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Tuesday, July 31, 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 have done 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/2018/07/give-once-more.html


Monday, July 30, 2018

Build



Then the Lord sent this message through the prophet Haggai:  “Why are you living in luxurious houses while my house lies in ruins? My house lies in ruins, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, while all of you are busy building your own fine houses.”
—Haggai 1:3-4, 9b (NLT)

Do we get so busy with our lives and our own perceived needs that we neglect what God desires?  In this chapter, Haggai stirs the remnant of God’s people to rebuild what has been lost—to place God’s wishes first before everything else. They have re-built their own homes, but ignored rebuilding God’s temple that was destroyed before the exile. They have done as they wished, and reaped the negative benefit of their actions.  “You have planted much but harvest little,” Haggai imparts. “You eat but are not satisfied. You drink but are still thirsty. You put on clothes but cannot keep warm. Your wages disappear as though you were putting them in pockets filled with holes” (Haggai: 1:6, NLT)! Isn’t this so like us? We build our lives without surrendering to God’s will, and allowing Him to guide us. We fulfill our desires without considering His wishes. We place our wishes above His own. And we lose as life sifts us like sand.

At the same time that Haggai was prophesying to the Jews in Judah, Ezra was a priest who led Judean exiles living in Babylon back to their home city of Jerusalem. They returned to re-build their own homes, but neglected the temple to worship the Lord who has rescued them from exile! Many along with Ezra caught the vision of what Haggai had stirred in Zerubbabel. The temple must be rebuilt. And with a call to place God first, an awareness grew in the Judeans that they had not surrendered to the loving God who had brought them home. Repentance burned in their hearts to rebuild what their sin had destroyed. Work began to rebuild God’s house. This is the same call and promise to us. If we place God first, we will understand where we have failed and not allowed His will to change us.

When Tattenai, the governor of the province, wrote to King Darius about what was happening in Jerusalem, he informed him, “The king should know that we went to the construction site of the Temple of the great God in the province of Judah. It is being rebuilt with specially prepared stones, and timber is being laid in its walls. The work is going forward with great energy and success. We asked the leaders, ‘Who gave you permission to rebuild this Temple and restore this structure?’ This was their answer: ‘We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and we are rebuilding the Temple that was built here many years ago by a great king of Israel (Ezra 5:8, 9, 11, NLT).  When we follow God’s will, we will receive His promise. And that promise responds to the vision that God has inspired—to allow God to rebuild our lives as only He can.

Lord, help us to catch the vision you desire. Your will and purpose come before our own. And when we place you first, what you build in our lives will never be in vain, but resound with your glory.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/07/build.html


Friday, July 27, 2018

Giving



The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.
— Proverbs 11:25 (NLT)

Prosperity is not a state of finance. It is a fullness of God that comes when nothing is retained—when you are free to give yourself away. Out of your very being, living water will flow—unstoppable and healing. Joy comes from refreshing others out of the abundance of His grace that you have received.

“Give, and you will receive,” Jesus said. “Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back” (Luke 6:38, NLT). Giving is God’s gift to you. When you have a spirit that holds nothing back, you receive more than you can ever imagine. You give out of a heart that is free from restriction that self inflicts. It is when you give without thought of what He has promised, you receive the joyful freedom of His fullness. When you give freely, you receive freely. You are a river of His love.

“Anyone who believes in me,” Jesus said, “may come and drink! Rivers of living water will flow from his heart” (John 7:38, NLT). In “Utmost for His Highest”, Oswald Chambers had a thought about this verse. A river might begin as a spring and flow to places that spring knows nothing about. If a person takes God into his life, out of his very being, God will flow. A person actually becomes that river, but has nothing to do with the route or power of the stream.

Do you know a river is constant?  It can flow steadily for a while, and then might come to some object in its way. For a little while it is might be held back, but that river soon discovers a way around what has stopped it. Then it flows freely once more again, reaching and touching areas beyond the limits of its source.

