Our Reactions to Evil Matter (Pursuing Authentic Christianity)

Today I want to tackle reactions to evil in the world. When Jesus walked the earth there was evil, injustice, mistreatment of people groups, and he faced hatred/mockery/mistreatment.

We see Jesus responding in sternness to the self righteous (Pharisees) and the disciples. We see compassion for those who were lost and not claiming to be right with God.

Jesus also has a one up on us. He was sinless. Jesus was willing to die for the same people He rebuked sternly. He was willing to be mocked, beaten, and even killed for the UNGODLY! Jesus died for His enemies. If Jesus rebukes someone sternly, He is perfect in His assessment and without any sin.

We can sin in our attempts to deal with people and be puffed up in ourselves while doing so. “Oh, I think sister Susie is wrong, let me grab my bible and go point it out to her.” Is it wrong to try to help someone? No. Yet the bible tells us to make sure we don’t have a big mega plank in our eye before we go trying to pull a splinter out of someone’s eye. We are also told to be gentle. We can be gentle, direct, and not nasty. Is it wrong as a leader to address people? No. Yet if we do not love them, our words can be correct and in the wrong spirit.

It is a trap of the evil one to convince us that we are the Holy Spirit or Jesus. We point to God. We do not become God.

It is a trap of the evil one to respond in the same spirit as the evil of this age. We overcome evil with good. If someone comes at us crazy, it does not mean God gives us permission to act crazy.

God has tested this in my life over and over. It appears as weakness to some people. Yet I do not need to yell or act crazy because someone approaches me with ignorance, hatred, evil, or nonsense. We can rebuke and address in great love understanding that the spirits of this age blind people to the truth of who God is.

They do not believe, because their minds have been kept in the dark by the evil god of this world. He keeps them from seeing the light shining on them, the light that comes from the Good News about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God,~2 Corinthians 4:4 (GNT).

Imagine going into a house and the lights are off and everyone is blind. Your method to help is to scream at them, “You are blind. You are in the dark!!!” Guess what, your screaming will not make them see. You can scream all day and it adds no value.

Imagine going to a graveyard and everyone is dead. You walk around screaming the Gospel at them. They can’t hear you! Dead people do not hear or see. The only reason a believer in Jesus can see or hear is because God opened blind eyes, deaf ears, and revealed Himself.

You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins,~Colossians 2:13 (NLT).

One of the ways we can help the world is by actually living a life that is a living testimony of the goodness, love, and power of God. I had several coworkers who were atheists, agnostic, or other faiths inquire about Jesus because of the way I acted at work. I did not bully them with the bible, point out everything they did that violated scripture, nor look down on them. I looked for ways to serve them, love them, and the topic of Jesus would just come up. One went to church because he said he could not figure out why I had so much joy. My Muslim neighbor said I was the only Christian he had encountered that did not mistreat him. One of my atheist coworkers hurt her back and because I did not mistreat her, she let me pray. God took all her pain away.

Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children,~Ephesians 5:1 (NLT).

The world has heard our sermons. Have they seen Jesus through us?

Do we respond to evil with the Spirit of Jesus? Do we see people God loves and desires to redeem? Or are we like the Pharisees, our hands are full of heavy stones and we are crying out to God to punish them? I will tell you sin alone is great punishment. Without Jesus, people will have ledgers marked with every sin. Do we care about their souls or just the way they treat us?

We also don’t need to beat people up with the bible. I saw this old movie years ago called Saved. It basically mocked Christians for hypocrisy and improper methods of evangelism. I have included a very short clip of the groups attempt to lead Mary back to Jesus. This involves beating her with an actual bible. The Gospel is Not A Weapon . It’s worth watching! It is about 5 minutes long.

I am not stating we condone sin.

I am not stating we condone immorality.

I am stating the way we deal with people can be part of the determining factors on whether they turn to Jesus or run from Him.

I am stating if we don’t live what we claim to believe it impacts the world. All of creation is groaning for sons and daughters of God to rise up and shine bright (Romans 8:19-23)!

