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Weekend Devotion (God Wants Relationship) 

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Morning Devotion: Knowing God (intimacy with God) is the most important thing…Not church attendance, tithing, church affiliation, serving, or being entertained. God is after personal, intimate relationship. 

Being with God, knowing God, trumps doing for God. Being is to lead to doing with the motivation to love God and others. 

When intimacy with God and knowing His heart and character are removed from Christianity you end up with powerless religion. 
We can spend our lives in church, paying tithes, doing Christian stuff, having great worship, and go to hell (totally miss God). How can I say this? Well, it came straight from the mouth of Jesus. Read Matthew 7:21-29, Matthew 25:31-46. 

Religion void of relationship leads to idolatry and oppression. The Pharisees had religion not relationship with God. 

Mankind without connection to the Vine (Jesus) yields no good fruit. See John 15:4-5. There is a form of godliness in religion void of transformative power and genuine agape love. That’s why the Bible was used as an excuse to kill millions of Native born Americans (First Nations people) or enslave Africans (deny them any human rights) or abuse women and deny them equal rights. So many horrific things have been done under the mask of “Christianity,” yet Jesus made it very plain. He stated, “You will know My followers by their agape love.” See John 13:35. 

Love fulfills the law because it does no harm to it’s neighbor (Romans 13:10). Love is holy and without any sin, including selfishness the most destructive sin. Love involves freedom and equality. Love is not rude nor full of mean sarcasm. Love builds up. Love gets low to serve not seeking to be served. Love has no prejudice. Love honors even the dishonorable. Love seeks the best interests of others. Love possesses humility (others matter). Love does not seek to dominate, control, hurt, harm, abuse, use, or harass others. 

There is a huge difference between someone who claims God and someone who knows God. The one who knows God grows to resemble God (1 John 4:8). Some of what we call Christianity is not about Jesus at all. It is traditions of men and void of God’s love, purity, and power. 

God invites us to know Him. All the other things flow out of knowing God. If I am intimate with God, I will want to give. If I am intimate with God, I will grow more loving. If I am intimate with God, I will want to fellowship with other believers. If I am intimate with God, I will want to serve. If I am intimate with God, I will want to share the Gospel. If I am intimate with God, I will humble myself and serve others. If I am intimate with God, the fragrance on my life will draw others to Him. Our strength lies in intimacy with God. 

Love, 

Erin Lamb 

 

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The Promised Gift (Holy Spirit University (HSU) Series Part I)

...the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you,~Jesus (John 14:26). 
Jesus promised the disciples a gift, a gift that would abide with those who place their ultimate faith in Him. 

Holy Spirit is an incredible gift, a gift that sustains, equips, empowers, loves, comforts, intercedes, blesses, gives spiritual gifts, imparts wisdom, and helps believers in incredble ways. 

Holy Spirit University (HSU) series is about doing life with the blessed Holy Spirit. I can not overstate the importance of Holy Spirit. 

Holy Spirit is not a wind or dove or fire-though symbolized this way in scripture. Holy Spirit has emotions, a will, a mind, insight, a voice (Holy Spirit speaks and teaches), and is perfect in every way.

Yielding to the Holy Spirit is vital to living a victorious life. 

Let’s read some scripture together: 

While being together and eating with them, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Of which,” He said, “you have heard Me speak. For John baptized with water, but you will be baptized and empowered and united with the Holy Spirit, not long from now.”

So when they had come together, they asked Him repeatedly, “Lord, are You at this time reestablishing the kingdom and restoring it to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know the times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority. But you will receive power and ability when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be My witnesses [to tell people about Me] both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the ends of the earth.”-Acts 1:4-8. 
Jesus spoke of this gift from God that would empower and equip the disciples. The Holy Spirit would give them holy boldness to be His witnesses. 

What on earth does Holy Spirit do? 

Part of the role of Holy Spirit is to empower us to do what Jesus did. 

Jesus did not say, “I am going to give you this gift that will help you do nothing. Please sit and do nothing until I return or you die. Also please stay the same way I found you.” 

