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Tuesday, June 30, 2020

His Mind in You


Who can know the Lord’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach him? But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ. 

—1 Corinthians 2:16 (NLT)

 

 

         God's thoughts are higher than anything you might imagine with your natural mind. His ways are also beyond the ability of your logical mind to conceive. However, you received the mind of Christ when you were spiritually born again. Until your natural mind allows Christ's mind to have more control, understanding spiritual Truth is difficult, and peace is elusive. 

 

         “Who can know the Lord’s thoughts?” believers in Corinth asked Paul. “We understand these things,” Paul affirmed, “for we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16, NLT). 

 

         You have a natural mind, and you also have the mind of Christ. One mind will outweigh the ability of the other in controlling your thoughts. If you respond to what you physically see, hear, and feel, then Christ's spiritual mind will not grow stronger and impart greater faith to believe in God's promises. When you choose to believe the Truth of God's Word, it gradually alters your perception of the natural realm. You think beyond your physical senses. When you act upon a revelation inspired by His Word, your faith strengthens. You have exercised the mind of Christ, and you are renewed in the spirit of your mind by the Holy Spirit. Your natural perception surrenders to God’s perception. You see with His eyes, hear with His ears, and understand with His mind.

 

         Paul says that it is possible to understand the Lord’s thoughts. Before Jesus opened the way into God's presence, God's thoughts were too high for you to grasp. But the Grace of Jesus changed everything. The ability to trust God beyond what your natural mind sees, hears, or feels becomes real when the mind of Christ controls your thoughts. Your understanding of spiritual Truth in the Word abounds. Grace gives you abundant life and joy without comparison.

 

         “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,” Paul writes (Philippians 2:5, NKJV). Allow the mind of Christ to transform you. He humbly rendered forgiveness and new life at the cost of His own life. Trust in what the world cannot acknowledge—Christ's unconditional love, which carried sin to the Cross and loves with reckless abandon. Peace is then no longer elusive. You will have the mind of Christ. 

 

©2020 Lynn Lacher

www.lynnlacher.com/2020/06/his-mind-in-you.html

Monday, June 29, 2020

A Springboard to Greater Faith


Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.

—Hebrews 12:1b-2a (NIV)

 

 

Don't worry about problems that come up each day! Recognize each one as an opportunity to allow the Holy Spirit to guide and empower you. When you concentrate on the hardship of each problem, you are relying on your own strength and can’t see how the Holy Spirit can carry you safely over each hurdle. When you rely on God’s strength, He directs and empowers you. Those hurdles become a springboard to greater faith.

 

You can only run this race of life with perseverance if He carries you, and He can’t carry you if you don’t extend Him the opportunity. He is the pioneer of your faith, and He perfects your faith. When you were born again, His Spirit perfected you in your spirit. But your mind is where His Spirit perfects and develops your faith. It is where you believe and trust in the gift of His life for yours. 

 

Regard each issue in your life as a springboard to greater faith, and don't dwell on what might be or what might happen. Keep your eyes on Jesus and run the race of life in His strength. As the Holy Spirit perfects your faith, problems won’t defeat you. Consider each issue in your life as a means to rely on Him, and life won’t bring despair but will increase your faith.

 

Greater faith brings the power of His peace. His peace flies above hurdles in life. It’s free of despair and full of the promises of God. His peace overcomes obstacles of which you have not even been aware. Those obstacles that you do know? He brings a resolution that is perfect and lasting.

 

You are going to run the race of life. How you run it is your decision. Keep your eyes on Jesus and allow Him to empower each step! The Holy Spirit shall perfect you in the spirit of your mind! Jesus has already won the race for you at Calvary! When you realize this, life will flow in His abundant power!

 

©2020 Lynn Lacher

www.lynnlacher.com/2020/06/a-springboard-to-greater-faith.html

Saturday, June 27, 2020

The Desire of Yours


If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.

