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Tag Archives: Mercy

Sunday Devotion: Understanding Condemnation & Godly Correction.

Morning Devotion: Understanding condemnation, godly correction, and what God requires from the mouth of Jesus.

Sometimes the desire to be merciful and extend grace is simply enabling. Jesus said to those caught in sin, “Go and sin no more (John 8:11). Stop sinning lest something worse happen to you (John 5:14).” This was an invitation to true heart repentance. God continues to give us opportunities to repent (change our mind about sin and agree with Him).

Heaven rejoices when one sinner repents (Luke 15:7). Why? It is the breaking of agreement with Satan (who brings death/destruction/division) and partnership with God (brings life to the fullest).

True repentance is the goal of mercy, and the kindness of God. When God says, “Kindness leads to repentance,” He is not desiring for us to stay in bondage nor keep sinning. Why? Sin is partnership with Satan. Satan is the author of death. God prefers life. We are not to be married to God and dating the devil. If we are, we need to repent and break up with the side chick Satan.

If we do not tell people that sin leads to destruction and death, we do not truly love them the way Jesus does. Love protects. Love speaks truth in love. God love never, ever condones sin. God does not wink at sin, think it’s cute…it cost Jesus His life. He was marred beyond what we could imagine to free us from lifestyles of unrighteousness.

Condemnation is to judge someone with a penalty of death. Only God can condemn someone to hell. It is not condemnation to preach or teach what Jesus did. It will forever be, “The wages of sin is death yet the gift of God is eternal life (Romans 6:23).” Jesus came to offer the world eternal life (John 10:10, John 3:17).

It is troubling to me when people try to exclude certain teachings of Jesus because they do not wish for people to feel bad or condemned. Which is better, to be temporarily hurt by the word and repent leading to everlasting life or having your feelings coddled until death and hear Jesus say, “Depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness, I never knew you (Matthew 7:23).”

Eternity in hell is a long time to be remorseful. I would rather be corrected while living than suffer in eternity void of God; full of torment, roommates with Satan and every demon. No thanks.

Hell was made for Satan and his minions. God does not force heaven or hell on anyone. We get to choose. He says, “I set before you life and death, choose life.”

God will not force Himself on anyone. Heaven is all about God, therefore no one who does not love God, believe in God will abide there. Heaven is about Jesus.

Jesus loudly declared, “The one who believes and trusts in Me does not believe [only] in Me but [also believes] in Him who sent Me. And whoever sees Me sees the One who sent Me. I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes and trusts in Me [as Savior—all those who anchor their hope in Me and rely on the truth of My message] will not continue to live in darkness. If anyone hears My words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge and condemn the world [that is, to initiate the final judgment of the world], but to save the world.

Whoever rejects Me and refuses to accept My teachings, has one who judges him; the very word that I spoke will judge and condemn him on the last day. For I have never spoken on My own initiative or authority, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment regarding what to say and what to speak. I know that His commandment is eternal life. So the things I speak, I speak [in accordance with His exact instruction,] just as the Father has told Me.”~John 12:44-50.

The condemnation that Jesus spoke of dealt with the final sentencing into hell. He tells us in this passage that whoever refuses His teachings and rejects Him would be condemned on the last day. We cannot stop the passage at Jesus did not come to condemn the world, therefore live it up. We must read the entire passage and gather understanding of what God is requiring.

Sin entered the world when Adam and Eve obeyed the devil instead of God. God provided a way to reconcile us back to the First Estate as sons and daughters of God. Before Jesus people lived in faith of Messiah to come. Not everyone is a son or daughter of God, though all created in His image, only those who place their faith in the Son are reconciled to the Father.

You (born again believers), however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ,~Romans 8:9.

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God,~Romans 8:14.

Do not be conceited, but [rather stand in great awe of God and] fear [Him]; for if God did not spare the natural branches (Jews) [because of unbelief], He will not spare you (Gentiles) either. Then appreciate the gracious kindness and the severity of God: to those who fell [into spiritual ruin], severity, but to you, God’s gracious kindness—if you continue in His kindness [by faith and obedience to Him]; otherwise you too will be cut off,~Romans 11:20-22.

Papa God, I ask for the full mantle of wisdom from scripture be imparted to us. Help us to know full passages of scripture, not just verses. Help us to understand what you are inviting us into. Help us to repent when we choose death over life. Give us a full understanding of grace and mercy. May we understand what Jesus paid for on the cross. Our lives are no longer our own, they belong to you. May we be yielded to your Holy Spirit and teach your truth in love. In Jesus name. Amen.

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2017 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Love Everyone…Even Your Enemies

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Jesus didn’t tell me to only love those who love me. He told me to love everyone, “…love your enemies & pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven,”~Matt 5:44-45. The person who doesn’t love does not know God, because God is love,~1 John 4:8.

What is God like?

God is love. And I’m not talking about the Christian love we do of telling people we love them with flowery words, yet our actions do not demonstrate God like love.

How does God love you?

