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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: Family

WITH LOVE IN HIS EYES

Jennifer Cole

In honor of the Father’s Day holiday that we celebrated yesterday here in the U.S., I’d like to spend a few moments with you here today talking about the ultimate father -- God the Father! Specifically, have you ever wondered what God’s heart is towards you...what your Heavenly Father thinks of you?

Some of you reading this devo have experienced hurtful, painful things from an earthly father -- or maybe had no father at all in your life. If you’re not careful, you can project those experiences onto what you think God Almighty is like. Let me encourage you today, friends...God is not critical of you, not disappointed, not waiting to point out your failures.

Does He want you to learn and grow? Absolutely! He loves you too much to let you stay where you’re at in life. But, He is patient and loving...guiding you step-by-step in your journey. God is for you. He will never give up on you and He’ll never leave you! Deuteronomy 31:6 confirms: “...the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

>>After all...YOU are His treasure. His masterpiece. His beloved.

He provides for you everything you’ll ever need -- love, security, acceptance, peace, joy, protection, and so much more. God looks at you with love in His eyes. And, He wants you to succeed in all areas of life! In 3 John 2, we see a glimpse of His heart towards us: “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”

The heart of God toward you is simply this: He is proud of you and wants you to prosper and enjoy life! Reach out to Him today -- talk to Him about anything and everything -- knowing that He loves you just as He loved Jesus.

Say This: “Father, thank You that You love and treasure me. Today, I choose to ‘flip the switch’ in my heart towards seeing You as the Bible describes You, rather than viewing You through the lens of the hurt and pain I’ve experienced from earthly father-figures. Lord, I ask for Your love, peace and joy to surround me today in fresh new ways. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

GOD. WITH. US.

Jennifer Cole

“Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’” Matthew 1:23, NLT

On this Christmas Eve, let’s remember one simple truth. When Jesus was born as a baby in that manger -- for the first time, God was with us! Literally.

When my sisters and I were young girls and Christmas was approaching, we would lay on our beds and talk about how cool and amazing it was that God became a human being and walked on the planet He made. Just the idea that God Almighty would choose to become a baby who grew up and walked on the planet that He created would just boggle our minds! It’s a thought beyond human understanding.

Have you thought about it lately? God was here -- on Planet Earth! Jesus was God in the flesh. While He was fully the Creator of the universe, He humbled Himself and became a man so that He could save us! God walked among us. He was here with us.

>>The sad thing is that many people in that day completely missed His visit!

Let’s not make that same mistake.

>>Let’s not miss His visitation in our own lives today, this holiday season and as we head into 2019.

Today, Jesus is alive and very much with us, now! Jesus is our Immanuel. Let’s keep this in our hearts and minds in all the hustle and bustle of Christmas, last-minute shopping and Christmas Eve celebrations with family.

Take some time today to acknowledge, thank and talk to Jesus -- your Immanuel -- God with you! He loves you, He’s for you, and He’s WITH you!

Merry Christmas!

Say This: "Father, thank You for stepping out of heaven to visit us. Thank You that out of Your great love for us, you chose to put on a human body and visit the planet You created, on the greatest rescue mission of all time. I praise You for being Immanuel -- You are the God who is still with us and with ME every single day. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

AVERAGE JOES & JANES

Jennifer Cole

Today, let’s have a heart-to-heart chat about leaders. Grab your pumpkin spice latte, get comfy and let’s talk for a few minutes!

Each of us has leaders in our lives...maybe it’s at work, or church or school. People like our parents, pastors, government officials, teachers, our boss and so on. If we’re not careful, we may -- sometimes without realizing it -- put them on pedestals. Often, that starts from a very genuine place of loving and esteeming that leader. You think so highly of them -- they’re just the best leaders, superstars, incredible people!

However, what each of us will come to see at some point or another is that every leader is just a normal person too! They’re average joes, or average janes, just like the rest of us. YES...they’ve been anointed to lead in the roles they’re called to...but they’re also human. They have to lace up their faith boots and walk through life one day at a time, just like the rest of us.

>>Can you see now how placing them on a pedestal, whether intentionally or unintentionally, is bound to lead to some issues?

Friends, you will eventually see the “human” side of your amazing leaders...and if they’ve been put on a pedestal in your heart, that is going to cause them to fall from the pedestal. That could then get you caught up in disappointment, discouragement or even worse...you could get stuck in the trap of being offended. This type of situation is lurking behind untold numbers of church splits, company splits, family feuds and divisions of all kinds.

When it comes to your parents or civic leaders the Bible has a lot to say about honoring and obeying them. (We’ll save that for another devo.) God’s Word also has a lot to say about the benefit to YOU, when you honor the spiritual leaders He has placed in your life.

I encourage you today to look at this idea of honor from a few angles. (Hint: It will benefit both you and your leaders!) Absolutely we should esteem, value and love the leaders that God has put in our lives and on our hearts. But esteem the call on their life -- place the high value on the anointing they’ve been given by the Lord. Can you see that shift in focus? You’re not putting the person on a pedestal...instead, you’re choosing to focus on and esteem the position and calling. In 1 Thessalonians 5:13 we are encouraged to: “...esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake” (NKJV).

That can seem like a very simple, or basic, shift in focus -- but it will make a huge difference! Your leaders will feel your support of their role without sensing the pressure to be perfect or super-human. That will help make leadership a joyful experience! I love this verse in Hebrews 13:17, which shows so clearly how this will uplift your leaders: “Obey your spiritual leaders and recognize their authority, for they keep watch over your soul without resting since they will have to give an account to God for their work. So it will benefit you when you make their work a pleasure and not a heavy burden” (TPT).

Yes, your leaders are normal people! They are not perfect. But, they do have a calling on their lives to lead in whatever capacity God has anointed them...and they have a responsibility to do so in a way that honors the Lord. They will give an account for how they’ve fulfilled their leadership calling, so let’s help lift them up and encourage them by esteeming their position...but giving much grace to them as everyday people too!

Say This: “Father, thank You for the leaders You’ve placed in my life. Today I lift up ___________ (mention by name the leaders on your heart) -- I ask You to fill them with wisdom, grace and increased anointing so they can lead in a way that honors You. Lord, help me to see if I’ve placed any of my leaders on a pedestal -- help me instead to honor their role and calling but give them lots of grace, as they are normal people just like me. 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.”