PLEASE BE SURE TO click on READ MORE & SCROLL ALL THE WAY DOWN TO SEE THE WHOLE ISSUE OF TODAY’S GOOD NEWS DAILY! LATEST UPDATE & PRAYER REQUEST Dear friend, If you read the book of Nehemiah about how the Lord used Nehemiah the King’s cupbearer to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and if you’re willing to dive deep with the Holy Spirit who is promised by the Lord to teach His followers His Word, you may notice something rather interesting about the enemy of Nehemiah and those rebuilding the wall. The enemy – a group of people in fact – are relentless in trying to come against Nehemiah and the builders. As a matter of fact, the enemy tries to STOP the builders from getting started, the enemy tries to STOP the builders from continuing in their work once they get started, AND the enemy still is coming after the builders AFTER they have built the wall! Friend, Satan is the enemy of God’s children. And he despises when God’s children are sold out to loving and serving Him. And he will go to any lengths to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). He will use anyone and anything he possibly can to come against Christ’s followers and their service to Christ. He will try to stop us from getting started in what the Lord assigns us to do for Him, he will try to stop us in the midst of our work, and he will come after us after we have completed an assignment for the Lord. Some Christ followers experience less of this. Some experience a moderate amount. And some an extreme. But it all stems from Satan, and the only answer to it all is victory in, through, and for the Lord Jesus Christ. I am in the midst of fiery spiritual warfare right now, and it is exhausting and quite frankly hurts like heck. But in the strength of Christ for the glory of Christ I will persevere. And my prayer request today is that you would please if you’re led pray for all those Christ followers around the world who are missionaries, evangelists, pastors, any people at all who are on the front lines of helping to build and strengthen the Lord’s forever Kingdom of followers. I could use prayer beyond measure, but so could my brothers and sisters worldwide who are totally sold out to serving Jesus now and forever, AMEN! Thank you for praying for us all! p.s. I encourage you to consider reading Nehemiah, but most importantly to make and keep a commitment to spend time alone with Jesus and the Bible daily! IF YOU NEED HELP BEGINNING OR PRESSING ON IN A FOREVER RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO REACH OUT AT 843-338-2219 OR lara@GoodNews.love love & blessings, lara TODAY’S LITTLE LETTER FROM LARA Dear friend, Know what the Spirit of Christ who lives inside His followers tells me sometimes? He says: “You may do this BUT…” I emphasize the BUT. Here is why. Sometimes I have a strong mind to do something. The Lord makes clear He WILL ALLOW IT. But He also makes clear IT IS NOT HIS WILL. I feel strongly compelled to share this with you right now, and here is why. Is there something in your life you’re doing, or something you’re planning to do, or even simply thinking of doing that IS NOT the will of the Lord? Please seek the Lord. Please read the Bible to make sure you are in the will of the Lord as He will never speak to us anything against His Word. Please seek counsel from Christ followers strongly grounded in the Bible. Please pray. Please pray. Please pray. Please hear the Lord. PLEASE OBEY THE LORD. Life as a Christ follower is not about our will. It’s about the Lord and His. Just because the Lord allows us to do something doesn’t mean it’s His will. Let’s strive day in and day out to live our lives in a manner pleasing and honoring and in obedience to Christ! love & blessings, lara TODAY’S DAILY INSPIRATION LOVE’S RECORDS”Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NKJV “does not act improperly, is not selfish, is not provoked, and does not keep a record of wrongs.” HCSB per Biblehub.com 1 Corinthians 13:5 I was heading right down the pathway of rehearsing in my mind all the wrong things a friend had done in the way of hurting me when clear as day I heard the Spirit of the Lord bring to my remembrance the scripture above. Strong conviction. Strong correction. Strongly necessary. Why? Friend, the Lord makes clear in His Word we are to live a lifestyle of love, forgiveness, grace, compassion, and mercy. Not of anger, hurt, bitterness, self-pity, holding grudges, being obsessed with others’ wrongdoing, judgment, condemnation, bad-mouthing, and vengeance. The Lord stopped me before heading further down that wrong pathway. He set me right back where I belong. On His way. The way of His love. What did I need to do? LOVE. FORGIVE. PRAY FOR THAT PERSON. And press on in following Jesus and fulfilling the Lord’s will for my life. How about you, friend? Got some loving to do? Some forgiving to do? Some letting go of the past to do? Wish I could say I do any of this perfectly. I have such a long, long way to go. Perhaps you do also. But when we’re on the path of Christ, yielding ourselves to the Lord and His ways, we can trust His Spirit will lead us forth, bring correction when we need it, empower us to do what is right, and remind us when we need reminding that the life of a Christ follower belongs to the Lord. Now – and forever. AMEN! Please note I normally in my writing use the NKJV version and sometimes KJV version. With 1 Corinthians 13:5, a number of times in different translations the original Greek words are translated into essentially love not keeping account of wrongdoing. Please consider doing your own study on these verses using a Bible dictionary, Strong’s concordance, or however the Lord might lead you. Bottom line, we are called to love and to forgive as the Lord Jesus Christ so blessedly modeled and models to us! TODAY’S 365 BLESSINGS 365 BLESSINGS is a devotional book I recently wrote that will soon be available in print by the grace of the Lord for the glory of the Lord! Blessings #157-173 “I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined to me, And heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth— Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, And will trust in the Lord. Blessed is that man who makes the Lord his trust, And does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. Many, O Lord my God, are Your wonderful works Which You have done; And Your thoughts toward us Cannot be recounted to You in order; If I would declare and speak of them, They are more than can be numbered. Sacrifice and offering You did not desire; My ears You have opened. Burnt offering and sin offering You did not require. Then I said, “Behold, I come; In the scroll of the book it is written of me. I delight to do Your will, O my God, And Your law is within my heart.” I have proclaimed the good news of righteousness In the great assembly; Indeed, I do not restrain my lips, O Lord, You Yourself know. I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart; I have declared Your faithfulness and Your salvation; I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth From the great assembly. Do not withhold Your tender mercies from me, O Lord; Let Your lovingkindness and Your truth continually preserve me. For innumerable evils have surrounded me; My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to look up; They are more than the hairs of my head; Therefore my heart fails me. Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me; O Lord, make haste to help me! Let them be ashamed and brought to mutual confusion Who seek to destroy my life; Let them be driven backward and brought to dishonor Who wish me evil. Let them be confounded because of their shame, Who say to me, “Aha, aha!” Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; Let such as love Your salvation say continually, “The Lord be magnified!” But I am poor and needy; Yet the Lord thinks upon me. You are my help and my deliverer; Do not delay, O my God.” Psalm 40 Seventeen blessings in a single psalm? Absolutely! Honestly, you will likely find plenty more than 17 even in this single psalm if you dig deeper. The Bible is so full of blessings a lifetime wouldn’t be enough to find them all, would it? Just look at – and be thankful – for some of the blessings in this particular psalm. * We can and should wait on the Lord, and He will hear us! * When we cry out to Him with humility, with repentance, and in faith, He will bring us out of the pit of discouragement, despair, hopelessness, etc. * He will give us something to sing about – HIMSELF and His greatness – in PRAISE! * He blesses those who trust in Him and do what is right! * His “wonderful works” are endless, aren’t they? * He teaches us to desire to please Him by doing His will! * We can read the Bible and fill our hearts with His Word – His law, His truth, wisdom, promises, etc.! * We are blessed when we tell others of the Lord and do not hold back proclaiming Him and His greatness! * It is a blessing not to hide but to declare to others His faithfulness, salvation, lovingkindness, and truth! * God’s mercy, lovingkindness, and truth are without measure in their awesomeness! * We can be overwhelmed by our sin and its consequences, but the Lord will forgive us when we repent! And we can cry out to Him for His mercy and deliverance! * The Lord will deal with our enemies! We don’t need to seek vengeance nor should we! We need to forgive and hand them off to the Lord! * Those who seek the Lord have reason to rejoice and be glad and celebrate for the greatest joy of all is the Lord! Everlasting joy we find in Jesus! * We can magnify and exalt and lift up and proclaim the Lord and find happiness in doing so! * When we humble ourselves and confess our poverty and need, we are blessed for we can be confident the Lord cares for us, loves us, thinks of us, and desires to provide for us! * He is our help and delivers us! * As patient as we must be in waiting on the Lord for He is the one we need, we can cry out to Him in utter desperation and beg Him to hurry and answer our cries – and rest assured He will answer when we humble ourselves before Him! In His timing, of course, for His glory, absolutely! TODAY’S THE CROSS DEVOTIONAL “O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water.” Psalm 63:1 “Do you want what’s easy, or do you want what will please me?” the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart as I knelt on the ground with my face near the floor huddled and humbled before Him pouring out my heart to Him. I had just finished telling Him what I – yes, I – felt would be easiest in a particular situation. Very much easiest in fact. For He had given me something hard to do. Very challenging. To my heart. Something in which I needed to be exceedingly vulnerable in one of the hardest of ways for me. Now there I