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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

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Filtering by Category: Favor

your BEST life.

Jennifer Cole

Have you ever wondered what God thinks about money? About our finances, meeting our needs and having abundance to share? For sure there are lots of opinions and teachings about the subject of “prosperity” (even that word has become a bit “yikes!” in Christian culture today), but let’s dive straight into the Bible to see what the Word says about this basic topic. 

Let’s start with this passage:

“Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life.” 1 Timothy 6:17-19 NLT

>> Wow, there’s so much in that text, right? Let’s unpack it a bit.

1. First, let’s define “rich.” You may think that “rich” only means those in Hollywood, with multi-million dollar mansions -- and probably a handful of Bentleys. But actually -- this verse applies to all of us! If we take a truly global view...it’s possible that most of us reading the devo today could be considered rich, in the global economy. There are many studies that show if you have food in the fridge, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep, you’re “richer” than 75% of the world. Wow -- we have a lot to be grateful for!

2. The issue is trust. Notice that being rich...or more simply stated, having money...isn’t the issue here. Why? Because money itself is neutral! It’s not good or bad -- it just “is.” The important thing in this passage is not to put our TRUST in money because it’s unreliable! Instead, our trust should be in the Lord! 

Take a moment for a quick check-up here...are you trusting in your paycheck, or trusting the Lord who provides you with the talents and opportunities to earn that income? Are you trusting in your bank account, home and cars, or is your trust in the One who’s behind all of those blessings? I encourage you today to make sure your trust is in the Lord. He is the only firm foundation to build your life on!

3. God wants you blessed! While there is so much in the 1 Timothy 6:17-19 passage that we could dive into, I want to draw your attention to one more aspect of it today...God wants you to prosper and to enjoy life. Yes, friends, I said “enjoy” life! He wants your life full of good things, both for your enjoyment and to provide you with blessings so you can bless others and be outrageously generous! This may be a new or foreign concept for you, so again let’s go back to what the Bible says about it.

Let’s look at that same passage one more time, but now in The Passion Translation: “To all the rich of this world, I command you not to be wrapped in thoughts of pride over your prosperity, or rely on your wealth, for your riches are unreliable and nothing compared to the living God. Trust instead in the one who has lavished upon us all good things, fulfilling our every need. Remind the wealthy to be rich in good works of extravagant generosity, willing to share with others. This will provide a beautiful foundation for their lives and secure for them a great future, as they lay their hands upon the meaning of true life.”

Do you see, from this passage, that we should trust in God -- the one who lavishes upon us all good things...how amazing is that? And then it goes on to remind us to be rich in good works, extravagant in generosity and willing to share with others! Doesn’t this sound like the “blessed to be a blessing life?” Sign me up!! 

Here’s the bottom line: God wants you, yes YOU, to enjoy life and to be blessed to be generous to others! And God wants to bless you even more than He already has! Set your heart upon Him, place your trust in Him and His Word...and watch Him overflow your life with blessings to both enjoy and to share. 

If your head is going a bit “tilt” on this subject, that’s okay. I encourage you to spend some time meditating on His Word (check out the Scriptures recommended below) and allow the Lord to speak to your heart and renew your mind on this subject. 

Say This: “Father, thank You that you fill my life with good things. Thank You for your generosity towards me and I ask You to stir up a generous spirit in me, so I can be a blessing to others! I believe Your Word that You fulfill my every need, so Lord today I lift up these needs and ask for Your provisions and wisdom in these areas: ___________________. I put my trust in You and believe that the best is yet to come! 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.”

Divine Guidance and Help

Jennifer Cole

“...[Jesus] said to Simon, 'Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.' But Simon answered and said to Him, 'Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.' And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink...,[Simon] and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken.” Luke 5:4-9, NKJV

Ever worked at something really hard and come up empty? Burned the midnight oil and reaped very little fruit? Worked your fingers to the bone and lost money? Yeah -- that’s kinda what Peter felt like when he told Jesus he had been fishing all night long and hadn’t caught a thing. That's where divine guidance and divine partnerships come into play!

Divine Guidance: In spite of Peter's discouragement, Jesus told Peter to get back on the water and then advised him on when and where to fish. Although Peter had already “tried that,” he listened to Jesus’ directions and followed His instructions. He obeyed Jesus’ words and threw his net into the water.

The result? Following Jesus’ divine guidance caused Peter to catch a supernatural, fish-catching, boat-sinking, net-breaking haul of fish! Peter was catching so many fish, he had to get some partners to help him out!

Divine Partnerships: Peter could see that following Jesus’ guidance had produced amazing results! So, he gave his buddies a signal that looked something like, “Hurry up -- help me!” The next thing you know, those helpers in another boat flocked to his side to help him.

The result? They filled BOTH boats with so many fish the boats began to sink! The moral of the story? Not only was Peter blessed by following Jesus’ divine guidance, his helpers got to partake of the same blessing! Not only was Peter’s boat filled to the brim with fish, his helpers’ boat was filled too! 

When we listen to God's direction -- as given to us through His Word and by His Spirit -- He will bless the work of our hands and "fill our boat." And even beyond that...when we are led to partner with others, we partake of the grace and blessings that are on their lives and our boat gets filled too!

Say This: “Father, thank You for Your divine guidance -- thank You that there’s no circumstance in the natural that You can’t help me overcome. Give me Your direction and Your instructions in every area of life -- I want to follow Your ways! And, let me know who You would like me to partner with so I can be of help to them, and I know in turn that my boat will get filled too! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

What About The 90 Percent

Jennifer Cole

“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7, NLT

I think we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg of how good God truly is! As you’ve probably heard, the huge mass of an iceberg is only 10% visible above the water -- while the vast 90% is resting beneath the surface.

What if we have only yet grasped the “10%”...I mean, how much more blessed are we in Christ than we realize? How much more loving is our Heavenly Father than we truly grasp? How incredibly generous has He been, when maybe we haven’t fully understood or seen all His workings behind the scenes? Do we know all the depths of how good God is? And how favored we are by Him? Perhaps it will take eternity to grasp!

Doesn’t this just stir you up? It does for me! I am so amazed each day at how extravagant His love is for me and how rich His blessings and favor are...so to even think that what I have tasted and seen is quite possibly only the tip of the iceberg -- the hypothetical “10%” -- wow, that makes me crave to know Him so much more!

Today, do you need a refreshing dose of the revelation of His amazing love in your life? A personal acquaintance with the goodness of God is a revelation that He alone imparts. As we spend time in His Word, the Holy Spirit will open our spiritual eyes to help us "see" the glorious riches of our inheritance in Christ. Seek after Him relentlessly and never stop!

Say This: “Father, wow -- thank You that Your love for me is so vast that there is always more and more I can learn and discover about Your goodness. I will seek after You all the days of my life! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”