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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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Character Development (Holy Spirit University (HSU) Series Part IV)

One of the roles of Holy Spirit is to reveal the Son of God and help us know Jesus. Holy Spirit is also a wealth of wisdom, love, joy, peace, power and helps to develop our character.

We, if we are believers in Jesus as Lord, are invited to live by the Spirit and not after the flesh.

The flesh represents the carnal nature of mankind. The flesh tends to be selfish and self focused. The mind of the flesh wars against God. The character of the flesh, carnal nature, is quite immature and self centered.

One of the ongoing classes in Holy Spirit University is character development. Though God loves us as we are, the intention is not to leave us the way He found us.

The invitation to salvation is more than keeping us from hell, it is an invitation for heaven to live in us and transform us from the inside out.

God knows exactly what is needed to develop our character so we grow to look like Jesus.

Character Counts:

Why does it matter that we grow to possess godly character? One, we are called to be God’s Ambassadors of heaven on earth; two, godly character brings God glory.

Have you ever met someone who is anti-God because they have had horrible experiences with Christians? I have. I went through a season in my own life where I dreaded church. I loved Jesus, His Bride was scary, judgmental, rude, and unloving at times.

Advertising for Heaven:

Our love and character is a billboard for Jesus! He stated His disciples would be recognizable by their great love.

What does our billboard say? Does it say, “God loves you. I love you!” Or does it say, “I can’t be trusted, your fears about trusting God are justified.”

The devil does not mind a body of believers who’s character is so questionable it resembles more of his kingdom than God’s. Carnal (flesh driven, selfish, rude, and unloving) Christians are some of the most effective tools to drive people away from God.

Growing Into Maturity with God:

God does not force us to grow up. He does provide His Spirit. He does place us in situations to grow and learn to rely on Him. He does invite us to listen, abide, know Him, and yield to Him.

As we yield to God, good fruit emerges (John 15:4-5). It does not happen by our striving, or extensive self help.

Good fruit and character development are a byproduct of abiding (relationship with God), intimacy (knowing God), yielding to God, and listening to Holy Spirit and following Him.

Romans 8 tells us the following:

For those who are living according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh [which gratify the body], but those who are living according to the Spirit, [set their minds on] the things of the Spirit [His will and purpose]. Now the mind of the flesh is death [both now and forever—because it pursues sin]; but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace [the spiritual well-being that comes from walking with God—both now and forever]; the mind of the flesh [with its sinful pursuits] is actively hostile to God. It does not submit itself to God’s law, since it cannot, and those who are in the flesh [living a life that caters to sinful appetites and impulses] cannot please God.

However, you are not [living] in the flesh [controlled by the sinful nature] but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God lives in you [directing and guiding you]. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him [and is not a child of God]. If Christ lives in you, though your [natural] body is dead because of sin, your spirit is alive because of righteousness [which He provides]. And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you (Romans 8:5-11 (AMP)).

If we are in Christ, the old has passed away and the new has come. We are invited to live out our new identity as sons and daughters of God.

As we walk with God we begin to resemble God. We become like the God’s we worship. Our lives begin to manifest the fruit of our deepest intimacy.

We can have Holy Spirit and He does not have us. Yielding is an exceptional way see the character of God manifest in our lives.

Papa God, help us to yield to you and the Holy Spirit’s leading. Help us to abide and cultivate intimacy with you. You love us, may we abide in that love, and manifest that love in the world. Grow us up in you. In Jesus powerful name. Amen.

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2017 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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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

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2017 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Saturday Devotion (The Gospel According to Jesus)

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Weekend Devotion: The Great Falling Away, What is the Gospel, The Prodigal, and Salvation. Looking at the words of Jesus (He is perfect theology). 

I have been thinking about prodigals and those who do not know God. I have also been thinking of those who believe they know God, yet what they have is religion not relationship. I started thinking about all the people told to simply pray a prayer to be saved (Jesus never did this) or told baptism and church membership saves them, and then live independently of God. When facing God, some will have an interesting awakening. 

The revelation will come that God is better than anything created and the words, “Depart from Me I never knew you,” will sting. 

How could a loving God reject someone? 

God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. The choice is set before everyone-choose life, choose the Son, follow Him, do what He says. God extends the invitation, mankind rejects God. 

I personally do not believe in once saved always saved. Why? I find scriptures that speak of those who fall away (Matthew 24:8-9), those who turn their backs on God, those who practice lawlessness and do not care for others being cast into the darkness (Matthew 7:21-23, Matthew 25:31-46). 

