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Through "The Basics with Beth," Beth Jones is teaching the basics of God's Word to help you live a life you love and love the life you live! 

Devo

I can't wait for you to start enjoying 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!

Every morning you'll receive a faith-filled shot in the arm to equip you with the basics you need to live the life you'll love!

Here's what you can expect each week:

Monday through Friday: Fresh, fun and empowering Bible basics to build your faith and impact your life in practical ways. Whether it's a short Bible-based devotional, a funny image to brighten your day or to post on your social meda, a link to our podcast or a nugget of truth -- you will be strengthened, inspired and challenged in the basics of your faith.

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Filtering by Category: Church

DISCOVERING YOUR GIFTS

Jennifer Cole

At one point or another, we’ve all likely wondered what our gifts and talents are. We’ve wondered how our wiring, our quirks and our abilities could make a difference in this world.

Or, maybe you have an idea of what a few of your giftings are but you’re feeling a bit “stuck” or frustrated, wondering why you’re not having opportunities to use those talents. Today I want to share with you the secret of what to do in either case...HELP! Specifically, plug in and help in your local church! You see, when you help...God will order your steps and you’ll start to see more and more clearly what your unique “lane” is.

You may feel like greeting, directing traffic, mopping floors, starting coffee pots, or whatever helping role you’re volunteering in, is insignificant...but that couldn’t be further from the truth! Let’s check out 1 Corinthians 12:28: “And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues” (NKJV).

We see in that verse that there is a ministry of “helps” -- and as a quick aside, even if God has called you to another one of the ministry areas listed in that verse, almost every single time the path still begins with the ministry of helps. For many, the ministry of helps IS the calling.

>>Are you catching this? “Helps” is ministry! And it makes a world of difference in the lives of others!

Helping at your local church provides fertile ground for the Lord to cultivate your gift and to make a way for you to use it to help more and more people. Is helping glamorous? Not usually. Is helping always going to be in your preferred area of interest? Not always, especially as you start out. But will God honor your willing heart and helping hands, and in due season use your serving to reveal to you specific gifts and talents He has put inside you? YES!

Here’s a promise to stand on...read with me in Proverbs 18:16: “A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men” (NKJV). As you continue to faithfully serve, your gift will become more clear and visible, both to you and to others. For example, you may feel like you have a teaching gift but wonder why you’ve been asked to serve in Kids’ Ministry. I encourage you today, do so with excellence and a willing heart! Serve those kids to the best of your ability. Use your teaching gift to teach and train them. Nurture and hone that skill, be faithful to what God’s asking you to do in that season, and at the right time He will make a way for you to use those gifts in new ways.

You don’t have to strive, fret or worry...trust the Lord to do what only He can do which is to reveal your special gifts and talents as you serve faithfully and whole-heartedly in your local church. Everything you invest into growing His church is time well-spent...it’s an ETERNAL investment by helping others...and He will make sure your gifts make a way for you!

Say This: “Father, thank You that You’ve given me gifts and talents. I choose to help serve in my local church and trust that as I serve faithfully, You’ll make my gifts and talents more visible to me and to others. Thank You that I can participate in the ministry of ‘helps’ and make an eternal impact in the lives of others. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

your puzzle piece matters.

Jennifer Cole

When we talk about God’s plans...it makes me think of a puzzle box top. The box is full of puzzle pieces, but the box top shows the finished image. It’s the goal, the “bigger picture,” the purpose of all the intertwined, individual pieces that need to connect together to form that finished work. God sees that full view, and He’s intentionally weaving all of us into the amazing masterpiece throughout the ages.

So in this analogy, that means each of those puzzle pieces is a person. God is divinely connecting people together to strengthen each other as the global Church, all intricately building together to form what He sees on the puzzle box top. After all, His plans are all about people. God is passionate about His Church...it’s what Jesus gave His life for...and the Church isn’t buildings (although it’s great to have places to meet!) -- it’s people!

While many verses in the Bible confirm that building the Church is on the “front burner” of God’s priorities, one of my faves is found in Ephesians 1:20-23 MSG, which says: “...At the center of all this, Christ rules the church. The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church. The church is Christ’s body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence.” The Church is central...it’s not peripheral, on the outskirts or irrelevant. Nope! The Church takes top billing, and Christ is the head of the Church. He’s actively building the Church and helping each person connect with their divine purpose.

