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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: Love

YOU. ARE. ACCEPTED.

Jennifer Cole

Ever felt unworthy? Unloved? Overlooked, dismissed, despised or rejected? You are not alone. Truth is, everyone has felt rejected -- even the most secure, confident, “together” person you know! Somewhere, sometime in their lives they have felt the pain of being rejected and not accepted.

Sometimes feelings of rejection come from small things...and other times it might be something big that created a larger scar on the inside of you. Maybe you’ve been mistreated by people you thought you could trust. Maybe you’ve felt rejected by people because of your appearance, skin color, gender or economic status. Perhaps you’ve felt disappointed by a job promotion you didn’t get, or a broken engagement that broke your heart. And certainly...in any of our lives, the social media factor can really amp up the feelings of rejection...whether because of comparison or bullying or feeling invisible. No matter the source of rejection, it hurts.

>> But friends, I encourage you today to lift your eyes up to Him! God wants to free you from a spirit of rejection.

God sent Jesus to this earth to free us...from our sins, from rejection, from anything that would hold us back. Jesus knew what it meant to be rejected -- He was despised and rejected here on earth! We see this in Isaiah 53: “He was despised and rejected - a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down...He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed...And because of his experience, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins (Isaiah 53:3-5,11 NLT).

Jesus didn’t deserve it, but on the cross He was rejected so that through Him, we could be accepted. It’s so important that we frame our worldview based on His acceptance, not on the rejection we may have experienced from others. He wants to free you from a spirit of rejection. That is possible when you displace rejection with a fresh awareness and understanding of His love and acceptance for you!

This is the very reason Jesus came! Because of sin, we were separated from God — we were rejected. Sin would have kept us permanently separated from God. Because God loves us, He sent Jesus to take the rejection in our place — He took our sins upon Himself and become our substitute. On the cross, Jesus took the punishment we deserved...He was rejected so that we could be accepted.

Living from a place of God’s acceptance is so critical to your ongoing, vibrant connection with the Living God. You see, it is the enemy’s plan to create distance and separation between you and God. He wants you to feel inferior and unacceptable to God. The last thing the devil wants is for you to recognize and experience God’s acceptance through Jesus Christ.

So, if you’ve been living with a spirit of rejection -- feeling rejected by others, by the world, or by God -- spend some time with the Lord today and pray the prayer below out loud. Ask for His help in opening your heart to the freedom and fullness of His acceptance of you...and watch that acceptance flood every area of your life. After all, if God is for you, who can be against you? (Romans 8:31) And He’s for YOU!!

Say This: “Father, thank You for sending Jesus to make the ultimate sacrifice on the cross, so that through Him I am accepted! Lord, I ask You to heal me from a spirit of rejection. Heal me from hurts, big and little, recent and in the distant past. Thank You for flooding my heart with Your acceptance -- may Your approval become the strong foundation that I stand upon with confidence each day of my life. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

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.”

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.”

break free from the struggle.

Jennifer Cole

Do you sometimes feel like it’s a struggle to forgive others...and to forgive yourself? Do you have a hard time loving others, or maybe find it tough to love yourself? I’d like to share some basics truths with you today that I believe could help you break free from that struggle. 

The secret to breaking free is found in how we frame our life -- what we choose as our central focus. You see, we can choose to view life through one of two basic frameworks for our life...sin consciousness or righteousness consciousness (say that 5 times fast!). Those are some meaty terms, so let’s unpack it a bit and get super practical about what this looks like. 

To be primarily sin conscious means the viewpoint you have on your life is that you’re always sinning. Whatever sin happened that day, it gets center-stage in your thoughts -- and your mind uses that to confine your worth and overall perspective of yourself. And let me tell you, the enemy loves it when we dwell in thoughts of sin consciousness...because when you’re focusing on the sin, you can spiral pretty quickly into feeling depressed, unworthy, and like a total failure.

>> Who has been there before? I know I have. That is -- before I got revelation of what I’m about to share with you...

Yes, the Bible says we all have sinned. Romans 3:23 confirms that none of us are perfect in our own efforts: “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard” (NLT). BUT -- that’s not where the story ends! Read on, in Romans 3:24: “Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins” (NLT).

The only way to NOT live with sin as your central focus is to replace it with something else...God wants us to replace it by focusing on our righteousness through Christ! He wants us to be righteousness conscious. Shifting our focus in this way colors our world with the realization that, through Christ, we are in right-standing with God. We are righteous and perfect in His sight. Not because of anything we’ve done, but completely because of what Jesus did FOR us on the cross. It almost sounds too good to be true -- but it IS true!  

