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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

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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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GO AHEAD AND ASK

Jennifer Cole

“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” John 15:7 NKJV

Sometimes we think that verse is too good to be true. Did God really say to ask for “whatever” and we can have it? Really?

The short answer is, Yes!

But what gives Him full confidence to make such a bold statement? The key is found in the beginning of that verse. That’s where He maps out what the relationship looks like -- the relationship and heart condition in which we can ask for “whatever” and see it come to pass.

God says if we abide in Him, if we have a relationship with Him, if we stay close to Him -- and His Word, the Bible, the Scriptures are living in us -- then we can ask for whatever we desire. Let’s look at John 15:7 in a couple other translations to see how He describes this relationship:

If you remain in Me and My words remain in you [that is, if we are vitally united and My message lives in your heart], ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you. (AMP)

But if you live in life-union with me and if my words live powerfully within you – then you can ask whatever you desire and it will be done. (TPT)

Also notice this verse doesn’t say to ask for whatever God desires. It truly says whatever WE desire! But again, how is that possible…

>>Here’s the basic truth: God knows that if we are abiding in Him, and His Words are abiding in us, then He knows that our desires will be congruent with His will.

So if that’s you today -- you have a personal relationship with the Lord and His Words are living and active in your heart and life -- then ask for “whatever” and watch and see what the Lord can do in your life!

Say This: “Father, thank You for Your love, generosity and care for me. I ask You to please help me grow in my relationship with You every day and help me to learn and live by Your Word. I trust that as I enjoy a close relationship with You and live by Your Word, I may ask for ‘whatever’ and know You’re bringing it to pass! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

BETTER THAN A PINT OF ICE CREAM

Jennifer Cole

I’ve been asked many times…“How do you keep up with reading the Bible every day?” Or, “How do you find the time? Isn’t it boring? Is God mad at me if I don’t?” And many other variations of those kinds of questions. So, let’s chat today about some practical tips that I think will encourage you when it comes to reading your Bible!

>>The basic truth is that we all have no problem doing the things we enjoy.

If someone were to tell you that every day you should eat a pint of ice cream, most of us wouldn’t have an issue with that! (Who’s with me?) That’s a simple example but it’s so true -- it becomes easy to do something regularly and frequently, if it’s something that’s enjoyable.

That is where many get stuck in regards to Bible reading...they don’t find the joy in it because they think reading their Bible is just something they have to do to “please” God -- or to check a box on an invisible checklist of being a “good” Christian.

But...what if I told you that reading your Bible could be the most exciting part of your day? It can be! The Word is living and active (Hebrews 4:12) -- as you read the Word, you get filled with peace, wisdom, love, guidance, healing, joy, reassurance, direction, correction and encouragement! There’s nothing else like it. No Netflix binge, no social media scrolling, no hot cup of Starbucks can do all of that in your life.

Yes, it takes some effort getting started...but make the choice to do so! Be consistent and intentional about it -- ask God to speak to you through the pages, and turn up your expectation to hear from Him! Your craving for the living Word will grow and grow, the more you read...and before you know it, your Bible reading time will not just be enjoyable -- it’ll become something you value as absolutely essential in your daily life. You can do this friends! Start today!

Say This: “Father, thank You for the living Word! I know that peace, joy, direction, correction, encouragement, and so much more are found in the Bible. Lord, today I choose to intentionally start reading the Word every day, and I ask you Lord to teach me, guide me and help me to experience more of You. Stir up in me a craving for Your Word! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

WHY DID HE ASK FOR WISDOM?

Jennifer Cole

Have you ever wondered why Solomon asked God for wisdom? Do you remember the story...God said to ask Him for ANYTHING...and Solomon asks for wisdom? How many of us feel like we maybe wouldn’t have had as “holy” a request? Let’s see if we can find clues as to why he did this, as we revisit the story from 1 Kings 3:5-14 NLT --

“That night the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream, and God said, ‘What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you!’ Solomon replied…’Give me an understanding heart so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong. For who by himself is able to govern this great people of yours?’

