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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: Devotion

living a life of purpose requires...

Jennifer Cole

Losing your life. Yes, quite possibly the world’s most unpopular answer -- but it’s true! At the very foundation of building a life of purpose, one that leaves an eternal legacy, is choosing to make your life all about Christ, and not about yourself.

Depending on your upbringing or what you may or may not have heard over the years about the Lord...that may be a scary thought. “You’re asking me to lose my life, for Him?” Yes. Not literally, but yes -- in terms of shifting your heart’s attention from things in this world that are temporary and onto things that have lasting impact.

In a culture where many choose to just “do their thing” and do whatever they want to do, this notion of choosing to invest your life into the cause of Christ does not get talked about enough! But friends, the truth is -- living for Him is the only true freedom! When you let Him take the lead in your life, you don’t have to figure everything out on your own. You don’t have to make things happen, you don’t have to know all the answers...rather, you just rest in Him and follow the Holy Spirit’s lead...and He’ll guide you on His perfect path for you. Doesn’t the thought of that just make you want to take a deep breath? It’s so freeing!

When we willingly ask Jesus to be the Lord of our life, we’re asking Him to “take the wheel” as the song goes...but something really significant happens inside of us. We see this in Galatians 2:20, which says: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (NKJV). If you’ve been crucified with Christ, it means the old you is gone -- your spirit has been reborn, and it is Christ who lives in you and equips you for your purpose-filled life!

It’s not scary to let the Lord take the lead when you understand His character -- I encourage each of you to marinate your heart in scriptures about who He is and what He’s like -- the more you get to know Him, the easier it is to give Him all of you and just follow His lead! He loves you, never leaves you, protects you, heals you, forgives you, cherishes you, and He made you -- He knows the very number of hairs on your head.

>>There is no one who loves you more fully, completely and unconditionally than the Lord -- and you can trust Him to lead your life!

When we choose to live for Christ and build a life of purpose, there will be a process we go through...not just once, but probably several times in different seasons of life as we continue to mature in our faith. It’s called the “law of death and resurrection” and simply put, it means that we need to die to our own way of making things happen and let Him fulfill the dreams in our heart His way -- which is always the BEST way!

A great illustration of this principle is found in John 12:24:26, let’s check it out: “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor” (NKJV).

I pray that today each of us is even more stirred up to lay down our own life for Christ and follow His lead...His plans lead us in our life of true purpose. In whatever circle of influence you’re in, whatever career, family, city...if you’ll choose to make your life about Him...He’ll not only bless your life but help you impact all those around you for Christ. YOU can have an eternal impact...now that’s something worth investing your life in!

Say This: “Father, I ask You to take my life and consecrate it to You. I choose to submit my way of making things happens, my plans and my striving. Rather, I choose to live for Christ! I ask You to please help me to follow Your lead every day of my life and build a life rich in purpose that impacts those in my world for You. I trust You and know that You’re blessing me beyond measure and helping me to make an eternal difference in the lives of many! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

have I been forgotten?

Jennifer Cole

What is it about certain seasons in life that can just make you feel a bit...lost? Ever felt like you were so far off the grid that even God had forgotten your coordinates? If you find yourself in a season like that...the basic truth that you need to hear today is that God sees YOU. He knows right where you’re at and not only are you NOT lost, you are actually right where you’re supposed to be! God is equipping you for your life’s purpose, even if your current season seems a bit boring, mundane or like you’re “lost in a field somewhere.” Let’s look at David’s life and you’ll see just what I mean…

In 1 Samuel 16, we learn a lot about David. He was the son of Jesse and one of eight brothers. The other brothers were more gifted, more handsome and of greater stature...but we know that while man looks at the outside of a person, God looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). So, when God told Samuel to go to Jesse’s house and He’d show Him who the anointed one would be, Samuel reviewed each of the seven brothers first. From the outside view, they each looked like they should be the chosen one. However, God confirmed that none of those seven brothers was it. That’s when Jesse mentioned having an eighth son...who was out tending the sheep, like usual. When that eighth son, David, came to Samuel, God confirmed His anointing on David.

