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Thursday, August 30, 2018

Look to Christ



Look to Christ, the author and the finisher of your faith. Look away from imperfections you see in yourself and in others. In your struggle seek His peace and His rest. In your impatience, realize His unfailing patience. In your own limitations, realize He alone is perfect. As you seek Him, you will grow to be more like Him, and you will be enabled to do great things in His name. You will no longer be limited by your own human limitations because you will be with Him, and He will be in you. As you remain in Him, you will receive His conquering and miracle working power, and all that is needed for what lies ahead. Don't despair in your limitation. Seek His unlimited power.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/08/look-to-Christ.html

Freedom to Forgive


The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant
Matthew 18:23-28, 30, 34-35

          Not everyone deals with unforgiveness that defines their every waking moment, but some people are consumed with it. They can't offer forgiveness to others because they haven't allowed the grace of Jesus to transform their minds and soften their stony hearts. When you are unable to receive Jesus love and allow it to change your heart, you are unable to give forgiveness and unconditional love to other people. When you can't forgive, you don't have healthy relationships and end up in emotional conflicts that tear lives apart. When you can't receive and give God's grace, you end up in a vicious cycle of unforgiveness. It is so sad that the servant in this parable in Matthew didn’t realize that his debt was completely canceled, and in his misunderstanding thought he still had to collect money in order to pay it off.

          What if that servant in the parable had heard his master correctly?  What if the knowledge of his new debt-free state had penetrated his mind and heart? Joy would have seized his heart. Peace would have settled fear in his mind. The exorbitant amount owed to the master could have never been repaid any way. If only that servant had received the message that the master had wiped his slate clean! Jesus, your Master, wipes your slate clean. A miracle happens when the grace of Jesus seeps into the depths of your very being. The vicious cycle of unforgiveness ends. The unaccepted become the accepting. The unforgiven become the forgiving.  Emotional conflicts that result from a hardened hearts are healed. The Holy Spirit flows, reviving and healing, when you don't live with the heart of a debt-collector. If the servant had received his master's forgiveness, he would have also forgiven the servant who owed him money. He would have received the grace of the master, and passed it on.

          When you completely allow the grace of Jesus to change your heart, you are free to give His love away with no reservation. You just love because He first loved you. However, when you refuse the forgiving grace of Jesus, you continue on like the debt-collecting servant in the parable. Others “owe” you their affection and love. Since you feel indebted and resentful, you pass on your anger and frustration. Unforgiveness begets bitterness, and locks you in its debtor’s prison. But grace freely fosters joy and peace, and sets you free.

          Has His grace totally transformed your heart to the place where you realize you are debt-free, and that you can pass along that freedom to others? Is there someone you resent–someone you can't let off the hook? Are you willing to accept responsibility for your own life and not blame anyone else for it?  Or do you believe that someone else caused your life to be the way it is, and they “owe” you for what they have done to you?

          God offers your freedom from the debt of your sin through the sacrifice of His son. At the cross Jesus took your sins, failures, and hurts into himself so that you might be free of sin's guilt. You can see an illustration of forgiveness the cross offers in the life of Joseph who was treated so brutally and sold into slavery by his brothers. When his brothers were before Joseph needing help for their very survival, Joseph wasn't concerned about collecting a debt. He wasn't concerned about what they “owed” him.  He knew that they were going to find it hard enough to forgive themselves so he said, “Don’t be afraid of me. Am I God, that I can punish you?  You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people” (Genesis 50:19-20, NLT).

          Jesus was brought to the position of the cross so He could save your life! He has torn up your debt. You are meant to live debt-free! Where you love because He loves you! Where you accept, because He accepts you! Where you extend grace because He extends it to you! Where, because you have freely received forgiveness, you freely forgive!

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/08/freedom-to-forgive.html
        

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Make His Joy Complete



Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.

—Philippians 2:1-2 (NIV)


Paul writes that we are to make Christ’s joy complete. What does the Holy Spirit reveal to me about these two verses this morning? Being complete is being fulfilled. Jesus wants to experience fulfillment in each of us. He wants to joy in us, and in our lives. How can I give Him fulfillment? How can I give Him joy? In these verses in Philippians I find an answer. If I have been encouraged by the Lord—if I have been comforted by His love—if I have shared with my brothers or sisters in His spirit—if I have had any tenderness and compassion, then I bring Him “complete” joy by having the same love and being unified in spirit and mind. Being unified in spirit and mind is not having the same opinion about everything. It is Christ's love that binds us. In spiritual unity we agree that God's Word is our standard and our purpose. We also agree that even in our differing personal opinions we find common ground.

