Sometimes I’m asked “why the basics?” Why am I investing my life into helping people get the basics of faith? Why not dive into “deep” topics instead?
Here’s the truth of the matter...without knowing and applying the Bible basics in life, we’re destined to live life on the struggle bus. That’s why it’s the basics...the fundamental truths from God’s Word...that our enemy in life (the devil) works overtime to keep us from learning and putting into practice.
So what are the Bible basics? Are they trivial, non-essential things that are “beneath” us? Nope! They are the starting point...the essentials...fundamentals...they are pivotal, preliminary, quintessential, key, focal, critical, primary, cardinal and foundational. No matter how long we’ve known the Lord or how many times we’ve read our Bibles -- none of us ever “graduates” from the basics. It’s like the very foundation of your home...everything else in life rests upon how solid that basic foundation is, and continues to be!
>>Think about how important the foundation of your house is. The Bible basics are like that...they’re the very foundation for your LIFE!
The Bible basics are things like how to become a Christian...how to know for sure where you’ll spend eternity...how to know Jesus and hear His voice...how to get answers to prayers...how to use your faith to see results...how to be filled with the Holy Spirit...how to reign in life and lots of other basic things!
Let’s make the choice today to not live on the struggle bus! Rather, let’s invest in growing in our faith through hearing what the Word says on each of the fundamental Bible basics. What could our lives look like by next year, if we made an intentional effort to get to know more and more of the Bible basics...and put them into practice?
Here’s one idea...what if you took one Bible basic per month this year and dove into it? Listened to sermons and podcasts about it, read your Bible to find everything you could on that topic, read books by faith-filled authors and sought the Lord for wisdom on how to apply all of that to your life? Saturate your heart with what the Word says about that Bible basic. I have no doubt it would change your life!
How can I be sure of that? Well, the Bible is not some dusty old book...it’s a living, breathing roadmap for life...what a blessing from the Lord! We see this truth in verses like these:
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12 NIV)
“So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11 NKJV)
The Bible is alive and active...so, even when we read verses we’ve already read before, God will show us layers upon layers of new understanding from those verses and how we can apply it to our lives. And, because the Word always accomplishes and prospers...getting the Word into our hearts is the greatest investment we can make into our lives.
Continuing to grow in the Bible basics is how we get off the struggle bus and take our seat with Christ, to reign in life through the authority He has given us. Let’s get passionate about learning and growing in the basics...make this YOUR year to strengthen the foundation of your life!
Say This: “Father, thank You that as I invest in learning the Bible basics, You help me understand them and build my life upon them. Lord, help me to apply what I learn from Your Word into my life, and thank You for helping to stir up in me the ongoing desire to keep learning and growing as I walk through life with You! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
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Filtering by Category: Faith
Sometimes I’m asked “why the basics?” Why am I investing my life into helping people get the basics of faith? Why not dive into “deep” topics instead?
When the waves of a life storm come crashing through, it can be all too easy to feel swept up in them. But friends, let me encourage you today -- lift up your eyes, focus on Jesus and saturate your heart with what He says about you! Below are several faith statements and the Scriptures they’re based on...to get you stirred up in the HOPE and LOVE that He has for you!
>> I encourage you to speak these out loud and make them part of your daily life. You’ll be amazed at how much this will encourage you!
He always causes me to triumph in Christ. (2 Corinthians 2:14)
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! (Philippians 4:13)
I am an overcomer -- and I am more than a conqueror -- through faith. (Romans 8:37)
I am surrounded with favor as with a shield. (Psalm 5:12)
No good thing would He withhold from me! (Psalm 84:11)
If God is for me, who can be against me? (Romans 8:31)
By His stripes, I am healed. (Isaiah 53:5)
Be encouraged y’all...be encouraged! God is good, and He’s good all the time. His Word is living and active, so speak it aloud as often as possible...doing so will increase your faith and send the Word to fulfill what God wants for your life!
Say This: “Father, thank You for Your Word and the encouragement I receive from it as I speak it and believe it. Thank You for blessing me, caring for me and loving me. I choose to keep my eyes on You and what Your Word says about me...so I can live the victorious, faith-filled Christian life. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
Today I’m praying this over you, my friends!
