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Thursday, January 31, 2019

Love


If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing.
–1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NLT)


Without the love of Jesus in my life, I am nothing. In the end, love is all that matters. I may speak with other tongues or have spiritual gifts like prophecy and knowledge, but without love for others, these things earn me absolutely nothing. I can have a faith that moves mountains, but without love my faith is meaningless.

The grace of Jesus has changed my life. But I am a work in progress as He continually fills me with a love which longs to see the best in others—to forgive as He forgives—to give as He gives. His grace inspires love without judgment and expectation. Sometimes this is hard, but the Holy Spirit imparts life to what is hard. He softens my heart and changes my perspective.

No matter how right I think I am, love is patient and kind and does not insist on its way. Love is not jealous of someone’s else achievement. It calls me to not boast about my own. Anything I have accomplished isn't important. Love bids me never to keep a record of things that have been done to me or said about me. His grace sees beyond wrongs and forgives. Love hates injustice to others and rejoices when justice wins. Love believes and fights for the person without hope. “Love,” Paul writes, “never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance” (1 Corinthians 13:7, NLT).

Ministry without His love has no life and no power. Without His grace, arrogance and pride grow exponentially. Work for Him becomes more important than love, and what you do becomes more important than He is in your life. In the end, works accomplished without grace don’t matter. What lasts is faith in Jesus, hope in His truth, and love without judgment. The greatest thing is love.

My debt is gone. There is no reason for me to put someone else in my debt. Grace yields more grace. When love is free to me, and I offer it freely to others, there is no greater joy! 


© 2019 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2019/01/love.html

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Just His Righteousness


Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
—2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)

When you accept Jesus Christ into your heart, you are a new person. The old life is over, and you have a new one. That is so true, but how often the inference has been “now act like it.” Your new life is not acting out your new life. It is Jesus being your new life. You can’t make yourself right. Only Jesus can impart righteousness, and you received it when you accepted Him as your Savior.  He took your sin and replaced it with His righteousness. Without understanding this amazing gift you received, you endlessly strive to live right. And you are forever frustrated by failure. If you could have lived right on your own, there would have been no need for a Savior. 

You “felt” so good when Jesus came into your heart! And then that joy gradually faded as life happened. Your mind has to process and understand what you “felt.” You can’t go on feelings, because your natural mind will always betray you. Knowledge of who you are in Jesus is crucial to understanding your new life. Until, you are renewed in the “spirit of your mind,” by God’s Truth, you will keep struggling in your strength. The Word is your revelation—your teacher to explain what Jesus "bought" for you and "brought" to you. When the Holy Spirit renews your mind, you take on the attributes of Christ. You can hear the voice of the Holy Spirit guiding and empowering you. Living right is then born of His Spirit and not of anything you do right. When living right is your accomplishment, you might tend to boast about it. When it is His, He is glorified, and you live "righteously” because He has made the change. Not you.

Spiritual growth comes with understanding how His gift of righteousness has changed your life. The Old Covenant died with Jesus. The New One was born with Jesus. Your old life died. Your new one began. You are a new person freed from the requirements of the law only because Jesus did what you never could. You could not pay the price. Just His righteousness could.



© 2019 Lynn Lacher


Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Fullness of Joy


You will show me the path of life. In Your presence is fullness of joy. At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
—Psalm 16:11 (NKJV)


Lord, my path lies before me. You are always with me. Your peace becomes as natural as breathing as I grow to understand what you imparted to me at Calvary. You gave me all of you, and you took all of me. Ripping all of my sins, my pain, my fears from me, you gave me your life. Where I was once guilty, I became innocent with your righteousness. My old sinful nature was gone, and I was new in you. At the cross, you poured every resource I would ever need to carry me abundantly through this life into the next.

