Miracles Are to Flow From Love

Morning Notes on Power, Miracles, Signs, and Wonders. Jesus Performed Miracles Through Love. He Did Not Flow Through Pride, Ego, Show, or Selfish Gain.

Power without love is not God. Yes the gifts of God are irrevocable. The fruit of the Spirit manifests the fruit of God; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). Apostle Paul stated without love we are making noise, we are nothing, and have nothing (1 Corinthians 13). The Bible also states that between faith, hope, and love, the greatest is love. God is love (1 John 4:8).

It is so easy to look at the outward things and gifts and neglect character and fruit. Jesus said the world would know His disciples by their agape love (sacrificial, unselfish love)-John 13:35. The gifts of the Spirit were not meant to operate outside the work of the Holy Spirit. All the gifts are to flow through the beautiful Holy Spirit who is pure love. Apostle Paul placed the chapter on love 1 Corinthians 13 in between two chapters on the gifts of the Spirit. He did not write in chapters, he wrote letters.

Mankind is impressed by miracles, signs, and wonders. God is impressed by the hearts of man. God looks right past the outward to the inward parts of mankind. Jesus even states in Matthew 25 His great attention on the love of humanity.

“I was hungry and you did not feed Me.”

“I was naked and you did not clothe Me.”

“I was in sick and prison and you did not visit Me.”

“I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink.”

“I was a stranger and you did not invite Me into your home.”

“I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help Me,” Jesus (from Matthew 25).

There is no part of His statement that focuses on demonstrations of power. Yes, we want to walk in God’s power. Jesus operated in love and the manifestation of love was the miraculous. He was moved with compassion and healed the sick. The root source of His miraculous power was love. His life source was love. His motivation was love.

Sometimes the very act of loving people brings about a miracle. I have held people, hugged them and just loved them and seen the overflow of love produce a miracle in their lives. It was not me. It was His love flowing through me to them. The reception of the love of God brought about transformation.

Mama Heidi Baker tells the story of a demonized girl she just held and loved. She rocked the girl and loved her. Those spirits could not stand in the love. They vacated the little girl.

My point is this. Love, God love, is our superpower. All of the gifts of the Spirit are to flow through the fruit of the Spirit. If we get the love part right, we will see Jesus. The world needs Jesus. The world needs fruit of His Spirit. The world needs to know and feel the heartbeat of God.

Papa God, help us to live out of the overflow of your great love. Take us deeper than we have ever been before. Take us deeper into the corridor of your heart and help us dwell there. Remove everything blocking us from receiving your great love. Soak us in your love today. More than the soul can hold. Push out any darkness. Infuse us with your light.

For More Devotions Pick Up Confident & Free the Devotional Book:Empowered & Free Shop , Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.

Image: Art of Kleyn

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

Sunday Devotion (Know God’s Heart)

Shorter Sunday Note: We Need to Know God’s Heart to Understand His Word Properly and Intimately Know His Person. Remove the Heart and It is Not a True Picture of God.

Truly, I think (could be wrong), one of the biggest missing pieces sometimes in Christianity is understanding the heart of God. One can know the bible well, be anointed, and quote God and miss His heart.

The Pharisees knew the Torah, they lacked intimacy with God. Their interpretation of God was WAY OFF because they lacked true knowledge of God. They were religious and harmful. They cared more about being right by their eyes and looking pious than doing what was right by God. They neglected the most important things and focused on religious things.

Throughout history you can trace the misinterpretation of the bible back to a lack of understanding the heart of God and who He is and how He operates. There is no part of God that is not love. His love simply does not always match our understanding of love.

Knowing the very heartbeat of God and living out of abiding in His heart is what Jesus did. He stated His life source was living out of the Father’s love. This is one of the reasons Jesus was and is the most effective representation of heaven on earth.

Those who do not love do not know God (1 John 4:8).

A person can preach and teach and not know God.

A person can pastor and prophesy and not know God. I have met some pretty mean spirited pastors and prophets. And while they claim to just tell it like it is, many miss the true voice of God because the purpose of being a messenger for God is to connect people with His heart, not just relay information.

Those who do not know God will not accurately represent God nor release heaven on earth. Jesus was not rude, mean spirited, reckless, selfish, religious, hateful, political, sexist, racist, unfeeling, lacking compassion, disinterested with the poor, orphan or widow, interested in just filling meeting and not stopping for the one.

