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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Believe


I see that the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. No wonder my heart is glad, and my tongue shouts his praises! My body rests in hope. For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your Holy One to rot in the grave. You have shown me the way of life, and you will fill me with the joy of your presence.
—Acts 2:26-28 NLT


On this day Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, preached to a crowd in Jerusalem. Pentecost had just come, and believers who had gathered, were filled with the Holy Spirit. Explaining to the crowd that these believers were not drunk, Peter quoted from the prophet Joel about the miraculous coming of the Holy Spirit. and then he spoke of Jesus fulfilling God’s plan of salvation for all mankind. Quoting from King David, Peter spoke these words of our Scripture today, which David had prophesized about the Savior of the world who was to come. The words which David uttered generations in the past became words which gave promise to over 3000 who were saved that day in Jerusalem.

David’s words were not only about the Savior of the world. What Jesus accomplished on Calvary was for everyone in the world. If we believe in Him, these words are our promise. Released from the horrors of death, Jesus knew that God was with him. His body rested in hope, and He knew that His soul would not be left among the dead. His body would not rot in the grave. He had been shown the way of life, and He had chosen Calvary. He had said “yes” for each one of us. His work had accomplished God’s promise. His joy was complete. And now Peter offered the joy of this salvation to everyone who heard.

Can you imagine what it would have been like to be part of that crowd that day in Jerusalem? The Holy Spirit swept through hearts. They knew that Resurrection life was the promise offered. They believed, and were saved.  

Do you believe this promise is also for you? The Lord wishes to always be with you. You need not be shaken in this world by anything. You can also have hope for not only life beyond the grave, but for abundant life now. He has shown you the way of life. Will you be like one of those in the crowd who believed that day? Just say yes. He said yes for you.

2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/10/believe.html

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

You Complete Me


When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—the moon and the stars you set in place—what are mere mortals that you should think about them, 
human beings that you should care for them? Yet you made them only a little lower than God, and crowned them with glory and honor.
—Psalm 8:3-5 NLT


Just above the top of the trees, I see the full moon, round and clear, seemingly balanced on the edge of the horizon, revealing its place in the night sky. Beyond its area of illumination, stars twinkle, some glowing more brightly than others. The passionate beauty of this divine painting draws my heart. This is the work of your hands, Lord! I cannot fathom how you created it—much less how you created me. But you did. This heavenly canvas is your masterpiece, and that is what you also created me to be—your masterpiece.

You created me in your image and crowned me with glory!  Why would the creator of the universe care so much about me, a mere mortal?  But you did. Not only did you create me. You also gave the life of your Son so I might live with you forever. The creator of the universe—my creator—loves me enough not to demand my love! You give me free will to either deny or accept you. How can I not accept you—the God who created me—who loves me enough to lay down everything for me?
                                                                                              
Not only have you created and designed me, but you have created and designed my path in life. Youknow me intimately—my heart—my character—my capability—my greatest potential. When you lead me to do something, it is done with full knowledge of who I am. I will not allow hardship and circumstance to pull me from your course. These only have the ability to refine me for greater purpose. When I follow you and offer my best, the result is glorious and rewarding beyond anything I can imagine. 

Just as the moon and stars I see in the night sky, I also am your creation. My life is your canvas. You began this faith and this work in me. If I continually surrender what I think needs to be real in my life to what you know is best for me, you shall perfect your love in me. I will know in my deepest being who you say I am. I am your righteousness—blameless only because of your unconditional love. You birthed a masterpiece in me at Calvary, and you will complete it. The night sky is not the only work of your hands. So am I. I will allow you to complete me.


© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/10/you-complete-me.html


Monday, October 29, 2018

In Peace

In Peace


In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.
—Psalm 4:8 NLT


Everything rages without, but I have peace within. Life is a whirlwind, and, thankfully, it is beyond my control. My life is not mine to manage. It is yours. You, O Lord, hold me safely through circumstances that threaten. The gift you gave me, which at first brought joy, now is one that stretches me. Daily it calls for my surrender, and in my surrender, I find your strength and your hand guiding me. You protect my heart in each sudden change. You draw me close in moments which previously would have wounded. I am but clay in your hands. Nothing devours my peace. Nothing. I have chosen you, and in that choice, I am free. 


