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Tuesday, December 31, 2019

No Condemnation



So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.  And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.
—Romans 8:1-2 (NLT)

Has the grace of Jesus transformed your mind to the place where you thoroughly grasp you are debt-free? When you first repented of your sins and accepted Him into your heart, you received His completed work of grace. You are thoroughly and forever forgiven. No one lives a perfect life. You will make mistakes, but you do not need to live in condemnation. You can be honestly sorry without crippling feelings of guilt and shame.

The grace of Jesus has freed you, and you can live in that freedom. When you know who you are in Christ, that knowledge changes your perspective. You are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. You had none of your own because of His love and mercy, Jesus gave you His. You do not need to prove you have His forgiveness! There is no penance you have to perform. There is no perfection you have to maintain. You owe nothing because of His grace. There is no greater love than His—that He would give His life for you. No other love sets you free from the requirements of the law, which demanded you live in perfection. That law was never able to save you from your sin. Only Jesus could meet those requirements so you could be free.

“The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature,” Paul writes. “So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body, God declared an end to sin's control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit” (Romans 8:3-4, NLT).

Jesus did what the law could never accomplish! Through His sacrifice for us on Calvary, Jesus declared that sin no longer has control. He fully satisfied the requirement of the law because we were unable to meet it. Where we once were weak, He gives strength by the power of His Spirit to follow Him. We have been made righteous only by His saving grace. 

The grace of Jesus completed its work on Calvary. Sin and death were utterly defeated. The prerequisites of the law were completely satisfied. You allow Him to transform the way you see yourself so that you will understand what it means to be debt-free. 

You don't have to live in fear of not being good enough. You are forgiven! There is no guilt or condemnation you have to wear to prove it. When He sets you free, you are free. There is joy in that truth!

© 2019 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2019/12/no-condemnation.html

Monday, December 30, 2019

Filled to Overflowing


Have you ever felt drained and worn-out serving the Lord? Useless in what you do? Serving in your own strength will eventually bring spiritual, mental, and physical exhaustion. But when you help others using your spiritual gifts with the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit, you are not washed-out or drained. You are continually filled with God’s supernatural resources. As you give away what you have received from Jesus, you overflow with more of Him. The litmus test as to whether you will burn out or not is whose strength you are relying on—yours or His. 

“There are different kinds of spiritual gifts,” Paul wrote, “but the same Spirit is the source of them all (1 Corinthians 12:4, NLT).  The Holy Spirit is the source of our spiritual giftedness, so when we attempt to serve without His guidance and His power, we ultimately burn out. We can not empower ourselves. There is no spiritual fulfillment in self-empowered work, which glorifies us. The only glory and joy and satisfaction we experience comes when we allow the Holy Spirit to flow through us, empowering us beyond our limitations.

“God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts,” Peter declared. “Use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen (1 Peter 4:10-11, NLT).

Use your gift well to serve one another, Peter says!  But do it with the strength and energy God supplies. And then it will bring glory to God through the power of Christ, who works in us by the power of the Holy Spirit!  Yes, use your gifts in service, but use them in His guidance and strength where you will be continually filled with His grace instead of being emptied by your own inadequacies. 

“Be filled with the Holy Spirit,” Paul wrote (Ephesians 5:18, NLT). The instruction to "be filled" is in the past progressive tense. This tense indicates continuing action and also something that has happened in the past. Being filled with the Holy Spirit is not a one-time action. It is something that has happened and continues to happen. If you have received the Holy Spirit and are not continually filled with the Spirit, then you begin to serve in your strength and from your resources. The Holy Spirit flowing through us, directing us, empowering us, loving through us, is necessary to live a Spirit-filled life, which does not burn out. 

The night before His crucifixion, Jesus told the disciples that He must go to the Father for the Holy Spirit to come. Right before Jesus ascended to the Father, He instructed the disciples to stay and wait for the Holy Spirit. “And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven” (Luke 24:49, NLT)

The disciples waited for the Holy Spirit to come, and when He came, they were all filled to overflowing with His power. That weakened little band of disciples who had lost their Master were no longer powerless. They had received the Holy Spirit. And they would go in His power to share Jesus’ message with the world. 