We do have a small role to play. If we are hypocrites, hateful, only love people who are a certain way, then we demonstrate to the world that our God is that way. It misrepresents Jesus to the world.

Let’s look at what Jesus said (Luke 6:32-36 (AMP)

If you [only] love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend [money] to those from whom you expect to receive [it back], what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners expecting to receive back the same amount. But love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; for your reward will be great (rich, abundant), and you will be sons of the Most High; because He Himself is kind and gracious and good to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful (responsive, compassionate, tender) just as your[heavenly] Father is merciful.

Expecting people who don’t know Jesus to act like Jesus, is like asking a person who cannot swim to compete in Olympic swimming. They can not. We cannot. Unless we have the Spirit of God we will not manifest the likeness of His character.

Honestly, I have met numerous people in my lifetime in churches who claim Jesus and look and act nothing like Jesus. I have had some of them yell at me, leave my fellowships, act hateful and nasty because I actually taught them what Jesus said. I could write a mega book on mistreatment from professing believers. Shouting “Praise the Lord,” on Sunday and gossiping about you on Monday. I will not even unpack the prejudice, jealousy, competing, pettiness, sexism, sabotage, and racism that I have encountered with professing Christians.

My point is as follows, to expect the world or people who do not know Jesus to flow in tune with God is unreasonable. It is also unfair if we (Christians) are not willing to submit to God to act in ways that actually look like God and then tell others they need God. It confuses the world when the Gospel we teach is not the Gospel we live.

How we react to evil is important. We do not condone it. We do not agree with it. We also do not stoop to low levels of conduct and act in ways unbecoming of Jesus to deal with it. If we were committing evil or out of line, how would we want to be treated? Would we want to be cussed out and condemned? Or would we want someone to say, “I love you and there is a better way?”

I love that even the rebukes of Jesus come because He longs for us to be right with God. Sometimes I think in culture its about us being right and not about the person being right with God.

Love is who God is and how He operates. I appreciate every rebuke and correction of God. Mainly because when God corrects it is to restore. When people do it, sometimes (not always), it is simply a critical spirit or pride. It lacks love, lacks compassion, and lacks tact. A critical spirit can seem like discernment, yet it’s not. God reveals to heal and so we can intercede or help. A critical spirit is rooted in pride and loves pointing out the flaws of others while rarely seeing it’s own flaws.

I am praying I walk in authentic Christianity. Rather than pointing the finger at others, I am asking God to help me walk out authentic faith. When people encounter me, I hope they walk away saying, “I want to know the God you worship,” not “Oh my gosh, get this person away from me. Whoever they worship must be a flake or a freak.”

I actually had a conversation with God Sunday about the way the church represents Him. I put myself in the shoes of someone completely unchurched. Would I desire Jesus just based on my encounters with believers over the years? Other than my parents and a handful of people, well, probably not. Yes, I have met some amazing people, yet as a whole (the summary of my life in Christiandom) have seen a culture that loves those who are already on the path better than the sinner. I would not feel comfortable as a way out there sinner coming into a community of faith. I would not feel comfortable as someone who was labeled liberal or alternative. I would not feel safe. How can I say this? Because I have spent my life in churches and seen the way “outsiders” are treated by a good chunk of people. The person can be a “get them saved project” or “be nice to them only at worship gatherings-ignore otherwise.” Gosh, I have encountered people who withhold love from other Christians because they go to another church or align with another political party. I have seen some pretty amazing believers too, yet as a summary-just my thoughts, we can do better.

I think we (I) can do better by abiding in Jesus (John 15:4-5). We can pray for revival all day, yet if we are not revived internally and begin to actually manifest Jesus, I do not think we will positively impact the world. I hear people chant, “They just need to get saved and come to the church.” Yet, how are we going to treat them when they get there? Is anyone going to mentor or disciple them? Is anyone going to genuinely love, invest, and treat them like Jesus would? We want these millions of souls to come to know Jesus and join our churches, yet have we learned to love the people already right in front of us?

Love is the highest standard. God speaks truth in love. The devil will tell the truth in the wrong spirit to hurt people or inappropriate times to create issues. If you don’t believe demons and the devil can speak truth, read the passages where demons cried out Jesus was the Son of God and He silenced them because it was not His time (Luke 4:41), or the slave girl who followed Paul around speaking truth from the wrong source (Acts 16).

