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Thursday, August 29, 2019

Faith Brings Joy


My purpose in writing is to encourage you and assure you that what you are experiencing is truly part of God’s grace for you. Stand firm in this grace.
—1 Peter 5:12b (NLT)

I don’t know why I had never noticed this message in these verses of 1 Peter before, but now it speaks to me. My purpose in writing this devotion is to encourage and assure you that no matter what happens in life the Holy Spirit living in you gives you the power to stand. It is God’s plan for His grace to strengthen you. God does not cause bad things in life, but whatever you go through can make your faith stronger. Peter is writing to believers who are living as foreigners in other provinces. He reassures them that the hardships they experience residing in foreign lands are a part of God's grace. They are not to give up, but to stand firm.

“This world is not our permanent home,” the writer to the Hebrews imparted. “We are looking forward to a home yet to come” (Hebrews 13:14, NLT). Yes, we are looking forward to that time one day when we shall live with God, but for now, we live His message of grace in a world where others often misunderstand us. We have something the world longs to have and doesn't know it. Perhaps the way we live our faith has something to do with it.  

When you experience the love of Calvary, you are different than the world. But you don’t reach others. Jesus does. His unconditional love flowing in your life reaches them without judgment. You might not accept their actions, but you love them anyway—recognizing their potential instead of their failures. You become less so that Jesus can be more in you. Living a life filled with the grace of Jesus means greater faith for you and new life to someone else. His grace is the power to not only continually transform you but to also change someone else. Anything in life you experience—whether a blessing or a trial—is an opportunity for Jesus to love through you with the grace and truth of His Word.

“Because of our faith,” Paul wrote, “Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory” (Romans 5:2, NLT). Jesus has made us, who once were undeserving, now accepted in Him. Yes, we look forward to sharing His glory! That glory also gives us abundant life now! It is a life filled with joy to share His grace.

“We can rejoice, too,” Paul continued, “when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance” (Romans 5:3, NLT). Don’t give up. Stand firm, believing! Allow His grace to continually transform you. Persevere each day in His power and strength. Love with His grace the way He loved you. You will inspire not only yourself but others to know without a doubt that faith in Jesus brings the ultimate joy.

© 2019 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2019/08/faith-brings-joy.html

He is the Gate



Open for me the gates of the righteous; I will enter and give thanks to the Lord. This is the gate of the Lord through which the righteous may enter. 
I will give you thanks, for you answered me;
 you have become my salvation. The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.
—Psalm 118:19-23 (NIV)


God laid a stone for me in Zion. And this stone, which was rejected and despised, has become my sure foundation. His name is Jesus. Upon His Grace, I rest my faith. Jesus opened this gate for me to enter into the very presence of His Father. This is the gate that only the righteous may enter, and I may because Jesus alone has made me righteous. I praise Him for He did not have to save me. He didn’t have to give His life for mine, but He did. And His gift is too marvelous for words! 

Jesus, you opened that gate forever! The door into your presence is always open. You know my coming and going. You raise me to walk without hesitation into the unknown. You are my greatest weapon—defeating all that comes against me. You are my voice—speaking to the mountains in my life. Because you are powerful, I am powerful. I am fearless because you are fearless. You know me! And I know who I am in you! Your righteousness lives in me because you took my sinful nature and gave me your blameless one. You have opened this gate of righteousness to me, and I stand before you uncovered with nothing hidden! I have peace with the Father you have given me. Absolutely nothing separates me from your love! I am free!

Do you realize that through Jesus, you have unhindered access into the presence of the Father? Christ has opened the gate of righteousness to you. “Jesus suffered and died outside the city gate to make his people holy by means of his own blood” (Hebrews 13:12, NLT). Now you can “enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation” (Psalm 100:4, NLT)!

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me,” Jesus said (John 14:6, NLT). Only Jesus gives the gift of righteousness and unhindered access to God. He opened this gate to you. Run into your Father’s presence. He waits with open arms.