At night, you guard my mind and keep me safe from thoughts of the day. You are my pillow who cushions. You are my cover who protects. You are my comforter who reassures. You hold me, and I am at rest in you. In peace, I close my eyes at night and sleep. 

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/10/in-peace.html


Friday, October 26, 2018

Experiencing His Perfect Love


Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.
—1 John 1:18 NL


The love of Jesus expels all fear. This verse clearly says that if we are afraid, we are afraid of punishment. There rises a mentality of “I can never be good enough”. And you know what? On one level that is true. You can’t save yourself from the guilty torment of sin. You can’t save yourself from the mental and emotional agony of failure. On another level this reasoning is false. It is only in Jesus that you are good enough—not based on what you do right or what you do wrong, but based on Jesus’ forgiveness for you on Calvary. He died to set you free. If you have accepted Him as your Savior, you have the ability to be free from all fear. Understanding and living this freedom is something else. Well, the truth of the matter is, it is real even if you haven’t experienced it. It is His promise for you. The Lord wishes to perfect His perfect love in you—to get you to the point where His love, which defeats all fear, is as natural as breathing.

The only way to receive His perfect love that conquers fear is to first allow Jesus into your heart, and then allow Him to change your perception of who you are. He doesn’t see what you have done. He sees you forgiven. He sees me through the eyes of grace. Until you grasp the depth of forgiveness in His grace, you will forever fight the fears which accompany feelings of punishment—of not being good enough.

The love of God was perfected by Jesus on Calvary when He died for you. You can’t perfect it within yourself. You allow Him to change what you can’t. You face your fears with a decision that He will conquer them for you. You decide that God is not waiting to beat you up because of sin or failure. He is waiting to forgive and love you with His perfect love. You keep making the decision to believe, and He brings Resurrection power to fulfill it.

The perfect love of His grace washes away all that you have been so you may receive all that He is. With His perfect love continually changing you, His love becomes stronger in you and perfects you. Only His love can drive out fear and give faith to believe. If you remain rooted in His love and growing in His grace, perseverance will finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything. You will be strong enough to always choose faith over fear. You will continually experience His perfect love.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/10/experiencing-his-perfect-love.html





Thursday, October 25, 2018

In Whatever Season


To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
—Ecclesiastes 3:1–8 (KJV)


Life always presents a new season. One moment, you are in pain, and the next, you rejoice. One moment, you develop something new, and the next, it is gone. Whatever season of your life you are in, there is a purpose in it. Sometimes when you are going through a time that is hard, it is difficult to see yourself in a better season of life. Try to seek His purpose in whatever season of life you experience rather than pushing hurriedly through to the next. When you push and try to rush through that season too quickly, you miss what the Lord wishes to accomplish in your life. Each season the Lord imparts is given for His reason. The incredible value of the lessons learned can give greater faith to make it through all the difficult seasons of life. They can also give the greatest fulfillment in the seasons that bring abundant joy.

A friend of mine told me recently that she recognized a pattern in the way the Lord gives her scripture. Every other day or so, He gives her a harsh word—not to condemn her but to warn her to be cautious and to understand that things she faces, like trials or hardships, are all for a purpose. She smiled and said, “When He takes me to a scripture like that, the next day, He gives me a scripture on praise or love. No matter what happens, He wants our praise—and He still loves us!” She has grown to understand that life’s changing seasons will always present a new challenge. God is faithful through each one. He loves. He teaches. He corrects. He empowers. He imparts wisdom. He guides, and He brings you into the next season with more faith than you experienced in the last.

Praise Him no matter what season you are in. Learn what He wishes to impart. Rejoice in the lesson to be learned. It is just what you need. Apply it to your life. Allow God to take you where He wishes. Allow Him to mold your heart. The pain you may feel now will definitely be part of your joy later. Also, the joy you may feel now will carry you through any difficult season that lies ahead. Wherever you are, He is with you, guiding you from one season to the next. Give Him your hand. Trust the One who gave you this life to carry you safely and joyfully through it.


