Search This Blog

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Rejoice in the Rain



Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 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. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you
—Philippians 4:4-9 (NIV)

Do you realize that life is not about waiting for the storms of life to just end? There will always be storms. Life is about learning to rejoice in the rain. It is about bringing the Lord a sacrifice of praise (Hebrews 13:15) no matter what storm rages in your life. You can't wait the storms of life out. You must launch into the fury in faith, trusting the Lord to help you handle it with grace.

Jesus Christ is the very best truth for your life. His truth is not lessened by trials and suffering. If you practice what is right, continually dwell on what is good, and trust the Lord, you will discover God's promise of peace and joy in the midst of any trial.

Do you rejoice in His faithfulness or does worry anchor your mind in fear? If God is with you, why should you be afraid? This Scripture from Philippians imparts the truth that if He is with us we can have perfect peace of mind and heart. We can’t worry and live in peace at the same time. Anxiety and worry will destroy peace of heart and mind. God, however, assures those who have made Him Lord that He is constantly with them as they face the raging storms of life. If we know Him, we have His constant care, and faithful promise to carry us through to the end.

In the midst of your storm is exactly where God is. He is the fourth man in your fire, and the strength that holds your arm high above the battle that wages. He is the living water that quenches your thirst in your desert place. He is your song when no one else is singing. He is your victory! Let's rejoice in Him always. Let's give Him our fears with thankfulness in our hearts that He will handle what we are unable to handle. Let's dwell on what is good and worthy and noble, and put these into practice in our lives. Our God of peace will be with us. All will be well even when the storms rage.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/05/rejoice-in-rain.html

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

A Free Slave



“Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings” (I Corinthians 9:19-23, NIV).

I am free because of what Jesus has done for me, and I choose to make myself a slave for the sake of others. What does that mean? I become as others so that I might understand their plight, and offer them the hope that I have received. Paul said that he had become all things to all people so that some might find Christ. That is my call, too, and it is yours. Not to force any superiority or knowledge or faith on anyone else, but to live my faith and offer it–to become as someone else in order that I might understand how to share it.

What a powerful thought! If I become as Christ, and make myself a slave to others, then in offering my life for the sake of someone else, the gospel lives in me. His message of sacrificial love is offered. Jesus, who was sinless, became sin, and took it to the cross. There He sacrificed His life so I might be free from sin's control. I am free because of His love. But I choose to be His because of that love which gave everything for me. If I can identify with someone in need of His love, and give all my heart’s attention to them, the Holy Spirit can reveal the deepest need that only He knows. He can guide me in what I say and do. When I become less for the sake of someone else, then Christ can be much more in me. He can then use me to help someone see the freedom and potential He has for their life.

I have a story to tell and to share. It is a story of Christ laying down His life for my sake. It is a story of redeeming love, and freedom from all I have been. I am a free, and only a slave by choice. He is the best choice I could ever make, and His life is the greatest I could ever offer. John said it best. “In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:4, NIV). He is the life that is offered to all mankind, and the only light which reveals the depths of the human heart. I will allow His light to shine in me, and the darkness will not overcome it. I will make myself a slave for the sake of others. In my freedom, I choose Him.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/05/a-free-slave.html


Tuesday, May 29, 2018

New

He makes all things new. We forget that truth so quickly. Every gift He sends, every promise, every renewed hope helps you to rise above what otherwise would hold you back. This world will try to bind you, and keep you focused on every lie the enemy tells. It is the enemy's cords that attempt to bind your spirit, but it is God's Spirit that severs those ties, and breaks all the lies. It is God's power that gives you wings to reach His height, and discover His joy which is your strength.

A broken spirit can soar again. As tired as you seem or feel, remember that He makes all things new. That is your promise, and it is true. You shall not only walk again. You shall soar again. He speaks to your broken spirit, and broken heart to not give up, but to trust in His promise to make all things new.

He does not just make some things news. He makes ALL things new.

