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Monday, June 11, 2018

Be Still


Hello!  The daily Scripture from Bible Gateway was just what I needed this morning. My husband and I leave on a trip tomorrow, and will be gone until the end of the month. If you wish to read more, there are many devotions on my website (www.lynnlacher.com). But my devotions are not the Word! His Word is life! Read the Word, and seek Him. Find Him in the stillness.

Be Still

“Be still, and know that I am God!  I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” 
 —Psalm 46:10 (NLT)

Child, you want to know what I have for you, but you don’t take the time to listen. You want to be assured that I am your God, and that I am here for you, but you don’t take the time to know me. Your life is too full of priorities and rules and regulations and judgment and opinions and stuff. In times of calm, you have little need of my voice to soothe and guide you. But when a crisis comes, fear takes over your mind, instead of the peace which I have promised you.

I speak to you in this moment you are faced with this heavy burden. I speak rest in tenderness to your turmoil and strife, but you will never hear me if you keep on striving. You haven’t taken time with me, so you don’t know the depth of my love for you—the constant peace that is my gift. Quit rushing so hard to find peace by creating better circumstances for yourself. It is not my peace! Listen to my voice only, and you will never be disappointed.

Have you forgotten that you are the greatest concern of my heart? I gave my life so you might live. So don’t fear. I will keep you and guard you always—if you will not shut me out. Allow me to love you and carry you. I know your pain, and I am the answer. You do not have the answer. Only I have the answer. But until you let it go, and surrender, there is nothing I can do.

Take time to honor me by placing me first in your life. If you know me, faith will anchor your anxious thoughts. Tired nerves will become rested. So be still!  Stop striving. Stop analyzing. Stop creating scenarios. Stop planning ahead for what you don’t even know will be tomorrow. Seek me. Listen to my love for you in my Word. Know who I am in your life. Allow me to flow through your heart and mind to heal what is broken. Then you will know my peace. Never believe you are at the mercy of the world. You aren’t. You have my mercy, and you belong to me.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher


Friday, June 8, 2018

Practice His Presence



Prayer is nothing else than a sense of God’s presence—Brother Lawrence
Pray without ceasing—1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NIV)

In the midst of crisis or change, Christ is with me. In the midst of the storm, He is my safe harbor. He keeps me from the breakers that would crush me. But He is more than just my refuge. He is my strength to not only endure, but to overcome. I can never fear change when He never changes. He is the one great constant in my life—the same yesterday, today, and forever. As I give Him my fearful heart, His peace calms my distracted mind. Abiding in Him, He claims my thoughts and I discover that I, too, can be strong. I can be steadfast and unchanging. I can know His peace that carries me through the hardships of life.

The presence of the Holy Spirit in my life must be practiced. I need to seek Him daily in prayer until His presence becomes like a good habit. He becomes unconsciously rendered. I unconsciously learn to “pray without ceasing”. He is just “there” at the moment I need Him. He is just “there” in moments of sudden fear when, without Him, my world would crumble. But practicing His presence has brought His immediate peace in that moment. My heart has prayed unconsciously, and He has heard its cry.

“The Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness,” Paul writes. “For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words” (Romans 8:26, NLT). I don’t know always know how to give Him my suffering and fear, but the Holy Spirit intercedes for me. He prays my heart’s cry when I am unable to mentally render a thought. It is in a moment like this that I understand His peace. I have practiced His presence until He is always with me—unconsciously and consciously. I may go through my busy day with no problem, and my conscious mind is busy with my schedule and my list. Suddenly I hear something that shatters my world, and the Holy Spirit immediately arises from within to calm my mind and heart. Practicing His presence has brought His peace.

Do you have that sense of God's presence? He is right there with you speaking peace in the midst of your storm, but you may not realize it. If you will pray and practice His presence each day, He will go with you consciously and unconsciously through the days of your life rendering peace for the hardships, and joy for the times you need encouragement. “Do not be anxious about anything,” Paul imparts, “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). You are never alone. Pray. Practice His presence, and you will realize His peace.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/06/practice-his-presence.html


Thursday, June 7, 2018

Abandon



God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.”
—Hebrews 13:5b NLT

Jesus, you continually offer the gift of your love. And what you offer is often misunderstood. You are regarded as less than what your Word promises. You, who had no sin, unselfishly took ours. I hurt for you, Lord, when others will not allow your love to heal their pain. I cannot imagine the depth of your own pain when rejected—when abandoned. Jesus, I cannot imagine what you felt that moment your father turned his back on you because all He could see was my ugliness in you. I hurt for you, Lord, when someone holds back from surrendering a broken heart to your forgiveness—when someone refuses to trust your heart—when someone refuses to allow you to heal what only you can heal. But my broken heart is nothing compared to yours.

What we don’t understand, we joke about because it makes us uncomfortable. And if we do understand, we run from because it calls for surrender. We rebel because it asks us to reach beyond our preconceptions and allow you to have control. When we don’t accept the gift of your love—and all that encompasses—we are most alone. When we question your choices—your promises—your wishes—your purpose—we move farther and farther away from the peace of your presence. Until we abandon what we perceive as our rights—our due—we can never receive your love that abandoned all for us.