Bottom line-we overcome evil with good.

Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good,~Romans 12:21 (CSB).

Love,

Erin Lamb

Insecurity is Not Humility

Humility is a right assessment of oneself in relation to God. It is not self abasement nor “I am but a wretched worm.” It is not arrogance, “I am better than others.”

Jesus possessed humility and confidence. He could get low and wash feet. He could also stand in the synagogue and declare the words of Isaiah 61. He stated, “Today this scripture is fulfilled.” He stood bold and confident against the Pharisees. He did not shrink back and claim false humility.

The truth is, Jesus knew who He was in relation to the Father. When He prayed, it was with sincere confidence that God the Father heard His plea. Jesus is our model. Jesus is perfect theology.

I am pursuing doing a two day Confident & Free event because I believe God is raising up a company of believers who know who He is and know who they are in Him.

In Christ we are not less than nor better than; we are redeemed children of God. We are joint heirs. We are His workmanship created for His glory. Insecurity brings no glory to God! It is the flip side of pride.

False humility brings no glory to God, “Let’s pretend we are not who God says we are so others think we are humble.” God wants to free us of agreement with the devil. The devil approached Jesus and said, “If you are the Son of God.” Jesus knew who He was and responded in confidence, “It is written.”

Speakers for the Confident & Free Event will be announced this month! Whooohoooo! Instead of people coming to listen to me speak at 3-4 sessions a day for 2 days, I wanted to give others a chance to share their experiences with gaining godly confidence and freedom.

God has continued to press into my heart a need for people to see themselves as He does; not arrogant and not insecure. I sense and often see confusion over what it means to be confident and deal with numerous people in soul healing sessions who hate themselves, hide, feel bad about who they are, or a few have grandiose ideas about who they are. God intends we live in balance, and love ourselves in healthy ways. We love our neighbor AS we love ourselves.

We will have 7-8 speakers, 7 sessions, 2 panel discussions (you can ask questions), and a wonderful/intimate prophetic worship team.

The focus of day 1 is FREEDOM. Let’s break out of legalism, limiting mindsets, tear down religious strongholds, get the soul and body healed, dream BIGGER with God. I am carving out space for extended ministry time. Need healing, come! Our prayer teams would love to pray for your soul or body healing.

Day 2 is focused on confidence. What does it mean to be confident? Is confidence arrogance? What does it mean to be loving and bold? We want to talk about how to have an intimate relationship with God, hear and test His voice, step out of the boat with Jesus, properly understand and use authority, and share real testimonies of overcoming with Jesus.

The plan is to pour into those who attend. The mission is love. The mission is Jesus. The mission is getting people activated to move beyond just going to listen to someone else speak and do the works of Jesus. The works of Jesus are not just for some people or a select elite. It’s for every person who places their faith in Him!

In Christ you can see the sick healed!

In Christ you can share and preach the Gospel!

In Christ you can see people delivered from tormenting spirits!

In Christ you can love the broken!

In Christ you can make disciples!!

You can! You can! Oh yes you can!!

Jesus said, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.” We, those who follow and abide in Jesus, have empowerment by God to do even GREATER! If you don’t know Jesus, come, we would LOVE to share who He is and how much He loves you.

I hope you join us for two days of jam packed teaching, activations (you get to participate-not just watch us do the stuff), worship, laughter, giveaways, ministry time, prayer, equipping, mentoring, and hopefully answering some questions you may have!!

Come party with us for 2 full days and invite some friends. Right now tickets are discounted to $89. That is roughly $10-12 a session. We also don’t plan on taking up offerings-people can donate to a charity represented there or speaker, yet I won’t be passing the plate to cover event costs. You will also have an opportunity to hear about human trafficking and support being part of the solution.

