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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: Faith

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.”

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.”

living with extraordinary purpose.

Jennifer Cole

YOU are here for a reason. You have an eternal assignment. And you are well equipped for such a time as this.

Yes, YOU, my friend!

Each of us as believers carry an assignment on this earth that has great eternal impact -- and that is to share the Good News with others! Have you ever wondered why God doesn’t take us right up to Heaven the moment we get saved? It’s because we have a job to do on this earth still!

When we talk about sharing Jesus and the basics with others, I acknowledge that just the notion of talking with others about your faith may send you into fear, doubt or other assorted emotions. So let’s have a chat about it. I don’t want you to feel that way about sharing your faith. Allow me to share some insights on this topic with you, so you can feel both empowered and at ease about being an ambassador for Christ!

First, you need to realize that God has you right where you are for a purpose. It’s not by chance. You’re in that family, at that workplace with those coworkers, on that sports team, in that neighborhood, in that school and so on -- all for a reason. Know that God has placed you specifically where you are to be an influence and to help those you know come to know Christ. Thinking about that will take you up a few notches in confidence already! If He knows right where you’re at, and specifically put you there with those people, you can be assured He knows what He’s doing -- and that He’s right there with you.

Secondly, what we need to do is fill up our hearts with God’s Word. 1 Peter 3:15 MSG encourages us: “Through thick and thin, keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ, your Master. Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy.” I love how this version expresses how to effectively evangelize. We keep our lives and our hearts focused on the Lord, and then when we’re in everyday conversations with others, we’re ready to share why we live the way we do. 

Often the most compelling form of winning others to Christ comes from just sharing your testimony...your personal story. What has Jesus done in your life? Were you freed from addiction? Healed? Set free? Has He helped you become a better parent, employee, friend, son/daughter, etc.? 

>>Take a moment today to really think about how you would answer this question: What has following Jesus meant to your life, personally? 

If the answer to that is always rolling around in your heart, you’ll find it just flows naturally out of your mouth when you get opportunities to tell people why you love the Lord. And, always remember...it’s not God’s will that any should perish...He wants everyone to come to Christ! 

Rest assured that He is actively at work in everyone’s lives to help them see the truth. He’s already working on their hearts...so when you’re in a conversation where you can feel that Holy Spirit nudge to speak up and share your faith, you can do so without fear or worry...He’s already drawing them to Him, and we just need to do our part as He prompts us! 

I encourage you today to see what a great purpose every day of your life is. Yes, God wants you to enjoy life and be prosperous in all areas, but let me tell you, the greatest joy is sharing all of that with others! Share your blessings, share what you’ve learned and share your testimony...be a bright light that is unwilling to let worry or uncertainty of what someone might think stop you from sharing a comment or Scripture that may be exactly what they need to hear that day. Live your life in such a way that your actions and speech are like magnets that draw others to the Lord -- that’s what a life lived with purpose truly looks like. 

And, oh what a joy it will be to get to Heaven and be surrounded by people that we helped come to know Christ!

Say This: “Father, thank You so much for all of the blessings You’ve given so richly and freely to me. I don’t just want to be blessed...I want to be blessed to be a blessing! Lord, help me to spot ways to bless others and specifically I ask for open doors to speak Your Word and the Good News into others’ lives. Help me to store up Your Word in my heart and be ready and eager to share those life-giving Words to those I encounter. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

goodbye roller coaster.

Jennifer Cole

Who’s figured out already that becoming a Christian doesn’t mean that the skies are suddenly always blue, the birds are always chirping and the roses are always in full bloom? I remember learning early on in my faith journey that being a believer didn’t mean life got “magically” easier. In that season, it felt like my Christian life was on a perpetual roller coaster -- feeling up one day and down the next. I desired a consistent Christian life, but just didn’t even know if or how that would be possible.

Then one day, while on a roadtrip to Florida with my friend Michelle, God revealed to my heart His desire for my life -- His plan was for my Christian life to be consistent rather than inconsistent, to be victorious rather than defeated, and to be joy-filled and enjoyable too! And friends, God doesn’t play favorites -- what He revealed to me is true for your life too! Here’s what I learned…

It all started with Romans 12:2, which tells us, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (NKJV). So, if transformation happens through the renewal of our minds...then, how do we renew our minds? We learn God’s Word! We replace things we’ve learned, read, been told...or maybe just have no awareness of...with the Truth from the Bible.

>>This is not passive, y’all -- this is active! YOU play a critical role in renewing your mind!