Abundant life is your presence, Jesus! I have a fullness of joy no matter what life brings. When I accepted you into my heart by faith, you opened up the resources of heaven to me. For many years, I didn’t understand what that meant. I had to allow you to renew my mind—to change the way I think about you. I don’t have to live in fear that I can never be good enough. I don’t have to struggle anymore seeking just one thing to make me perfect. You accept me. Your grace has set me free! Now, Jesus, I am humbled and amazed at your love. Peace is your constant gift. Joy spills over into the hard days of life. The enemy tries to lie, but his voice fades in comparison to yours. Thank you, Lord, for your sacrifice which saved me from myself and imparted everything I need to walk in this life. Filled with joy, I am free in your grace.

Your blood, unselfishly given for me, brings overwhelming peace. In your presence, I find incredible joy. I have no debt! I can run into your arms without hesitation. You said no more to my sin­—to my pain–to my fear. You said it is finished. I have abundant life with you now, and abundant life with you in heaven. You sit at your father’s right hand praying for me as I live out my days on this earth—waiting, just as I am, in anticipation for the day I will be home.

© 2019 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2019/01/fullness-of-joy.html

Monday, January 28, 2019

No Greater Love


If God loved you enough to send His son to die for you, why would he be mad at you?  Many believers live in this state of fear—that the Lord is just waiting to punish them for something they have done. God doesn't punish you. He has forgiven you. He sees you through the eyes of grace—not judgment. You are His child, and you belong to Him.

You don’t need to live in a constant state of fear. “God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7, NKJV). There is no joy in dwelling on what you have done. You are very aware that you have failed. If you keep your mind on Jesus and His gift of incredible grace, failure will not define your life. Joy will be your banner. You will know in the spirit of your mind that you have received forgiveness. You will live in the peaceful freedom of His grace. 

“So have I sworn,” the Lord speaks through Isaiah, “that I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you. For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed, but my kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall my covenant of peace be removed” (Isaiah 54:9b-10, NKJV). The time is coming, Isaiah says, when there will no longer be a need for God to be angry with you or rebuke you. Well, the time is now. Jesus has reconciled you to God. Circumstances may rage around you, but His kindness will hold you. His covenant of peace is secured. Choose to believe this is true. There is no need for God to be angry at your failure. Jesus paid the price for it. At the cross, He became your covenant of peace. 

“When bad things happen to us,” Tricia Gunn shares in Unveiling Jesus,“or when we do bad things, we need to hang onto this truth that God is not mad at us. God has made an enduring covenant with us and wants us to rest in His presence of love. He will never be angry with us—not because we are good, but because the work of His Son on our behalf is perfect and finished.”

The Truth is “he (God) made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21, NKJV). Jesus became your sin. He gave you His righteousness.

Isaiah prophesied of this promise, “In righteousness you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you” (Isaiah 54:14, NKJV). 

When you believe by His grace that Jesus has established you in righteousness—and not of anything you have done—the pressure to be good enough is removed. You will not live in oppression. You will not fear. You will live in peace, joyfully realizing that God is not mad at you. After all, He sent His own Son to die for you.

There is no greater love than this.

© 2019 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2019/01/no-greater-love.html

Friday, January 25, 2019

Spirit, Soul, Body


May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it
—1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 (NIV)

Just as God is three‑in-one—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—so am I. I am spirit, soul, and body. The body is seen. My soul is what some might call my personality. It indeed is where my mind and emotions determine my attitude. My body and soul are tied together. For example, what I hear with my ears directly effects how I feel. If I have a terrible fear, that fear affects my physical health. Who I believe I am is who I see when I look in the mirror. 

Soul (mind) and body comprise the flesh. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:6, NJKV). My spirit is separate from my soul and body. They don’t communicate naturally. I can’t access the spirit in any natural way. But my spirit is where the Holy Spirit speaks. My spirit is also the conduit for the power of God. “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also" (James 2:26, NKJV). The life-giving part of me is the spirit. The soul is where I “flesh out” what the spirit receives. Without the spirit, I have no life. Without the spirit whatever work I “do” for Him has no life.

