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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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Paid in Full (Jesus Saves)

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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.

Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation,~Romans 5:6-11.

I read a quote that has been imbedded in my memory. It says, “Sin has a high price tag. Either we will pay for our sins or we accept Jesus and receive His appropriation for our sins.” The Bible is very clear that all have sinned (except Jesus) and have fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). We are powerless to save ourselves, hence the need for a Savior.

What is sin? It’s not just murder, adultery, refusing to love, selfishness, jealousy, bigotry, racism, abuse, lying, dishonoring people, or hatred. Sin is anything not birthed from faith (Romans 14:23).

As humans we are not born loving God nor are we filled with faith. We are born selfish, carnal, and thanks to Adam/Eve with a sin nature in tact. Our passions are not Godly. God knew we’d mess up and made the appropriation for our mess ups. Jesus went to the cross for sinful, wicked, and messed up people; you and me!

People want to envision God slashing people and delighting in throwing them into hell with a grin on His face. God hates sin. God is opposed to sin. He’s holy, there’s no sin in Him. Sin cannot dwell in Him. He’s also a God of justice. Love without justice is not love at all. Those who refuse His solution for sin will end up eternally separated from Him. This truth should lead us to pray people are reconciled to God and free of sin, not to look down our noses or condemn others. If He had not pursued us, we’d all be lost.

So, we can be discouraged by our depravity or we can be encouraged by the love of God. The love that stepped into sinful humanity and laid down His life in a brutal death so we could be free.

Yes, sin is deserving of death. Sin is toxic. Sin is why Jesus went to the cross-to pay for our sins. But the story doesn’t end with our sin. In comes Jesus! He says, “Come follow Me. If you confess your sins, I am faithful to forgive your sins. I make all things new! I paid the highest price for you. I make all things new.”

Dear friends, let’s never forget what God did for us. Let’s not try to convince the world of their sin without introducing them to a Savior. May we recognize our own depravity and seek God for the purification of our heart and motives. Jesus paid the penalty for all sin. He paid it in full! We are saved because of what He did. It is finished.

God bless you! May you share the Gospel with love in your hearts. Our God is mighty to save.

Love in Christ,

Erin

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Posted by on March 5, 2014 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Unconditional Love vs. Unconditional Approval

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What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with,a that we should no longer be slaves to sin—because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.

Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God, Romans 6:1-10.

For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives, Hebrews 12:6 and Proverbs 3:12.

I recommend reading the entire book of Romans in one sitting. I have included parts of Chapter 6. There’s a scary phenomenon I’ve seen on blogs and some Christian websites that say because we are saved by faith we can live however we want. It’s true God allows us to make choices. It is incorrect that God approves of a lifestyle of sin. God never approves of sin.

He forgives our sins. When we confess our sins and seek repentance, He washes away our sins. God is 100 percent holy and just. There would have been no reason to send Jesus to the cross if He were okay with us living any way we want. Sin carries with it the penalty of death, but the gift of God is eternal life (Romans 6:23). Someone without sin had to pay for our sins. Jesus did that for us so we could be raised from spiritual death to life.

God did what we could not do. And the righteousness of Jesus is imputed to those who believe by faith and follow Him. Following Jesus involves obedience, not to earn righteousness or approval, but out of love for Him. Jesus said, “If you love Me, you’ll keep My commandments,” John 14:15.

God loves us no matter what we do. His love is agape, unconditional. He does not approve of or delight in sin. He never has and never will. It violates His nature as holy. His unconditional love is not unconditional approval. Jesus didn’t throw away the law, He fulfilled it and gave us His Spirit to empower us to live differently. Being born again means being given a new nature. We are no longer slaves to sin and sin becomes uncomfortable or unnatural.

Just as a human parent does not approve of their child disobeying, getting in trouble, abusing others or themselves, God does not delight in evil. He wants the best for us. He corrects us knowing sin is destructive. He’s not out to get us, but to help and protect us. Adam and Eve didn’t listen and we are still suffering from their choices. Sin is not our friend.

Key notes:

There is nothing we can do to make God love us more or less. Out of love He corrects us and leads us away from sin. He never approves of sin.

Grace empowers us to live righteous lives because of Christ in us. He changes us from the inside out.

Following Jesus includes making Him Lord over every area of our lives.

God doesn’t come to shame or condemn, but to convict and restore.

Jesus died for our freedom from sin!

Sweet friends, no matter the struggle, if our hearts long to follow Jesus, the Holy Spirit will lead us on a path to becoming like Him. We don’t strive, we abide and follow. God loves us too much to leave us the same. If we harden our hearts it can lead to destruction (Romans 1:28). It is in our best interests to submit to God in every way.

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Posted by on August 18, 2013 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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