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Saturday, April 28, 2018

I'll be gone for a week. The devotion will not resume again until Monday, May 7.  Thanks so much for your support and prayers.

Lynn Lacher

Friday, April 27, 2018

Freedom to Forgive



Do you say you believe God's grace has forgiven you, but that is not how you live? You might declare that grace is God's undeserved favor, but if you don't feel it down in your innermost being then you are caught on the treadmill of constantly striving to be better. So many believers try to get rid of their guilt by trying to work harder at it. Resentment—striving—anxiety all take their toll. They end up punishing themselves by creating more suffering for themselves and others. They find that they are unable to atone for what only Jesus can atone. Many know in their minds that they are forgiven, but can't feel His forgiveness and love in their hearts. They don't get it in their spiritual “gut” that grace is free and can never be repaid.

“If you refuse to forgive others,” Jesus said, “your Father will not forgive you of your sins” (Matthew 6:15, NLT). Unless you forgive, you will not experience His forgiveness and live in the freedom of His grace. You experience this freedom when you freely forgive from the heart. The Lord says to forgive your enemies. What if you are your worst enemy? Forgive, He imparts! How you see yourself is how you see others. Saying you believe you are forgiven but not experiencing His forgiveness, reveals that you have not allowed His grace to transform your heart. Judgment builds. Hurt inflames. Bitterness hardens your heart. Anger and resentment, directed not only at others but at yourself, binds you in a prison of unforgiveness that will ultimately destroy you.

If you are unable to experience God's forgiveness, then you may be on a treadmill of striving, and achieving what you believe will make God love you more. If you want to experience God's unmerited grace in your deepest being, quit trying so hard to make amends for what only Jesus’ grace can set free. Be sure you have not only asked Him into your heart, but that you also seek Him as Lord of your life. Choose to believe that He can change you. Slow down and quit striving mentally and emotionally. Tell Him you want to forgive yourself and forgive others so that you will no longer live in a perpetual state of bitterness and resentment. You can only choose to forgive. You can't make yourself emotionally feel it. But He can. Don't analyze. Don't strive. Allow Him to seep into the depths of your soul. Ask Him to set you free from the “I'm not worthy mindset” that keeps you from receiving His forgiveness. One day you will not only know that you are forgiven. You will feel His forgiveness, and give it unreservedly to others with a love and freedom that only He can impart.

© 2017 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/04/freedom-to-forgive.html


Thursday, April 26, 2018

His Goodness



I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
—Psalm 27:12-14 (NIV)

Wait on the Lord. Be strong. Be patient. Hold on, and you will see His goodness while yet living. Patience is not easy, but it is a virtue that when practiced brings great reward. Follow His will faithfully. Endure through the hard times, and you will receive what He has promised. Hardship builds character and the ability to endure. If you wait on Him, you will soar in His strength, and not despair within your own.

The thought of a hardship or a new challenge will not defeat you, because you walk in His peace. You will rise to meet hardships and challenges with His power because you have surrendered your control to His control. You have stopped fighting against the lessons. You have become attuned to His voice, and have allowed the flow of His Spirit to reach through you into each day.

You wait, spiritually ready to respond with His least beckoning. His priceless grace has given life that you don't even deserve. He has set you free to soar no matter what your circumstance. Now you walk in His Spirit each and every moment. You experience the love of God in depths that heals the sadness of each hardship. You know joy that is constant because He is unchanging. You see His goodness in everything. You see Him in the eyes of a hurting acquaintance or feel Him in the tender hug of a caring friend. You know He is with you.

Remain strong. Take heart. Hope. Waiting always rises in hope. It renews your strength. You catch the wind of His Spirit, and you are lifted to walk on new heights in His strength and power. Do you see? His goodness is formed and fired within you. You are filled with Him because you have emptied yourself. You become His promise of goodness.

