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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.

Here’s to fulfilling your God-given potential!

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Filtering by Category: Relationships

SAYING WHAT MATTERS

Jennifer Cole

When someone knows their time left on earth is short, they choose their final words with great care...they make sure the words are meaningful and intentional, they say something that matters. I often think of that in terms of what Jesus said to His followers, shortly before He paid the ultimate price on the cross and then ascended to heaven on that glorious day. Let’s take a look at the words He chose in that very important time.

“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age’” (Matthew 28:18-20 NKJV).

Here, Jesus was instructing us to make disciples...to tell the world...to share the Good News with others so they come to know Christ too! Let’s not let telling others about Jesus just become a “side” thing or a “maybe someday if I have time” thing...it’s absolutely essential, and there are many people in your life who need to hear about Him!

>>This is so important that Jesus used some of His precious final moments on earth to instruct us in this!

So, how do we make disciples? Many ways! We live by example, continuing to grow in our knowledge and application of the Word so that others can catch the spirit of faith from our lives. We make the choice to stay others-minded, asking God to use us to help others each day. And -- this is hugely important! -- we share our story with others. We talk to others about how Jesus has changed our lives. Not in an over-bearing, judgmental or weird way...just honestly and sincerely, as a way to encourage others in their faith.

Some may think that making disciples or sharing our faith with others is scary or overwhelming. If that’s you, let me encourage you with this...keep saturating your heart and life with the Word of God. That’s the secret to being an effective disciple-maker!

Because...when you are so full of the Word and of experiencing the Word at work in your life...you can’t help but share it with others. It just comes out of you when people press into you, so-to-speak!

Friends, be encouraged today to keep investing your lives into things of eternal value. Share with others the great gift you’ve received -- Jesus Christ -- so that their lives can be forever changed too!

Who do you know that needs the Lord in their lives? Who’s showing signs of interest? Hunger for something real? Why not take a step of faith and follow Jesus’ instructions to “go ye” and have a chat with your friend about the Lord. You can start up a conversation by asking them a question or getting their feedback. Maybe a question like, “What do you think about eternity?” “Do you know for sure where you will go when you die?” “Would you like to know for sure that you’ll spend eternity in heaven?” “Would you be open to watching a video about how to get to heaven?” “How would you like to take an online course to learn the basics of the Bible?” Etc. Just ask the question and see how they respond. The Lord will guide you in the rest of the conversation.

Jesus thought it was important enough to instruct us in this before He left earth...so let’s take heed to His call to action and make the most of our time. You can do this!!

Say This: “Father, thank You for Jesus’ instruction to me...I want to help make disciples and help others receive the same gift I’ve received which is Christ Jesus. Lord, help me to saturate my life with Your Word and let that be what naturally and sincerely spreads to all those around me, as I live the life You’ve called me to live. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

STANDING OUT IN THE SELFIE CROWD

Jennifer Cole

We are in a selfie culture, aren’t we? When we scroll through our Instagram and Facebook feeds, we see lots of selfies from friends, family, coworkers, inspirational people, fitness gurus and folks from all age groups. Now, I’ve got nothing against a great selfie...although you gotta get it from the right angle (who’s with me there?)!

But...the challenge for all of us in this selfie culture is to not let our photography trend bleed over into our everyday communications with others. If we’re constantly making ourselves the center of every conversation, or inserting our own stories over the ones others are trying to tell, then we’ve carried the selfie mindset into the broader scope of our lives...and that’s not going to help our relationships!

In Philippians, Paul made the observation of how much self focus, rather than others focus, was noticeable even in those times. We can read about it in Philippians 2:19-21: “But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, that I also may be encouraged when I know your state. For I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus” (NKJV).

>>So, what can you do to stand out in this selfie-obsessed culture? Here’s the secret…

Take a genuine interest in others! Dale Carnegie said it so well: “To be interesting, be interested.” Simple -- even basic, if you will -- but very profound! What does it look like to be interested? In practical terms, it shows up in things like being intentional to ask questions about others. Not just the surface-level “how are you” to which everyone just replies “good” or “fine” (or “crazy busy”), but asking questions that show you are genuinely wanting to learn about how they’re really doing, what they’re doing, what they like, and so on.