© 2017 Lynn Lacher
Form Me, Fire Me, Fill Me
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/10/in-whatever-season.html

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

By the Grace of God


But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
—1 Corinthians 15:10 NKJV

The grace which flows from Calvary is rich and inspires faith, but we make it cheap when we don’t allow it to change us. Paul was changed by the grace of Jesus! It was not in vain in his life! It was rich grace that inspired him to believe beyond his own abilities. He knew faith was only God working in him by His grace. He had been blind, but the grace of Jesus had opened his eyes to the amazing wonder of its promise.

God does everything by grace, but we also have a part. He does not love us for what we do. He loves us because of who He is. He loves us with undeserved favor. He paid the ultimate price to cover the debt of our sin. His grace cost Him everything. It cost His life, and that gift cries out for our response!

Paul labored because of grace, and God empowered his efforts. He believed he was the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ. He was forgiven, and He knew it in every cell of his being. He lived God’s power by surrendering to God’s amazing grace. He was not only empowered by the grace of God, He was also transformed in the spirit of his mind.

So what is your response to the grace of Jesus? What is mine? Do we truly understand that there is nothing we can do wo to make God love us more?  Yet do we expect His grace to accomplish its work in us without any effort on our part? We love Him because He loved us with no restraint. His grace is rich with mercy, but it becomes richer in us when faith is exercised. Ask the woman who touched the hem of His garment. Ask the woman who washed His feet with her hair.

And ask yourself, “Has His grace inspired greater faith in me?” If not, then seek to understand who Jesus says you are to Him. Forgiven. Clean. He sees you through the eyes of grace, and that grace is rich in you when you understand that He withheld nothing from you on Calvary. And when you are free, you withhold nothing from Him.

“By the grace of God, I am what I am,” Paul wrote. 

© 2018 Lynn Lacher

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Glory to Glory


And there will be no night there—no need for lamps or sun—for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever.
—Revelation 22:5 NLT

No more night. 
No more struggle. 
No more pain. 
No more fear.
No more need for light to dispel the darkness, because there is no darkness.
He shines when selfishness is no more.
He shines without the world’s tarnish—when there is nothing to dispel His brilliance.
This is not only for then. This is His wish for me now.
If I allow.
The veil has been removed. 
The Lord shines always, but I receive what I allow.
His glory is not only for then, but also for now.
From glory to glory, He calls me.

So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. 
—2 Corinthians 3:18 NLT

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/10/glory-to-glory.html



Monday, October 22, 2018

Carrying His Tears


Love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else?
—Matthew 5:44,46,47 (NIV)

My friend, Beverly, has written two books about carrying Jesus’ tears to those who are starved for His love. Often lashing out in bitterness and rage, some people don’t even know they are starved for His love. Isolating themselves in their pain, they only barely exist, instead of living fulfilling lives. Perhaps, they have decided that you are their enemy. The question is—have you allowed them to become yours?

If you have allowed their anger and bitterness, when it is aimed at you, to anger you in return, then they have succeeded. If you have allowed them to frustrate and belittle you—if their actions have controlled your response, then they have succeeded in destroying your peace and joy. Loving your enemies is not just for the benefit of your enemies. It is for your benefit.

Pray for those who persecute you! It is hard to be angry at someone you pray for. If you love only those who love you, then what good comes from that? Even unethical people love those who love them. If you are kind to only your friends, then how are you any different?

You are different because you are called to carry the tears of the Master. You cannot change anyone’s heart. Only He can. Perhaps you have tried to reach out, and you have been refused. Then you have been refused. The love of Jesus overcomes. Not you. Just live His forgiveness, and don’t allow someone else’s anger and bitterness to control your life and your response. Joy and peace thrive in you when you grasp that carrying His tears is never a burden, but always a gift. A gift that, just like prayer, changes you.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/10/carrying-his-tears.html


Friday, October 19, 2018

At Last Free


Behold, I stand at the door and knock.
—Revelation 3:20 (NKJV)

Consider His words. He stands and knocks at the door to your heart. He invites you to a life which you cannot comprehend with the human mind. It is a life of utter peace and trust in His abundant faithfulness—a life of spiritual joy. His invitation promises to carry you beyond your avenue of analytical thought to one of rest that no matter what happens in this life all is well. This invitation offers respite from the hectic pace of this world. “Be still and know that I am God” takes on a whole new meaning. When you get to the place that you don’t struggle anymore, you can find peace in just knowing He is God, and He is in control. "Come to me,” He whispers in your tempest, “and I will give you rest."