Copyright 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/05/new.html

Monday, May 28, 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 grief 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

Friday, May 25, 2018

Essence



“I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
—Mark 9:24b


“Lord, I believe, but help me overcome my inability to believe!” This the cry of the heart of His child who longs for more faith. These words reveal areas where I lack faith, but they also reveal how my faith has grown. Sounds like a paradox, doesn’t it? “I do believe, Lord, yet I need more faith to believe.” As I grow closer to Him, I know Him more, and experience His power in my life. But at the same time I am more conscious of the times when I fall short of complete trust in Him. This is the spiritual growth. There is increased ability to believe, and then comes a plea for greater faith. It is a cry to overcome all my unbelief. It is a cry for complete and perfect trust in Him. My heart’s cry is heard, and He answers my prayer with more faith. He also reveals where I still lack in faith, and imparts the power to walk the path that leads, step by step, upwards and closer to Him.

Trusting Him completely is my gift to Jesus for all He has done for me. I have a friend who says trust is that perfect place of rest that comes from knowing He takes care of all the concerns of her heart. He has all things covered because that is what He promises in His Word. Another friend says that perfect trust comes when the “essence” of all she is rests in Jesus. Christ’s perfect love casts out all fear, and then perfect trust rises from the heart. Our human minds cannot analyze the depth of such love, but our hearts can receive it. The Lord speaks to our hearts and minds to be still and know He is God (Psalm 46:10)—to focus on Him (Isaiah 26:3). When I allow all the “essence” of who I am to rest in Jesus Christ, perfect trust will blossom.

If you are struggling to trust Him more today, decide to trust Him more. Make “help my unbelief” the cry of your heart. Make a conscious decision, and bring your thoughts captive to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). You can never reason trust. Your mind can never grasp it. Perfect love is birthed by faith in Jesus Christ, and that is where perfect trust will take root. Allow the “essence” of all you are to be at rest in the “essence” of who He is. You will be renewed in the spirit of your mind (Ephesians 4:23), and perfect trust will bloom.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/05/essence.html


Thursday, May 24, 2018

Only I Can


Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
—Romans 12:10 (NLT)

Love. Be devoted. Have compassion. Honor the need of someone else as greater than your own. I read today’s verse from Bible Gateway, and immediately asked myself if God sees this in me. Even if I may hear how kind I am from other people, I always need to ask myself if it is true. The Holy Spirit wishes me to understand the reason I help others. “Love each other with genuine affection,” the New Living Testament reads, “and take delight in honoring each other.” He wants to make sure that the reason is from genuine love with no agenda behind the action. If I have no agenda, I will find great joy and delight in what I am able to share.

It is my heart on the altar. Not anyone else’s. “Create in me a pure heart, O God,” the psalmist cried, “and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10, NIV). Only I can examine the real motive of my own heart, and allow the Lord to create a steadfast one within me. Only I can be renewed! Only I can offer a heart without motive—one that is holy and pleasing to God. That is my true worship—my heart on the altar—my life not about me, but all about Him.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/05/only-I-can.html


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Go for the Vision



“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. ” (Joshua 1:9, NLT).

With the vision of God's Promised Land just within their grasp the Israelites couldn't muster enough faith to face the giants who lived there. For years they wandered in the desert knowing their promise was just within reach, but they also knew that they would have to overcome obstacles to receive it. It would not be handed to them on a silver platter. They lived in fear of what it would cost.

Does this sound like us? We see our vision and understand God's promise awaits our action, but we just can't make the commitment to reach for it because of the fear of what it will cost us. It might cost money or time or work. But that is not the most important cost. It will cost our complete surrender and it will cost faith. That is the payment that is required. We want the promise, but we don’t want to face the giant of our own fear of what may happen. We don’t want to face possible failure. Our promised land is within reach, but it requires obedience, commitment, and trust in God's faithfulness. Instead of reaching for His promise, we become settled and comfortable where we are.

