Category: <span>thoughts by Julie Lairsey</span>

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you; God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.”  1 John 1:5

As we journeyed on our boat ride through the spectacular winding rooms at Waitomo Caves in New Zealand, we were amazed with the abundance of glow worms that lit up the dark, damp and sheltered cave. The glowworms’ bio luminescent tails generated a beautiful bright light.

At that very moment, while floating along in the boat I began to ponder about the light of Christ in this otherwise dark world, and how Isaiah had prophesied that out of a darkened Galilee would come a great light for everyone (John 1:9). Christ would be the “light of the world”, the One in whom there is “no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5).

The scriptures tell us we are the light that Christ has sent to this dark world (Matthew 5:14). One of our tasks as Christians is to shine brightly so our Savior can be known to others and be glorified.
One of our tasks as Christians is to shine brightly so our Savior can be known to others and be glorified.

Are you a representation of God’s light in the world? Are you exposing the darkness through the truth and bearing fruit for his Kingdom? Today, let his mercy, grace and goodness overwhelm you, and allow God’s presence to fill you so others can see the light he provided the world.

Dear God, thank you for sending your son, Jesus Christ to save us from the darkness of sin. Help us to fathom how we can share your light to others in our world. May we be grateful for your presence and use the tools you gave us to represent you. Amen.

By Julie Lairsey
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Further Reading

•  Pressing the RESET button on our lives 

•   Keeping Yourself in God’s Love – even during painful times in your life

•  Salvation Explained


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God has an amazing vision for our lives to bring him glory, and to help, encourage and comfort others along the way!


He comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.2 Corinthians 1.4

When we are facing a crisis, one of the most comforting things we can hear from a friend is, “ I too, have experienced this, and I will pray and walk with you through this journey.” God’s plans are omniscient and he employs your trials by placing you in your community, church, office, or on a board of an organization at a time when you can comfort and encourage others through their troubles.

I have a very close friend who was diagnosed with one of the more aggressive varieties of cancer. When she shared her diagnosis with me, I asked her what I could pray for, and she said, “Please pray that I will share Jesus with everyone I meet.” Her answer deeply touched, inspired, and encouraged me. In light of this horrible diagnosis and obvious pain and suffering, my precious friend first and foremost wanted to share the hope of the gospel. Despite her situation, she had her sights clearly focused on Christ and her perspective was renewed by the reinvigorating promises of God.

Recently, I had trouble focusing and one day, while at the store, I decided to try on a pair of reading glasses. When I put one of the pair on, I could barely see. It is amazing how one set of lenses can help one person’s vision, and at the same time, make mine worse. We often look at life through different lenses, but is it imperative for Christians to look at their circumstances through the lens of Jesus. I am reminded of this in Chris Tomlin and Brandon Lake’s beautiful song, “I See You.”

Let’s look to God as the God who is the God of love and a God that is so faithful even during dark times. He has an amazing vision for our lives to bring him glory, and to help, encourage and comfort others along the way! All it takes, is to look at our lives through his lens and not our own.

Heavenly Father, by your Spirit, give us your perspective and vision to see the bigger story and to bring you glory. Thank you Lord, for comforting us in our troubles and give us the strength to help those who need comforting. In Jesus’ name, amen.

By Julie Lairsey
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Further Reading

•   Making a Difference

•  Caring Enough to Tell Others about Christ

•  Salvation Explained


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We all want the type of faith that releases the fullest blessings of God in our lives.


And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews 11:6

One of my favorite places to visit in all of Israel is the Valley of Elah – the place where David famously slayed Goliath. Despite the passing of time, not much has changed in the valley, except for a few archaeological sites, and my imagined version of the events on that victorious day. I was filled with a sense of overwhelming awe when my tour guide Benayah and I ventured down into the valley and he told me to look for 5 smooth stones; and then he asked me to reflect on the type of faith it takes to defeat giants in our own lives.

As I began to think about his question, I remembered how David went from shepherd boy to King of Israel, capturing Jerusalem, reuniting the nation and controlling an empire. David always looked towards the Lord; and from the anxieties he suffered, he developed faith and determination in Jehovah. His unwavering confidence in God were apparent to all.

Everyone has struggles in life; and these struggles test our faith. We all want the type of faith that releases the fullest blessings of God in our lives. How do we ensure the type of faith that pleases God?

When your faith is tested, reflect on how God has helped you in the past, acknowledge his power over the situation and trust him for the resources you need. Praise him in the trial and ask others to pray for you. Ask the Lord to increase your faith.

Today’s Bible verse provides a brief narrative of faith. It describes and explains how faith works in three simple steps. First, a humble dependence on God recognizes that he is the source of everything we need. Second, we approach him with an open heart because we recognize him as the sovereign Lord over all; third, we trust God to keep his word. Together, these three simple steps represent the type of faith that pleases the Lord.

We all have the opportunity to be a hero of faith that someone looks up to. A. W, Tozer stated,

We can be in our day what the heroes of faith were in their day – but remember at that time they didn’t know they were heroes.