BE BLESSED. (3 John 2)
BE FILLED. (Acts 2:4)
BE HEALED. (Psalm 103:1-5)
God has given us so many pathways for experiencing and accessing His blessings, His infilling and His healing power. Below are 11 of my favorite routes...and if you look up the associated Scriptures and get these basic truths in your spirit, they will be game-changers for you!
Be led by the Spirit. (Romans 8:14)
Know and believe the love God has for you. (1 John 4:19)
Rest in Jesus, receive His finished work and yield to His Spirit. (Acts 2)
Employ your faith. (Mark 11:23-24)
Believe God and His Word. (Mark 9:23)
Forgive anyone of anything. (Mark 11:25)
Ask a believer to lay hands on you in Jesus’ name. (Mark 16:17-18)
Ask church leaders to pray and anoint you with oil. (James 5:13-16)
Use wisdom and live in moderation. (Proverbs 3:5-10)
Pray and talk to your parents, your pastor, your doctor and other God-appointed people in your life to seek their wisdom and counsel. (Proverbs 15:22)
Keep your tongue from speaking words contrary to love and faith. (1 Peter 3:10)
Write these out on index cards, tape this up on your mirror, read through the list over your morning coffee each day...do whatever you can do to get these basic -- but life-changing -- truths deep into your heart! As you do so, look out...because being blessed, filled and healed is sure to follow!
Say This: “Father, thank You that Your Word is living and active, and as I intentionally learn the Word and plant it like seeds of life into my heart, You will guide me on the path to being blessed, filled and healed! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
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.”
In last week’s devo, we talked about rejection...which all of us at some point or another have faced. You are not alone! (I encourage you to go back and read last week’s devo, in case you missed it!) Today, let’s dive further into this subject because the fact of the matter is that in our Christian lives, some rejection is inevitable! Jesus confirmed this basic truth in verses like this one: “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12 NIV).
It’s true that because of our union with Jesus Christ, we are totally accepted by God. At the same time, because of our alliance with Jesus, we will experience rejection by others. People will mock, insult and distance themselves from us because of our faith in Jesus.
>>Because of our identification with Him, we will face persecution and rejection. When this happens, Jesus told us to be happy about it. It’s confirmation that you’re a Christian!
Wait a second...you might be thinking...He wants us to be happy about it? Yes! Take a look at this passage in Matthew: “God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way” (Matthew 5:10-12 NLT).
So, as Christians, we will at some point in our lives experience things like being “looked down on” because of our faith in Jesus Christ, or we might lose friends, be ignored, laughed at, talked about or rejected and overlooked. When Jesus, Savior of the world, was on earth, they did all of that to Him -- so as we identify our lives with Him, it makes sense that this world would throw some rejection at us as well.
Here’s the deal...no matter how good your intentions are and how gracious your approach, you will at some point or another be misunderstood, and people may reject you and your faith in Christ. You are in good company! Jesus, the disciples and prophets of old, and Christians all around the world are experiencing rejection too, for His Name’s sake...and Jesus knows it. That’s why the Lord comforts us with promises like: “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5 NIV).
Now, as a quick point of clarification here, let’s be sure persecution and rejection is coming because of our genuine Christian testimony, not due to any kind of obnoxious or self-righteous kind of behavior! Let’s be “true blue,” walk-the-walk and talk-the-talk, real deal, gen-u-ine Christians who live out our faith through our actions and who share our faith with truth, grace and wisdom.
Friends, keep growing your knowledge of His Word and in your faith...and rest assured that He’s always got your back, even when rejection or persecution knocks at your door. He has given you everything you need to rise above it and to keep living out your amazing, faith-filled, overcoming, blessed and joyous Christian life!
Say This: “Father, thank You that You never leave me nor forsake me. I know that even when I face rejection or persecution because of my faith, You are always with me and You’ve given me everything I need to walk out this faith-filled journey. Lord, help my Christian testimony to be strong, bold, genuine and effective for reaching more and more people for Christ! When rejection comes, I will choose to rejoice and to keep my eyes on You -- and I will keep pressing forward in following You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”