You may have thought “I’m one person, what does my part in building the Church matter?” Or, you may have thought “God’s going to make His own plans happen...He doesn’t need me.” Let me encourage you today...YOU matter! YOU are a critical puzzle piece in the set. If you had a 1,000 piece puzzle, and you put it all together only to find out ONE piece was missing...can you visualize that? Even though 999 pieces are in place, it’s so glaring that the ONE piece is missing! That’s YOU!

>>God designed you for a purpose. YOU play an essential role in building the Church. God has a divinely implanted purpose for your life...don’t miss out on it!

Not only do you need to know that your puzzle piece matters, but you also need to see how critical the connection to others truly is! One puzzle piece alone doesn’t show the splendor of the full masterpiece...it takes the puzzle pieces being connected, each in its divinely appointed place...that makes the puzzle complete!

Specifically, connection to others in your local church -- both growing in relationships with others and also serving others with the gifts and talents the Lord has given you -- is vitally important. We can’t see clearly what our own puzzle piece looks like and how it fits without connecting to others.

God is passionate about building the Church...it is front and center on His priority list...and it’s His desire for each of us to connect with each other in our local church! Let’s help build the Church and in doing so, we’ll gain insights into our own puzzle piece and the special role we play in God’s plan.

YOU matter. Others need you. The Church is stronger with YOU plugged in and connected. If you’re not already connected to your local church, what are you waiting for? The time is now! Plug in, and continue to join me each week in The Basics Weekly Devo as we dig into this topic even more and encourage you in your God-given purpose!

Say This: “Father, thank You that You created me with a purpose. Thank You that I am part of Your divine plans in building the Church and helping others. Please help me to connect in a more significant way with my local Church, and I speak in faith that as I connect and serve others in my local Church, You’ll help me to see what my purpose is and how I can use my gifts and talents to help further the Lord’s top priority -- building His Church! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

Reach The World

Jennifer Cole

"And this good news of the kingdom (the Gospel) will be preached throughout the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then will come the end." Matthew 24:14, AMPC

We have a big job -- we Christians, we believers -- we, the Church!

Our number one job is to preach the good news -- the Gospel -- throughout the whole world. That means, each of us must do our part to fulfill Jesus' command to "go ye" into all the world and preach the gospel! This verse indicates that once the good news of the kingdom is preached to all nations…then…the end will come.

So, what part are you playing in this huge assignment? Who are you praying for this year? Who are you sharing the gospel with? Locally, how are you serving in your church to help reach your community with this good news? Globally, what missionaries are you supporting?

Technologically, how are you utilizing the web, social media and the techno-world to reach people? Everyone has a part to play! Are you ready to get started? Do more?

Think strategically. What can we do this year that you didn't do last year? What type of impact can you make this year in praying for, helping with and preaching the gospel to all nations?

Here are a few simple things you can do -- starting today!

Locally: I encourage you to start with your local church. Put your hand to the plow and serve, so that you and your church can make an eternal difference in your community.

Globally: I encourage you to "adopt" a missionary or two and pray consistently for them. And, consider committing to support them on a monthly basis with your finances so they can continue their work in the nation to which they are called.

Technologically: I encourage you to help us get the word out -- through technology -- about our free, evangelism/discipleship tool! If you know any seekers, believers, missionaries or churches in other countries, please let them know about the free, downloadable version of the Getting a Grip on the Basics available in many foreign languages. I wrote this book many years ago to help get the Word out and over the past 20 years, it's been translated into more than a dozen languages. Did you know that all of the foreign translations are in PDFs and are posted online so that anywhere in the world people can download the entire book in a foreign language -- for FREE? We'd love it if you'd help us get the word out. This book is available in languages including: Czech, Dutch, Farsi, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Norwegian, Runyankole/Rukiga, Russian, Spanish, Thai, Vietnamese and Waray.

Simply click here to download and share the Getting a Grip on the Basics book with those you know who speak these languages!

So, are you ready to do more this year? Let's all do our part in preaching the good news to all nations...and perhaps...Jesus will then return and the end shall come!

Say This: "Father, I long for Jesus to return! I want to do my part to preach the good news of Jesus Christ to my world and to this entire world, so that the end (of this present age) may come and we may enter into the amazing things You have prepared for all of us. Help me to be intentional and strategic as I help to spread the gospel through my local church, global outreach and in utilizing technology. In Jesus' Name. Amen."