Are you free to give your heart? Are you free to share? Does His love flow in your life with no restraint? Those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed. It is in giving yourself away that you understand the power of His grace.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/07/giving.html


Thursday, July 26, 2018

Perceive His Truth



Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.
—Proverbs 3:5 (NIV)

Life is not always easy. It is especially not easy when I allow the enemy to distort what is true. His distortion might certainly appear to be truth, but it never is. I must look beneath his lies to see God’s truth in each matter. The appearances of people and circumstances do not always reveal what is true. Sometimes my mind can run rampant with wrong perceptions. My mind is where the enemy's lies take root. But it is also where God's truth and is realized. God wants me to trust what He tells me and not what my mind tells me. He advises not to hold my own understanding above His own.

The parables Jesus taught reveal life lessons to those who cannot grasp or believe truth without seeing examples and hearing explanations. There is always a greater spiritual meaning than what my mind may initially perceive. The Lord wishes me to understand His truth in a matter without having to hear or see in order to believe. No matter what the enemy might lie about
no matter what he might distort or my own mind might conjure up, there is always God's truth that reigns. There is always more beneath the surface that Jesus means for me to understand. “This is why I speak to them in parables,’” Jesus said. “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them” (Matthew 13:13-15, NIV).

I do not want to have a calloused heart and mind that listens to the enemy’s lies, and never perceives what the Holy Spirit imparts. I don't want to be ever hearing and never understanding or seeing and never perceiving. I want to perceive with an open heart, ears, eyes, and mind all the truth He wishes to reveal through His Word. The Holy Spirit speaks hope to me, and the enemy speaks defeat.  Jesus speaks life, and the enemy speaks death. The Lord wishes me to grow so much spiritually that the lies of the enemy cannot distort the truth He reveals. I long for Him to see in me the qualities He saw in His disciples! “But blessed are your eyes because they see,” Jesus said, “and your ears because they hear. For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it” (Matthew 13:16-17, NIV).

Lord, I yearn to be one of these who hear, see, and understand your truth with my heart, spirit, and mind. When I seek you and allow this intimacy with you, I will be healed in depths of mind, heart, and character that surpass anything I have ever known.

© 2017 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/07/perceive-his-truth.html



Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Recognize Your Purpose



Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God.
—Hebrews 12:2 (MSG)

Look to me. I want you to recognize your purpose. Don't look at your circumstance or failure. Allow me to change the things in your life that are tearing you apart. Allow me to change you. You know your imperfections and failures well. The enemy has reminded you of what you have been forgiven for again and again. You are troubled. I am your rest. You are impatient. I am your patience. You have no peace. I am your peace. I know your heart, and I know you love me. I know you yearn to be stronger in faith. Here I amthe author of your faith. I will also be the finisher of it.

Be still and learn of me. Quit struggling. Focus your mind on me. I am your life and your purpose. I am your healer. I began this work in you. I will keep you in peace when your mind rests in me. You will grow stronger, and on your journey, you will grow more like me. If you stay focused on meif you rest in meif you grow in meif you seek me continuallyif you serve me obediently, I will give you powerful faith to believe for great things in my name. You need encounters with me every day, and each moment with me will help you recognize your purpose. My great compassion is new every morning, and never fails. I am faithful. You are my purpose, and loving me is yours. When I am Lord of your life and you love me with all your heart, soul, and mind, all things are possible.

Continually abide in me, and never lose sight of me. I cheer you on and wait for you at the end of your race. If you keep your eyes on your goal—on me, you are never limited by your own limitations. If you remain in me, you become more than your limitations. You become all that I have decided you to be. You have found in your weakness that I am your strength. You have discovered in your strength that I am your joy. You have discovered my peace that your mind can't comprehend. When I am your purpose, and your love is completely mine, you are at rest in me. Keep your eyes on me, and allow me to direct the moments of your life, you will be able to handle anything that comes your way. The prize at the end of your journey shall have been worth your obedience. You shall see me face and face, and shall know me as I have always known you.