God told His people then, and He tells us now, to be strong and courageous, to be obedient and committed. Know the Word. Fill your mind and heart with its promise and the strength that it brings to receive His promise. Do not be afraid, and never be discouraged. Reach out and make the commitment that is needed to receive His promise. Disillusionment and discouragement will retreat with commitment to Him. Fear will vanish with action. When we step out of the boat in faith, we will walk on water because He is our “paraclete”—the One who comes along side to keep us from drowning—the One who is with us wherever we go.

Are you sitting on the edge of your vision for your Promised Land? “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see” (Hebrews 11:1, NLT). Faith gives you the assurance that those giants are nothing when faced with the power of God. Faith is your confidence to move forward in His will for your life believing He brings about His promise. “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised” (Hebrews 10:36, NIV).

What is your vision?  What has God promised you?  If you are wandering in a desert of dry bones, it is time to speak life to what God has promised. “God will make this happen,” Paul wrote, “for he who calls you is faithful” (I Thessalonians 5:24, NLT). It is time to move forward trusting that God will supply all that is needed to overcome the obstacles. It is time for your vision to live.

© Lynn Lacher 2017
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/05/go-for-vision.html

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Stand



My purpose in writing is to encourage you and assure you that what you are experiencing is truly part of God’s grace for you. Stand firm in this grace.
—1 Peter 5:12b (NLT)

Do you know what it is like when suddenly what you believe is your purpose is written in someone else’s words?  I don’t know why I had never noticed this message in Peter’s words before, but now it anchors and encourages me. It is the message of my heart—for believers to know that the troubles they have are not meant to defeat, but edify them. “I am writing,” Peter says, “to God’s chosen people who are living as foreigners in the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia” (1 Peter 1:1, NLT).  Paul writes to encourage these believers that the hardships they experience living in foreign lands are truly a part of God’s grace for them. They are not to give up, but to stand firm.

Do you feel you are living in a foreign and strange land? Well, you are. “This world is not our permanent home,” the writer to the Hebrews imparts. “We are looking forward to a home yet to come” (Hebrews 13:14, NLT). Yes, we are looking forward to that time one day when we shall live with Him, but for now we live our faith in a land where we are often misunderstood and judged. “The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it,” John writes, “but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of it” (John 5:19a, NLT).

To come out of this world? To withdraw physically from it? No. You come out of it by allowing His grace to change you so that you see this world as your opportunity to live and share His unconditional love. What you experience in this world—whether rejection or trials or problems—are all opportunities to live the truth of His Word. To experience and grow in the knowledge of God’s grace, your faith is tried and fired by life.

The reason that I write is that I must. It is a part of me that I cannot deny. I write because of my purpose, and today I found my purpose written in God’s own words. I must assure you that what you face in this world is a part of God’s grace. It has the power to not only change you, but to change someone else.

“Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us,” the writer to the Hebrews advises. “We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith” (Hebrews 12:1b-2a, NLT). Don’t give up. Stand strong. Keep your eyes on Him, and run your race. He cheers you on to the goal. Stand in His grace. He is all you need.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/05/stand.html




Monday, May 21, 2018

Out of the Ashes



Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous.
—Psalm 112:4 (NIV)

If you are struggling in darkness or circumstances beyond your control—if you are living an honorable life filled with kindness and compassion, you will not remain in that darkness forever. Light will dawn. His promise will come. You will climb out of that hole. His light will guide you safely through your battle—your turmoil—your pain—to His healing peace.

“Such people will not be overcome by evil,” the psalmist continues. “Those who are righteous will be long remembered. They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them. They are confident and fearless and can face their foes triumphantly” (Psalm 112:6-8, NLT).

Stand in His promise. When you belong to Jesus Christ, the evil of this world will not overcome your faith. And that faith may be as small as a mustard seed, but its strength can flourish in the midst of hardship. It would be wonderful if you lived in a world where you only knew good things every day. But life isn’t just the good. Bad circumstances are a part of life.  You don’t need to fear what is bad. God will take care of you. You can face whatever happens. You can stand confident and fearless in spite of it.