Have you embraced a personal Pentecost and received the indwelling of His Spirit?  Do you continually yield to be filled? You don’t have to make anything happen. You don’t make yourself perfect. You don’t fix anything. The Holy Spirit does the work in you and through you. 

Pray. Seek Him. Read His Word. Receive His divine revelation. Listen to His voice. Praise Him. Receive whatever gift He chooses to give you. Allow Him to move and empower you. Use the spiritual gifts He has given you under His direction and in His power.  You will continually be filled to overflowing. 

You don’t have to burn out for Jesus to prove you love Him. Grace is about His love for you. You serve in His power and with His grace—lest you boast of your own service. You serve in His power, and with His grace—lest you get comfortable with your own resources. 

Let go and let Jesus have you—all of you —your life is His. Allow the Holy Spirit to fill you continually. There is no joy or fulfillment like His grace setting you free from your own limitations to receive all He wishes to pour into your life.

© 2019 Lynn Lacher

Friday, December 27, 2019

Walk on Water



Are you sitting on the edge of your Promised Land? Do you want the promise, but don’t want to face the giant of your own fear? Instead of believing for His promise, do you live a defeated life—wishing but never receiving? 

“Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see” (Hebrews 11:1, NLT).

Faith assures you that no giant can stand against you when faced with the power of God. Faith is your confidence to move forward in His strength, believing He brings about His promise.

“You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised” (Hebrews 10:36, NIV).

What is your vision?  What has God promised you?  If you are wandering in a desert of dry bones, it is time to speak life to what God has promised.

“God will make this happen,” Paul wrote, “for he who calls you is faithful” (I Thessalonians 5:24, NLT). 

His Spirit bids you believe. Step out of your boat and move forward, trusting God to supply all you need to overcome any obstacle. The depths of those waters won’t drown you. With your soul believing what you have already received in your spirit, you will walk on water.

© 2019 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2019/12/walk-on-water.html

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Only Takes a Moment



I’d like to take a line from a song from Hello Dolly. “It only takes a moment to be loved a whole life long.”  And that is true with Jesus. In the one moment you believe in Him, He loves you your whole life long. 

Never question if He still loves you. His love is constant, and He never withdraws it. He loves you with His everlasting love. Jesus makes your life all about His love for you.

Yes, it only takes a moment to be loved your whole life long.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Your Gift is Forever

“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again” (John 3:16-17, MSG).

After all the hurried decorating, shopping, visiting, wrapping presents, and holiday parties, we wait in anticipation for the true meaning of Christmas. Bells have rung out their message of peace while we have busied ourselves with the fun of the season. The world has rushed and hurried into the busy celebration. We have sung Christmas carols, but with the last caroler's fading voice, and the final bell's echoing resonance, all is quiet with the hope of what this season means. We wait breathlessly for the promise of hope for the world.

That promise of hope is in a  baby born, not to condemn us but to save us. In one incredibly miraculous moment in God's great plan, Jesus Christ came into our world as an innocent child. He grew in God's wisdom and understanding. Completely human yet also wholly God, He understood our pain and sufferingHe knew the gift of His life was the only way to pay the debt for our sins. Jesus gave His life for you and for me without hesitation. I stand in awe of His sacrifice and amazing gift of righteousness! He did not stay in the grave. He rose to live again, and He lives in me. His righteousness has taken the place of my sin! Jesus is my Christmas promise that my old sinful nature is forever gone, and I am a thoroughly washed clean by His grace. I am free!

Lord Jesus, I am in awe of your mind-blowing grace―that you would give your life for mine—that you, who had no sin, would tear my sin from me!  My mind yearns to fathom the depths of the gift of your righteousness. My heart rejoices in its promise! You came into the world to pay my debt for sin so I might be free from the pain of suffering, illness, guilt, and shame. I praise you for your continued peace and joy amid life's ups and downs. Thank you for your revelations of grace I discover in your Word—for this journey in life that continually amazes me. You are my peace each day, and my joy in each moment. Use me, Lord Jesus, to share your gift of love. Fill me to write as I have never written.

Jesus, you cried out, “it is finished!”  Your gift of grace lives forever in me. 

