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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: Relationships

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.”
 

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.”