To renew my mind to what God’s Word said about being a victorious, overcoming and joy-filled Christian...I wrote out the following Scriptures and posted them all over the place! On my mirror, in my car, in my kitchen, you name it -- everywhere! -- so I could read them and speak them often. (There’s just something about hearing your own voice declare God’s promises for you in faith that makes it “stick!”) In doing so, the Lord was renewing my mind to what He said about me and the authority He has given me to reign in life, through Jesus Christ.

Here are a few of those Scriptures! I’d love for you to consider printing this out and posting these verses all over the place to read them daily AND say them out loud to renew your mind to these truths! 

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ…” 2 Corinthians 2:14

“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:57

“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:37

“Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.” Psalm 34:19

“For with God nothing will be impossible.” Luke 1:37

“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

“For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:17

Wow! Can you see how marinating your mind in these Truths will change how you view your life? It’s my genuine and earnest desire that you each come to believe and personally experience every one of those verses -- so grab hold of them today. There’s just nothing better than the victorious, faith-filled, overcomer Christian life -- and God wants it to be YOURS! 

Say This: “Father, thank You so much that through Jesus’ sacrifice, I’ve been given the gift of righteousness to reign in life through Christ. Thank You that Your will for my life is that I live a victorious, overcoming, faith-filled Christian life. Thank You that You always lead me in triumph, You’ve made me more than a conqueror, You supply all my needs, and through You nothing is impossible! I believe it and receive it today, and I ask You to help me continue to renew my mind to the Truth of Your Word. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
 

blessed to be a blessing.

Jennifer Cole

You’ve probably experienced one or both of these scenarios in your life...at some point, you’ve likely not had enough of something you needed (money, work, transportation, friends, you name it!) and wondered why you weren’t experiencing the abundant and prosperous life you heard others talking about. On the flip side, at some point maybe you’ve experienced a prosperous life, full of blessings and abundance, but felt guilty for doing well...felt like you had to apologize all the time for being blessed.

You may find yourself in one of those two camps even today! So friends, I want to talk with you about both -- together, let’s look at what the Bible has to say about blessings and prosperity. Remember, we don’t build our faith or our lives on opinion, culture trends or any other constantly changing influence...we trust God’s Word as the foundation and guidebook for our lives. So let’s check out what the Bible has to say about this topic:

Psalm 103:2-5 says, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s” (NKJV).

And, in John 10:10 Jesus says, “The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows]” (AMP).

These are just two of the many verses on this subject, but I love these two! They paint such a beautiful picture of the Lord’s heart to us...He offers us salvation AND a whole benefits “package!” He came to bring us life that we can enjoy and have abundance, till it overflows. Wow! God loves us -- and through Jesus, He has already paid a mighty high price for us to be blessed and prosperous! Let’s check out another verse...

Psalm 68:19 says, “Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loads us with benefits…” (NKJV). 

Seriously, check out the words in that verse: “daily” and “loads!” I don’t know about you, but those words to me paint a picture of abundance, not of scarcity or lack! I know that for some of you, this is confirmation of what you already have experienced as you’ve trusted the Lord for increase and blessings. For others, this is causing your head to go tilt! Let me encourage you today to continue seeking the Lord for revelation in this area...He’s a good Father and He wants you to be super blessed and ever-increasing.

>>Don’t miss this one very important “asterisk”...

It’s all about the heart! God does not want you to be blessed and prosperous so that you become self-obsessed or materialistic. He doesn’t want you looking down on others or letting money rule your life. By no means! He wants you to have and enjoy life, and He wants you blessed to be a blessing! At the same time, the Lord wants you to be content and willing to share generously -- having a giving spirit. Can you see how the heart condition truly means everything in understanding, receiving and appropriately applying God’s goodness and blessings in your life?

Take some time this week to soak in these Scriptures...let them renew your mind to what the Word says about God’s heart towards you and His desire for your life. After all, as you experience abundance and are blessed, your ability to bless others greatly increases. So let’s believe God for the blessings He wants for us -- and let’s bless others generously too!

Say This: “Father, thank You so much that You love me and that it’s Your will that I am blessed and prosperous. I’m so thankful for the price Jesus paid so I could be saved and also enjoy the whole benefits ‘package’ that is available to me. Today, I ask that Your blessing and goodness continually fill my life with abundance in all areas. And show me, Lord, how I can be a blessing to others! As I increase, help me to keep my heart focused on You and giving all the glory to You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”