Do you long to relinquish your terrible struggle—your pain, but you resist that which promises release? You try to keep things in control, but find out that you can't. Letting go of your struggle to control what you can't control opens your heart to His promise of peace. Letting go admits you don't have the answer. Letting go means you place your trust in His faithfulness. Even when you shut the door of your heart to His knock, He never stops knocking.  Even when you turn from His promise of peace, He never turns away. Even when He finds your heart all closed and barred behind your fortress of pain, He continues on in His constant offer of peace. “Let go, and let me,” He whispers.

The harder you struggle the stronger His constant knock. The harder you resist the greater your pain. Suddenly the exhaustion of your battle is too much. Suddenly you can no longer bar that door. Suddenly, surrender is your only option. It is your only hope. You must let go and believe. You must open the door to His knock.

When you let go of all you have tried to handle and open the door, the peace which has waited patiently on the other side of that door is now yours. No more war inside your heart. No more need to know the answers. You are free in Him, and free of fear from the hard issues that life has brought. There will always be issues, but you will be free from their ability to control your life. Fear which has defined your life has ended. You realize that God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, and love, and a sound mind. Letting go has brought the peace your heart has struggled so hard to find. And at last you are free.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/10/at-last-free.html

Thursday, October 18, 2018

I Wait for You


Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.
—Psalm 27:14 (NLT)

Lord, when I believe I need answers, you often keep those answers from me. Sometimes I cry out for immediate relief instead of allowing patience to render greater faith in me. Be brave, you tell me. Be courageous, you encourage. Don’t run ahead of me, you whisper. Wait patiently.

Patience is a virtue that I add in my life, and you empower that choice to make a difference. Everything around me shouts for quick answers, and demands instant results. But you, Lord, know the way ahead, and when I exercise patience, I shall be refined and strengthened by the journey. Instant answers only allow fear to remain in me. Trusting you defeats fear, and focuses my faith right where it belongs. On you. 

Bravery is also a choice. Courage is bravery empowered by the Holy Spirit. Courage is letting go of all that appears to be secure, and without reservation stepping into the unknown, not focusing on what might be ahead, but on you, Lord, my only trust and security. 

“They who wait upon the Lord will get new strength,” Isaiah imparts. “They will rise up with wings like eagles. They will run and not get tired. They will walk and not become weak” (Isaiah 40:31, NIV). Lord, when I am tired of my own strength, I trust for yours. Help me to be tired of my own. Create the need in me to always rely on you, and never on myself. If I want to soar tirelessly in this life, I need you to be the wind that carries me. 

I wait for you.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/10/i-wait-for-you.html


Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Written in Your Heart


For merely listening to the law doesn’t make us right with God. It is obeying the law that makes us right in his sight. Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it. They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right. 
—Romans 2:13-15 (NLT)

Just listening to the law doesn’t make you right with God. Only the love of Jesus on Calvary creates in you a clean heart, and makes you right with Him. Do you know you can instinctively know and follow God’s written law without having even heard it?  When the law is written in your heart by the grace of Jesus, you unconsciously know what you haven’t heard. When your own conscience convicts you that are doing wrong or encourages you that you are doing right, you demonstrate that God’s law is written in your heart. You choose to allow the Holy Spirit to guide you into all truth, and to live a life that is pleasing to God. 


“Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you,” Paul wrote. “This ‘letter’ is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts” (2 Corinthians 3:3, NLT). At Calvary, Jesus wrote His righteousness upon your heart. He imparted it to you when you accepted Him as your Savior. Your heart is a “letter” carved by the Spirit of the living God. It beats and pulsates with His love and grace and wishes to live the worthiness that He imparted at Calvary. It is not a heart of stone that demands performance. It is a heart of flesh that beats with His Spirit. “And I will give you a new heart,” God promised, “and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart” (Ezekiel 36:26, NLT). He gave you a new heart when He gave you Jesus. You don’t live by the old covenant. Jesus has torn the veil that separates you from a holy God and given access into His presence. The letter of the law kills, but the Spirit gives life. 