was telling the Lord how I thought things should go. Never a good idea. Oh, sure, we can speak our hearts to Him. But, ultimately, HE IS LORD. And we must – yes, MUST – bow down before Him. Not just on our knees, if we so choose to do when we pray – but IN OUR HEARTS. YIELDED TO HIM. SURRENDERED. To the Lord. And to His will. I knew what I needed to do. I needed to persevere in obeying Him in this particular area of my life. No matter the cost to my flesh. No matter how much day by day I would have to die to self. To live for Him. Do you see the intimacy in this, friend? Do you see the communing with the Lord? Do you see the closeness? The nearness to Christ? That I can hear His very Spirit speak to my heart. That I know in His chastening, in His corrections, in His refining, in His call to obedience, in His conforming me to Himself is His love, grace, and mercy? Do you see how I can recognize His very voice? Knowing He always and only speaks in line with His Word which I read and apply to my life daily? Friend, this is not because I am anyone special. Not because I am better than. Not because I have done anything incredible. I am nobody. I am nothing without the Lord. I consider myself the worst of all sinners saved only by His grace. I am not special. I am simply surrendered to Jesus and to the Bible. Wholly His. And, as such, I am blessed with an incredibly intimate and ever-growing relationship with the Lord. You can have the same, you know. Turn from your sins, believe in Him as Lord who died on the cross to pay your sin penalty and was raised from the dead, and truly commit your life to the Lord and His ways. Spend alone time with the Lord and the Bible each and every day. Surrender yourself utterly to Christ. Learn to pray to Him and to hear from Him and to measure what you hear against the Bible. Live a life of obedience to Christ. Praise and adore and worship Him. Serve Him. LIVE FOR HIM! And know the beauty and rawness and sometimes so very much hardness and incredibly indescribably wonderful blessedness of being in intimate fellowship with Jesus – now and forevermore, AMEN! TODAY’S SERVING JESUS IN YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE THE HEART BEHIND GIVING “But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 “And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.”” Luke 21:1-4 Some people believe the Lord calls His followers in the New Testament to tithe. To give 1/10 of their income toward the Kingdom of God. Some believe the tithe goes to a church. Some believe it needs to go to a church, ministry, missionary, etc., in other words to some aspect of the building of the Lord’s forever Kingdom. Some believe followers of Christ are to simply give an offering rather than necessarily a definitive tithe. Regardless of how people understand the Lord’s Word regarding giving, it is undoubtedly clear we are to give. Period. End of conversation. But is it? No, it’s not! For isn’t the most important thing of all not the amount we give but the heart behind it? Does the Lord not tell us He desires we give CHEERFULLY? Does He not honor the widow with the tiny bit of money who gave essentially everything while the prideful Pharisees gave a tiny bit out of their wealth with uncharitable arrogant hearts? Is it possible what matters most of all is that we yield ourselves and our possessions utterly to the Lord and to His will and that we give however He desires whenever He desires wherever He desires to whomever He desires with hearts filled with love, humility, joy, and thanksgiving? And is it not possible that the idea of giving and generosity extends far beyond giving from our wallets, pocketbooks, and bank accounts? I believe so! And I believe we would all be wise to examine our hearts before the Lord to make sure we are giving of everything with which He blesses us exactly how He desires. Not to get anything in return. But to honor and obey and serve and glorify the Lord God almighty. AMEN!
PLEASE BE SURE TO click on READ MORE and SCROLL ALL THE WAY DOWN TO SEE THE WHOLE ISSUE OF TODAY’S GOOD NEWS DAILY! LATEST UPDATE & PRAYER REQUEST Dear friend, I’m back in the battle. Seriously in it. Spiritual battle, that is. The kind of battle with which I’m all too familiar. Christ followers can be sure spiritual warfare is part of our journey following the Lord Jesus Christ. And rest assured if you’re in full-time ministry, on the front lines so to speak, out on the streets, on the highways and byways, sold out to Jesus, living and breathing for Him, forsaking all for Christ, yes, the battles can be fiery and sometimes seemingly relentless. I’m blessed so very thankfully with an incredibly deep and intimate and ever-growing personal relationship with the Lord, I am continually seeking Him and hearing Him and humbling myself before Him and striving for a lifestyle of obedience to Him. When it comes to spiritual warfare, then, I am able to very clearly hear His wisdom and instructions in the midst of the battles as He brings me through them. That said, I am not on the battlefield alone! I have the Lord above all else, I believe I have His angels all around me, and I am so very thankful for those led to pray for me. Please pray, friends, please pray! As I press on in the Lord’s work. For the glory of Christ, AMEN! IF YOU NEED HELP BEGINNING OR PRESSING ON IN A FOREVER RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO REACH OUT AT 843-338-2219 OR lara@GoodNews.love love & blessings, lara TODAY’S LITTLE LETTER FROM LARA Dear friend, THE BIG RELINQUISHMENT. These words just came to me. Why? I have been spending a little morning time with Jesus. Precious time. Time with the Lord always is. The Lord once again has been reminding me that He bought me with the price of His shed blood on the cross. He redeemed me from the curse of death, hell, and the lake of fire we all are under as sinners against God. He died on the cross for me and was raised from the dead to be the atonement for my sins – and for the sins of all of us all around the world. He gave me the promise of everlasting life when I turned to Him as Lord. I am His. But do I think this way? Do I feel this way? Do I act this way? Do I live this way? Do I understand I belong to Jesus now? Forever? Do you? The Lord has been speaking to my heart about humbling myself before Him and submitting myself to Him – in all things. My wishes, wants, and ways need to be laid down at His feet. I need to relinquish all day by day to the Lord. I need to surrender all. Friend, I encourage you to consider this. Everlasting life with the Lord instead of death, hell, and the lake of fire is for those who turn from our sins, believe in Christ as Lord who died on the cross and was raised from the dead, turning to the Lord and His ways. Receiving Jesus as LORD and as SAVIOR. Do we truly understand when we receive Jesus as Lord, our life becomes His? That He has bought us with the price of His blood shed on the cross for us? Do we live our lives accordingly? Humbling ourselves before Him as Lord and living according to His ways rather than the world’s? Have you surrendered all to Jesus? Is it time to do some relinquishing? Anything you are holding onto you need to yield to Jesus? Turn, turn, turn to the Lord! Yield everything to Jesus! Oh, how I encourage you to give all to the Lord! Give all to Jesus, AMEN! “For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Cor. 6:20 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” Romans 12:1 love & blessings, lara TODAY’S DAILY INSPIRATION THE BED BUGS STORY – AND MESSAGE! “Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”” 2 Timothy 2:19 A friend of mine shared with me that bed bugs were found in the apartment above his in New York City. Yes, ugh. Big ugh. His response? He wanted to make absolutely certain the apartment management company sent an exterminator over IMMEDIATELY – the very same day! – to make absolutely certain his apartment was fine. If not, he wanted the apartment taken care of – yes, IMMEDIATELY. This was plain and clear in how he spoke to me. I can’t blame him of course, but there is a message in this for you and me, friend. Our hearts and lives should be pure and clean at all times for the Lord Jesus Christ. We’re imperfect humans, of course, so along the way the Spirit of God who lives inside His followers shows us when we have fallen into something dishonoring to the Lord. Sin, yes. Why does He do this? So we can sit and think about our wrongdoing for days, weeks, months, and years to come? Or not even think about it but simply continue in it? No! So we can IMMEDIATELY address the problem. So we can IMMEDIATELY get rid of whatever we have allowed into our hearts and lives that displeases the Lord. So we can PURIFY OURSELVES – NOW! So we can repent – THIS VERY MINUTE. So we can be clean and pleasing to the Lord, yes. My friend was adamant he didn’t even want the bedbugs from someone else’s apartment getting into his. He was so emphatic about not wanting bedbugs that he didn’t even want to wait until he had the problem. He wanted to prevent it! Friend, we should so love and honor the Lord Jesus Christ that we strive day by day to purify ourselves when we have fallen short and work hard to avoid falling in the first place. In the Lord’s strength, in His love, by His grace, in His mercy, for His glory, yes! TODAY’S 365 BLESSINGS 365 BLESSINGS is a devotional book I recently wrote that will soon be available in print by the grace of the Lord for the glory of the Lord! BLESSING 156 “Sing to the Lord, all the earth; Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.” 1 Chron. 1623 What an awesome, awesome blessing that the Lord is worthy of all our praise forever, and that He gives us opportunities day by day to love Him, worship Him, pray to Him, honor Him, glorify Him, and to tell the world about Him. What a privilege, honor, and blessing it is to declare the good news of Jesus who is forever Lord to a world in desperate need of Him! Oh, bless the Lord, friend, bless the Lord! Praising Him when on our own – and praising Him before others! Praise, praise, praise the Lord! How blessed we are to praise the Lord! TODAY’S THE CROSS DEVOTIONAL WHAT CAN YOU GIVE? ““You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:43-48 “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”” Mt. 6:38 “and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.” 