  • When is it? May 17 and 18, 2019
    • Sessions: 9 am, 2 pm, and 7 pm (mid day sessions have more than one speaker)
    • Where is it? 1055 McNaughten Road, Columbus Ohio 43213
  • Use the coupon code: EarlyBird
    • When should you sign up: As soon as possible. Seats are limited and we are already at 18% capacity with registration opening January 1.
    • Who’s Invited: Everyone (yet we will not have childcare for this event). Come and bring your teenager or preteen.

    Godly confidence is for everyone!!

    Love,

    Erin Lamb

    Founder/Owner/CEO of Lamb Enterprises LLC

    (Authoring, Publishing, Events, Masterclasses, Mentoring, Soul Health, and Wellness)

    #Confidence #ConfidentandFree #JointheParty

    The Reason for the Season

    Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    My heart has been pondering the true meaning of Christmas. Jesus came into the world to seek and save the lost. He had His eyes fixed on people that others called outcasts or the unloveable. Jesus took on the role of a servant and loved sinful humanity. While yet sinners, Jesus died for us. What love, what a sacrifice.

    I believe we can pay it forward by loving others this season. We can sacrifice something for someone else.

    In my area, it is cold. It is winter time.

    Though I am on ministry break, it does not stop the part of me that cares deeply for humanity. Ministry is not a job, it is a lifestyle of loving God and loving people. One does not simply turn love off.

    While out looking for wrapping paper, getting a few things this week, I saw a man along side the road begging for food. Do you drive past and pretend you do not see, or stop for the one? I believe Jesus would stop for the one. I believe God would feed the one hungry and cold. Not just because it’s the season to love, but because God is love.

    I saw a shivering, skinny, and lonely man begging for food. His face was downcast, maybe shame or despair have crept in on his heart. I saw someone Jesus loves.

    I had no blessing bags in the car this time. I cleaned out my car it was starting to look like Costco!! For reals. I did have the chance to stop at Burger King to grab a hot meal for this man. What is one meal? It’s better than nothing. If he has not eaten in days, one meal is better than no meals. What is a short interaction on side of the road with a stranger? I think it’s a way to demonstrate to someone in a practical way that God sees them. God loves them.

    Love does not just go away on vacation. It springs forward to do something, not everything-something.

    This frosty season, maybe God will place an angel on your path who could just use a meal or hot chocolate. Maybe that person needs to see and hear that “God sees you. God loves you! I will pray for you.” Maybe that person needs to see and hear the Gospel (good news).

    I don’t tell you these things so you think highly of me. I tell you because maybe it will place some of the invisible people on someone’s radar. Not everyone has a home this Christmas. Not everyone has a family. Some are hurting deeply and wondering where this good God is. If we are in Christ, God lives in us. The greatest gift abides in us and we can partner with God to pay it forward.

    I cannot do everything. You cannot do everything! We cannot stop for everyone. We can do something!

    We say Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus, though He was born in Autumn. If it is truly the celebration of His birth, may we look for some way to bless Jesus. I believe He would be looking for someone else to bless on His birthday. His heart is unselfish and overflowing with love.

    Matthew 25:40-42 The Passion Translation (TPT)

    “And the King will answer them, ‘Don’t you know? When you cared for one of the least important of these my little ones, my true brothers and sisters, you demonstrated love for me.’

    “Then to those on his left the King will say, ‘Leave me! For you are under the curse of eternal fire that has been destined for the devil and all his demons. For when you saw me hungry, you refused to give me food, and when you saw me thirsty, you refused to give me something to drink,~Jesus.

    Merry Christmas!

    Love in Christ,

    Erin Lamb

    Photos: Pinterest

    When Prayer is An Excuse Not to Love

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

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

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

    He stated:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    For more devotions, check out Confident & Free:

    https://www.empowered-free.com/shop

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

    Love,

    Erin Lamb

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Warmly,

    Erin Lamb

    OperationGodisLove.org

    Facebook.com/OperationGodisLove

    Overcoming with Jesus

    Morning Devotion: Walking with Jesus as an overcomer.

    Adversity is an opportunity for advancement, a problem is a setup for a miracle, and sometimes you are delivered through instead of delivered from a trial.

    I hope to encourage someone this morning! We become overcomers by having something to overcome.