Unity is absolutely necessary for good spiritual health in the body of Christ. However, it is so hard to find, and then it can be so hard to keep. We are all so different. We come from different backgrounds. We are different ages. We have different likes and interests, ideas, and preferences. But it absolutely possible to be united without everyone being unanimous in a vote or in a decision. Being like-minded doesn't mean having the same opinion, but it does mean having the same attitude. We work together to accomplish His purpose. Having the same love and being one in spirit and purpose brings unity. Even if we aren't always one in our opinions, being one in Christ means we seek His will instead of our own. It means that we lay down any agenda, and seek to come together in His purpose.

I have a friend who creates mosaics. She uses different materials to create a work of art–colored glass, stones, broken ceramic and other things. The materials she uses are of all different sizes, colors, shapes, and of substances. From all these unique materials with different consistencies she creates a beautiful masterpiece. Just as she creates a beautiful unified work of art, Jesus Christ can take our unique differences and create something beautiful. Our unity can only come from being unified with Christ. As long as we regard Him as our anchor—as long as He is our purpose—as long as we realize that our treatment of each other is the way that we treat Christ—as long as we put Him and His love first before any of our own ideas or opinions, then we can discover this unity of spirit that brings us together in love. If we have the same unselfish attitude of Jesus (Philippians 2:5)—one that gave His life for us—then we can make His joy in us complete.


© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/08/make-his-joy-complete.html

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

The Only Work



Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.”

Quit striving. Just believe. All things are possible when you believe. Peace and rest are real when you believe in His grace. Power and strength are yours when you believe. The only work He desires from you is to believe in His Son He has sent to die for your sins—to believe in the new life He has bought for you. When your work is born of the flesh, what you do will never be good enough in your own eyes. You not only judge others, but yourself. When born of this Spirit all things are possible, because your work is an outflowing of the loving grace He has wrought in your life. At Calvary He had mercy on you. While you were yet in sin, He, who was free from sin, took yours to the cross. There He paid your debt. There He set you free. When you accept Him as your Savior, He sees you through the love He gave for you. To Him you are righteous—blameless in His sight. You can never do enough to be good enough. The only work that He desires from you is for you to surrender your life and believe in the Savior He has sent. His grace is a free gift. Offered without hesitation to you, that gift cost Him everything. He believes you are worth it, or He wouldn’t have given His life. Allow His grace to change your life!  Allow His heart to become yours.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/08/the-only-work.html

Monday, August 27, 2018

Perfect Peace



You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
Isaiah 26:3 NLT (Bible Gateway verse of the day)

Isn’t peace something we crave yet find so elusive? Just thinking the word is restful. And what if that peace is perfect? Now that is a beautiful picture! No concerns! No struggle! No problems! Perfect rest! But aren’t struggles and concerns a part of life? How do we have perfect peace in the midst of living through circumstances beyond our control? We come to spiritually understand that we can’t control what only God can control. And that sometimes is a hard battle. We don’t want to give up our rights. We want to have the last word. We have something to prove. As long as we have our agendas, we’ll never discover the perfect peace found in surrender.

Life can rage around us, but there is a place of perfect peace in the midst of our storms. To get to this place, we daily choose to think positively. We daily choose to think only of His promises to handle what we face. We daily lay on the altar all the frustration and worry that problems bring. We daily choose to release everything to Him. That is trust in Him. That is releasing our struggle to control and allowing Him to have control. And His perfect peace, which supersedes our ability to understand, just fills us. We don’t have to understand it. It is His gift when our thoughts are fixed upon Him.  

His peace is beyond our mental comprehension. If we analyze the “why and how” of that peace, our thoughts won’t be upon God. His perfect peace isn’t impossible or He wouldn’t have promised it. We can have this peace when we trust in Him—when we meditate on His goodness and grace instead of what bombards our physical eyes. We can do more than just imagine the peace that heaven offers. We can choose to imagine—to believe—the peace He offers now. And we can be changed in the way we think! In the way we perceive! In the way we receive!  He will keep us in perfect peace when our thoughts are fixed on Him. It is His promise.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher––
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/08/perfect-peace.html









Thursday, August 23, 2018

Waiting in His Power



But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
—Isaiah 40:31 (NLT)

What an incredible verse! And what an encouraging promise! If I wait on the Lord, He will renew my strength. I will gain new power. Even if I am tired and weary, I can find, expect, look for, and hope in Him. I get into all kinds of trouble when I attempt to hurry ahead of God and try to move my own mountains. Nothing lasting can be accomplished in my own strength. In fact, I can make a real mess of a situation if I don’t wait on Him. His timing is perfect. Mine isn’t. His thoughts and ways are perfect. Mine aren’t. Waiting on the Lord is necessary for my spiritual growth. Patience is a quality that He cultivates and rewards.