Lord, I can’t change another heart, but I can allow you to change mine. Stretch me beyond what I think I can bear—stretch me until I understand that absolute surrender is my only option—my only freedom. Keep me broken so you can continually bring out your best. Keep me humble so I have nothing to prove, but to love with the love that you so freely offer. Claim me until I have no malice—no judgment—until I abandon all the emotions which tear my heart to shreds—until I abandon my right to feel—my right to determine justice. Until then, I am alone, struggling not to drown in the mire of my own circumstance. You will never fail me, Lord. Tired of the battle of my will against yours, I am ready to surrender. You abandoned yourself for me. Now I abandon myself to you. I abandon the least of all—me—so that I might have the greatest of all—you.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/06/abandon.html

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Throwing Stones



“Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The Law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?” They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!”
—John 8:4-8 NLT

The law exposes sin. It does not cleanse it. The Old Covenant, the Law of Moses, called for stoning to death for this woman caught in adultery. But Jesus didn’t look on that woman who sinned through the eyes of the law. He looked upon her with love that was ready to give His life for her. The men surrounding this woman demanded that the Law of Moses be satisfied by stoning her to death. But the soul of this woman was precious to Jesus, and He knew she needed to experience His forgiveness. He looked beyond her sin, and saw her need. The Old Covenant law could only be completely satisfied with the gift of His life. He knew He would give His life for her on Calvary, and His grace would set her free.

Did the men who were gathered around her know His purpose? They didn’t understand He had come to not only set the woman free, but to set their own hearts free from the hatred that consumed them. Jesus listened to their accusations, and stooped down the write something in the dust with his finger. No one knows what He wrote. I believe He prayed for them and waited for the sting of hatred to calm. Their hatred and their demand for retribution was not going to be satisfied according to the law. It could only be satisfied through a heart change only He could bring.

In one moment Jesus directed their hatred and retribution away from the woman caught in sin. In one moment He asked them to look at the state of their own hearts. If they had no sin, then they could stone her. In that one question, He spoke the reason He had been born. The letter of the law would only be satisfied by His love written on the human heart. No one lived perfectly, and they knew it.

The woman’s accusers are suddenly gone when the state of their own hearts are revealed. Jesus looks at the woman and asks her where her accusers are. No one is there demanding and calling for her death. His love has set her free. “Go and sin no more,” He whispers. The death she expected has been replaced by life. The call to “go and sin no more” is also for her accusers who could not remain in Jesus’ presence after His question. If we are to remain in His presence, throwing stones is never the answer. His unconditional love is.

“Do not judge,” Jesus said in Matthew 7: 1-2, “and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others.”  Do we throw stones?  Do we accuse and not look at the state of our own heart?  Jesus waits for us to realize that the judgment and hatred we carry is what will stone us to death. He offers new life through the gift of His own. Forgive, He says, and you will be forgiven.

© Lynn Lacher 2017                                                         
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/06/throwing-stones.html


Tuesday, June 5, 2018

He Alone



This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.”
—Romans 1:17 (NLT)

You cannot earn righteousness. You cannot make yourself holy. You cannot cleanse sin from your own heart. Why do you struggle so hard then to accomplish what only faith in Jesus promises? You don’t become the righteousness of God by working hard enough at it. You are His righteousness when by faith you allow Him to change in you what only He can.

“If you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law,” Paul taught the Galatians, “you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace. But we who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive by faith the righteousness God has promised to us” (Galatians 5:4-5. NLT). Striving and struggling to change your own life will never cleanse your heart. It might change the outer appearance of your life to the world, but what is beneath will still fester. Jesus knew this. “No one needed to tell him about human nature, for he knew what was in each person’s heart” (John 2:25, NLT).

It is only through faith in Christ that you receive grace which is sufficient to heal your heart. Surrendering by faith is your choice. When the choice to place your faith in Jesus is continually made, you eagerly await the righteousness that He has promised. You choose Him by faith, and He breaks the stoniness of your heart. When you “get” in your spirit what His love accomplished for you on Calvary— freedom—peace—joy, you are changed by His power. “For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus,” Paul wrote, “there is no benefit in being circumcised or uncircumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love” (Galatians 5:6, NLT). Keeping the law will not change your heart. Appearance of righteousness will not make it real. Spiritually allowing the unconditional love of Jesus to change your heart—will.

His news is GOOD NEWS—like nothing ever heard or promised before! God sees you through the eyes of His love at Calvary. When you begin to see and understand what He sees in you and understands about you, nothing will remain the same. The law cannot save you or change your heart. He alone cleanses. He alone changes. He alone is your answer.

 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/06/he-alone.html

Monday, June 4, 2018

Walk on Water



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 that 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 you? You see your vision and understand God’s promise awaits your action, but you just can’t make the commitment to reach for it because of the fear of what it will cost. It might cost money or time or work, but that is not the most important cost. It will cost your complete surrender, and it will cost faith. That is the payment that is required. Do you want the promise—but don’t want to face the giant of your own fear of what may happen? Instead of reaching for His promise, do you become settled and comfortable where you are? No one wants to face the possibility of failure. Your Promised Land is within reach, but it requires obedience, commitment, and faith in God.