That’s the love He asks and commands us to give others. I’m not perfect in this area. No one other than Jesus got this right, yet throughout the Gospels God repeats Himself, “Love! Love! LOVE one another!” Jesus told the disciples the world would know we were following Him by our love for one another.

We cannot claim to love God and hate people. We cannot claim to truly be following Jesus and withhold love from people. It’s ungodly-not like Him.

What if God didn’t forgive us and wipe our slates completely clean?

What if God kept bringing up our past sins and rubbing them in our faces?

What if God was impatient and without compassion?

What if God only dealt with the people who were really good to Him and loved Him well?

What if God treated us the way we treat people?

What if God was stingy and rude?

What if God chose to one day hold grudges?

What if God completely ignored us though we were repentant or offered Him love?

What if God only showed up when love suited His best interests?

What if God never supported, encouraged, helped, or invested in us?

What if God ignored our needs because He was too busy or we were too needy?

What if God only showed up when He needed something?

What if God was like us?

The world would be HELL, far worse than it is now and billions of people would have no hope. Fortunately God doesn’t become like us. He empowers us to be like Him. He said in John 15:5, “I am the Vine and you are the branches. Those who abide in me will bear much fruit. Apart from me, you can do nothing.”

We are called and empowered to love. It’s not optional for a follower of Jesus. It’s not something we bypass and slide into heaven. God is serious about love.

He doesn’t ask us to be God for people, only He can meet people’s needs completely. He does call us to reflect Him and point to Him. He does call us to obey Him.

Jesus said, “Why do you call me Lord, Lord and not do what I say?

Many will come to me and I will say, depart from me, I never knew you. I was hungry and you didn’t feed me. Naked and you didn’t clothe me…whatever you did to the least of these, you did unto me.

How to we move forward…

We confess the sin of being unloving and disobedient and we repent (turn from it).

We forgive ourselves and others for being unloving. If we don’t forgive, we are not forgiven.

We invite the Holy Spirit to give us His eyes for people and His heart.

We abide in the Vine. If you have no personal relationship with Jesus Christ, there’s no way to abide in Him or have salvation.

We obey God. Obedience to God has never been optional though some teach it is. Jesus never taught that we could live as we please and somehow honor God. He states, “I’d rather you be hot or cold than lukewarm, lest I spit you out.” The Bible states obedience is better than sacrifice. We don’t obey to gain love or approval or righteousness. We obey out of love for God. If we don’t obey Him, we don’t love Him. It doesn’t mean He doesn’t love us.

We let God love us so we have love to give. We cannot give what we haven’t received. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. His mercy is new every morning.

Father forgive me and us for our lack of love for others. Teach us to love like you. May we be imitators of God as dearly loved children. Give us your eyes for others and ourselves. May we be known by our great love, compassion, generosity, faith, forgiveness of others, mercy, and goodness. May we overflow with good fruit. A sweet fragrance and bright light in our world. For Your glory. In Jesus powerful name, Amen.

Love in Christ,

Erin

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2014 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Learning to Love Like God (Part 1)

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Photo Credit: Pinterest

If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much,~Matthew 5:46.

“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.”~John 13:34-35.

We love because he first loved us,~1 John 4:19.

Love is the highest calling for a believer. I talk about love quite a bit because God reveals the desperate need the world has for love. Addiction is a cry for comfort. Sexual promiscuity for attention and affection. Abuse for healing. Everywhere you look, people are trying to fill a God sized void with something. Drugs, food, tv, alcohol, sex, relationships, social media, and even church activities are often used to fill the void of love.

You and I are empowered to love. How? By the Holy Spirit. He is love. Sounds easy right? God in us loving people.

In order to love like God, we must first receive love from God. We cannot give away what we do not possess. That person who fails to love you mostly likely either doesn’t know how you perceive love, or they haven’t fully received God’s love.

Even after we receive God’s love, we can choose not to love other people. It’s a process of submitting to God, not relying on feelings, and dying to self.

I don’t always feel like loving people. Nope. Some days I grow tired of being kind to rude people. Some days I have to go straight to God with unpleasant feelings towards people. He reminds me of this, “Feelings are not an indication of truth. You can love this person because I love them.

How do we love like God?

We let God love us. Christianity is about relationship with God. Jesus paid for us to have full access to the Father.

Take time to just be with God. It can be journaling, reading, praying & listening, time in His Word, worship, etc…asking God to reveal His love on the heart level. It will then pour out on to others. God fills to overflowing. Part of it is faith as well; believing what God says about His love for us is true.

We forgive. Gosh, I don’t mind forgiving (surrendering a person to God and refusing to avenge). It’s far more difficult to reconcile and restore a relationship when someone has betrayed your trust, treated your heart like a punching bag, or just failed to be good to you. In those moments I’m reminded of these things…

1. What is God’s purpose for the relationship? Is it covenant? Will restoring the relationship be safe?

If someone is stealing from your bank account, love sets boundaries (change the info, block the person). If a person is not trustworthy, don’t confide in them. If someone is controlling and manipulative, limit the access they have to you. If someone is abusing you in any way, seek help. Forgiving does not mean you must remain in the same condition or immediately give someone your trust. We are responsible for who and what we allow into our lives.