2 Cor. 5:15 The Lord has been working on my heart in a certain matter. The matter of hurt. Yes, big, hard, hurt. The kind of hurt that causes the heart to want to run and run and run away somewhere safe and secure and protected from any more hurt. But what has the Lord spoken to my heart about this hurt? Specifically right now when it comes to one particular person and the way the person is hurting me? The Lord has made known to me He doesn’t want me to run from the person. He wants me to GIVE to the person! Can you imagine? To GIVE to the very person hurting me? Would the Lord really call us to do something like this? Always, always, always measure what you believe you hear from the Lord against the Bible. The Lord always and only speaks in line with it. Read the verses above. Read the Bible in its entirety. The Lord is so very clear when it comes to loving Him with all our hearts and loving others – even when they hurt us! Oh, yes, there are times the Lord calls us to walk away. To distance ourselves. To take a time of separation. To end a relationship. When it’s His will, that is what we must do. But even then, we are to love and to forgive. But what about when He calls us to stay in someone’s life and to love, to forgive, and to GIVE to the very person who is breaking our hearts? What must we do? LOVE AND OBEY THE LORD! So we must GIVE! But how? Isn’t this impossible? Doesn’t this hurt like crazy? Doesn’t our flesh feel like it’s dying when we have to humble ourselves and GIVE in such cases? Oh, yes, we may feel like our flesh is dying! And so it is! And we are very much so called by Jesus to DIE TO SELF and to LIVE FOR HIM. How can we do this? As Christ’s followers, we are filled with His Spirit. We can ask for a fresh filling of His Spirit. We can pray, pray, pray – for the other person and for ourselves that we might obey the Lord. And, in Christ’s strength, His love, mercy, compassion, caring, kindness, hope, joy, peace, and forgiveness, we can GIVE to the very person He calls us to give to. Oh, how my flesh wants to RUN, RUN, RUN. But I will stay. I will stay and LOVE and FORGIVE and GIVE to this person – and to any others the Lord desires – IN THE STRENGTH OF CHRIST FOR THE GLORY OF CHRIST. Amen! Is this message for you, friend? TODAY’S SERVING JESUS IN YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE WHOSE MONEY IS IT? “And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.”” Luke 21:1-4 I can’t explain it. I simply felt led on my birthday to tell thousands of people it was my birthday and that it would be a wonderful blessing to have new sponsors and donors for my ministry to help me fulfill my life’s calling for Christ. I wan’t surprised by what happened. Just sad – yet again. One person – yes, one – made a generous donation. This one person as far as I know is not a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. She is a dog lover, and most assuredly her donation will be used for the care of my handicapped streets ministry doggies. So what happened to the Christians? You might be shocked by how few people in recent years have stepped forward to give to this ministry to help me do streets ministry around the country and write and publish Gospel tracts, devotionals, and books that go onto the streets, into prisons, homeless shelters, rescue missions, to street preachers, to ministries, to churches, to wherever and whomever the Lord desires. Not so I can have a big salary. I have none. But for the cause of Christ and helping people to find and forever follow Jesus rather than spend eternity in everlasting torment in hell and the lake of fire. Friend, I do not write this to plead with you to give to this ministry. If it is the Lord’s will, then glory be to the Lord. But I write this to remind us all that everything in our hearts and hands belongs to Jesus. And that we have a responsibility to help build and support the Kingdom of God. In our prayers, in our actions, and in our giving of our hearts, time, and yes, even in our finances. In my case, I have done something perhaps a bit off the beaten track. Since I travel from place to place and go to different churches and fellowships for periods of time as the Lord leads me to do there whatever He desires in the way of loving and sharing, and most importantly loving, worshiping, and serving, I decided some years ago to give the Lord 100% of the money He – yes, He – places in my hands. It is ALL His. My heart’s cry is to spend it however HE desires. If He wants to give me a little blessing, so be it. But I no longer am the materialist I once was. I no longer live my life chasing after earthly pleasures and treasures. My greatest pleasure and treasure is Jesus – and telling the world about Him! Let us each and every one of us spend the money with which He blesses us in a way that is honoring and pleasing and glorifying to the Lord God almighty whose Holy Spirit will lead us in how exactly He desires that it be spent including in love for and obedience and service to Him. Hallelujah!
PLEASE BE SURE TO SCROLL ALL THE WAY DOWN TO SEE THE WHOLE ISSUE OF TODAY’S GOOD NEWS DAILY! LATEST UPDATE & PRAYER REQUEST Dear friend, Today is my birthday. I have no plans other than to go to Bible study this evening. Oh, how times have changed. Truth is I don’t have a social life by choice because I live and breathe to love and glorify the Lord and to tell the world about Him. My dreams have changed. My desires are different. My wants are not the same. My greatest desire this very day – my birthday – is to love the Lord with all my heart, to love others as myself, and to tell the world about Jesus in writing and out on the streets as the Lord leads me forth. My family is far away but near and dear in heart. I am not given the opportunity to spend my birthday with them this time around. Would I love to spend my birthday with a precious friend loving and worshiping and talking about Jesus together and telling the world about Him? Oh, sure, absolutely yes. But this is my highest desire for my birthday. To be wholly the Lord’s. To be pleasing in His sight. To make Him joyful, to bring Him pleasure, to make Him proud and to smile, to bring happiness to His heart, to glorify Him in all that I say, do, and think, and to repent when I fall short. Birthday presents? I have all that I need today. If anyone gave to me a gift, I wish it would be this. To become a sponsor of my ministry to help me tell the world about the Lord! This once utterly self-consumed woman is being transformed in the hands of the Lord. He is making me more and more into the woman He created me to be. HIS. Please would you pray for me, this ministry, my handicapped streets ministry doggies, and all those the Lord reaches through the ministry. Thank you! IF YOU NEED HELP BEGINNING OR PRESSING ON IN A FOREVER RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO REACH OUT AT 843-338-2219 OR lara@GoodNews.love love & blessings, lara TODAY’S LITTLE LETTER FROM LARA Dear friend, “I’m going to pack it up and go somewhere warm,” I told the Lord. “If you do that, you will go against me. Is that what you want?” the Spirit of God spoke swiftly to my heart. Honestly? That’s exactly what my flesh wants. I’m so sensitive to cold that I can get goose bumps from head to toe at 72 degrees. I’ve fought for weeks to get the management of where I stay in New York City in my latest season of being on the road for Jesus full-time to fix the heat and turn it on. The temperature has dropped at night significantly, the apartment gets cold, I wake up cold, and I hate using my little portable heater because of the cost compared with the heat the landlord is supposed to provide for free. I’m an outdoors person and love streets ministry and taking long walks to spend time with the Lord and get exercise and fresh air. Is that what I want? To pack it up and run somewhere warm for winter? Flesh? YES! Truth? I love the Lord Jesus Christ more than anyone and anything and hunger and thirst to live and breathe to love and glorify Him. I put my trust in Him day by day and believe He will take care of me and my sweet streets ministry doggies so long as I’m in His will. If He wants to move me south for winter, He will. If He doesn’t, He will take care of me right where I am. Friend, following Jesus is about loving Jesus. About serving Him. About honoring Him. About praising Him. Worshiping Him. Trusting Him. Believing in Him. Obeying Him. Adoring Him. Magnifying Him. Telling the world about Him. And on and on. Most of all, LIVING FOR HIM! No matter what your flesh cries out to do, will you turn from your sins, believe in Christ as Lord who died on the cross to pay your sin penalty and was raised from the dead, truly devoting your heart and life to the Lord and His ways no matter the cost? Please live for the Lord! This very day, if you have not already, make the commitment! And follow through day in and day out with keeping it! Hallelujah, AMEN! “and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.” 2 Corinthians 5:15 love & blessings, lara TODAY’S DAILY INSPIRATION RISKING IT ALL FOR CHRIST “Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23 The Lord has given me an assignment in life and ministry that I would have given just about anything to avoid. But He is Lord, He gave it to me, and I need in my love for Him to obey Him and press on. The assignment comes with great risk. Risk to my comfort, to my mind, to my peace, to my heart, to what is familiar and feels safe and secure. I am used to taking risks for the Lord Jesus Christ by now because I am learning to die to myself daily, to take up my cross daily, and to follow Jesus daily. No matter the cost. What does my flesh want to do? RUN and HIDE and NOT RETURN and GO SOMEWHERE EASY AND SAFE AND COMFORTABLE. But I don’t live by my flesh today. I live by the Spirit of God who lives inside His followers. And He who leads me gives the love, grace, strength, mercy, and absolutely everything I need to fulfill the will of the Lord. No matter the cost. No matter the risks. There is a reward in all of this, you know. When we die to self, we live for Christ. When we live for Christ, we grow in relationship with Him. We get to spend forever with Him. We receive the indescribably amazing reward of being His forevermore. Please don’t hold back taking risks for Jesus. Please give Him your all. Each and every day. For the glory of Christ, AMEN! TODAY’S 365 BLESSINGS 365 BLESSINGS is a devotional book I recently wrote that will soon be available in print by the grace of the Lord for the glory of the Lord! Blessing #155 “So David did as God commanded him, and they drove back the army of the Philistines from Gibeon as far as Gezer. Then the fame of David went out into all lands, and the Lord brought the fear of him upon all nations.” 1 Chron. 