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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! 

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Filtering by Category: Brodie Hock

My Faith Builder

Brodie Hock

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the LORD. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’” Jeremiah 29:11

Just to set the record straight early, we of course know that, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17) That verse explains how we build our faith - by hearing and being in the word of God, because it is what we are building our faith upon. But, I want to take a minute to share another revelation with you that has really helped my faith grow over the past season. 

We like to use a lot of big words for God, and He is deserving of those, but it doesn’t always register to the extent it should what those words actually mean. For instance, we talk about God being omniscient. This means He is all-knowing. He knows everything past, present, and future. Knowing this about Him makes it all the easier to trust Him.

Think about it. God has already seen the end from the beginning in my life and yours. If you could jump forward and see the outcome on things you would come back to the present and be able to know exactly which direction to choose. You would confidently know each and every step along the way that would be most beneficial to get you the best end result. I know I have plenty of stories in my life where, looking back, I would have planned things a lot differently. I couldn’t have imagined how going a certain direction would have ever led to where I am now. If you think about your own life, and some of the wonderful things God has done in your life, I think you will agree He seems to have some insight into the master plan that we do not possess. That is why God is God and I am not. He sees differently than I do. He sees like One who has seen the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10).

Not only that, but we also know that God wants our absolute best. He formed us in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13) and He wants to bless us and keep us (Numbers 6:24-25). So, we have God who truly wants our best in our lives. And He sees the end from the beginning. He knows which decisions, which turns, which plans, and every other detail that will get us to our best.

So, my faith builder is this: I think about how good God is and how the thoughts He thinks towards me are all good (Jeremiah 29:11). Then, I couple that with the truth that He sees the whole picture; beginning, middle, and end. This puts me in a place where I can of course trust Him. As I read the word and see His plans for me and see who He is, my faith keeps building and building.

Today, I wanted to share with you (or remind you) that God is thinking and caring about You. And, He is All-knowing and All-Powerful - that is a combo that can really build one’s faith in Him.

Say It: “Father, I am reminded today how amazing You are, how You care deeply for me and how You have good plans and intentions for me. I am also aware of how You know everything. So, today I choose to trust You completely. Lead and guide my life as you desire and I will trust and follow You. My faith is in You and You alone. I love You! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

If You Got Stripes, You're Probably A Zebra

Brodie Hock

"By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:35

There was a man that used to regularly come into my place of work and in our many interactions he would frequently use the phrase, “If you got stripes, you’re probably a zebra.” I believe there are similar sayings out there indicating that you are probably what you look like. Isn’t it hard to say we are something that we don’t look like?

You know it’s one thing to say you’re a zebra. It’s a whole other thing to actually be one. It’s one thing to say you are a disciple of Christ or a Christ follower and it’s a whole other thing to actually be one. It’s one thing to say you have love for one another and walk in truth but it is a different thing entirely to actually show it in your everyday life and interactions with others. 1 John 3:18 puts it this way, “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” 

What does it mean when it says to not love with words or speech but with actions and truth? Well, we know saying “I love you” is easy, but showing it can be much more difficult. The world will quickly say, “I love you,” but as believers we show our love with corresponding actions. In addition to that, the verse says we love “in truth.” The truth wants what’s best for you because it has your long-term best interest in mind. The truth tells you what needs to be told because it wants to see you get to your full potential. The truth, although difficult to hear at times, is freeing (John 8:32). So we as believers are to love in actions and truth.

Be leery of those who always tell you want you want to hear and claim they are those that “love you.” That type of love will not take you to your highest and best. The Bible says, “as iron sharpens iron so a friend sharpens a friend” (Proverbs 27:17). Who knows to achieve that sharpness, there has to be friction. The truth will sharpen you and get you to your best.

We live in a culture that talks the biggest game of all-time, but I don’t know about you, it seems like just a lot of talk. What they look like and what they talk like don’t seem to always match up. Where’s the action? Because we see so much of that, it makes me personally want to make sure whenever I say something my actions are there to back it up.