©2017 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/04/his-goodness.html


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Have You Forgotten


Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
—Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)

Have you forgotten that I am here? Whatever you face I am with you. Look to me to take care of it all. Trust me. Lean on me. Rely on me. Let go of all your burdens and give them to me with thanksgiving—knowing that I will take care of all the concerns of your heart. You can be free in me. You can move on rejoicing that I have you and all of your worries in my care. It is time. You have tried far too long to fix what I only can fix. If you don't release everything to me, you will crash. Give me all your concerns, your fears, your torment, your hurt, your pain, and trust me to take care of each one the way I know is best. Only then will my amazing peace be yours, and continually guard your heart from fear and your mind from the destructive thoughts which have plagued you. Each time one springs to mind release it to me. Don’t claim it as your own. Claim me. You belong to me, and I take perfect care of what is my own.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/04/have-you-forgotten.html



Monday, April 23, 2018

Move Forward with Him



Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. —Hebrews 12:1b-2a NIV

Problems that arise in life are not meant to stop you in your tracks. They are meant to give you determination to move forward with new intention. How many times do you give up instead of facing an obstacle in your way? God's power is available, but sometimes you feel too weak to move forward trusting God to give you strength. His power is not just a strong force you summon in your time of need. His power is His love in action. No matter how weak you feel, when you allow the Holy Spirit to work in and through you, then you are powerful.

Life is a race with problems that must be overcome. Whatever problem you face, don't allow its hardship to stagnate you or conquer you. You conquer it. God's power is found in moving forward in faith. Move forward and He moves with you. Don't allow difficulty to defeat you. Make it work for you. With God's power, you discover success.

Run life's race with commitment. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus. Don't allow anything to deter you from your goal. Allow the Holy Spirit to carry you over hurdles, and give you strength to endure the race. Greater faith will be your reward. When trials comeand they willyou will have God's strength to overcome. You will have His confidence and power to carry you forward toward another victory. No hardship that comes against you will succeed. Nothing is impossible when you persevere to run your race with Him.

© 2017 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Be Still and Know



“Be still know that I am God,” He speaks to your whirling mind (Psalm 46:10a, NLT). If you will be still, and dwell upon Him instead of your problem or worry, you will be filled with His faithful presence instead of consumed with fear of something you cannot handle. In any worrisome state, it is possible to be filled with fear that causes one of two things. Fear will either drive you to self-destructive despair where you retreat from life, or it will cause you to try to change circumstances or yourself without letting God have control. If you retreat because of fear, you isolate yourself from His healing hand. If you try to fix circumstances in your own strength without completely surrendering to Him, you will fail. The peace for which you desperately yearn is out of your grasp because you try to make happen what you perceive you need.

“The Lord’s arm is not too weak to save you, nor is his ear too deaf to hear you call,” (Isaiah 59:1, NLT). Your attempts to save yourself are useless. In fact, they get in the way of His ability to help you. Without surrender, you will sink into the depths of your own despair. So why do you fight your rescuer’s attempts to pull you to safety? What you perceive to be safety has become your own destruction. When you surrender your fight to control what is beyond your ability, He hears your cry for help.

Often the struggles of life overwhelm, and you feel like the psalmist who wrote "all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me,” (Psalm 42:7, KJV). But the same psalmist also wrote, “He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings."(Psalm 40:2, KJV). Consider the wonder of that truth. He is your safety for He rescues you from the pit. He is your security because He sets your feet upon His rock‒solid foundation. He is your guide in all things because He directs the way that you go.

This is a beautiful picture of what He wishes for you—to save you from whatever will destroy your life and to impart trust in His faithful and unchanging love. If you will allow Him to direct your steps and not question His control, you will learn trust. You will continually give Him your worries and fears. You will be still and rest in Him—knowing that He alone is your deliverer and peace.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com



Friday, April 20, 2018

Another Lesson



May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.
—1 Corinthians 1:3 NLT

The memory of my journey with dementia that I had with both my mother and father, will always linger. Through times of heartache, I learned that it was okay to cry—to hurt—to fail—to make mistakes—to grieve for what was lost a little more day by day. The years with them were not only a story that broke my heart, but one which built my faith. God was my anchor through the raging tide which ebbed and flowed into the recesses of my heart. He was and still is my only strength. Without Him, this journey would not have been possible, and His peace would not have been real. Each day was another day to walk by faith. To learn another lesson. To enjoy another blessing. To feel another sadness. To experience another joy. To take another step through a sometimes dry and painful valley. To have another opportunity to live as God asked. To receive another opportunity to act justly—to love mercy—to walk humbly with Him. I pray to never lose sight of what these years have taught me. To never lose sight of the power surrender promises. Even though my mother and father are no longer with me, I still attempt to live the lesson they imparted. In always giving myself away, I grow to know this person He gave His life to save—the real me—the person He knows I can be. Life’s journey is not about me, but who He is in me.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Nothing to Prove



Let your forbearance be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near.
—Philippians 4:5 ASV, NIV, CSB

You can learn what God looks for in your life by studying His Word. I love to compare different translations to gain understanding. In these three different translations of Philippians 4:5, we are called to exhibit a quality in our lives so that people know to whom we belong. This quality is translated as forbearance, gentleness, and graciousness in these three different versions.