© 2017 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/07/recognize-your-purpose.html




Sunday, July 22, 2018

Thanks

We are moving to a new house, and I will return in a few days to post devotions. Thanks for allowing me to share.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Surrender My Right



O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8, NLT).

What do you desire from me, Lord God? What can I offer you that is good? What can I give you that brings you joy? There is really nothing I can bring but myself. The gift of my life—surrendered to you without any right of ownership—is what you desire. You continually call me to do what you instruct in your Word. For me to do what you require, I must give up what I feel are my rights. You own my feelings—my heart—my mind—my spirit. I have no rights. Your love purchased my soul.

In your Word, you instruct me in the way I should go. I long to be as a tree planted along a riverbank which bears good fruit in season. Its leaves never wither; it prospers. It has deep roots. Lord, I want to blossom and never wither on the vine—to prosper in your purpose and stand strong when hardship comes. With an obedient heart I choose to do what you deem right in each circumstance—whether that circumstance is one of hardship or one of joy.

You ask for mercy to reign in my heart. You ask me to love beyond the limits of my human ability. You call me to forgive so that I might be free. For my sin—for my freedom, you gave your life. Your mercy looked beyond my fault. Your grace recognized my need. Your love is forgiveness. How can I not extend mercy and forgiveness to others as you continually extend them to me? My life, offered to you as your life was offered to me, is what you request of me. You ask me to walk humbly in your love having no agenda—to be at rest in your will. When I am at rest, I have your incredible peace that encompasses me. Only I can destroy your peace. When I believe that my control is better than yours, Lord, I destroy your peace with my pride. Pride leads to my disgrace, but with humility I receive your wisdom. And in your wisdom, I live in your freedom.

You chose me, Lord. So now I am free to choose your life of love and grace—I am free to choose what is right. Now I choose to clothe myself with your tender-hearted mercy—with your kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. I trust your heart because you created mine. You bless me with your grace so that my life is filled with your love and purpose. Your love heals my wounds. I have nothing to prove. You prove yourself. I am free to love.

© 2017 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/07/surrender-my-rights.html

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Choose Me



Let me love you. Yes, you’ve been hurt. I know. I have tried to reach you. Why don’t you just let me have the emotional pain of your hurt? Do you find it comforting?  Does it bring peace? There is a reason I said to forgive. You can’t survive without it. I don’t think you realize that you love your hurt more than you love me. It has become your idol—your obsession. It has become your comfort instead of me. You have nursed it—stroked and fed it until you can’t live without it. You are its captive, and you have jailed your heart. I freely and without any restraint give you my love. I stand at the door of your heart each moment just waiting for you to let me in. I long to take this burden from you, but the hurt and pain you have nursed keeps the door tightly closed. Love me more than your pain. Choose to forgive. Keep choosing again and again throughout the long days to lay everything down on my altar. And that door where I wait for you will begin to open—just a little at first, and then wider and wider until I am free to have unhindered entry. I am the Son who died so you might have life and have it more abundantly. “If the Son sets you free, you are truly free” (John 8:36 NLT).


©2017 Lynn Lacher


Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Riches of His Mercy



But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) —Ephesians 2:4-5 (NLT)

I was poor, but He was rich in mercy. The judgment for my sin was death, but Jesus loved me so much, He gave His life so I might have a new one. God’s grace is why I am saved from the expectations of the old life. I am free, because He chose not to be. He chose my sin and death for my freedom. He paid the price I had no way to pay. Because of His rich mercy and His amazing grace, I am forgiven. I am free.

Many view a relationship with Jesus as one of struggling to be good enough. They see a relationship with Him as very restricting, when, in fact, the opposite is true. It is spiritually liberating and fulfilling. When you die to self, you live in Him—what was once poor in your life becomes rich because of His mercy and grace at Calvary.

Sin is that oppression which keeps you from a relationship with Him. It stands in the way of your freedom and joyful fulfillment in life. He waits for you to come to Him, and let Him have it. His grace has paid for it, and when you give it to Him, it is gone. You are free.