May we know God, and not the God of our traditions. May we know the real God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob. The God whose heart beats passionately for ALL of humanity. The God who loves better than anyone on this planet.

Our world needs Ambassadors of heaven, not replicates of the Pharisee.

Lord help us (including myself) to know you, and know the height, depth, width, and vast expanse of your love. Help us to be like Jesus and live out of that love. Knowing your heart and living out of your heart is how the world will see Jesus through us. He said His disciples would be known for great love.

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

Empowered & Free Website

When Prayer is An Excuse Not to Love

Morning Short Devotion: When Prayer is An Excuse Not to Love.

I am pro action. I believe our actions tell a greater story than our words. If I speak with the tongues of men and angels, yet have not God love, I am only making noise. I love that Jesus did not just talk about loving people, the love of Jesus was demonstrated through His actions, even to death on a cross.

Love came down and pierced through the darkness, not by ego or eloquent sermons. Love extended a hand, washed feet, mentored, discipled, and met with people outside the Temple walls. Love engaged on a personal level with the least, last, and the lost.

He stated:

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me, for the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed,~Isaiah 61:1.

Love is verb and moves us beyond talking about the goodness of God to manifesting the goodness of God. The love of God, as Mama Heidi says, looks like something. I say, the love of God looks like someone, Jesus. All of His life centered around this one pivotal thing, “The Father’s love.”

I can see a person eating from a garbage can and offer them prayer. Or I can run to the store, if possible, and get them a sandwich.

There have been people around me who suffered great loss and I could have just offered prayer, or offered groceries, a listening ear, a connection with someone else who could help them, help them with their resume or send them job alerts, check in, go sit in hospitals/hospice with them, send gift cards, offer to hang out to take their mind off their troubles. Why? Love is demonstrative.

We cannot do everything, we can do something. There are some people I have said no to before. They sought to take advantage of kindness or I simply could not offer any assistance. I try to point people to someone who may be able to assist them. I did not have the capability to offer anything and it was not helpful. Codependency is not what I am advocating, where we think it’s our job to save people. I am advocating thinking of what is the most loving thing to do? What would we want done for us? Most importantly what would God want done for the person?

I love the story of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) because he refused to leave someone in a painful and vulnerable state. When others walked on by, the good Samaritan saw an opportunity to love.

Recent studies have shown people are more prone to take photos or video of someone suffering or a bad accident than help. Please call 911. Don’t just watch someone drown hoping your video goes viral. Seriously.

We do not have unlimited resources. God does. I do not have the time nor energy to help everyone. I do have the ability many times to do more than pray. There are blessing bags in my car. I have helped people look for jobs. I have helped distract kids at the checkout so their mom has a break. I have baby sat for free so parents could get a break. I have offered odd jobs to people out of work. I have helped people clean houses when they were sick. I have given people free business start up advice. I have mentored for free. I have been a friend to the lonely. I have gone to hospitals and nursing homes and just sat with the hurting or taken my guitar. I have listened to people download their issues for hours when I needed someone to be there for me. Love is so very costly. It costs us something to love well. Yet love moves us beyond just sticking bandaids on broken bones.

God love will transform the world, not sermons, politics, religious programs, nor meetings. The world needs genuine love and concern. God so loved the world He gave His Son. The Son so loved the world He gave His life. If we so love the world, what evidence of love is present? If prayer is removed, what evidence is there of love?

For more devotions, check out Confident & Free:

https://www.empowered-free.com/shop

This weekend journals and books are on sale. I Thought I Knew What Love Was is already marked down. Use the Code Labor Day for Confident & Free and Journals.

Love,

Erin Lamb

Revival is Outside Our Worship Gatherings (Stories from the Streets)

Morning Notes & Stories: True Christianity is More Than Praying & Attending Services/Conferences. The Disciples of Jesus Went Out and Did What They Saw Jesus Doing. Prayer Does Not Replace Action.

If anyone sees a fellow believer in need and has the means to help him, yet shows no pity and closes his heart against him, how is it even possible that God’s love lives in him?

Beloved children, our love can’t be an abstract theory we only talk about, but a way of life demonstrated through our loving deeds. We know that the truth lives within us because we demonstrate love in action, which will reassure our hearts in his presence.~1 John 3:17-19.