Forbearance is “refraining from the enforcement of something (as a debt, right, or obligation) that is due” (2017 Merriam-Webster). If I have forbearance, I am patient, and have self-control. I show restraint when I feel that I am right. I refrain from exercising that right or collecting what is due, because God has called me to have mercy.

Some synonyms for gentleness are mildness, calmness, and tenderness. If I have gentleness, I am calm when faced with someone who doesn’t share my point of view. I may know I am right in that instance, but I have no need to prove it. I know that God takes care of what I can’t. I know that my attitude in a situation can either speak hope or despair. If I place someone on the defensive by trying to prove something, then they come back swinging. They will not listen. Their hearts and minds are closed. But if I live my faith without accusation or expectation, the Holy Spirit can encourage life.

Other words for graciousness are diplomacy and cordiality. Am I courteous? Am I careful in what I say and how I react? Do I listen with the open ear of the Holy Spirit? Do I extend grace in situations where none is extended to me? Do I make my life about others instead of myself?  Isn’t that the bottom line? My life is not my own. I live it for the sake of others—so that in laying down my rights, they may see the Holy Spirit that guides and empowers my life.

Forbearance, gentleness, and graciousness translate as Holy Spirit power under His control in my life. I have self-control when He is in control. I seek these qualities. I choose to add them, and He empowers my choices. He gives freedom to not prove or claim my rights. I learn His love that didn’t demand His own. He chose Calvary. I choose Him.

© 2017 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Least of All—Me



 You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate…Only a few ever find it. —Matthew 7:13a, 14b (NLT)

Lord, I yearn to be a sponge who soaks up all of you, and yet at the same time I hold up a wall to protect the last vestige of who I believe myself to be. I don’t want to lose me, Lord, but at the same time I want to gain you. You ask for my complete surrender, and in my struggle to let go, I am backed into a corner. A narrow opening slowly appears, and you ask me again to let go of all I own—to even lay down the gifts you have imparted.

There is not enough room to carry everything with me through that opening. I sit in my corner knowing what you ask, but unable to completely let go so that I might move through that opening to discover all of you. I have asked you to break me of anything that holds me back, and then I fight when you try to break me. Just how much of you do I really want, Lord?  Just how hungry am I?  You wait for me to empty myself so that I might be filled with you. There is no greater love than laying down one’s life for one’s friends. You laid down your life for me. I own nothing. Not even all that you have given and called me to do for you. You ask me again to lay down all I own—all I think I am—all my rights to know or understand—to know just you. You draw me with love. I have decided. Pride will not be my master. Fear of letting go will not defeat me.

I move forward—stripped of all but my hunger for you. As I pass through that opening and come out on the other side you are there—waiting for me with open arms—full of joy and glory. And in your presence—when who I am and what I have owned no longer matter, you restore me. You return ministry and gifts that I couldn’t bring with me. You fill me to overflowing with a depth of peace and joy that I have never experienced. In giving up myself I have received all of you.

Lord, keep me stripped of self so that I might be filled again and again with you. Don’t ever let me retreat to that corner informing you of all I own. The opening is always before me—asking me to lay everything down. Let nothing stand in your way in my life—least of all me.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

By Faith



But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.
—Galatians 5:22-24 (NLT)

You can’t produce love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in your life. Only the Holy Spirit can produce the genuine article. Only He produces fruit. When you strive to produce these things, human effort fails. You might sustain them for a while, but you will fail at some point. For Him to produce these things in your life, you must remain in Him, and allow Him to produce fruit. Surrender to the work of the Holy Spirit is necessary.

“If you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law,” Paul told the Galatians, “you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace” (Galatians 5:4, NLT). Quit striving to keep the law that will produce nothing in you. It cuts you off from Christ. Why do you turn from the grace He has lovingly bestowed, and seek to make your life your own? You don’t own you. You have been bought with the greatest love. Allow the Holy Spirit to produce the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Choose to surrender your struggle to change yourself by meeting the requirements of the law He came to fulfill.