—Matthew 16:25 (NLT)

 

 

What is the most essential thing in your life? What do your hang on to afraid that you will lose it?  Is it something you have or a relationship? If you try to hang on to your life, Jesus said, you will lose it. If your relationships or what you possess are more important than your relationship with Jesus, you will lose intimacy with Him. Your understanding of who you are in Christ will fall away. You will lose your life to what you desire instead of having a close relationship with Jesus Christ.

 

“Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be,” Jesus also said. What do you treasure? If it is a person, then your desires about that relationship are foremost in your mind. If it is something you want, then the excitement of ownership outweighs any obstacle. Whatever your treasure becomes the desire of your heart. If you hang on to the way you envision your life, you will lose the adventure of living for Christ. But if your treasure is your relationship with Jesus, then the desire of your heart is what He desires for you.

 

If you give up your life for His sake, you will save it. Giving up your life for Him is all about priorities. Jesus put you first when He took your sin to the Cross. You were and are His priority. Is He yours, or do other relationships or desires or things get in the way?

 

If you hang on, you lose. If you give up, you find. These paradoxes are real in Christ. Letting go and allowing God to lead your life, promises intimacy with Him. Putting Christ first will save you from the ultimate bitterness of a self-focused life.

 

Joy becomes real when you realize how much Jesus treasured you. Your desire to cherish Him springs from your understanding of what He has given you on Calvary. Learn who He says you are. Know what it means to be His. You are the desire of His heart. He longs to be the desire of yours. 

 

©2020 Lynn Lacher

www.lynnlacher.com/2020/06/the-desire-of-yours.html

Friday, June 26, 2020

His Love Alone


In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. All power to him forever! Amen.

—1 Peter 5:10-11 (NLT)

 

 

Our lives are not the same as they were several months ago. An unseen evil has descended upon us. Unrest and heartbreak are everywhere. Lives are in shreds. People are hurting needing healing and restoration. Each day brings more sadness. People want someone to hear them. Even though some listen, others mock. There seems to be no clear direction—no answer for a world out of control.

 

God answered long ago when there was no healing for sin. In His kindness, God sent His Son into the world to save it—not to condemn it. Jesus Christ took the sin of humanity to the Cross, and sin died with Him. His unconditional love is real for all who believe in Him. His healing is genuine. His promise of eternity is tangible.

 

In these two verses from 1 Peter 5, Peter encourages believers who are suffering. He tells them that after they have suffered a little while, God will support, strengthen, and restore them. 

 

“Stay alert!” Peter writes. “Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are” (1 Peter 5:8-9, NLT)

 

We are not alone in our suffering. Others suffer, too. But we must be vigilant and realize that pain makes us more vulnerable to the lies of the enemy. We must stand firm in our faith to refute the lies that the enemy slings—the rumors he stirs up—the tactics he uses to divide and destroy. Faith in Christ gives us the power to realize deception, but we must exercise our faith. 

 

Does this mean that we become like the world—loud and brash and demanding? No. We love with the grace of Jesus, who gave His life. We forgive as He has forgiven us. We humble ourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time, He will raise us and use us.

 

“Give all your worries and cares to God,” Peter writes, “for he cares about you" (I Peter 5:7, NLT). God cares that our lives are in turmoil.  But we cannot fix anything. If we are not careful, we can fuel unrest with assumptions and innuendos. Don’t believe the first thing you hear or read on social media. You can jump on the bandwagon of lies, or you can wait for the truth. God will handle your worries and cares, but you must give them to Him. Jesus takes care of those who believe in Him.

 

We walk by faith in this world that is out of control because we have a secure foundation in Jesus. Nothing is out of control to God. God supports and strengthens and restores us. He longs for His children to draw those who do not believe. God wishes no one to perish but yearns for all to know Him. And you do not attract anyone to the grace of Jesus without living the graciousness of His Spirit. The love of Christ alone heals a broken world.

 

©2020 Lynn Lacher

www.lynnlacher.com/2020/06/his-love-alone.html

 

 

 

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Only God


Lord, my heart is not proud;

    my eyes are not haughty.

