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Jesus is the Solution (Weekend Devotion)

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Morning Devotion: The only solution, Jesus.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yeshua come… ישו באה

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

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

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

You are so deeply loved and prayed for too!

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

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

 

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Wednesday Devotion (Loving Like God)

Morning Devotion: Understanding the set up of God.

Sometimes God will allow people to cross your path who will not love you. These people are teachers and developers in the school of love.

It's easy to love the loveable and those who love us. The true test of love is when God sends you to serve those who hate you, attempt to use you, are indifferent, humiliate you, are selfish or unkind. These people reveal whether our love flows from our spirit or our flesh.

The flesh has no agape love. The flesh is disinterested in loving those who do not serve it or meet it's needs. The flesh is led by feelings, "Does this person make me feel good?" If not, then the flesh withdraws love. For it was not love at all.

The Spirit of God continually seeks to love, even when the person on the other end is hateful or unloving. Why? God is love. Those who abide in Him will love. How? God is love. Love is a fruit of abiding in the one who is love.

Agape love says, "Your behavior does not dictate my love. It is not dependent on you because the source is God." It moves us beyond, "How does this person make me feel," to "How can I reveal the heart of the Father to this person?"

Agape love moves us beyond being offended to compassion and intercession. Love sees the deficit and seeks for that person to be reconciled to God. A person disconnected from Jesus will not produce God love. We will never be able to give away what we do not possess.

Only a person connected to heart of God can display the heart of God. Only a person who is intimate with God can produce the likeness of God and character of God. Only a person who receives God's love, grace, mercy, and goodness can give that away to others. It starts with God. God is the Source, then that love must be received. We receive the love of God by faith. Once our hearts are saturated in God love, God love pours out of us onto others. It gushes out like a waterfall. It is like a firehose that is on full blast, day after day.

What can we learn from those who can behave outside their true identity…

1. There is a God love deficit. The one who abides in God loves.

2. There is an identity deficit. When we know God, we begin to manifest our true identity as a son or daughter of God.

3. There is an opportunity to reveal the heart of the Father.

4. God love wins. The consistent, steadfast, and incredible love of God wins.

5. They show you how not to behave. Some of the greatest lessons I have learned have developed from being treated poorly-do not do this to other people. You will often find me at events looking for the person no one will talk to or connect with or acknowledge. Why? I understand what is like to be absolutely ignored, treated as insignificant, or be invited places or pulled into things and then treated poorly. I choose on purpose not to do these things to others.

6. It is not about you, it's about that person and their heart. How people behave and talk is an outward manifestation of what is going on in their heart and soul. Pray for them.

7. God is with you! You are not doing this love walk alone. The Lord led me to Isaiah 53 this weekend. It talks about the challenges of Messiah. He was despised and hated by His own people. Though we paint Him beautiful, scripture says, "There was nothing about His appearance to draw us to Him." Jesus loved perfectly and was mistreated more than anyone. His own disciples betrayed Him and refused to help Him. Yet Jesus continues to love!

Papa move us beyond feelings into the realm of the Spirit. Deepen our intimacy with you so we manifest your heart. Help us to receive your incredible love. Then help us to pour out that love and not just to those who love us. What reward shall we have if we only love those who love us. Develop our character and love muscles so what the world sees when they encounter us is profound love.

You are so deeply loved!

Erin Lamb

 
 

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A Day on the Streets (Operation God is Love) 


One of the joys of my life is going out into the city to share the Gospel with the unchurched, broken, and people living on the streets. 

Honestly, sometimes I am tired. Getting up early, loading up my car with supplies, and spending a Saturday on the streets can be tiring. Yet the people I meet, I do not forget their faces nor their stories. They are etched into my heart, similar to initials carved into a tree. 


On the streets I see people God loves, yet many are considered the invisible people. 

It would require quite a bit of time to stop for every single person we see with a sign or hurting. It is not about stopping for everyone, it’s about stopping for the one God highlights. He will highlight someone and some days many people. He is so faithful, if we ask God to place someone on our path who needs an encounter with His love He will. 

On the streets and in the free clinic, I see Jesus. I sense His strong love for people. I confess, sometimes I weep. Sometimes I weep with them. I am not a feeler personality so weeping with strangers is a big deal. My heart is overcome with compassion and love for people God loves. How He loves the world. 

Today we met people with various stories; some young, some old, some male, some female. They were each looking for food on this cold, blistery, 20F day. Some had no gloves. Some were happy to get beef jerky, sandwiches, blankets, water, supplies, and clean socks. 


One man had tucked himself away in the Port o Jon in the park. Concerned he was in there too long, we knocked on the door. He was in there to keep warm and eat his chips. What joy was on his face to find out food was waiting on him. 