Check out these basic truths:

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:7,9 NIV

“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 NKJV

Righteousness, or right-standing with God, is a free gift that Jesus bought for us. All we have to do is accept that gift! Make the choice to focus your daily life on how He sees you -- He looks at you with love in His eyes. He accepts you. He approves of you. You belong. You are His beloved child. Living from that realization makes all the difference!

In order to love others and forgive others -- and to love yourself and forgive yourself -- it’s much, much easier when you live from a place of being righteousness conscious. Your love and forgiveness is a direct reflection of Jesus’ love and forgiveness. It’s not something you have to create or stir up on your own -- just reflect Jesus! Can you picture it? 

When the framework through which you view your life is centered on the righteousness (right-standing with God) that Christ bought for us on the cross, it brings a “lightness” to your life -- it puts some pep in your step. It enables you to live full of joy, peace, confidence, assurance and approval. Aren’t those things each of us craves? 

Living from the truth that we are righteous through Christ not only builds each of us up in our own lives but helps us walk out this life of love and faith. I encourage you today -- just flip the switch and CHOOSE to live a righteousness conscious life. And remember this: “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:1 NKJV).

Cheering you on today, my righteous friends! 

Say This: “Father, thank You so much for the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross and that I am made righteous in Your eyes. Lord, my heart’s desire is to put You first and follow Your ways, and I thank You that You forgive my sins. Help me to see myself the way You do -- righteous through Christ. Help me to reject any thoughts that are contrary to that truth. And, from this new perspective, help me to love others and myself more fully as a reflection of Your love and forgiveness. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

don't miss this one thing.

Jennifer Cole

In the Old Testament, there were a multitude of rules and laws that had to be followed. It must’ve been a lot of work to keep track of all of the laws, and for sure it was impossible for people to not break at least one! But here’s some good news for us today...thanks to Jesus’ redemptive work through the cross, He fulfilled the whole Law for us...and now He encourages us to follow just one “law - commandment” as our priority.

In fact, the Bible calls this one guiding principle the “Royal Law” (see James 2:8). This Royal Law is all centered around LOVE. As believers, we are called to love God and to love others. Not just once or twice, but as our lifestyle. Let’s look at a couple of Scriptures that tell us more about this:

“‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?’ Jesus said to him, ‘‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.’” Matthew 22:36-40 NKJV

“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:34-35 NLT

Wow...there must be something so significant about LOVE that by living our lives with His love at the center of all we do, it covers everything else. 

>>Can you see just how far-reaching and critical this life of LOVE must be?

So, let’s take a moment to consider...what does it mean to love God will all our heart, soul and mind? We see insights into that in John 14:23-24: “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me’” (NKJV)

From this verse, we see that keeping the Word...the promises, the guidance and instruction we read in our Bible...is how we demonstrate our love for the Lord. It pleases Him to see us living by His Word -- because ultimately He knows that when we live by His Word it’s for OUR benefit!

Now let’s also look at...what does it mean to love others? Love for others is demonstrated in so many ways throughout our daily lives. It’s noticing others...taking time to be kind, say hello and ask how their day is going. It’s thinking before we act -- for example, considering if what we’re about to post, say, or share with others is going to hurt someone’s reputation, feelings, relationships and so on. 

Let’s read Romans 13:10, which gives us a great guideline to live by: “Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law” (NKJV). If something we’re about to do will cause harm to another, we should stop what we’re doing and be intentional about taking our cares, opinions, venting and concerns to the Lord instead, to get His wisdom on the situation.

I love that God has made it so simple, so basic...we need to focus on LOVE and that will keep our life centered. Yet while that’s simple, it’s not always easy. It’s not easy to be obedient in walking in love every moment of every day, but thankfully God gives us not just this command but also His strength...which is what makes this doable! Philippians 2:13 encourages us: “For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (NKJV). I’m so thankful that God gives us one Royal Law to focus on...and that He also stirs up both the will (the “want to”) and the doing (through His strength)! So come on friends, we can do this! I’m cheering you on in your life of LOVE!

Say This: “Father, thank You so much for boiling all the laws down into one main commandment for me to focus on -- the law of love. Lord, I desire to show You and others love in everything I do. Thank You that You help stir up the ‘want to’ and that You also give me Your strength, so that I can walk in love each day. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”