 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day [when I judge them], ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, and driven out demons in Your name, and done many miracles in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them publicly, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me [you are banished from My presence], you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands].’~Jesus (Matthew 7:21-23). 

And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he who endures until the end shall be saved~Matthew 24:12-13. 

And the longest passage comes from Matthew 25:31-46.

There is such a burning in my heart for every person to have a personal awakening and relationship with God. 

The Role of the Disciples of Jesus

The Church is to reveal to the world the heart, nature, compassion, and goodness of God. 

Jesus revealed the Father and the world came to know God. 

The Prodigal

The prodigal had to come to his senses. He thought what the world had to offer was better than the Father. He was wrong. 

The prodigal traded royalty for a pit. He gave up paradise for something far beneath his destiny. 

The devil works overtime to convince people life on earth is all there is. He shouts, “Live it up,” knowing life independent from God leads to destruction. 

The Spirit of This Age 

The spirit of this age blinds people to the truth of who God is, how good God is, and offers temporary pleasures that never, ever satisfy. They leave people empty, broken, wounded, confused and on a death march to hell with the devil. 
Even the spirit of religion blinds people to the truth of the Gospel. 

The Gospel is… 

  • God so loves the entire world (every people group, both genders, every ethnicity).
  • There is no racism or sexism or hierarchy of people/genders in God’s heart (1 John 4:8, Revelation 5:9). 
  • God empowers both men and women to have dominion on earth and do the works of Jesus (Genesis 1:28, Galations 3:28). 
  • God so loved the world He sent His Son Jesus to die for our sins (John 3:16).
  • Sin leads to death (Romans 6:23). The death penalty was on us all (Romans 5). 
  • Jesus paid for all sin on that rugged cross. So whosoever shall believe on Him and follow Him will be saved (John 3:16). Jesus invited people to follow Him (relationship).
  • He (Jesus) was born of a virgin, died for all sin, and was resurrected on the third day with all power in His hands (Matthew 1:18, 1 Peter 3:18, 1 Corinthians 15:4, Matthew 28). 
  • The same power that raised Jesus from the dead came on believers at Pentecost (Acts 2). It is available to every born again believer (Acts 1:8). 
  • Repentance (changing our mind about sin), accepting Jesus by faith and making Him Lord creates radical transformation in our lives. 
  • The old is passed away and the new comes (2 Corinthians 5:17). 
  • As far as the east is from the west, that’s how far our transgressions are removed from us (Psalm 103:12). 
  • We are crucified with Christ and it is no longer we who live, it is Christ who lives in us (Galatians 2:20).

My continual question on the street, in the market place, even at church is, “Do you know (have personal, intimate relationship) with Jesus?” 

Papa help us to know you, really know you. I pray for any person reading this devotion to have an encounter with you. I ask for radical encounters of your love, peace, joy, and wisdom. I pray for any not following Jesus to have a heart that turns to you. Let not one perish. Every spiritual scale fall off their eyes. Every bondage be broken. Every lie be seized. Holy Spirit of truth come and saturate us all. Come Lord Jesus and reveal yourself to each one. Breathe on us. In Jesus powerful name. Amen. 

Love, 

Erin Lamb 

 
 

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Everything God Allows Is Not Necessarily His Will (Wednesday Devotion)

  
Morning Devotion: This was all God’s plan or was it? Everything God allows is not necessarily His will. Everything stated or predicted to be true is not necessarily God. 

God is good (Mark 10:18). Evil exists because of the abuse of free will (Romans 5:12). We can choose evil over good. We can choose our way over God’s way. Why? Because love involves freedom. The desire to control people is demonic. 

Nothing happens outside God’s knowledge. He does not prevent every horrible thing from happening. 

This does not mean the following: 

1. God is cruel or loves to punish people. 

The Bible says He is slow to anger and abounding in love (Psalm 103:8). He is merciful wanting all to come to repentance. 

2. Everything that happens is God’s perfect will. 

God desires that none should perish (2 Peter 3:9), yet we know millions will. 

3. When things happen, God caused it to happen. 

Allowing and causing are two vastly different concepts. To cause something to happen is to have motivations and intentions that pursue that outcome. All the evil we see in the world came from Adam choosing to obey the devil instead of God (Romans 5:12). Did God cause sin? No. Did He give choices? Yes. 