David’s stature, job and other external factors may not have impressed many...but it’s not the external attributes that qualified him. God qualified Him. God saw David’s heart. He saw that David was faithful in the basics -- He loved the Lord, He tended the sheep well and He was faithful in all the everyday, ordinary actions. God chose him to make a big difference in his day-and-age! Like David, each of us has a call on our lives...a divinely implanted purpose that God desires to help us live out in full. It doesn’t matter if we aren’t the smartest, prettiest or handsomest, from the best side of town and most prestigious schools...God looks at our heart and our faithfulness in the basics. So, don’t think that just because you are out in the fields “tending sheep” that God has somehow forgotten about you. 

>>In fact, the work that God is doing in your heart while you’re in the field is some of the most profound and essential work that will ever happen in your life! 

Think about David again...in the field, he learned about being a leader -- he had to figure out how to get the sheep to follow him, how to keep them safe and so on. He also spent that “field time” honing his skills -- he got quite proficient at the harp and the slingshot. Remember when Goliath entered the scene? David didn’t pick up a stone and a slingshot on that day and just hope he could use it. Nope! He had been practicing and practicing and practicing that particular weapon while in the field -- he had absolutely mastered that weapon and used it that fateful day to take down the giant.

Like David, your field time will be time well spent! Take note of the gifts and talents the Lord has given you and be intentional about honing those skills. Become the very best you can be at those skills, and trust that when it’s your “Goliath day” He will position you to move mighty mountains with those very basic skills that you were faithful to practice. You may be in a field tending sheep...but that doesn’t mean you are off God’s radar. On the contrary -- He’s positioned you exactly where you need to be right now. Be faithful in the basics and honor the field time...and your big day to put those skills to use will come!

Say This: “Father, thank You that my ‘field time’ is intentional and I am not off your radar! You know right where I am. Lord, help me to recognize the gifts you’ve given me and be faithful in honing those skills while in the field. I trust that at just the right time you’ll help me use those skills and the basics I’ve been faithful in, to make a big difference for You in this world. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

Tighten Up Those Laces

Jennifer Cole

“You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally.” 1 Corinthians 9:24-25, MSG

We live in a culture where if it doesn’t happen instantly, we move on to the next thing. Or we get distracted by something that is shiny, has more wow-factor and will make a better Instagram post. Let’s acknowledge that’s reality -- but then be aware of that when it comes to our spiritual growth.

Here’s the deal...it may not feel like the most exciting thing when you first make that commitment to have prayer time with God every day and to read your Bible daily. But listen, if you will show up to that time with the Lord being ALL IN -- no distractions, fully focused and pressing in to hear from Him...you will not be disappointed. Sometimes, doing what God says is best for us starts first with simply developing the discipline...and then comes the excitement as you see it impact your life!

Let’s think of it this way...how many of you have ever started out to train for a running race? You know to finish that race you have to practice. You have to increase your mileage, strengthen your body and build your endurance. But man oh man, that first run -- or more like an I-hope-nobody-is-watching jog -- is anything but graceful! You’re tired, sore, out of breath and feel like your legs don’t even know what they’re doing. You may feel like that the first handful, or even first dozen, of your practice runs. But you can’t stop there! You know it’s going to get better. You’re going to see your body respond to the discipline, and hey -- you might even start to enjoy running. And before you know it, it’s race day and you finish strong!

So, my encouragement to you today is to not give up! Keep showing up ALL IN to your prayer and Bible reading time -- keep making that a priority in your daily life. God WILL speak to you! It’s not about getting goosebumps every time or weeping or “feeling” changed -- although you may have all of that sometimes. But it’s not our feelings that prove He’s at work in our lives -- you’ll start to see the evidence in your life because your faith is growing, you’re receiving His wisdom to make decisions and He’s showing you things to come. That life change and personal relationship with the Lord is what makes it exciting -- so strap on your running shoes and keep on going!