“To all who mourn in Israel, He will give a crown of beauty for ashes,” Isaiah imparts, “a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory” (Isaiah 61:3, NLT).  Evil does not win. His blessing will rise from that which tries to destroy. Not only will you rise from the ashes in His power and promise, you will remain strong, planted deeply in His purpose. Nothing that comes against you will defeat you. Out of the ashes, you will rise.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/05/out-of-the-ashes.html

Friday, May 18, 2018

To Be Blessed



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 willingness to grow spiritually. 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 patience and goodness and faithfulness and gentleness and self-control.

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.

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 to self a little for Him? You can’t understand the depth of His joy without understanding what Jesus accomplished for you. 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).

©2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/to-be-blessed.html


Thursday, May 17, 2018

God Most High—Jesus My Redeemer



There is an Old Testament name of God that speaks of His power to redeem. He is “El Elyon”, my “God Most High Redeemer”. There is also the New Testament name of Jesus Christ, whose surrender at Calvary reveals more than just His power to redeem. His surrender on the cross reveals His absolute willingness to redeem. “I will cry to God Most High,” the psalmist wrote, “who performs on my behalf and rewards me [who brings to pass His purposes for me and surely completes them]” (Psalm 57:2, AMP)! This “God Most High” moves on my behalf, and not only brings about His purpose for my life, but, also, because of His grace completes what He begins in me.

“God Most High” reigns over all the earth in sovereignty and final authority. Because of His majesty, He deserves my highest praise and worship. He deserves my constant love and respect—not just when I need something from Him. He deserves my life and all that I have offered to Him from a grateful heart. I must never assume to put myself in His place, but I often do when I make my own decisions without seeking His wishes. God is the final judge of my heart—the one who has the power to forgive me.

The Old Testament “God Most High” became more than just the judge of my heart when Jesus died on the cross. He became my “up close and personal” Redeemer! Jesus had no sin in His life, yet He willingly took mine. He fulfilled the requirement of the law so I might come without hindrance into His presence. When I come to Him with a repentant heart, He delivers and saves me from all that I have been. He hears my cry, and moves on my behalf. He blesses and rewards me. He is my Redeemer—my Jesus—my Savior, who remains constant and unchanging. My Redeemer yearns for me to honor and worship Him—not for what He can give me or what I believe I deserve, but only because I love Him with all my heart. He has a purpose in the lives of those who honor Him. His desire is for me to know the ultimate fulfillment found in living the purpose He has designed for me.

When my heart is completely surrendered and self is not an issue, I yearn to be in God's will. If I am absolutely yielded to Him, I find His will. When I am renewed in the spirit of my mind and transformed by His power, I discover His pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12:1-2). If I yearn for my desire to be His desire, I am completely willing to surrender my personal agenda for His purpose. I am willing to wait as long as necessary for His will or His promise to come into being. I am willing to believe in that promise even if that promise doesn't come into sight (Hebrews 11:6). Do I get so focused on what I believe God's promise is for my life, that I miss the truth that the spiritual growth I receive in seeking Him is actually His will for me right now? When I am transformed into the person He wishes for me to become, I am in His will.

Is this the year I will surrender? Allow Him to prune self for greater growth and purpose?  To understand that the God who has the power to redeem, has redeemed me on Calvary? The Lord will change in me only what I allow. I want to honor my “Most High Redeemer” and allow Him to bring about His purpose in my life.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/05/god-most-highjesus-my-redeemer.html



Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Surrender to His Strength


I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
—Philippians 4:13 (NLT)

When Paul wrote these words, he did not just mean that he could forge ahead in everything he wanted to do and then rely on the Lord to bestow strength. It sounds that way, but if you look a little deeper you see something more. Paul meant that for everything he was directed to do by the Lord, he could rely on the Holy Spirit to supply strength. The Lord's strength is discovered in surrender of our own wills to His—of our desires to His—of the things on our lists to get done.  It is found in allowing our weaknesses to be used for His purposes.