“To this day whenever the old covenant is being read,” Paul wrote, “the same veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth. And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ” (2 Corinthians 3:14, NLT). If you know Him, you don’t need to perform for a merciful and loving God because you fear judgment. You live righteously because of His grace. 

“Whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away,” Paul continued, “for the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” Live in the freedom that Jesus purchased for you. Live by the Spirit of the living God, and do not try to earn the forgiveness He purchased for you. It is His gift—not your job. 

All of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.
—2 Corinthians 3:18 (NLT)

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/10/written-in-your-heart.html

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Overflowing Grace


Thank God for this gifttoo wonderful for words!
—2 Corinthians 9:15 (NLT)

What is this gift that is just too wonderful for words—a gift so abundant that mere words can’t describe?  “They will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given to you,” Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 9:14. Overflowing grace is the gift Paul tells the Corinthians they have received. It is a gift that is never stagnant, but unconsciously brims over and streams into the lives of those to whom they minister. And not only that!  Overflowing grace fosters deep affection, and returns to the giver in prayer.

Has the grace of Jesus overflowed into your life? Does it overflow unconsciously from you into the lives of others or do you feel you have to work at it? Do you consciously tell yourself to extend grace, or is it as natural to you as breathing? Overflowing grace overflows because it is unconsciously rendered from a life that has been forgiven and changed beyond what man can render. Only Jesus offers forgiveness that imparts overflowing grace. It is a gift freely given. Washing away every sin that has blocked us from experiencing God’s abundant love, grace gives us the freedom to receive again and again—and give again and again. 

Many have only touched His garment, and let go. Without exercising faith, they could not cling to their source of redeeming grace. His grace encountered self—that immobile dam of resistance that holds back surrender. And His grace has waited again and again, just longing to hear “Yes, Lord, take all of me.”

Grace changes everything. Nothing remains the same. Love overflows joyfully, and loves the unlovely, and forgives the unforgiven. Overflowing grace is naturally and unconsciously accountable to Jesus who has given His life to offer it. Nothing has to be reasoned or explained. It is the greatest overflowing freedom that was fueled at Pentecost, and shall burn and overflow in our lives as long as we will allow it to burn.

“Jesus, be Jesus in me. No longer me—only you. Overflow in me and break down any resistance of self that looks for the reason. Just love through me, Holy Spirit. Just love.”

© 2018 Lynn Lacher


Monday, October 15, 2018

His Surpassing Wisdom


The wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.
—James 3:17 (NLT)

The wisdom that God imparts is gentle, pure, and peaceable. It yields to others and does not insist on its own way. His wisdom is full of mercy, because He is forgiving and merciful. His wisdom brings forth a wealth of good fruit in my life. His wisdom never creates something that is not true in order to make a point.  It is honest and sincere.

I looked up Proverbs 10:18 in several translations. 
The wise in heart accept commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin (NIV). 
A wise heart takes orders; an empty head will come unglued (MSG). 
The wise are glad to be instructed, but babbling fools fall flat on their faces (NLT). 

If I don't want to be a “chattering or babbling fool” or have an “empty head” or “come to ruin” or be “unglued” or “fall flat on my face”, I will receive God's instruction gladly and allow Him to guide my life. Without His wisdom, I chatter with no purpose and I have no peace. If I babble to hear myself talk, I do not yield to hear what someone needs to impart. My interest is in me and not in someone else. My words have no power to impart hope and faith to another, because they are full of what I consider “my” wisdom instead of God's wisdom. I chatter on unaware of my own emptiness and shallowness. My words fall flat, and so do I. 

More than anything I want what I say and how I live to make a difference in the life of someone else. To receive God's wisdom, I must yield to His instruction, and accept it gladly. His instruction brings out the best in my life. It results in the wealth of His fruit living in me—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). Unlike a chattering tongue with no depth, His wisdom gives the ability to speak truth that makes a differencethat brings hopethat instills peacethat offers greater faith──that gives a new perspective.

“A word fitly spoken” advised King Solomon, “is like apples of gold in settings of silver” (Proverbs 25:11, NKJV). This kind of wise word makes a difference. A friend was speaking of an opportunity that God had extended, and how she believed God was opening doors. Suddenly she began to speak of her fear of failure. Another friend said to her, “do you really believe that God sets you up for failure?” These were wise words that offered a positive perspective. 