14:16-17 What happened when David obeyed God? He and his people won the battle, their victory was known, and God made it so countless people feared them. David’s obedience led to all this, and the glory belonged to the Lord. We are so blessed the Lord not only calls us to obedience – but also that He rewards us for it in whatever way(s) He desires. And what a blessing it is when He uses us to bring glory to His holy most precious blessed everlasting glorious name – the name above every other name, oh yes! TODAY’S THE CROSS DEVOTIONAL WHEN THE TEARS FALL “Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah” Psalm 62:8 Sometimes tears fall down our cheeks. Sometimes they simply fall in our hearts. I have done my fair share of both. Crying in my heart. Crying down my face. Even on this very day, on my birthday in fact, I have a great sorrow in my heart. For several reasons in fact. But the reasons don’t matter. The message does. Whether the tears are falling down our faces or falling in our hearts, the very best thing we can do I have long since learned is to pour out our hearts before the Lord who has for us love that never fails (1 Cor. 13:8), mercy that goes on forever (Psalm 118:1), and comfort that surpasses any comfort we can possibly receive on this earth (2 Cor. 1:3-4). Oh, sure, it’s good to go to our loved ones, to our friends, etc. when the Lord leads us to do so to share with them our sorrows, but there is no greater shelter when the tears are falling, no greater refuge, no greater hiding place, than the one we find when we come running into the everlasting arms of the Lord Jesus Christ. The shelter of Christ! Need to come into His refuge? Into His shelter? Come to Christ, my friend, come before the Lord – tears and all. TODAY’S SERVING JESUS IN YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE WHEN LITTLE THINGS ARE BIG THINGS”For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be? But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.” 1 Corinthians 12:12-25 I have a sister in Christ whom I’ve only known a short while who is as I write getting on the New York City subway going totally out of her way with a huge bunch of devotionals I just wrote and published that she has folded to prepare them for distribution over the next few weeks for Halloween. In the grand scheme of things, what a little thing she’s doing, don’t you think? A few hours of folding. A not altogether too long commute on the subway. Not so big in the context of ministry work, is it? Or, is it? Only the Lord knows the degree to which she in her faithfulness is helping me. Only the Lord knows how exhausted I am. Only He knows how much I’ve been in need of help. And only He knows how the “little things” in ministry matter so exceedingly much because they are all part of the same whole of Christ’s Body of followers working together to love and serve Him forevermore. Please don’t underestimate what you may be called to do for Christ. And please don’t turn away from your opportunities. Please serve however He calls you to serve, with a humble heart, and be thankful He will both call and equip you to serve Him however He desires. AMEN!
Today is my birthday! As many of you know, I’m on the road for Jesus full-time with my handicapped streets ministry doggies doing streets ministry and writing and publishing Gospel tracts, devotionals, and books. My big birthday wish? Nothing for myself. Oh, sure, I have plenty of things I would love for me. But this isn’t about me. It’s about Jesus and a world in need of Him. My big birthday wish is for lots and lots of people to step forward in faith and love and to become monthly sponsors of my ministry and to donate to it to help me fulfill my life’s calling for the Lord. I have exceedingly little financial support, no staff, a bare-bones budget, no salary, and extremely few people helping me. I have cried out to the Lord for some years now for help and support, and I would so very much love for this very day to mark a new beginning of people stepping forth in faith and love to help me fulfill my life’s calling for the Lord. Please visit my ministry online at www.GoodNews.love, and I thank you in advance for how the Lord might lead you to give.
PLEASE BE SURE TO click on READ MORE and SCROLL ALL THE WAY DOWN TO SEE THE WHOLE ISSUE OF TODAY’S GOOD NEWS DAILY! LATEST UPDATE & PRAYER REQUEST Dear friend, By the grace of the Lord God almighty, yesterday I received my first copy of the book I just wrote and published called 365 BLESSINGS. By His grace, yes, it is the seventh book I have written. I am so excited that He through me brought to completion what He placed on my heart some time ago, and more and more in my life I am understanding what it is to live a life of love, surrender, and obedience to Jesus! It is my heart’s cry with this book that the Lord uses it in whatever way He desires to bring glory to His name and to bring more people into His forever Kingdom and to strengthen those already His. Not so very long ago, I would have been devastated that the books I have written are known by virtually nobody, that they never made it in bookstores, that I will likely never make the New York Times bestsellers list, that some of my books may never be read or may be read by very few. But now I understand what it means to be wholly His. I am on the road for Jesus full-time with my handicapped streets ministry doggies doing streets ministry and writing and publishing Gospel tracts IN OBEDIENCE TO THE LORD – FOR THE GLORY OF THE LORD. When He tells me to do something, I need to do it BECAUSE JESUS CHRIST IS LORD FOREVER! Following Jesus isn’t about us and our fleshly desires. It’s about THE LORD JESUS CHRIST and LIVING to LOVE AND GLORIFY THE LORD FOREVERMORE! If it’s the Lord’s will, a zillion people will read this latest book. If it’s His will that only one does, that’s okay. What I want is not my will – but His. FOR HIS GLORY! Please stay tuned for more information on getting a copy of the book if you’re led, or you can contact me at 843-338-2219 or lara@GoodNews.love. IF YOU NEED HELP BEGINNING OR PRESSING ON IN A FOREVER RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO REACH OUT AT 843-338-2219 OR lara@GoodNews.love love & blessings, lara TODAY’S LITTLE LETTER FROM LARA Dear friend, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Word of God. I simply can’t get enough of the Bible. Right now, I am reading in multiple places as I almost always do, but I am being particularly drawn to the book of Hosea. Are you familiar with it? If you say you are because you’ve heard it preached, or used a church workbook to learn about it, or read the commentaries on it, I have some serious encouragement for you. But my encouragement is not just about the book of Hosea. It’s about the Bible as a whole. Babies are nursed. Then they are bottle fed. Then, as they grow up, they eat baby food. Then they learn to eat for themselves as they mature. Friend, the most beautiful, precious, wonderful, marvelous, exciting, exhilerating, life-changing blessing when it comes to the Bible is that when we turn from our sins and receive Jesus Christ as Lord and His Spirit comes to live inside us, we are given the greatest teacher in the universe. The Spirit of God living inside those of us who follow Him. Hearing good preaching is an incredible blessing, but the greatest gift of all when it comes to the Bible I believe is when we commit to spend time alone with Jesus, open up the pages of the Bible, and read and get lovingly and mercifully taught, convicted, loved, chastened, changed, grown, transformed, blessed, and so very much more by the Spirit of God through the Word of God. I beg you with all my heart to please make a commitment every single day to make the Lord Jesus Christ your greatest love, your greatest priority, and your alone time with Jesus and the Bible the very foundation of each and every day. I’m excited to dig deeper into the book of Hosea, but more than anything I’m excited beyond measure to keep reading the Bible as a whole, filled with and led by and taught by God’s Spirit, and to enjoy His fellowship as Lord, King, Savior, master, redeemer, healer, teacher, and friend for the rest of my life AND ETERNITY. How about you, my friend? love & blessings, lara TODAY’S DAILY INSPIRATION DO YOU KNOW THE FUTURE? “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith,…” Hebrews 12:2 “Do you know the future?” the Holy Spirit who lives and moves in and through Christ’s followers said as He broke into my thoughts. “It is mine.” I was heading right down the worry path – a path with which I am all too familiar. The Lord wanted to stop me. Immediately. I was trying to figure something out about something big in my life. Something surprising. Something my flesh decided I needed to know. Now. Oh, but not so. Not according to the Lord. The Lord wasn’t done. A little bit later? “Don’t look to the future. Look to me,” He told me. In a nutshell? The future belongs to Jesus. Not us. We don’t need to try to figure it out. We shouldn’t try to figure it out. We shouldn’t be looking to ourselves and the future. We should look to the Lord and to His Word. Even if we are led to look ahead, it should be in the context of loving and serving Christ. Of seeking and fulfilling His will for us. Of looking through the eyes of a Christ follower. Through the lens of the Bible. With the motive of loving and glorifying the Lord in whatever way He desires. Not surprisingly, given the magnificence and sovereignty of the Lord, a friend who knew nothing of what had occurred regarding the Lord’s words to me shared with me the same message just hours later. About not living in the future. Let us look to the Lord, friend, let us look to Him! And should He lead us to look down the road ahead of us, may it be in a way glorifying to Him. AMEN! TODAY’S 365 BLESSINGS 365 BLESSINGS is a devotional book I recently wrote that will soon be available in print by the grace of the Lord for the glory of the Lord! “This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men.” Acts 24:16 In this verse, the apostle Paul speaks not only of being able to have a good conscience before God most importantly – but also in front of people. The Lord calls us and enables us to live according to His ways so we honor and please and glorify Him as well as receive the blessings of being in obedience to Him. When we live like this, we can have a good conscience before Him! And we have the added blessing that those who see us pleasing God can see the love and light and peace, hope, and joy of Christ in us and through this be drawn to Him! So blessed when we live in obedience to the Lord with the good conscience that results! TODAY’S THE CROSS DEVOTIONAL “I delight to do Your will, O my God, And Your law is within my heart.”” Psalm 40:8 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.” Matthew 5:6 No sooner than I lay down on my stomach and face to pray to the Lord than I prayed this: “Father, I don’t want to be out of your will. I want to be in it.” I can promise you three things. First, I never long ago would have been on my face on the floor praying to the Lord God almighty. Second, even if I had prayed to the Lord, I would have prayed for