“God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him,Jesus said, “for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs” (Matthew 5:3, NLT). Are you poor enough to realize how much you need Him?  The riches of Kingdom of God are just waiting—His love is just calling—His heart is just reaching. What do you have to lose?  Only yourself to know the greatest gift of His love. It is when you lose yourself in Him, you find the riches of His mercy.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/07/riches-of-his-mercy.html


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

A Promise



Out of the stump of David’s family, will grow a shoot—yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root. And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.—Isaiah 11:1-2 (NLT)

Yes, out of the old law shall grow a promise—a new branch, Jesus, who will fulfill the judgment of the law by paying with His own life. The Spirit of the Lord will fill Him with wisdom and understanding and knowledge. He will possess spiritual insight and counsel, and a great respect for the Lord. “He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,” Isaiah imparts, “or decide by what he hears with his ears;  but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth” (Isaiah 11:3b-4a, NIV).

Who is Jesus to you? Do you know that He paid the price for your sin so that you might walk in the joy and freedom of the Holy Spirit? He died so you might be free from the judgment of the law. That judgment is now broken by His undeserved grace. He doesn’t judge by what He sees in your life. He doesn’t evaluate your life by words you have spoken in judgment. With righteousness—with merciful honesty—with great virtue, He looks at the neediness of your broken life, and recognizes your need for His forgiving grace. He will not force His grace upon you. He waits for you to ask, and then with justice that He purchased for you on Calvary, He imparts healing for your poor and needy soul. 

You aren’t needy? You aren’t poor? You don’t feel you need His forgiving love? I am poor and needy, and only made rich by what He has paid for my sin. He continually imparts grace, and daily I believe by faith. “We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ,” Paul writes, “and this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are” (Romans 3:22, NLT).

Do you want to believe? It is true for you. Jesus is not a religion. He is not a God of doom and retribution. He is a Savior of forgiveness and grace who paid the price for your judgment. He offers a relationship of love, peace, and joy. You need only ask.

©2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/07/a-promise.html

Monday, July 16, 2018

Confident Faith



But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.
—Jeremiah 17:7-8 NIV

If I trust in the Lord and have confidence in Him, I am blessed. I receive all of His strength for whatever comes against me. I stand strong against the enemy's attempt to destroy my faith. Like the roots of a tree seeking water for life, my soul, mind, and spirit shall seek His living water. They persevere through whatever tries to impede their progress until living water is found. Once discovered this water, His Word, feeds my soul with all I need to withstand the onslaught of life. My roots in His Truth anchor me strongly, and I live safely and securely in His will. His perfect love casts out any fear. I am like a tree planted by water that continually receives water for nourishment. Faith secures me, and no circumstance creates fear. I continually draw from His well of living water, and thrive in His Truth. No matter what may happen, my life remains pliable in His purpose. No worry grows where faith has taken root. I store His living water in my roots so in times of drought, I may draw from its truth. He remains in me as I remain in Him. As long as I continue to seek His living water, my life bears His fruit. My life, filled with peace, breathes His grace, mercy, and love. 

Doesn’t this sound amazing? This is my perfect dream! To have a confident faith that withstands all which comes against it—to have a faith which fear cannot destroy! I wish to live such a life that continually speaks His peace, remains calm in all seasons, offers hope to others, and lives His love. The truth is this kind of faith is absolutely possible. But I must do my part. I choose to place my trust and confidence in Him. I choose to seek Him. I choose to put down deep roots in His Word. I choose to apply it to my life. I choose Him over anything else. Then I shall understand that He chose me long before I chose Him. Into every fiber of my being, His love shall flow. I will be strong because He is strong. No weapon that comes against me will uproot my confident faith in Him. I shall realize and know I am blessed.

©2017 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/07/confident-faith.html



Friday, July 13, 2018

Beyond Myself



Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good.  Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.
—Romans 12:9 NLT

Lord, I am at a place I have never been, and never will be again. This day is like no other. Opportunities will come today that will never come on another day. Today is a landmark in my life—where your heart either stirs me to love others or where I sit self-satisfied in my own little world.