Are you tired of not being “good enough”? Do you wish to catch the promise of His love that held nothing back? Seek full understanding of the unconditional love that took your sin to the cross. Choose to add in your life what only He can produce. Choose to live by His Spirit. “We who live by the Spirit,” Paul continued, “eagerly wait to receive by faith the righteousness God has promised to us. When we place our faith in Christ Jesus, there is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised” (Galatians 5:5-6a, NLT). Have faith. When you choose to believe that He has crucified the passions and desires of your old nature, He brings His power to your surrender. You grow to understand you can’t win His love by keeping the law. “What is important is faith expressing itself in love,” Paul concluded (Galatians 5:6b, NLT).

Do you realize that in His eyes you have been made righteous? He sees you through the eyes of grace. You can’t see it, but He knows your potential and sees the completed work which, through surrender He can bring forth fruit in your life. “You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you,” Jesus told His disciplines. “Remain in me, and I will remain in you” John 15:3, NLT). There is no law greater than this promise!

The veil has been torn by His love! By faith you are free to enter His presence—not by works less you boast of your own accomplishments, but by His grace that held nothing back!

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/04/by-faith.html

Monday, April 16, 2018

Receive



The Lord delights in his people; he crowns the humble with victory.
—Psalm 149:4, NLT).

You are ready for His greatest freedom when you are willing to lay down all He has imparted—all you know He has given—every gift He has bestowed—and allow Him to wash your feet. Stripped of all that stands in the way of His Hand upon your life, you are unhindered by need or perception or anything at all. He, who need not become less for you, now has. You are His, and you realize that He has brought you to a place of joy that you never imagined. At His feet you experience what it means to be crowned with victory, because He was willing to humble himself for you. You receive His love that no word can express or pen can write. Without doubt you believe He delights in you.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/receive.html


Friday, April 13, 2018

Give Once More


For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich. Here is my judgment about what is best for you in this matter. Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so. Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means.
—2 Corinthians 8:9–11 (NIV)

Have you ever started something and not finished it? Maybe circumstances kept you from reaching your goal. Perhaps you were distracted by other things. Whatever the reason, life happened—and you lost your drive to complete what you started. We have all been at that place where we have lost interest or the heart to finish a project.

What if the work you once started came from a vision that God gave you? It was something that He called you to bring to life. In the beginning, you believed in that vision with all your heart and soul. You poured your life into it. You gave your time and your financial support, but you never saw your efforts make a difference. Perhaps you became weary because of the constant struggle to attain that vision. You just lost heart.

You were the one to whom God imparted the vision. You were the first to get it started. You can only finish to the best of your ability, according to what you have been given. God’s perfect will is for His vision to be completed, but you can’t make a vision happen—even with all you do to inspire others to catch it. If you have given the work your best, God will do one of two things. He will bring it to completion with the support you have around you, or He will give you another means to achieve it. It is His promise for the work to be completed.

You are rich because of the sacrifice of Jesus! He has made you rich in His purpose. He is your reason for living, and He has called you. Allow God to stir the vision again. Allow yourself to believe in it once more. Give what you can and trust Him to complete what only He can finish. “God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful” (1 Thessalonians 5:24 NLT).

© 2017 Lynn Lacher
Form Me, Fire Me, Fill Me
www.lynnlacher.com/give-once-more.html

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Fix My Vision



So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. —2 Corinthians 4:18 (NIV)

Things we have around us do not last. The car, the television, the cell phone, or that new thing we just had to have. They are all fleeting. Here for a moment in time, we sometimes make them the most important elements of our lives. If God has allowed them, they are His gifts to either abuse or treasure. We abuse them when we make them the most important aspect of our lives. They are treasured as God wishes when we treasure Him more, and realize that we can absolutely live without them if He calls us to it.

We get so wrapped up in what we believe is ours. All things belong to Him—even our relationships. When something doesn't work right, we frantically try to fix it. The Holy Spirit doesn’t want us to be frantically controlled—either by a possession or a relationship. He wants us free to enjoy the gifts He has given. He wants us to know we can't fix either one. When a possession doesn’t control us, He gives the wisdom to fix a problem without frustration. When we realize that a problem in a relationships is not ours to solve, then we see that friendship as the gift He intended. Whether a possession or a friend, each belongs to Him, and not to us.  If either one controls us, we have frustration and unrest. If He controls us, we have His peace.