If it’s a covenant relationship or one God is calling us to, we are to do our best to work it out (we will discuss more in a different post on covenant).

2. How does God treat me when I fail?

We are humans. We will blow it. God is so merciful and kind to me when I mess up. I am called to be merciful.

Unlike God, we can be severely damaged by others. Mercy doesn’t mean let someone continually, purposefully hurt or abuse you. Our role is to point people to Christ. It’s unloving to allow someone to continue to sin against us and not offer loving correction. We want people right with God. It does mean we offer grace, compassion, and mercy. Mercy may be refraining from gossip (which is so damaging). The person did you wrong, protect their name. Treat them better than they did you.

Lastly I will say love will cost you greatly. God has blessed me with years of experience loving people who did not in any way love, honor, or respect me. He gave me someone similar to Saul (4 years-40 hours a week. Not sure how I didn’t lose my mind), a few who behaved like Judas, and allowed people in my life who at times made me want to never love again. I’ve had to love people who have tried to take my life. I can say love doesn’t always feel good. I’m certain the experiences Jesus endured were not pleasant. They were excruciating. He suffered greatly. Yet, He did it for love.

Whatever love costs you, please know genuine love glorifies God. The world needs to see genuine, agape love through us. We may not know until heaven the impact we made in someone’s life. Though it may be painful at times, choose love!

You’re in my thoughts and prayers!

Father reduce us to love. Help us to love like You. Remove worldly views of love and replace them with Yours. Help us to see people as You do, and love them as You do. In Jesus name, Amen.

Love in Christ,

Erin

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2014 in From the Author, God's Heart

 

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I Love You More

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All the world seems to be looking for love. We were created to desire love, affection, affirmation, relationship, and the void in us is not easily filled. God set it up so no person on this planet has to be alone. People are born into families. Not only are we born into families, we are birthed with a great opportunity to know the Creator of the Universe.

I am often amazed that God, as perfect as He is, wants to be friends with us. He wants us to be recipients of His great love, forgiveness, and to adopt us as His children. I mean seriously, He can do whatever He wants. He could create the world’s perfect best friend or person. Yet, He chose and chooses to dwell with sinful man. God was not lonely before creating man. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit all existed long before we did. God did not need us, He wanted us. 

There’s something to be said about being wanted. No matter how awful we are or have been, we are here because God loves us. We are here because He cares for us. We are here because He had and has a great plan for our lives. We are no mistake!

He created us to be recipients of His great love. We were made to be loved by Him.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will—to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding, Ephesians 1:2-7.

No matter who we meet on this journey, there will not be anyone who loves us more than God. There will not be a person who will sacrifice all that they are for our best interests. It’s not going to happen. My earthly father is wonderful. I have no doubt he would do all in his power to protect, provide, and be there for me. However, I do not believe he can or would do all that God has done for me. While I was a sinner, Christ died for me. No greater love in the entire world, than the love God has lavished on us.

We may not always feel His love. We may not always see His love. We may not always believe in His love, but the truth is, God is love. Every day He pours out His love, mercy, grace, forgiveness, compassion, and wisdom on a world that rejects Him, denies Him, abuses His name, and blames Him for all that goes wrong. If that’s not love, I don’t know what is. I as a human, I grow tired of loving people who I know will never love me. I grow weary in turning the other cheek and responding in kindness to people who are cruel. God, however, is infinite in patience and love. Love is who God is.

The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love, Psalm 103:8.

You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you, Psalm 86:5.

I will tell of the kindnesses of the LORD, the deeds for which He is to be praised, according to all the Lord has done for us–yes, the many good things He has done for the house of Israel, according to His compassion and many kindnesses, Isaiah 63:7.

Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet My unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you, Isaiah 54:10.

God’s after relationship…with us.

Some don’t hear God’s voice; it’s challenging to be in a relationship with someone you can’t hear. I will say if you are a born again believer, you can hear from God. Pray and ask God for the ability to hear from Him. You can have a relationship with Him that is as close and intimate as you would like it be. As Jesus said, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow Me,” John 10:27. Even if you don’t hear from God directly speaking to your spirit, you can hear from Him through His Word (which is the best place to start and He does not violate His Word. He increases our understanding, but does not violate His Word). God also speaks through dreams, visions, others, and sometimes our circumstances.

Lastly, here are the words God deposited in my heart today.

I love you more…I love you more than you can imagine. You are My workmanship, created for My glory. I chose you. I wanted you. I have never left you, and I will never leave you. You are an extension of My heart. Where you are, there I am. You are a part of Me. There is nothing that can separate you from My love. There’s nothing you can do to make Me love you less or more. My love for you extends from before the world was made into eternity. It is a love that cannot be broken. Your name is written on My heart. You name graven on My hands. I move heaven and earth to care for you. You are My beloved. You will always be My beloved.

Sweet friends, these words apply to you as well. God loves you. He is for you. His heart cries out again and again, I Love You More….Praying God blesses you richly and abundantly this year, above all you could ask or imagine. Love, Erin.

 
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Posted by on January 25, 2013 in From the Author

 

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