Even when our circumstances do not change, we can have a faith like David’s. We can face our giants with faith because God is on our side!

Heavenly Father, thank you for increasing my faith and helping me to see the specific ways you have revealed yourself to me. I praise you that you know all things perfectly and that I can trust the unknown to you. In Jesus’s blessed name I pray, Amen.

Today invite God to daily increase your ability to depend on him for everything, approach him full-heartedly, and trust him to keep his promises.

By Julie Lairsey
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Further Reading

•  A Bible Study on Waiting on God

•   Hailing the Chief

•  Salvation Explained


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A common issue many people face is a feeling of loneliness. Whether they are physically isolated or socially isolated, many find themselves in a pit of deep despair.


Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”  Hebrews 13:5

A common issue many people face is a feeling of loneliness. Whether they are physically isolated or socially isolated, many find themselves in a pit of deep despair. I too, have experienced this in a very real and raw way. Grinding through life, wrestling with difficult circumstances, and wondering if I was the only one struggling. Unfortunately, many times when we find ourselves in these circumstances we begin to believe the lie that God is not a loving God if he allows us to go down these lonely roads. Do not fall into this trap. Christ’s gift to us at Calvary paid the price for our sins, but did not guarantee us a pain-free or worry-free life. We often face challenges that are meant to draw us closer to him or help others through similar experiences. If you are experiencing loneliness, try to appreciate the lonely path Christ walked to pay the ultimate price for your deliverance, and attempt to discover the many ways you can comfort others in their time of need, which ultimately brings glory to God.

One of the most beautiful and impactful fictional illustrations of God’s presence never leaving us is portrayed in episode 2 of season 2 of the television drama “Chosen”. (The Chosen is a television drama based on the life of Jesus of Nazareth and is the highest grossing crowd-funded TV series or film project of all times.) In this episode, Nathaniel is introduced as an architect who designs buildings; but after a project he is developing collapses and severely injures several workers, his dreams are shattered, and he feels abandoned, let down, and all alone. Eventually, he finds himself sitting all alone under a fig tree and in a moment of desperation sets fire to his architectural plans representing his life’s work and cries out to God, pleading for help (Psalm 145:18). At the end of the episode, Philip introduces Nathaniel to Jesus who says, “I was there with you under the fig tree. I saw your face.” It is a climactic moment in the episode as Nathaniel immediately recognizes that he is in the presence of the Messiah. It is a reminder that Jesus is always with us, even at our weakest and loneliest moments, reassuring us that “he will never leave us or forsake us.”

Almighty God, thank you for granting us the courage to trust you in our times of loneliness. Give us the strength and confidence to know that you will never leave us. Fill us with your presence, teach us from your loving Word and let us live lives that bring glory to you, so that we too can comfort others in need. Amen.

Whenever you feel lonely, alone, or in need, remember that God himself lives in you by his Spirit and is offering you all the comfort, companionship, strength, and faith you need to persevere.

By Julie Lairsey
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Further Reading

•  Studies and Lessons
•  Angels and Miracles
•  Salvation Explained


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“God is our refuge, and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”  Psalm 46:1


Where is your place of refuge?

Are you disturbed by the challenges in your daily life or by the uncertainties in the world we live in today? Do you look for security in money, status, or image? Do you seek the Lord as your refuge in these situations?

Today’s Scripture describes how God provided for the Israelites during a siege conducted by the Assyrian army. The Assyrians thought their victory would be swift, but they did not realize the Israelites were finding refuge in God. Prior to the siege, King Hezekiah’s faith in God prompted him to lead his army to dig a tunnel passing through the Kidron Valley and connecting to the Gihon Spring. When it was completed, King Hezekiah ordered his men to cover the entrance to prevent the enemy from finding the tunnel, which provided the water necessary to sustain his people throughout the siege. Through this incredible story, we are reminded that in trouble, God is our refuge and he is the same God yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

The God who was unshaken and eternally in power in biblical times is the same God today. We should find our security in him as believers when we are feeling uncertain, afraid, or frustrated by life’s many challenges. When you devote your life to God, he will sustain you and as you seek to honor him. You will be safe under his protection just as the Israelites were.

We can be encouraged and find hope in the famed poem by Martin Luther called “God is our Refuge in Distress”

God is our refuge in distress Our shield of hope through every care. Our Shepherd watching us to bless, And therefore will we not despair; Although the mountains shake, And the hills their place forsake, And billows o’er them break Yet still will we not fear. For Thou, O God, art ever near.

Jesus, thank you for being our refuge. Help me to cover myself in your protection and to live a life fully devoted to you. Teach me to trust you and to know that you are in control. In your holy name I pray, amen.

Turn to God in worship and thanksgiving whenever you begin to feel anxious or afraid, knowing you are safe in him.

