Cambodia Mission Trip

I spent part of the month of October in Cambodia working with Extreme Love Ministries.

Extreme Love Ministries focus on rescuing women and children from human trafficking. Their focus is prevention, rescue, recovery, aftercare, and education programs. Providing education for children and job training skills for those at risk helps to reduce the risks of exploitation. Women rescued have the opportunity to learn job skills and earn a living.

You can hear the statistics of 40 million people trapped in human trafficking, that the average age of a victim is 12, that 80 percent of the victims of female, and it causes you to momentarily cringe. It is quite another thing to be on the ground in the slums of a foreign country looking into the eyes of child who is a target. When a statistic is replaced by a real live person, it changes the way you see the world.

When you hold a rescued victim who has Down syndrome and was sold for sex, burned with cigarettes, left outside like an animal-it changes the way you see the world. When you hold a woman who has been rescued yet her soul is still be mended and she tells you no one has ever loved her except God, it changes the way you look at the world.

The Killing Fields

We started our trip learning about the culture and country. It began at the Killing Fields where thousands of Cambodians who were intellectuals and people of thought were senselessly murdered.

3 million Cambodians were murdered in a horrific genocide which made the country vulnerable to human trafficking and exploitation.

As I walked the Killing Fields and saw the remaining bones still emerging from the earth, I thought to myself, “Can these dry bones live?”

God can take this horror and turn it into something glorious? Millions of people were killed and it was only 40 years ago. I mourned as my feet touched the very earth where heads of babies were bashed against trees and then thrown in a pit like trash. Women and children were murdered so the entire legacy would be destroyed.

How evil is Satan and how he convinces men to partner with him to destroy people. I plead the blood of Jesus over the land and prayed for the soul healing of a Nation; this Nation knows the horrors of war, genocide, abuse, betrayal, and mistreatment. What the enemy meant for harm, God turn it around for good. I sang over the land quietly. I wept at the horrors of genocide.

As someone with Native American roots, I felt it in my core, the pain of being targeted for extermination. As someone with some Jewish roots, I felt it in my soul, the pain of being targeted for destruction. As someone with African roots, I felt it deep in my heart, the pain of being hated without cause and being looked down upon based on something you can not control.

I felt so many emotions as their history (Cambodia) felt like my own. I stood in the gap in so many ways in mourning, in love, and deep desire to honor every Cambodian I saw. I could see the face of God in their faces. How God loves the entire world. God sees every people group as worthy of life and life to the fullest.

Several time slots were devoted to prayer for the Nation of Cambodia. We worshiped and sang songs of deliverance over the Nation. We drove around dark areas and prayed, declaring “Our God reigns!” My tuk tuk (taxi) was filled with worship as we drove around the idols of the Temples, the Riverfront, and Red Light District.

Worship was a frequent occurrence in Cambodia. I believe true worship of God invites the very glory of God to dwell in the land. God is such a restorer of what the devil tries to do.

Outreach in the Slums

Several of our outreaches were with children. We went into the slums on a few occasions. Our first outreach with children involved sharing how God heals and speaks to us. Then we had a party in the street with balls and running-laughing and playing.

There were so many beautiful children. Our team gave them a chance to hear from God, and pray. It was promising that several children had encounters with Jesus and heard from Him.

Though they live in the slums and not so beautiful places, I saw beauty in the slums.

We prayed mother and father blessings over the kids, and prophetic impartations.

Kids Justice House of Prayer

One of my favorite outreaches was with the children at the Kids Justice House of Prayer in one of the slums. In the slum there is a building for the children to come and pray/worship. They meet twice a week to hear about God and worship. I fell in love with them. How beautiful were their hearts towards God and how intent they were to reverence God. Oh how I wish this would enter the American church.

I saw future leaders and worshipers. My teammate Lisa and I talked to the children about hearing the voice of God. The children were able to practice hearing God’s voice.

One little boy stated Jesus told him he would be a shepherd. We also spent time praying over them a mother and father blessing, and spoke into their destinies. I was so moved by the love and power of God in that little building.

Children’s Home

We had the opportunity to go to the children’s home and minister to children with Down syndrome, autism, and mental limitations that were former trafficked victims. Their stories broke my heart. I hurt for any child hurt. Yet to hear of children sold for sex because of their disability, and treated worse than an animal is painful. It is oh so painful. These are children, little children.

We brought balloons, coloring books, stickers and balls. My teammate Lize taught on the promises of God and Noah.

The children’s home was a beautiful oasis and I am so thankful Extreme Love Ministries rescued each of the beautiful children and have given them a safe place. They have continual care and do not have to face the horrors of being sold. The children sang us a song and offered sweet hugs. So beautiful they are!

