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Why God Says No

Apples on Tree

First, I will say this post isn’t to condemn. We have all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (myself included). If we are in Christ we claim the righteousness of Jesus and not our own. We sin sometimes and have no idea we are sinning. God is always willing to forgive us if we sin. This post is hopefully to shed some light on why God says no to us doing whatever we want (sinning) instead of what He says to do. I have been, over the past several years, watching as our world becomes more and more wicked.  I read blogs, articles, and responses. I see a trend that is disturbing. It’s something the Bible warns us about, and I suppose I did not expect to see it in my lifetime.

For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear, 2 Timothy 4:3.

The trend is calling wrong right and right wrong. In some places, God’s word is being twisted to fit the culture and lifestyles of the masses. People say they are a Christian, yet they openly admit to living however they want with no conviction and claim grace. I want to define grace and point to some of the things Jesus taught, while I still have the freedom to do so.

Amazing GRACE…

Grace has been defined as God’s riches at Christ’s expense. Grace is far more than that. God is so patient, loving, and kind. He gives us so much in His Son. Grace is God’s unmerited, undeserved, lavish favor on those who have sinned. We did not deserve to be saved. We deserved His wrath and death. God sent His Son out of love for us (John 3:16). There is no person who is so sinful that God would not forgive them, restore them, and heal them. Present company included. His love offering for sin was enough for all. Jesus paid the price for all sin. So any person who comes to God in faith, can receive forgiveness. His grace also enables and empowers us to do His will. If we could save ourselves or will ourselves to be like Jesus, we would not have needed a Savior.

What Grace Is Not…

Grace is not a free ticket to keep on sinning. Grace is not a license to live how we want, do whatever we want with no consequences. Here’s what Paul says.

What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We 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.

If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been freed from sin, Romans 6:1-7.

If we claim to belong to God, we will have a heart and grow to have a heart to do what He says. This does not mean we will do everything perfectly. It does mean we rely on the Holy Spirit to submit to God’s will for our lives.

Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.” John 14:21.

If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love, John 15:10.

Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God, 1 John 3:6.

People have come up will all kinds of things that say God has changed His mind about obedience. He hasn’t, and He wont for the following reasons.

1. Sin hurts us, the people He loves.

When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord, Romans 6:20-23.

Adam and Eve didn’t believe God’s word when He said if you eat from this tree you will die. They did not die a natural death, they died a spiritual death. They opened the door for evil to reign in our world. They lost dominion on this planet and gave it to the devil. All the evil we see around us, death, sickness, suffering, all come from their disobedience. Sin cost Jesus His life, as He came to pay our penalty for sin. It costs us to disobey God. It costs others when we disobey God. God says no to protect us.

2. Perpetual sin (with no repentance) gives the devil an entry way into our lives.

Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.

Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory, Roman 5:2-17.

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you, James 4:7.

I know this post is long. My heart was grieved by an article I read of this person stating they were a Christian, yet they frequently sinned and didn’t think it was a big deal. I dare not judge or condemn, I just know sin hurts every person who succumbs to it. What God offers is always infinitely better.

Our behavior does not change God’s love for us. We cannot mistake His unconditional love with unconditional approval. God does not delight in disobedience or sin. No loving parent says to their child, “Keep doing what you want. Oh, yeah play with those matches. Yes, run in the street. Oh, you like drugs keep taking them. Oh, you like killing people-do whatever feels right for you….” God loves us more than any earthly parent ever could. He says no to sin because it leads us down a path of destruction, destroying us or others. I encourage people to read Romans,1 and 2 Corinthians, & the gospel of John. I encourage people to spend time studying the Bible and praying for wisdom and strength to do God’s will.

Take it from someone who tried life my own way and I can tell you God’s way is best. I thought I knew what I was doing and what was best for me. Well, I didn’t. My only regrets come from not listening to God’s wisdom or choosing things without asking Him for wisdom. Only God is perfect in wisdom. If we choose our own way or the way of the world or our culture, we will end up in a bad place. Our culture says, “Do what you want. Do what feels good to you and for you. Think of yourself. Whatever feels good is good” God says, “Think about what’s best for others. Don’t be selfish. Love Me and love others. Do what I say and find life. Everything that feels good is not good for you. Ask for My wisdom.” Our culture says, “Experiment, test the waters, live it up, try it, taste it, enjoy it.” God says, “Wait; do things My way. Live My way. I will bless you.” Our culture has called what’s evil good and what’s good evil or old-fashioned or out of date. God has not changed. We are blessed to do things His way. If we think there are no consequences for sin, we can watch the news and see there is.

Father I pray for an increase in truth in our world. I ask that we would seek Your will and not our own. I ask that we would not conform to the ways of this world, but stand strong and firm on Your word. Help us to say no to sin and yes to Your will. May we receive Your love and give it back to You. Our freedom cost Jesus His life. May we receive His forgiveness. In Jesus name, Amen.