You cannot feel or hear spiritual truth. The only way to understand spiritual truth is through the Word. “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63, NKJV). If you want to understand what your spirit is like, you must go to God's Word. You can't go by feelings. “For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was” (James 1:23, 24, NKJV). The Word of God is like a mirror you look into to see your spiritual face—certainly not the natural one your mind reveals to you. The Word reveals who you are in your born-again spirit. 

I have never looked directly at my face. I have always looked at my reflection and believed what my mirror told me. The Word of God is a perfect reflection of what spiritual truth is. The Word of God gives me a perfect representation of my spiritual self, and it is the only way to see who God says I am. I want to be tied to the spiritual part instead of believing what my natural man says I believe. I want the Holy Spirit to determine my emotions and what I think. My soul is the clearinghouse, and it is where I find renewal in the way I think. Jesus lives in me. If I draw near to God in my born-again spirit, He is closer to me. My soul draws near to who He says I am, and I believe the truth of His Word in my mind—in my soul.

© 2019 Lynn Lacher







Thursday, January 24, 2019

Praise


“Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name”(Hebrews 13:15, NIV).

Praise. It is my offering to God through the gift of His son Jesus Christ. When faced with my most difficult circumstance, I have peace. Praise brings me into His presence. Worry dispells fear. Clarity reigns above confusion. Praising the Savior who brought me new life dissipates fear of the unknown, and holds me safely in His promise.

In praise, I change in the spirit of my mind. No matter how difficult my problem or my circumstance—no matter how fearful my thought—praise always changes my outlook. Praise in the midst of hardship breaks down inner walls. Praise in the midst of fear releases faith. When things are hard—when fear persists—when problems overwhelm, I rejoice that he knows me, and no weapon that tries to destroy my peace will succeed. Filled with a joy His grace imparts, I realize His blessings that sometimes slip by unobserved.

“Why am I discouraged?” David cried out. “Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again— my Savior and my God” (Psalm 42:11, NLT). In the midst of Saul’s attempt to destroy him, David placed His hope in God. He gave God a sacrifice of praise. He had no one else to encourage him to trust God, so he encouraged himself. Jesus has given me something that David didn’t have when faced with his fear. The Savior in which David put His hope was a God of judgment. His Son, Jesus Christ, has taken the judgment I deserve! And now I have an intimate relationship with God. I can praise God through the gift of His righteousness which has changed my life. Joy in my heart which blossoms into praise—no matter what is going on in my life—is the gift of my Savior. And it comes from His Grace.

My sacrifice of praise is NOTHING compared to His sacrifice. Giving God constant praise is a decision that I shall worship Him no matter how I feel or what is going on in my life. As I keep putting on the new nature that I received from Jesus, my thoughts renew until praise comes from a heart that knows beyond anything I imagine or experience that He is faithful to carry me safely through each moment of life. My heart and mind no longer focus on any pain, or any fear, but on His faithfulness and His blessings. I praise Him—knowing that my praise is my promise to give Him glory no matter what happens in my life.

“I will praise you in the great assembly.” David proclaimed, “I will fulfill my vows in the presence of those who worship you. The poor will eat and be satisfied. All who seek the Lord will praise him. Their hearts will rejoice with everlasting joy” (Psalm 22:25-26, NLT)!  

Where David once fulfilled his vow to God, Jesus has now fulfilled His vow to me! Grace flows in praise! Those who are poor in faith will receive greater trust to believe! Their hunger will be satisfied! Those who seek the Lord will praise and rejoice with everlasting joy! Not temporary joy, but eternal joy! His grace shall flow from my life into the lives of others! It is the assurance of Calvary. 

© 2019 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2019/01/praise.html

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

An Amazing Secret


            “I know what it is to be in need,” Paul wrote, “and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want"(Philippians 4:12, NIV). 