    Walking with God does not mean you will live a life free of troubles, struggles, trials, or persecution…Jesus stated very plainly “In this world, you will have troubles, yet take heart, I have overcome the world,”~John 16:33.

    I have walked through many things I thought at the time may overtake me; trapped in a car under water, death threats, racism, sabotage, 7 near death experiences, sickness, chronic sickness for a while, persecution, being left to die, lied on, cheated, heartbroken, abandoned by those who cried out, “You are my family. I love you!”, and so much more.

    There were times I stood on mega faith and contended for a breakthrough. There were times I pulled in other seasoned believers to stand with me through the valley of the shadow of death. There were seasons of supernatural joy and others of profound grief. I believe every single experience was and is used by God to be a source of hope for someone else. I saw the power of God in profound ways during some of the most challenging moments of my life. Doctors said one thing, God said another. People said and did destructive things, God spoke life. I learned God is my very best friend and nothing on earth compares to Him. Take the world and give me Jesus.

    I do not tell you these things for empathy or sympathy. I do not tell you because I am nursing an emotional wound. It is well with my soul. I tell you because overcoming means you will have something to overcome! We overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony (Revelation 12:11).

    We impart hope to others when we take our Christian masks off and say, “This was a challenge and look what God had done! This is what I have walked through and this is the power of God.” I have no time for pretend when there are people living in despair, despondency, and hopelessness because no one is real. Let’s be real. Life will punch you in the face at the times, even if you decree/declare/read the word/fast/etc…the goal is not to stay down. Get back up with Jesus!

    If I can walk through many fires with God and come out with mega joy, so can you! With God you can and will overcome! Just like the woman with the issue of blood for 12 years. She did not know how long she would suffer, then along came Jesus. Her heart, I believe lept…If I could just touch the hem of His garment, I will be (not maybe) made whole. Hope flooded the scene when Jesus came. We too can find hope in Jesus.

    The strength is not our own, it comes from God. The healing and deliverance is in the person of Jesus. Not by our power or strength, but by His Spirit (Zechariah 4:6)!! Hallejuah! Praising my heart out!!

    Can we worship God? Can we say with utter honesty, “This is challenging, but you are good?” Through it all God is still God. These earthly afflictions are so temporary, God is eternal. God never ceases to be good.

    I look to those who walked before us…

    Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”~Daniel 3:16-20.

    They chose not to base their devotion to God on their deliverance. They chose God despite the outcome. This is love.

    I am healed, whole, and full of joy because of God! This is for you too. It does not matter how long the storm has raged on or the diagnosis or prognosis. What matters is the presence of God. Is God there? Has God been invited into the storm? He can with one word calm the storm. If He does not, He will see us through it all.

    When I look at Jesus, I see perfect theology. He said, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” He was not speaking of His maleness for God is Spirit, those who worship God must worship in Spirit and in truth. He was speaking of His heart, His compassion, His character, His desires for the least/last/lost, His purity.

    When I look at Jesus I see someone who was betrayed, mocked, abandoned, sabotaged, whipped, assaulted for His faith, rejected, had His heartbroken. He was lied on, humiliated, disappointed, and gave His very life for the ones who yelled, “Crucify Him!!” I am no better than Jesus. He had no sin and faced many challenges. We have hope in someone who already defeated our worst enemy, death. What He overcame, I can overcome and you can too by the power of the Holy Spirit.

    God does not ask us to overcome in our strength. God does not expect us to be the superheroes of the story, He is the Savior/Deliverer/Healer. God invites us to abide in Him and overcome in His strength.

    If we cannot run, we walk. If we cannot walk, we crawl. If we cannot crawl, we reach up into the arms of God. We cling to who God is and all He has done before. God is a way maker and a sustainer of life. I am living, walking additional evidence that nothing is impossible for God.

    The odds may seem against you, you may feel alone in the storm. The doctor report may be grim…the circumstances beyond hope. Yet I know a man. A man who raised from the dead and walks in resurrection power. His name is Jesus. I know a man who opened blind eyes and deaf ears and set the captives free! I know a God who has done what mankind could not do. The same God who saved my life over and over is calling out to you! Speak life to the dead situations God told you should live!! Say what God says until you see what God has said.