© 2019 Lynn Lacher


Wednesday, August 28, 2019

In His Image



Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.
—James 1:18-19 (NLT)

Out of all creation, we are God’s prized possession. He fashioned us in His image and created us to know Him. The Word existed with God, and in Jesus, became flesh just like us. But unlike us, Jesus was without sin. God chose to birth His life in us through the gift of His Son’s life for our sins. When we believe by faith in Jesus, the righteousness of Jesus is gifted to us. God claims us as His children. Then we are no longer just one of His creations. We are prized and loved by Him—heirs to all of His promises.

Our Father never changes. He is the same as He was yesterday, and He will be the same in the future. God is not the author of evil. Whatever is good and perfect in our lives is His gift to us. Jesus came into the world to save it—not to condemn it. There is no condemnation in Him. God is redeeming love.

Have we experienced the glory of Jesus, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth? We say we believe, but do we? If we did, wouldn't we walk in His freedom unhindered by fear? Wouldn’t we be free in His grace to experience forgiveness without retribution—to receive peace without hesitation—to know joy without a doubt? Perhaps we don’t know who Jesus has made us to be.

Jesus told the disciples that the Holy Spirit would come and guide them into all truth. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you a divine revelation of what Jesus has done for you. He has taken your sins from you and given you His righteousness. You are forgiven. You can go freely to your Father and rest in His presence. God sent His Word and healed you. His Word was flesh in Jesus, and that Word died in Jesus for you. Every sin was taken to the Cross, and you have risen with Him to walk in the righteousness of God. 

Just as your Father is three-in-one, so are you! You are spirit, mind, and body. His righteousness lives in your spirit because that is where you were born again. When you are renewed in your mind by the righteousness you received at salvation, you are transformed by the gift of His life for yours. And your body lives out what your mind believes. When you behold Jesus’ grace in all of its beauty and wonder, you experience the freedom and joy of His love. You experience the fact that God sent His Word and healed you in spirit, mind, and body. You believe the Word was flesh in Jesus, and that flesh died to give you the magnificence of your Father.

Jesus said on the Cross that His work for us was finished. There was nothing more to be done. God sent His Word and healed you in spirit, mind, and body. His Word was flesh in Jesus, and that Word died for you so you might have its life.

“May God himself,” Paul wrote, “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” (1 Thessalonians 5:23, NIV).

© 2019 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2019/08/in-his-image.html

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Within You


For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.
—Zephaniah 3:17 (NLT)


The Lord of the Old Covenant lived among His people. The Lord of the New Covenant came to dwell within the hearts of His people. Jesus, our mighty Savior, changed our relationship with God when He paid our debt on the Cross. The mighty Savior, who once calmed fears from the outside, now lives within our hearts calming our fears. As the Lord of the Old Covenant, He rejoiced over the performance of His people. Now, because of Jesus, we are His adopted children. Now He rejoices over us because of what His Son has done. He sees us through the eyes of Grace. Because of Jesus alone, we are righteous in His eyes. 

Jesus lives in you—strengthening you for any battle. The enemy will try to tell you differently. He will lie and tell you that you are weak—that your promise is nothing. Hold to your promise. His Word is Truth. He has revealed it to you. Keep it safe in your heart, and allow it to transform your mind—allow it to change the way you think, feel, hear, and see. Be continually renewed by the Holy Spirit in the spirit of your mind.

When you step forward into the battle, you know that you are not alone. Anything you face is nothing when confronted with the power of God that lives within you. You walk by faith and not by sight. You believe the battle already won. Your fear is no more. You live in peace. Nothing that tries to defeat you succeeds. God rejoices over you with singing. He delights in your faith.

Step forward in His peace. He has already won the war.

© 2019 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2019/08/within-you.html

Monday, August 26, 2019

Can't Earn Grace



For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace.
—Galatians 5:4 (NLT)


You can’t make yourself right with God. Nothing you do makes you right with God. If you are trying to make yourself right by keeping the law, you have cut yourself off from Jesus! It is impossible to follow every rule, and when you fail one requirement, you have failed them all. Only the Grace of Jesus makes you right with God. Only His righteous life for yours sets you free from the penalty of spiritual death.

The KJV version of Galatians 5:4 reads, “Christ is become of no effect to you, whosover of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.” 