As humans we have a tendency to focus on what we see, and not what can't be seen. However, the Word tells us that if we fix our minds on Him, we can have His perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3). We can't see Him, but we know Him because He is in us. What we have on earth, either possession or relationship, is for a moment in time. If we cherish each as God's gift knowing He alone can fix what we can’t He imparts His power to take care of what has been entrusted to our care.

He will always be the greatest love of my life, and each possession or relationships He imparts on this earth will be His gifts. His love is the only thing I have that follows me into eternity. I will honor His amazing love with tenderness, respect, and commitment. I will hold fast to Him because He started His work in me, and, if I continually surrender my life to Him, He will complete it (Hebrews 12:2). What I realize now is the unseen of His presence which brings promise and purpose to my life. If I always fix my vision on Him, and never allow the things of this earth to consume me, I won’t be subject to the need for constant approval. His validation alone shall be enough. And His peace will rule my life.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/04/fix-my-vision.html


         

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Change is a Process



 “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV).

His grace is not a “thing”. It is not a something to be used. His grace is the presence of the Holy Spirit empowering us in our weakness. His grace meets us right where we are, and He loves us right where we are. His change is a spiritual healing, and it is a process. If we yield to this spiritual transformation, He is with us each step of the way. “Not only will God and His grace be with you in every step of the healing process, but God will be pleased with you at every step of the process,” David Seamands writes in Healing of Damaged Emotions. “Grace is not a commodity but our Lord Himself coming to us in His graciousness. A loving gracious God accepts us as we are, offers Himself lovingly to us right here and now, not when we shape up.” When we yield to His grace, He is with us in our weakness. Our weakness invites His power to empower and bring change.

We can become so frustrated when we don’t change fast enough. “God is as pleased with you in this process as loving parents when their child starts to walk,” Seamands continues. “Those are exciting days in a home, especially with the first child–the child stumbles, knocks over the furniture. But do the parents scold him, tell him how displeased they are because he isn’t doing a perfect job? Does Dad shout ‘You ought to do better than that, kid’? Does Mother chime in with, ‘That sure was a stupid step you took; no wonder you fell and hurt yourself’? Do you see how we so often have made God into a neurotic parent? If Jesus were preaching His Sermon on the mount, He might paraphrase this idea. ‘If you being evil, know how to do that well when teaching your child to walk, how much more will the heavenly Father be pleased with every step in your healing process?’ (Matthew 7:11). God will be pleased with you every step of the way.”

We are a reflection of all that surrounds us. As children we learned to see ourselves through our parents’ eyes, and reached to meet their expectations. As we grew we learned our identity from the relationships we had with other people. We reflected what other people thought of us. Now God wants us to reflect who He says we are, and not what we have perceived others think we should be. Yes, God calls us to live a holy life. Yes, He gives power when we are weak. He knows change is a process, and He is with us in it!  That is the living breathing grace of His presence.

Some of us strive to live up to what we feel God wants for us, and are actually reaching to meet expectations that are not from Him. Perhaps they are misconceptions of that reflection of our childhood, and God is attempting to breathe His grace into our strife. We can never live up to the impossible expectation that He has not placed upon us. He wipes off the false expectations of our lives, and offer us a new slate to begin the process.

David Seamands suggests a prayer. “’Thank you, Lord, that you are healing me according to your perfect schedule.” You can turn the process of change not into another failure or anger at your slow progress, but into a prayer of thanksgiving for His graciousness every step of the way! Be committed and be diligent to seek God and grow in His grace. Never despair when you climb two steps, and slide back one step. Remember it is a process, and He is healing and transforming you according to His perfect schedule. Here is your promise. “Let perseverance finish its work,” James writes, “so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:4, NIV). His grace will destroy the false reflections that have defined who you are, and you will see His reflection of the person He has destined you to become.

© 2017 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/04/change-is-a-process.html

Wisdom Builds



By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.
—Proverbs 24:3–4 (NIV)

Our spiritual lives are starved for the advice found in this proverb. We may not acknowledge it, but it is true. Without God’s wisdom to build my life, His understanding to ground my life, and His knowledge to fill my life with His purpose, my life is empty.

“Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain” (Psalm 127:1 NIV). Unless I allow Him to grow stronger in me, my efforts at life will have little meaning. I will fail. Unless I allow the Lord to guide and watch over my life, my efforts will be in vain. I don’t want my life to be a spiritually empty house. I can’t build me. Only He can.

