Operation God is Love

We hit year 7 next month! Wow how time flies.

When I prepare bookbags and sammies for our homeless friends, I pray over each one that the person will feel the love of God, encounter God’s heart, and feel seen by God.

One man we met grabbed a bag and could not stop hugging it. I asked him why. He replied, “I am getting some good vibes off this bag.” He would not stop smiling and hugging the back pack.

I saw him months later riding his bike through the city. He stopped me. He said, “Thank you for my bag and the things inside. I have been reading what you gave me and it blessed me. Thank you!” Once again his face filled with a loving smile.

Love is this incredible force that says, “I see you. You matter. You are significant. Your life is not a mistake. You have infinite worth.”

I would love to tell you I am always excited to go. I am not. Sometimes I am tired physically, emotionally, or mentally. I think I have nothing to give here. Yet feelings are not truth. In those moments when we press past our comfort zone something magical happens. People encounter God’s love through us. God is simply looking for a partner, a conduit. He loves to love through us.

It’s not about me or the team. It is God’s love through us. If we can do it, anyone can do it. From the ones who say, “I thought no one cared and I planned to kill myself today,” to the ones who say, “Before you stopped me, I was on my way to shoot up on heroine,” to the ones who say, “I have not eaten in days.” There is Jesus walking amongst the least of them whispering over and over, “I see you and you matter. You were worth dying for and I LOVE you.”

So you set aside your feelings or even uncertainty about reaching out to strangers. You get low and sit with the hurting, broken, bruised, abused, victimized, forgotten, lonely. You wrap your arms around the addict, the prostitute, or the PTSD suffering veteran. You pursue honor for the ones who smell like urine, booze, or vomit. You hold hands with another human being and declare, “You have a friend in me.” You listen to stories, songs, and poems even. You wipe tears, and try to provide hope for the hopeless. You ask God to flow through you so someone encounters Jesus.

The sick are often made whole through His love and power. The suicidal change their minds. The addict finds comfort. The invisible are seen.

You see Jesus in the faces too ashamed to cross the threshold of a shiny church. You do what you can and sometimes weep because you wish to do more.

We cannot do everything. We can do something. If I can, someone who tests 78% for introversion, anyone can. Why? Because love compels us to do more than talk about problems. We become part of the solution. I believe the church, not solely the government is called to social justice.

Here is a snap shot of our team today! Youth to young adults out serving the least, last, and lost.

Operation God is Love #LoveLooksLikeSomeoneJesus

First Photo: Pinterest

Love,

Erin Lamb

Found of Operation God is Love

OperationGodisLove.org

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

    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

    Honor Flows From Humility and Agape Love

    Morning Devotion: Honor is a Pillar of God’s Character. Jesus Walked in Honor of All. Dishonor Does Not Flow From God, It Flows From Pride and Unbelief. The Purpose of Honor and How Dishonor or Lack of Honor are Great Learning Tools.

    Honor is something we give because of who we are, it is not to be demanded. We stand in honor as heirs of the King. We represent a King and His Kingdom. Jesus honored even the least of them and those society deemed less than, outcasts, and misfits. He modeled the heart of the Father for all, not some of humanity.

    Honor is choosing to see as God sees. Everyone has tremendous value and worth to God. There is no hierarchy in heaven, no group more valued. There is no racism, sexism, or bigotry. The Kingdom of God functions on honor. Honor is rooted in agape love (sacrificial, unselfish, lavish love).

    Honor is not agreeement with what is wicked. It is choosing to treat people with respect, dignity, and like they have value because Jesus died for them. It is seeing the potential of people. It is choosing to speak to a person’s identity and call them higher. It is choosing to speak life instead of death. It is choosing to bless instead of curse. It is choosing to pray instead of slander. It is choosing to serve instead of demanding to be served. It is choosing to recognize God values everyone.

    I heard a minister say, “It is good a prophet is honored everywhere but their hometown and with their friend/family. It keeps them humble.” I disagree. Humility is a right assessment of oneself in relation to God. Being treated as inferior, less than, or insignificant does not match God. I believe pride and improper understanding of how the Kingdom works is what fuels dishonor. It is a pride issue, not something God applauds. They said of Jesus, “Oh that is just Joseph’s son.” They could not see Jesus as the Son of God and their pride blocked them from receiving the blessing God wanted to give them through Jesus.

    Jesus said to them, “A prophet is treated with honor everywhere except in his own hometown, among his relatives, and in his own house.” He was unable to do any great miracle in Nazareth,[a] except to heal a few sick people by laying his hands upon them. He was amazed at the depth of their unbelief![b] Then Jesus went out into the different villages and taught the people,~Mark 6:4-6 (The Passion Translation).

    [a] Mark 6:5 Nazareth was the only place recorded in the Gospels that Jesus was unable (because of their unbelief) to do miracles.