            Peace and contentment come from knowing who you are in Jesus Christ—that He loved you enough to die for you. He accepts you! Not only that! In His eyes, you are good enough. He only sees you through the eyes of Grace. You don’t have to continually strive to be perfect. You are loved because He took all your inability to be perfect to the cross. Jesus took your sins. He took your failures. Then why do you try so hard to perfectly sacrifice yourself, when Jesus, the only Perfect Sacrifice, wiped out your debt? 

            Striving to live without any fault is self-defeating. If you dwell on the fear of falling into sin all the time, where is your focus? On sin. If you dwell on the love of Jesus and the gift He imparted to you at Calvary, where is your focus? On Grace. Jesus can only keep you in His perfect peace when your mind and your thoughts are fixed on Him instead of your failures and sins. Do you strive to make your life picture-perfect? Without realizing it, you attempt to please or satisfy an impossible expectation of your own or someone else. You burn out striving to reach what is never enough and become defeated because you or someone else is never satisfied.

            Paul's contentment came from knowing who He was in Jesus Christ. He didn’t need to be recognized by others for sacrificing himself for the sake of Christ. There was nothing to prove or show. He also trusted God in whatever circumstance he found himself. Of course, he didn't want to be in prison, and he certainly didn't want to be dependent on others to provide for his needs. But, no matter what he faced, he was content. His eyes were not on what was around him but upon His Savior. He knew God’s peace and had a purpose that only God could fulfill in his life. Incarceration could not stop him from trusting God to meet all his needs. His chains could not keep him from his purpose to write of God's grace. He had learned the secret of being content in every circumstance. It was the grace of Jesus.

            Meeting Jesus on the road to Damascus had changed not only his heart but his perspective. He had been blind, but then his eyes opened. He had a life-changing encounter with the Perfect Sacrifice for his sins. Paul did not strive to be good enough in His work for the Gospel. His missionary work was an outpouring of what the Cross had given Him—a new life and peace knowing that in the eyes of His Savior, He was good enough. Paul lived in the freedom of God's grace. He yearned to share this Good News which had set him free!

            Do you struggle to be good enough? If you are struggling, you are living a works mindset instead of Grace’s freedom. 

            Tricia Gunn in her book, Unveiling Jesus, writes, “You can tell when you are under grace, living in freedom every day because you have certain qualities about you. For example, you have:
            
            nothing to hide,
            nothing to prove,
            nothing to gain,
            nothing to lose,
            no one to convince,
            no one to impress.”
            
            “You don’t need followers,” Tricia Gunn continues. “You don’t need man’s approval. You are marked with joy and peace and security. You are free to serve and free to love.”

            Just like Paul, you are free to serve! You are free to love! Living in the freedom of His grace, you know peace no matter what life presents. You look at life’s trials knowing the Savior who gave you His life has brought peace to yours. Paul had contentment and peace no matter what life presented him. When his blind eyes opened, all the power of the gospel poured into his life. The Grace of Jesus is Paul’s secret for contentment and peace. It is also the amazing secret for yours.

© 2019 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2019/01/an-amazing-secret.html

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

A Selfless Attitude


You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. 
—Philippians 2:5 (NLT)


         In Philippians 2:1-11 Paul writes about the selfless attitude of Jesus Christ. Though he had every right to think highly of himself—though He was sinless and could have placed His power to live above our need for salvation, Jesus humbled himself and following the will of His Father, gave His life for you and me. Choosing to humble himself—thinking less of himself and more of us —He chose us. 

         In verse 5 we are reminded that we, also, are to have this same attitude. When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we receive His finished work. We receive the mind of Christ, but our beliefs don't change until we allow the soul to be transformed and renewed by His grace. In our born-again spirit resides the life-changing power of the cross. By continually surrendering to His grace—just as He yielded His life for our sin—we are transformed by this power until our needs begin to change. Life is not about us. It is about His heart for broken lives. As we choose to love without expectation, to share without recognition, to give without return, we grow to understand what He has unselfishly given us—His goodness—His mercy—His love which has no limit. When we understand this truth, we are unburdened by our needs and are free to love unconditionally. We have no agenda or need to be recognized. Self becomes less so He, who lives in us, can be more.