    We stand on an unshakable God and in an unshakable Kingdom!! Most of all we can have bold confidence that in the end, God wins!!

    Let hope arise…hope in the only one who cannot ultimately fail.

    Love in Him,

    Erin Lamb

    Growing in Love (Holy Spirit University (HSU) Series Part V)

    Holy Spirit is the greatest teacher. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God. Once He dwells in us, Holy Spirit seeks to develop godly character in our lives.

    One of the greatest works of Holy Spirit is to reveal the love of God to us and the nature of God. God is love.

    Agape love is pure, sacrificial, unselfish. It thinks of what is best for others, not just self. It is the love God has for the world (John 3:16).

    There is no selfishness in God; His love is pure. His love is sacrificial.

    Love came down and invaded a sinful world. Love left paradise and was born in humble circumstances.

    Love laid His life down for sinful humanity. He gave His very best for humanity; He is God with us. He is Emmanuel. Love has a name; Jesus. The Father revealed His steadfast love for humanity through His Son. What an act of pure, unselfish love.

    This is the same love Jesus tells us will mark His followers. “They will know you are my followers by your agape (unselfish, sacrificial) love,”~Jesus (John 13:35).

    Though culture may say being a Christian is simply a cultural or political marker, a profession of faith, a church attendance card…Jesus marked His followers with great love. “You will know who follows Me by their pure, unselfish, sacrificial love.

    This love flows from the Vine to us. He (Jesus) is the Vine and we are the branches. If we abide in Him (remain, are intimate with Him), there will be abundant fruit. The greatest fruit that flows from the Vine is love. The fruit of God’s Spirit is love.

    …the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law,~Galatians 5:22-23.

    Three things will last forever–faith, hope, and love–and the greatest of these is love,~1 Corinthians 13:13.

    If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing,~1 Corinthians 13:2.

    A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another,~Jesus (John 13:34-35).

    Love is a marker of one who knows God, abides in God, and follows Jesus (1 John 4:8). It is not like the love of the world that only loves those who love in return. It is not like the love of the world that focuses on pleasing self. It is a laid down life of honoring God, loving God, and loving others. One receives God’s love, basks in His love, then what flows out is God love.

    We can not give away love we have not received. A bankrupt person cannot love like God. One must be rooted in the Vine and yielded to God. One may be saved and unyielded. God still allows us to choose sin after being saved.

    Love involves choice. We can buck Holy Spirit and simply live to love ourselves. Holy Spirit will allow certain situations and circumstances to teach us to love like God.

    Sometimes what we call an annoyance or annoying person is a love lesson. That family member that does not love us, that fellow believer who disappoints us, that coworker who behaves in ungodly ways…they are often tools to teach us how to love like God.

    Love matters greatly to God. Revealing to us the love of God is vital. We thrive when we know we are loved well. We, as stated before, will not love others if we do not first receive love from God. We will not love ourselves if we do not first receive love from God. It all starts with God. We love because He first loves us (1 John 4:19) and Holy Spirit reveals the love of God to and through us.

    May you and I learn from the one who is love. The courses on love are lifetime courses. God fully intends to return for a Bride (body of believers in Jesus) who love like Jesus. Love is paramount. It is not just so we can love Him. God longs for the entire world to know Him and our love shows them who He is.

    Christians are some of the greatest causes for the world rejecting Jesus-our behavior and lifestyles demonstrate what we truly believe. Why follow a God who produces disciples that are nothing like Jesus?

    Our lives are no longer our own, they were purchased with His life. Therefore, may our lives be marked with radical love. May the world see Jesus in us. May our love lessons teach us the deep love of God and may that love be seen in us.

    Papa God, deepen our love walk and help us to love by your Holy Spirit. Help us to submit and yield to your love lessons. Help us to be vessels of profound love and show the world who you truly are. Enhance our love walk and increase our capacity to love. May we know the height, depth, width, and vast expanse of your great love! Thank you for your great love. In Jesus powerful name, amen.

    Happy Holidays!

    Erin L. Lamb