I don’t concern myself with matters too great

    or too awesome for me to grasp.

Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself,

    like a weaned child who no longer cries for its mother’s milk.

Yes, like a weaned child is my soul within me.

O Israel, put your hope in the Lord—

    now and always.

—Psalm 131 (NLT)

 

This psalm speaks "peace" to me. I can't solve problems—either mine or the world's problems. Only God has answers. I have found my answer, and I pray that the world finds Him, too.

 

If I believed I could take care of any problem without God, I would be prideful. I would assume that I had a better answer than someone else and find myself in a competition to be right. I would have an opinion to prove and a point to make.

 

I am learning not to be concerned about matters that are out of my control. They only bring fear. I choose to trust God with the outcome of frustrating things. I give my worry to Him with praise in my heart that He shall take care of any problem—great or small.

 

Have I arrived at this perfect place of trust in God? No. I find it easier to trust Him in some things more than in others. My life of faith is a daily journey of surrender. As I grow in Him, it becomes easier to believe that all is well when He handles my life. I know without a doubt that He loves me.

 

I calm and quieten myself each day. I have weaned myself off the “milk” of my faith. The “meat” of His Word sustains and empowers my life. Without His Word, I would falter in fear and try to fix what is beyond my capability. But with His Word, I can hear His voice guiding me to speak or to be quiet—to act or not act. And when I speak or act with His bidding, I have His peace because it is not my responsibility to solve the problem. It is His.

 

The Holy Spirit reveals the Word of God!  I can trust in the Lord forever! I have nothing to prove. Only God has the answers. I can rest in His promise of peace. Jesus has overcome the world. Not me. 

 

©2020 Lynn Lacher

www.lynnlacher.com/2020/06/only-God.html

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Trust


But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.

—Isaiah 40:31 (NLT)

 

 

This is a popular verse. It has been taken apart and put back together again. It has been analyzed spiritually and taken literally. But its message is everlasting. Its promise is real.

 

If you are tired and weary, perhaps you need to ask yourself how much you trust God. Do you trust Him with your life?  Do you believe He will take care of you at all costs?  If you trust Him, you gain new strength.  And that strength isn't yours. It's His.

 

You can't make yourself soar. But trusting God can give you His strength to rise above any fear—above circumstances—above despair. With God's strength, you will run and not grow tired. You will walk and not faint.

 

Where are you right now? Do you have a faith deficit? Do you fail in believing for what you can’t see or hear?  You first believed in Christ by faith. But you can’t stop there. Faith grows when you allow the Holy Spirit to change the way you think. You choose to study God's Word and pray. You decide to believe in what you can't see or hear, and the Holy Spirit transforms your mind. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. Trust in God builds.

 

Do you wish to soar instead of living in fear?  Are you hungry for God's strength? Your mind waits to be renewed by His Spirit. Put on the new nature Christ died to give you. You have the mind of Christ. Let the Holy Spirit use the Word to transform your mind to His mind. Your thoughts then become His. You see with His eyes, hear with His ears, and have His understanding.

 

Believe who Jesus says you are, and you trust Him. You soar above any circumstance. Fear doesn't claim you because you have the mind of Christ. You see, hear, and believe. Life doesn't weary you. You walk in His strength without hesitation. You understand that Jesus, who gave you new life, takes care of His sheep. 

 

©2020 Lynn Lacher

www.lynnlacher.com/2020/06/trust.html

 

 

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Your Inheritance


I know the Lord is always with me.

    I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.

No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice.

    My body rests in safety.

For you will not leave my soul among the dead

    or allow your holy one to rot in the grave.

You will show me the way of life,

    granting me the joy of your presence

    and the pleasures of living with you forever.

—Psalm 16:8-11 (NLT)

 

 

Do you know that the Lord is always with you?  He never leaves you or forsakes you.  Don’t be shaken by the issues that have arisen. Jesus Christ has overcome the world. Be glad that you belong to Him. Praise Him that He loves you until the end of time. 