When I surrender all my efforts at running my life and allow Him to build it, my spiritual life changes. I have a hunger for His direction instead of my own. I yearn for my life to be filled with knowledge from His Word. I seek His spiritual understanding of the Word so my life may be grounded. When I apply what I have learned through knowledge from the Word and apply what I have understood through His revelation of its meaning, I act on what I know. I apply His wisdom. I have spiritually grown and gained a heart of wisdom. My house is built.

Just as so many verses in the Word, this scripture in Proverbs 24 gives a promise. If I do my part, He will do His. If I allow Him to own me completely, my spiritual life will be filled with His rare and beautiful treasures. He will impart to me things beyond my own understanding and knowledge. He will fill my life with joy in His purpose. I shall receive the rare and beautiful treasure of His Spirit, empowering my life to heights in His purpose with a passion that is beyond anything I have imagined. My rooms shall be filled and empty no more.

© 2017 Lynn Lacher
Form Me, Fire Me, Fill Me, page 133
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/04/wisdom-builds.html




Monday, April 9, 2018

The New is Life!



Oh, foolish Galatians! Who has cast an evil spell on you? For the meaning of Jesus Christ’s death was made as clear to you as if you had seen a picture of his death on the cross. Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the Holy Spirit by obeying the law of Moses? Of course not! You received the Spirit because you believed the message you heard about Christ. How foolish can you be? After starting your new lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? Have you experienced so much for nothing? Surely it was not in vain, was it?
— (Galatians 3:1-4, NLT).

It wasn’t just the Galatians who had this problem of striving to be good enough. That is the mentality we have today. If I do this, Jesus will love me. If I do that, my life will be more acceptable to God. “So it is clear,” Paul said, “that no one can be made right with God by trying to keep the law. For the Scriptures say, ‘It is through faith that a righteous person has life’” (Galatians 3:11, NLT). Jesus didn’t save me to earn His love. His saved me so that I might receive the righteousness He earned for me on Calvary.

“This way of faith,” Paul continued, “is very different from the way of law, which says, ‘It is through obeying the law that a person has life.’ But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing” (Galatians 3:12-13, NLT).  Jesus Christ has cancelled the rigors of the performance-based law which says I must earn His grace. Oh no! Grace is His gift which I don’t deserve, and I receive it by believing what Jesus accomplished for me. The old covenant law promotes death, but the new covenant grace of Jesus promises life.

Oh, we are so foolish. Did we receive the Holy Spirit by obeying the law?  Did just striving to keep the law save us from our own unrighteousness? No! Yet, we live that way—constantly striving to receive what He already has given to us by faith. Why do we keep trying to be perfect by our own efforts? Instead of seeking to know this new creature we are in Him, we live as if we are still the old. Grace sets us free to live the righteousness that He has won for us. That grace wasn’t free. It cost Him everything. Yet, when we don’t live the freedom He earned on Calvary from the rigor-based performance trap of not being good enough, we make His grace cheap.  We say that it wasn’t quite good enough. We don’t live as if that veil was torn. We strive to meet the condemnation of the law.

“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus,” Paul wrote, “and because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit” (Romans 8:1-4, NLT).

When will we get this? When will we understand that the Holy Spirit loves us with conviction and not buries us with condemnation?  When we truly “get it”—that the new covenant has cancelled the judgment of the old covenant, we shall live in the freedom that was won for us on the cross. His unconditional love will change our attitudes, our hearts, and our minds. Our spirits and minds will be renewed by His Spirit. We will see through the eyes of grace instead of the judgment of the old covenant. We will know that “this is not a covenant of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life” (2 Corinthians 4:6, NLT).

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com

Friday, April 6, 2018

Mountain Moving Faith



At the moment you sell stock you receive its face value. You wish for the highest yield.  However, you never really know when the time is right to redeem it. Unlike cashing in stock at the perfect moment, any time is the right time to redeem your faith in Jesus Christ. He paid the full price for its redemption! The face value is fixed at the very highest return, and yields an immeasurable promise—everything is possible with God.

What sort of faith believes this? It’s the kind which knows the promise and remains focused on it—even when it can’t be seen (Hebrews 11:1). Can you really have such confidence in God’s provision for whatever lies ahead?  Jesus exclaims, “Yes!”