        At the cross love bombarded sin. Righteousness overcame the curse of ugliness, impurity of heart and mind. New life was a completed work which became real in our spirit when we were saved. But for it to be real in our attitudes and actions, it has to be fleshed out in our perception of who we are in Him. We have to allow the Holy Spirit to change that perception and the way we think.

         Is it hard for you to exhibit this selfless attitude? You are new—a changed person in Christ. You have a fresh spirit filled with His promise. The old has passed away. But for your soul—your mind—to get it, you must be renewed by His grace in the way you think. You choose to love with His love, and the Holy Spirit enables your choice. His grace breaks the hardness of heart which has been ingrained. It breaks spiritual lies which have claimed your mind. Allow the fruit He infused into your life to be what determines your attitude. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, which, when enabled by the Holy Spirit, reveal the selfless mind of Jesus.

         When you are hungry enough to realize that without His grace you cannot have a selfless mind change, you surrender to the process of renewing your mind. Living the loving attitude of Christ becomes His work and nothing to which you can claim any right. By faith continually act upon what you have determined is true, and His grace will make it your reality.

© 2019 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2019/01/a-selfless-attitude.html


Monday, January 21, 2019

Dare to Dream Big


Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. 
—Ephesians 3:20 (NLT)


Often, we don’t get the fact that at Calvary Jesus gave us everything we need to achieve what He knows we have the potential to accomplish. We limit Him in our thoughts. When we don’t allow the Holy Spirit to use the gift of our imagination to see beyond the blinders of our natural mind, we can’t see visions. We can’t, as our pastor said yesterday, “dream big.”

Do you dream big? God has a plan and a purpose for your life. Perhaps, you have had an idea and put it aside because it seemed unattainable. It looked that way because you thought it. And as you think, that is what you believe. Belief shapes who you think you are. Continually seeking to understand the gift of Grace Jesus imparted to you, will change the way you think. His work in you is not something that was left unfinished. His sacrifice completely changed you. You received the fruit of the Spirit. You gained His power. You won the mind of Christ. But for you to be transformed—to realize that you are a new person, your mind needs to be continually renewed by the power of the Holy Spirit. If you want to believe who He says you are, surrender to Him. Think outside the limits of your natural mind. 

Our God is a God of infinite vision. Throughout the Bible, He revealed himself to man in dreams and visions. Jesus poured all the power of His heavenly father into you at Calvary. He poured all the wealth of His father’s dreams and visions into your spirit. “I will pour out my Spirit upon all people,” Joel prophesized long before Jesus changed everything. “Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams, and your young men will see visions. In those days I will pour out my Spirit even on servants—men and women alike” (Joel 2:28-29, NLT).

His vision flows without ceasing. Open your mind to believe and receive. Dare to see with His eyes. Dare to hear with His ears. Dare to understand who He has created you to be. Dare to dream big. You are a new person in Jesus. The possibilities are endless.

© 2019 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2019/01/dare-to-dream-big.html

Friday, January 18, 2019

Believe and Trust


Toil. Work. Strive. Get ahead. Make more money. Have more, and want more. The world pushes us on, and we succumb to its siren call until life becomes a vast empty void of desire instead of the gift God intended. With that enormous empty void to be filled, worry puts down deep roots. When worry takes residence in our thoughts, we lose the spiritual understanding that the void can never be filled with the things of this world. It can only be filled with His presence.

In Matthew 6, Jesus explains how much God loves and cares for us. “If God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need” (Matthew 6:30-33, NLT). 

The Lord knows our needs. When He died for our sins, we received a new nature—His righteousness. It was not a partial gift. It was complete work. We received all the resources of our new Father. Understanding this truth is so hard for the human mind to grasp. But when we are transformed by consistently putting on the new nature, our thinking changes. Our perception changes. We see with His eyes. As we draw closer to Him, He becomes more important than any need, whether actual or perceived. We believe that He provides beyond what our natural minds can imagine.