The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for wisdom. So God replied, ‘Because you have asked for wisdom in governing my people with justice and have not asked for a long life or wealth or the death of your enemies—I will give you what you asked for! I will give you a wise and understanding heart such as no one else has had or ever will have! And I will also give you what you did not ask for—riches and fame! No other king in all the world will be compared to you for the rest of your life! And if you follow me and obey my decrees and my commands as your father, David, did, I will give you a long life.’”

It doesn’t seem like Solomon asked for wisdom because he wanted to sound holy or was trying to impress God. He didn’t ask for wisdom when he secretly wanted to ask for that new Mercedes instead. Rather -- he had discovered that wisdom is foundational for being successful in all areas of life! If wisdom is knowing what to do and when to do it -- if it’s being able to discern truth and make correct decisions -- then wisdom truly has tremendous value!

He wanted to do a great job serving the people God had entrusted to him -- he wanted to be filled with wisdom from the Lord to be a great leader. God loved Solomon’s priorities and his heart in asking for this -- and then God went ahead and blessed him with everything else! Wow!

Let’s be people who seek after wisdom too -- we all need wisdom from the Lord to serve others and do the best we can at whatever we’re called to do! Here’s a great promise to stand on as we pray for wisdom: “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” James 1:5 NIV. Let’s pray and ask the Lord today for more wisdom!

Say This: “Father, thank You that Your Word says I can ask for wisdom and You’ll generously supply it to me -- Lord, I ask for wisdom! Help me to serve and lead those in my life with Your wisdom, and fill me with wisdom to do the tasks You’ve called me to do with excellence, discernment and joy! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

PEOPLE WITH A DEEP WELL DO WELL

Jennifer Cole

Have you ever known a person who just seems to be “unsinkable?” Someone with true-blue faith, who seems to walk above the waves in a stormy season, who seems to rebound no matter what the setback, who seems calm, cool and collected despite the drama happening around them?

>>I would guess they have a DEEP WELL.

If you’re craving that kind of life for yourself -- get a deep well! A deep well comes from spending time with the Lord, meditating upon His Word, seeking Him in prayer, resting in His love, listening to His voice, trusting His guidance, following His prompts, serving His cause, and loving what He loves.

When you have a deep well, He continually fills you with rivers of living water that refresh you while you refresh others. So no matter what life throws at you or what situations are “draining” your water -- when you have rivers of His water pouring in, you never run out! And, you have an abundance that will help refresh others too.

We see Jesus mention these rivers of living water in John 7:37-38: “On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’’”

Ask the Lord today to help you deepen your well –- and then bust out that Bible, get to praying, follow His lead -- and get those living waters flowing!

Say This: “Father, thank You for rivers of living water! Help me to deepen my well, so I can do well in life no matter the circumstances. May I be refreshed in You and also help refresh others. Thank You that You guide me, fill me, lead me and love me! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

SEND FEAR PACKING

Jennifer Cole

“Every promise from the faithful God is pure and proves to be true. He is a wrap-around shield of protection for all his lovers who run to hide in him.” Proverbs 30:5 TPT

I love that term -- “wrap-around shield of protection” -- isn’t that such a great picture of God’s protection for each of us?

Let’s face it, if you turn on the news or scroll through social media for even just a few minutes, there’s enough going on in the world that just a few words or images can send fear straight to your heart. If this continues, before you know it, you’re struggling with fear, anxiety, heavy levels of concern -- and at a certain point, you can find yourself feeling fearful all the time, which for sure steals the joy out of life.

So friends, my encouragement to you today is to let Proverbs 30:5 marinate in your heart. Speak it aloud and claim it in faith. And when fear tries to creep in again, speak the verse again!

>>The spoken Word of God moves mountains...that includes fear and anxiety mountains!

Take a second today to write this verse on a sticky note -- then put it on your mirror or on your car dashboard. Put it wherever you need reminders of His protection!

Say This: “Father, thank You for Your wrap-around shield of protection. I speak in faith that You protect and guide me, and in Jesus’ name I speak to fear and anxiety ‘mountains’ and tell them to MOVE! My heart and mind are at peace thanks to Your love and protection. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”