Anytime I run ahead of the Lord, I create a mess. Anytime I trust my own strength, I discover problems. I even create problems that would have never happened if I had waited on God. When I seek the Lord for His strength and His guidance, I receive His direction and anointing to move in His power—or wait in His power. I stand with every spiritual muscle within me coiled tightly. I am ready to spring into action when He calls. I become an instrument to be shaped by His Hand instead of trying to mold myself on the potter’s wheel.

Do I want new strength and renewed power? If I spend intimate daily time with the Lord—praying, studying the Word, and listening for His voice—I shall know what He desires and when He desires it. No more running ahead of Him and no more walking behind Him. He becomes the power living within me that claims and steers my life. Whether I move ahead or wait on Him, it will be in His purpose and strength. Whatever He asks, I will do with all my heart, mind, and spirit. Where He leads, I will follow. I will wait expectantly or move without hesitation. I will respond as He calls. I will be lifted continually—like on wings of eagles—to bask in the intimacy of His presence. I will be renewed and empowered again and again to wait and hope for what He wishes for my life.

© 2017 Lynn Lacher
Form Me, Fire Me, Fill Me
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/08/waiting-in-his-power.html


Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Paul to the Galatians



Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the Holy Spirit by obeying the Law of Moses? Of course not! You received the Spirit because you believed the message you heard about Christ. How foolish can you be? After starting your new lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? Have you experienced so much for nothing? Surely it was not in vain, was it?  I ask you again, does God give you the Holy Spirit and work miracles among you because you obey the law? Of course not! It is because you believe the message you heard about Christ.

It is clear that no one can be made right with God by trying to keep the law. For the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.” This way of faith is very different from the way of law, which says, “It is through obeying the law that a person has life.”

Is there a conflict, then, between God’s law and God’s promises? Absolutely not! If the law could give us new life, we could be made right with God by obeying it. But the Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin, so we receive God’s promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus Christ.  Before the way of faith in Christ was available to us, we were placed under guard by the law. We were kept in protective custody, so to speak, until the way of faith was revealed. Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith. And now that the way of faith has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian. For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 
—Galatians 3: 2-5, 11-12, 21-26 ( NLT)

What about you? Do you strive to be good enough instead of allowing Jesus to set you free?  His grace is the only road to freedom. Do you live your life with the mindset that if you work hard enough you will be forgiven? The law doesn’t forgive. It just reveals what needs to be forgiven. He freely forgives. Your work earns you nothing. But His work in you teaches you the power of His grace. Then any work you offer is a natural outflow of His grace in your life because you have believed by faith—not because you have met a requirement so Jesus will love you!  Grace has already loved you at Calvary. If you believe, live in His freedom as a believer. “So Christ has truly set us free,” Paul wrote. “Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law” (Galatians 5:1, NLT).

Freedom in Christ is not a license to disregard the law, but a choice to honor it by joyfully receiving His power to live it.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/08/paul-to-galatians.html


Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Who Me?



Against you, and you alone, have I sinned.
—Psalm 51:4a, (NLT).

We don't like to wait for anything. Patience is something that is foreign. Whatever we go through, if it involves any discomfort or pain, we want it to end immediately. Commitment and perseverance are virtues that have fallen by the wayside. Society teaches that whatever is wrong in my life, it is not a result of anything I have done. “Don't blame yourself,” society insists, “someone else caused this to happen. You couldn't help it.”

It is time that I take responsibility for who I am, what I believe, what I say, and how I act. I am not responsible for circumstances over which I have no control, and it would be self-defeating to analyze the cause of each one. But I am responsible for my own actions, and how I respond to failures and problems. Without spiritual growth, I will never grow up to be responsible.

Spiritual growth in Christ is convicting. It doesn't allow me to make excuses. It reveals that I must take responsibility for my bad attitude or my fly-off-the-handle reaction. I should learn from my failure and make every effort to not foster that circumstance again. Spiritual maturity also teaches that the next time I am faced with circumstances either of my own making or not of my own making, I will react in a mature way that exhibits the fruit of the Spirit. I will respond with love. With patience I will walk in peace and joy. With kindness I will not judge or try to control someone else. With gentleness, I will choose to have no agenda or something that I have to prove. With faithfulness I will remain committed to God’s purpose and not my own. The only way that I can have the fruit of the Spirit alive in my life is to allow my selfish attitude and desires to be crucified with Christ. When I am willing to make this selfless journeywhen I am willing to accept responsibility for my lifewhen I realize that without Him I will never be my true self—then I have begun the journey to grow deeper in Him.

