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Through "The Basics with Beth," Beth Jones is helping people to live the life they love and love the life they live. Get the basics to live an empowered life!

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I can't wait for you to start enjoying our blog, The Basics Daily Devo!

I know an exciting little secret...when you get the basics of God’s Word, your faith will be strengthened and you'll be equipped to unlock your God-given potential and live a life you feel good about: a life connected to God, a life where you belong and matter to those around you, a life that is full of joy and laughter and a successful life that allows you to makes a generous dent in eternity. This is a life worth living!

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Monday, Wednesday and Friday: “The Basics with Beth” – Fresh, fun and empowering Bible basics to build your faith and impact your life in practical ways.

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Seek First in 2017

Meghan Hock

“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:33 NLT

Happy New Year! 2017 is here. While 2016 was an incredible year for me in many ways, as the year came to a close I found the busyness of life, the distraction of social media and some misaligned priorities kept my mind focused on a lot of “good”–but perhaps not the “best”– things.

As I launch into 2017, Philippians 4:8 comes to mind as a way to redirect my mental energies on the “best” things. It says, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”

What things have taken up residence in your thought life that need the boot? What is distracting you, causing anxiety, fear, worry or doubt? As we launch into a new year, I believe God’s best for all of us is that we’d cast the whole of our care on him (1 Peter 5:7) and meditate on things that are found in Philippians 4:8. As we choose to renew our minds (Romans 12:2) according to God’s Word, I believe we’ll sense a new freedom in 2017. The uptight, wound-up, busy and distracted mind that wants to keep us from running our race has no place when we shine the power of God’s Word on it. Instead we can experience the rhythms of grace (Matthew 11:28-30) that Jesus promises us if we’ll come to and learn from Him.

Here are 3 practical ways to start 2017 strong:

1. Meditate on the things found in Philippians 4:8. Test every thought through that filter. If it doesn’t match up, then don’t give it a place in your mind. Replace it with the truth of God’s Word and meditate on that instead!

2. Remove distractions you can control. Is social media getting more of your time than it needs to? Are you overcommitting to “good” things that are pulling you away from the “best” things? If it’s in your power to control it, then do so. Make a choice to remove distractions so you can spend your time seeking God first. He promises in Matthew 6:33 that when we seek His Kingdom and righteousness first, that everything else will be added to us.

3. Take January to only listen to Christian, God-honoring music. When you start your day, head to work or class, are at the gym, or relaxing around the house - fill your heart and spirit with music that points you to God. You’ll notice a quick ripple effect in your thought life, desire to spend time with God and talk to Him. Music from Hillsong Worship, Elevation Worship, Bethel Music, Kari Jobe, Planetshakers, and Housefires are a great place to start!

Let’s make 2017 our best year yet, with Jesus at the center!

Say This: “Heavenly Father, thank You for a new year! As I seek Your Kingdom first this year, I thank You for a freshness in our relationship. I commit this year to you, and thank You for all the amazing things you have already prepared in advance for me. Help me to know You more this year!”