My father was a Quaker, and he was taught that simplicity of life was something to be sought. Although God provided everything my father needed financially, he realized that joy and fulfillment were not to be found in what you owned. There were only found in who you were in the Lord. One of the last things he told, Christina, his nurse, was “Jesus saves.” He left this life the way he came into it—with nothing. But he left a gift to his family that could never be lost—a legacy of love and faith.

Seek the presence of the Holy Spirit. Draw Him into your empty void until the things you think you need are no more. The stock market may plunge or peak. Circumstances may whirl beyond comprehension. The government may play political chess, but you will remain secure in His love. Have faith that He has already supplied all you need. Jesus lived a life of simplicity of grace, yet left us filled with the richness of God. It is as simple yet as rich as that fact. Believe and trust in Him. 

© 2019 Lynn Lacher

www.lynnlacher.com/2019/01/believe-and-trust.html




Thursday, January 17, 2019

Generous Wisdom


         When you face a trial, do you yearn for wisdom to handle it? “If any of you lacks wisdom,” James writes, “he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given him” (James 1:5, NIV).  Do you feel overwhelmed by a hard circumstance and don't know where to turn? The Lord waits for you to seek and trust His wisdom. 

         James not only instructs you to pray for wisdom, but he tells you to pray to believe you will receive it. If you pray for wisdom and do not receive it, it is probably not because you do not have enough faith. The Word says that faith the size of a little mustard seed can move mountains. James identifies the problem as being "double-minded.” James says such a person is unstable in everything he does (James 1:8). God grants wisdom to a person who single-mindedly trusts Him. He has the clarity of mind to understand that without God’s wisdom, he will fail. When this single-minded person seeks God’s wisdom, he receives it generously.

         Do you feel you have faith the size of a mustard seed, but your mountain won’t move? It is not your place to move your mountain. It is His. Focus on God's truth instead of your problem. When you were born-again, you received everything you need to live a victorious life. Your mind is where you believe what you have received. You have the power to trust Him. Seek to understand the truth of what you received when He saved you, and what He will accomplish when you believe Him. If you give all your energy to analyzing your problem instead of trusting the Lord, you will be double-minded. 

         “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast,” the Word instructs, “because they trust in you” (Isaiah 26:3, NIV). Your problem is never the real issue. Trusting Him is the real issue. “Let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes,” Paul writes. “Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy” (Ephesians 4:23-24, NLT). When you daily decide to put on your nature, the Holy Spirit is able to renew your thoughts. He changes your perspective from half-empty to half-full. You realize that He created you to be like Him—righteous without the fear of failure. When you allow Him to change the way you think, He gives you wisdom without finding fault! You are empowered to handle anything that comes your way. 

© 2019 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2019/01/generous-wisdom.html



         

          

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Growing Faith


So 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)


Have you heard some news that turns your world upside down? Perhaps you have heard that you face a horrifying illness that can take your life. Or maybe someone you love faces forces beyond their control. I have been in your shoes. I have known the fear that rises when you hear news like that. The report that tried to destroy me, but then ultimately healed me, came years ago when I was told I had a melanoma. Unable to handle the fear that was raging, I became convinced it would kill me before any cancer.

The Word became my life. I needed help and answers, and I believed with all my heart I could find them in the Word. I discovered 2 Timothy 1:7. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (KJV).  God had not given me this “spirit” of fear, but one of power, one of love, and one of a sound mind. This fear, of course, was not from him, and greater still, He had given me the power to overcome it. The promise was that it was possible to know His love and have a mind free from torment. How could I discover that power and peace?

It was at this time I discovered Philippians 4:6-7. I had read these verses before, but now I clung to them as if drowning. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (NIV). This fear had to be addressed before I could even consider what was next. These two verses helped me tackle fear on a daily basis. I believed what they told me, and I wanted to know His peace through what was coming in my life. Every day they helped me to give my fear to God for what that day had to offer. His peace soon started to overcome the fear.