© 2019 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2019/12/your-gift-is-forever_24.html




Monday, December 23, 2019

No Longer a Slave to Fear


The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
—John 10:10 (NLT)


Living in fear is not God’s purpose. The enemy plans to destroy your faith. God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind. Jesus gives you a spiritually rich and rewarding life. When you seek His truth and continually allow Him to change the way you think, you discover the abundant and satisfying life He has imparted to you. When you allow His righteousness to claim your thought life, fear of failure—fear of illness—fear of anything fades into the background.

Are you exhausted from lies that run rampant because fear tortures you? Fear not only kills your faith, but it destroys you physically, mentally, and emotionally. You belong to Jesus.  Jesus knows you are His, but you have to recognize it, too, and allow that truth to rule your thought life. When you surrender your mind to Him, He can destroy fear that claims your mind.

If fear has controlled you for a long time, don't miraculously and quickly expect to be delivered from its grasp. Continually choosing to believe the truth that you are His child, and nothing can destroy His finished work, will eventually defeat fear. Oh, there will be battles, but don’t give up and allow the enemy to fill your mind with thoughts that steal, kill, and destroy. You choose to stay the course. You decide every day that God is not the author of your fear. You want to deny the lies. You want to believe the promise of a rich and satisfying life.

One day you will know in your mind what Jesus has placed in your spirit. God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind! He has taken your defeated sinful life and given you His righteousness and power! One day you will know without a doubt that you are not a slave to fear. You are a child of God.

Believe what Jesus has given you. Faith always defeats fear.

© 2019 Lynn Lacher

Friday, December 20, 2019

Ask Believing



And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.
—1 John 5:14-15 (NLT)


What is the desire of your heart this Christmas? He hears your request. He knows exactly what it is and has your provision ready. You can rest assured that He has the best answer for whatever you need. Have confidence in approaching Him. Ask in faith, believing that He will answer. Trust His love for you.

Faith is the key. Confidence grows stronger when you allow His Word to define you instead of your feelings. You choose to believe by faith in what He has completed for you on Calvary. You decide to believe in what you can't see, touch, or feel at the moment. A heart that believes in the redeeming gift of Jesus’ grace has the faith to believe that God can move mountains.

Why are you anxious and worried? “Don’t worry about anything,” Paul wrote. “Instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done (Philippians 4:6, NLT). 

Worry inspires doubt, and doubt breeds fear. And fear is faith's enemy. Choose to believe by faith in the gift of His love for you. Resist worry and doubt. Don’t succumb to fear. Ask in faith, believing in your promise. Especially praise Him for supplying it. 

God is faithful. Trust in Him with all your heart. Don't try to figure out how and when. In everything, live and believe in His love for you. Ask believing. He believes in you. He gave His life for you. 

“Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise (Hebrews 10:23, NLT).

© 2019 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2019/12/ask-believing.html

Thursday, December 19, 2019

The Tablecloth


The pastor who experienced this miracle was  Howard Schade, who passed away many years ago.
+++
The new pastor and his wife were newly assigned to reopen an old and aged church. It was very run down and needed much work. They set a goal to have everything done in time to have their first service on Christmas Eve.

They worked hard cleaning, repairing pews, plastering walls, painting, and more. They were making wonderful progress when a terrible rainstorm hit the area. When the rain ended, the pastor’s heart sank when he saw that the roof had leaked and caused a very large area of plaster to fall off the wall of just behind the pulpit. There wasn’t time to fix it before the opening Christmas Eve service the next day. The pastor cleaned up the mess on the floor and with disappointment in his heart, headed home.
On his way home, he noticed that a local business was having a flea market sale for charity, so he stopped in. One of the items was a beautiful, handmade, ivory colored, ornately stitched tablecloth with exquisite work and beautiful colors. The thought hit him. It was just the right size to cover up the hole in the front wall. He bought it and headed back to the church.
By this time, it had started to snow. As he was approaching the church he noticed an older woman waiting for a bus. He knew there was no bus coming for 45 minutes and encouraged her to wait in the warm church.  She was grateful. She sat in a pew while he got out a ladder and some equipment to see if this beautiful tablecloth could redeem the ugly hole in the wall. When he finished putting it up, he could hardly believe how beautiful it looked! And it covered up the entire problem area. 