Do you want to go deeper into His Word, and His Truth? Do you want your life to be transformed by the Holy Spirit, and your mind to be renewed? I yearn for the virtues that Peter writes about in 2 Peter 1:3-7 to anchor my life—those spiritual qualities of diligence, moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, and godliness, brotherly kindness, and love! I choose to add these in my life, and He promises to empower each choice!

What about you? Are you tired of easy answers that offer no lasting peace? Take responsibility for who you are, and allow Him to continually mold your life. When commitment and perseverance are fully developed in your life, you shall be mature and standing strong in Him (James 1:4). You will know the freedom that comes with spiritual growth and accountability. No more masks to hide behind. No more trying to find a way to avoid what you face. No more avoiding issues with a “who me” attitude. You will know that where the Spirit of the Lord is, you have been set free. And when He makes you free, you are indeed free! 

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/08/who-me.html

Monday, August 20, 2018

Be Prepared



I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.     —Psalm 16:8 (NLT)

Without warning tragedy sudden occurs. One of two things happen. You either crumble to pieces or you hold yourself together leaning on God’s strength. You can never be ready for a sudden crisis, but you can be prepared for it. You are prepared if you live each day in His presence—if you pray and grow in His grace. When that crisis happens, you can just breathe His name, and He becomes what you alone are incapable of being—strong and decisive. With a clear mind and a protected heart, you can face whatever you need to face.

Years ago Pat and I attended a marriage conference in Atlanta. I don’t remember all the small details of what I’m about to share with you, but I remember the message that I received.  The speaker suddenly was called to the side, and he returned to the podium to tell us that his life had just been threatened. He wanted us to know in case anyone wanted to leave. Along with many others, we stayed and heard a story of a faith in God’s love that has forever shaped my determination to draw closer each day to Him.

The speaker at the conference had recently counseled a couple who intended to be married. He saw some tendencies in the young man that bothered him greatly, and he did something he had never done before. He privately advised the young woman not to marry this man at this time. She took his advice and broke of the relationship. This evening of the conference the man broke into the home of the young woman in a horrible rage.

The mother of the young woman was in the living room, and hit the floor when she heard him come into the house. Under her breath, she whispered “Jesus,” again and again. While she hovered on the floor, she heard this man rampaging through her home seeking her daughter. She heard her husband speak to him, and then after what seemed like an eternity, she heard a gun go off.

She later learned that while she was on the floor praying, the young man had attempted to injure the girl’s father, and then kept on hunting until he found the daughter. Within inches of her, he aimed the gun at the front of her head, and pulled the trigger. And the bullet proceeded to circumvent the daughter’s head, grazing her skin as it began its journey from her temple to the back of her head without penetrating her brain.

The speaker at the conference said the young man had run away after he could not kill the young woman. She had heard him threaten the speaker at the conference—the counselor who had told her not to marry him. So the police waited to catch him, and they finally did. But while we waited that evening, the speaker explained the power of the mother’s faith in God. She had a great faith because she knew the Lord was always her, strengthening her as she lay on the floor praying. He was right there when she called his name because she had a deep intimate relationship with Him. She was not shaken. She was prepared for this moment. The next morning at a church in Atlanta, Pat and I heard this family speak of their ordeal, and the mother’s faith that trusted in the Lord.

The lesson I learned that night was to always be prepared in season and out of season. You have trouble calling on someone you don’t know very well for help. You have trouble believing in His provision for your care. He is beside you—waiting to have an intimate relationship with you. He is right beside you. Allow Him to prepare your heart for life. Seek Him, and discover the faith that this mother had. Nothing that comes against you, will destroy you.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/08/be-prepared.html

Friday, August 17, 2018

His Commendation



As the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.” When people commend themselves, it doesn’t count for much. The important thing is for the Lord to commend them.                 

Who likes to hear someone talk about himself again and again? It soon gets old, and you have a tendency to stop listening. Living this Scripture is an absolute necessity. If you do something great, don’t boast about it. It is wonderful that it is great, but it is only great because the Lord has either allowed it or willed it.

God gave us life not for our own benefit, but to benefit someone else. Life is not about what we want or how we feel or how we might like to prosper. When we are self-consumed, we miss what is necessary to live a joyful life. Life has little meaning when we self-promote our achievements instead of acquiring the peace He imparts through a humble spirit.

The Pharisees were self-consumed with their own righteousness, and wanted to be sure that others abided by their interpretation of the law. They liked to be known for “doing good”—praying, serving, speaking their truth over God’s truth. Jesus pointed out an example of their hypocrisy. “When you pray,” he said, “don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get. But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you” (Matthew 6:5-6, NLT).