God hates sin. Yet He allows us to choose sin. 

There will not be anyone in heaven who chose the devil over God or chose themselves over God. Why? God will not force anyone to love Him. 

This concept of humans have no personal responsibility due to the sovereignty of God is false. 

God gave both Adam and Eve dominion on the earth (Genesis 1). They were to fill, subdue, reign on earth. They were given authority and dominion. They surrendered it through sin. 

Jesus regained what was lost. Jesus restored what was broken in the Garden. Yet there is still a world in chaos. Why? People can still choose sin. Sin leads to destruction and death. Sin hurts us and others. 

Death, sickness, destruction, brokenness, broken relationships, hurt, sorrow, lust, greed, and all evil were not a part of the Garden pre fall. God knew man would sin, so there was already a plan for redemption. The fall of man happened. It does not mean God caused it to happen. 

God’s sovereignty is also not an excuse for prayerlessness or not doing our part. Saying, “Oh this is just the way it is,” or “God will fix it,” or “I am waiting on God to show up,” or “This is God’s plan or will,” are sometimes excuses to not do our part. God gave us brains, feet, hands, vocal chords, and resources so we could use them. 

I love what Joyce Meyers says. She says, “You know what happens when you do not pray? Nothing. Nothing happens.” 

God enters situations He is invited into. Someone invited God; He revealed His power. 

I want to take you further along this path with the prophetic. Ready? 

Every prophetic word that is true or comes true is not necessarily from God. Say what? Indeed. 

When Jesus walked the earth demons would sometimes cry out, “You are the Son of God.” He would tell them to be quiet because His time had not yet come (Luke 4:41). 

When Paul delivered the woman with the spirit of divination, she was speaking the truth. Her source was not God (Acts 16:16-18). 

Demons and the devil can speak truth. The devil knows the Bible better than most people. Demons also network to understand the workings, patterns, desires, and ways of humans. Just because something true is spoken or predicted does not necessarily mean it was God who inspired the vocalization. 

More examples…Just because it’s spoken and happened, does not mean it was inspired by God. 

I have met several woman over the years who were prophesied to who their spouse would be. I truly believe God speaks and may tell someone. These ladies ended up with men who did not truly love God or them. Two were told, “You will marry this person.” There was no bliss on the other side of “I do.” There was a whole lot of hell; some of those marriages ended in divorce. Some were deeply wounded by the dreams, words, visions that were not reality or did not become reality.

I have had at least a dozen “prophetic” words from people about who my spouse will be, and when he will come. Guess what? None of them match, nor have they come true. Since God is not the author of confusion, what could be the source? 

1. Flesh or soul. 

We have a spirit, a body, and a soul. The soul can sense things too. It does not mean it’s God. 

2. Evil spirits. 

They can interject thoughts, dreams too. Sometimes with people they can insert thoughts that are first person, “I hate my life,” or “I am so ugly.” They can implant words, “You will marry this person.” Hence scripture telling us to test every spirit to see if it is God. 

For relationships, please examine the way the person treats you. Look at the fruit in their life. Look at who they spend their time with and how they treat people who can do nothing for them. Look at how they respond to not getting their way. Look at their life. Is it a hot mess? How well do they love God? Do they truly love Him. How they treat God is how they will treat you. 

God is good. Every good and perfect gift comes from above, from the Father of Lights. Gifts from God are good. People are not perfect, yet when God brings a gift there is blessing tied to it. 

I highly recommend with some words, visions, pictures to sit them on the shelf and to also pray, “God I cancel any enemy assignments of deception. I only want to hear Your voice. I want to walk in Your truth. Holy Spirit lead and guide me.” 

There are false Holy Spirits too…will touch on that in a deliverance/freedom post later. They work to hurt and bring deception. You will hear people say, “God told me to do this immoral, harmful thing.” No He did not. Holy Spirit will not violate the word of God. 

Papa God, help us to colabor with You. Help us to be people of wisdom, prayer, and doing what we see Jesus doing. Help us to have heavenly vision, ears that hear Your truth above the noise, and discernment to know what is You, what is our flesh, what is the devil/his minions, and what is coming from our souls. Anything not of You, please uproot it. Replace it with Your love, truth, and power. In Jesus powerful name. Amen. 

God bless you! You are in my thoughts and continual prayers. You are so deeply loved. 