    [b] Mark 6:6 This is one of two instances where Jesus was amazed. The other is found in Matt. 8:10. Both refer to the response of faith. Here it is the great unbelief of those who knew Jesus and lived in his hometown of Nazareth (Jews). The other is the great faith of the Roman military captain (a gentile). We have no record of Jesus ever returning to Nazareth. He made Capernaum his base of ministry while in the province of Galilee.

    Lack of honor blocks us from receiving from God. God does extraordinary things through every day people. Some miss their blessing because they are chasing after who they think God should work through instead of who God sent. Jesus did not fit the mold the people wanted so they rejected Him. Those who rejected Him missed out on everlasting life. Maybe the greatest mentor for you is right in front of your face. I thank God for the people right near me who are full of the treasures of God. I see greatness in them and learn from them.

    When we refuse to honor the people right in front of us, we are not honoring or loving God. He stated what we did to the least of them, we did unto Him (Matthew 25:40-45). The Bible states that the least visible parts of the body deserve more honor (1 Corinthians 12:23).

    Think about your own child or someone you love. Think about if the people closest to them were the least supportive, the least honoring, the least respectful, and treated them as insignificant. Would that make you happy? Would you say, “Oh God is just teaching them to be humble by this disrespect.” It sounds a bit crazy when we relate it to someone we love. God LOVES us more than we could love anyone. God loves His children significantly more than we can love ours. He does not delight in people mistreating us or refusing to honor who He loves.

    God bestowed on Jesus the highest honor. He gave Him the name above all names. God raised us up in Christ and seated us in heavenly places. God turned wretched sinners into a royal priesthood. God chooses to pursue honor. We were enemies of God and dishonorable. Yet while we were yet sinners, Jesus died for us. God offered us salvation through repentance and faith. He then lavished on us every spiritual gift in heavenly places. God is honorable. God invites us to pursue honor.

    Lessons From Being Dishonored and Unsupported:

    1. Even in Christianity there is idolatry. Some clamor for the celebrity Christian to pray for them or honor only those they deem important. It is pride. The Holy Spirit, Jesus, and Papa God are the only ones needed for breakthrough. When people make people their god, or set certain people on pedestal to be worshipped it is dishonoring of God. It is idolatry.

    2. Being dishonored shows you what not to do to other people.

    3. Being dishonored shows you how to pray for other people. Only a person abiding/soaking/living out of God’s love can give that away. So you pray for everyone, including yourself, to know the height, depth, width, and vast expanse of God’s love.

    4. Being dishonored while you have little influence keeps you from being blown away by the same people who run back with honor when they see God promoting you. I am amazed how people shift their actions when they see someone they admire honor you. They offered you zero honor until someone else came along that was higher in their eyes than you and offered you honor.

    5. Being dishonored shows you inner circle versus outer circle friends. We treat everyone with love, respect, dignity. Trust is another ball game. Access to the deep parts of our hearts is best reserved for those who will honor our hearts.

    6. Being dishonored not being honored teaches you to rely primarily on God for love, support, encouragement, and friendship. You live for an audience of One. If no one claps, you get it done with God. If they boo or try to sabatoge your efforts, you keep your head high and walk with God. If they say you can’t do it, you get it done with God. If they refuse support, you get it done with God. God is the One you look to for identity and support.

    7. Your motives are tried in seasons of dishonor or lack of honor. Will you continue to do what God said even if you are called to serve a wicked king, to serve ungrateful or unsupportive people? Will you stand on your assignment and choose honor even if dishonored? The assignment is not primarily about us. It is about glory to God. God does not delight in our mistreatment. I am not advising anyone to stay in abusive situations. I am saying when they go low, we go high. We choose to function with a royalty mindset and lead by example. Our motive is to love God, and honor God. Out of love for God flows love and honor for people-even the worst of sinners.

    May you and stand as royalty in Christ and treat others the way Jesus would treat them. Jesus touched the lepers, sat with the tax collectors and worst of sinners, spoke to those others deemed worthless, ministered to the least, last, and lost. Jesus is our role model for life. There was no ego or celebrity about Jesus. He came and served. He came and washed feet. He came and showed the world how wonderful the Father is.

    When we say we are followers of Jesus and then dishonor people, we are stating God does not love them. Why? Our actions are supposed to demonstrate who Jesus is. This is why dishonor, Christian celebrity worship, racism, sexism, and lack of honor need to be driven out of the church. It is antichrist. It says, “God is not love. He is selective in who He loves.” This is a huge lie. May we pursue honor.

    Join us August 15th 2018 on the author Facebook page for our next speak life teaching. I will be covering discernment, hearing from God, what to do if you miss it in hearing from God, and how intimacy with God builds confidence.

    Love,

    Erin Lamb

    God Cares How We Love, Live, and Represent Him

    Morning Devotion: God Looks at How We Love, How We Live, and Steward What He Gives. It Matters How We Live and Love.