my will not His. Third, I would not have wanted His correction and chastening if I had been out of His will so He would lead me to turn and be in His will. Why the change? An amazingly, awesomely, rich, vibrant, deep, powerful, enriching, satisfying, exceedingly abundantly wonderful personal and intimate relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of my life. And the more I receive His love, the more I love Him in return, the more I fear Him, and revere Him, and honor and adore Him, the more I desire to please Him now and forever. Friend, we should hunger and thirst and yearn to love and please the Lord in all ways all the time all for His glory, and being in His will not out of it should be fundamental to this desire. May the Lord work on us all to be wholly and forever His, AMEN! TODAY’S SERVING JESUS IN YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE “And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’” Mt. 25:40 Imagine my surprise when the very homeless drug addict I had found several months earlier hiding in a severely altered state in the garbage room of the building in which I stay in New York City was slumped down toward the ground about to pass out right in front of the building. The same man of whom I had been scared, and by whom I had felt offended. Very much so. How dare he get into the building! How dare he scare me! Now please understand. The Lord has given me a love for everyone. And I have a special love for people who are in dire straits including those who are homeless and addicted. But I definitely don’t like being scared! I felt like my safety had been violated! Oh, but wait until you hear what the Lord did! In the Lord’s love and strength, by His leading, in His amazing mercy, I ended up getting down on the ground with the man, sharing the Gospel with him, giving him a Gospel tract to him, praying fervently for him, holding him slightly from the side and keeping my arm on him, watching him rapidly toward an overdosed state, watch him become verbally and mentally unresponsive, call 911, wait for the ambulance, beg the Lord to save his life, tell the man I wanted to see him in heaven, and wait for the emergency crew to arrive. I was utterly desperate to see this man commit his life to Christ and to be physically saved from death and what would be hell and the lake of fire if he didn’t turn from his sins to Jesus Christ as Lord. I called the ambulance a second time when he started drooling and looked like he wasn’t going to make it. I begged them to hurry. And I kept on with my hand on the man trying to help in the strength of Jesus for the glory of Jesus. Then the most wild thing happened. He went from what looked like the edge of overdose and possible death to becoming totally alert and standing up to his feet. By the time the emergency workers walked over to him, he was so coherent and standing that they ended up doing no exam whatsoever and driving off. The man didn’t commit his life to Jesus that day, but rest assured I made abundantly clear Jesus is THE ONLY WAY to everlasting life and that he needed to turn from his sins to the Lord. I am so in ever awe of the Lord’s power and grace, His mercy and truth, His love and hope, His peace and joy, His Spirit and Word, and on and on. And I am blessed to be used by Him continually in all sorts of ways ALL FOR HIS GLORY. What struck me with this particular blessed opportunity to serve the Lord was this. The very same man about whom I had been horrified was the same man I knelt down on the ground to help hold with Christ’s pure love as I cried out to the Lord for him to be physically saved and saved for eternity. Oh, how glorious is the love of the Lord Jesus! Oh, how the Lord will fill us with HIS LOVE – for HIS GLORY, AMEN!
PLEASE CLICK ON READ MORE AND SCROLL ALL THE WAY DOWN TO SEE THE WHOLE ISSUE OF TODAY’S GOOD NEWS DAILY!…………. LATEST UPDATE & PRAYER REQUEST Dear friend, “I don’t want to do anything wrong,” I thought. I had been listening to the Spirit of the Lord speak to my heart about a certain matter and wanted desperately to make sure I was in His will and not out of it. That’s when it dawned on me once again how very far the Lord has brought me. From total debauchery and depravity before I believed in Him to trying to get away with as much as I could once I believed in Him to being transformed over time to wanting now to please Him 24-7 in my exceeding love for Him and adoration of Him to being excited and thrilled and humbled and confident He will continue to transform me. For those of us in full-time ministry, it is a dangerous deal when we place our ministry work before our personal relationship with Christ and when we place more focus and effort and energy and give more care and consider more important others and their relationship with Christ than our very own. The Lord Jesus Christ MUST be number one in ALL of our lives, and helping others to find and follow Him MUST begin with our living to love, worship, serve, adore, obey, and glorify the Lord ourselves. And we MUST be ever yielded and continually humble ourselves before the Lord that He might continue the work He began in us to make us more and more like Himself. That said, if and when you’re led to pray for me, I would so very greatly appreciate your prayers concerning my heartfelt desire to love, honor, please, and glorify the Lord each and every day – and forever. Thank you! p.s. Hoping my transparency here is an inspiration to you to go before the Lord continually, to be in His Word daily, and to yield yourself utterly to Jesus Christ as Lord forevermore! IF YOU NEED HELP BEGINNING OR PRESSING ON IN A FOREVER RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO REACH OUT AT 843-338-2219 OR lara@GoodNews.love love & blessings, lara TODAY’S LITTLE LETTER FROM LARA Dear friend, I wanted to do something. The idea was good, really. I thought so anyway. Even the Lord might have thought so. Only there was a problem. And the Lord made plain and clear He did NOT want me to do what I wanted to do – at least then anyway. The idea? Details don’t matter in this case. The problem? Definitely matters because herein lines the message. MY MOTIVE WAS WRONG. MY HEART WAS WRONG. I had SELFISH MOTIVES. That is the WRONG HEART in the eyes of the Lord. Thankfully, the Lord stopped me via His Holy Spirit. Reminding me once more that I need to continually purify my heart. As He ever refines me. As He ever grows me. As He ever humbles me. As He ever bestows His blessed mercy upon me in His long suffering as He conforms me to Himself. Friend, please check your motives. Are they pure in the eyes of the Lord? Or do you, too, have some purifying to do? My encouragement? Seek, hear, and obey the Lord. You can’t go wrong. He is always right. And His ways are always best. Let us then continually humble ourselves before Him and yield to Him as He perfects His love, will, and ways in us. All for the glory of the Lord, AMEN! “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” 2 Corinthians 7:1 love & blessings, lara TODAY’S DAILY INSPIRATION A TIME TO SURRENDER “You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3 I was holding onto something BIG when all of a sudden I SURRENDERED, and immediately this amazing PEACE washed over me. How did I surrender? I told the Lord essentially I would do ANYTHING regarding the situation regardless of what I wanted, felt, thought, etc. That’s when it happened. It was as though I exchanged my burden for His peace. Until then, I had been fighting in my heart. Trying to figure out the future. Figuring it should be a certain way. Why it couldn’t be such and such a way. Judging my thoughts and feelings. Judging the situation. Angry at the Lord for allowing the circumstances in my life. Oh, on and on it went. I had NO peace. Just torment. The torment of fear and the filthiness of pure flesh. Not Spirit. Not the Spirit of God. I had been looking through the lens of the world’s eyes and believing I already had it all figured out. But now? Now I had given the Lord all of it. I had stopped fighting any of it. It was now entirely His. He had initiated it. He would bring to pass what He wanted to bring to pass. Friend, there is peace in surrender to Jesus. It does NOT guarantee we will get what we want. We may receive anything but. But the peace comes in submitting to Christ and to His will, trusting He always knows what’s best and will bring to pass His will when we yield ourselves to Him. Oh, how free at last I was! How about you? Got something you need to surrender? It’s time, isn’t it? TODAY’S 365 BLESSINGS 365 BLESSINGS is a devotional book I recently wrote that will soon be available in print by the grace of the Lord for the glory of the Lord! Blessing #152 “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” Phil. 2:5-8 How did Jesus humble Himself? Even to the point of what? Death on the cross! The Lord despises pride and calls us all to humble ourselves. Humbling ourselves involves a different kind of death, nevertheless death it still is. Death to self. Death to living to satisfy the lusts of our human flesh. So that instead of living for self, we deny self and live for Christ! What a blessing Jesus calls us to die to self in humbling ourselves so that we live forever not just for Him – but WITH Him! For eternity, AMEN! May there be less, less, less of our flesh – and more, more, more of Christ living in and through us. Let us humble ourselves for the sake of Christ, oh yes! TODAY’S THE CROSS DEVOTIONAL TIME WITH JESUS “My beloved spoke, and said to me: “Rise up, my love, my fair one, And come away.” Song of Solomon 2:10 I was just about to start sending a dear friend an email when the Spirit of God stepped in. “This is my time with you,” He told me. “Do you want to spend it with someone else?” It was as though everything in the world stopped for a moment while His words penetrated my heart. Pierced my heart. Broke right through. What mattered most? My time contacting a friend? Or taking that time with Jesus? Oh, Father, forgive us for all the times we have looked around you, looked past you, looked through you, looked away from you, looked elsewhere, looked to something or someone else in the time you called out to us to tell us you wanted us to come away from everything and everyone to be in your presence and spend time with you. Paul the apostle called himself the chief of all sinners. He couldn’t have been for I am. The worst of all sinners. And here is an area I fall short. Father, forgive me, forgive those reading this, forgive us all for every time we have not heard you calling because we were too busy, too preoccupied, too distracted, or that we heard you but ignored your call. Oh forgive us! Help us to hear you, help us to draw away from the temptations of this life, and to come spend