Christ has no effect in our lives when we try to justify ourselves by what we do. We bury ourselves trying to win God’s approval when the Grace of Jesus has already approved us. We are justified by our faith in Jesus—not by our works. He alone makes us right with God. When we make our work more important than Jesus’ work on the Cross, we lower God’s opinion of what the blood of Jesus purchased. If we measure ourselves by the law instead of His Grace, we will fail. When we give more importance to the law instead of the precious gift of our Savior, we fall from His Grace. We fall back into the law.

God doesn’t judge us on what we do. He doesn’t grade our behavior. Jesus bore our judgment. God sees our heart through the gift of His Son. You can’t make your heart pure by doing right. Your heart is only made right believing in Jesus by faith.

"For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus," Paul wrote, "there is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love" (Galatians 5:6, NLT). The Christians in Galatia couldn't win God's approval by being circumcised. Following the law was of no benefit to them. What is essential, Paul, said, was faith In Jesus expressing itself in love.

When we know who we are in Christ—when we quit trying to earn what has already been purchased by our Savior, we experience His freedom. There is no veil to separate us from God. We have free access into our Father’s presence. 

“You have not come to a physical mountain, to a place of flaming fire, darkness, gloom, and whirlwind, as the Israelites did at Mount Sinai,” the writer to the Hebrews penned. “For they heard an awesome trumpet blast and a voice so terrible that they begged God to stop speaking” (Hebrews 12:18-19, NLT).

You no longer come to an Old Covenant God. He no longer judges you based on your performance. He is not now a God of flaming fire and darkness to be feared. Jesus, His one and only Son, changed everything. He sees you through the eyes of Grace.

“You have come to Jesus, the one who mediates the new covenant between God and people, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks of forgiveness instead of crying out for vengeance like the blood of Abel” (Hebrews 12:24, NLT).

You can’t earn His Grace. It was given at no cost to you. God does not demand that you work for forgiveness! No law cries out for it. The precious blood of Jesus mediated a new covenant between you and God. There is freedom in Jesus! When we allow the Holy Spirit to teach us through His Word, who we are in Jesus, we experience His freedom. Our faith in Jesus changes everything and flows without hesitation. Our work then is freely given—not striving for approval but free in Jesus who has approved us. Faith expresses itself in love.



© 2019 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2019/08/cant-earn-grace.html


Friday, August 23, 2019

Confident Faith



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

What is my life like when I fully know who I am in Jesus? 

I have all of the Lord’s strength for whatever comes. I stand firm against the enemy's attempt to destroy my faith. Like the roots of a tree seeking water, His living water—His Word—refreshes my soul. It feeds me with all I need. I persevere through anything that tries to impede my progress. My roots in His Truth anchor me firmly, and I live safely secured in Him. His perfect love casts out any fear. I am like a tree planted by water which continually receives water for nourishment. 

Faith in Jesus fortifies me, and no circumstance creates fear. Daily I draw from His well of living water and thrive in His Truth. No matter what happens, I am pliable in His purpose. No worry grows where faith has taken root. I store His living water in my soul, so in times of drought, I can draw from its Truth. I stand in Him, and He produces fruit in my life. Filled with His peace, I breathe His Grace.

Does this sound amazing? To have a confident faith which withstands all which comes against it—to have a faith which fear cannot touch? I want a life that continually experiences His peace and remains calm in all seasons—which offers hope and unconditional love. I choose to place my trust and confidence in Him. I decide to put down deep roots in His Word and allow His Truth to mold my mind. I choose Him over feelings. I want to believe that the new life He has given me is real. 

Jesus chose to save me long before I accepted His love. Now I am on a journey to learn what His new life means! When I choose to believe His love on Calvary heals me in body, mind, and spirit, into every fiber of my being His Grace flows. I am strong because He is strong. I love because He loves. I believe because He believes in me. I am planted deeply in His Truth. Nothing can destroy my confident faith in His Grace. 