The Holy Spirit within is a power house. This promised gift was to love, bring comfort, to teach, to be a seal on believers that they belong to God, to give power, holy boldness, counsel, give strength, reveal the righteous nature of God, sustain, impart spiritual gifts, provide wisdom, and so much more. 

Ready or not, here comes Holy Spirit!

The disciples walked with Jesus. I am certain there was attachment. He told them it was better that He go to the Father than remain with them. The Spirit of God would come and dwell with believers and inside of Spirit baptized believers. They would have this power house within them.

God fulfilled His word at Pentacost (Acts 2:1-13):

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place, and suddenly a sound came from heaven like a rushing violent wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. There appeared to them tongues resembling fire, which were being distributed [among them], and they rested on each one of them [as each person received the Holy Spirit]. And they were all filled [that is, diffused throughout their being] with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues (different languages), as the Spirit was giving them the ability to speak out [clearly and appropriately].

Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout and God-fearing men from every nation under heaven. And when this sound was heard, a crowd gathered, and they were bewildered because each one was hearing those in the upper room speaking in his own language or dialect. They were completely astonished, saying, “Look! Are not all of these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears in our own language or native dialect? Among us there are Parthians, Medes and Elamites, and people of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia [Minor], Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and the visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes (Gentile converts to Judaism), Cretans and Arabs—we all hear them speaking in our [native] tongues about the mighty works of God!” And they were beside themselves with amazement and were greatly perplexed, saying one to another, “What could this mean?” But others were laughing and joking and ridiculing them, saying, “They are full of sweet wine and are drunk!”
Many went on to share the Gospel of Jesus with exceptional boldness and clarity. This power house filled those in the upper room and changed their lives forever. 

The gift that produces victory!

It is impossible to live a victorious life without Holy Spirit. 

…you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.)~Romans 8:9.

…the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words,~Romans 8:26. 

For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God,~Romans 8:13-14. 

When you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed in Him, you were also sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,~Ephesians 1:13. 

Without the Holy Spirit our flesh or soul (human mind, will, emotions) will dictate our lives. The mind of the flesh wars against God, it cannot please God. Without the Holy Spirit, according to Romans 8:9, we do not belong to God.  We need this gift and to honor the blessing of the Holy Spirit. 

As we contunue on this study of Holy Spirit I pray we grow to have deeper intimacy with God. I pray we grow to know more about Holy Spirit and cultivate greater friendship with Him. 

Love, 

Erin Lamb 

 
 

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Love is Always Available

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Long ago the LORD said to Israel: “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself,~Jeremiah 31:3.

The same words God spoke to Israel He speaks to me and to you! God loves with an everlasting love. According to the dictionary everlasting means.

1. Lasting forever; eternal: everlasting future life.
2. Lasting or continuing for an indefinitely long time.
3. Incessant; constantly recurring.
4. Eternal duration; eternity.