time with you. In Jesus’ precious most holy name, AMEN. Will you come away with the Lord, friend? Will you come spend time with Him daily? As many times a day, in fact, as He calls you to Himself? May we do this! For He is Lord! And nothing and nobody in our lives should take precedence over Jesus Christ, forever Lord, forever God, forever and ever King, AMEN! TODAY’S SERVING JESUS IN YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE ARE YOU GIVING YOUR TIME? “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” John 13:34 I had a little concern related to the ministry with which I fellowship so I decided to reach out to one of the leaders to share it. I made it clear when he called me to discuss it that I would take as little of his time as possible when he greatly surprised me. He who I can only imagine is busier beyond measure given his leadership position and being out on the streets of New York City preaching the Gospel made it plain and clear he WOULD NOT rush our conversation. He went out of his way to make abundantly clear he would GIVE ME TIME no matter how busy he was. I have a decades-long history of rejection, abandonment, and abuse, and it doesn’t help we’re living in a time and culture in which much if not most of this world Christ followers included have a tendency to get too busy – sometimes even too busy for the Lord and His Word and most assuredly for one another. How delightful, refreshing, and healing it was that this brother in the Lord took a little bit of his day and shared it with me. He didn’t make me feel like a burden. Instead, he blessed me by showing me the love and care of Christ. Let us serve the Lord in every way He desires – including with the giving of our time however He ordains that we do. For the glory of the Lord, let us do this, oh yes! Please note the verse above. The Lord calls us to love others as He loves us. He gives us His time, doesn’t He? Should we not do the same with others? Yes! As He leads us, yes!
PLEASE BE SURE TO CLICK on READ MORE and SCROLL ALL THE WAY DOWN TO SEE THE WHOLE ISSUE OF TODAY’S GOOD NEWS DAILY! LATEST UPDATE & PRAYER REQUEST Dear friend, I am finally starting to get caught up with some much needed rest and at the same time pressing forward with my writing. I have been doing less streets ministry in the past week or so, and that is a challenge for me! Why? I love the Lord more than anything and anyone, and I love people, and I love, love, love the Lord has blessed me with calling me to the streets to help people find and forever follow Him. I am so looking forward to having my full energy back and at the same time am so thankful the Lord pulling me back a bit right now is most importantly giving me the opportunity to spend lots of time with Him and in His Word. Thanks for your continued love and prayers! IF YOU NEED HELP BEGINNING OR PRESSING ON IN A FOREVER RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO REACH OUT AT 843-338-2219 OR lara@GoodNews.love love & blessings, lara TODAY’S LITTLE LETTER FROM LARA Dear friend, Within seconds of finishing my devotional below about letting go, the Lord reminded me that letting go isn’t always about saying goodbye to something or someone. Oh, sure, sometimes the Lord does call us to end a commitment, a relationship, a responsibility, a dream, etc. But sometimes it’s not that He is calling us to end whatever it is. Sometimes He wants us to LET GO OF THE OUTCOME OF IT. To stop trying to figure it all out, to determine the future, to control the unfolding of it, to imagine how everything will turn out, etc. Sometimes He wants us to let go in the sense that we need to FULLY PUT OUR TRUST IN HIM and to simply continue forth in faith WITHOUT TRYING TO EXERT OUR OWN WILL IN THE SITUATION. Oh, do I have so much learning and growing to do! I want to encourage you to consider whether you need to go to a deeper level of trusting the Lord. Are you reading the Bible daily? Are you learning to live by it? Is your trust in the Lord growing over time? Are you willing to go deeper in your faith in Him? Please join me in going deeper in the ways of the Lord – trust, faith, and letting go included. Following Jesus is anything but living a stagnant, stuck life. It’s about LIVING FOR CHRIST – and learning day by day to put our trust in Him and to carry on in learning to faithfully, lovingly, humbly follow Him forth! Press on, my friend! In the ways of the Lord for the glory of the Lord, AMEN! love & blessings, lara TODAY’S DAILY INSPIRATION LET IT GO! “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 “What did I ask you to do?” the Spirit of Christ who indwells His followers asked me in my heart. He was speaking to me regarding something weighing heavily on my mind not to mention in my heart. “Let it go,” I replied. Then came the message. With strong conviction. “Please do.” Ouch. Why did I have to be reminded? Can you relate? Sometimes the Lord tells us to let go of something or someone and we don’t let go. Other times, we let go but then take back what or whom we let go. Sometimes, in obedience to the Lord, we truly let go and stay true to His instruction to let go. If we really want to love and honor and please and obey the Lord, we need to let go when He says let go and not grab back a hold of what or whom we let go. We don’t need to understand the Lord’s reasons, we don’t need to want to let go, and we don’t need to agree with His will. Obedience to Jesus isn’t about us. It’s about Jesus. So when the Lord says let go, that’s exactly what we need to do. Have some letting go to do? If you don’t feel able to let go, think of it this way. The Lord will give us the love, grace, mercy, strength, and anything and everything we need to live in obedience to Him. So if you need to let go, by all means, LET GO! TODAY’S 365 BLESSINGS 365 BLESSINGS is a devotional book I recently wrote that will soon be available in print by the grace of the Lord for the glory of the Lord! BLESSING 151 “Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days. Then these men assembled and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.” Daniel 6:10-11 Miraculously, by God’s grace alone, yes, Daniel survived being thrown into a den of lions as his punishment for praying to the one true God. You can read the story in Daniel 6. His devotion to God was unstoppable, and no matter the challenges he faced for loving and worshiping and serving God, he pressed on. What an incredible blessing so many of us have the freedom to love and worship the Lord and to read the Bible without persecution while so many others worldwide are persecuted beyond description even to the point of death for doing so. Let us not take this phenomenal blessing for granted. To worship the Lord freely, to read His Word freely, to speak of Him freely, not everyone is able to do this. Not especially in this day and age. So, for those of us who can, let us be ever thankful! And may our hearts and prayers go out to those who cannot. TODAY’S THE CROSS DEVOTIONAL WILL YOU SAY THIS WORD? ““The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10 I have a new word in my vocabulary. Okay, it’s not a new word. It’s a very old word. I’ve known it for decades and used it when I felt like it. But that’s exactly the point. That’s why I call it a new word. In essence, that’s what it is. Because I’m finally using it the way I should have all along. And I wonder, are you using this word on a regular basis? Will you say it? When you should? As I’m learning to do? OKAY. There it is. My new word. The one I’m finally using when I should. More and more, I find myself responding to the Lord when He tells me to do something with, “Okay.” Not, “I’ll think about it.” Not, “Maybe later.” Not, “let me weigh my other options.” Not, “I’d rather do something else.” Not, “that’s too hard and I have an easier, better way.” Not, “I know better.” Not, “I have my own plans, thank you very much.” Not, “let me argue with you for a while, then I’ll consider what you’re telling me.” Not, “You don’t love me, God, or else you’d never tell me to do this.” Not, a zillion other things I’ve said and done through the years when the Lord has made plain and clear His will for me and I haven’t immediately obeyed Him – if I’ve obeyed Him at all. The Lord told me to clean up my obedience, that it’s been messy, so I’m answering Him with this. OKAY. And, increasingly, I find at long last I’m responding to the Lord when He tells me to do something with a simple, humble, “OKAY.” Do you have some tidying up to do when it comes to your obedience to the Lord God almighty? If yes, as I do, please let’s get busy. Loving the Lord. Obeying the Lord. Honoring the Lord. OKAY? TODAY’S SERVING JESUS IN YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE THE 2-ORANGES STORY ” “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’” Mt. 25:37-40 Oh, how excited I was to get two somewhat good looking oranges. It is New York City after all. I bought them at a stand on the street. They didn’t look perfect, but they were oranges. And I don’t eat much fruit these days despite how much I love it. But the oranges were quickly gone. Not into my belly. First, a young homeless woman. I couldn’t help myself. I was compelled to ask if she wanted one. No hesitation. Yes! Then, walking with a precious friend, I noticed a senior homeless woman all bundled up and somewhat bent over if I recall. Sort of slumped in her chair. Not looking so good. I wanted to talk to her about Jesus. To give her a Gospel tract. To pray for her if she wanted prayer. She wasn’t interested. But still, she had a desire. She said she was hungry. All I had was that one orange that was headed right for my belly later. Instead, I knelt down at her feet, carefully peeled the orange, cut it into sections like she wanted, then handed it to her. Then my sweet friend took me to a public restroom to wash my hands from the sticky orange juice. I was near tears. Why? I had been feeling so very broken. So run down from so much spiritual warfare. So hard to believe I could be useful to the Lord in any way and that I could possibly have anything to give anyone. But the Lord showed me in that orange what matters most of all is that we’re surrendered to Him, that we believe in Him, that we follow Him, that we serve Him, that we listen to Him, that we’re obedient to Him, and that we make ourselves available to Him. One day, that woman could open up the Gospel tract I left with her and read about how to have a forever relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and remember how someone peeled an orange for her and handed the juicy pieces to her. Friend, serving Jesus we can do no matter what state we’re in, no matter how we feel, no matter our circumstances, when we humble ourselves before Him and serve Him in any way He desires.