©2019 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2019/08/confident-faith.html


Thursday, August 22, 2019

He Takes Care


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 your needs! When He died for your sins, you received the riches of His new nature. His nature isn't partially yours. It is a finished work. In your spirit, you received all the resources of your Heavenly Father. Understanding this truth is hard for the human mind to grasp. But when you are transformed by consistently putting on your new nature, the way you think changes. As you draw closer to Him, your perception changes. You believe that He takes care of you beyond what your natural mind can imagine. You exercise faith.

Worry dominates the lives of those who don’t believe Jesus will take care of them. Your identity in Jesus gives you security, but if you don’t know what that security means, worry, and fear dominate your thoughts. Above everything in your life, put Jesus first. Praise Him no matter what. Learn His Truth. Apply it to your life. Determine to look beyond what you see and hear in the natural, and trust the promises of God. Allow the Holy Spirit to transform your mind until striving gives way to peace. 

When you believe in something, you are convinced beyond any doubt that it is true. If you believe God doesn’t provide, then doubt and fear determine your focus. But when you focus your mind on God and not your circumstance, you begin to understand more of who you are in Jesus and what He has given you. You believe His promises are true—that He will never leave you or forsake you. Problems may whirl beyond comprehension, but you remain secure in your identity in Christ. You believe that He is the only faithful constant in your life.

Jesus lived simply, yet at the Cross, He imparted the wealth of the Kingdom of God to you. Faith is as simple but as rich as that fact. Have faith that He supplies whatever you need. Believe, and live in His peace.

© 2019 Lynn Lacher

www.lynnlacher.com/2019/08/he-takes-care.html




Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Just Let Him


But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life.
—Psalm 42:8 (NLT)

His Words speak hope to your soul. His voice quietens your mind. Jesus not only knows the cry of your heart. He has already provided the answer for it. Each day He showers you with His unfailing love. Jesus promises you peace springing from greater faith. When you trust and believe, you receive.

How do you rest in Him? Let go of doing. Let go of fixing. Let go of your agenda. Let go of analyzing and asking why. Just “be” in Him. Be still. Quit planning your next effort. Listen. The Holy Spirit always speaks, but doing and fixing and planning, keep you from hearing Him.

When you let go in Jesus, He renews your strength. You know He is God. He guides and empowers. He does. He fixes. He plans. The Holy Spirit is the wind that carries and sustains you. His wind is constant, never wavering or faltering. Jesus empowers what He births in you. Without Him, you will know stress and stumble in any attempt. He created you to rise on the wind like an eagle. The strength He supplies is your heartbeat, and you cannot soar without it.

Praise Him always in good and hard times. Through each dark night, sing praises to the Lord, who gave you His very life. Pray, believing that you will receive. When fear suddenly closes around your heart, cease from your racing thoughts. Rest in the Lord until His peace claims you, and His strength becomes your own. Never do anything without Him. Let your time of rest be one where the Spirit renews your mind. You shall experience His consistent peace and His constant strength to carry you. When you accept that without Him you can do nothing, you surrender to His power.

You want to be free of the constant stress and fear of not pleasing Him? Quit trying to do what you think needs to take place. Let the Holy Spirit guide and empower you. Just let Him.

© 2019 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2019/08/just-let-him.html




Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Whole


He was despised and rejected—a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. Yet, it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.
—Isaiah 53:3-5 (NLT)

Even though despised and mocked, Jesus loved us all the way to the Cross. Even though we turned our backs and looked the other way, He struggled on. He had unconditional love, and we did not care. His reason was us, and we looked the other way. Yet—no matter how ugly we were and how we treated Him, it did not matter. He knew what He had to do and how beautiful we were going to be. His Grace would change everything.

Do we get the fact that His Grace changed everything, or do we still live defeated lives? Jesus carried our weaknesses to the Cross so we can have His strength. Where we are weak in the flesh, He is strong in our spirits. We have the gift of His power to live courageously through difficult circumstances, and we have His ability to see beyond the natural into the supernatural realm of His Truth. Jesus carried our sorrow and pain to be crucified so we can live in constant peace in this world that offers no lasting peace.

