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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!

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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: Direction

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.”

you've got help!

Jennifer Cole

Friends, today’s devo will be short and sweet but I genuinely hope it encourages you! If you haven’t read last week’s devo yet, I highly recommend reading that before jumping into today’s. (You can check it out below, on this blog page.)

Today, let’s talk about something that may not be talked about enough but I believe many may be struggling with this...let’s dive into what to do if you feel “stuck” in your prayer life. Sure, you likely know all the benefits of prayer and you genuinely desire to be a pray-er...but for some reason, you just feel like you can’t break through whatever is holding you back in prayer. I’m here to tell you today, there’s hope! You will break through!

The secret is being filled with the Spirit. When you’re filled with the Holy Spirit, He helps you pray out God’s perfect will. We see this in God’s Word: “...for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will” (Romans 8:27 NLT). You can pray out what you know in your own understanding...but then you don’t have to feel “stuck” or “stopped” there. Pray in the Spirit, and He’ll help you pray out all of the mysteries, the things you don’t know but He does!

So, are you feeling burdened about an issue or situation in your life and just struggling to find the “right” words to say in prayer? Pray in the Spirit! Are you fearful, scared, anxious, nervous, agitated, frustrated or confused? Pray in the Spirit! Worried about your future, wondering what path to take or choice to make? You guessed it...pray in the Spirit!

>>You don’t have to have all the “right” words or know all of the details...the Holy Spirit will help you!

Romans 8:26 NKJV explains it like this: “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” And, I love 1 Corinthians 14:2 NKJV as well: “...in the Spirit he speaks mysteries.”

So take a few deep breaths, do a few shoulder rolls and sit up a little straighter -- you are not alone in this, the Lord will help you pray! Pray with your own understanding, speaking out in faith the promises of God. But also pray in the Spirit. Allow Him to help you pray out mysteries, laying out the track you’ll run on in life. You don’t have to have it all figured out, just lean into Him and He’ll help you pray it out!

Say This: “Father, thank You so much that I am born of the Spirit and also filled with the Spirit. Thank You that the Holy Spirit helps me to pray out mysteries and to pray according to Your perfect will. Thank You that I don’t have to know it all -- You help me pray! I thank You for helping me to experience breakthrough in my prayer life as I pray more in the Spirit. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

how can I hear from the Lord?

Jennifer Cole

Last week’s devo centered on how to talk to God through prayer. Now today, we’ll focus on how to hear from God -- He speaks to us through the Bible! Aren’t the most meaningful relationships ones where conversations are full of both talking AND listening...speaking AND hearing a response? That’s why we can’t just stop after discussing prayer and not talk about the Bible...His Word is the primary way that we hear from the Lord!

Perhaps you’ve thought the Bible was just like any other book, nice words on pages but not “alive.” Or, maybe you’ve considered the Bible to be outdated...something that helped people back in the day, but not really relevant to take on the challenges of the modern age. Maybe you struggle with reading the Bible because it feels like an obligation or ritual, and you don’t have a solid understanding of why it is even important.

Or, perhaps you do currently esteem the Bible but aren’t quite sure how to make it a part of your day and to really hear from God.

No matter which of these you may relate to, there’s good news...it IS possible to know why the Bible is absolutely essential to your life. While there are dozens of verses we could dive into here, let’s take just a moment to consider these two:

2 Timothy 3:16-17 AMP: “All Scripture is God-breathed [given by divine inspiration] and is profitable for instruction, for conviction [of sin], for correction [of error and restoration to obedience], for training in righteousness [learning to live in conformity to God’s will, both publicly and privately—behaving honorably with personal integrity and moral courage]; so that the man of God may be complete and proficient, outfitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Hebrews 4:12 NKJV: “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

We see here that the Bible, while it was penned by 40 men, in a timespan of 1500 years and in 3 languages...ALL of it was God-inspired. It is not the writings and thinkings of men...it’s true author is the Lord! And, we see in the above verses that the Word is living and powerful...this is not a dusty ol’ book with no relevance. By no means! In fact, God uses the living Word to speak to your heart -- answering your questions, providing guidance, whispering His love and acceptance to you -- all present-day and relevant because it’s the living Word.