Then he noticed the woman walking down the center aisle. Her face was like a sheet. “Reverend,” she asked. “Where did you get that tablecloth?” She immediately asked him to check the lower right corner to see if the initials EBG were stitched there. They were. These were the initials of the woman. She had made this tablecloth 35 years before in Austria.
The woman could hardly believe it as the pastor told how he had just found the tablecloth. The woman explained that before the war, she and her husband lived in Austria. When the Nazis came in, her husband made her leave planning to follow her the next week. He never made it out of the country and was imprisoned. She was told he was dead and never saw her husband or her home again. The pastor wanted to give her the tablecloth, but she made the pastor keep it for the church. He insisted on driving her home. That was the least he could do. She lived on the other side of the city and was only there for an appointment.
What a wonderful Christmas Eve service they had. Many from the neighborhood came out. The Christmas songs and hymns and the Pastor’s words of the humble birth of the Christ child and the humble rebirth of the church touched everyone’s heart. The Christmas spirit was warm in the hearts of all.  At the end of the service, the pastor and his wife thanked each person at the door for attending and many said that they would return.
One older man, whom the pastor had hired to do some painting, continued to sit in one of the pews and stare. The pastor wondered why he wasn’t leaving. The man asked him where he got the tablecloth hanging on the front wall because it was identical to a one that his wife had made years ago when they lived in Austria before the war. He told the pastor that before the Nazis came, he forced his wife to flee the country for her safety. His plan was to follow her a week later, but he was arrested and put in a camp. He never saw his wife or his home again. The pastor asked if he would allow him to take him for a little ride as he answered his question about the tablecloth.

 The Pastor and his wife drove him and to the same house where he had taken the woman three days earlier. He helped the man climb the three flights of stairs to the woman’s apartment, knocked on the door, and he saw the greatest Christmas reunion he could ever imagine. It was truly a Christmas miracle.

“I will give you back what you lost to the swarming locusts, the hopping locusts, the stripping locusts, and the cutting locusts... Once again you will have all the food you want, and you will praise the Lord your God, who does these miracles for you” (Joel 2:25-26, NLT).

www.lynnlacher.com/2019/12/the-tablecloth.html

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Believe This Christmas



For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.
—Luke 2:11 (KJV)

A child is born, but not just any child. He is a child born to save the world from sin. He is a child born to set us free from condemnation, guilt, and shame. He is a child born to give us His righteousness so we might walk in newness of life. This child promises a new life while the world continually brings up the old. This child gives joy while the world offers defeat. He imparts what the world can never impart—His gift of perfect peace and rest.

Why do so many believers live defeated lives? After receiving Jesus, they have not received a revelation of the grace He has given them. Without that divine understanding of the gift of His righteousness for their sin, they live with shame—daily reminded by the enemy of the guilt of sin, which is no longer theirs. 

“For all who mourn in Israel,” Isaiah promised, “he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory” (Isaiah 61:3, NLT).

Instead of mourning over the debt of your past, Jesus gives you a crown of beauty. Instead of ashes from a burned-out life filled with condemnation, He gives you victory. You are no longer in debt to sin. When you understand in the spirit of your mind the new life His righteousness imparts, you live your freedom from guilt and shame. Festive praise rises instead of mourning over what has been. You are a new person in Jesus, and you believe it! In the righteousness He died to give you, you are like a great oak the Lord plants for His glory. You stand firm in Him and unmoved by the lies of the enemy or the world. 

This Christmas, determine to believe in the gift of His righteousness. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you a divine revelation of His grace and what it means in your life. Allow Him to teach you your new identity in Jesus. You will experience God’s peace, which will continually guard your heart and mind. His joy will claim you. His purpose will guide you. His power will sustain you. His promise will fill you. 

Jesus has given you His righteousness for the ashes of your burned-out life. Believe. You don’t need to wallow in the guilt and shame of condemnation anymore—struggling to pay a debt you do not owe. This Christmas ask for His heavenly revelation of the gift of His life for yours. Seek, and you will find.