If you wish to share your achievements, give God the glory. Don’t make them more important than the Lord who granted them. Your own commendation amounts for very little in the eyes of others. What is important is that the Lord comments them. This is often unseen by others—only recognized by you. And it becomes your “pearl”—something God has brought forth in your life that you could never have done on your own. Others may never know, and that is fine. He has placed His Hand upon your life, and that is enough.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/08/his-commendation.html




Thursday, August 16, 2018

A Gentle Spirit



Let your gentle spirit [your graciousness, unselfishness, mercy, tolerance, and patience] be known to all people. The Lord is near.                                                                                                                                            —Philippians 4:5 (AMP)

What comprises a gentle spirt? Graciousness. Patience. Mercy. Compassion. Kindness. Calmness. Endurance. Humbleness. Love. Grace. Forgiveness. Generosity. And this list is endless when you are filled with the Holy Spirit. Share these things, Paul writes. Live them. Breathe them. The Lord is close to you. Not just coming soon, but close to you now—living in you.

Having a gentle spirit is really the power of the Holy-Spirit controlling your life and giving you the strength to conquer self. All things are possible when the all-powerful God is Lord of your life—when self has been denied and placed on the altar.

Have you tried again and again to live these things and fallen flat? Self-reliance is the issue—living on your own strength—putting yourself before the Lord. If you daily lay down your desires, you will learn the Lord honors your submissive spirit with not only the power of His gentleness, but with His insight and wisdom.

The fruit of the Spirit is only real in your life when it is exercised. When exercised, He becomes who you are and guides your life.  Never forget that He lives in you, but He can’t if you don’t make room.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/08/a-gentle-spirit.html

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

No Limits



  I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.  
—Ephesians 1:19-20 (NLT)

If you really seek to understand something, it has the power to change your perception of reality—to show you that there is something more than what your physical eyes see or your ears hear. If you really believe something, it becomes real in your life. You live it as truth. Now what if that something you believe is God?  If you seek to understand Him, He has the power to change your perception of what you see and hear. Paul writes in this letter to the Ephesians that he prays that they will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power. This power lacks nothing. It is the same power that raised Jesus from the dead.

Your life is not a dead end. Your life sings with promise. Do you understand this? If you seek Him, you will find Him. You will believe, and that belief will change your perception. His power will permeate your life. You will see differently, hear differently, and understand with the incredible greatness of God that all things are possible. Your faith will have no limits.

“Faith shows the reality of what we hope for,” the writer of Hebrews imparts. “It is the evidence of things we cannot see” (Hebrews 11:1, NLT). Do you wish for faith that believes in the incredible greatness of God’s power?  Seek Him. Choose to believe Him. Your perception will change, and you will understand that “no power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8: 39, NLT). His power does not separate. It completes you, and resides in those who believe. It heals and imparts grace. It has no limits.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/08/no-limits.html




Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Never Ends



The faithful love of the Lord never ends!  His mercies never cease.
—Lamentations 3:22 (NLT)

The faithful love of God never ends. His mercies—not just one mercy—never cease. God is always merciful and forgiving. “And I am convinced,” Paul wrote, “that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39, NLT).

You can erect a wall with a selfish attitude, but God understands the brokenness which fuels it. You can erect a wall because sin has claimed you, but He forgives when you repent. You can erect a wall from a wounded heart, but God loves you with the wounds He took for you. You can erect a wall because of feelings of unworthiness, but you cannot escape what He has done for you on Calvary. That promise is finished. It is completed. It is constant. His love and mercies never end.

You need not be hurt and angry. You need not be broken. You need not be wounded. The wounded healer’s mercies last forever. Lay down everything that you have erected on His mercy seat, and receive His faithful love with nothing to hinder it. Come and receive that love which you felt was beyond your reach. It never ends.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/08/never-ends.html



Monday, August 13, 2018

Not Abandoned



“I know what I’m doing,” says the Lord, “I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen. When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed. I’ll turn things around for you. I’ll bring you back from all the countries into which I drove you, and bring you home to the place from which I sent you off into exile. You can count on it” (Jeremiah 29:11-14, MSG).

Sometimes I forget that God knows what He is doing. It is in these moments when I try to be in control, I discover only discouragement and failure. But not only that. As I try to handle things without His guidance and strength, fear takes root. Fear not only separates me from His peace, but also from His voice trying to encourage my heart. He knows what He is doing. I don't have to know His plans, but I do need to trust and have faith in His love for me.

