The Root of Gun Violence

I hate that we continue to see the same repeat patterns of violence in our culture. Yet history has a way of attempting to repeat itself. Millions of Native Americans and Africans were murdered and enslaved with the establishment of America. Bloodshed is rooted in the DNA of this country. Rape, violence, and mistreatment of people who were marked as different were parts of the foundations of this Nation.

Freedom for all was for white men only for quite some time. Women could not vote, own property, and were more like property than partners. Native and African women were stripped from their partners and raped. Many forced to have children by slave owners who would also become property. Native and African men were tortured, murdered, men raped too (something some history books omit), and even forced to watch the rape of their wives and children. Africans and Natives were denied basic human rights.

Natives and Africans were torn from their partnerships. There were Africans here before the slave trade. Forbidden to marry, and divide and conquer was the name of the game. This too is not always told in history courses in America.

Why do I bring these things forward in light of the rise of mass shootings in America? Because if we do not examine our history and learn from it, it is bound to repeat itself. When we look at history we see a pattern of lack of value for certain lives. We see violence and murder. It did not start in America. It started with Cain and Abel.

The sins of humanity leads to destruction. It truly is not guns killing people (though I am not against laws to protect people), it is selfishness, lack of God love, and sin.

Do I love America? Yes. Do I value this country? Yes. Do I also understand her history and transgressions? Yes. I want a better future for the children coming up behind us. I do not want them to live in terror or suffer from PTSD. How frightening it is that schools, churches, and places that should be safe are no longer considered safe or sacred? We can do better.

I don’t believe video games or mental illness are causing mass shootings. There were no video games when millions of Natives were slaughtered on this soil, or thousands of African men hung from trees. There was hatred, insecurity, and sin.

There is a fundamental lack of God love prevailing in our culture and the world. Love that seeks to do not harm to its neighbor (Romans 13:10) and chooses to forgo selfishness. People who care only about themselves or their people group are dangerous.

Also where you find jealousy, you also find a murderous spirit (Saul with David, Cain with Abel, Joseph’s brothers, the Pharisees with Jesus). Some people do not murder with guns or knives, they murder with lies, slander, gossip, back biting, and nasty online posts or comments.

When there is fear and hatred, you find people may do the most ungodly things in acts of perceived threat or self preservation. It becomes “Us vs. Them” instead of “We were all created in the image of God.”

Our world is suffering from a spiritual and moral crisis that I do not believe will be completely resolved by natural means. Should we do our best to protect people? Yes. Do we also understand there is a spiritual element at work?

Evil is not only the abuse of free will, it is a manifestation of a heart that is sick and sinful. I hope we can look at the spiritual condition of society and stop blaming everything on games or mental illness. I know plenty of people who have suffered from mental illness who never grabbed a gun and shot up random people. The issue is the depravity, sin, and evil in the heart. Only God can transform a wicked heart.

Our world needs God love (unselfish, sacrificial, and pure love for all of humanity). People who do not love do not know God for God is love (1 John 4:8). If we do not stop looking at fruit and start examining roots, I am concerned we will not see transformation in our culture. It is not supposed to be, “God bless me and no one else,” or “My way is best,” or “I am only concerned about people who look like me, vote like me, or believe like me.” Love seeks what is best for EVERYONE!

God, I repent on behalf of my country for our selfishness, greed, idolatry, gluttony, lack of love, senseless murder, the rape/violence/human trafficking, for not truly honoring you or your commandments, for our sin, our lack of honor, our treachery and betrayal, our mistreatment or abuse of any people group, our lust and pride, our calling evil good, our strife/fighting, our deception, our poor conduct and immorality, our complacency and passivity, our dishonor of you and creation, and our failure to set a godly example for the world. I am sorry for our sins. Please cleanse and heal our land.

We need hearts transformed! My heart prayer for today has been, “God wreck our hearts in a good way with your unfailing love. We can only love our neighbors/others if we first receive your great love!”

Erin

Racism is Cured by God Love

Morning Story: How My Racist Neighbor Became My Friend. God Love Overcomes Hatred.

When I moved into my house, they warned me of the old grumpy man who lived across the street. He was old, cranky, a former cop, racist. I was told to avoid him because he hated everyone especially middle eastern people, blacks, and hispanics. He would frequently call the cops on our Saudi Arabian neighbor (I loved Raja. He was the sweetest guy).

I saw my cranky racist neighbor as an opportunity to share God’s love. The only thing he could do was call me names. I only respond to my name. It’s not what people call you, it’s what you answer to that matters.

So when I saw him, I would smile big and say, “Good morning neighbor, how are you?” At first he was grumpy and grumbled under his breath. I kept waving, smiling, and saying hello.

One day I saw him hobbling to get to the mailbox. I asked him, “Hey are you okay? Are you hurt? Can I help you?” He looked stunned. He proceeded to tell me how he was sick, he could not drive, and needed to get groceries and his medicine. I said, “I can take you or go get those things for you! I would be honored to help you.” He looked at me with sad blue eyes. I saw a person God loved; a person Jesus died for. I felt zero animosity. I felt this deep well of God’s love and compassion.

Something broke in my neighbor’s heart that day. He let me help him. And I spent the next 3-6 months serving. Picking up groceries, checking on him, praying for him, and being a friend. We had fun chats. I even got him to laugh!! 🤣🤣🤣

He would stop by and say hello. One day he showed up with a dozen red roses and a gift. He said, “Thank you for helping me.”