© 2019 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2019/12/believe-this-Christmas.html

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Feast


God blesses you who are hungry now, for you will be satisfied.
Luke 6:21a (NLT)


 On Christmas Day, you may not have eaten much in anticipation of what you are going to have for your holiday meal. Perhaps, you have waited expectantly for that feast, and you can't wait to be full of its riches. This is just an earthly feast. Its riches don’t last. It is there one moment filling you to overflowing and then leaving you hungry the next. You have partaken of its earthly bounty, but it has offered no lasting sustenance. Its riches have left you deflated. You are empty once more. Like Esau, you have filled yourself with the immediate satisfaction of a rich blessing, but unlike Esau, you don’t have to miss the promise of a lasting one.


Jesus' feast is like no earthly one. He prepares a table of spiritual riches that satisfies the most profound void in your life. His feast isn't devoured in an instant and then gone the next. His feast is everlasting, and the richness of its offering is constant. When you hunger spiritually for what He has prepared for you, your emptiness is satisfied. Sometimes you come in desperation. Feasting hungrily on His riches, you discover sustenance and help for your time of need. Other times you come with a deep hunger to receive understanding, which offers joy and peace no matter your earthly circumstance. And sometimes you come to bask in the richness of His glory. But you come. You take in the wealth of His truth, and its nutrition fuels and nurtures your life. Each morsel of His grace fills you with what earthly riches could never give. You feast on the unshakeable Kingdom of God―His feast that never ends.


This Christmas come hungry to His table. Feast upon His unending bounty. Feast upon His truth and promises in His Word. Feast upon His presence. Feast upon His grace. Feast upon the One who created you and delights in you. Feast upon the incredible gift of His life given in unconditional love so that you might partake of all He has for you. Feast upon the Father who calls you His child. 


“You are my beloved child,” He whispers. “Come and be filled. Feast and never hunger again.”

© 2019 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2019/12/feast.html

Monday, December 16, 2019

Spiritual Gifts


“There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us. A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another, the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge. The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have” (1 Corinthians 12:4-11, NLT). 

Christmas. It is the time of gift-giving when God gave us the greatest gift of all—His son, Jesus Christ.  Because Jesus willingly gave His life, the Holy Spirit imparts spiritual gifts to those who believe in Him. These are gifts that the Lord has chosen for us to help build and edify believers in Jesus Christ. Whatever spiritual gifts God has chosen for each one of us, we exercise each gift for the benefit of believers. When using our spiritual gifts in the way that the Holy Spirit desires, believers are encouraged and receive a passion for sharing the love and grace of Jesus. 

Whatever spiritual gifts the Holy Spirit has bestowed upon you, allow Him to use them unpretentiously in your life. Don't neglect them. Use them under His divine direction. If they are not exercised humbly in His power, those gifts will remain fruitless in your life. Your brother or sister in Christ will not be edified. In fact, spiritual damage may be the result. 

How you use each gift reveals if God's grace has continually transformed and empowered your life. If you surrender each spiritual gift to Him, He will use your life beyond what you believe you are capable of doing. Through each surrendered gift, believers will hunger for more of Him. Prayer will be cherished and rewarding; peace will be the norm; the Word will bring continued revelation, and unstoppable grace will flow to each life in its path.

The Lord has chosen your gifts wisely, but for you to know the gifts that He has chosen, you spend time with Him. You seek Him and not any gift. You do not choose your gifts. He chooses and bestows as He wishes because He knows which are the best for you.

Love Him only and not what He bestows. Don’t be afraid of any gift. Open your heart and use what He pours into you. Don't ever neglect what He has chosen for your greatest potential. When you have experienced what He can accomplish through your surrendered life, you yearn to be consumed by all of His power. You cry out in complete surrender, just as Peter did, “Lord, wash all of me!”

The grace of Jesus is the gift that keeps on giving through you. The Holy Spirit challenges you to believe beyond yourself.  Trust Him. 

