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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: The Word

BETTER THAN BUTTER

Jennifer Cole

We’ve all seen how much things change in life...all the time. For one example, think about how much change in philosophy we’ve seen in the area of nutrition! At one point, butter was bad for us so we all switched to margarine. Now, margarine is bad for us, so we’ve switched back to real butter (or even all natural grass-fed butter!!). There are diet programs saying that eating all plant-based is best for us, while other programs push all meats and little else.

Amazing, isn’t it?

While that’s a simple example, it highlights a very important truth...almost everything “man-made” is subject to change! It’s one thing to build your dinner plans around an ever-shifting food theology...but how much more important is your life, your future and your eternal destination?

>> When you’re deciding what to build your life and your future on -- be sure you’re building on an unchanging foundation!

The basic truth is that there’s only one thing that has withstood the test of time...and will for all ages...and that’s the Word of God. Many verses confirm the longevity of the Bible, like we see in Isaiah 40:8: “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever” (AMPC).

God’s Word stands the test of time...all the time! It’s FULL of promises He has given to us, but like all gifts, they must be unwrapped to truly bless us. I encourage you to spend time each day reading and learning God’s Word. Read your Bible. Pick up a daily devotional book. Play the Bible audio from the YouVersion app on your phone while getting ready for your day. Listen to faith-filled podcasts and sermons. Make a worship playlist on Spotify. There are so many ways to get more of the Bible in your life -- try several! After all, the Word of God is the only unchanging foundation for our lives -- but that doesn’t help us if we don’t know what it says! Make this time in your life the time you decide to build and strengthen that sure foundation!

Here’s another basic truth that I love -- the Bible is living and active! As we read or hear the Word, and choose to receive and apply it, it actively helps us. Check out this encouraging passage in 2 Timothy 3:16-17: “There’s nothing like the written Word of God for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us” (MSG).

The living power of the Word helps our lives when we choose to make it our plumbline...our foundation...what we build our life on. When we choose to submit our lives to the Bible, we will see its great work in our lives! I like how 1 Thessalonians 2:13 shows us this, in the Amplified translation: “...the word of God, which is effectually at work in you who believe [exercising its inherent, supernatural power in those of faith].”

Today, I encourage you to draw the line in the sand, that from this day forward you choose to submit your life to the living Word of God -- and in doing so, you’ll be building your life on the eternal, immovable, unshaken, powerful, life-giving, inspiring, correcting, guiding and encouraging Word! And that’s waaaay better than butter.

Say This: “Father, thank You for Your Word. Thank You that Your Word is eternal, unchanging, living and active. Today, I choose to submit my life to the Word and I ask You to help me learn more of the Word each day so it can become my strong, firm foundation for life. 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.”
 

the secret to moving mountains.

Jennifer Cole

Everything we receive from God is by faith. The greatest gift we can ever receive -- our salvation -- we receive by faith. In fact, all of the promises in the Bible are received by faith. So...if faith is how we receive all that God has for us...who’s with me in wanting more faith, friends?

Romans 10:17 tells us how we get faith: “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (NKJV). Faith comes by hearing the Word! You know, when I was a new believer, I desired to grow my faith so I prayed to God to give me more faith. But, I then experienced Romans 10:17 first-hand...God didn’t wave any magic wand and “poof!” fill me full of faith. What He did was stir up in me an incredible desire for the Word of God. I just couldn’t get enough of the Word!

Why was that God’s response to my prayer for faith? Because He knew that faith comes by hearing the Word...so He knew that as I got more and more of the Word in my heart, my faith would grow.

What are some things you could do today to get more of the Word into your heart? Read your Bible. Listen to the Bible on the YouVersion app while you drive to work or cook dinner. Listen to worship music. Take a course in The Basics University. Watch The Basics With Beth on TV, or listen to a free podcast. There are so many ways in this day-and-age to hear and read the Word on a daily basis...get creative! Find new ways to make the Word part of your daily life -- and by doing so, your faith will grow.

>>I’ve experienced this for years, friends -- this truly works!!

Have you ever seen someone experience a major break-through in their life? Maybe it was healing, or mended relationships, or job success...and you wondered, why isn’t that happening for me? While I certainly acknowledge that there are many variables to every situation, one thing that you can always do that will keep moving you toward that break-through is to continue to grow your faith! 

Mark 11:22-23 confirms: “So Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says’” (NKJV). It’s by FAITH that we can move mountains! 

I don’t want you to miss out on anything that God has for you...and more importantly, He doesn’t want you to miss out on any promises and blessings! So today I encourage you to keep hearing and hearing the Word...and your faith WILL grow!

Say This: “Father, thank You so much for Your Word. It’s the guidebook I live my life by and I’m thankful that You’ve given me the Word so I can always know Your will! I know it’s Your will that I grow in my faith, so I ask You to stir up in me an increased desire for the Word -- a craving for the Word like never before, which nothing else will satisfy. And I trust that as I read and hear more of the Word, my faith will continue to grow. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

how can I hear from the Lord?

Jennifer Cole

Last week’s devo centered on how to talk to God through prayer. Now today, we’ll focus on how to hear from God -- He speaks to us through the Bible! Aren’t the most meaningful relationships ones where conversations are full of both talking AND listening...speaking AND hearing a response? That’s why we can’t just stop after discussing prayer and not talk about the Bible...His Word is the primary way that we hear from the Lord!