How can I not trust the very one who gave His life for me?  When I seek Him with all my heart and desire Him more than anything else, I discover more faith to believe in His love for me. If I persevere to do His will each day, I receive His promise. He lifts me from the place where I have suffered and felt abandoned. No longer in exile with over-whelming and consuming emotions, God turns things around for me. I am at home in His love. I trust Him for what happens now and for what lies ahead. It is His promise to me.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/08/not-abandoned.html



Saturday, August 11, 2018

Need



I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.
—Psalm 16:8 (NLT)

I am not abandoned. You are always with me. You know the cry of my heart I cannot express in words. You know my pain and my heartache. You walk this road not just with me, but you carry me. I may not always feel it, but my load is lighter because of you. No matter what happens, I will not be shaken. You are with me, and you are exactly who I need.

www.lynnlacher.com/2018/08/need.html

Friday, August 10, 2018

Speak in Love



Just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts.
—1 Thessalonians 2:4 (CEB)

I would like to share a story about two friends—Gertrude and Hortense. Perhaps you will be encouraged to pray about an issue that the Holy Spirit has brought to your mind. Perhaps God wants to use you to make a difference in the life of someone else, or perhaps God wants to make a change in your own life by being willing to be used. For weeks Gertrude watched as people avoided Hortense because Hortense felt she always had to have an answer or a way to fix every problem. Gertrude knew Hortense loved the Lord and prayed that God would show Hortense how the need to always have an answer or a way to fix issues was pushing people away. Gertrude didn’t want to be guilty of trying to fix Hortense, but pressure grew until Gertrude realized the Holy Spirit was calling her to talk to Hortense. In 1 Thessalonians 2:4 Paul told the Thessalonians that he must tell them the truth—no matter how difficult it might be for them to hear. The truth might not be pleasing to them, but it was necessary for their well-being. Telling another person God’s truth is one of the hardest, yet greatest, gifts you can impart. It is hard because it places your personal relationship with someone in unknown waters. It is great because it has the potential to reap a great reward.

Before ever approaching a friend about your concern, humbly examine your own heart and your real motive. Be sure your love for them is the motive. Be sure nothing stems from jealousy or resentment or bitterness. You must place your own life on the altar before you can ever say one word. Don’t have anything in your personal life which doesn’t support what you say. Most importantly always speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). Your love or lack of it will be felt in your approach, choice of words and the tone of your voice. Gertrude humbly and lovingly spoke with Hortense. In the beginning Hortense was hurt, and even angry. However with constant love from Gertrude, Hortense realized what Gertrude had said was true. Speaking the truth in love means you are willing to invest your time—not just speak and then move on. Gertrude helped Hortense realize that low self-esteem made her constantly seek the approval of others. Through time Hortense came to understand that the need to feel the love of God was what she really sought. His love was the acceptance she had sought all along.

What if you are like Hortense and are on the receiving end? If your friend comes to you “speaking the truth in love”, listen with the love of Jesus. Realize that what you hear might not be pleasant to your ears, but it also might be necessary to make a difference in your life. Do not take it as a judgment of your character. Listen to what your friend says and ask for the Lord to reveal if it is something that needs to be addressed. Yes, there may be emotional feelings of hurt at first, but take the time and pray about what has been said to you. God will use it to make a difference in your life. The advice will either inspire you to change something in your life or teach you how to respond without hurt to advice which, though you believe is not needed, has been offered in love.

Whether you are called to speak the truth in love or to be the person that receives it, remember this. The sacrifice which is the hardest is often the one that brings the greatest blessing.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/08/speak-in-love.html
         

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Here with Me



The door is open. Why can’t I enter? Why do I hesitate?  I know you are there and waiting. I know there is healing. I know there is freedom. I know there is joy. The door is narrow. I can’t carry all my baggage with me. I must lay it all down. My rights. My attitude. My needs. My desires. Your love calls from beyond the opening. Your promise draws my heart. So why do I resist?

“I am here,” You whisper. “Let go. Give me everything.” 

I drop all that weighs me down. I drop all that hinders. I move through the door to share my heart.

And then I know that in my grief you are—
In my heartbreak, you are—
In my turmoil, you are—
In my terror, you are—
In my distress, you are—
In my hardship, you are—
In my tears, you are—
In my failure, you are—
In my pardon, you are—
In my joy, you are—
In this moment, you are—
Here with me.
And I am free.


© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/08/here-with-me.html


Wednesday, August 8, 2018

No Matter the Storm



In my distress I prayed to the Lord, and the Lord answered me and set me free.
—Psalm 118:5 (NLT)

Are you at this place?
Sometimes the pain is too much, Lord. Too heavy. Beyond anything I have ever known. Breathing is like a sharp knife impaling my lungs. There is no way to turn away from this distress. It is constant and consuming and overwhelming. You tell me that you are my protector, and yet I struggle for relief. You remind me that you are my refuge and my shield, and yet my heart dreads each moment. All I see and feel is the pain, and all I long to see and feel is you, Lord.