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. 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 you step out of the boat in faith, you will walk on water because He is your omnipotent God who keeps you from drowning. He is your advocate and greatest supporter.

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 valley of dry bones, it is time to speak life to what God has promised.

God will make this happen for he who calls you is faithful. (1 Thessalonians 5:24 NLT)

His Spirit bids you come. Step out of your boat, move forward, and trust that God will supply all you need to overcome any obstacle. The depths of those waters won’t drown you. With your spirit, soul, and body yielded to His purpose, you will walk on water.

© 2017 Lynn Lacher
—Form Me, Fire Me, Fill Me, page 175
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/06/walk-on-water.html



Sunday, June 3, 2018

Let Me



I have heard all about you, Lord. I am filled with awe by your amazing works. In this time of our deep need, help us again as you did in years gone by. And in your anger, remember your mercy.
—Habakkuk 3:2 (NLT)

My child, I am here, your waiting Lord, ready at your humble call. I live in your heart, and I long to hear your request in this your time of need. I, who commands the universe, await the requests of my children. Where once I was separated from you and angered by your sin, now, through the loving sacrifice of my Son, I am mercy. I am grace. I am forgiveness. I hear your cries, and, as I have helped you before, I still help you. I lift you from all that consumes your mind and heart. Seek and you will find me. I don’t withhold myself from you. The way into my presence is ever open. Come, child. I am waiting for you. Come, lay your head down. Give up the struggle. Let me.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/06/let-me.html

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Life Giving



I provide water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen.
—Isaiah 43:20b (NIV)

As human beings we sometimes have a tendency to dwell on the past, and often because of this tendency, we miss the beauty of a new thing God creates. Is there anything in your past that you allow to hold you back from experiencing God’s blessing in your life? Why is it so hard to get rid of old feelings that keep you from experiencing the joy of a new moment? If you have asked Jesus Christ into your heart, you are “new” in Him. Old things are over. Your old is not meant to define your new. If you allow the old to control your heart, you can never see the new thing He brings into your life.

You can enjoy your new life in Him! Choose to believe that what He offers is greater than anything you have allowed to control your heart and mind. Surrender control to Him. In release you find freedom from pain the old has caused. When you believe Him, newness springs up, the old is gone, and you can perceive His loving truth instead of the pain of your past or circumstance. It is a promise that no matter what you face He brings life-giving streams of hope and promise to your life!

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/06/life-giving.html

Friday, June 1, 2018

Victory in the Valley



I remember the moment many years ago when I heard a minister instruct a congregation that “God is not in your valley. He is just in your victory”. God is not only in my victory! He is also most definitely in my valley! If the Lord had not been with me in each valley I would have never survived to live in victory. The valley is our opportunity and to grow spiritually stronger through the grace of Jesus Christ. The valley reveals how much of His strength we have and whether we shall fail or make it. We do not know of what we are made until we are tested. It is in the valley where we discover who we really are and who He really is. It is in the valley that spiritual maturity has the potential to flourish.

In the midst of a trial we become weary and anxious when we don’t know what is next. “Do not be anxious about anything,” Paul wrote, “but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6:7, NIV). We are to pray with thanksgiving in our heart—choosing and then allowing God to be in control. No matter what our human mind perceives or analyzes we are to believe in His promise and omnipotent ability to handle what we are incapable of handling on our own. We are not to worry about anything because we are instructed to petition the Lord who not only created every molecule in this world, but also controls each one. Is He not also able to handle any problem? Thanking the Lord for His provision reveals trust in His promise and faith in His character. Thanking God brings His peace. The promise is clear. “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7, NIV).

“You have made this too simple,” perhaps you insist. “It is not that simple.” But His direction is simple. God did not make His promise difficult. We make the valley difficult by not applying His direction in the midst of the struggle. We miss the peace of God because we try to humanly analyze each struggle instead of leaning on God to lift us above the trial or to carry us through it. Your mind can only be guarded from fear of the unknown when you praise and thank God for His faithfulness—when your thoughts dwell upon His infinite grace instead of worrying and creating potential scenarios. God knows what His accomplishing scene will be. Trust Him for it, and spiritually “analyze” His loving promise instead of humanly expanding your problem.

Be willing to endure the earthly trial for the spiritual lesson God wishes to impart. He may lift the trial or He may let it remain, but it is His decision. Seek the Lord each day and discover your burden is much lighter when you focus on the Lord instead of what is going on in your life. You will discover His supernatural peace when you give your trial to Him through prayerful petition. It is a peace that nothing in this world can offer (John 14:27), and it can only be found through the struggles of life. It is a gift from the Savior to lighten your load (Matthew 11:30).

The night before His crucifixion Jesus reminded His disciples of all the things He had instructed them “so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33, NIV). Christ has overcome every problem that exists. You don't just “survive” in the valley. You “flourish” because Christ has poured living water into what might have otherwise been a desert. You have allowed Him to turn your valley into His victory.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/06/victory-in-valley.html

Taste and See

  Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! —Psalms 34:8 (NKJV)     God is good all the time. You don’t...