By Julie Lairsey
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Further Reading

•   God Is…

•  The Powerful Reality by Ruth Calkin

•  Salvation Explained


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“And he said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.’” Matthew 18:3

Our sweet granddaughter, “B”, has a lot of enthusiasm for Jesus, and an abundance of love and faith that is pure and beautiful. She is not afraid to love what she loves, and she does so with such joy and passion.

Recently, while looking at my journal and reflecting on what I call “b-isms,” I was reminded of the adorable things she has said and done. When she was three, she would often say,  ”I want to have a play date with Jesus.” When our neighbors moved, I said, “Wouldn’t it be great if you could live next door?” She held my cheeks in her little hands and said, “No, Mimi, I don’t want to live next door. I want to live in your house with you.” And, on a warm day in Texas, while out riding bikes, her mom told her they needed to go in. B said, “Mommy, don’t you know heaven is outside?”

Today’s Bible verse reminds us that we must become like little children. We have a lot to learn from children and their marvel. How can our walk with God be more childlike? Do we respond to circumstances with trusting hearts and an eagerness to learn while relying on Christ to sustain us? Are we naturally full of faith while being bold?

C.S. Lewis once said, “Christ wants a child’s heart, but a grown-up’s head.” Simply put, we must love Christ unconditionally while continuously learning about and sharing his love with others.

Jesus, help me to have childlike faith that is passionate and bold. Holy Spirit, draw me closer to you and give me radical love for you and others. Thank you, God, for guiding and teaching me in my walk with you. Amen.

Do you recall something a child said that touched your heart with Truth? Why not share that today with someone else?

By Julie Lairsey
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Further Reading

Your Father’s Heart Longs for You by Sylvia Gunter

Your Father’s Heart Longs for You by Sylvia Gunter

•  Salvation Explained

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“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” Proverbs 3:5&6

I thought my daredevil days were behind me until I ended up on a black diamond trail at a ski resort near Lake Tahoe.

We had discovered skiing while living in northern California in the early 1990s, and at the time found it to be quite exhilarating. I had not grown up around the sport and I was solid “bunny slope” material. My confidence soared when I graduated to green, then blue, runs and for a moment, I thought I had really improved. Then one day, while skiing with my husband, we hopped off the lift and started down a trail.

While honing the tuck, and trying to keep my elbows in, I cruised past my husband who was patiently waiting by a small sign at a fork. Trying my best to maneuver through the challenging terrain that included moguls and narrower and icy rides, I heard my husband catch up yelling, “You are on a black diamond, called JABOOM!!” Immediately, I felt defeated and thought, “How did I end up on a black diamond? How did I miss staying on the right path?”

God’s Word tells us that he will guide along the straight path, but that it is our choices that keep us on the path or force us to go a different route. Often, while thinking we are following God, we discover we have somehow left the path. Today’s verse reminds us that to keep our path straight, we must take action.

First, by choosing to trust God’s reliability and his Word and believing what he says.

Secondly, when we do not see the entire picture, we must not lean on our own limited understanding.

Lastly, we must have a submissive and humble heart that seeks to be conformed to the image of Christ, so that we can grow and be led to the path that is God’s absolute best for us! Jesus said that there is a path that leads to life, and he promises to guide us and show us all the roads we are to travel in this world.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for directing my path as I follow your commands and trust you with all of my heart. When I do not understand, please help me to rest in your promises and to continue to seek your guidance by submitting to you. In Jesus’s name, amen.

Before every decision you make this day, ask God to direct your thoughts and your paths so that you remain in his will.

By Julie Lairsey
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•  Truth – God’s truth remains the same from age to age,
•  Fully Surrender to the Lord
•  Salvation Explained

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“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the desert.”  Isaiah 43:18-19

During my last trip to Israel I allowed my husband to talk me into going through Hezekiah’s tunnel. At first, the cool water and width were fine but as we travelled deeper into the dark, cold, and wet tunnel the walls narrowed and I started to panic. Immediately, I turned to my husband and begged him to turn around but he and our guide said we could not and as my husband cajoled me onward, I knew I had to conquer my fears and move forward one step at a time. With each step, I prayed for strength and comfort and when we reached the end I felt victorious and thankful that I moved forward instead of turning back.

This experience reminds me of a popular song ‘Burn the Ships’ by the Christian group, “King and Country.” The song is based on the historical story of the Spanish conquistador Hernando Cortes and the bold decision he made when he and his men reached the shores of Latin America. Cortes knew his troops would encounter hostile natives, tropical diseases and unfamiliar terrain. As their leader, he was concerned his men would not want to persevere through all the challenges but would instead go back to the ships and sail back to Spain. To obviate this possibility, Cortez burned the ships.

Job 17:9 states,

The righteous keep moving forward, and those with clean hands become stronger and stronger.”

Do not let your fears or past experiences become your master and prevent you from accomplishing the plans God has for your life.

Father, thank you that you will help me persevere in following Jesus no matter what obstacles I face. Help me to not turn back, because I know you have a perfect plan that will come to pass in your good time.

By Julie Lairsey
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FURTHER READING

• Eternal Love
• Fully Surrender to the Lord

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