 

You can rest in His grace. No matter what happens, you are safe in Him. He has not left your soul for dead. On the Cross, Jesus Christ took your sins and then gave His life so you could have His righteousness. God will not allow you, His child, that Christ declared holy, to rot in the grave.

 

The Lord promises a life with Him forever! “For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better,” Paul wrote (Philippians 1:21, NLT). When you allow Christ to live in you, you have His joy amid political and social turmoil. You have His peace while an unseen threat darkens this world. You live in His grace now and for eternity. God shows you the way of life and gives you the everlasting promise of His presence. You have the pleasure of living with Him forever.

 

“Lord,” David wrote, “you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing. You guard all that is mine. The land you have given me is a pleasant land. What a wonderful inheritance” (Psalm 16:5-6, NLT).

 

David chose God alone to worship. God was David's blessing—His inheritance. David believed that God guarded His relationship with Him. He saw His heritage in God as beautiful. Jesus Christ has given God to you as your inheritance, and that legacy is kept safe for you. God blesses your life on earth and in heaven. Your life blesses God when you flow in His grace—when His joy and peace anchor your life.

 

“I will bless the Lord who guides me,” David wrote, “even at night my heart instructs me” (Psalm 16:7, NLT). David chose to bless the Lord, and the Lord spoke to his heart—guiding and teaching Him. Choose to bless the Lord with praise and an attitude of faith. You have an inheritance in Jesus! He has given you the keys to the Kingdom of God. You live by faith in this world—believing and praising God for His promises even though you might not yet see them. You trust in your blessed inheritance on earth and in heaven. Your ultimate reward is what comes next—the pleasures of living with Him forever.

 

© 2020 Lynn Lacher

www.lynnlacher.com/2020/06/your-inheritance.html

Monday, June 22, 2020

His Own


 

I look up to the mountains—

    does my help come from there?

My help comes from the Lord,

    who made heaven and earth!

He will not let you stumble;

    the one who watches over you will not slumber.

Indeed, he who watches over Israel

    never slumbers or sleeps.

The Lord himself watches over you!

    The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.

The sun will not harm you by day,

    nor the moon at night.

The Lord keeps you from all harm

    and watches over your life.

The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go,

    both now and forever.

—Psalm 121:1-3 (NLT)

 

When a crisis comes, where do you go for help? You certainly aren’t going to find it within yourself or by trying to control circumstances. You aren’t going to find help that supernaturally protects you in the advice of other people.

 

When life is easier, do you rely on yourself more? Do you only turn to God when your life turns upside down? When rough times come, having an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ keeps your attuned to His voice. You immediately receive His wisdom and guidance. You just whisper his name, and you hear Him.

 

Your help comes from the Lord. After all, He made the heavens and earth. He is your creator and watches over every concern of your life. He will keep you from stumbling through life and emotionally crashing. Whether you hear Him or not, He is always with you. He continually speaks and shares His heart with you, His child. To hear His voice, you must grow in your relationship with Him.

 

Perhaps, you don’t grasp the truth that the Lord protects you from harm. He battles against principalities on your behalf. He covers you with His grace. How can you know this?  You know it when you believe what Jesus accomplished on Calvary for you. Open your spiritual eyes to the new life He has given you. You are His. 

 

God watches over you, His child, night and day. He shields you while you sleep, and while you are awake. Each moment of your life brims with Resurrection promise. But if you live in fear, you won't know it. You won't realize the victories He brings daily into your life.

 

How can you believe He keeps watch over you now and forever?  By knowing who you are in Jesus Christ and continually allowing the Holy Spirit to renew your mind with God’s truth. By choosing to trust Him in all things and seeking a closer relationship with Him.

 

Jesus has given you a personal relationship with God. He has made a way into His presence where once there was no way. God is your Abba Father. You can trust Him to take care of every concern of your heart. You can believe without one doubt that the one who created the universe and created you, takes care of His own. 