Everlasting Love Women

We also spent time with children and women under the care of Extreme Love Ministries. The women rescued from trafficking have a safe place to work and they sow the most beautiful bags and garments they pray over. Each bag has name such as freedom, destiny, transformation.

I saw such beauty in the eyes of each woman. Our focus with the group was on soul healing. I taught on God’s desire to heal the soul. My teammate Caity spoke on how God speaks to us about healing our body. My teammate James stood in the gap for every man who hurt them, abused them, let them down, did not protect them, their fathers, brothers, uncles, boyfriends, husbands…it was so powerful. He wept in sorrow and they wept the deepest tears. Our team held women and wiped tears.

We prayed healing prayers and invited God to bless each lady. I brought them gold necklaces with keys. We placed them on them and I stood in the gap for their mom and prayed a mother blessing. The men prayed a fatherly blessing. God did so many incredible things in that outreach. We heard back from missionaries there it was powerful for the women.

Children in the Education Program

For the children in the education program, we talked to them about healing and how Jesus loves to heal and speak to us. Our entire team prayed over them and they heard testimonies of God’s great power to heal and speak to us. I spoke to the children about how God loves to heal the ouchies on our soul. They stated they felt sad and angry when someone hurt them. We invited Jesus to come and take away the pain and negative emotions.

Our teaching session/prayer then turned into a balloon party and we had toys for every child. It was like a birthday party for each child crossed with Christmas. It was such a joy to meet each child and have play time. We had a room filled with balloons, laughter, games, and toys. Jesus is pure joy and we certainly had a joy fest.

The Red Light District

The last outreach I will share about involved the Red Light District. We went into the disctrict and rented a karaoke room. Normally the girls are paraded in and men choose who they want. They are not to engage in physical activity (intercourse) in the karaoke bar, yet the men do behave inappropriately one of the girls told us.

We had three girls in our karaoke room. It was room 7777. I have been seeing 7777 all year and 777 and 77. It was such a reminder to me of the love of God. His love is complete and 7 is the number of completion.

We sang, we did the Macarena, and we listened to their stories. We treated them with the love and dignity of Jesus. We shared the love of God. We offered gifts they did not have to earn. They were treated like princesses and not a purchase.

They laughed, sang, and for a few they cried. Some were just held and told they were loved by female teammates. One of our male teammates became very emotional because looking in the eyes of one of the girls, he saw his daughter.

These women were not fully grown, they were young girls. In those moments, you wish you had the ability to bring them to a safe place. They were lined up in the bar to be chosen, and not chosen to be loved, chosen to be abused and used. Five (5) to ten dollar tips to be touched, kissed, and fondled. It seems unreal, yet it’s not. It’s happening all over the world. Children are being purchased all over the world. Their faces are etched on my heart and in my memory.

No photos are provided to protect their identities.

Cambodia You Are Rich in So Many Ways

Cambodia is full of beautiful people, craftsmanship, and art. I was blown away with the amazing food, the kindness of people, and the beauty of the Nation. I had some of the most incredible food in Cambodia! Missing one of our favorite spots, JOMA!

Oh how God loves Cambodia and they are part of the creative arm of God.

A Wonderful Team

I was thankful for my team who spent a year sowing into prayer for this trip and functioned as a team and in great love. The team was so full of generosity in paying for each other’s meals, hotels, and going above and beyond with gifts for the children and missionaries. I was overcome with gratitude for each teammate and their servant hearts. I could not have asked for a better team.

I left Cambodia with the desire to return. As with every mission trip I have been changed. My perspective of what is vital has changed. I plan on partnering Operation God is Love with Extreme Love for giving purposes. I want to fund a child’s education monthly. 160 dollars a month provides food, safe supervision, and quality education for a child. I can not do everything, I can do something.

Though we were exposed to poverty, hurting people, rescued victims, prostitutes, and the formerly abused-I saw Jesus. Tears would fill my eyes then God’s love overtake my heart. There was incredible joy in our parties with the children, our time with the missionaries, in our times together as a team.

God promises to give us beauty for ashes and joy for mourning! Isaiah 61 tells us there is a tremendous promise in Jesus.

The Year of the Lord’s Favor

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has tanointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion—to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified.

They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities,the devastations of many generations.

Strangers shall stand and tend your flocks; foreigners shall be your plowmen and vinedressers; but you shall be called the priests of the LORD; they shall speak of you as the ministers of our God; you shall eat the wealth of the nations,and in their glory you shall boast.

Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion; instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot; therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion; they shall have everlasting joy.