“I love you,” God whispers, “even though you often cheapen my grace with selfishness. My grace is all about you. I gave everything for you to know my love. For you to discover faith in the midst of fear. For you to discover joy in the midst of pain. For you to understand that because my love is all about you, your love is all about others.”

Yes, Jesus, your love is about me. My love should be all about others. You gave everything for me. My love should honor your sacrifice, and help the needs, hurts, and pain of others. My life is not about what I might want or think I need. It is not about my hurt feelings, but about forgiveness. It is not about my pain, but it is about the pain of someone else. It is in giving your love away that I discover the depth of your love and healing for me. To honor the gift of your sacrifice and love, I place myself in your hands. I will not just pretend to love. I will love what is good, and stand for what you say is right. I will help others to realize the potential you see in them, and to stir them to reach for the fulfillment they can only find in you.

I want to reach beyond myself. Break open my self-satisfied little world, Lord, and shake me up so that I will grasp that nothing is about me. It is all about your love in me, and the opportunity you bring today for me to share it. One day I will stand before you, Jesus—my Savior—who gave everything for me. In that one moment the love I gave on earth will face the love of God in its revealing clarity. It will no longer be just a reflection. I will, in that moment, know if it was enough.

© 2017 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/07/beyond-myself.html

Thursday, July 12, 2018

He Asks

He Asks

Dress yourselves in humility as you relate to one another, for God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.  So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.
—1 Peter 5:5b-6 NLT

God calls you to become less for the sake of someone else. When you submit your will—when you surrender your right—when you lay down your desire for His, He imparts His grace to empower what He asks you to do. This verse says that you are to “dress” yourself. That implies choice. You choose to be humble as you live out His love in your human relationships. For the sake of someone He is trying to help, God may ask you to do something that you feel belittles you. Become what is needed. Jesus belittled himself for you.  When you choose to humble yourself under His mighty Hand, your heart is pliable and soft. He can direct and lead you as He wishes. When you choose to humble yourself for His purpose, you have all His power within your grasp. Are you ready to become less in someone’s eyes so they might know that you, too, are in need of a Savior? Humble your heart, your mind, and spirit to His loving grace. You can do anything He asks you to do in His power. His grace is enough to bear the weight. And at the perfect time He will lift you up and honor you.

©2017 Lynn Lacher

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Take Off Your Shoes



When Joshua was near the town of Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with sword in hand. Joshua went up to him and demanded, “Are you friend or foe?”
“Neither one,” he replied. “I am the commander of the Lord’s army.”
At this, Joshua fell with his face to the ground in reverence. “I am at your command,” Joshua said. “What do you want your servant to do?”
The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did as he was told.
Joshua 5:13-15 NLT

The time has arrived for the Israelites to move forward and take Canaan. The fulfillment of their promise is just ahead. The Lord has brought them miraculously through years of wandering and complaining to this place. In Joshua chapter one, they had been told to be strong, courageous, and obedient. In chapter two, Joshua sent spies into Jericho to assess what they were up against, and they had been protected and helped by Rahab. In chapter three, God once more held back water—this time of the Jordan River—so that the Israelites could move forward to receive their promise. Now in chapter five, they have held Passover in preparation for the military invasion of Canaan.

Joshua looks up and sees a powerful man with a drawn sword, and he asks if he is for the Israelites or for their adversaries. The man replies that he is for neither, and then tells Joshua that he is the commander of the army of the Lord. The commander of the Lord’s army waits for Joshua’s reaction. Joshua has not yet surrendered to him in worship. He has not yet committed himself. The power of the Lord stands before Joshua saying, “I am here, surrender. Worship so that I may be your strength!”

Joshua falls on the ground before him in reverent worship, and then in surrender asks, “What do you want me to do?” The commander of the Lord’s army tells him to remove his sandals because the place where he is standing is holy ground. When Joshua removes his shoes, he honors the Lord’s messenger and the Lord Most High that he represents. It is an act of absolute surrender. With Joshua’s commitment, the answer is no longer, “I’m neither friend nor foe.”  It is, “I’m yours!”