 

©2020 Lynn Lacher

www.lynnlacher.com/2020/06/his-own.html

 

 

Saturday, June 20, 2020

No Favorites


And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time here as “temporary residents.”

—1 Peter 1:17 (NLT)

 

 

I am so thankful that our heavenly Father does not have favorites!  If he did, we would be in a constant state of competition with each other! Well, there are those who do compete for recognition, but the recognition they really receive is from man and not from God. Our Father has already judged us righteous by the gift of Jesus for our sins. The judgment or reward Peter speaks of in this Scripture is of the works that we do. He rewards us based on what He is able to bring forth in our lives. He doesn’t compare us to anyone else.

 

Remember that our Father has no pets! There are two is questions we need to ask ourselves. Are our works born of pride in what we achieve, or are they born from the Holy Spirit within us?  When Peter says we must live in reverent fear of God, he is not speaking of the fear of an Old Testament God that blasted from Mount Sinai. Peter speaks of reverent awe and respect for our God who sent His Son to take the judgment for our sins. 

 

We no longer go to a God who over and over judges our righteousness. Jesus took the judgment for our sins. We are judged righteous in Him. Now we go to Jesus who has mediated a new covenant between God and people! As “temporary residents” here on earth, we live in holy respect that this great and powerful God is also our Abba Father. Because of Jesus, our names are written in His heart. As a good Father, He desires us to grow in spiritual maturity and grace. He is with us the whole way—disciplining and encouraging us because He loves us.

 

You have nothing to prove to God. There is no reason to compete for recognition. Allow Him to do His work in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

 

©2020 Lynn Lacher

www.lynnlacher.com/2020/06/no-favorites.html

 

 

 

Friday, June 19, 2020

Righteousness Through Faith


I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law. I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault. I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.

—Philippians 3:5b-9 (NLT)

 

 

Everything is worthless, Paul declared, when compared to knowing Jesus. Paul regarded his life before Christ as having no worth. Oh, he had been somebody in the eyes of the Jews. As a member of the Pharisees who demanded the sternest compliance to the law, Paul had persecuted and murdered Christians. He had strictly lived his life according to the law. But when he met Jesus on the road to Damascus, everything in his life changed. Everything became suddenly worthless when compared to the immeasurable value of knowing Jesus Christ.

 

Paul considered the way he lived his life before Jesus as being garbage. In becoming one with Christ, he discarded everything. “I no longer regard my own righteousness of any worth,” he declared. “Obeying the law does not save me. The only way I become righteous is through faith in Christ!”  

 

Faith in Jesus Christ is the only way God makes you worthy to be His child. When you believe in Christ, you belong to God. Since God approves of you through the finished work of His Son, any work that you do to gain God’s approval is worthless. It becomes your work instead of His. When you work for Him, believing you have His approval and that He loves you completely, your work is an outpouring of who He is in you. "For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him" (Philippians 2:13, NLT).  

 

There is a difference between working to please God and working because you know God is pleased with you. God is pleased with you only because of the finished work on the Cross of His Son. There is nothing you can do to make yourself worthy in God’s eyes. Jesus alone makes you worthy.

 

When you met Jesus on your road to Damascus, everything changed for you, too. You, who knew sin, found forgiveness. You, who were unaccepted, became accepted. You, who were unworthy, became worthy. When you know who you are in Jesus, the way you work for Him changes. God pours the desire into your heart to do what pleases Him. No longer are you burdened by the demands of the law. You are free to live His righteousness and not struggle to live your own. You believe by faith in the Son of God.

 

“We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are” (Romans 3:22, NLT).

 

No matter who you are or what you have done, you are made right with God by putting your faith in Jesus Christ. You become one with Him when you believe in Him. Quit struggling for His approval and allow Him to put His desire in your heart.