The work of the Holy Spirit has been hindered by our own work. Self-driven work finally wears us thin, and we burn out. Self has driven out the Spirit, and the strength that is offered. The Holy Spirit should not only be our direction, but our strength. We are to yield to Him, and wait for the strength He supplies. Like a tiger waiting to burst upon its prey, our spiritual muscles should be tightly coiled ready to spring into action at a moment's notice. We lie still in expectant rest until He calls us forth in His strength. We surrender to His strength.

What does it mean to be still and know that He is God? Those that wait upon the Lord shall not only renew their strength, they shall mount up as eagles. The Lord shall be the wind beneath their wings winging them to new heights. That wind is constant, never wavering of faltering. It is as sure as He is the cornerstone, our foundation. It supports all that we are, and in every way supplies strength for His calling, for our needs, for every moment, every concern. That strength is the beat of our hearts, and we cannot exist without it.

When we become tired and fear attempts to claim our hearts, we focus on the Lord and wait for the His guidance and direction until His strength has become our own. Our time of expectant rest should be one where His strength is renewed. We never seek to work for Him, but only with Him. Discovering that constant wind of His Spirit, we shall be carried to new heights in His strength. If we live with Him and abide in Him, He will open doors for His own purpose in our lives. We will know that in our own weakness, He is strong—that we can do nothing without Him.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/05/in-his-strength.html

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Be Still Until He Says Move



Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still!
—Exodus 14:13a, 14 (NIV)

With the Red Sea in front of him and the Egyptians advancing from behind, Moses stood with the Israelites at the very edge of what appeared sure destruction. He had followed the Lord, and now there seemed to be no hope. There was no visible escape. There was nothing but his faith in the Lord who had brought him to this place. 

Have you also been brought to the place where your faith in God is all you have left—where you know there is nothing you can do but wait on Him to deliver you?  It is the place where you realize your own resources are nothing—where you are caught between drowning in the sea before you and dying from circumstances which have forced you there.

Don’t strive to find a way of escape. You only bring more despair. You can’t deliver yourself. You can’t save yourself from your dilemma. Don’t be consumed with fear. It only rips peace from your heart. You are in a place where you must trust God and love Him with all your heart, mind, and strength. You can only allow the Lord to guide you and deliver you.

Be still and stand firm waiting upon His guidance. Your circumstances advancing from behind are not the end. The Red Sea before you is not the end. But you have come to the end of yourself, and this is where you find Him to direct and guide you. What you see advancing from behind you shall never be seen again. He shall fight for you. So when He stretches forth His hand to make a way through the impossibility of that Red Sea before you, then it is the time to trust Him and move. It is time to “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6, NIV).

Allow Him to guide you through the sea He has divided in front of you. If you follow Him, your path will always take you straight through the Red Seas of your life.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/05/be-still-until-he-says-move.html


Monday, May 14, 2018

Lone Willow



For I will pour out water to quench your thirst
    and to irrigate your parched fields.
And I will pour out my Spirit on your descendants,
    and my blessing on your children.
They will thrive like watered grass,
    like willows on a riverbank.
Isaiah 44:3-4 (NLT)

Mother’s Day has gone again for another year. My heart was full, yet breaking. My mind had peace, yet missing her. Father’s Day will also soon come. I miss him each day, but I am so very thankful they are together in heaven. How do I explain that I have seen them?  Words are so limiting, aren’t they, when you try to describe the divine in earthly terms? But a picture has been fulfilled in my heart. There at the edge of a green field, the air permeated with the fresh tendrils of new spring growth, a lone willow blows in a gentle wind beside a bubbling stream. Just up from it, a slight rise beckons the two who sit side-by-side holding hands. Her face is soft and young and free of the pain she once suffered. Her gaze rests upon his hand holding hers. His gaze rests upon hers. And there is his smile that I’ve remembered from the years I had with him.