Jesus stands before us, and says, “I am the Lord’s Son. I can’t fight your battles until you surrender to me.” He waits for us to remove our shoes and worship Him. He waits for our hearts, our commitment, and our trust. He longs to take us into our Promised Land, but He waits for our absolute surrender. With that surrender comes all of His power and His unfailing commitment to us. He says, “I’m yours, and all my power is yours.” Because of a divided heart—because of murmuring and complaining and non-commitment, the Israelites wandered in the wilderness for decades. If they had committed their hearts without wavering, those years could have been spent in the fulfillment of their promise.

What lies before you? What promise waits?  Is He with you? He waits in your presence wishing to be your friend—your power and protector—your provider—your healer—your victory. He waits for your worship and surrender. You are standing on holy ground in His presence. What will you do? Will you take off your shoes and worship Him? Or will you hesitate because you are not sure? 

© 2017 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/07/take-off-your-shoes.html

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Fulfillment



 “I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns” (Philippians 1:6, NLT).

Always look to Jesus, the author and the finisher of your faith. Don’t judge what you consider limitations in yourself and in others. Allow Him to make that call. In your struggle to give Him control lay down your need for answers and your need for what you consider justice. In your impatience realize His unfailing patience. In your own limitations and those of others realize He alone is perfect.  If you try to overcome what you can’t overcome you will fail. If you try to change what only He can change you will be defeated. What you judge in yourself is sometimes judged much harsher in others. You want to make right what needs to be made right. You want to change what you consider wrong, and at the same time you want to be closer to Him. He longs to use you and work through you, but He can’t until your life has been placed upon His altar. Surrendering everything and letting Him have control means that you don’t have to fix anything. You don’t need to have the answer. When you surrender and allow Him to continue His work in you, He will deal with all your concerns. You will know in every way, in every trial and struggle, that He is your Savior, your ever-present help in any time of need.

Don't ever despair in your human limitation. That limitation can drive you to surrender. That limitation can drive you to seek Him.  Surrender is peace. You no longer have to fix what you no longer judge. That is His responsibility. As you seek Him you will grow to be more like Him. You will no longer be limited by thoughts of your own human limitations because you will be with Him and He will be in you. He will be your guide and strength. You will have no need to judge the hearts of others. You will long for all to know His love which changes your life. As you remain in Him you will receive His conquering and miracle-working power to fulfill your calling until the day that He returns.

Let go of directing others—let go of your agenda—let go of striving to fix alone what only He can. Discover His life—His fulfillment which completes your life! To describe what He has designed for your life is impossible. He alone knows what your surrender brings. But that is your journey and your joy—to discover what He alone desires to finish in you.

©2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/07/fulfillment.html




Monday, July 9, 2018

A Greater Grace



Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
—John 1:16-17 NIV

Out of the fullness of Jesus, we have received grace in place of grace already given. What does this mean?  What is this “grace already given” of which John speaks? It is the law given through Moses. And that law had requirements which had to be met. The grace, which replaced the “grace already given” and fulfilled the requirement of the law, came through Jesus Christ at Calvary. And that grace, which is greater than the law or “grace already given”, is now His truth.

So many of us strive to live up to the letter of the law without the freedom the grace of Jesus offers. That freedom is not a license to sin, but a license of receive forgiveness that changes how we see God. We are told God loves us and gave His life for us, but we don’t grasp the passion of that grace. We strive to fulfill what He has already fulfilled. God continually attempts to breathe His grace into our strife. But we can never live up to the impossible expectation that He has NOT placed upon us. Jesus wipes off the false expectations of our lives, and offer us a new slate to begin the process.

Grace is not something to be used and manipulated! It is Jesus, himself, loving us in His sacrifice. A forgiving and loving God accepts us just where we are—offers His grace to us at this very moment—not when we shape up and get things right! When we yield to His loving grace, we learn who He really is. He is our Savior who is with us in our weakness. Our weakness invites His power to empower and bring change. Change is a process, and He is with us in it!  That is the living breathing grace of His presence.