Jesus was punished for our sins, so we don't have to receive punishment. But how often do we live in guilt and shame instead of His freedom? His punishment was not for His own sin. He had none. His punishment was for ours. We no longer have a debt to pay. But how often do we live indebted lives believing that we are not good enough—not worthy? He wiped our debt clean by being "pierced for our rebellion and crushed for our sins."

Beaten so we can be whole—whipped so we can be healed, Jesus died to heal us. Not just partially heal us, but completely heal us. He purchased our healing of spirit, soul, and body. Everything we were before died on the Cross with Him. Everything we are in Him now rose victoriously with Him from the grave.

You are healed! Do you know it? You are free of sin's condemnation! Are you aware? All the powerful resources that our precious Savior purchased are yours! Believe in Him and you are saved, Paul said. Believe in Him! Believe in the new life He has purchased for you on Calvary! We live far beneath the gift of His precious life. 

Jesus spoke in parables to the people who followed Him. He quoted from Isaiah: "For the hearts of these people are hardened, and their ears cannot hear, and they have closed their eyes—so their eyes cannot see, and their ears cannot hear, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot turn to me and let me heal them" (Matthew 13:15, NLT).

We know Jesus! Our hearts are His. "Blessed are your eyes," Jesus said, "because they see; and your ears, because they hear" (Matthew 13:16, NLT). 

You can see and hear the promise of the Kingdom of God. You can walk by faith and not by sight. You can believe for what is unseen. You turned to Jesus, and He healed you! You are whole in His amazing Grace.

© 2019 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2019/08/whole.html



Sunday, August 18, 2019

Grace and Truth


Grow in the Grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.
—2 Peter 3:18 (NIV)

“The law was given through Moses," John wrote. "Grace and Truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17, NIV). The law gave power to sin because the law revealed man’s inability to keep it perfectly. If you live by the law, each of over 600 requirements must be kept perfectly, or you fail all of God’s standard. But praise the Lord! On the Cross, Jesus Christ washed away our sin with His precious blood and perfectly fulfilled the law’s requirement. The gift of His life brought us Grace and Truth!  

Grace and Truth are the same. His Grace paid for our sins and became Truth. When you grow in the Grace and knowledge of Jesus, you mature in His Truth. How do you grow in Grace? By knowing who you are in Jesus and being transformed by His Truth! How do you grow in Truth? By reading His Word and growing in the knowledge of that Truth! Faith comes through hearing the Word—again and again. 

When you were saved, you were born again in your spirit. The righteous nature of Jesus became yours in your spirit. When you daily put on your new nature—the righteous nature that Jesus died to give you—you are renewed in the spirit of your mind. You believe in the incredible goodness and power of God. You know you have peace with God because you believe Jesus has broken the curse of the law. You have free access to God! God generously blesses you with wisdom and greater faith because you are single-minded in your faith. You believe you are the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ. Jesus has credited you with His blameless and perfect life! This is the greatest gift and the most wonderful promise! Where once you walked in bondage, you are now free!

Do you know that “the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14a, NIV)?  The Word, God’s Truth, became Jesus. He became flesh. He lived among us—and still does, not in the flesh, but in the person of the Holy Spirit, guiding us into all Truth.

Do you know "we have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of Grace and Truth” (John 1:14, NIV)? You have seen His glory! You know Him—the one full of Grace and Truth lives in you. Law is no longer your master. You are under Grace.

To perceive your freedom, grow in the Grace and knowledge of Jesus! Be renewed and transformed by His Grace and Truth! Walk, by faith and not by sight, in the freedom He purchased for you! To God be the glory both now and forever! Amen.

© 2019 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2019/08/grace-and-truth.html


Friday, August 16, 2019

The Unforced Rhythms of Grace


“Are you tired?” Jesus asks. “Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly” (Matthew 11:28-30, MSG).


The Lord understands you are exhausted—tired—burned out trying to live your faith just right. Your mind is drained and stretched. Your heart is heavy with fear that you haven’t done the right thing. You yearn to be free from the bondage of never feeling good enough. You are on a treadmill of physical, emotional, and spiritual destruction that seemingly has no end. And Jesus says, “Get away with me and recover. I’ll show you how to take a real rest.”

Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith, in her book, Sacred Rest, writes, “Slaves are bound to their work. Anyone who cannot rest is essentially a slave. Jesus came to set the captives free so that we have may abundant life. Sacred rest is about that freedom.”

Jesus came to set you free from your treadmill. “Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it,” He encourages. “Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.”  Sweet rest in Jesus—deep and healing and thorough—is found in His “unforced rhythms of grace.” The love of God which died for you sustains and fills you when you surrender to His healing grace.

“Since God is really the only one able to love us on the level our hearts desire,” Dr. Dalton-Smith shares in Sacred Rest, “we are constantly seeking the wholeness, peace, joy, and happiness that can be found only in this place of surrender. Rest is knowing that you are enough, even if you don’t meet your goal this month. It’s knowing that you are valuable as you are with no additions needed. Rest is knowing that you are preapproved for all of God’s blessings.”

To what are you bound? Jesus says that He will not lay anything heavy upon you. So what is this weight you carry? Guilt? Shame? Jesus does not condemn you. He is your greatest encourager. He does not accuse you. The accuser does that. And when you do not surrender to rest in Jesus—when you do not “learn the unforced rhythms of grace”—you can become your greatest accuser. You forget that you are free in Jesus. You forget that His gift was enough.

“This is what living well-rested looks like,” Dr. Dalton-Smith writes. “It’s a life lived with open hands before God, not holding on to the pain of yesterday, the blessings of today, or the promises of tomorrow, but rather trusting in God’s love for you. Living well-rested is a life surrendered to the gift of freedom.”

“Keep company with me,” Jesus says. “I have approved you. Everything I have for you fits well. Rest in me, and you will learn to live freely and lightly. I am the unforced rhythm of grace.”
*

Quotes: Dalton-Smith, Saundra, Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Restore Your Sanity, New York, NY: FaithWords/Hachette Book Group, 2017.


Devotion © 2019 Lynn Lacher

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Only Jesus


This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.”
—Romans 1:17 (NLT)

There is nothing we can do to make ourselves right in God’s sight. The Gospel tells us how God makes us right. We receive the righteousness of God when, by faith, we believe in the Good News that Jesus died to save us. We can’t earn this precious gift.

“If you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law,” Paul taught the Galatians, “you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace. But we who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive by faith the righteousness God has promised to us” (Galatians 5:4-5. NLT). 

Working to make ourselves right just by obeying God’s rules cut us off from Christ. Paul, says, that when we do that, we fall away from His grace. But when we trust God to change us from the inside out, we surrender to the work of the Holy Spirit. By faith we believe and receive His gift of righteousness!  Believing by faith is our choice. When the Holy Spirit renews us in the spirit of our minds, we experience what His love won for us on Calvary. We have peace that the enemy cannot destroy, and we have joy that the enemy cannot steal. We are changed by His power, and by nothing of ourselves. 

“For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus,” Paul wrote, “there is no benefit in being circumcised or uncircumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love” (Galatians 5:6, NLT). Keeping the law will not change us. Appearance of righteousness will not make us righteous. Allowing the unconditional love of Jesus—receiving His grace—does!

His news is GOOD NEWS—like nothing ever heard or promised before! God sees us through the eyes of His love that died for us. When we understand the new identity He has given us, nothing remains the same. Resurrection power rises to meet life! 

Jesus alone cleanses and renews. Only Jesus.

 2019 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2019/06/only-jesus.html

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

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 lustrous, seemingly balanced on the edge of the horizon. Beyond its area of illumination, stars twinkle, some glowing more brightly than others. The beauty of this divine painting draws my heart. This splendor is the work of your hands, Lord! I cannot fathom how you created it—much less how you created me. This canvas is your masterpiece, and that is what you also created me to be—your masterpiece.