Jesus came and fulfilled Isaiah 61. The Spirit of the Soveriegn Lord was upon Him to do something to help others know God, connect with God, be healed, set free, and delivered. Jesus did not go into the Temple and sit down. He did not just teach people. He did not just hold prayer meetings. Jesus took the disciples out and had them do the stuff. Jesus activated the 12 and then they mulitpled. Jesus actually made disciples who replicated His teaching and actions.

Revival is a super buzz word. It sounds amazing. I think people believe just praying will usher in this great societal revolution. What people fail to realize is God partners with human beings to accomplish His will on earth and that moves beyond prayer. If my neighbor has no groceries or is starving, my prayers will not get them groceries. I have to either partner with God to meet their practical needs or ask God to send someone else who can.

I struggle with non participation in circles of people say they desperately want revival.

Last year I spent a year serving with the city and their initiative for the poor. I was the only born again, spirit person on their committee-that I knew of anyway. I asked them why they did not have more churches involved, there are so many in my city. They stated churches often turn them down and refuse to help-they have their own programs to support. We can pay thousands of dollars to have big name people come preach to us or sing to us, and not help the city with poor??? It does not make sense.

If all the believers took just one tiny slice of the pie, it could transform a city. Transforming a city trumps filling buildings and having packed out conferences.

If I am constantly wrecked in the glory of God that does not shift my priorities and heart to care about what He cares about, something is wrong. Either I am not truly connecting with God or I am disobeying God.

When I talk to people about helping the poor or abused, I will constantly get the response, “I am not called to do that,” or “I asked God and He told me not to support your ministry,” those same people (some not all) will come back with ways I can help support their vision, mission, and mandate from God. People love to give money, not so much the time, service, or feet on the ground.

I am not asking people to join forces with me on the street. I do ask people to serve somewhere, do something other than consume, take the Gospel out somewhere, go help someone who genuinely has nothing. Jesus was not a bench dwelling passive person. The early apostles and early church were not passive bench dwellers.

In an age of technology, the Gospel can be shared quickly with hundreds to thousands of people. If cat videos can go viral, why not Jesus? An encouraging text or email is easy to send. Letting someone go first in the grocery line-“God loves you, you go first.” Put blessing bags in the car for the homeless-include an encouraging note or bible. Stop for the neighbor and ask how they have been. Listen when people talk instead of dominating the conversation. Be a great friends instead of a one sided one. Find out what the city is doing to help people and tag along. Start a discipleship group-help people grow in their gifts. There are so many options beyond prayer. If I am starving to death, yes prayer is great. What is better is getting me a sandwich.

I was out last winter looking for people to feed. As we were in the park, we saw a man go into the port o john and not come out. One of the ladies said, “Let’s check on him.” I was reluctant to go knock on the port o john door. Yet would not let her go alone. The man came out of the port o john eating chips. He stated he was in there to block his body from the wind and cold. We offered him more food and winter gear (socks, hand warmers, scarves, etc). He was shocked someone wanted to help him. He was reluctant to take what he needed because he said there were so many in need. I told him to take what he needed. He was so excited about socks. Socks made his day. I could have just offered him prayer and the Gospel. Yet it was far better to demonstrate the Gospel, “God cares about every single detail of your life, including your cold feet and hungry belly.”

I was out one night with a team under the bridges. I met this elderly grandma and her grandchild. Since she had no home, her mom dropped off her child at the homeless camp for visitation. It was below freezing. This little girl had on a spring jacket, not a winter jacket. She had the most joy filled eyes. She was happy to be with grandma. I cried once I left them. I cried and cried and cried.

Love is more than sweet words that escape our lips yet never move us to do anything.

Love is more than warm fuzzy feelings that drive us to do only what is comfortable for us.

Love is more than an anthem we sing that never forces us to shift our perspective or actions.

Love is a verb that moves us beyond talking to doing.

Can we do everything? No. Can we do something? Yes. It amazes me with all the hats I wear how many people will ask me to help them personally or support what they are doing. There are thousands to millions doing nothing but soaking up teachings, worship, and experiences and going home. Some aren’t even paying attention in services or to lessons. There is more in God and it is not about passive or idle Christianity. Revival involves transformation and transformation requires participation.

I have yet for God to tell me to do nothing at all for anyone but myself. God highlights people on a daily basis to invest in them. God is generous, loving, kind, compassionate, looking for someone to bless through us. Love looks like someone, Jesus. Love acts like someone, Jesus. Love is demonstrated in our choices and actions-not just our words.

If you see someone hungry, and you can feed them, feed them.

If you see someone freezing, and you can clothe them, clothe them.

If your city struggles with poverty, and you have the means to help, volunteer/serve/be a blessing to the city.

If someone in your church or fellowship looks discouraged, encourage them.

If you see someone struggling to pay their groceries, and you can help them, help them.

If God highlights someone to you that is hurting, reach out. I will say a silent prayer is not as powerful as picking up the phone and calling, “Hey, you have been on my heart. Are you okay? I love you.”

Love in word only is just noise (1 Corinthians 13).

God give us your eyes and heart. Help us to see as you see. Help us to move beyond just going to services and praying for revival to going out and releasing your goodness on earth. Light a fire in our hearts for transformation. Transform us from the inside out. Transformed people transform cities. We need Jesus in the places He is needed most, all 7 mountains of influence. Heaven come through us to leave the world better than it was before we entered.

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

OperationGodisLove.org

Facebook.com/OperationGodisLove

Honor Flows From Humility and Agape Love

Morning Devotion: Honor is a Pillar of God’s Character. Jesus Walked in Honor of All. Dishonor Does Not Flow From God, It Flows From Pride and Unbelief. The Purpose of Honor and How Dishonor or Lack of Honor are Great Learning Tools.

Honor is something we give because of who we are, it is not to be demanded. We stand in honor as heirs of the King. We represent a King and His Kingdom. Jesus honored even the least of them and those society deemed less than, outcasts, and misfits. He modeled the heart of the Father for all, not some of humanity.

Honor is choosing to see as God sees. Everyone has tremendous value and worth to God. There is no hierarchy in heaven, no group more valued. There is no racism, sexism, or bigotry. The Kingdom of God functions on honor. Honor is rooted in agape love (sacrificial, unselfish, lavish love).

Honor is not agreeement with what is wicked. It is choosing to treat people with respect, dignity, and like they have value because Jesus died for them. It is seeing the potential of people. It is choosing to speak to a person’s identity and call them higher. It is choosing to speak life instead of death. It is choosing to bless instead of curse. It is choosing to pray instead of slander. It is choosing to serve instead of demanding to be served. It is choosing to recognize God values everyone.

I heard a minister say, “It is good a prophet is honored everywhere but their hometown and with their friend/family. It keeps them humble.” I disagree. Humility is a right assessment of oneself in relation to God. Being treated as inferior, less than, or insignificant does not match God. I believe pride and improper understanding of how the Kingdom works is what fuels dishonor. It is a pride issue, not something God applauds. They said of Jesus, “Oh that is just Joseph’s son.” They could not see Jesus as the Son of God and their pride blocked them from receiving the blessing God wanted to give them through Jesus.

Jesus said to them, “A prophet is treated with honor everywhere except in his own hometown, among his relatives, and in his own house.” He was unable to do any great miracle in Nazareth,[a] except to heal a few sick people by laying his hands upon them. He was amazed at the depth of their unbelief![b] Then Jesus went out into the different villages and taught the people,~Mark 6:4-6 (The Passion Translation).

[a] Mark 6:5 Nazareth was the only place recorded in the Gospels that Jesus was unable (because of their unbelief) to do miracles.

[b] Mark 6:6 This is one of two instances where Jesus was amazed. The other is found in Matt. 8:10. Both refer to the response of faith. Here it is the great unbelief of those who knew Jesus and lived in his hometown of Nazareth (Jews). The other is the great faith of the Roman military captain (a gentile). We have no record of Jesus ever returning to Nazareth. He made Capernaum his base of ministry while in the province of Galilee.

Lack of honor blocks us from receiving from God. God does extraordinary things through every day people. Some miss their blessing because they are chasing after who they think God should work through instead of who God sent. Jesus did not fit the mold the people wanted so they rejected Him. Those who rejected Him missed out on everlasting life. Maybe the greatest mentor for you is right in front of your face. I thank God for the people right near me who are full of the treasures of God. I see greatness in them and learn from them.

When we refuse to honor the people right in front of us, we are not honoring or loving God. He stated what we did to the least of them, we did unto Him (Matthew 25:40-45). The Bible states that the least visible parts of the body deserve more honor (1 Corinthians 12:23).

Think about your own child or someone you love. Think about if the people closest to them were the least supportive, the least honoring, the least respectful, and treated them as insignificant. Would that make you happy? Would you say, “Oh God is just teaching them to be humble by this disrespect.” It sounds a bit crazy when we relate it to someone we love. God LOVES us more than we could love anyone. God loves His children significantly more than we can love ours. He does not delight in people mistreating us or refusing to honor who He loves.

God bestowed on Jesus the highest honor. He gave Him the name above all names. God raised us up in Christ and seated us in heavenly places. God turned wretched sinners into a royal priesthood. God chooses to pursue honor. We were enemies of God and dishonorable. Yet while we were yet sinners, Jesus died for us. God offered us salvation through repentance and faith. He then lavished on us every spiritual gift in heavenly places. God is honorable. God invites us to pursue honor.

Lessons From Being Dishonored and Unsupported:

1. Even in Christianity there is idolatry. Some clamor for the celebrity Christian to pray for them or honor only those they deem important. It is pride. The Holy Spirit, Jesus, and Papa God are the only ones needed for breakthrough. When people make people their god, or set certain people on pedestal to be worshipped it is dishonoring of God. It is idolatry.

2. Being dishonored shows you what not to do to other people.

3. Being dishonored shows you how to pray for other people. Only a person abiding/soaking/living out of God’s love can give that away. So you pray for everyone, including yourself, to know the height, depth, width, and vast expanse of God’s love.

4. Being dishonored while you have little influence keeps you from being blown away by the same people who run back with honor when they see God promoting you. I am amazed how people shift their actions when they see someone they admire honor you. They offered you zero honor until someone else came along that was higher in their eyes than you and offered you honor.

5. Being dishonored shows you inner circle versus outer circle friends. We treat everyone with love, respect, dignity. Trust is another ball game. Access to the deep parts of our hearts is best reserved for those who will honor our hearts.

6. Being dishonored not being honored teaches you to rely primarily on God for love, support, encouragement, and friendship. You live for an audience of One. If no one claps, you get it done with God. If they boo or try to sabatoge your efforts, you keep your head high and walk with God. If they say you can’t do it, you get it done with God. If they refuse support, you get it done with God. God is the One you look to for identity and support.

7. Your motives are tried in seasons of dishonor or lack of honor. Will you continue to do what God said even if you are called to serve a wicked king, to serve ungrateful or unsupportive people? Will you stand on your assignment and choose honor even if dishonored? The assignment is not primarily about us. It is about glory to God. God does not delight in our mistreatment. I am not advising anyone to stay in abusive situations. I am saying when they go low, we go high. We choose to function with a royalty mindset and lead by example. Our motive is to love God, and honor God. Out of love for God flows love and honor for people-even the worst of sinners.

May you and stand as royalty in Christ and treat others the way Jesus would treat them. Jesus touched the lepers, sat with the tax collectors and worst of sinners, spoke to those others deemed worthless, ministered to the least, last, and lost. Jesus is our role model for life. There was no ego or celebrity about Jesus. He came and served. He came and washed feet. He came and showed the world how wonderful the Father is.

When we say we are followers of Jesus and then dishonor people, we are stating God does not love them. Why? Our actions are supposed to demonstrate who Jesus is. This is why dishonor, Christian celebrity worship, racism, sexism, and lack of honor need to be driven out of the church. It is antichrist. It says, “God is not love. He is selective in who He loves.” This is a huge lie. May we pursue honor.

Join us August 15th 2018 on the author Facebook page for our next speak life teaching. I will be covering discernment, hearing from God, what to do if you miss it in hearing from God, and how intimacy with God builds confidence.

Love,

Erin Lamb

God Cares How We Love, Live, and Represent Him

Morning Devotion: God Looks at How We Love, How We Live, and Steward What He Gives. It Matters How We Live and Love.