One day Jesus led Peter, James and John high upon a mountain, and “there he was transfigured. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light” (Matthew 17:2).  The three disciples saw Jesus speaking with Moses and Elijah. Excited over the miraculous vision before him, Peter proclaimed, “Lord, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah!”  Suddenly a cloud covered the disciples and blinded them to the vision they had just witnessed. Out of the cloud God spoke, “This is my beloved Son! Listen to what He tells you” (Matthew17:4-5).

After descending from the mountain, a man approached Jesus and told him that the disciples he had left behind were unable to heal his son of seizures. “O unbelieving generation!” Jesus exclaimed. He rebuked the demon, and the boy was immediately healed” (Matthew 17:17-18).  The disciples asked why they weren’t able to drive out the demon. “You have so little faith!” Jesus retorted. “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can tell this mountain to move! Nothing will be impossible” (Matthew 17:20). 

The transfiguration for the other three disciples created a strong emotional response based on what was seen. On the mountain God had told them to trust what Jesus had to say—not what they felt or saw.  Sensory perception doesn’t inspire greater faith. When Peter, James, and John raised their heads from the ground they only saw Jesus. “When you can’t see,” God whispers, “trust what I reveal through my Son” (Matthew 7:5).  

The transfiguration created emotional fervor upon the mountain while those disciples left behind had been unable to drive out a demon. Jesus called them an unbelieving generation. Perhaps these three disciples on the mountain weren’t the ones who failed in casting out the demon, but the message is clear. Jesus Christ is all that is necessary to have great faith. 

Mountain-moving faith might or might not remove your mountain, but it does mean that its ability to control your life has ended. Faith in the Lord’s provision is the only way you can move the mountain or put it beneath your feet. Whether God wishes to teach you a lesson or miraculously remove it, the responsibility for its purpose rests solely upon Him.

"I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me” (Jeremiah 32:27)?   It’s doesn’t matter how big the mountain might be. The mountain-mover can always be taken at infinite face value. If God says it, He means it (Hebrews 16:15)!

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/04/mountain-moving-faith.html

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Live the New



Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
—Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (NIV)

When asked by the Scribes what the greatest commandment was, Jesus quoted from the Mosaic Law. “The most important commandment is this,” he replied. “’Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength’” (Mark 12:30, NLT). If we love the Lord with all our heart, our soul, and our strength, we not only live obediently holding fast to His truth. We also want more than anything for what He has wrought in our lives to be experienced by others.

When we have truly experienced the grace of Jesus Christ, His Truth changes us. It becomes who we are. We don’t stay silent about what changes our lives. Just as Moses told the Israelites that they are to teach His decrees diligently to their children, we teach, live, and share His Word. Just as Moses told the Israelites that the law should be written on their doorframes and gates, so Jesus’s love should be written on our hearts.

Jesus has fulfilled the law, and by His sacrifice He has cancelled the performance-based rigors of the old covenant. He has opened access to the mercy seat that waits for our surrender and obedience to His love. We no longer surrender because it is required. We surrender because once and for all He has become the perfect sacrifice for our sin. Grace joyfully awaits a repentant heart. And our surrender is the gift we give to Him. Full of His mercy and grace, we joyfully and obediently share what He has wrought in us. “He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant,” Paul wrote, “not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life” (2 Corinthians 3:6, NIV).

“This is the covenant I will make with them after that time," says the Lord. "I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds. Their sins and lawless acts, I will remember no more” (Hebrews 10: 16-17, NIV). Because of Jesus, instead of being written upon the “doorframes” of our outer performance, His law is now written upon the tender flesh of our hearts. The “outer” doorframes of the law have surrendered to the inner heart of His perfect sacrifice.

Obedience flows from our love for Him—from the grace which has made us new. If we follow Him with joy, we shall receive the grace of His total supply. We shall discover His joy in giving ourselves away—the joy of giving as He gave His life for us. And that is His real promise—to be one with the Savior who fulfilled the old covenant so we might live the new.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/04/live-the-new.html

Commit to His Grace



“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32, NLT).

To spiritually understand the depth and power of the grace of Jesus Christ, faith needs to grow. For faith to grow, the seed of God's Word must first be planted, then nourished through study and prayer. As knowledge of His grace grows into greater faith, we are able to put down deep-seated roots that anchor us. We can choose to believe that His grace is more powerful than our insufficiency. Christ didn't save us in our perfection. He saved us in our brokenness. We choose to sacrifice our wills and desires and seek His. As we grow in His grace, the power of that grace increases. When we yield our brokenness, our weakness, and ourselves to Him daily, we discover that in Him all things are possible. He takes whatever battle rages to the grave, and continually imparts His grace to stand strong.