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2013 in From the Author, God's Heart, Uncategorized

 

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The Perfect Father’s Discipline

The Perfect Father’s Discipline

Photo Credit: Microsoft Clipart

Written by Erin Lamb, all rights reserved.

God is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love, ~Psalm 145:8.

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

Dear friends, nothing raises more arguments than the subject of how God disciplines His children. Some cling to the Old Testament examples of God striking people dead while others believe that God is okay with whatever we do. Let’s allow the pendulum to swing to truth and dissect a perfect parent’s discipline.

1. The Perfect Father protects. God is holy (has no fault; He is perfection) .God hates sin. Why? Sin is falling short of His standard. He is spotless, and sin is pollution. Sin also separates us (His children) from the best life possible. Sin is like cancer, it multiplies and destroys its host. Think of it this way, we keep poisons away from children. We tell them no when they try to get to them. We do these things out of love. We know more than they know that what they are after leads to death. The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, ~Romans 6:23. Adam and Eve didn’t die physically when they sinned but they did die a spiritual death. We too suffer when we choose our way above God’s way. He is always right. So…

The Perfect Father points His children away from things that will harm them, especially sin. He doesn’t say no because He hates us or wants to spoil the party. He knows that sin will lead to our destruction. God is love, life, peace, hope, and joy.

2. God disciplines primarily through words, not killing people. If you pick up a Bible and read it, you will notice God spoke to people either directly or through someone else to warn them of their behavior. He asks questions. Why did you do this? If He was out to kill every person who didn’t do what He said, then we would all be in trouble. Adam was the first sinner. He directly disobeyed God. Adam lived.  Abraham lied on several occasions and he lived. He became a great father of faith. David committed adultery and had someone killed to have their wife. David lived and was called a man after God’s own heart. God never condones bad behavior. He does however give us a chance to repent (change our ways), and He is generous with forgiveness. See 2 Peter 3:9.

4. God knows our hearts and weaknesses. Some of us do the wrong thing and have no idea we are falling short. There are some of us who willingly do the wrong thing. God knows whether we understand or we don’t understand. For example a parent would have a different response to a 2-year-old who destroys something in the house and a teenager. Either way, God is patient with us. If He weren’t, I certainly would not be typing to you.

5. God is not out to get you. There are so many people who have an unhealthy fear of God. It is true that we reverence Him as God. However, He is not sitting in the heavens looking down for someone to pick on. He is not cruel or blood-thirsty. God is love. More than anything He wants a relationship with His children, to protect them from harm, and to bless His offspring. Jesus came not to destroy the world, but to save it so we could all be reconciled to the Father (John 3:17).

6. The Perfect Father gives freedom. God gives us many chances to choose the right path before He allows us to be turned over to our own desires. He pursues our best interests right up until the point we say, “I don’t need or want you.” I have seen people self-destruct not because of what God was doing, but because of their own poor choices.  Even still, if they turn around and want Him, He runs with arms wide open (think..prodigal son story-Luke 15:11-25)

Lastly, just like the photo in this post, God is looking at you with the eyes of love. He is saying, “This is my child and I want nothing more than to be in this moment with you. I am so glad I made you.”  God is a loving, patient, and caring Father. My prayer is any ideas of Him you have that contradict that truth are uprooted. He does not want to harm you, but to give you an amazing life. You are deeply loved.

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2012 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Who’s My Father? (The Perfect Father)

The Perfect Father

By Erin Lamb, all rights reserved

Dear friends, I am so excited about this series on God as the Perfect Father. One thing that stirs my heart is the misrepresentation of God’s heart. He doesn’t need anyone to defend Him. However, I’m passionate about His heart being accurately portrayed. Why you may ask? I’m surrounded by people who don’t know God. Some claim to be atheists, some believe God hates them, some are so overwhelmed with shame they can’t imagine a loving God, and some have been told God is a cruel task master. My heart aches for the world to know how GOOD God is. So, as we embark on this journey together, here are some things I’d love for you to ponder.

1. All human beings were created in God’s image and are His children. He is the Father of all creation (Genesis 1). Some of His kids are reconciled through Jesus and some have yet to be reconciled or may refuse His love. In His heart every child has value. God is daily pursuing reconciliation with His kids.

2. God’s parenting is perfect, we just don’t always experience His love. He has been misrepresented by humans. Our earthly parents may have failed but He is perfect. Developing a personal relationship with Him is the only way to fully know His heart. No person can have the relationship for us, we must accept His invitation for ourselves.

3. God knows all, sees all, and hears all. I’ve heard people say they are too far gone for God to bless or love them. Well, here’s a thought to ponder…God knew everything you would do before you were born. He is not limited by time or space. You were His idea. Your parents were His idea. He loved you before you were born. He loves you today. There’s nothing you can do to change His love!