It does not matter the title, position, influence in Christiandom, where you travel, who celebrates you, if you stand on a platform or stage, how much money is made, what celebrity Christian applauds you, the miracles-signs-or wonders, how many books are sold, who you marry, how many kids you have, how big the church is, if you are on tv, how many conferences you preach at, who thinks you are the who’s who on earth, how many supernatural encounters are had, etc…God cares how we love. He cares how we treat people. He cares how we live and how we represent Him. Does the world see anything in us that looks like Jesus?

Jesus did not come to earth and build a fan club or try to sell Jesus swag. He came and made disciples. He came and did the will of the Father. When people encountered Jesus they encountered heaven on earth. Jesus did not have a roped off section from the poor, destitute, and marginalized. Jesus got low and washed feet. Jesus stated, “The greatest among you will be your servant.” Jesus modeled Kingdom of Heaven. The behavior of Jesus reflected the character of the Father. He did not live for the praise or applause of men. He lived for the already given applause of the Father. Jesus did not need to buy followers, nor force people to follow Him. The authenticity of Jesus compelled people to follow Him.

What does it profit a person to gain the whole world and lose their soul? Heaven does not care how popular we are on earth. What causes the applause of man is not what causes the applause of heaven. Heaven looks at what we did with the knowledge of Jesus, how we loved, and how we stewarded what He gave us. God does look at obedience and stewardship (Matthew 25:14–30). Heaven rejoices when one sinner repents (Luke 15:7).

The voice of Jesus:

‘Why do you call me “Lord, Lord,” but you do not do what I tell you?’A person comes to me. He hears what I say and obeys me. I will show you who he is like.He is like a man who built a house. He dug down deep in the ground and made it stand on a rock. The water in the river came up high. The water beat hard against the house. But the house did not move, because it was built on a rock,~Jesus from Luke 6:46-48 (WE)

My heart mourns because some will hear at the end of their lives, “Depart from Me, I never knew you,” from Jesus. They may have preached in His name, attended churches, collected offerings, preached all over the world, cast out demons, seen the sick healed, yet they did not have life union and intimacy with Jesus. See Matthew 7:23. I pray I do not betray Jesus nor make my life more about doing for Jesus than being with Jesus.

Paul tells us this in 1 Corinthians 13 (The Passion Translation):

If I were to speak with eloquence in earth’s many languages, and in the heavenly tongues of angels,[yet I didn’t express myself with love, my words would be reduced to the hollow sound of nothing more than a clanging cymbal.

And if I were to have the gift of prophecy with a profound understanding of God’s hidden secrets, and if I possessed unending supernatural knowledge, and if I had the greatest gift of faith that could move mountains, but have never learned to love, then I am nothing.

And if I were to be so generous as to give away everything I owned to feed the poor, and to offer my body to be burned as a martyr, without the pure motive of love, I would gain nothing of value.

Love is large and incredibly patient. Love is gentle and consistently kind to all. It refuses to be jealous when blessing comes to someone else. Love does not brag about one’s achievements nor inflate its own importance. Love does not traffic in shame and disrespect, nor selfishly seek its own honor. Love is not easily irritated or quick to take offense. Love joyfully celebrates honesty and finds no delight in what is wrong. Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best for others. Love never takes failure as defeat, for it never gives up.

Perfect Love

Love never stops loving. It extends beyond the gift of prophecy, which eventually fades away. It is more enduring than tongues, which will one day fall silent. Love remains long after words of knowledge are forgotten. Our present knowledge and our prophecies are but partial, but when love’s perfection arrives, the partial will fade away. When I was a child, I spoke about childish matters, for I saw things like a child and reasoned like a child. But the day came when I matured, and I set aside my childish ways.

For now we see but a faint reflection of riddles and mysteries as though reflected in a mirror, but one day we will see face-to-face. My understanding is incomplete now, but one day I will understand everything, just as everything about me has been fully understood. Until then, there are three things that remain: faith, hope, and love—yet love surpasses them all. So above all else, let love be the beautiful prize for which you run.

The love that Paul speaks about is love from God, it comes through abiding and relationship with God. It is a transformative love that brings about a greater representation of who He is in us. It is impossible to love like God without intimacy and life union with God. Jesus said He is the vine and we are the branches. If we abide in Him, we will bear abundant fruit (John 15:4-5). The fruit of God is goodness (love, peace, joy, gentleness, etc). If we abide in Him, the fruit of our lives will be good.