Boring No More

Jennifer Cole

“And He said to them, Be careful what you are hearing. The measure [of thought and study] you give [to the truth you hear] will be the measure [of virtue and knowledge] that comes back to you – and more [besides] will be given to you who hear.” Mark 4:24, AMPC

Did you know that you play a huge role in how well you know God -- how much revelation you have, and how life-changing and transformational the Word is in your life? You play a pivotal role in the degree of virtue and understanding you have of God and His kingdom. It’s true -- you do!

The measure of thought and study YOU give to the truth you hear will be equivalent to what you receive from the Word. Jesus said it would be the measure that comes back to you -- and more besides!

Have you thought about that? If God’s precious Word has been boring to you -- or maybe if you’ve been saying things like, “I just don’t get anything out of reading my Bible or going to church” -- then it might be time to consider that the one who can change that is YOU! Check up on the measure of thought and study you are giving to the things you are hearing. And are you coming with expectancy to church -- expecting to hear fresh revelation from the Lord given through your Pastor? Are you taking notes, sitting up straight and paying keen attention? The way in which you approach hearing the Word directly affects how it impacts you!

Today, I hope you are encouraged, admonished and challenged to sit up and pay attention to God and His Word with a fresh expectancy. Consider carefully how you hear -- and give more thought and study to the truth God and His messengers are speaking into your life. What you’ll find is that the more you listen, the better you’ll hear. With the measure you use to hear and study the Word -- it will be given back to you. The more intentional, expectant and engaged you are as you hear the Word, the more you will understand what God is telling you and the more fun you'll have walking with God!

Say This: “Father, I esteem your Word so highly and I want to understand and give thought to it more in my life! Help me to be more engaged in hearing the Word -- I will take notes, sit up and lean in, say ‘amen’ and put into practice what I’ve learned! Your Word is living and active, and I am so excited to press in and study Your Word more in 2018. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

Now THIS Is Inspiring

Jennifer Cole

"The queen of Sheba heard about Solomon...She came to put his reputation to the test by asking tough questions. She made a grand and showy entrance into Jerusalem – camels loaded with spices, a huge amount of gold, and precious gems. She came to Solomon and talked about all the things that she cared about, emptying her heart to him. Solomon answered everything she put to him – nothing stumped him. When the queen of Sheba experienced for herself Solomon's wisdom and saw with her own eyes the palace he had built, the meals that were served, the impressive array of court officials and sharply dressed waiters, the lavish crystal, and the elaborate worship extravagant with Whole-Burnt-Offerings at the steps leading up to The Temple of God, it took her breath away. She said to the king, "It's all true! Your reputation for accomplishment and wisdom that reached all the way to my country is confirmed. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it for myself; they didn't exaggerate! Such wisdom and elegance – far more than I could ever have imagined. Lucky the men and women who work for you, getting to be around you every day and hear your wise words firsthand! And blessed be God, your God, who took such a liking to you and made you king..." 1 Kings 10:1-9, Message

The Queen of Sheba’s response to King Solomon’s kingdom gives us a modern-day target to hit. She reminds us that the spirit of excellence makes a BIG difference! She proves that it’s worth it when we pay attention to details -- when we check and re-check the things we are responsible for. 

She inspires us to pay attention to specific things like: being a person, a government, a church or a business where wisdom abounds. She motivates us to take care of our facilities and create an environment where we can preach the Message to all who visit. She helps us give attention to small things like the food we serve and the way it’s presented; the clothing we wear and the style we carry; not to mention the quality of and care we give to the supplies, utensils, and equipment we use. 

Most notably, she helps us to focus on the most important thing: the elaborate and extravagant worship we give to the Lord. She reminds us that when we carry a spirit of excellence in all that we do, including our worship of God – it leaves people breathless!

How are you doing in the excellence area...in your personal life? Your leadership? Your business? Your ministry? Are the areas of oversight you are responsible for known for excellence? Does your work take people’s breath away? Do people marvel at the way you think things through -- not leaving any stone unturned? Are people “wowed” by the quality of your work and the attention you give to details?

Does the Queen of Sheba inspire you? Today -- why not take an inventory of the areas of your life that could use some attention. Check and re-check. Give God your very best and allow the spirit of excellence to reign in and through your life. When you do...your life, work, and ministry will leave people breathless!

Say This: “Father, I thank You for the inspiration I’ve received from the Queen of Sheba’s story. I want the spirit of excellence to be upon all that I do and all that I am responsible for. Help me to pay attention to every detail and to give my very best so that people are left ‘breathless’ by a level of excellence that glorifies You, Lord! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”