When he could drive again he went and purchased a car just like mine. He stated, “I hope you don’t mind. I really like your car.” I laughed and replied, “We are car twins. I love it!!” He smiled so big.

I watched God transform a heart by His love. Hatred melted away with love. Fear melted away with love. Bigotry melted away with love. Pride melted away with love. I even asked a guy friend of mine to do home repairs for him and they became buddies.

He did not want to talk about Jesus and my agenda was not to shove Jesus down His throat. My agenda was to love him. Jesus said love even your enemies. If we only love those who love us, what credit is that to us? Even the pagans do that. God loves the entire world, even those who hate Him. Why? Because God is love.

Legislation does not cure hatred, pride, insecurity, and fear-God love does.

If we want to see the world transformed, it starts with God’s love! For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. When we position ourselves to love no matter who it is, we release heaven on earth. God love is our superpower! Choose love! ❤️

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

P.S join us tomorrow morning at facebook.com/erinlambauthor for the live webcast teaching on hearing the voice of God.

Jesus is the Solution (Weekend Devotion)

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Morning Devotion: The only solution, Jesus.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yeshua come… ישו באה

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

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

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

You are so deeply loved and prayed for too!

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

God Created One Race, Human 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Misrepresentation of God

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You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us,~Romans 5:6-8.

There are so many lies floating around about God. There are numerous people claiming to represent Him that are doing more harm than good. Nothing saddens me more than the misrepresentation of God. He is glorious. He is good. While we were at our worst state, Jesus died for us.

God is love. There are so many Bible verses that affirm this truth, yet love is often misrepresented.

Love does not go along with what’s wrong. Some believe that because God is love, we should never correct others or point to truth. If you study the ministry of Jesus, He rebuked people…especially the self righteous.

For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives,~Hebrews 12:6.

God’s discipline is aimed at leading us to repentance (turning away from doing what’s wrong). Humans sometimes discipline to exercise control, to humiliate, or seek revenge. God longs to restore.

God loves all people! Heaven will be an ethnically diverse place.

After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands,~Revelation 7:9.

It’s sad that racism, sexism, bigotry, prejudice, and feelings of superiority have made their way into some Christian circles. God does not look at people the way we do. He looks at the heart.

There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus,~Galatians 3:28.

In God’s Kingdom, there are no inferior people groups nor is there an inferior gender. Division is a work of the evil one. The Holy Spirit works to bring about peace and unity. He does not change the truth to promote unity; He does place value and honor on people since they are made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27).

It amazes me that Jews and Africans have been the most persecuted and hated groups in history, yet the Bible is set on the Continent of Africa and in the Middle East. God does not hate dark skinned people or people from those regions. They were and are an integral part of His story. Jesus was born into a Jewish lineage. Many of the Kings, Queens, and influential people we read about in the Bible were African and others what we’d call today Middle Eastern.

God also does not devalue women. If you study the interactions Jesus had with women, He loved, honored, respected, and treated them well.

Sin (especially pride) brought about the mistreatment of people. It’s not God’s heart.

God wants to save people, not send them to hell.

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance,~2 Peter 3:9.

God sent His Son to save the world. So whosoever believes in Him could have everlasting life. Our role is to share the Gospel (which means Good News), not condemn people to hell. We leave the final judgement in God’s hands.

God didn’t tell us to force people into conversion or be the sin police for the world. He did tell us to hold other Christians accountable.

Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself,~Galatians 6:1.

This does not mean we are not to fight against social injustice. It does mean we not called to be the Holy Spirit for the world. God calls us to be salt and light. Light is a blessing (our role). Light shines (our role). Light guides (our role). Light illuminates truth (our role). God convicts the world of sin (Holy Spirit’s role). God empowers people to say no to sin (God’s role). When we take on His role, we end up doing more harm than good. We point people to God. We allow Him to work through us. We do not assume His role in their lives.

God hates sin not just because He’s holy, but because sin destroys who He loves.

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord,~Romans 6:23.

God doesn’t seek to humiliate or shame people.

Jesus dealt with all types of sinners. He did not seek to humiliate them. The Religious people of his day were looking for people to stone, humiliate, or condemn.

When they brought Jesus the woman caught in adultery here was His response.

When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”~John 8:7.

After her accusers were gone, Jesus told her to go and leave her life of sin. Love protects. Jesus protected her and told her to stop sinning. That’s real love.

God is not after your money; He’s after your heart!

There are people exploiting the gifts of God and the people of God for profit. God asks us to give to be a blessing to the poor and those around us. The gifts were never intended to exploit people. God cares deeply about the poor. He asks us to give to love on those who have not. When our heart is aligned with His, we care deeply for the poor and we want to give. He does not try to force us to give.

He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection,~Luke 14:12-14.

Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed,~Proverbs 19:17.

To sum it up…God loves people. He’s Sovereign. He’s holy. He’s good. He longs to help us in our weakness. He’s forgiving. The greatest detriment to our souls is failing to receive His Son. No one can come to the Father without the Son. Jesus is the key to eternal life. Even for those who reject Him, God still has love for them.

May we know Him for who He really is and represent Him well! God=Love!!! For more info on what He’s like, check out http://morena242.wordpress.com.

Love in Christ,

Erin