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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.

Here’s to fulfilling your God-given potential!

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Filtering by Category: Life

NEED A GOOD LAUGH?

Jennifer Cole

Today, I want to share with you some tips on how to load up with joy in your life, ongoing! Joy is not just some nice-sounding but irrelevant word -- it actually means a great deal to our lives...and according to the Bible, it means a lot to our health. In Proverbs 17:22 we see that “a cheerful disposition is good for your health; gloom and doom leave you bone-tired” (MSG).

In fact, for years medical science has been studying the effects of laughter and humor and their role in the health of our mind and body. Humor therapy is being used for the relief of physical or emotional pain and stress. Laughter is known to reduce muscle tension, increase cardio-respiratory function, and reduce stress. Many studies show the benefits of humor and laughter on various immune system outcomes. And, laughing brings in a tremendous amount of oxygen, which has profound positive effects in many ways for your body. The harder you laugh, the greater the effects!

I wonder if the Lord already knew all this. No wonder He told us through Paul to rejoice always! (1 Thess. 5:16) In fact, I want to introduce you to a side of God that we don’t often consider -- God laughs. Yes, that’s what the BIble says: God sits in heaven and laughs. He laughs at the futility of those who try to make Him irrelevant. (Psalm 2:4) And, the Bible also tells us that in His presence is fullness of joy! (Psalm 16:11) Jesus was anointed with the oil of gladness! (Hebrews 1:9)

>>We need the joy of the Lord -- it’s truly an essential hallmark of the Christian life.

Yet too many Christians are stressed and depressed or mad and sad. Let’s all become more Christ-like so we can live joy-filled lives! So, how do we load up on joy?...

Hang out with God! Because fullness of joy exists in His presence, it’s inevitable that when we hang out with and get close to God, His joy splashes over into our lives.

Shout for joy! When was the last time you shouted for joy? Shouted out your thanks and praise to God? I guarantee if you start shouting, you will also start laughing...and you will find the joy of the Lord to be your strength.

Laugh anyway! Sometimes we don’t feel like laughing. Friends, I encourage you -- laugh anyway! Laugh a lot. Laugh at yourself. If it’s been a while, you might be surprised at how refreshing it is to laugh.

Thank God! Come on -- why not try it -- be thankful! If you’ll just start thanking Him for your life, breath, family, health, blessings...the joy will come.

My basics friends -- you have so much to celebrate and be thankful for in life! C’mon get happy, life is too short to be serious all the time. Start shouting with joy, start thanking and start laughing --you’ll be so glad you did!

Say This: “Father, I thank You for these blessings in my life: _________ (name them!). I shout with joy for my blessings, I shout praises of thanksgiving to You! Lord, as I spend time with You, let Your joy flow over into my life. May my Christian life be one marked with laughter and joy! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

CONTAGIOUS JOY

Jennifer Cole

Joy is the distinguishing mark of a Christian! (As is...love, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.) But there is something about JOY...that inner happiness and expectation that shines out through the eyes.

It stands out as something so significant...and so “different”...in this day-and-age. In fact, true joy is visible, desirable and even contagious!

Joy is not something you can manufacture in your life. There aren’t enough self-help books, motivational memes or talk-show hosts who can pump your heart full of joy. True joy comes from spending time with the Lord, knowing Him and trusting His words! When these things are in place, He infuses you with joy, and it radiates in your life from the inside out.

And, it’s worth mentioning here that joy isn’t just for good times. In fact, the joy that God fills our hearts with stays steady in both good times and the not-so-great times. For instance, even in tough times like times of grief, there is joy. The joy of knowing a glad and eternal reunion is up ahead. And since life on earth is literally a vapor...there is joy in knowing that no matter how rough life on earth can be at times...our present sufferings are nothing compared to the joy and glories that are to be revealed -- in this life and the one to come!

Later this week as we celebrate Good Friday and then Easter Sunday...I’m reminded of the grief the apostles, believers and followers of Christ experienced when Jesus died on the cross to bear our sins. Even in the midst of that grief, there was such great JOY...Jesus had the joy of knowing that the plans laid before the foundations of the world would be fulfilled to perfection, and mankind could be reconciled to God! And Christ followers knew that on the third day He’d rise again and be seated at the right-hand of the Father.

>>Jesus and His life on earth gave us the ultimate example of how joy can be present in our lives, regardless of circumstances.

Living in the joy of the Lord gives us strength. And, it’s contagious and draws others to the Lord too. So my friend...today, I encourage you to let the joy of the Lord fill you up and distinguish your life!

Say This: “Father, thank You that Jesus came to this earth, died on the cross for my sins and rose again. I invite You Lord to be the Lord of my life and I thank You that my sins are forgiven! Lord, please fill me with your joy each day...may that joy be contagious and help distinguish my life and draw others to You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

WHAT DOES GOD THINK OF ME?

Jennifer Cole

Have you ever wondered what God thinks when He looks at you? You can find out the answer to that by taking a look at what He tells us in the Word...let’s check out what the Bible says in Zephaniah (yes, that’s really a book in the Bible!!):

“For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” (Zephaniah 3:17 NLT)

Sometimes it can be all too easy to slip into thinking that God is disappointed with you, or angry, or just couldn’t possibly love you because of all of the things you’ve done wrong in life … or all things you’ve not done. But friends, lift up your eyes today! Because of your faith in Jesus, He looks at you with LOVE because He sees you in Christ!

How good is that news? Jesus demonstrated His unending love for us on the cross -- when He took the punishment, shame, guilt and condemnation that we deserved because of our sins. He did that because He loves us. His act of love satisfied the demands of justice for sin. And now, legally, we can say because of Jesus the only thing between me and God is: LOVE! There is no condemnation or shame. This gives us the freedom to experience His love and this gives God the freedom to take delight in us -- just like Zephaniah says! The Lord rejoices over YOU!

>>Take a moment to pause, close your eyes and truly picture how God looks at you. He adores you, looks at you with love...He delights in you and rejoices over you!

Let’s read the verse again, but this time in the Amplified translation:

“The Lord your God is in your midst, a Warrior who saves. He will rejoice over you with joy; He will be quiet in His love [making no mention of your past sins], He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.” (Zephaniah 3:17 AMP)

Being quiet in His love doesn’t mean that He isn’t actively present in our life and communicating things to us...what this refers to is His quietness in not mentioning past sins. As believers, our sins are removed as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12), when we make Jesus the Lord of our life. He does not see our shortcomings, failures, past sins, issues...that is covered by the blood of Jesus. He sees YOU -- the real you -- the one He knit together in the womb.

And He rejoices over you with shouts of joy! So come on now, it’s time to get stirred up in His love for you! Even if you don’t feel it, even if you’ve never experienced great love on earth, today choose to stir up the truth of God’s love for you! I encourage you to speak the prayer below OUT LOUD and keep on saying it as often as needed to keep your heart focused on His great love for YOU!

Say This: “Father, thank You that You rejoice over me! You created me, You gave me a purpose and plan in this life, and You gave me Jesus who paid the ultimate price to cover my sins. Your Word says You shout with joy over me because You love me so much! Lord, may Your love for me become more and more real in my life every day, as I choose to set my heart on Your great love. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

DON'T LIVE ON THE STRUGGLE BUS

Jennifer Cole

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.”

IT'S ALL GOOD

Jennifer Cole

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.”