We will always face temptation, but it is what we do with that temptation which reveals if we have died to self-will. It is what we do with temptation which reveals our allegiance. If we succumb to sin, we break our spiritual closeness with God which gives us the power to stand strong. With that intimacy severed, His grace will not empower us. This verse in John tells us that knowledge of the Word of God sets us free. If we continually seek to understand the truth of God's Word, we gain spiritual intimacy with God and experience His grace which gives us freedom from sin's control.

Perhaps we haven’t experienced grace’s freedom because striving and mind-over-matter don't work. Only spiritual understanding of the grace of Jesus Christ and experiencing its power has the ability to release us. Spiritual knowledge of God's Word imparts wisdom. “If any of you lacks wisdom,” James writes, “you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do” (James 1:5-8, NIV).

His wisdom is necessary for spiritual growth. As we seek to know the Word, we identify with the Word, and we experience its wisdom. Faith increases, and temptation loses its grasp. But we must not doubt! We choose to believe that His ability is greater than our failure. Choosing to lead a life that is pleasing to God is our commitment. He honors that commitment to spiritually grow in His truth with the liberating power of His grace.

Do you want to be stable, rock-solid, consistent, and anchored in His grace? Do you want to continually experience the freedom of His grace when something happens which could cause fear or anger, bitterness or resentment? Do you want to be controlled by His power, and not by a lack of self-control? Do you want to be a conduit of His grace that continually is offered to others who face their own battles? There will always be temptation, but I want to live a life that is free from sin and selfishness. To be renewed and transformed, I will open my mind and spirit to the grace Jesus reveals in His Word. The power to set me free lies within its pages. The Word always waits for me to discover the freedom it imparts. I choose the commitment.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/04/commit-to-his-grace.html





Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Pain and Joy



Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.
—Romans 12:15 NLT

Rejoice with one who is happy, and cry with one who is hurting. Be whatever is necessary in each moment. Listen with not only your mind, but with your heart. To share in someone’s pain is a gift that gives you strength through your own pain. To share in their joy is something that makes you appreciate the blessings that God has given you. Be ready in season and out of season for the person He sends to you. Listen to their suffering, and you will soon rejoice with them in new awareness of His love. Pain that is experienced today often becomes part of the joy of tomorrow—for not only the one who needs you, but for you.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/04/pain-and-joy.html

Monday, April 2, 2018

Personal



But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. —Isaiah 53:5 (NIV)

God became personal for you and for me. In the person of His son, Jesus Christ, God became human when He was born into this world, but it was at Calvary that He became intensely personal. You can’t get much more personal than when you die for someone else. When He gave His life on Calvary, He took sin that separated us from God, and defeated it once and for all. In His Resurrection, He conquered death. When we accept Him into our hearts, we have the assurance of abundant life now and eternal life forever. The wounds He suffered on Calvary bring healing of body, mind, and spirit. God who created you and me, with no restraint and no hesitation, laid down His life and became a living sacrifice so we might have peace with Him and peace within our own hearts.

There is a difference between God becoming personal and us experiencing it. The gift of His life at Calvary is what offers us a personal God, but it is our “yes” in surrender that gives us a personal relationship with Him. Our acceptance of the gift of His life makes God personal. He, who was without sin, was pierced and wounded because of ours. What should have been our punishment, became His. Such love calls for a response. It is impossible to ignore. We either accept it or reject it. If we accept it, we discover the incredible depth and power of His love that died for us. If we reject it, we miss the greatest love ever offered.

What is our response? Do we allow Him just a little of ourselves, and reserve our total commitment?  We want to approach Him. We want to come boldly before Him in our time of need, but we don’t want to obediently give Him our own surrender and sacrifice. Perhaps we want to hold on to a gift or even a calling that has become more important than He is. But He asks us to lay everything down for His sake—just as He laid all down for ours. Sometimes we must lose whatever has become too important to understand that it isn’t what really matters. He is what is important. His love is all that matters.

His offer lies before us. If we accept His love, and place Him above everything else, we discover a personal God beyond human imagination. When we surrender to the omnipotent God who created us and gave His life so that we might be free, we respond to His sacrifice with an obedient heart and life. He becomes more than personal. He becomes life.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/04/personal.html



A Revelation of His Love

God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. —John 3...