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Monday, July 31, 2017

To Be Blessed

So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak.—Genesis 32:24 NIV          

“Bless me, Lord,” we cry. Then, when we discover that our blessing includes a struggle, we complain. We don’t move into our promised land because of the giants to be faced. We back off, and let go right before His bounty flows. Unlike Jacob, we don’t wrestle until dawn to be blessed.  

A blessing is worth nothing without our obedience and sacrifice. If blessings and promises were readily bestowed with no need on our part to spiritually grow, then they would have little meaning. There would be no need for hope or encouragement. There would be no need for perseverance and commitment—no need to grow in the virtues that foster love and joy and peace and kindness and faithfulness and gentleness and self-control. Without the struggles of life, we have no need to be blessed.

Jacob wrestled with God until daybreak seeking His blessing. When Jacob asked God to bless him, he asked for all that blessing entailed. He knew that what God had to offer was worth whatever came with that promise. “I will not let go until you bless me,” Jacob declared. And with God’s promise came the pain. God wounded Jacob, just as His Son one day would be wounded for him.

Do you hang on for your promise by loving Him and serving Him no matter what your battle?  He gave His life for you. Are you not willing to die a little for Him? You can’t know His joy without knowing His suffering. Hang on for your blessing! Let perseverance finish its work so that you will be mature and not lacking in what you need to stand strong. Don't give up! Seek to know Him. Seek His purpose. Seek His heart. When you have done His will, you will receive what He has promised. And like Jacob, you also will hear, “You have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome” (Genesis 32:28 NIV).
©2017 Lynn Lacher

Friday, July 28, 2017

When my way seems too hard, Lord, it really isn't. You are with me. When my load feels too heavy, it’s not. You carry it. When my heart feels like it’s breaking into pieces, it isn't. You are molding me. When I feel overwhelmed by the pressures of life, I'm really not. I'm at rest in you. You keep me in perfect peace when I trust in you—when all of my thoughts are fixed upon you. Letting go of who I have always believed myself to be, I reach for who you have created me to be. Starved for lasting joy and peace, I’m now ready to reach for the life and purpose you have chosen for me. Moving to the edge of what I have never had the courage to allow, I launch into the depths of what has been my uncertainty. One breath and one moment at a time you form me; you fire me; you fill me.”
Are you ready for these depths? Are you tired of wondering why you aren’t moved by the wind of His Spirit? Are you exhausted from lasting change that has eluded you? Form Me, Fire Me, Fill Me invites you on a daily devotional journey of surrender and abundant fulfillment. It is one that implores you to reach beyond the words you have read and discover God’s healing purpose for your life.

New Wine

And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the new wine would burst the wineskins, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine must be stored in new wineskins.
—Luke 5:37-38 NLT

Oh, Lord God,

I took my breath this morning because you were with me. Yesterday, I noticed a need in a person’s life because you granted me your eyes. A few days ago, I saw a lady in need of someone to care, and you gave me your ears to listen to her heart. When I am open to your purpose, and without an agenda of my own, your love flows like new wine imparting spiritual eyes to see and spiritual ears to hear beyond what my human mind perceives. Then I see what you see, and hear what you hear. And then I understand the hungering need to give your love away without restraint—just as you unrestrainedly gave yours.

Lord, Jesus, your hand continually fashions me as a new creature—as new wineskin to hold the new wine of your Spirit. The old that I was—the person I left behind—the self that died—would have burst open trying to hold the blessed new wine of your mercy. Keep transforming my life into new skin that will hold your greatest supply—the wine of your precious Spirit ready to pour without hesitation when you call. I cannot pour the new wine of your love through ruptured holes in my old armor. But when I allow you to make me new in the spirit of your mind, I surrender to your need instead of my own.

Lord, I pray that you will continually fill me until I am brimming with the greatest compassion. Reach the opening in the wineskin of my life, and then from its mouth, pour in streams of living water. Flow into the lives of those who thirst for you. Let me never be reluctant of hesitant. Freely I have received, and I freely I give.

©2017 Lynn Lacher

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Be Refreshed

He grants sleep to those he loves.
—Psalm 127:2b NIV

In the night time hours I watch you sleep. I am with you. Your mind is finally at peace from the struggle of your conscious moments. It has given up its fight to remember and process all the events of your day. There is no fear or worry or terror of the things you have finally allowed me to take. Some nights your sleep is troubled, and you can't release your worries to me. You toss and turn, and even have dreams that consume your heart and mind. But tonight you found peace in letting go of any attempt to analyze and control. You finally gave me your worries and concerns, and allowed me to handle what you were never created to handle. You finally released all the struggle to figure out the seasons of your life, and allowed my peace to claim your heart. You no longer had to worry or be fearful. You received my perfect love which cast out all your fear. My presence guarded you and protected you.

Waking or sleeping, I watch over you to guard you in all your ways, but you do not know it or reap the peaceful reward of my control until you surrender. I grant sleep to those I love—not a fretful and anguished sleep, but sleep that refreshes and renews for the next day's problems and joys. In your conscious moments give me your fears. Give me your worries. Release all that consumes your mind and heart. I will take over. You may not realize it at first, but keep choosing to release all to me, and my peace will eventually claim all of your mind. Let me be your last thought before sleeping. Keep your mind focused upon me as you close your eyes to rest. Give me your tired life. Give me your worries and your analyzing mind, and I will grant you the rest and peace that you need. Surrender control. I am your life, and I have designed your life for my best. Allow me to have all of you so you can receive all of me. When you fall asleep at night, your sleep will be one of release and refreshing in me.

Praise me. I am faithful. I will not leave you or forsake you. I am with you. Be not afraid. I have overcome your tumultuous world. When you lay down all your struggles of the day I am your renewing peace. You have me. Sleep in the loving rest the gift of my life has bought, and awake tomorrow with my joy to live your day. When you are surrendered and at rest, I will impart my promises to you—just as I imparted promises to Jacob at Bethel. And you, like Jacob, will awake and proclaim, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I wasn't even aware of it” (Genesis 28:16b NLT). Renewing sleep is my gift, and in that rest you will receive something just as wonderful as Jacob received at Bethel. It is my never-ending promise that whispers through the memories of blessed rest, “I am with you, and I will protect you wherever you go” (Genesis 28:15a, NLT). Awake refreshed to know that each day is the first day of the rest of your life, and you can do all things with the strength I bestow.

©2017 Lynn Lacher

Holiness in the Fruit of Your Relationship with Jesus

  But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us ...