There is an answer.
But you, O Lord, are a shield around me—my rock, my fortress, the power that saves me. I choose you over any fear. You are greater than my pain.  I choose to dwell on your goodness—your mercy—your grace, instead of what I feel or see. You not only help with the pain, but you are my shield from its ability to cripple my heart. Jesus, you tell me that I am free in your love. Your Word is my source of hope, and you keep me in perfect peace when I choose your Word over my feelings.

So here in my pain and distress, I cry out to you. I choose you. I choose prayer. I choose to trust you. You answer, and set me free from this pain’s ability to control my mind and heart. Nothing that comes against me will have control over me when I trust you. I love you, Lord, with every breath and every heartbeat—with all my heart, my soul, and my mind. And you will keep me in perfect peace no matter the storm. This is your promise to me, your child.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/08/no-matter-storm.html


Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Fire Faith


Fire Faith

These trials will show that your faith is genuine. 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)

Fire tests and purifies gold. It cleanses what is not pure. Trials do the same. They test and purify our faith. They examine and rid of us of things that separate us from experiencing God’s grace. Circumstances that create fear are meant to impart greater faith—not create greater panic. When we surrender the emotions that rage, fear surrenders to faith. When we remain focused on God instead of our circumstances, faith is strengthened, and peace guards our thoughts.

Have you ever considered your faith as being precious?  It is precious. Jesus shed His priceless blood so you might receive it and experience its power. When your faith remains strong through many trials, it is not only strengthened, but is also purified of emotions such as fear and anxiety. The emotions that tear you apart are brought under the control of the Holy Spirit. Instead of running away, you stand strong to face whatever lies ahead.

Whatever you face today, allow it to fire your faith—not defeat you. You can experience His perfect peace in the midst of the storm. Not only will your faith be strengthened, but you will also experience His love in ways that you never imagined. And one day when you see Him face to face, you will realize just how much your faith was worth.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/08/fire-faith.html


Monday, August 6, 2018

I Am Known



O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand.
—Psalm 139:1-6 (NLT)

To realize that I am known so greatly—so deeply—so completely—goes beyond my limited human understanding. You know me, Lord. Not just who I present to the world, but who I am within my own heart. You know my struggles, and you know my grief. I open my heart to you, God, and my soul yearns for you to continually search me. I thirst for you, my living God, with an unquenchable thirst. I cannot move without you knowing it. Every step that I plan may be formed in my mind, but your Spirit directs my steps. My thoughts and my ways are not as high as your thoughts and ways, but you know and understand them because you became human for me. You understand me. For my sake, you became one with me in my suffering. You know when I am at ease and when I am distraught. You know when I have the faith to move mountains, and when I need rest to be revived. You are familiar with every part of me. Before I even speak, you know what I am going to say. Because you know my heart, you know if it is pained or if it rejoices. No matter where I am or what I am dealing with, I know that you know the real me.

Why do I ever become downcast? I can always hope in you. Because you know me and created me, I am yours and you are mine. You go before me and prepare my path. You follow me, Lord, and protect my life. You gave your life for me, and now you constantly draw me with your heart. I pray for any words I utter to only speak your love—your forgiveness—your power—your life. I pray right now before a word is ever spoken that my words are directed by you, Holy Spirit. I long to have a joyful heart that speaks life.

You discipline me, Lord, and guide me in the right direction. You chastise me when I fail, and you encourage me when I succeed. You have placed your hand upon my life, and I am always aware of its steady loving pressure. Your love seems too much at times for me to even fathom. Often your call seems beyond reach. But you always draw me. You always pour yourself into me. You take what I say is not enough, and you make it beautiful.

I give you my limited life, Lord. That is my offering. It is all I have to give—an unfinished life waiting to be fulfilled. Take it, and complete it with your purpose. Give me a crown of beauty for ashes—a joyous blessing instead of mourning—festive praise instead of despair. You are my God. Make my life your own. Never let me claim it again.

© 2017 Lynn Lacher
Rewrite of “Known Beyond Myself”
Form Me, Fire Me, Fill Me

www.lynnlacher.com/2018/08/i-am-known.html



Friday, August 3, 2018

Choices


         
See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.
Deuteronomy 30:15-16 (NIV)

          Making good choices is necessary for a good life. You can either choose life and prosperity or death and destruction. Moses reminds the Hebrews in verse 19 to choose life over death. Choose life or choose death?  What sane person would not choose life over death?  Many times, though, you don’t see erroneous choices eating away at the fabric of your life and also of others in your realm of influence. God wishes for you to make good choices in order to receive His blessings and affect others positively.  However, He also wishes you to know that bad choices not only harm you, but wreak havoc in the lives of others. 

