture that the Holy Spirit lives in believers.

Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself,~ 1 Corinthians 6:19.

Even if you aren’t in fellowship with God, He loves you. He cares for you, and He longs for you to know the depths of His love.

You and I Are One written by Erin Lamb, all rights reserved.

I am there on the nights sorrow comes to rattle your soul.

I am not distant,

but it is I who holds your heart close.

With every tear you shed,

I whisper to your spirit to hold on.

Hold on for a new day is coming.

Hold on for the sun will rise again.

Hold on for I will turn your mourning into dancing.

You will have joy again.

The tears you’ve cried,

I’ve bottled every one.

If only you could see,

what hurts your heart, hurts Me.

I do not delight in your suffering,

nor do I glory in your pain.

My heart wells up with compassion,

and I want to hold you close to Me.

You and I are one.

Your heart is an extension of My heart.

I put My heart on display for the world to see how wonderful are the things that I create.

I created you for Me.

I created you to be loved by Me.

Oh, My child can’t you see,

I’ve given you the very best of Me.

I never want you to forget all the promises wrapped up in my Son.

I gave Him for you,

so there will one day be no more sorrow,

and no more pain.

There will be a day where you will see Me face to face.

What a delight that will be,

for you to look into the eyes of Love,

and see what I’ve always wanted you to see.

Pure, unconditional love.

A love that was here before you.

A love that breathed life into you.

A love that died and was resurrected for you.

A love that is here for you.

You and I are one.

I would do it all again

just to give you the chance to be My friend.

My heart longs for you.

My heart aches for you to see

that what matters to you,

matters to Me.

You are loved.

You are cared for.

You will always find comfort in Me.

Come rest in a love that will fill you, heal you, restore you, and change you into the person I created you to be.

I love you now,

and I will love you for all of eternity.

 

 
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Posted by on October 19, 2012 in From the Author, God's Heart, Poetry

 

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Does God Delight In Your Suffering?-The Perfect Father

Photo Credit: Microsoft Clipart

Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Matt 11:28.

Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give, Jesus said to the disciples. Matt 10:8.

As the sun went down that evening, people throughout the village brought sick family members to Jesus. No matter what their diseases were, the touch of his hand healed every one, Luke 4:40.

When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick, Matt 14:14

Imagine a father who wants to teach his child to love him so he injects his child with diseases, surrounds the child with other kids who beat him up, tells him often how awful he is and needs to get it together,  floods his tree house and destroys what he loves when he doesn’t obey, and then says, “I did that so you could learn to be strong, a better person, and learn to love me.” You’d have that parent arrested. If you are under the train of thought that God enjoys watching you suffer, I hope this post opens your eyes to one of the most beautiful parts of His heart, compassion. Some of us were taught that God delights in our suffering or causes our suffering. If He was an earthy parent, He would have been in prison by now. He’s been blamed for natural disasters (acts of God they call them), putting sickness on people, and causing traumas in their lives. We call it God’s way of teaching us a lesson, refining our character, teaching us to be holy, and to fear Him. Well, if you read all of the Bible there are quite a few passages that contradict that train of thought.

1. Jesus came and healed the sick, delivered the demonized, fed the hungry & poor, raised the dead, brought justice, and told the disciples to do the same things they saw Him doing. If God wanted us to be sick to teach us to be holy, then it wouldn’t make sense that all throughout scripture God is healing people and telling us to heal the sick.

2. God often says, “Come Me and I will carry your burdens (Psalm 68:19) and I will give you rest.” If He was the One giving us burdens to teach us to be more like Him, why would He ask us to give Him our burdens? It doesn’t make sense. You don’t give someone something and then ask for it back.

3. There was no suffering in the garden of Eden before Adam and Eve sinned. They lived in paradise, in perfect communion with God. God called the condition of the world very good. See Genesis verses below.

God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good, Genesis 1: 29-31.

There is no mention of suffering until Genesis 3 when sin entered the picture. Suffering is the result of sin in the world. There were no natural disasters in the garden. No hurricanes, droughts, or earthquakes.

4.There will be no suffering in heaven. As there will be no sin in heaven.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away, Rev 21:4.

5. If God wanted to destroy the world, why did He send Jesus to save the world? Why would He commission us to share His love with those who don’t know Him? Why would He wish for none to perish, but all to come to know Him?

God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him, John 3:17.

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance, 2 Peter 3:9.

I hope some of that background info at least lifted some of the thoughts that God is out to get you or anyone else in the world. Also it’s difficult to receive love from someone we believe wants to hurt us. Sin hurts us. Living in a sinful world hurts us. Living apart from God hurts us. Making poor choices hurts us. I believe that the reason we are told to delight in suffering in the Bible is because God has a solution for the problem (sin). He will also reward those who endure hardships for the gospel and His children for living committed to Him in this broken world. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted, Matt 5:4. God will use what was intended for evil to bless us, and He gives great rewards.

I also believe because of Adam and Eve’s sin and we are born not loving God, many people come to know Him in times of tragedy. Not that God causes those tragedies, but I’ve seen in my own life that He’s taken the opportunity to step in and say, “You are hurting, let Me help you. I love you. I will comfort you. I will be your friend. I will heal you.

We can easily blame God for the bad things the happen and miss the fact that evil exists because of the devil and sin. The devil hides behind the scenes telling people, “God did this. Why didn’t God stop this from happening to you? If God really loved you this never would have happened.” or “God is trying to make you holy through this cancer, loss, tragedy.” All those things lead us to believe that God is cruel, unkind, and unloving. It doesn’t draw us to God’s heart, it often pushes us away.

Jesus suffered for us, for our sins. And if we suffer for following Him, He promises a great reward. I believe it’s one of the reasons why Apostle Paul wanted to fellowship in suffering with Christ. When someone has suffered for you, you are more than willing to partake in their suffering. There is a blessing God places on people who suffer for His name. However, if you are sick in your body, your mind, your spirit, your finances, you’ve lost a child, parent, relationship, fill in the blank, God wants you to know that He does not delight in your suffering. It brings no glory to God to see us in pain or without. There’s a difference between suffering because you’re preaching the gospel, and suffering because of someone else’s sin or the results of sin in this world. If that were so (God delighted in your pain), He would not have sent Jesus to heal, deliver, restore, or the Holy Spirit to comfort. God bless you friends. Whatever your pain, God sees. God knows. God cares. You are deeply loved.

Love,

Erin

 
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Posted by on October 14, 2012 in From the Author, God's Heart, Uncategorized

 

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