© 2019 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2019/12/spiritual-gifts.html

Friday, December 13, 2019

Give His Love


It is almost impossible to believe another year has passed. 2020 is just around the corner. I remember the Christmas in 1968 Pat placed an engagement ring on my finger. It seems like yesterday, but the years tell a different story. Grady was born in 1970. Tricia joined our family in 1972. On we advanced through the many years with our two children married, giving us grandchildren and a great-grandchild to bring joy. 

There have been so many life lessons to be learned throughout my 71 years. There have been joys, and there have been heart-wrenching times. Mama passed away in 2013. Daddy passed away in January of 2018. Through all of this life, Jesus has been my anchor, my peace, my promise, my fulfillment.  And His love is the gift that I have offered over and over again. It is the gift that I will offer until the moment I leave this earth to live with Him.

This Christmas, I celebrate His life for mine—His grace that fills me with love beyond what I can humanly give. I celebrate my family and friends, and those God continually brings into my life. This life is a beautiful gift we often squander or waste. Each moment is a chance to love with His love. That moment to love will never come again. Love those who are in your life. This Christmas, celebrate life with your family and friends because you never know how long you may have the opportunity. Celebrate the gift of His life that you have been so graciously given. 

I pray you allow His love to fill your heart this Christmas beyond what you have ever experienced! Give His love away, and you will continually receive. Now I pray “to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy! All glory to him who alone is God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen” (Jude 1:24-25, NLT)!

© 2019 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2019/12/give-his-love.html

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Full Expression



No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.
I John 4:12 (NLT)

No, I’ve never physically seen God, but I experience Him every day. I see and experience Him in the actions of those who unconditionally love with His love. I receive Him in their forgiveness that looks beyond my limitations and recognizes my need. They believe in His best in me when I can’t see it myself. They encourage me even when I fail. They cheer me on to not give up reaching for His best. They don't hit me over the head when I miss the mark. They keep believing in the person Jesus sees in me. And they give me time to find my way, never doubting that I will believe what I have received in Him. When I believe, I will never doubt again what He has freely given. And when I don’t doubt, I live without fear and share His love just the way others have shared it with me.

When I choose to love with His love, He is alive in me, and His love is brought to full expression in my life. Some believe that living the unconditional love of Jesus is a risk—that someone will take advantage of what has been freely given. It is not a risk to love with His love. It is a risk not to love with His love. Believing in what Jesus sees in someone else can be life-changing for them and life-changing for you.  Not forcing it and not getting frustrated when you don’t see change is the answer. Jesus never gets frustrated with you. He sees you through the eyes of loving grace. Jesus can't see you any other way because He has already given up His “rights." He never demands. He just loves.

“Rights are where survivors go,” William Young writes, “so they don't have to work out relationships.” 

You don't have to fight for survival. Jesus gave you His best to survive! He gave us His “rights” when He said yes to the Cross. Life is about living out relationships, and Jesus revealed how to love others no matter how they respond in return. Christ's love is all about extending undeserved grace. He did not deserve to die for me and extend me undeserved grace, but He did. He chose not to exercise any "rights." He chose to sacrifice His life. If I choose to honor the gift of His life by giving my own away, I will discover precious truths. In giving myself away, I receive the joy of His abundance. In dying to self, I learn to live victoriously and entirely in Him. 

I experience the full expression of His love when I daily choose to deny my rights just as He denied His rights for me. With the full expression of His love flowing within me, I can never withhold what I have received. I give His love away. 

Give as He gave His life for you, and you will receive—pressed down and running over. Free of self, you flow without limitation in Him.  And His gift goes on. A life changes, and so do you.

© 2019 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2019/12/full-expression.html

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Your Gift


Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words!
—2 Corinthians 9:15 NLT

If you are someone who feels alone this Christmas, I might not understand what you are going through. I might not understand what it means to be without a husband or children at Christmas. But I do understand loss. Mother is gone. Daddy passed last year. I understand the sadness you feel when those you love have passed from your life.

Companies, like Hallmark, remind you that Christmas is a time for love and for families—a time for sharing presents and home. Warm and cozy feelings are their goals—along with a hot cup of cocoa to soothe and renew your visions of sugar plum sweetness. Over and over again, you are reminded that what the retail world tells you is real. And loneliness is magnified. Loss becomes greater. Despair draws you in, and you feel abandoned—adrift without hope in a world that has left you behind. The truth is you are not alone. You aren't abandoned. Jesus loves you with the purest unconditional love. 