Neither does God set us up for failure! Daily seek His surpassing wisdom, and receive His instruction. Always pray for your words to be filled with His love and purpose. Words fitly spoken through the direction of the Holy Spirit not only make a difference in the life of someone else. They inspire you to seek more of Him or less of yourself.

© Lynn Lacher 2018
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/10/his-surpassing-wisdom.html


Monday, October 8, 2018

I'll be gone....

I want to let you know that I'll be gone until Monday, October 15th.  Thanks so much for allowing me to share devotions with you.  I appreciate the opportunity you extend to me. May the Lord guard your heart and mind in Him.  

Lynn

Free to Forgive


Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven.
 —Luke 6:37, NLT)


Through the years I have learned that the inability to forgive is like a terrible cancerous disease. It eats at your spiritual health and ultimately destroys your relationship with God. Because God has given us a free will to either choose or reject Him, we also have a free will to either forgive or not to forgive.


In this verse in Luke, Jesus explains that if we don't judge, we will not be judged. If we don't condemn, we will not be condemned. If we forgive, we will be forgiven. Isn’t the inability to forgive really judgment of that person? Our hurt and our pain does not give us a license to judge that person. It does not give us a license to allow anger and hate to consume our hearts. In fact Jesus explains in Luke 6:35-36 that we are to “love our enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” We are to love those that hurt us. We can't harbor bitterness. It will only breed more hurt and devastation. We forgive without expecting anything in return. Those we forgive may not receive our forgiveness. But we are to be merciful anyway. Just as Jesus forgives us, we forgive others.


When we are devastated by someone's action, we have a choice what to do with the hurt and pain that arises. If we allow that hurt to define who we are, that pain will immobilize us. We find ourselves in bondage to our bitterness and hate. It directs our lives, and consumes our waking and sleeping moments. Holding on to the pain of unforgiveness is exhausting. Grabbing on to the bars of our emotional prison, we shake and demand our jailor to release us. The truth is we have jailed ourselves. We keep asking God to release the pain, and all along we have had the key to open the door.


“Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom,” Paul writes (2 Corinthians 3:17 NIV). The Holy Spirit invites us to forgive so that we might open the door to our prison. It is our choice.  Are we ready to be released from our bondage of resentment, bitterness, anger, hurt, frustration, hatred, and all that claims a hurting and hardened heart?  When we choose to forgive, then we surrender what we believe we have a right to own. His power will enable our choice and transform our heart. “I will give you a new heart,” the Lord promises, “and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart” (Ezekiel 36:26, NLT). With the power of the Holy Spirit at work in us, forgiveness sets us free.


© 2017 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/10/free-to-forgive.html

Friday, October 5, 2018

Sets My Heart Free


For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
—Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)

Scripture has something to say about itself. What it reveals speaks clearly of its own worthiness. The Word of God is alive. It breathes powerful truth and life into my tired dry existence­—into my heart that is crushed—into my mind upon which the enemy etches lies—into my dry bones which ache for His breath of life. It slices through doubt and speaks faith. It exposes wrong attitudes and desires of my heart. It opens my heart to listen to His instruction and obey His truth. It sets me free from a heart which sets conditions on its love

The Word of God instructs that I not only believe what it says, but that I also trust its message by applying it in every aspect of my life. Not only should I follow His revealed truth, but, most importantly, my heart must be pure in its motive. I respect and honor His truth when I live it, and my heart is changed by its powerful message.

I can trust God's Word in every moment of my life. Its very nature is timeless! It is unchanging, and just like Jesus Christ, it is the same yesterday, today, and forever. I can believe its truthful direction for all the circumstances I face, and for decisions I make.

“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my Word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:10-11, NIV). His Word has a purpose, and it will accomplish Hebrews 4:12 in my life if I will study it and open my heart to its truth.