Erin Lamb 

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2016 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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I AM Here (Love Poem from Papa God)

  
Sweet (dulce) friends…I’ve been doing this series on healing the soul. For once the soul is healed, the body receives healing as well. Beloved, I would love for you to prosper even as your soul prospers. 

The One who’s produced the greatest healing in my life is God. When people failed to demonstrate the love of God to me, God stepped right in and loved me to health. I know the profound rejection from people truly did me a favor, it pushed me deeper into the arms of the One who truly loved me. I tell you this because maybe you’re still hurting. Maybe your soul aches and you’re tired of advice from people who have no clue the depths of what you’re going through. Maybe you’re wondering, “Why God? Or when God? Or will this pain, suffering, or trial end? Or will I ever be healed?” 

Oh dear ones…I’ve been there. Agony that lingered for days, to months, to years…enduring things that at moments made me feel I might just die. Then I’d wake up the next day, with the residual of tears dried to my face. No one but God saw the depths of grief, sorrow, or pain. People love to applaud the overcomer, yet I’m here to say, “God will get you through this. Hang on! I’m praying for you.” 

I can’t be with you all and wipe your tears. Yet know I’m thinking of you, praying for you, loving you through intercession, and I hope this poem encourages you. God will get you through this. He did it for me and there were days I had no hope and He’d give me His. Such a Best Friend!

Here I Am 

Standing

Overflowing with passionate love

Reaching out for you 

The one I love 

While you slumber

I’m wide awake 

Eagerly anticipating 

Meeting with you face to face 

I’m singing you love songs 

The sweetest melodies 

My Son has been praying for you 

He loves to intercede 

Here I Am 

In your storms 

In your trials 

In your fears 

In the midst of your uncertainties

And I’m reaching out 

For you to cast your cares on Me 

You see I’m stronger 

I can handle it all 

I’m strong enough 

And here when you call 

I’m never too busy 

My heart is soft towards you 

Trust if you move a millimeter in My direction

I’m running miles in yours 

I AM here 

Today

Every day 

Loving you 

Wanting you 

Seeking you 

Pursuing you 

Desiring the closest space in your heart 

It’s Me 

Your loving Father

There’s no one and no love that can take My place 

Other loves make promises they cannot fulfill 

They promise you love and pleasure 

Leaving you emptier still 

I AM here 

My love will not disappoint you 

Or leave you with regrets 

Oh for you to know Me…

To know My loves’ great width and depth

You cannot exhaust the magnitude of My love

It existed before you 

It’s who I AM 

I AM love 

I’ve seen the end from the beginning

And you cannot change who I AM 

I AM here standing 

Standing in love for you 

Wanting what’s best for you 

Cheering My heart out for you 

Singing my song over you 

Collecting those tears for you

Moving mountains in love for you 

Setting up divine appointments to bless you 

Setting up opportunities to grow you 

I AM here 

And if the entire world turns on you 

If they walk away 

If they refuse to see the gift

The treasure I’ve created in you 

Know you are not alone or abandoned

I AM here 

Papa God, I ask for Your unfailing love to flood each heart and soul. Bathe sorrows in Your comfort. Deposit hope for a better tomorrow. I bind every lie of the enemy, for this too shall pass. You are the God of new beginnings. The One who gives life, abundant life and joy. I ask for miracles for each one reading this. I ask for surprises from above! Bless them richly and abundantly. Let them know tangibly that they are deeply loved, seen, heard, and You’re working for their good. I’m Jesus powerful name, amen. 

Love, 

Erin Lamb♥️💯

 
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Posted by on September 3, 2015 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart, Poetry

 

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Believe, Know, Listen, & Follow-Intimacy with God (Part II)

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Photo credit: Son of God movie

John 10:25-30.

Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.”

I recommend reading all of John 10. In this passage Jesus refers to Himself as the good Shepherd. Shepherds were overseers of flocks. Sheep are not the brightest animals. They will fall into ditches, see another sheep in a ditch and fall in…they can wonder off and be destroyed because they are not wise. Shepherds protected their sheep. They were invested in keeping them safe. They’d lay at the gate to prevent them from escaping. They spent time with the sheep. They rescued wayward sheep.

Jesus is the good Shepherd. We are like the sheep. He’s responsible to care for us, reveal who He is to us, and we are to know and follow Him. We are not an obligation to God. We are His dearly loved children.

In the verses above Jesus is responding to the questions of the Pharisees about who He is. Is He the Christ? I love His responses. He stated, “You do not believe, therefore you are not my sheep. My sheep know and follow me.