PLEASE BE SURE TO click on READ MORE and SCROLL ALL THE WAY DOWN TO SEE THE WHOLE ISSUE OF TODAY’S GOOD NEWS DAILY! LATEST UPDATE & PRAYER REQUEST Dear friend, Right now I am doing a combination of resting and spending time with the Lord and pressing on in my ministry work when and as the Lord leads me. I am not going at my usual full force pace, but learning more and more how to be sensitive and obedient to the Spirit of Christ lovingly and mercifully leading me. As always, and at an especially deep level right now, I am doing plenty of repenting as the Lord continually purifies me and makes me more and more like Himself. I am yielding to Him as He conforms me to Himself. Long ago, I entered into ministry entirely unprepared most especially in my personal relationship with the Lord and in my heart. I was far too self-consumed to be in ministry, and not nearly enough grounded in a personal relationship with Jesus and in the Word of God to do what I was then doing in ministry. Now, I know there is NOTHING MORE IMPORTANT for each and every one of us than to believe in and fully humbly lovingly obediently follow the Lord Jesus Christ, and our personal relationship with Him has to come first even before ministry work for Him. It continues to be a very trying time spiritually and emotionally for reasons I am not led to share, but the Lord is faithful in carrying me through it all. I would greatly appreciate your prayers as the spiritual battle rages on and the Lord continues His gracious and merciful work in and through me! IF YOU NEED HELP BEGINNING OR PRESSING ON IN A FOREVER RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO REACH OUT AT 843-338-2219 OR lara@GoodNews.love love & blessings, lara TODAY’S LITTLE LETTER FROM LARA Dear friend, “How can you go forward without me leading the way?” the Spirit of Christ who inhabits His followers spoke to my heart. “In the flesh alone.” Meaning? And how it applies to you and me and all of us? Unless we believe in and follow the Lord Jesus Christ and His ways, we are living for self according to the world’s ways and bowing down to the devil, sin, and darkness. The Lord ALWAYS and ONLY speaks in line with the Bible. What does His Word say? “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”” Jesus’ followers are to walk in His light not in the darkness of self and sin. God’s children are those who turn from their sins, believe Jesus is Lord and died on the cross to pay our sin penalty and was raised from the dead, genuinely turning our lives over to the Lord and His ways. God’s children are indwelt by His Spirit. May this verse and the one above encourage you to be led by God’s Spirit as you walk forth in the Lord’s glorious light! “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” Romans 8:14 love & blessings,lara TODAY’S DAILY INSPIRATION CLEAN UP YOUR OBEDIENCE “How can you do what I’ve called you to do when you’re running around doing everything else?” That’s not the only thing the Lord has spoken to my heart recently when it comes to obedience. But it all fits into the same overall message He has been giving me – and giving me to give to others. Maybe you? “Clean up your obedience,” He told me recently. Then, a few days later, more. “Clean up your obedience,” I recall He told me. “It’s messy.” How so? He had told me to turn left on a certain street. For all I know, there could have been someone dying on that street who needed to hear the Gospel message. Or maybe He just wanted to remind me I must submit to Him in all things all the time all for His glory. Regardless, I found what I thought was a quicker way to get where I was going. So I went my way and figured I would end up in the same destination the Lord wanted me to go anyway. Or did I figure Him into my walk at all? Truth? My obedience still has had too much resistance, debate, questioning, hesitating, etc. in it. It has not come with total and immediate submission and thanksgiving – and obedience! Right down to the very smallest of things, to the very detail, no matter whether it makes sense or not, no matter what we feel or think or want, we are to believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and to follow Jesus Christ as Lord – which involves OBEYING JESUS CHRIST AS LORD. Not messily, but cleanly. Totally. For His name’s sake, AMEN! Got some cleaning up to do? TODAY’S 365 BLESSINGS 365 BLESSINGS is a devotional book the Lord has led me to publish piece by piece even as I’m writing it rather than waiting until it’s in print to share it. Please join me & be blessed as I write my latest book…! Blessing #150 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phil. 4:13 This is probably one of the verses in the Bible I’ve heard quoted more than almost any other. Oh, we who follow Jesus need to be encouraged when it comes to the beautiful fact the Lord Jesus Christ gives us the strength we need to do what He calls us to do. The New King James Version (NKJV) of the Bible says, “strengthens”. The King James Version (KJV) says, “strengtheneth”. My understanding is that this verb form implies an ongoing action. It’s not a one-time, quickly ending occurrence. In this verse, then, wouldn’t this mean that Jesus’ followers have access to ongoing strength from the Lord to do His will? Oh, how blessed we are to receive the strength of Christ by the Spirit of Christ each and every day! As much strength as we need to fulfill His will for our lives! By the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ! TODAY’S THE CROSS DEVOTIONAL GOD’S BROKEN HEART “Then those of you who escape will remember Me among the nations where they are carried captive, because I was crushed by their adulterous heart which has departed from Me, and by their eyes which play the harlot after their idols; they will loathe themselves for the evils which they committed in all their abominations.” Ezekiel 6:9 I honestly don’t know how many times I read this verse over the years before the Lord opened my eyes to see something utterly heartbreaking. The Lord says HE WAS CRUSHED – yes, CRUSHED – by their what? “Adulterous heart.” AND by what? Their EYES! Which like harlots – or whores – looked to their idols. The King James version says “broken” instead of crushed. Do you realize what the Lord is saying? THEY CRUSHED – or BROKE – HIS HEART! With their rebellion against Him! With their spiritual adultery! With their whoredom! Not just in their actions. In their HEARTS and EYES! In other words, they crushed the Lord with their THOUGHTS, their EYES, their HEARTS – and most assuredly their actions. They turned from Him to their idols and broke His heart! Why would the Lord tell US this? As a history lesson? NO! As a WARNING! That we BREAK HIS HEART when we rebel against Him! In our hearts, eyes, and actions. When we turn away from the Lord, or never turn to Him in the first place, we GRIEVE GOD ALMIGHTY! Our sins have consequences, and when we don’t turn from them to Christ as Lord the ultimate result is death, hell, and the lake of fire in forever torment. But even for those of us who follow Jesus, our sins have consequences. We still will have to give an account when our lives are over, we still will lose rewards we might have had in heaven. And, most of all, WE HURT AND BREAK AND CRUSH THE HEART OF THE LORD! Is it possible we miss this when we consider sin? Are we so consumed with ourselves we only think about whether we’ll go to heaven or hell? Or that we may have yucky consequences on earth if we do something wrong? Do we think about THE LORD when we sin? And what we do to Him? Or do we only think about us? IS NOT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING OF ALL THAT WE NEED TO LOVE AND FEAR AND HONOR AND REVERE GOD ALMIGHTY AND DESIRE AND STRIVE TO LOVE AND WORSHIP HIM FOREVER AND NOT GRIEVE HIS HEART? Oh, friend, let us humble ourselves before the Lord, repent when we need to repent, and ever work to love and please the Lord not break His heart! Let us nt grieve God almighty! Let us bow down before Him and love and serve Him forevermore, AMEN! TODAY’S SERVING JESUS IN YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7 Being on the front lines in ministry for Christ comes with a cost, and that cost can be high. For some, as we see in the Bible and in the news, people lose their very lives for Christ. For others, it may be as simple as giving up a few hours a week to do something for the Lord instead of relaxing and enjoying quiet nights at home curled up with a book and a cozy blanket in front of the warm fire. Some are called to leave their countries and families behind. Others are called to give up high-paying jobs and comfortable lifestyles and to move into tough neighborhoods to spread the Gospel message out on the streets. The cost I have had to pay to be on the road for Jesus full-time with my handicapped streets ministry doggies doing streets ministry and writing and publishing tracts, devotionals, and books is NOTHING compared with the cost so many have paid and are paying and will pay for the cause of Christ. Nevertheless, I have felt the cost and it hasn’t always been easy to say the least. Selling a little paid-for house not far from the ocean in beautiful, quiet, calm, affordable, peaceful coastal South Carolina and giving most everything away, traveling in a car with almost 250,000 miles on it, leading a ministry with a tiny budget, living an extremely economical lifestyle, staying mostly in hotels with handicapped dogs and a small apartment when I’m in New York City, dealing with hard situations, dangerous and scary situations, running across rats and roaches, filth and smell, vomit and people cursing me and lashing out at me, being often far from friends and family, being single for Christ, having much time on my own when I love people to spend alone time with Jesus and work on my writing, foregoing my own dreams to live the life to which the Lord has called me, not having a stable “home” but living day by day knowing the Lord might call me any day to my next location, yes, it’s most assuredly been challenging. But I wouldn’t trade loving and serving Jesus in the way to which He has called me for anything in this world. My fire for Jesus is ever-growing, and at the heart of my service which involves sacrifice is LOVE. The love the Lord pours into and through me, and the love I have for Him in return and the love He has given me for others. Love is why I do what I do. For I love Jesus more than anything and anyone in the world. Friend, serving Jesus isn’t about picking and choosing what we want to do to make ourselves happy and feel comfortable, safe, and secure, to satisfy our own desires and to get pats on the back from the world around us. It’s about humbling ourselves before the Lord God almighty and seeking Him and obeying Him in every area of our hearts and lives – service included. Got some praying to do?