Not only did you create me in your image, but you also crowned me with glory through the gift of Jesus, your precious Son. He paid for my sins on the Cross and brought me into your glorious presence without guilt and shame! I am clean and free of judgment! You—my God—loves me enough not to demand my love! You give me the freedom to either deny your gift of grace or believe it. How can I not believe that you—the God who created me—loved me enough to pay the price for my freedom?
                                                                                              
You want me to understand what you have done for me! You, the omnipotent God, Jesus, my Savior, and the Holy Spirit, my counselor, actually live within me. You are not an outside force molding me. You mold and lead me from within. When you direct me to do something, you guide me with the full knowledge of who I am.  When I know who you are in me, I  allow you to work in me. I don't doubt you within me. I trust and believe. The result is glorious and rewarding beyond anything I can imagine. 

Just as the moon and stars I see in the night sky, I am also your canvas.Your greatest potential is my greatest potential. My soul is yours to mold. You birthed your masterpiece in me at Calvary, and you complete me. The night sky is not the only work of your hands. So am I. 


© 2019 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2019/08/you-complete-me.html


Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Transformed by His Grace


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


I place my life in the hands of my Savior who unselfishly died on the Cross for me so I could receive His righteousness. The moment I believed by faith in Him is the moment my spirit became His, and His Spirit became mine. As this day unfolds, I embrace all He has for me. I face this day with the anticipation of His guidance, and also with the promise of His strength. I wish to be renewed in my mind and open to everything He desires to pour into my life. Like a sponge, I want to absorb Him so that I might grow spiritually mature in my understanding of His grace.

Without the spiritual understanding of His grace, my life has little faith to believe in His truth. At the mercy of my feelings and emotions, I will be like a ship on the sea with no anchor to hold it securely. Subject to every circumstance that arises, I will find myself tossed in the storms of life with no lasting peace. My mind will become so self-absorbed that worry and fear claim me. My ears will become attuned to the accuser's voice instead of the encouraging voice of the Holy Spirit. However, if I learn Jesus’s truth about my identity in Him, and if I allow that truth to mold my thoughts, I will be renewed by the mind of Christ. I will know I am changed from the inside out.

The Word of God transforms my understanding and shapes me with its truth. When I know who I am in Jesus, the Holy Spirit rescues me from a natural mindset and gives me the spiritual revelation to believe His Word. My mind is changed by His grace. I understand each lesson He teaches, and I grow daily in His grace. His peace anchors me safely through the storms that come. His joy springs up like a fountain offering a fresh perspective. I trust His power to carry me above any circumstance or temptation. God brings out His best in me. 

The Holy Spirit is the potter, and I am the clay He shapes. If I allow Him to develop spiritual maturity in me, I will readily recognize His will, and with overflowing joy, respond in His power and not my own strength. My life is His to create and transform to His desire. Praise God I am not my own! I am His!

© 2019 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2019/08/transformed-by-his-grace.html

Monday, August 12, 2019

Be in Me


I will tell everyone about your righteousness. All day long I will proclaim your saving power, though I am not skilled with words.
—Psalm 71:15 (NLT)


Some days it seems more difficult to write what you place on my heart, Holy Spirit. The words are a jumble and don't fall into place. I realize during those times that I'm the one trying to do the work instead of allowing you to flow through me. “Being in you” is crucial “to do” anything for you.


I yearn to write about your righteousness that you unselfishly and without hesitation gave at Calvary. Each day I long to impart what your saving grace means. Many Christians don’t grasp the miraculous work of your grace. They have asked you into their hearts but struggle with fear and with feelings that they can never measure up to your love. They feel unworthy to approach you because they think your love can only be earned. The enemy has them buried in condemnation instead of risen in your righteousness.


“Your righteousness, O God,” the psalmist wrote, “reaches to the highest heavens. You have done such wonderful things. Who can compare with you, O God” (Psalm 71:19, NLT)?  

Yes! You have done wonderful things, Jesus! Your righteousness reaches to the highest heaven and down into the hearts of your children! Our lives have peace with God because you paid the price that we could never pay. We don’t have to earn your acceptance. You accepted us when you, who had no sin, became our sin, so that we might have your righteousness.

“Be” in me, Jesus, what you have humbly and unselfishly given. I’m unskilled with words, but you aren’t. Help me to write your heart.


© 2019 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2019/08/be-in-me.html




KNOWING JESUS

  Whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing...