Put Prayer On It (Single & Following Jesus Part VI)

Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction?~Amos 3:3.

This was my devotion yesterday on Facebook, yet thought it may bless singles here. Here is the link to my author site if you wish to connect there Erin Lamb Author Page. I post devotions, encouraging words almost daily.

Before you date, court, pursue a business deal, say yes, sign up for that ministry thing, ask God before connecting/partnering with other people. God sees the heart and true motivation.

One of my favorite prayers is, "God show me who this person really is."

It's easy for people to smile, do the Christian nice thing (some are not even nice), or go along when there is something they want. Yet God sees the heart. God sees the core of us, even the things we do not see.

I give people about a year before I truly let my guard down and during that time I pray, "God do I need to be connected to this person? Please reveal their heart." Sometimes what flows out of them during that year is unloving, unkind, grossly selfish, etc…I thank God for the reveal. I am simply watching and assessing how they treat me and other people. Someone who is kind to those they deem important and rude to those they do not feel are important is not a kind person.

I love all, trust few, and am close friends with few. Why? My inner circle is reserved for people who genuinely care about me and treat me and others with respect, honor, dignity.

Our actions are always screaming over our words. Our words reveal our heart. Sometimes people are nice to everyone else and hateful to me. Why? I ask God to reveal their heart. God goes, "Here, this is what you are dealing with, you decide how to proceed."

I love all people, I am not friends or partners with all people. Some, I love and the information in my life is guarded from them. Why? They are not trustworthy. The Bible says, "You will know a tree by it's fruit." It is wisdom to seek God over friendships, dating, partnership, business, and even ministry. How can two be joined together lest they agree?

A Tree and It's Fruit

"Beware of the false prophets, [teachers] who come to you dressed as sheep [appearing gentle and innocent], but inwardly are ravenous wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them [that is, by their contrived doctrine and self-focus]. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the unhealthy tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore, by their fruit you will recognize them [as false prophets],~Jesus (Matthew 7:15-20).

My core values are:

  1. Love, respect, honor of all people not just those deemed important.
  2. Build people up instead of tear them down.
  3. Represent (re present) Jesus to those around me; reveal the Fathers heart.
  4. Honesty and integrity.
  5. Seeking to do no harm to anyone.
  6. Caring about others.
  7. Releasing who lives inside (Holy Spirit)

Connection with likeminded people brings forth greater fruit. It helps us to grow stronger. Those who build us up in love are so beneficial. Those who repeadily tear us down are not. Sometimes our mental, emotional, and physical health is compromised due to our associations and friendships.

Papa God, guard our hearts and lives from sheep in wolves clothing. Protect us from linking arms with those who do not love well or seek our harm. Help us to walk in wisdom, love, peace, and joy. You know who is best to be a part of our lives and who is not. Protect us from the wrong associations, the wrong friendships, the wrong partnerships. Help us to be connected to those who will love us like Jesus. Bring in the right friends, associates, partners. Give us eyes that examine fruit, not judge, yet see fruit. In Jesus powerful name, amen.

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

Love’s Gonna Cost You

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not
proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no
record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there
are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away, 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.

Love is a gift. Those are the words that ring in my mind when I think of love. It’s a gift. Jesus paid the ultimate price for our freedom and it was/is the greatest gift we could ever receive. He also gave us a great gift, the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send Him to you, John 16:7. We cannot love like God without the help of the Holy Spirit. It’s impossible. This Helper (the Holy Spirit) is a person. A person who will help us to love one another.

When you read the verses about love it’s challenging. It’s perfect love. It’s God’s love. It’s available to us 24/7 when we walk in the Spirit. He loves perfectly all the time.

I confess I struggle with love even with the Holy Spirit. I often ask God why? Since the Holy Spirit lives in me, and He’s the most powerful Being in the Universe, why is love so hard? Answer: Love costs us dearly. We are still living in these fleshly bodies that don’t want to continually sacrifice. It costs us pride to serve, love, and forgive. It cost us time to invest in people. It costs us energy to carry another person’s burden. It costs us resources to help a person in need. It costs us dearly to put another person’s needs above our own. Love’s gonna cost you. And if you really step out to love the way God loves, you open yourself up to be extremely vulnerable. Jesus was vulnerable to people. You will be vulnerable as well if you love deeply, and purely as He loves.

The good news. Real love is the most powerful force in the Universe. God is love, and when you love you are imitating Him. Love doesn’t always feel good. It doesn’t always make us warm and fuzzy inside. However, it is an indicator of who our Father is. If we abide in Him, than love abides in us.

My prayer for you this week is that God floods your heart with an abundance of His love and you tap into His love for you and others. You are loved more than you can imagine!

Relationship or Fellowship

The church I have been attending has been doing a series on 1 John called Walking in the Light.  It’s been a great series. Here are some thoughts from the teachings and teaching points.
 
What is the ultimate cause of the church?

God’s greatest cause is His Glory (His reputation) which is revealed through Christ.  We exist to bring God Glory. We also glorify God when we fellowship with His Body (other believers).

Fellowship or Relationship?

Relationship is different from fellowship. A person can have a child and be related to them, but have no fellowship with that child. We can be related to one another in the body of Christ by His Spirit and have no fellowship with each other.

What is Fellowship: Fellowship involves trust, intimacy, transparency (no masks or pretense), vulnerability, investment, common purpose, communion, submission, looking out for another person’s best interests, speaking the truth, correction and rebuking, edification, encouragement, and affirmation, and helping another person become more like Christ, mourning with those who mourn, and rejoicing with those who rejoice. Fellowship often involves covenant commitment. Fellowship involves mutual serving. Fellowship is a heart to heart connection, not just a face to face connection.

Fellowship has a purpose and is not a aimless activity. 

Many will claim relationship or being related to God who have no fellowship with Him.  We claim fellowship with one another in Christ, but are we simply relating and having aimless relationships and not fellowship?

Christian love is the act of serving each other and helping each other to become more like Christ. The purpose of Christian discipleship is intentional time spent to point each other back to the gospel. What does God’s word say? What is God speaking? Are we pointing people to Jesus, helping them become all that they can for Him, or are we simply spending time? Are we watching a person self destruct to for fear of man, or are we willing to tell a person that God’s plan is so much better? The pastor told the story of having spinach in his teeth. He said a person who loves you will tell you that your teeth are filled with spinach. They won’t let you walk around with gunk in your teeth. The same goes for us. If we can watch each other suffer, hurt, sin, and not help, we are guilty of not walking in love.

Summary:

I believe there is tremendous fruit when the purpose for being with someone is known, when the vision is shared, when there is a heart to heart connection, when the common purpose is glorifying God. I believe that fellowship was and is God’s design, not relationships as we have them. I believe God meant for us to do life together and point each other to Him. I believe He intended for us to serve one another continually, not just be served.  I believe that a church built on mutual love, service, accountability, unity, common purpose, and Jesus centered relationships will change the world. I believe we can change the world if we continue to ask the questions, “

How can I help this person be more like Jesus? How can I encourage this person to be more like Jesus? How can I pray for this person to be more like Jesus? Who does God want my heart connected to? Who does God want me to invest in for the Kingdom? Where and with whom should I spend my time serving? Is God being glorified by my relationships and how I spend time?”

 

Abba I pray that You would bring believers into our lives that we can grow with. Partner us up with others to have heart to heart connections and not just face to face encounters. Send people our way who will continually point to You and encourage us to be more like You. Send us people who will love as You love, speak as You speak, and those who help fulfill Your purposes for our lives. Help us to have God centered fellowship. Help us to use our time to be the most impactful for the Kingdom. Use us and spend us like Your spare change. Keep the focus on what You want to do in and though us. Help us to serve. Help us to love. Help us to disciple each other and the nations. Thanks for all You’ve done. Amen.

 

Have a wonderful week. You are deeply loved.