PLEASE BE SURE TO CLICK ON READ MORE AND SCROLL ALL THE WAY DOWN TO SEE THE WHOLE ISSUE OF TODAY’S GOOD NEWS DAILY! LATEST UPDATE & PRAYER REQUEST Dear friend, If you’re a big Bible reader and familiar with spiritual warfare, and experience it yourself in really big ways, you know it’s real and can be indescribably hard when you’re in the midst of it. I’m right there, friend. And I simply cannot describe how much I could use prayer as I go through it. Emotionally and spiritually, I’m facing some tough stuff and would be so very thankful for your prayers. My greatest desire even as the spiritual warfare rages on is that I would live in a manner day in and day out pleasing and honoring to the Lord Jesus Christ and that the Lord would use me in any way He desires to bring glory to His name and to help people find and follow Him. That said, I am wiped out and putting one foot in front of the other as He leads me forth. Thank you for keeping me prayed up! IF YOU NEED HELP BEGINNING OR PRESSING ON IN A FOREVER RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO REACH OUT AT 843-338-2219 OR lara@GoodNews.love love & blessings, lara TODAY’S LITTLE LETTER FROM LARA Dear friend, The cold season in New York City is starting to kick in, and for numerous reasons including my extreme sensitivity to cold I would love nothing more than to pick up and pack up my doggies and our belongings and RUN somewhere easy, safe, secure, economical, clean, quiet, peaceful, and filled with loved ones. But when I considered this in my mind, I realized there is nowhere I truly want to go. The greatest place to come away from the trials of this life is to come running to the Lord Jesus Christ and to find love, hope, mercy, grace, forgiveness, compassion, wisdom, direction, rest, and peace IN HIM. I want to encourage you if you’re facing trials right now as I am to run to Jesus, to pour out your heart to the Lord, to snuggle up with Him and the Bible, to dive deep into His Word, to turn away from any wrongdoing, to seek Him for any forgiveness needed, to hear His voice and obey His instructions, and to find refuge in Him. love & blessings, lara “The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, A refuge in times of trouble.” Psalm 9:9 TODAY’S DAILY INSPIRATION THE LITTLE LEAF STORY ” “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” John 14:15 ““I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”” I looked down at a little leaf on the ground and told a friend this as I believe the Spirit of God who lives inside His followers put it on my heart. A message I believe we all need to hear. “It doesn’t matter when the Lord tells us to do something how big or small it is. If He tells us to do it, we need to do it,” I essentially said. “If He tells us to do something huge, we need to do it,” I basically continued. “If He tells us to pick up this little leaf, we need to do it,” I said as I pointed to a little yellow leaf on the dirty sidewalk in front of us. “Because He is Lord.” “It’s not about how big the thing is,” I shared. “It’s about Jesus Christ being Lord.” Do you see? Our obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ isn’t about whatever He tells us to do and the size of it. It’s about THE LORD. As a friend once said to me, when the Lord tells us to do something, we need to simply say, “Yes, Lord.” Yes. Whatever the Lord tells you to do, please remember who He is. He is Lord! Forever! Please do what He tells you. For His name’s sake, yes! TODAY’S 365 BLESSINGS 365 BLESSINGS is a devotional book the Lord has led me to publish piece by piece even as I’m writing it rather than waiting until it’s in print to share it. Please join me & be blessed as I write my latest book…! Blessing #149 “And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.” Mt. 14:14 Does this verse say Jesus healed the sick in the large crowd? Yes. But is that all? Please don’t miss something so powerful, so beautiful, such a blessing in this verse – and in the lives of His followers back then and now and forever. The verse says “HE WAS MOVED.” Is that all it says? No! It says “MOVED WITH COMPASSION FOR THEM.” Did Jesus simply heal them as though that were not wonderful and miraculous enough? No. He HAD COMPASSION – and healed them. Have you ever stopped to think how Jesus has compassion for us? For you? For me? Utterly amazing. The Lord of Lords, King of Kings, Creator of the universe, God almighty, Jesus the Christ, HAS COMPASSION FOR US! Love, yes! And compassion, yes! What an awesome, awesome blessing to reflect on the fact JESUS HAS COMPASSION FOR US. The next time we walk around feeling sorry for ourselves, feeling lonely, feeling alone, feeling like nobody cares, feeling like nobody sees our suffering, feeling needy, feeling like we could really use someone to show us love and mercy, oh, let us think of the Lord Jesus Christ – and of HIS COMPASSION! The greatest compassion from the greatest one in the universe, the merciful love and unmatchable compassion of Christ, AMEN! TODAY’S THE CROSS DEVOTIONAL TEARS IN JESUS’ MERCIFUL HANDS As soon as I started to cry, which I don’t do often as I once did, I asked the Lord to take away the self-pity. So what if there was a little sadness in my heart over some losses and grief. My life’s challenges, as hard as they have been, have been NOTHING compared with the suffering of so many people around the world. I didn’t want to give way to the old long-standing self-pity. Then this brief prayer came to me, and I knew within it as soon as I prayed it contained a message. “Use these tears for your glory,” I told the Lord. And I know He will. The Lord has long since taught me every challenge we ever face on this earth when placed in His hands with our hearts and lives surrendered to Him can be used for three big and beautiful and powerful things: * to draw us closer to Him * to test us and mold us and shape us and refine us and transform us and make us more like Him * to be more loving, caring, sensitive, compassionate, and giving to others as He when it’s His will uses our hearts, lives, and life’s circumstances to help others to find and follow Him Decades worth of tears in my life fell to the ground and bore nothing because I wasn’t a totally devoted follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. Today, now totally devoted by His grace alone for His glory alone, when I place my tears in the hands of the Lord, along with my heart and life, I fully trust He will use them for His glory. Cry unto the Lord, my friend. Give Him all of you – tears included. And watch what He does when you’re wholly His. May He use your tears and mine for His glory, AMEN! TODAY’S SERVING JESUS IN YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE I sat on a bench on the streets of Brooklyn, New York City, with a brother in the Lord talking about the times we get so incredibly exhausted from ministry. He is a streets preacher, and I do streets ministry and write and publish Gospel tracts, devotionals, and books. No matter the work to which the Lord calls us, when our hearts are on fire for Jesus, and we’re totally devoted to Him and the Lord’s work, we find at a times a great need for rest. It can be difficult for those of us like myself who are extremely driven to press on to slow down, to even stop, but it is necessary. Even the Lord Jesus Christ when He was on this earth in the form of a man took time away from the crowd to rest and spend time with the Father in heaven. The rest, the refreshing, the renewal, it is so very important so that we are wide awake, and ready, and best able to follow the Spirit of God as He leads us forth in life and love and service to Him. Need some rest? I do! And I plan to get it! For the glory of the Lord, yes!