We tend to think of life in relation to time. We live in a realm of time and space. It is challenging to think of eternity; never-ending, ceaseless, infinite, and without any limitation. We are limited. God is not limited by time, space, or anything. He loves every person with a love that is almost incomprehensible.
People spend their lives looking for unconditional love. Searching for someone to bring out the best in them. They search for wholeness, life, hope, encouragement, and for someone to be a witness to their lives. Many search for love in the arms of a person. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be loved by a person. The problem comes when there is an expectation of perfect love from a person. It will not happen. All human beings are limited, and God never intended for people to replace Him. I am convinced God allows people to disappoint us from time to time so we see that He alone can love perfectly.
If love is always available, then why don’t more people feel loved?
Relationship leads to confidence…
When we first encounter someone, we don’t believe they love us either. We grow to understand their love through relationship and experience. We grow to understand their love through relationship. God invites us into relationship with Him through His Son. It’s a personal relationship. It’s not a distant relationship, but a close relationship. Think of it this way. A child never meets their Father. They read about him. They receive letters from him that say he loves them. They listen to other people talk about how great their father is and how much he loves them, but they have never met him and have no personal relationship. It would be highly unlikely the child would have great confidence in the father’s love for them. God invites every person to be in close relationship with Him. It is not like the old testament days where no one but a purified priest could come into His presence. Any person can have access to God through His Son.
  • Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence,~Ephesians 3:12.
  • Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us,~Ephesians 2:18.
  • Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me,~John 14:6.
I highly recommend the entire book of Ephesians to read about all Jesus paid for.
What we believe and see can limit what we feel…
Aside from relationship there are so many other things in the world that are aimed at leading us to believe God doesn’t love us. God is blamed for almost every tragedy that happens, and if He is not blamed for causing it, He is often blamed for not stopping the horrible events. There are people who scream, “God is punishing you for your sins.” People teach God is always angry, critical, a cruel task master, or child abuser.
For some, circumstances have made God seem unloving. People say, “If God loved me, then this would not happen, or my life would be better, or this relative would not have died.
I don’t have all the answers why God allows certain things to happen. I can say these verses have helped me along the way with some extremely challenging circumstances.
  • The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full,~Jesus (John 10:10).
  • I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world,~Jesus (John 16:33).
  • And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose,~Romans 8:28.
If this life here on earth is all there is, then it would seem unfair on so many levels. This life is not all there is. There is eternity which far exceeds the life anyone lives on earth. Most average people will not live to be 100 yrs old. Eternity is forever! God will make wrongs right. There will be justice. There will be no pain, sickness, death, or sin in heaven.
The wonderful thing is also that God sent His Holy Spirit to abide with His people. So He comforts, guides, provides wisdom, delivers, heals, unites believers, speaks, and does wonderful things here and now. Some people have neglected the work of the Holy Spirit, but He is very much alive and at work in the earth. We are not without hope, an Advocate, a Helper, a Sustainer, or Healer. This life is not meant to be suffered through, though there will be suffering. We have Someone, the greatest Someone, who promises to be with us every step of the way.
There is no one and nothing more powerful than God. And God loves His children. If it’s not good yet, He promises to work it for our eventual good.

You are loved sweet friends and pure, unconditional love is always available for you!

P.S For more in-depth study please join me on http://morena242.wordpress.com for an identity in Christ Series.
Love in Christ,
Erin
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Posted by on May 27, 2013 in From the Author, God's Heart

 

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God’s Love Letter (Poem)

God’s Love Letter

Written by Erin Lamb © Copyright 2011

I see you,

right where you are,

and I delight in you.

Your name runs across My mind

more times than you can imagine during the day.

Even in the night,

I ponder the great work that I have made in you.

The seeds of promise within you

are waiting to spring forth from your faith.

I blow sweet kisses at you during the night,

and you sense My smile in the sunlight.

I bottle your tears.

I want to cast away all your fears.

I support your dreams

and all those things,

you feel I am too big, or too busy to notice.

I watch over you carefully;

you are My precious possession.

You are My family,

one of royalty,

and of great value and worth.

Nothing can separate you from My love.

My love is constant and never wavering.

I will never leave.

I am as close to you

as you want Me to be.

I have great love for you;

this I want you to see.

Every day I wait eagerly

to speak My words of affirmation over you,

to share life with you,

and I am so pleased with what I have made.

I know you,

and I love you.

I chose you,

and I love you.

I gave you life,

and I love you.

You are My beloved,

and I love you with a ceaseless love that stretches far beyond your

mental capabilities.

When you think I am far away,

I am here.

Here, with you, is where I’ll always aspire to be.

Call out to Me,

and I will draw close to you.

For My love,

I never break a promise.

I never betray My vows.

I am committed to love you

and care for you.

This love is not based on what you do,

what you will accomplish,

or what you’ve done.

This love is not limited by what you have failed to do.

My grace flows over you.

My Son’s blood washed over you

and made you new.

I chose you before you knew Me,

and I knew you before you were a thought

in anyone else’s mind.

I know every intimate aspect of your life.

I will know you forever.