          “It is difficult to always know if I am making a good choice,” you declare. Moses tells the Hebrews, “Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach” (Deuteronomy 30:11, NIV). Guess what? It is not out or your reach either, or is it too hard.

          “But how is it possible?” you ask. Moses' answer speaks of the best choice of all!  “The word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it” (Deuteronomy 30:14, NIV). Faith to believe you are capable of making good choices comes from hearing the message, and the message is only heard through the Word of God (Romans 10:17). The Word can only be alive if you have allowed it to change your heart. Whether it has any power in your life always comes down to a matter of the allegiance of your heart.

          “Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established” (Proverbs 16:3, KJV).  Where your thoughts are, so is your heart. Sometimes when you are faced with the need to make a decision, you honestly don’t know what God’s will is. But you must make one.  Commit your decision to the Lord.  Ask Him to change it if you make a wrong decision.  Believe in His ability to change your decision if it is wrong. If He realizes that the intention of your heart is surrender to His will, He faithfully honors your prayer. He will anoint your decision or change the circumstances so that His correct decision is made. He will not fail you.

          How do you accomplish this? In Deuteronomy 30:16 we discover the means, and then read of His promise if we comply. You are to love the Lord your God with body, mind and spirit. Your heart should hunger for His righteousness instead of your own desires. This means giving up what you might choose for what He considers best.  It is the truth of God’s Word which sets you free and enables you to follow His commandments and walk in His will (John 8:32). 

          What has God promised you?  Just as He wished for the Hebrews to possess the land He had promised them, He wishes you to realize your own promise.  “Do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised” (Hebrews 10: 35-36, NIV).  Do you see what this verse reveals? Have confidence in God to direct your choices, and He will reward your perseverance! If you know His choices you have discovered His will.  When you have done His will, what happens?  You receive what He has promised!  You have chosen life!

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/08/choices.html
         
         

Thursday, August 2, 2018

His Light in Me



You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
—Matthew 5:14-16 (NLT)

Some days it is difficult to feel like I can be His light in this world. Jesus is the light in my heart, but at times life dulls His brilliance. Circumstances hit hard, but I am still called to shine for Him. Pain grips me, but I must allow Him to radiate through my life. When I allow Him to shine through my life in the midst of my own problems and pain, He speaks encouragement not only to someone else, but to me. As I allow Him to work in me and through me, He bestows peace. When I allow Him to shine instead of being consumed with issues over which I have no control, His promise of healing peace is not only for me to experience, but for those in my world to see and realize the difference He makes.

Just as a town built on a hill is there for all to see, so should the light of Jesus be in my life. It is important for me to constantly realize the responsibility of the calling to be His light. His light reveals all that is hidden. Nothing escapes it. His light causes me to face not only what needs to be changed in my own life, but in allowing Him to change me, it gives me a desire to share what He has done. I yearn to share my life so He might make a difference in the lives of others. If His Spirit is alive in me, there will be freedom for His light to shine no matter what each day brings (2 Corinthians 3:17).

I pray to always let His light change me and shine through me. I pray that in the midst of my struggles that I will never hide His light, but will allow Him to carry me through those struggles and direct me in the way I should handle them. My greatest desire is that others will see the Lord living through me, and that, in experiencing His light, they will glorify Him by passing it on. He is the life, the truth, and the way. He is the only Savior—the only Healer. He deserves all the praise and all the glory. Without His light in me, I would have no life.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/08/his-light-in-me.html



Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Greed



Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
—Luke 12:16 (NIV)

Greed. Insatiability. We strive, but we are never satisfied. We add more and more, but it is never enough. There is a void that no possession will fill. Life, which is meant to bring fulfillment, does not consist of an abundance of possessions, but of an abundance of Him. When you are filled with Him, there is no room for greed.

Self can be a dangerous thing. There is always something better or bigger. Our eyes see that there is more to be had. Our ears hear others speak of their possessions or achievements. We endeavor to reach what is never enough, and we become defeated because we are never satisfied. A self-made man becomes just that. Self-made. Not surrendered. Full of his own accomplishments instead of realizing the abilities God has imparted to Him. Full of himself instead of a gentle heart of mercy and grace.

The American dream can become the American nightmare when we allow what we have to be greater that who we are. Be careful. Guard your heart against all kinds of greed. There is nothing wrong with having possessions. Just be sure that the love of Jesus rules your heart instead of the love of money. “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil,” Paul wrote to Timothy. “Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (I Timothy 6:10, NIV).

Surrender self. Remain eager for Him. Then greed will be defeated.

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

The Faith of Christ

       I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I liv...