Jesus was not born into a world of sugar plum sweetness. He was born in a lowly manger with little comfort because there was no room for him in the inn. He came alone, without fanfare, to offer himself to be your greatest gift. He was born to give his life with no expectation of return. Never needing to be earned, His love was freely given, costing you nothing. Abandoned because of our sin, He experienced loneliness as you will never know it. And in His brokenness for you, He imparted the ultimate gift of His righteousness so that you might experience God's fullness and joy no matter your circumstance or pain. Jesus is the only answer to loneliness. He is the only answer to the pain of loss.

If you feel alone, you are not abandoned or alone. Your Comforter has come so you can rest in His loving grace. His heart understands, and His grace heals the loneliness you feel. He took your loneliness at Calvary, and for your pain—your loss, He rendered His life as the highest offering. His gift for you is freedom from pain and loss. There is no greater love than His love, which came to heal your heart and set you free from emotional bondage. Jesus blesses you with the joy of His grace.

 When Jesus is your greatest love, a loss does not consume. You know His truth beyond feeling. You live peace that the gift of His life has given you. You walk in His love and assurance. You might have experienced loss, but you have gained Him. And His grace sets you free.

When you understand that the grace of Jesus is sufficient for your need, your heart is healed by truth instead of bombarded by feelings of despair. You walk in His newness of life unscathed by feelings by loss. His grace continually strengthens you.

Believe in Him. You possess the greatest gift of all.

© 2019 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2019/12/your-gift.html

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

No Better Gift



You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross. So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths. For these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come. And Christ himself is that reality.
—Colossians 2:13-17 (NLT)

Do you realize that because you have been made alive with Christ, your sinful nature has been cut away by the finished work of His grace?  When you believed in Jesus as your Savior, you were forgiven for all of your sins. God canceled the debt of your sin because Jesus paid for it with His life. All your sins were nailed to the cross with Him.

Why do you live in fear that you will not be “good enough” to be loved by Jesus when He has already loved you with His life? The gift of His righteous life has made you His in every way!  Jesus didn’t judge and condemn you when He chose to pay for your sin. He looked beyond your sinful state and saw your need and met it with His life. His grace cut your sin away. If He had come into the world to judge you, He would have never died to save you.

“If you are trying to make yourself right with God by keeping the law” Paul wrote, “you have been cut off from Christ. You have fallen away from God’s grace” (Galatians 5:4, NLT). Jesus never leaves you. You move away from Him when you don’t allow His grace to transform you. Paul doesn't say here that falling from God's grace is falling back into sin. He says that falling from God's grace is when you struggle to make yourself right by keeping rules. You can't change your heart by following rules. Only Jesus transforms you by the power of His grace.  

Throughout Scripture, Jesus disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities with the simplicity of His Good News. We make His grace less when we make rules and regulations more important than the finished work of the Cross. When we make the law more valuable than His grace, the Holy Spirit still disarms the rules and regulations of authorities. Our traditions are only that—traditions that we perceive. The grace of Jesus opens the throne room of God to us. His presence is our place of safety—not a place of fear where we struggle for acceptance.

Don’t feel condemned if you believe you don’t keep all the “rules” perfectly. “The Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 4:17, NLT).  The do’s and don’ts—the rules—are only a shadow of His reality. Jesus Himself is the reality. Jesus was the perfection that He alone could attain. 

How do you experience a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit?  By believing in the gift of His righteousness. By believing in the complete and finished work of the Cross. By believing He will never leave you or forsake you. By accepting, you are forever forgiven. By believing and being transformed in the spirit of your mind. Faith in Jesus and the gift of His righteousness is the answer.

But we who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive by faith the righteousness God has promised to us. For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, there is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love” (Galatians 5:5-6).

There is no benefit in the do's and the don'ts. Your profit is in Jesus. You are alive in Christ! You are free to be loved beyond the mind's ability to grasp. Soak Him in. He is yours. There is no better gift this Christmas.

© 2019 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2019/12/no-better-gift.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...