I wanted to have greater faith to believe that this illness would be conquered. And then I found a verse that revealed to me my responsibility on this journey. ''Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospers” (3 John 2, NKJV). Paul might have been speaking to Gaius, but in these words, God spoke straight to my heart. Above all things, God wished me to prosper and have health. “Even as my soul prospers” told me that with spiritual growth I would realize the faith to believe in His promise of healing.

One night the Lord reached down and set me free—from the fear and from cancer. Through the years my faith to believe I am safe in Him has grown stronger and stronger. I can rest in His love. Peace is a precious gift that I treasure. He guards my mind and my thoughts. This experience is not just for me. God does not regard one person as more special than another. What He has done for me, He will do for you. 

His power to win the war against your fear is available at all times. Fear can be defeated. Choose to believe Him, and His truth for your life. Claim it daily. Exercise what He has given—your mustard seed of faith. Faith grows with determination. When you are desperate enough, nothing stands in your way to seek Him. You can never ask too much of God. His provision is unending. He has made a way to deliver what is needed for your journey. You are His child, and He will not forsake you. He is in this for the long haul. And He will do as He says.

© 2019 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2019/01/growing-faith.html

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Freedom of Grace


The law came along to multiply the trespass. But where sin multiplied, grace multiplied even more so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace will reign through righteousness, resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
—Romans 5:20-21 (HCSB)


Lord, Jesus, I can't be good enough! I try to be good enough, but I just can't!  I try to believe in Jesus! I try not to accept the lies of the enemy. I try not to fear. I try to control my thoughts. My thoughts are raging. My mind has no peace. Lord, I’m all over the map. Help me!


Do you know someone who deals with this kind of perspective? There is no peace if you have a performance-based mentality—one that says you are only accepted by God if you are perfect and if you perform correctly. This kind of works mentality comes from a perfection mindset—one that says you are only good enough if you live up to specific requirements. A born-again Christian with this kind of attitude has trouble receiving the joy Jesus imparts. He sees law ruling his life instead of enjoying what Jesus has given Him—a new life. Jesus fulfilled the requirements of Old Testament law. His grace made everything new. He longs for you to understand that you are free from the law’s standard of never being good enough. His love set you free at Calvary, but you haven't realized it. When you keep putting on the new nature you received when you asked Him into your heart, you are renewed in your mind. You begin to see the Word in a whole new light. The imperatives of the New Testament inspire joy. You look at Old Testament law through the eyes of His grace. You love His truth because He loves you. You understand that His love is enough, and you can never be.


“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). No longer does the fear of sin rule your life! But if you are trying to please God by performing the law perfectly, you will drive yourself crazy. You are free when you understand that He has made you righteous. The only true freedom you can ever know lives in your born-again spirit. "If the Son, therefore, shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed" (John 8:36, KJV). I love the King James Version that says "free indeed." Other versions say "through and through." If He has freed me from sin, then I am FREED from sin. It is a complete work–not a partial one, but a finished one. 


His work in me is His work—not mine, but I must allow Him to renew my mind. This will always be one that calls for perseverance. “Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:4, NASV). If you persevere to grow in His grace, you will not lack in His power to believe that you are free. His grace will abound more and more! Your deliverance is appropriated by faith in Jesus who healed you at Calvary—who saved you from sin. You can experience the depth and power of His grace!


The requirements of the law have ended. Jesus has fulfilled them by becoming your perfect sacrifice. The Bible is no longer a book of rules and regulations that must be flawlessly performed. His love cost you nothing. It cost Him everything. Grace has set you free. Living for Him and loving with His love becomes as natural as breathing. You are freed from sin’s condemnation. His grace has changed everything.


Seek to understand what the depth of His love bought for you—not only eternal life but abundant life now. Grace reigns in righteousness. It soars in love! The law defeats grace. It results in death! Choose His grace, and live His truth with freedom. You will come to understand that He is not wanting to punish you. He just wants to love you. 