Say This: “Father, your Word shows me that my prayer time with You and reading my Bible -- Your living Word -- needs to be a priority in my life, so that I can hear from You, I can gain wisdom and direction from You, and I can grow stronger and stronger in my personal relationship with You. Help me, Lord, to remember how vitally important this is, so that even on the days when there aren’t goosebumps or tears, I still know my time spent with You has deposited living and active Truth into my life -- and that enables me to live the satisfying, faith-filled life that You have for me! I love you, Lord, and I look forward to our daily time together. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

Cultivate Faithfulness

Beth Jones

“Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.” Psalm 37:3, NASB

I was so mad the first time I read this verse. I didn’t want to stay in the land and cultivate faithfulness! I wanted to do something exciting. I wanted to move to another state! I wanted to go to Bible school and get involved in ministry! 

The Lord had a different plan. He told me to continue working at a job I didn’t like...the job that seemed like a waste of time! He told me to stay there and cultivate faithfulness. That meant: Be on time. Work hard. Be faithful. Keep your mouth shut. Be a witness.

It was the last thing I wanted to do, but I made a decision to do it anyway! After one year, I had passed the test and the Lord released me from that job and led me to begin the ministry training pathway He had planned for me. I have never regretted being faithful.

The Lord is very interested in the small things. If He can’t count on us in the little things – like faithfulness – how can He trust us with the big things? 

Are you ready to win the world for Christ? Start your own business or ministry? Take over the universe? Perhaps the Lord wants to cultivate faithfulness in your life first. Whether you’re in a beautiful, blue sky land full of beauty or the backside of a desert somewhere; just know, He’s watching your faithfulness – even when no one else is. When we are faithful in little things, He’ll entrust us with big things. When we are faithful in “another man’s,” He will give us our own. When He counts us faithful, He promotes us. I know, sometimes it’s a bitter pill, but swallow it and be faithful!

One day you will hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant…

Say This: “Father, I do trust You. I will do what You want me to do. I will stay. I will go. I will cultivate faithfulness. I will be faithful in small things, natural things, relationships, leadership, at work, at home, at church and in any other opportunities You place before me. Help me Lord to be counted faithful. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.” 

Yesterday, Today And Forever

Beth Jones

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever." Hebrews 13:8, NKJV

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. He has never changed and He never will! This is great news -- but what does that mean to us?

It means...Jesus is alive! It would be hard for Jesus to be "the same" if He was dead. He's not! He is risen from the dead and this puts Jesus in an entirely different league than any other religious leader on the planet.

It means...Jesus is still doing what He's always done. If He wasn't, He wouldn't be the same. Jesus—through His Word and by His Spirit—is still revealing the truth about God's kingdom and His purposes and plans. Jesus is still extending mercy and forgiveness to sinners, prostitutes, adulterers, liars, thieves, murderers and every other person who hasn't been "perfect."

It means...Jesus is still healing. He wouldn't be the same today if He didn't do what He did in the past! He is still healing broken hearts, diseased bodies and scarred emotions and every other part of us that is sick. Jesus is still opening blind eyes, delivering people from demonic bondage and doing miracles for those who believe.

It means...Jesus is still giving. If He was a withholder, He wouldn't be the same. Jesus is still giving peace, strength, grace, wisdom, favor, food, clothing, good gifts and the power of the Holy Spirit to those who seek Him first and foremost.

So what do you need Jesus to do in your life? Do you need Him to do "today" some of the things He did "yesterday?" Jesus said, "...all things are possible to him who believes." 

Jesus promised that He would fill, touch and satisfy those who are thirsty, hungry and desperate for Him. He promised to be found—yesterday, today and forever—by those who believe and seek Him with their whole hearts. If you’ve been on the fence about Jesus, today is a good day to seek Him wholeheartedly!

Say This: "Father, I believe in Jesus and that He is the same yesterday, today and forever! I believe He is alive. I believe He is doing today the very same things He did yesterday. He has not changed; He is the same! Today, I seek You with my whole heart. I am thirsty and hungry for You, Lord. I trust You. In Jesus' Name, I pray. Amen."