I know this image in my mind is inspired by Lone Willow Farm in Indiana. My father’s home in his youth. The farm in my vision isn’t quite the same as I remember it. That stream would not be just beside the tree. Always a busy working farm, it now looks at ease. Parched fields are no more. What has been thirsty is now quenched. 

“Oh, my sweet parents, that I have loved, you have been loved so much more by Him!  I may miss you terribly, but you left a legacy—His message for those you have loved. The lives of pain you lived on earth, now free in heaven, were never in vain. He has promised that He will pour out His Spirit on your descendants—His blessing on your children!  They shall be ‘like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season’ (Psalm 1:3a NLT). Just as willows along a riverbank, your descendant will flourish. They shall be watered by His Spirt, and thrive in His love you once lived.”

That willow tree had to be cut down on Lone Willow Farm years ago. It gave out just like my parents. But it thrives and lives again just like them. It beckons in my vision with promise. What believed ended, now lives on. What believed lost, is now found. Hope is vibrant assurance. It brings great life to your faith, and encourages you in what can’t be seen. “No eye has seen,” Paul wrote, “no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthian 2:9, NLT). There is more here on earth and more in heaven than you can ever imagine.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher

Friday, May 11, 2018

Become Less



Humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.
—1 Peter 5:6 (NLT)
Humility is the state of a heart that has surrendered. Place yourself in God’s hand. Give up any rights you feel are yours. He wishes to exalt you above whatever you have imagined, but you don’t achieve honor by feigning humility. Become less so He can be more.

Dress yourselves in humility as you relate to one another, for God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.
—1 Peter 5:5 (NLT)
Become less so another person might become more. Put on humility until it becomes a state of your heart. Dress yourself in humility for your relationships to thrive. God opposes a prideful spirit that insists on his or her right. He gives grace when you have nothing to prove. You are free to lay down your life because He laid His life for you.

Instead be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
—Ephesians 4:32 (NLT) 
Two need to share their feelings; two need to lay down their preconceptions; two need to be willing to listen. A relationship is only worth how much two people work at it. If it lies dormant, that relationship will die. Open, honest, and even painful at times, that relationship can thrive. But there is something that only requires one person to do. One person must first be willing to become less.

For 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—and allow Him to wash your feet. Stripped of all that stands in the way of His Hand upon you, 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 victory that you never imagined. At His feet you learn what it means to be crowned with victory because He was willing to humble himself for you. You know love full of glory that no word can describe because He gave His life for you.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/05/become-less.html



Thursday, May 10, 2018

Five Loaves



Do you still not understand? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered?
—Matthew 16:9 (NIV)

How soon we forget what the Lord has done!  When our minds are fleeting, we don’t remember. We become bogged down with what we consider priorities, and we allow fear of the unknown to clog our thoughts. Have we forgotten how he fed us when there was nothing? Have we forgotten His plenty when all appeared scarce?

To be filled we must be emptied of self. We can’t be filled if we aren’t starving for Him. If we aren’t hungry, our baskets will remain empty. “He has filled the hungry with good things,” Luke writes, “but has sent the rich away empty” (Luke 1:53, NIV). Are we too rich in our own merit—our own goodness— that we just expect to be filled without emptying ourselves of our own resources?

We need to get this! This is truth for His child. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matthew 5:6, NIV)! We can’t fill ourselves with His honesty and virtue. Only He makes us righteous. We have been made “right” only by the gift of His life for our sin. If we empty "self" and seek Him, we shall find Him. We can stand on His Word. We can KNOW that He has five loaves in that basket that appears so empty.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/05/five-loaves.html


Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Your Gift for His Purpose



There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us. A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge. The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.
—1 Corinthians 12:4-11 (NLT)
                                                            
You have been given certain spiritual gifts by God. These are gifts that the Lord has chosen for you to help build and edify believers. Whatever spiritual gifts God has chosen for you, use each one for the benefit of the body of Christ. When using your spiritual gifts properly and in the way that the Holy Spirit desires, believers are encouraged, trained in righteousness, unified in purpose, and receive a passion to share the Good News.