If you spend time honing this skill -- this critical people skill of being interested -- you will definitely start to see the positive impact this will have on your relationships in all areas of life. Plus, it’s just downright FUN! People are fascinating, everyone has a unique story and perspective. Getting to know lots of different people can add color to your own world. And, as you’re actively being interested in those around you, they’ll find YOU more interesting! People enjoy being known...everyone likes being noticed and cared about enough for someone to take interest in them. Be that someone!

Your people skills matter. The Lord has a divine purpose for you and for all of us, and for us to maximize our impact in this world for Him, it takes people skills! Friends, let’s each commit to growing in our people skills, now and throughout our whole lifetime, so we can help others in new and greater ways!

Say This: “Father, thank You that I can turn to You for help in any area of my life. Today, I pray that You would help me increase my people skills, now and throughout my life. I want to help others around me and help to build Your Church, and all of that involves people. Lord, help me to stay others-focused, and not self-focused, and to take a genuine interest in others. 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.”

Friendship

Jennifer Cole

“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” Proverbs 27:17, NLT

hey friends!

I want you to know that you’re on my heart…I love our devo readers, and even if I may not get to meet you in person on this side of eternity, know that I am praying for you and cheering you on in your life of faith!

The topic that’s on my heart for you today is relationships. Specifically, that God would connect each of you with true-blue, God-knit friendships...the kind where “iron sharpens iron,” where they encourage you in your faith, where they will speak the truth when you need to hear it and where they pray heartfelt, faith-filled prayers for you and with you.

This is my prayer for you today -- read through it, receive it and join in with a hearty “Amen” at the end!

“Father, I thank you for each devo reader all over the world. Today, Lord, I ask for Your special grace and provisions to connect each of them with friends who will encourage them in their faith, who will walk with them through life’s good days and bad, who aren’t afraid to speak the truth in love...and whose friendship would cause them to all the while grow closer to You. Thank You that You are divinely connecting them with the right people and helping the right friendships to grow! I also ask You, Lord, to help prune any unhealthy relationships, so that the healthy ones would grow strong and that the abundant, blessed and prosperous Christian life is what each devo reader would experience! Thank You for divine friendships and ‘iron sharpens iron’ connections. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

Love y’all!
Beth

Essential & Indispensable

Jennifer Cole

“God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.” Ephesians 6:17-18 MSG

I love this verse! It paints such a clear picture that prayer is so vital and highlights the importance of praying for others. Literally, your faith-filled and Bible-based prayers are dispatching angels on someone’s behalf (Psalm 103:20), are making tremendous power available (James 5:16 AMPC) and are doing supernatural warfare to help someone (Ephesians 6:12). If we truly understood how much our prayers help others, wouldn’t we make this more of a way of life?

There are lots of ways to keep your prayers for others on your priority list. Try listing out people who are on your heart and pray for them regularly over a period of time -- and then switch over to others whom God puts on your heart next. You may also notice that at times someone just pops into your mind -- that's often a nudge to say a prayer for them! Your prayers may sometimes include specific names...and at other times, it may be certain groups of people that God puts on your heart, like “my future grandchildren” or “all Pastors around the world” as some examples.

Whatever your prayer flow is when it comes to lifting up other people, I encourage you today to see the value of those prayers as what they truly are -- ESSENTIAL and indispensable! So let’s be people who invest our time and effort on purpose to lift up others. Your prayers don’t have to be long dissertations to be effective! Simply lift up the person who’s on your heart, pray in the Spirit if you don’t know what specifically to pray for and also pray out verses over their life. If they need peace, look up verses on peace and pray those over them. If they need healing, speak Scriptures about healing over their life, and so on.

Today, be encouraged that your faith-filled prayers are moving mountains for others, whether you can see it yet with your five senses or not!

Say This: “Father, today I ask You to stir me up to pray for others -- to pray fervent, heartfelt, faith-filled prayers that will make tremendous power available in their lives! Please put on my heart who You’d have me pray for today and help guide me to which Scriptures I can pray in faith over their lives. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”