 

©2020 Lynn Lacher

www.lynnlacher.com/2020/06/righteousness-through-faith.html

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Encourage Yourself


 

O God, you are my God;

    I earnestly search for you.

My soul thirsts for you;

    my whole body longs for you

in this parched and weary land

    where there is no water.

I have seen you in your sanctuary

    and gazed upon your power and glory.

Your unfailing love is better than life itself;

    how I praise you!

I will praise you as long as I live,

    lifting up my hands to you in prayer.

You satisfy me more than the richest feast.

    I will praise you with songs of joy.

I lie awake thinking of you,

    meditating on you through the night.

Because you are my helper,

    I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings.

I cling to you;

    your strong right hand holds me securely.

—Psalm 63:1-8 (NLT)

 

Nights are long when your body is dealing with physical pain or even fear like David experienced. David knew the fear of never being safe. He was prey to Saul. In the wilderness of Judah, he hid from those trying to kill him. In this psalm, David’s pleas for help move from earnestly seeking God’s support to praising Him for protection. 

 

David encourages himself in the wilderness. He begins this psalm by reminding God that he belongs to Him and that he sincerely seeks Him with all His heart. His soul thirsts for God, and his whole being longs for Him in this tiring land where there is no water to quench his craving. But then in this desert place, David remembers experiencing God’s power! And here is where David focuses his thoughts—on what God has already done for him.

 

“I have seen you in your sanctuary,” David declares, “and gazed upon your power and glory!”  With this resounding again and again within his heart, David encourages himself to trust in God's faithfulness. "Your unfailing love is better than life itself," he asserts. That truth leads David to burst forth in praise—giving God absolute credit for what he has not yet received. “You satisfy me more than the richest feast,” David tells God. “I will praise you with songs of joy!”

 

Instead of allowing fear to rule his mind, David lies awake at night, meditating on God's faithfulness. "Because you are my helper," David states, "I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings!" David experiences hope in his desperate circumstances. He lets God have control of his mind and feelings. “I cling to you," David pronounces. He knows that God holds him securely in His right hand.

 

 

Is this a picture of you in dire circumstances? Do you seek God earnestly—reminding yourself of what He has already done for you? Do you focus on those remembrances—encouraging yourself until praise bursts forth in your life?  Even though David felt fear, he trusted God to take care of him. Do you know what to do with fear? You defeat it with faith. You overcome it with praise.

 

Don’t allow your illness—your circumstance—your battle—your fear—your struggle to defeat you!  Jesus has already won your victory. To experience it, remind yourself what He has already done for you, and encourage yourself in the Lord. Your wilderness is not the end!  

 

You have an advantage. David had God with Him, but you have Jesus Christ in your heart. The Holy Spirit is within you. When you encourage yourself, you have His power to sustain your hope that God heals, provides, changes circumstances, and delivers. Praise God for His deliverance, and you will experience His liberating freedom.

 

©2020 Lynn Lacher

www.lynnlacher.com/2020/06/encourage-yourself.html

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

In His Presence


As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. 

 

She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”

 

But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”

—Luke 10:38-42 (NLT)

 

Martha was concerned about a dinner she was preparing for Jesus. Her attention was on what she had to do to get things ready. Mary, her sister, sat at Jesus' feet, listening to His every word. Martha came to Jesus and complained that Mary needed to be helping her. Jesus told Martha that she was upset over all the details, and there was just one thing over which she should be concerned. And then he said something that must have upset her even more. “Your sister, Mary, has discovered it, and it will not be taken from her.”

 

Martha’s focus was on what was physically needed by Jesus and His disciples. After all, that was a pretty large entourage, and they needed food. Someone had to be in control and plan accordingly. Mary did not see the large group. Her attention was only on Jesus. Mary was spiritually hungry for everything He had to say.

 

Martha was upset that Mary was not helping her, but I believe her hurt was more than that. I think she was jealous of the spiritual hunger Mary had. Martha was preparing a meal that she hoped met Jesus' approval. Now her sister just sat there soaking in His every word. On top of all that, Jesus had just said Mary had discovered what was more important! 