Prayer for you:

Father I ask for every person who visits this site to have an encounter with Your heart. May they have a deeper revelation of Your love as their loving Father. For those who don’t know You, may they be reconciled to You, the One who loves them most.

P.S You are deeply loved and have a loving Heavenly Father!

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2012 in From the Author

 

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You Are My Child (Poem)

Photo Credit: Microsoft Clipart

Written by Erin Lamb©, all rights reserved

God’s love is overwhelming once our hearts have a revelation of how incredible it is. His love for His children does not fail. We live in a world that may at times make it challenging to see God’s love. As stated in the post The Perfect Father, God is not cold, cruel, or aloof. He loves us deeply and purely. The words below were pressed into my heart today. I hope they bless you. Whether you know God or not, He loves you. You are the object of His affection. You are loved….today and every day.

You are My child;

the one that I came for,

and the one My heart loves.

Before I set the stars in the sky

I thought of you, and I knew you.

I pieced together your DNA in My mind.

Everything about you,

I knew you before the creation of time.

You were and will always be the one My heart longs for.

Every moment of the day

I am eagerly waiting for you to look My way.

I’ve stored up abundant blessings for you,

beyond your wildest imaginings.

I have always loved you,

always known you,

and I have always wanted to be with you.

You are My child.

You are an extension of My creativity.

How delighted I was to pour out My heart and speak life into you.

I neither slumber nor sleep;

My eyes are careful to watch every step you take.

All for love,

I reach down

in ways you cannot always see.

Oh, to meet with you,

to be with you;

there is no place I’d rather be!

Every hair on your head;

I know them.

Every tear you’ve shed;

I have bottled them.

No one knows you better than Me,

and no one can love you as well as I can.

There is a void inside you that is longing to be filled.

And I stand with arms wide open,

longing to fill your heart with so much love that your heart’s cup overflows.

I am the One who knows your destiny and true identity.

I created you for Me.

Your name is engraved upon My heart,

and your dreams as well.

I long to see you soar to the highest heights

I am your biggest fan.

You are My child and nothing can cause Me to love you less.

I love you!

I love you!

I will always love you!

If you cannot feel My love or sense My affection,

look to that rugged cross.

There My Son took many lashes.

He took them for you.

So that you and I could be together for eternity.

You were worth dying for.

You were worth saving.

You are My child,

and My love is always here for the taking.

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2012 in From the Author, God's Heart, Poetry

 

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The Perfect Father

The Perfect Father

Photo Credit: Microsoft Clipart
By Erin Lamb, all rights reserved

“For God so loved the world He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life,” John 3:16.

“The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love,” Psalm 145:8.

God has been presented as cold, stern, demanding, punishing, and even aloof. On this journey to exploring His heart those statements have been proven to be the furthest things from the truth. God is passionate, loving, patient, filled with joy, compassionate, forgiving, and involved. His love for each of us is personalized. He is the perfect Father.

So, what constitutes the perfect father? They say people filter their view of God through their parents. If a person has loving parents, then it is far easier to see God as loving. Set aside the view of your earthly parents and come join me on the journey to knowing the perfect parent, God.

Some Characteristics of the Perfect Parent:

Unconditional Love. The perfect parent loves their child not based on their performance or abilities. Their child is the object of their love because they are an extension of who they are. We are made in God’s image, Genesis 1:27. We are His children.

Patience and Mercy. The perfect parent is filled with patience. God is perfect in patience. He knows our weaknesses and limitations. God is not a cruel task master. He knows without His help we are doomed to fail. He did the work for us on the cross, so we could depend on Him.  He overflows with mercy, as well as patience. When we fail, He asks we confess our sins, then He forgives us our sins. He extends mercy.

Provides Instruction & Lovingly Corrects. Leadership is a fundamental characteristic of the perfect parent. They lead by example and correct in love. If they see their child is headed for disaster, they will do all that they can to help their child get back on track.

Protect, Provide, Comfort, and Encourage. The perfect parent is concerned with the well-being of their child. They make the best interest of their off-spring the highest priority.God cares about every detail of His children’s lives. The perfect parent is their child’s biggest cheerleader.

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”  Matthew 6:26

Leaves an Inheritance/Blessing. The perfect parent has blessings set aside for their child. The Bible states a righteous person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children, Proverbs 13:22.  God has given all those in Christ a share in His inheritance. God offers blessings and every spiritual blessing in heavenly places for those who receive Jesus as Savior, Ephesians 1:3.

Those are just some of the characteristics of God as the perfect parent. There is so much more. He loves us more than anyone on this planet. My prayer is that we have a deeper revelation of His love.  We are deeply loved.

P.S Check  out http://www.facebook.com/erinlambpoetry for your opportunity to win a free copy of I Thought I Knew What Love Was and a gift card (US residents only for the card).

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2012 in From the Author, God's Heart

 

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