Please consider sowing into Extreme Love Ministries. Their work is changing the Nation of Cambodia. You may donate here Extreme Love Ministries. All donations are tax deductible.

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

Founder of Operation God is Love

The mission is love, the mission is Jesus!

OperationGodisLove.org

Cambodia Bound!

I believe God has a heart for every person on this planet! I believe many of us are called to go and share the heart and love of God with the Nations. Some of us will sow financially, some will pray, and many of us will go.

When I was a kid, God started speaking to me about the Nations. I had no idea of what that would entail. I was simply happy God was speaking to me. I kept those journals and dated the things I sensed were God. He spoke to me about many countries. I have been to South America, Canada, Mexico, Australia, and I am embarking on an adventure in Cambodia.

Operation God is Love which is my not for profit initiative here in the United States will be partnering with Extreme Love Ministries in Cambodia. Extreme Love helps to rescue women and children out of human trafficking. Human trafficking is modern day slavery where women and children are sold for forced labor or forced sexual immorality. It impacts over 40 million people. The average age of a victim is 12 years old. 80% of the victims are female. Some are as young as 4 or 5 years old.

Extreme Love works to prevent, rescue, provide recovery and aftercare, provide employment, free day care and education. What they are doing in Cambodia is remarkable. We are excited to join forces with them for a few weeks.

I strongly believe the words in Isaiah 61 are for our generation! People say the 20-30 year olds are doing nothing. I disagree. My team is comprised of quite a few what they call Millennials. It’s for every generation! I see a diverse, multi generational, multi denominational, cross cultural army rising up to destroy the works of darkness!

We cannot do everything! We can do something. These women and children are being pulled out of darkness and exposed to the greatest love they can ever know-Jesus!

The mission is love!

Love looks like someone, Jesus.

The mission is Jesus.

Pray for us as we travel, share God’s love, enter into brothels to witness/rescue, go to the slums to share God’s heart, hug the hurting, pray for the abused and hurting! I am believing God for miracles. I am bringing a team of 9 people from the USA and South Africa.

If you wish to find out more about Extreme Love or donate to them, please go to Extreme Love Ministries.

If you wish to donate to Operation God is love, click here Operation God is Love. OGL focuses on street ministry, street evangelism, ministering to the poorest of the poor and immigrants at the free clinic, and overseas missions. We have been serving for almost 7 years.

Cambodia photos courtesy of missionary Cathy Cupp.

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

Founder of Operation God is Love

Instagram.com/OperationGodisLove

Facebook.com/OperationGodisLove

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

Upcoming Events (Speaking Events & Cozy Book Signing)!

This upcoming Thursday August 30th, 2018 marks the final installment of the 30 Day Speak Life Challenge! Wow how time flies. I hope you have joined us on this journey to dive deeper into God’s heart and speak life!

Join us at 6am Pacific or 9am Eastern on the 30th. I will be discussing dreaming with God, how God is fun, how insecurity is not humility-it’s actually pride, and so much more. Stop by Facebook Author Page and join the party.

Upcoming Speaking Event:

It is possible to end modern day slavery! ❤️👊🏽✊🏽

I will be in Columbus, Ohio in September speaking about social justice, missions, God’s heart for the abused/those exposed to human trafficking, and whatever else God wants shared. This is not about books or selling books. It’s about God’s heart for the abused, least, last, lost…we can do something; not everything-something.

My heart is to see cities and nations transformed by God’s love and power. I have a huge heart for infrastructure repair and improving systems/eradicating poverty.

Operation God is Love (my street ministry/missions initiative/service initiative for the poor) will be heading to Cambodia this fall to serve with Extreme Love Ministries. I believe in local missions (I serve on my city streets and with the immigrant population at the free clinic). OGL is expanding to the nations. If you are in Columbus, stop by or tune in live stream Vineyard Christian Church.

Want to help today:

Donate to Extreme Love! They are doing incredible things in Cambodia to help at risk children and rescue those trafficked.

Extreme Love Ministries .

I believe one person with God can make a significant difference in the world!

After the service there will be a short meet & greet, book signing. Probably 11:30am until 1pm.

Would love to say hello. If not, please pray for me and the Cambodia team. I have done overseas missions before, this will be my first time taking a team. Nine of us are going to serve women and children who have been rescued from human trafficking.

You are prayed for and loved!

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

https://www.empowered-free.com

Facebook.com/erinlambauthor

Facebook.com/OperationGodisLove

OperationGodisLove.org

Overcoming with Jesus

Morning Devotion: Walking with Jesus as an overcomer.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I look to those who walked before us…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love in Him,

Erin Lamb

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Holidays!

Erin L. Lamb

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