One man stood, solemn faced, shaking his cup while people walked by overlooking him. He just kept shaking his empty cup. He stood in the blistery cold, just looking for something to eat. One of my teammates is a 65 year old grandma. I said, “I am not sure we are going to get to him and not miss the light,” (we were driving). She replied, “Watch me!” She hopped out of the car, shuffled over to the man, handed him a bag of food and supplies, and ran back chasing the car. She has a bad back, yet did not desire to miss someone God wanted to feed today. 

Another elderly lady was begging for food outside the bars. People passed her, though her sign was simply asking for food. We will call her Faith. Faith has a smile you would not forget. 

Why tell you stories? Because you can make a difference in someone’s life in one small act of kindness. Some say, “Why give someone a hand out. You are not helping anyone.” Yet they are not the people who get up early, wipe tears of people on the street so happy to be seen. They do not hug the drunk or drug addict or person who smells of urine or vomit. They are not close to the pain, so they are not aware of what God can do in one moment. 

One moment of, “Tell me your story,” can lead to radical encounters with God. One moment of touching that person no one will look in the eye can bring healing. One moment of filling a hungry belly can birth a big grin. One moment of putting gloves on frozen hands can lead to a, “Thank You God.” One moment of God loves you; God sees you, can lead someone into an encounter with God’s heart. 

The naysayers are not there to see the spirit of suicide leave people, to see the crippled walk, the lost give their hearts to Jesus (that’s a soul that was snatched from hell). They do not see the smiles, nor hear the laughter. They are not there. They judge from a distance.

I am telling you one moment with God can transform someone’s life. I told you of Bob (name changed) who in 6 weeks was off the street and with a job. He refused prayer when I met him. He said, “I do not believe in that healing crap. God heals…no I do not want prayer. My life is a mess.” I told him he could not stop me from praying for him. God turned his life completely around. In the end, Bob was praising God for loving him. He said, “No one had ever loved him so much.” Each time we would find him and love him. 

Love looks like Someone; love looks like Jesus. 

We can all gather together in clumps of salt and light each week, or we can take that salt and light out into the market place, the grocer, the gas station, our workplace, the street corners, our schools. The mission does not need to be oversees. The mission is love. The mission is Jesus. The mission is right in front of us. 

What can we do? Maybe you are not called to city streets like me. Yet you have a sphere of influence. Who are you loving for Jesus? Who are you serving for Jesus? You see, I am aware we are saved by faith not works. Yet truly knowing Jesus compels us to love our neighbor. Someone needs what we carry. Christ in us (if we are believers) is the hope of glory. If you do not know Jesus, click here. How to Know Jesus

I tell you these stories so maybe, just maybe when you see a broken, hurting, hungry person there may be a thought that arises, “I can not do everything, I can do something.” 

In the very words of Jesus…”Whatever you have done to the least of these, you have done to Me.” May we ask God on a regular basis to show us someone who needs His profound love! 

The world is hungry for His love. 

Sincerely, 

Erin Lamb

Founder/Overseer of Operation God is Love

 
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Posted by on March 11, 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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God Created One Race, Human 

Created with WordSwag; used with permission

Morning Devotion: God created one race, human. Cleansing from the sin of racism. 

In Genesis it does not say, “Then God created asian people, latino people, jewish people, native people, white people, and black people.” It said God created Adam and Eve. We humans came up with different races of people. God created one human race that has different expressions of His beauty and creativity. 

It amuses me how people cling to labels that were created to promote division and racism. Part of the US census was to keep “white” people from mingling with anyone with brown DNA. Brown DNA, especially African DNA is dominant. 

All of life began on the continent of Africa. Science has proven African is the oldest DNA. If you combine African, Asian, Native, etc…DNA with non brown DNA it is prone to be dominant. There was also a belief that those with brown skin were inferior and their culture was a threat to all things “white”. 

Boxes and labels were created to keep people segregated due to fear, pride, insecurity, and in many cases greed. If you want someone’s land or to exploit them, to ease your conscious you make them less than you. If your neighbor is not human, or an inferior human it does not feel as bad to kill them, rape them, steal their land, or abuse/enslave them. 

The Jews thrown in concentration camps were not considered human. The Africans enslaved were not human, or less than. The Natives raped, killed, and forced off their land were considered savages. The other brown people groups bombed, killed were considered less than. 

The point I am trying to make is racism is sin. It is a sin that greatly grieves the heart of God. It is void of agape love, God love. Those who do not love, do not know God because God is love (1 John 4:8). 

God created one race of people, humans. The labels we cling to were created by humans to promote division. White people are not really white (void of all pigment). White is a crayon color; It is not a people group. Africans can have pink/pale children with blond hair and blue eyes. Black is a crayon color, it does not encompass all the different ethnic groups that emerged from the continent (Africa is not a country, it is a continent) of Africa. There are people all over the world with brown to dark brown skin. 