Intimacy with God starts with faith. It starts with belief.

Do you believe God is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do?
It is not enough to simply believe there is a God or Jesus is the Son of God. Even the demons believe and tremble. (James 2:19), yet they are not saved. There’s no salvation for them. There is for humanity.

If you’re reading this and you’ve never confessed your sins before God, repented (made a decision to turn from sinning and turn to God), asked God to cleanse you of your sins, placed your faith in Jesus Christ as the appropriation for your sins, and asked Him to be your Lord and Savior, I invite you do so. There’s no salvation apart from Him. There’s no entrance to heaven without going through the Son. We can’t do enough good works to earn holiness or righteousness. Jesus did it for us. We by faith, receive what He’s done and accept His righteousness as our own.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me,” John 14:6.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith,~Romans 3:23-25a.

If you invited God into your life, I would love to hear from you and provide more information to you.

The second step in intimacy with God is being with Him.

Sheep spent their time with the shepherd. They learned his voice, his smell, his mannerisms. It’s impossible to have intimacy (knowing) with someone and you never spend any time. If Sunday morning is the only time you spend with God, well your level of intimacy is not going to be high.

I am not stating you attend worship services all week, lock yourself in a room to pray and read the Bible all day. I am saying we can commune with God every day, as much as we’d like. One of my morning activities is to start the day with worship and thanksgiving. “Good morning God! I love you. Thank you for who you are and all you’ve done. I invite you to be a part of my day. What do you want to do? Who do you want to bless?” And there are days where I’m just listening. What is God doing? What is He saying? It’s not a ritual, it’s relationship.

Intimacy with God involves listening and knowing His voice.

The Bible says God speaks. There are some who teach He doesn’t and that does not align with scripture. God speaks to His children. If you had children and wrote an instruction manual for them, would you then say, “I refuse to speak to you. Go read the book I gave you.” That would seem insane. Yet some teach God only speaks to us through the Bible. God spoke to people in the Bible through dreams, visions, directly, through prophets, even through a donkey. Before you get too excited, let’s lay down some ground rules.

1. When God speaks He will not tell you to sin or violate His already written word.

I had someone tell me once the Holy Spirit told her not to read the Bible ever and only to listen to the voice she was hearing. That’s wrong and violates scripture.

I heard someone say God told them to leave their spouse for someone else. That’s wrong. It violates many scriptures.

Our culture says do whatever feels good for you and if it’s “love” or feels good, God must approve of it. That’s wrong. If there’s no place in scripture where God is condoning a behavior, you can’t condone it either and claim it’s God. There are some verses that seem to contradict each other which is why God gave His Holy Spirit to teach us.

We can’t toss out the Bible and rely on feelings, human wisdom, angelic visitations, or voices we believe are God.

2. All prophecy (speaking God’s word) is to be tested. Meaning the following:

Does it align with God’s word? Example, there are many false prophecies about when the world will end. Well, the Bible states the following:

“No one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows,”~Matthew 24:36.

Does the prophecy fit the character of God?

I’ve had destructive words spoken over me. There was no life in them. God does give warnings. He also provides redemption. Those who repent can find hope and life in Him. Jesus came to save, not destroy. If people are destroyed, it will be because they refused the gift He offered and refused repentance.

Finally intimacy with God involves following Him.

We are called to obey God. It’s not a popular teaching, yet Jesus taught it often. Christianity is not simply praying a prayer, it’s following a person. That person is Jesus. We cannot claim to love God and live a life where we refuse to do what He says. He gives us grace and His Spirit to enable us to do His will. If we cease to obey, we will eventually cease to hear from Him. If He continues to speak, we are held accountable for what we know. So if you feel super disconnected from God, one thing to ask is , “Has He told me to do something I have not done?”

I will continue this series because I truly believe we perish for lack of knowledge of who God is. We are called to know Him, to be loved by Him, to love Him, and enjoy Him. God is not boring, cold, stern, a kill joy, or mean spirited. He is good, holy, exciting, adventurous, overflowing with love and joy. He’s beyond amazing. He’s generous, faithful, merciful, and forgiving. The evil one doesn’t want the world to know who God is and how good He is. Once you know Him, it’s almost impossible to resist Him.

Will you join me on this relentless pursuit of God’s heart? I hope so.

You’re continually in my thoughts, prayers, and you are deeply loved (John 3:16).

Love,

Erin

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2014 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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