>>Did you catch that? This book is like no other -- as you read it, you get to know its author personally! He speaks living and active words to YOU!

I don’t know about y’all, but that sure stirs me up! It stirs me up to read my Bible, to listen to Bible-based teachings, to sing worship songs and be engaged as I listen to Scripture-based messages and podcasts. In this day and age, we have so many ways to fill our lives and our hearts with God’s Word. I encourage you to get as much Scripture into your heart every day as you can...it’s God’s primary way of speaking to you!

Say This: “Father, thank You so much for giving me Your Word. I esteem and value the Bible and choose to make it my personal guidebook in life. And, I believe that as I make time to read and hear Scripture, You are speaking living and active words to me. Thank You that I hear from You and as I invest in reading more and more Scriptures, my whole life will benefit as You speak guidance, love, correction, acceptance and so much more into my heart! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

let's pray it up!

Jennifer Cole

Sometimes I think we can over-complicate prayer. I mean, how many times have you not prayed because you felt you didn’t know the “right” way to pray, or didn’t have a full three-hours of time to pray, or felt like God was far off and unapproachable? Let me encourage you today, friends, that prayer really is simple. It’s basic, if you will! While there are certainly some “rules of engagement” for specific types of prayer, which we can learn from the Bible, today just start! Start praying! Start talking with the Lord every day, start prioritizing your conversation time with Him and don’t let the enemy keep stealing that powerful time away from you.

The enemy knows that prayer pulls down the power from Heaven into your life. He knows that through faith-filled prayers you can experience salvation, healing, blessings, restored relationships, increase, favor, protection, freedom from fear and addictions, and so much more. Can you see now why the enemy works overtime to keep us feeling like we can’t pray? Like we don’t know how to pray, are unworthy to approach God, or any other number of lies? Knowing that he’s so actively opposing our prayer time should stir up some passion in you to not let him steal that from your life!

Today, I hope you’ll lay aside any preconceived notions of some lofty and unattainable standard on your prayer life and just get real with the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17 tells us: “Be happy [in your faith] and rejoice and be glad-hearted continually (always); Be unceasing in prayer [praying perseveringly]” (AMPC). Being “unceasing” in prayer means we can pray all day, all the time, anytime and anyplace. That’s freeing, isn’t it? 

This means you can talk to the Lord while driving to and from work, while running the kids to school, while washing the dishes or literally any time throughout your day! He’s your best friend, always with you...and you can talk with Him about anything. And, it’s worth noting that you can talk with Him using real words, truly pouring out your heart -- you don’t have to speak in the “King James” words, saying thee’s and thou’s! You can show Him genuine love, respect and adoration using your everyday, “normal” language.

While having an ongoing conversation with God as we go about our day is terrific, it is also very important to prioritize some dedicated quiet time with the Lord. Carve out a time each day to steal away with the Lord...to get free from the distractions of life and have quality time with Him, offering up heartfelt and faith-filled prayers. Jesus was our example of how to live when He walked on this earth…and we see from Mark 1:35 that He was intentional about setting aside specific time to pray: “Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed” (NKJV). God promises that when we call to Him, He will answer (Jeremiah 33:3)...that time you spend with Him will be so worth it!

>>Don’t miss this! By spending time with the Lord, you’ll grow stronger in your relationship with Him, experience His love for you, find the answers you’re seeking and be charged up spiritually for your day!

If you have a friend, neighbor, spouse, or other relationship you’re pouring into, what’s one of the number one ways to grow that relationship? Spend time together and talk to each other! In much the same way, you’ll find that as you spend time with the Lord in prayer, you’ll experience more and more the fullness of His love for you and experience the guidance and peace in your life that can only be found in His presence. So pray it up, friends! You can do this!

Say This: “Father, thank You that I can talk with you anytime, anyplace about anything! Thank You that through Jesus, I can approach the Throne of Grace with boldness, and I know through Your Word that when I call to You, You will answer. Lord, help stir up in me a greater desire to prioritize prayer in my life -- I choose to make quality time with You a priority! 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.”