The pride people take in things that have zero relevance to God astounds me. He sees people He loves. He’s not in heaven taking a census, “Oh wait, did you check the box latino for this one. Great. I need to make sure heaven is diverse, we meet our quota.” 

Father God is not like us, our ethnic group of choice. He is Spirit. Those who worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth. He is not our preferred ethnic group. He also created both male and female in His image. Every human being was God’s idea. God is not like an earthly male. Females were made in His image as well. I will touch on gender and sexism in a different post. 

When He sent His Son He sent Him through the lineage of the Jews; He made a covenant with Abraham. The Jews in the times of Jesus were olive skinned to brown/dark brown, had wool like/curly hair. Jesus would not be welcome today in many churches that claim Him. He would not be considered European or “white”. The portraits of Jesus with blond hair and blue eyes are artists reflections. Some of the earliest paintings of Him and Mary they were both brown. 

My prayer is we examine the labels we cling to. We examine how humanity birthed racism out of sin. The root being insecurity and pride, “Someone must be inferior to feel superior.” 

Racism is also a fruit of fractured identity and a soul void of God love. When we know our value in the eyes of God we can love and appreciate others. There are no inferior people groups in God’s eyes. We humans came up with putting others down to feel good about ourselves. 

Lord forgive us for the sins of insecurity, pride, and racism. You created one race, human. You love every single person on this planet. Oh how you love us. Help us to strip off labels given by man and be clothed in the labels given by You. Help us to view others from Your perspective. Help us to receive Your love and love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Break the bondages of pride, insecurity, and fractured identity off our country and world. Heal fractured identities and souls. The world needs Your agape love. Come Lord Jesus! Eradicate the deep roots of fear, insecurity, pride, racism, and sexism in our world. Please forgive our country and our world for our sins. Cleanse us of our iniquity. Heal our land. Let heaven come here. In Jesus powerful name. Amen.

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2017 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Love Corrects to Restore

Morning Devotion: Love corrects to restore. 

Whosoever loves instruction loves knowledge: but he that hates reproof is senseless (brutish),~Proverbs 12:1. 

Love is not about people pleasing, agreeing with what is wrong, forsaking accountability, and being reckless with the hearts/resources/lives of people, etc…love does not enable sin, unrighteousness, or poor behavior. 

Love comes to restore the broken pieces so there is more fruit; we begin to resemble the One we worship. Grace empowers righteousness. His kindness and love lead us to repentance. 

Repentance is a gift from God to lead us into greater fruitfulness. God corrects (provides instruction) and sometimes reproof/rebuke of those who are His children. See Proverbs 3:12. The purpose of His correction is restoration and growth. He is a very good Father. 

I prefer to be corrected than to live in error. Even the people who execute it very poorly, I have been able to take their statements to God, “Is this truth, if so, please help me to walk in Your truth, love, and life.” If God says, “Nope toss this. Here are My thoughts,” I listen to God and His Word. 

Pride says, “I know it all. No one can correct me.” Pride is constantly looking and seeing the error and faults in everyone else. Humility says, “There is always room to grow, learn, and I should listen.” Even if the person is wrong, we can learn from correction. 

What can be learned? 

1. How to hear from God for ourselves. 

God knows the heart. People judge by what they see. They see in part and know in part. Perception can sometimes become a tainted reality. If someone comes to us in the wrong spirit, with a word of correction…we have the chance to take that to God. “God is there any truth in what they said? What is Your truth?” God is the Master Heart Surgeon. He knows what to dig out and how to do it so we are not traumatized. 

2. Humility

Pride wants to lash out, act nasty, be defensive, and prove something. I have been misunderstood oh so many times and called many things that are not my name. I had a lady from a church once call me the B word to my face in front of a table of other believers. Her basis was the gossip and lies she was listening to from a lady who was offended by my lack of reception to her misguided and controlling spirit. I sat there without responding to her insult. That is not my name.

It does not matter what people call you. It’s what you answer to that matters. I did not try to defend myself. I did not engage. I left her in the hands of Jesus. I am not stating I am the most humble person. I ask God to deal with me daily to grow to be like Jesus. I am (we are) works in progress. Only God knows who I truly am. I am saying pride says, “I will show you.” Humility says, “I know who I am and who I am not. God defends me. His opinion of me is what matters most.” 

3. Love 

Okay so we love correction done in love. You leave convicted yet not destroyed. You are happy someone told you there was room to grow. I am so thankful for an old coworker who corrected me one day for complaining about my job. She said, “God wants us to give thanks.” I thanked her for correcting me. 

I had a mentor tell me, “You invest so much in these people are you assessing what they are doing with that investment? Are you wasting time?” She also told me, “Wisdom is knowing proper timing.” Both invited me to grow. So I took those words and asked God to help me. I still pray God helps me to walk in wisdom and love. These ladies showed me love. God love. 