© 2019 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2019/01/freedom-of-grace.html

Monday, January 14, 2019

Serve


You began your new life in Jesus filled with love! Your heart burned with passion over what the Lord had done only later to find that your inability to grow spiritually killed the joy you experienced. The failure to surrender stems from self. You can't experience the truth of what Jesus imparted at Calvary without surrender. Your mind will not be renewed without submission. Your life belongs to Him. What He calls you to do and share with others doesn’t belong to you. Your life is His. Serve others as He served you. Getting your mind off your own needs and helping others changes your whole perspective.

“Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion” (Philippians 2:5-8, MSG). God became human for our sake. Living a selfless life, he died a selfless death. Jesus regarded himself as no more significant than anyone else and gave His life for you and me. He had a servant's heart. His grace calls you to have a servant’s heart. 

There is no “you.” There is only His love. “If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ,” Paul wrote, “if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care—then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand” (Philippians 2:1-4, MSG). Love with His love. Forgive with His forgiveness. Don’t demand your own way. Become less, Paul writes, so that He can be more.

Serving others is grace in action. Each day is a chance to help someone else. Each opportunity to live His selfless love is ministry. Your life—your work—what you share or do belongs to Him. It is only by His mercy and grace that you have found new life. Don’t ever forget that His power in your life is His gift that cost Him His life. And His power is only at its greatest when self is wholly surrendered to Him. The least is greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.

©2019 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2019/01/serve.html



Friday, January 11, 2019

I Am Safe



“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5b, NIV).

No matter what I face, Jesus, I am never alone. You are with me.
No matter my weakness, you make it your strength.
No matter how I feel, I rest in your Truth. My feelings waver. Your Truth never changes.
No matter my problem, I have peace that you are in control. You take care of what I can’t fix.
No matter my failure, I have victory. No weapon that tries to defeat me will succeed.
No matter my uncertainty, I have joy in your unchanging promise. Your timing is not mine.
No matter what appears to be real isn't. I have faith in you. You always take care of me.
Nothing else matters, Lord. I believe who you say I am. I am safe in you.



            © 2019 Lynn Lacher

                  www.lynnlacher.com/2019/01/i-am-safe.html




Thursday, January 10, 2019

Reflection


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)

Whose reflection do you see in your mirror?  Do you see who you were before the veil into His presence was removed?  Perhaps you still wear the mask you wore before you believed? You don't need to hide from Jesus. He knows you intimately. He is in your spirit whether you “feel” Him or not in your mind. Until the person the grace of Jesus reveals in the mirror becomes the person you see, you will not see your reflection as He sees you. And how does He see you? He sees you as you really are—righteous because by faith you asked Him into your heart. His love for you on the cross changed everything.

Until you understand this truth, you will not see yourself as He sees you. When you put on your new nature He gave you at Calvary—when you are renewed in your mind—when you allow Him to open the eyes of your understanding, you begin to see yourself as sees you. Your vision clears. The old veil that has covered your understanding is removed, and you have spiritual clarity. You understand grace doesn’t judge your performance. It doesn’t see the faults you see in the mirror. Grace sees the finished work in you that was finished on the cross. 

It is so frustrating trying to change the way you think about yourself. It is so much easier allowing the Holy Spirit to do the work. “By his divine power,” Peter wrote, “God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence” (2 Peter 1:3, NLT). The Lord—who is the Spirit—has imparted EVERYTHING you need to live the godly life that you RECEIVED when you were born-again by His Spirit! We believe by faith that His divine power will make a difference when we choose to change. 

That veil has hidden His promise from you. The reflection of His glorious image in the mirror will inspire you so much more than your own!

P.S.  Your own image condemns you. His image is who you really are.Your own image condemns you. His image is who you really are.
 own Your own image condemns you. His image is who you really are!  condemns you. His image is who you really are
©2019 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2019/01/reflection.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...