The Word of God is absolutely trustworthy. I can stand on what it says. I can believe in its promises. Its truth was witnessed and shared by those who personally experienced the power of God. It is God's living Word. He breathed it in human writers with the breath of His Holy Spirit. As I study it and seek His truth, He also breathes His life into me. It changes me to be more like Him. It changes the attitudes and desires of my heart. And thenI can rejoice following His will, because His Word has broadened my understanding and has truly set my heart free.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/10/sets-my-heart-free.html


Thursday, October 4, 2018

For You


I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
—John 10:10b (NIV)

How can anyone not believe that God is generous? He lavished His love on us at Calvary. He gives abundant life for earth, and abundant life for eternity. This is the reason He came. To give His life for us! To give joyful life instead of depression and heartache! To give victory over fear! To impart peace in the midst of turmoil! To bring fulfillment! 

Jesus Christ came so that we may know overflowing abundant life in Him. He gave His life for that purpose. He sacrificed all the innocence that He was for all the ugliness that we are. He is the vine that empowers, and we are the branches. When the life of the vine flows into ours, it brings new growth. We flourish in His presence. Our being is one with His.

Whatever you might face today, He has already given victory. He is peace, joy, strength, power, healing, patience, forgiveness! He is everything you cannot be alone. He is all you lack. His life flowing through you is all you need. Look to Him, the author of your faith, and take courage. It is only in Christ that you can have supernatural peace, overflowing strength, unending power, total healing, enduring patience, and humbling forgiveness. But you must allow Him to be Lord of every part of your life. Then and only then will His life accomplish the miraculous in yours.

He is abundant life!  He is your purpose, and your promise. This is the reason He came. For you.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/10/for-you.html

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Best Way


Let me show you a way of life that is best of all. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
—1 Corinthians 12:31b; 2 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NLT)

The best way to live is with love. His love, alive and forgiving, sets you free to live without needing to get your own way. His love doesn’t get upset easily and doesn’t keep score when someone wrongs it. His love rejoices when truth prevails—no matter how painful that truth is. His love never gives up—never loses faith—is resiliently hopeful—perseveres against all odds.

Do we love this way? So often, we don’t. Life is about our needs and our desires—not those of someone else. Jesus is our greatest example of unselfish love. He gave up His right to live because of unconditional love. To learn to live with His love, we are also called to give up what we consider our rights for the sake of another person. We have to exercise His love in the most trying situations and circumstances. His love stretches us to reach beyond our selfish limitations and forgive someone who has offended or hurt us—to love with His love that held nothing back.

Years ago, I heard someone make a statement that the Holy Spirit has brought to mind at times when self wants to prove a point or strike back. “There is great freedom when you don’t have to make the last word.” If I want to walk in the grace of His freedom, then I need to exercise the grace of His love in my relationships.

Never tire of His lesson of love. The Lord continually sends it because it will take a life time to completely get it. The world doesn’t get it and goes about its selfish way trying to prove one point or another. His love is lived moment by moment in daily surrender—in unselfishness and forgiveness, washing the feet of one who denies that you even care.

His love is never about us. It is about how He loves through us, and sets us free.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/10/best-way.html

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Safe in Him


Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety.
—Proverbs 29:25 (NLT)

Fear is about focus. We either keep our focus on God, who gives perfect peace, or we focus on our problems, which overwhelm and remind us that we can’t handle what is wrong. Turmoil and pain, rising from personal conflict, circumstances, or lies of the enemy, can drive us closer to fear instead of closer to God. We worry about what will happen next, or we fear what someone might say or not say, do or not do.

Is this you? Do you struggle with fear that overwhelms? Trusting the Lord means safety. You don’t need to fear people or circumstances. Fear is a dangerous trap of the enemy to keep you from trusting in God’s grace. His safety is nothing like what we envision. We are limited in our perception, but trust inspires greater faith to believe in what we can’t see or hear.

Trust in this world is earned. But trusting God is a choice. God doesn’t need to prove himself. He gave His life for us out of love. Someone might say that Jesus earned our trust by His sacrifice. No. His life was a gift, and we need not do anything to receive His love except say yes. Trust is the gift we give back to Him.

Never be caught in the performance trap. Fearing how someone will judge you renders you helpless and hopeless. Trusting God keeps you safe from the judgments of others and of yourself. It brings the assurance of His grace to meet each need. When your thoughts are focused on Him, faith is stronger. Peace is greater. Joy is effervescent. There is no better place than to put your trust in Him. Safety is never earned. It is His promise.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/10/safe-in-him.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...