May we receive the great love of God and abide in His love. I know I need to abide, to soak, and God continually places me in situations to grow in love. I am still on the Potter’s Wheel. Thankful God continues to reveal more and more of who He is and His great love.

May you and I live for the applause of heaven! It matters far more to hear a well done from the Lord than from people. At the end of our lives, every person (believers included) will give an account to God for how they lived, how they loved, and how they stewarded who and what God gave them (Romans 14:12, 2 Corinthians 5:10, Matthew 25:14–30, Matthew 25:40, 45).

May we live and love for an audience of 1. May we steward everything God gives well. May we understand even as believers we are held accountable for how we love, live, and steward what belongs to God.

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

The Greatest Gift is God

Painting: Christ Art

Morning Devotion: The Best Gift is God, Not What He Gives or Has Created.

The best gift God gave the world, in my thoughts, is Himself. Even before the foundation of the earth God was. Before let there be light, there was the Light; the Light of the world.

God is amazing and my worst day with God surpasses my best day without Him. One of the things I prefer about God over people is God is stable, consistent, keeps His word, reliable, pure love, unselfish, and desires the best for everyone.

God does not love me today and sing my praises then tomorrow say, “I changed my mind about you.” God does not ignore me, play games, cause confusion, try to embarrass or humiliate me. God is not mean spirited or flakey (hot then cold). God is not unkind, rude, intrusive, pushy, hateful, or without compassion.

God actually cares about my dreams, hopes, desires. He cares about yours too!

God is not selfish.

God does not just show up when He has something for me to do. God is not kind to me nor does He give gifts to try to convince me to do something. He gives out of pure love.

God just loves me. God loves the world. God so loved the world He gave! See John 3:16. I do not know of anyone who loves more than God.

God, though the Creator of the Universe, does not spend each day bossing me around, “Now Erin do this, then that. Do I need to remind you that you were created for Me? You are the weaker one. I am the strong one, get low peasant and serve me. Oh and if you truly love me here are all the things you can accomplish for me before the day ends.”

God leads by love. God is kind, merciful, compassionate, holy, beautiful, gracious, serves the most, and overflowing with joy. Because God loves so well and infuses my heart with His love, I desire to love Him with all of my heart, soul, and mind. I serve because I love God. I give because I love God. I lay my life down because I love God. The love of God compels me to pour love back onto God and infuses our covenant.

Abiding in the steadfast love of God is life. Everything on this earth will pass away, yet His Kingdom will remain. Seek first the Kingdom of God and everything you need will be added unto you. Set your mind on eternal things, not the temporal which will fade away. God is the center of it all. It is His story for His glory. We are invited into the story of God.

Before mankind was, God existed. He is the Alpha and Omega, the bright and morning star. He is the reason all of life has it’s being. I truly believe He alone is worthy of our worship. I truly believe this love, His love, is the love worth most pursuing and knowing.

There is no greater love than the love God pours out on us. Some go looking for love in all the wrong places with all the wrong faces and it leads to heartache.

There is a God void inside of every human being that can only be satisfied with God. He fills to overflowing. He satisfies completely. He is the living water that quenches our thirst and satisfies our greatest cravings. Nothing in this world can surpass His great love. Nothing in this world can surpass the friendship of God and His wisdom.

If you desire a true, lasting, and eternal love, connect with Jesus. Jesus said, “No one comes to the Father except through the Son.” He gave His life as an atoning sacrifice so we could put on His righteousness and stand before a holy God. This love cost the Father His Son, and the Son His life.

What manner of love is this to lay down His life to save us while still sinners. My mind cannot fully grasp the intensity of God’s love for humanity. My question is, “Do you know Jesus?” My second question is, “Have you made Jesus the center of it all?” The love that comes through the Son of God is remarablle. It is beyond comprehension. It is available to all.

How to know Jesus: https://ithoughtiknewwhatlovewas.com/how-to-know-jesus/

God thank you for everything, especially who you are. You are amazing, beyond amazing. I cannot thank you enough. I ask that this year would overflow with your deep love. May we know the height, depth, width, and vast expanse of your love. Fill us to overflowing. Draw us into the profound corridors of your heart. Show us what real love is. Thank you for Jesus and your precious Holy Spirit. Thank you.

Photo Source: Embracing Jesus (Pinterest)

You are so deeply loved!

Erin Lamb