Whatever gifts the Holy Spirit has bestowed upon you, allow Him to use them in your life. Don't neglect them (1 Timothy 4:14a). Only use them under His divine direction for His purpose. If they are not exercised in His power and in His anointing they will remain fruitless. No one will be edified. His purpose will not be served, and in fact, spiritual damage may be the result. You and I are absolutely accountable for the gifts He has given to us. What we do with each gift and how we use each gift reveals if God's desires are fulfilled or not. If you in humility surrender each gift to His hand, He will use each gift in your life to bring about His purpose. Through each gift, appropriately exercised in His power, lives will change. Believers will seek Him; prayer will become a way of life; the Word will bring life to dry bones, and the church will rise to become His instrument of power for greater service.

Your gifts are just that—gifts. He has chosen wisely for you. He knows you intimately, but for you to know and exercise the gifts that He has chosen, you must know Him intimately. You seek Him, and not the gift. You do not choose your gift. He chooses, and bestows as He wishes. He knows which gifts are the best for you. Love Him only. Open your heart to receive, and use what He pours into you. Don't ever neglect what He has chosen for your greatest potential. When you have experienced what He can accomplish through your surrendered life, you yearn to be consumed by all of Him. You cry out in complete surrender, just as Peter did, “Lord, wash all of me!”

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com


Fire Me for Joy



Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you.
—Psalm 143:8 (NLT)

No matter what I face each day, Lord, the first thing I long to experience is your unfailing love for me each morning. The first thing I want to hear each morning is you, Lord, speaking above the troubling call of my day—encouraging beyond the worry that attempts to claim me. I hush the call of fear rising in my mind. This is my time with you and not with the voice of defeat that speaks before my day has even begun. I silence it for I am trusting you. I have chosen you, and I have placed my faith in you. Nothing can happen this day that you have not allowed for your greatest purpose in my life. Lord, if my attitude is one of expectancy that I shall learn greater character this day, then I shall find in what comes, a joy that has been fired to be lasting and strong.

“These trials will show that your faith is genuine,” Peter writes. “It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world” (1 Peter 1:7, NLT).

“When troubles of any kind come your way,” James also imparts, “consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing” (James 1:2-4, NLT).


No matter what happens today, Lord, I wish for this day to prove my faith is genuine and my joy is overflowing. I look to you to show me where to walk. I give myself to you for your purpose. Fire me for joy. Perfect in me your best.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/05/fire-me-for-joy.html


Monday, May 7, 2018

But...


If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
—1 John 1:9 (NIV)

“I’ll never make myself good enough,” I declare.

“Of course, you won’t,” He says. “You are only good enough because I loved you enough to die for you. You are good in my eyes. I only see you clean and whole. So why do you strive so hard to win the love that I have already given you on the cross?”

“But…” I try once more.

“There are no ‘buts’ in my kingdom. I only see you through my unconditional love and grace. I’ve forgiven you. Forgive yourself. Quit trying so hard. Learn who I am. Read my Word. Make good choices for your life, and allow my grace to accomplish in you what only I can accomplish.”

“You make it sound so easy, but…”

“There is that ‘but’ again. Surrender is only hard when you refuse to let me have control.”

I leave ‘but” unspoken. However He knows it is there.

“You continually confess and ask for my forgiveness, and don’t get the fact that I forgave you once and for all on Calvary. I purify and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. Because you have asked for my forgiveness, you are pure and whole. It is the only way I see you. My heart is for you to see yourself through the love I have for you.”

I’m listening now.

“Just catch a glimpse of my love for you—the way I see you, and you will begin to see yourself as I see you.”

Would a glimpse be enough?  He looked down from the cross and glimpsed my heart. His last breath secured my forgiveness. No “buts” on Calvary. It was finished. Yes, His grace is sufficient. I choose to surrender. And I glimpse His overwhelming love for me. It is enough.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com

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...