Perhaps you’ve thought the Bible was just like any other book, nice words on pages but not “alive.” Or, maybe you’ve considered the Bible to be outdated...something that helped people back in the day, but not really relevant to take on the challenges of the modern age. Maybe you struggle with reading the Bible because it feels like an obligation or ritual, and you don’t have a solid understanding of why it is even important.

Or, perhaps you do currently esteem the Bible but aren’t quite sure how to make it a part of your day and to really hear from God.

No matter which of these you may relate to, there’s good news...it IS possible to know why the Bible is absolutely essential to your life. While there are dozens of verses we could dive into here, let’s take just a moment to consider these two:

2 Timothy 3:16-17 AMP: “All Scripture is God-breathed [given by divine inspiration] and is profitable for instruction, for conviction [of sin], for correction [of error and restoration to obedience], for training in righteousness [learning to live in conformity to God’s will, both publicly and privately—behaving honorably with personal integrity and moral courage]; so that the man of God may be complete and proficient, outfitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Hebrews 4:12 NKJV: “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

We see here that the Bible, while it was penned by 40 men, in a timespan of 1500 years and in 3 languages...ALL of it was God-inspired. It is not the writings and thinkings of men...it’s true author is the Lord! And, we see in the above verses that the Word is living and powerful...this is not a dusty ol’ book with no relevance. By no means! In fact, God uses the living Word to speak to your heart -- answering your questions, providing guidance, whispering His love and acceptance to you -- all present-day and relevant because it’s the living Word.

>>Did you catch that? This book is like no other -- as you read it, you get to know its author personally! He speaks living and active words to YOU!

I don’t know about y’all, but that sure stirs me up! It stirs me up to read my Bible, to listen to Bible-based teachings, to sing worship songs and be engaged as I listen to Scripture-based messages and podcasts. In this day and age, we have so many ways to fill our lives and our hearts with God’s Word. I encourage you to get as much Scripture into your heart every day as you can...it’s God’s primary way of speaking to you!

Say This: “Father, thank You so much for giving me Your Word. I esteem and value the Bible and choose to make it my personal guidebook in life. And, I believe that as I make time to read and hear Scripture, You are speaking living and active words to me. Thank You that I hear from You and as I invest in reading more and more Scriptures, my whole life will benefit as You speak guidance, love, correction, acceptance and so much more into my heart! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

flip this switch to change your life.

Jennifer Cole

Where I live, it’s officially Springtime and I’m so excited! I mean, the days are getting longer...the sun feels brighter...birds are chirping and any day now it’s going to get warm enough for me to enjoy being out on the lake again. When I look at all that Spring entails, I’m overjoyed -- I just love Spring! But, I also know folks who look at Spring through other “lenses.” To them, it is just a time of ushering in pollens, allergies, itchy eyes and spending every weekend having to mow the lawn and pluck weeds. Wow, can’t you see that the lenses you’re looking through totally determine what you’re seeing! That’s true of anticipating a new season but really this is a basic idea that applies to any area of your life.

Today I want us to dive into the basic but profound truth that the lens you look through when viewing the relationship between God and you -- specifically when looking at His love for you -- means everything. I know this is true because I wore the wrong lens for decades! You see, God’s Word tells us that “we love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19 NKJV). Even though I knew that verse and had heard it many times, I hadn’t yet flipped on the switch inside to believe it -- specifically to believe it was true for me, personally. If that verse is true (which it is), that means that everything we look at in our lives and in our view of how God looks at us should all be through the lens of His unconditional love.

Why, then, do we so easily slip back into a “works” mindset? As if it’s an earned gift rather than a free gift? When we wear our “works” lens, it makes God’s love something we can earn -- as if being “good enough” by completing our to-do lists, serving in church and praying so many minutes per day could make God love us more. I’ve inadvertently worn that lens at various times in my own life...thinking that somehow being a “good Christian” and completing my checklist of prayer, Bible reading and Gospel-spreading tasks, would make me worthy of God’s love...who’s with me here? I mean, this world is so checklist driven -- and “earn it” minded -- that there’s such a pull for us to view our relationship with God that way.

>>But listen...this is what I want you to hear today -- God loved you FIRST. You didn’t earn it. You can’t earn it. You don’t need to earn it. He loved you FIRST.

Hearing that may not come with all the feels or goose-bumps, but it’s Bible truth so choose to put that lens on! Think about what that would be like...when you wear the lens of the truth that God already loves you, unconditionally. How would that impact how you view yourself? How you view His thoughts towards you or His plan for your life? Through this lens adjustment, suddenly you will see His love for you everywhere! You’ll see how He protects you, how He guides you, how He helps you through every storm. You’ll find a place of rest in the depths of you because you’re not striving to earn His love. Certainly, when you are the recipient of great love you will want to respond, but you’re not trying to earn it. It’s already there. Can you start to feel the incredible rest that this basic truth brings?

In 1 John 4:16, we read: “And we have known and believed the love that God has for us…” You know about God’s love. You’ve read the Scriptures, you’ve watched the video clip above and you’re tuning in to the TV program to hear even more verses about His great love for you. But, to truly switch the lens you view everything through, you must take the second step...believing. Make a choice today to flip the switch of faith to ON. Believe in His love for you personally and start to view your whole world through the basic truth of His love for YOU!

Say This: “Father, thank You for Your great love for me. You loved me first! I didn’t earn it, there’s no checklist I need to accomplish to be ‘good enough’ for your love -- You love me unconditionally, and in the rest and fullness of that love I respond by loving You back! Today I make the choice to flip the switch to ON -- I believe in Your love for me personally and choose to wear that lens to view my world from this moment on. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”