People who go along with whatever we do even if it’s dead wrong do not truly love us. I am not saying we become the sin police. No no no…I am saying love wants what is right in the eyes of God. Love protects. Love is righteous. Love does not enable poor behavior or treatment. Love seeks to correct to restore and produce optimal growth. 

I have lost some friends and connections along the way for saying no to things that hurt me, hurt others, and were wrong. Yet almost every time the person came back later to say thanks. Correction does not always feel good, yet it is a blessing if we allow it to be. 

In a world that says, “Anything goes,” may we be people who say, “What is loving in the eyes of God? What is His standard? What is His truth in love?” May we correct people with the heart to love them, treat them the way we would want to be treated, and see the greatest restoration/growth. It is not about punishment or humiliating people or proving we are right. It’s about loving them into maturity and fruitfulness.

Without love and God’s truth, we are missing the heart of God! 

Papa God I ask You would search our hearts. Anything not like You or of You, please reveal it so we can repent, be cleansed, and be restored. Help us to renounce wrong thinking, perceptions, pride, offense, deception, unforgiveness, a critical spirit, unloving ways. Deepen our reception of Your agape love. Only when we receive can we freely give. Bathe our hearts in Your love, purity, and fire. Reduce us to agape love. Fill us to overflowing with Your truth. Radiate Your glory through us. May the world see Jesus in us. In Jesus mighty name. Amen! 
God bless you today and every day. You are in my thoughts and prayers. 

Love in Christ, 

Erin Lamb 

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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God’s Love Is Deeper, Higher, and Better.

  

Photo Credit: WordSwag, used with permission. 

Midweek Devotion: The love of God (agape) is greater, higher, better, and far exceeds human love. 

God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever shall believe in Him (join in covenant with Him) would not perish but have everlasting life…adaptation of John 3:16. The Son so loved the Father and the world that He gave His life. He left Paradise and a place of no sin, sickness, or despair to become our sin. The innocent Lamb of God took on our punishment. What manner of love is this? It is agape; unconditional, radical, unselfish, generous, lavish, sacrificial, poured out love. 

Jesus told His disciples, “As I have (agape) loved you, (agape) love one another. They will know you are My disciples by your (agape) love,” (John 13:34-35). 

Agape is not about niceness (people pleasing). Agape is not eros (romantic/sexual love). It is not philia (friend love). It is above storage (family love). It is the highest form of love and it is costly. It comes from God to us, then it is to flow through us. We freely receive, then we freely give to God and others. Agape love is void of selfishness, self centeredness, and this love is transformative when fully received. 

Agape love is not codependent nor does it enable. It will speak truth in love and cease helping when the help is hurting instead of helping. It is holy, pure, true, and always good. It is the highest form of love. God is agape love and whosoever abides in Him will begin to produce this kind of love. 

When humans say I love you, I am not always certain what it means. It can mean: 

  • I like you. 
  • I value you. 
  • I like what you do. 
  • I love what you do.
  • I enjoy spending time with you. 
  • Being with you makes me feel better. 
  • I am attracted to you (from males).
  • I desire you (from males).
  • I need you (people need God, not me). 
  • I benefit from connection with you.

None of those things are agape. When I say I love you it means the following…

  • I am proactively looking for ways to bless, encourage, or give to you. 
  • I will tell you the truth, even if it cost me greatly or you hate me for being honest. 
  • I will sacrifice for you (within the boundaries of what is healthy, safe, and led by the Holy Spirit). 
  • I pray and intercede for you. 
  • If you can not eat, I will feed you. 
  • If you are naked, I will clothe you. 
  • I will forgive you, extend mercy. 
  • I will do my best to guard your reputation. 
  • I keep your secrets and confidences. 
  • I will look for the gold/treasure in you and call it out. 
  • Your name in safe in my mouth. 
  • I will set boundaries that protect others, not promote selfishness. 
  • I will look out for you. 
  • I will seek to protect your heart and what you hold dear. 
  • I will pursue kindness. 
  • I will care about you, and what matters to you. 
  • If you hurt (and I know), I will seek to comfort you. 
  • I will celebrate you, not compete with you. 
  • I will admit when I am wrong, and seek repentance. 
  • I will honor and respect you. 

Love to me looks like my Father, my Best Friend Jesus, and the sweet, glorious Holy Spirit. He is far above what I have listed. Yet the more I receive of His love, the more I love others the way He loves me. God love is higher. It is way higher! God love is better, far better! It comes from abiding in Him and His love. It is not manufactured in the flesh, for this love extends even towards His enemies. Do we love our enemies the way God loves us? 

When we say I love you, may we reflect back to the words of Jesus, the life of Jesus. May we reflect on 1 Corinthians 13:1-8. I leave you with those words. 

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love (agape) never fails.”

We are so deeply loved. God bless you today and always.
Love in Christ, 

Erin L Lamb 

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2016 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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