 

Where are we in our relationship with Jesus? Do we labor like Martha seeking His approval for what we do? Or do we bask in His presence like Mary? Do we hang on His every word knowing that He has already approved of us? Food was necessary for Jesus and His disciples, and Martha rightfully understood that someone had to be responsible for its preparation. But her preparation was a control issue for her. Martha believed that Mary had no right to bask in the Lord’s presence when she had no time to spend with Jesus.

 

Martha could only see what was needed. Mary could only see Jesus. Martha was in control. Mary surrendered.  What we do for Jesus is not as important as the time we spend with Him. We can become so busy working for Him that we unintentionally place Him second behind things we believe must be done. Nothing is more important than sitting at His feet and listening to His every word. Intimacy with Jesus does not happen by fixing a meal. Intimacy is only real in His presence.

 

©2020 Lynn Lacher

www.lynnlacher.com/2020/06/in-his-presence.html

 

 

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

To Do or To Be


Look at the proud! They trust in themselves, and their lives are crooked. But the righteous will live by their faithfulness to God.

—Habakkuk 2:4 (NLT)

 

For in just a little while, the Coming One will come and not delay. And my righteous ones will live by faith.

—Hebrews 10:37-38a (NLT)

 

 

The way this Scripture reads in the Old and New Testament reveals the difference between the Old Covenant of Law and the New Covenant of Grace. “The righteous will live by their faithfulness to God,” this reads in Habakkuk.  “My righteous ones will live by faith,” this reads in Hebrews.

 

The Old Covenant of Law made it the responsibility of the Hebrews to live righteously by being faithful to God in what they do. God judged each one’s moral ability to keep the law as being righteous or unrighteous. God ruled each man’s work as being faithful to Him or not.

 

The New Covenant of Grace doesn’t place the responsibility for righteousness on the Christian and what he does. The Christian’s righteousness is a gift from Jesus, and it inspires him to live by faith. The Christian is not judged on How faithful He is or not. Jesus Christ was faithful on the Cross to take man’s judgment for him. God no longer judges what a man does. He is now Abba Father. He knows His child better than that child could ever know himself.

 

Look at the proud. Look at the self-righteousness of the Old Testament and the self-righteousness of the New Testament. The self-righteous under the Old Covenant of Law deliberately trusted in their own ability instead of trusting in God. Their lives were deceitful and perverse. The self-righteous, who claim to know Jesus, give power to the law, work for approval, and judge others' performance. 

 

“My righteous ones shall live by faith,” the writer to the Hebrews declared! Jesus fulfilled the requirements of the law. Living by faith inspires faithfulness to God, but we are no longer judged by what we do. We are loved and accepted by the precious grace of Jesus. The love of Jesus is all about who we are in Him—what He has done for us and not what we do for Him.

 

What does this mean for us?  We no longer have to earn God's acceptance. Jesus changed everything. He accepted us in our sin and took our sin to the Cross. On Calvary, payment for our sin was complete. The requirements of the law which had exposed and given power to sin were finally fulfilled.  We don’t have to prove to God that we love Him. We don’t have to worry that what we do for Him is enough. He yearns for us to know who He has made us. God has given us new life in Christ. He has given us His identity.

 

Jesus, who knew no sin, became our sin so that we might be the righteousness of God. We no longer have to do righteous acts to win God's approval. Jesus gave us His righteousness when He died for us. If you believe you have to strive to win God's love, you will always wonder if what you do is good enough. You will not feel His love and compassion. But when you know who you are in Jesus, you are filled with wonder at the love He unselfishly gave to you on Calvary. You are blown away by just being His child.

 

Am I Martha or Mary?  Am I working or basking in His presence? To do or to be?  I want to be who He has made me be—not who I try to make myself be. In just a little while, He will come. I will live by faith in what He has given me on Calvary. 

 

©2020 Lynn Lacher

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