So how do we respond to His grace? We should never make it cheap by either taking advantage of its freedom or by striving to change what only He can! We receive it! Walking in His grace is a love, an attitude, a joy, a purpose, a knowledge that He is over all, and that He is Lord of all—no matter what happens in this life. Nothing separates us from His love. It is constant when we aren’t. This is the loving grace of Jesus that looked beyond our need, and did what no one else could. Set us free.

©2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/07/a-greater-grace.html


Friday, July 6, 2018

Only Victory



Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us!  —Romans 8:35, 37 (NIV)

If I trust Him, I won’t fail.  Not considering anything my due or my right, I won’t fail. When I surrender my will and claim His conquering heart and steadfast mind, I receive His strength. What I consider a failure, He doesn’t. It may be an invaluable lesson to teach me the necessity of relying on Him. When my attitude is that of an unassuming conqueror, I stand, and having done everything, I stand. I conquer my foes, my fears, and my obstacles. He is not just with me—He is in me, imparting His strength to rise to greater victory. I become more than a conqueror. I walk in newness of life and freedom from the past—from fears or circumstance. I walk above anything which would destroy me. And in Him there is no failure. There is only victory.

©2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/07/only-victory.html
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Thursday, July 5, 2018

My Treasure



For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
—Matthew 6:21 NIV

As we pack to move, I look around at this house filling up quickly with boxes of memories and of things that we have owned through many years. Each possession elicits a feeling. Some feelings are more joyful that others, but all are a part of our lives up to this point. My father took incredible care of all he owned. Then in just a moment when God reached down to lift him from this world, my father knew the value of what was the most important thing—His relationship with Jesus. That is what stood the test of time. All the rest was here today and then gone tomorrow. And that is what I pray will stand the test of time for me.

I have been “testy” with Pat the last couple of weeks. He thinks that it is my OCD self feeling rushed to pack. But it is much more than that. As we get ready to let go of what has been, I’ve realized that I’m letting go of more of my father and my mother. There are emotions that accompany these life changes. Letting go of the past is hard, and who would have known that moving would be a part of the healing for the grief of losing my father in January?

Loved ones pass, and life goes on. Whatever lies ahead, circumstances both good and bad will come. And with it all one thing will always ring true. What I treasure is what I love. It is where my heart is. I loved Daddy’s gentle heart which always forgave. I treasure the memory of helping him with his computer, and seeing that grin when it was working right. I loved Mama’s fierce determination to make a difference in the lives of other people. I treasure how her character impacted my life. The things in the packed boxes—some of them are theirs and some are ours—remind me that I knew a love that has made a difference in my life. The things are not the treasure. What I had with them was my treasure. What I have with Pat and my family now is my treasure.

What I love is what I value. These possessions may have meant a lot to me, but they have not added value to my life.  Only the intangible gift of love from God has.  So as I work to pack and to move, I remember the amazing gift of His love, and that all these things are just things. He....the gift of family and friends.....is my only treasure.

©2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/07/my-treasure.html

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Thirst No More



Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.
—John 4:14 (NIV)

There was a time in my life when I didn’t have joy. I felt unfulfilled and longed to know that my life had a purpose. I had an emptiness that no amount of activity or possessions could satisfy. I would feel fulfilled for a while with an activity or a possession that would bring happiness, but the activity didn’t bring fulfillment to a longing in my spirit that was meant to be filled with only God. The possession didn’t last long, and the newness of it finally dulled. My unfulfilled purpose eventually lost my interest, and my happiness faded. The pleasure of this world dulled. At the moment when nothing else brought satisfaction, Jesus Christ spoke to my thirsty soul that He had something that would give my life joy and purpose. He had something that would bring fulfillment to a life of constantly searching and never finding. He offered me living water.

“Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for righteousness,” He whispered. “They shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6 NIV). He promised that I would never be thirsty again. His living water would soothe my shattered spirit and heal me. Filled with a purpose beyond what I could imagine, I would have a joy that would never fade. I would have a meaning in life that nothing in this world could match. I would know Him, and He would be enough. My hunger and thirst would be filled if I thirsted for Him instead of the things that could never bring fulfillment.

“As the deer pants for streams of water,” I cried, “so my soul pants for you, my God” (Psalm 42:1 NIV)). He now satisfies my longing thirst with His living water. My life has purpose and meaning. It has joy and a passion that is new and fresh each morning. Surrendered to Him, my thirst shall always be satisfied. Never shall I let go of Christ who saved and rescued me from my own pursuits that had no meaning! He brings fulfilling passion to my life—and His promise of never-ending love. The world can’t give His joy. His peace is more than whatever the world can manufacture. His patience lasts longer than any I might manufacture! He brings the promise of kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control into my life. If I remain in Him, He is in me. I am complete, thirsting no more for things that destroy who He has created me to be.

©2017 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/07/thirst-no-more.html


Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Motive



Declare me innocent, O Lord, for I have acted with integrity. I have trusted in the Lord without wavering. Put me on trial, Lord, and cross-examine me. Test my motives and my heart.  For I am always aware of your unfailing love, and I have lived according to your truth.
—Psalm 26:2-3 NLT

No one else can see the motive of your heart but God. People may judge your reasons, but they can’t possibly know the intricacies of your heart. That is why God tells us that we are not to judge others. No one wishes to be measured and weighed and examined by someone else. Only God has that right. Remember that what you desire to be extended to you, is also for you to extend in return.

Only the Lord can declare you innocent. Only He has the power to set you free from jealousy and anger and bitterness and the destructive force of what you consider your right to be angry. No one else. Only He knows if you have acted with integrity or not. Perhaps others speak of your actions without understanding. Don’t judge them in return as they have judged you.

Have you trusted in the Lord without wavering?  Have you asked Him to test the motive of your heart?  Do you know that the Lord who examines you is also the One who already knows your motive?  Surrendering to His examination makes you aware of what He sees in you. Until you surrender to His honest scrutiny, you will not know if you have lived according to His truth. Until you are continually examined, you will never know the peace that comes from His unfailing love.

He already knows your motives. Perhaps it is time for you to know, too. Are you willing?

©2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/07/motive.html






Monday, July 2, 2018

Not My Own



So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. —Romans 12:1-2 MSG

I place my life before God today and surrender myself as His offering. I fix all my attention on Him. As this day unfolds, I embrace all He has for me. I face this day with the anticipation of His guidance, and also with the promise of His strength for what lies ahead. All I want is for Him to mold me and change me from the inside out. I want to be renewed in my heart and mind, and open to all He wishes to pour into my life. Like a sponge I want to absorb Him so that I might grow spiritually in my understanding of His grace.

Without spiritual maturity my life will have no emotional and mental stability. I will be like a ship on the sea with no anchor to hold it securely. Subject to every circumstance that arises, I will be tossed in the storms of life with no lasting peace. My mind will be so self-absorbed I will have no purpose but worry and fear. My ears will be attuned to the accuser's voice instead of the convicting and encouraging voice of God. However, if I learn God's moral truth and apply it instead of allowing “self” to rule my life—if I focus on Him instead of any circumstance and seek to be stronger as a result—if I choose to allow Him to mold my attitudes and purpose, I will be changed from the inside out. He will rescue me from the drowning waters of my own making, and set me on His rock-solid foundation of truth. I will recognize the lesson He teaches, and respond to it without hesitation. His peace will anchor me safely through the storms that always come. His joy will spring up like a fountain always offering a fresh perspective. His strength and power will always be there to rise above any circumstance or temptation. I will not be pulled back down to a level of immaturity that will ultimately destroy the life I have found in Him.

He is the potter, and I am His clay to shape as He wishes. He is the searing heat in the kiln of life which fires me to His completion. If I allow Him to be Lord of my life, He will bring out the best in me. I place my life in His hands to be created and transformed to His desired vessel. I am not my own. I am His.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/07/not-my-own.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...