I loved you then,

and I love you now.

I will love you, for all your days.

Copyright © 2011 Erin Lamb. Excerpt from, “I Thought I Knew What Love Was.”

All rights reserved. No part of the material may be used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, without the written permission of the Publisher, Westbow Press (www.westbowpress.com), or Author, Erin Lamb. The only exception is in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

Book available: http://www.westbowpress.com, http://www.barnesandnoble.com and http://www.amazon.com

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2012 in From the Book, God's Heart, Poetry

 

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How I Love You (God’s Perfect Love)

How I Love You (God’s Perfect Love)

Describe your best loving relationship? How did you know the person loved you? What did they do to show you their love?
Do you think God responds to you in a similar way?

What if God knows the way you receive love and responds to you in a way that is tailored to you? What if His love is bigger, greater, more passionate, and deeper than any earthly love you have felt? It is! His love is perfect.

I pray as Paul prayed.

I pray that we, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that we may be filled to the measure of all measure of fullness of God.~ Eph 3:17-19.

God loves us perfectly but often we miss His love for the following reasons:

1. We don’t believe God loves us deeply and personally. So, we fail to recognize His love when it’s always there. If we don’t believe, we fail to receive. Have you ever gone out of your way to show someone you loved them, yet they failed to believe you? It’s the same with God. It starts with faith (believing God).

2. We don’t spend time with Him. It’s challenging to receive love from someone we don’t know. It’s strange and uncomfortable. However, the more familiar we are with someone, the easier it is to feel the heart to heart connection. Knowing leads to greater intimacy.

3. We think God is like the people we encounter. He can’t be compared to a person. He’s kinder, more generous, and more loving.

4. We blame Him for the bad things that happen and fail to thank Him for the good.

5. When He uses people to bless us, we end up thanking them and forget Him. He uses people to encourage us, care for us, show us kindness, etc…Too often we thank them instead of seeing God was the one who gave them the idea. It’s good to thank people, but ultimately God is the one longing to bless us.

I can say that God has gone out of His way to shower me with love. Sometimes I thanked people and saw only them. Other times I simply did not fully believe He was a personal God who wanted to have deep relationship with me. What I found was the more time I spent with Him, the more time I spent praying for a deeper revelation of His love, the more I saw His love. Here are some examples, just a few:

During times of discouragement or grief God would bring scriptures to mind. He sometimes sent people who were caring and kind, who wiped tears, and were a support. Often when the season was over the people were gone, but He never left.

During times of little resources God would send people to take me to dinner or make meals. He has always provided.

He spoke and speaks encouraging words into my heart. He calls out the good! He’s my greatest cheerleader.

He placed so many beautiful things in nature I can’t photograph them all. Nice!

I love art, and He has allowed there to be numerous talented artists in the world. I am able to see their work and marvel at their creativity.

Sometimes He allows my favorite songs to be played on the radio right as I’m thinking of them.

He inspired people to write worship songs that connect my heart to His.

He sent people to teach and show me His love (my parents).

He forgives over and over and over again. That’s love!

He convicts and corrects me when I’m wrong.

When I have been faithless, He’s still been faithful.

He speaks through His Word which has been a source of tremendous encouragement and blue print for life.

Last but not least, He sent His Son to take away all my sins! I put this one last because He did this for everyone. However, we fail to see that if we were the only lost person on earth, He still would have sent Jesus. His love is personal, not a blanket love. I told God once when I was young, “You love me because you have to.” His response, “I love you because I want to.” See verse below.

“Long before He laid down the Earth’s foundations, He had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of His love, to be made whole and holy by His love….(What pleasure He took in planning this!) Eph 1-4-5 the Message.

So my beautiful friends I hope and pray that His perfect love is revealed more and more to us. The way I sense His love may be radically different than how you sense His love. All that matters is that you know that there’s nothing He’d love more than to have a close, personal relationship with you. You were worth dying for! And you are worth pursuing. You are deeply loved. You’re in my heart and in my prayers.

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2012 in From the Author, God's Heart

 

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