    It does not matter the title, position, influence in Christiandom, where you travel, who celebrates you, if you stand on a platform or stage, how much money is made, what celebrity Christian applauds you, the miracles-signs-or wonders, how many books are sold, who you marry, how many kids you have, how big the church is, if you are on tv, how many conferences you preach at, who thinks you are the who’s who on earth, how many supernatural encounters are had, etc…God cares how we love. He cares how we treat people. He cares how we live and how we represent Him. Does the world see anything in us that looks like Jesus?

    Jesus did not come to earth and build a fan club or try to sell Jesus swag. He came and made disciples. He came and did the will of the Father. When people encountered Jesus they encountered heaven on earth. Jesus did not have a roped off section from the poor, destitute, and marginalized. Jesus got low and washed feet. Jesus stated, “The greatest among you will be your servant.” Jesus modeled Kingdom of Heaven. The behavior of Jesus reflected the character of the Father. He did not live for the praise or applause of men. He lived for the already given applause of the Father. Jesus did not need to buy followers, nor force people to follow Him. The authenticity of Jesus compelled people to follow Him.

    What does it profit a person to gain the whole world and lose their soul? Heaven does not care how popular we are on earth. What causes the applause of man is not what causes the applause of heaven. Heaven looks at what we did with the knowledge of Jesus, how we loved, and how we stewarded what He gave us. God does look at obedience and stewardship (Matthew 25:14–30). Heaven rejoices when one sinner repents (Luke 15:7).

    The voice of Jesus:

    ‘Why do you call me “Lord, Lord,” but you do not do what I tell you?’A person comes to me. He hears what I say and obeys me. I will show you who he is like.He is like a man who built a house. He dug down deep in the ground and made it stand on a rock. The water in the river came up high. The water beat hard against the house. But the house did not move, because it was built on a rock,~Jesus from Luke 6:46-48 (WE)

    My heart mourns because some will hear at the end of their lives, “Depart from Me, I never knew you,” from Jesus. They may have preached in His name, attended churches, collected offerings, preached all over the world, cast out demons, seen the sick healed, yet they did not have life union and intimacy with Jesus. See Matthew 7:23. I pray I do not betray Jesus nor make my life more about doing for Jesus than being with Jesus.

    Paul tells us this in 1 Corinthians 13 (The Passion Translation):

    If I were to speak with eloquence in earth’s many languages, and in the heavenly tongues of angels,[yet I didn’t express myself with love, my words would be reduced to the hollow sound of nothing more than a clanging cymbal.

    And if I were to have the gift of prophecy with a profound understanding of God’s hidden secrets, and if I possessed unending supernatural knowledge, and if I had the greatest gift of faith that could move mountains, but have never learned to love, then I am nothing.

    And if I were to be so generous as to give away everything I owned to feed the poor, and to offer my body to be burned as a martyr, without the pure motive of love, I would gain nothing of value.

    Love is large and incredibly patient. Love is gentle and consistently kind to all. It refuses to be jealous when blessing comes to someone else. Love does not brag about one’s achievements nor inflate its own importance. Love does not traffic in shame and disrespect, nor selfishly seek its own honor. Love is not easily irritated or quick to take offense. Love joyfully celebrates honesty and finds no delight in what is wrong. Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best for others. Love never takes failure as defeat, for it never gives up.

    Perfect Love

    Love never stops loving. It extends beyond the gift of prophecy, which eventually fades away. It is more enduring than tongues, which will one day fall silent. Love remains long after words of knowledge are forgotten. Our present knowledge and our prophecies are but partial, but when love’s perfection arrives, the partial will fade away. When I was a child, I spoke about childish matters, for I saw things like a child and reasoned like a child. But the day came when I matured, and I set aside my childish ways.

    For now we see but a faint reflection of riddles and mysteries as though reflected in a mirror, but one day we will see face-to-face. My understanding is incomplete now, but one day I will understand everything, just as everything about me has been fully understood. Until then, there are three things that remain: faith, hope, and love—yet love surpasses them all. So above all else, let love be the beautiful prize for which you run.

    The love that Paul speaks about is love from God, it comes through abiding and relationship with God. It is a transformative love that brings about a greater representation of who He is in us. It is impossible to love like God without intimacy and life union with God. Jesus said He is the vine and we are the branches. If we abide in Him, we will bear abundant fruit (John 15:4-5). The fruit of God is goodness (love, peace, joy, gentleness, etc). If we abide in Him, the fruit of our lives will be good.

    May we receive the great love of God and abide in His love. I know I need to abide, to soak, and God continually places me in situations to grow in love. I am still on the Potter’s Wheel. Thankful God continues to reveal more and more of who He is and His great love.

    May you and I live for the applause of heaven! It matters far more to hear a well done from the Lord than from people. At the end of our lives, every person (believers included) will give an account to God for how they lived, how they loved, and how they stewarded who and what God gave them (Romans 14:12, 2 Corinthians 5:10, Matthew 25:14–30, Matthew 25:40, 45).

    May we live and love for an audience of 1. May we steward everything God gives well. May we understand even as believers we are held accountable for how we love, live, and steward what belongs to God.

    Love in Christ,

    Erin Lamb