In all honesty, there was a time in my life where I called myself a Christian, but I wasn’t following Christ. If I had been following after Christ in that season I would have looked like it, and I definitely didn’t look like it. There have been times in my life where I said I wanted to be holy, but I wasn’t setting my life apart to be so. There were times in my life where I said I was a person of faith, but I allowed my fear or natural instincts to drive me and not my trust in God. I may have said I was a person of great faith, but did I have the stripes to match up with it? Did I look like what I claimed to be? 

My true desire is for all believers to walk in God’s best for them. I believe to get there we need to be regularly checking in on ourselves to see if we look like what we say and think we are. A verse that always strikes a cord is James 1:22, “But don't just listen to God's word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.” I don’t want to fool myself! I want to be honest and seek God’s best for my life. I believe you do too!

Today, accept the challenge to see if you look like what you say you are. The world needs believers who are resolute and whose actions match up to their speech! I believe God has a wonderful plan for your life and wants to work mightily through you and me, but in order to be His disciples we need to have the stripes to match.

Say It: Father, help me to love not only in word and speech, but in actions and truth. Empower me by Your grace to live a life of action. A life that is a witness for You. I want to be true to my word and true to Your word. Thank You for your mercy when I have fallen short of that and thank You for being such a wonderful Heavenly Father! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

The Ultimate Compliment

Brodie Hock

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.” Revelation 4:8, NIV

Who doesn’t love a good compliment? What’s your favorite? Beautiful, smart, talented, ripped, wise, fun, creative, cool? Well, take your pick or come up with your own, but know that there is one that supersedes them all.

Holy.

Sounds like a real churchy word. Well not quite, it’s more like a real Godly word. In fact, it is a word used throughout scripture to define God and those imitating Him. It started in Genesis 2 with creation and goes all the way to the end of Revelation. Holy is the ultimate compliment. It’s used in scripture nearly 400 times and it’s reason is to depict God. See holy can be defined as this, different than all other things, set (above) apart, or sacred. When we talk about God we can use a lot of complimentary words to describe Him. However, we use those same words to describe earthly things as well. But the thing I love about “holy” is it is signifying that there is none like Him.

One of my favorite passages of scripture is Revelation 4. John is taken in the Spirit into the throne room of Heaven and there he really sees some interesting things. He is there but he isn’t alone. The 24 elders are there on their thrones and the four living creatures are there as well. These angelic beings stay before the throne day and night worshipping at the feet of God. I find it fascinating that they praise Him without break or ceasing for eternity. They are so taken by the glory of God that they could praise Him with so many words and yet what is it they can say? “Holy!” They are crying out what it is that best describes and praises our God: “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty!”

See the reason God is completely holy and we are not is that He is completely different then we are. There is none of the world or sin in Him. He is holy. He is unlike anyone or anything and He merits this compliment.

I’ve made it a point to try to study this word and get at least a base understanding of it because I want to praise God and incorporate this into my worshipping of Him. I call Him holy when I set my attention solely on Him in worship. I know there is none like Him (Jeremiah 10:6) and he deserves this title. I realize where I stand, where He stands, and the great distance between the two and recognize He is worthy of this title and I will praise Him with it!

Holy and holiness may not be talked about a ton anymore, but it God’s will for us to pursue being holy. In fact, in 1 Thessalonians 4:3 it says “this is the will of God, your holiness.” He is desiring you to be the same. So today - really meditate on what "holy" means and how God, in His truest character, is exactly that - holy.

Say It: "Lord, there is none like You! You are holy! Different than everyone else and apart from anything else. You are deserving of the highest praise and that is what makes You holy. Thank You for your revelation on what holy means. I want to give You the ultimate compliment and declare that You are holy! In Jesus’ Name, Amen."

Worldview or WordView

Brodie Hock

“...Check out everything, and keep only what’s good. Throw out anything tainted with evil.” 1 Thessalonians 5:22 MSG

Clever title...I know. But I feel as strongly as ever that this message is for such a time as this. The one we live in currently. The one where we are being bombarded with media every waking second. Lately, the media has been deafening hasn’t it?  Everything seems to be amplified right now. Election season plus world happenings multiplied by social media platforms equals a never silenced monster. It can be drowning to the soul. I don’t know about you, but I know I am guilty of reading a few too many articles and sadly the comments that go along with them. 

However, I have been reminded by the Holy Spirit that those things can quietly find a home in our hearts and we are to guard against anything of such a nature. As if this wasn’t enough, it seems like there is a trend sneaking in on believers and that trend is a resorting to public opinion over the timeless word of God. The partaking of “sides” or the fervency for  “causes” are far outweighing, for some, the zeal for Christ. And that is definitely alarming. It seems culture really has trumped the Solid Rock for some people.

The devil is quite crafty isn’t he? But with discernment comes recognition of his plans (2 Corinthians 2:11). He is using a lot of noise on a lot of subjects to steer our attention off of what matters most: Jesus Christ. It’s unfortunate to see believers each and every day falling for the traps of the devil and that is why I am encouraging you today and believing that you and I will not fall prey to his attempts.

So, I say all that to tell you something I have been royally convicted of lately. And that is this question, “Am I keeping a watchful eye, ear, and heart on whether or not things are consistent with the word of God? Am I being intentional to make sure everything I say about today’s happenings, everything I allow myself to hear, everything I post and share, and everything I do is in fact consistent to and with God’s Word?” I know that “I am to do all things for the glory of God,” (1 Corinthians 10:31) and that “I am bought with a price and am to glorify God,” (1 Corinthians 6:20) so when I realize I have missed the mark, I don’t just re-evaluate my life, I recalibrate it! I calibrate it to that which lines up with the words of Life! I know that I know that as a follower of Jesus Christ I am called to live in a way that is distinct from the world we live in. Living in a way that is distinct means everything from the words I speak, to the things I post, and all the way to even the thoughts I think need to be distinct. As a believer of Jesus Christ, my “WordView” must outweigh my worldview!

So today, I want to encourage you take a moment in all the hecticness of the world we live in and step back and really evaluate your life. Everything coming into it and everything going out of it. Does it line up with God and His Word? Are there areas that need recalibrating? If so, be swift to realign it with Him and His Word and watch God work mightily in your life!

Say It:  “Lord, thank You that You are greater than anything this world has to offer! Thank You that You are above all things! Help me to see all things through the lense of Your Word! I want to follow You in everything I say and do to be the best representation of You I could possibly be. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!”

Proof's In The Pudding

Brodie Hock

“But what do you think about this? A man with two sons told the older boy, ‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’ The son answered, ‘No, I won’t go,’ but later he changed his mind and went anyway. Then the father told the other son, ‘You go,’ and he said, ‘Yes, sir, I will.’ But he didn’t go. “Which of the two obeyed his father?” They replied, “The first.” Matthew 21:28-31

Jesus was driving home a point to everyone here, especially the “religious” people of His day. He used a story to let them come to the realization that hearing and talking alone is cheap. The one brother readily agreed to do what his father asked but didn’t follow through on obedience. The other son said he would not do as the father instructed but ultimately did (obeyed) his father. Jesus, wanted His listeners (and us) to realize that doing is better than just hearing and saying. 

You can’t test or try the pudding without eating it. You can’t obey the Lord without actually doing what He tells us to do. I know I have been guilty of hearing His commands and talking the talk of obeying them and yet not following through. But oh how much better it is to actually walk the walk and do as He says! Deuteronomy 28:1 says, “And if you faithfully obey the voice of the LORD your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth.” How much more delight there is in obeying our Father God when He speaks to us! 

I know the struggle of saying one thing, but doing another. It is one thing that, if we were all honest, we would say can plague our lives. I think that is why James wrote, “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.” (James 1:22). He knew the ongoing struggle with believers to not only hear the words of the Lord, but to put them into practice. So I want to encourage you today to be a doer! 

For me, it was so easy to say "starting tomorrow I am going to do this" or "heading forward I’m not going to do that," but that was just worthless talk when I didn’t act on it. Wanting to be a pleaser of the Lord and a faithful son of God, I have to repent of my shortcomings and trust in and rely on God to help me to be much more than a listener. To be a doer. To take what the Lord has asked of you and see it through to completion by His grace! He has great things in store for you, but we must obey what He asks of us.

I believe God is a great blesser of those who follow Him, but He does require us to hear what He says and do what He asks. Go be a doer of the word because the proof really is in the pudding!

Say It: “Lord, help me to be a doer of the word and not a hearer only! I want to walk in all the blessings that come with being obedient to You! I ask for Your grace to be a doer. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!