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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: Words

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.”

SAYING WHAT MATTERS

Jennifer Cole

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.”

don't get stuck going in circles.

Jennifer Cole

Picture this. You’ve got all four kids in the minivan, bags are packed, the sun is shining and you’re heading out on what should be a terrific family vacation. You start out by driving 5 miles north, but then you turn around and head 5 miles south.  Then you travel 5 miles north again, followed by 5 miles south. Yikes. You’re really not getting anywhere, are you?

The truth is our words are just like that. Our words map out the route we’re traveling. If our words are positive and aligned with God’s Word -- His Truth -- then we head one direction. But if we’re then speaking negative words that are aligned with our feelings, opinions or even sometimes the facts of a situation, it sends us right back the other direction. A lifetime of that pattern will leave you feeling like you’re getting nowhere and certainly won’t help you live a life you love -- that’s just not how this works!

In Proverbs 18:21 we see that: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue…” God wants us to choose life! He wants us to speak words of life. To speak words that cause our life to route along the most blessed, prosperous, abundant and joy-filled path. So what’s the secret here? What kind of words do that for us? Words that align with God’s Word!

For instance, the Bible says He surrounds and protects us (Psalm 91:11, Psalm 32:7) -- so speaking that truth enables your life to head in the right direction. On the other hand, speaking about being afraid, fearful and scared all the time causes you to head the other direction. As another example, God’s Word says that by His stripes you are healed (1 Peter 2:24). So, choose to speak words about His healing power being active in your life, not about how you’re incurable or going to die young. You can’t speak both words of life and words of death and expect to get anywhere in life! You’ll just go in circles and be frustrated and discouraged. 

Does this mean we’re ignoring the “facts” as situations or storms arise in life? Nope! What it does mean is acknowledging that there is a higher truth that trumps all facts -- it’s God’s Truth from His Word! You can admit “hey, I got a bad doctor’s report today” or “wow, I’m still living paycheck to paycheck.” But don’t make that your daily confession -- instead, seek out what God’s Truth says about that area of your life by reading your Bible -- and then speak the Word! And keep reading His Word and keep speaking His Truth...over and over, as a way of life...and your life will keep heading along the very best path for you!

So today, I encourage you to choose God’s Word as your ultimate road map and speak words of life over every area of your life. Keep doing that, and you’ll keep heading the right direction...and you’ll be well on your way to living a life you love!

Say This: “Father, thank You that Your Truth trumps any facts or circumstances. Help me to know what Your Word says about every area of my life, and help me to speak life -- Your Truth -- over and over again. Thank You that the path You have for me is bright and full of blessings, and today I make the choice to align my words with Your Word so that I can walk along the incredible path that You want me to experience. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

Speak The Truth

Jennifer Cole

"Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way..." Ephesians 4:15, NLT

The truth hurts…sometimes. The truth can feel like the worst enemy or our best friend. One thing is for sure…the truth -- when spoken in love -- causes us to grow up!

Truth be told, sometimes I don't want to hear the truth. But, if I want to grow up in all things…I need to hear the truth. I have found that once I hear the truth and embrace it, the Lord goes to work in my heart and mind helping me to change, improve, eliminate and tweak whatever is necessary so that I can grow up! In the end, it's always for the best.

Here are three ways I have found that truth comes to us:

We can speak the truth in love to ourselves. When we are honest and speak the truth in love to ourselves, it can be brutal. Taking a personal assessment of our spiritual condition -- our hunger, maturity, prayer life, Word-life, depth, passion for eternal things and commitment to growth and sacrifice -- can be a bitter pill at first. However, it's a pill worth taking and it will make us grow.

Someone else can speak the truth in love to us. When people we respect love us enough to tell us the truth, it may be tough to hear, but a wise man accepts those loving rebukes. When people we don't respect give us a spoonful of "truth medicine" it can be even more difficult to hear, but if it's the truth and we have the maturity to receive it -- we will grow!

The Holy Spirit can speak the truth in love to our hearts. When the Holy Spirit speaks to our hearts through the Word -- and in those still small voice moments -- He shines the truth light on areas of lives that need attention. While it's painful at times, there is a sweet sense of relief, too. We know that He only speaks the truth in love for our benefit, so that we grow up in all things!

If someone -- you, others or the Holy Spirit -- speaks the truth in love to you, don't resist, rebel, get defensive or make excuses...just take an honest inventory and let the Lord use it to help you grow.

Say This: "Father, the truth sometimes hurts, but I have enough sense to say bring it on. I thank You for helping me, others and the Holy Spirit speak the truth in love to me, so that I can grow up into the fullness of life that You want for me! In Jesus' Name. Amen."
 

FriYAY!

Jennifer Cole

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue...” Proverbs 18:21, NKJV

Hey y’all -- it’s FriYAY! Woot!

To put some extra “umph” in your Friday I’d like you to do this basic exercise: Take 5 quiet, uninterrupted moments -- no TV on, not checking FaceBook or ordering something on Amazon -- and answer this simple question: “Three things I am thankful for today are: _______________________.” You fill in the blank!

Believe or not, just taking that small amount of time to intentionally think of and say OUT LOUD what you are thankful for will insert a powerful boost of energy into your day! And this is by God’s design -- He told us in the Bible that words have power, so let’s make sure our words are amp'ing up the awesome in our day today. After all...there’s just something about a thankful heart and a mind that’s focused on blessings that just puts some extra pep in your step!

Say This: “Father, I thank You so much for the many blessings You’ve given me, and today I want to say thank You for these three in particular:_____________________ I am so thankful for all of my blessings, and I honor You as the source of all good things in my life! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”