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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!

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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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Filtering by Category: Devotion

BUCKET LIST

Jennifer Cole

Tell those who are rich not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which will soon be gone, but their pride and trust should be in the living God who always richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and should give happily to those in need, always being ready to share with others whatever God has given them. By doing this they will be storing up real treasure for themselves in heaven – it is the only safe investment for eternity! And they will be living a fruitful Christian life down here as well.

1 Timothy 6:17-19, TLB

Have you made a bucket list? Meaning...before you “kick-the-bucket”...what do you want to do? Start? Finish? Try? If you’ve never made that kind of list, take a moment to think about what you might put on it. What kinds of things would make it onto your list?

I believe there are two categories that should both be represented on our bucket lists. They are effectiveness and enjoyment -- both are mentioned in the verse above. Let’s take a look at the importance of each of them:

Effectiveness! God wants you to invest your life. What will your life amount to? Who have you helped? Influenced for eternity? I hope that you've already made a decision to invest your temporary life -- time, energy, money, gifts, talents -- into eternal things. I hope you are living a purposeful life of "no regrets" to glorify the Lord -- being rich in good deeds, generous and willing to share Christ and your abundance with others. 

Enjoyment! God wants to bless your life! God gives us all things richly to enjoy. Sometimes, we have a hard time accepting the fact that the Lord wants us to enjoy a blessed life with no apologies -- but He does! I have found that when we live for effectiveness then He also blesses us with enjoyment. Aren’t you thankful for the goodness of God?! When we seek first His kingdom and His priorities -- He gives us richly all kinds of things for our enjoyment...family, friends, mountains, rivers, oceans, airplanes, cars, motorcycles, boats, beaches, moonlight, food, drink, flowers, jewelry, shoes, clothing, sports, travel…and so much more.

>>So, the idea is to live for effectiveness and gain enjoyment! 

If this is not quite how your bucket list (or your daily priority list!) looks right now...then I encourage you to spend some time with the Lord getting stirred up in this area. There’s just no better life than one aligned with Christ’s priorities! If you’re not sure where to start on that journey, pray this out and follow His leading!

Say This: “Father, help me to invest my life into things of eternal value. Help me to love, serve and give to others, sharing the love of Christ everywhere I go. Help me to align my priorities with Yours. And thank You that as I seek first Your kingdom, You give me richly all kinds of things for my enjoyment! Thank You for your goodness to me! In Jesus' Name. Amen."

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.”

DOES ANYBODY SEE ME?

Jennifer Cole

Sometimes those who have faithfully served the Lord for years and years can start to feel invisible. Start to feel like their contributions just don’t matter or aren’t seen. You may be discouraged, thinking all of your serving and faithfulness aren’t noticed by anyone, not even by the Lord. Friends, if that’s you today -- let me encourage you that God DOES see you and He keeps great records of your faithfulness!

Mark 9:41 assures us, “The truth of the matter is this: anyone who gives you a cup of cool water to drink because you carry the name of your Anointed One will be rewarded” (The Voice translation). If such a basic deed as providing a cup of water is noticed and rewarded, we can be assured that all acts of serving and kindness -- in His name -- are noticed too! Now, for sure the motivation of all of this serving is purely to share God’s love to others, but it’s a nice perk to know that the faithfulness is noticed!

>>God sees you, He’s proud of you, He notices!

God sees you putting His Kingdom first, and He is faithful to take care of you. Just like we see in Matthew 6:33 NLT: “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”

So whatever you do, DON’T STOP! Keep serving and loving others. Keep investing in eternity. Keep serving in children’s church, stuffing envelopes, sweeping floors, answering phones, being a prayer warrior, rallying groups of volunteers, bringing your supply to grow the Church...every bit of that is recorded and has eternal worth!

Say This: “Father, thank You that You have filled my heart with Your love and from that supply, I have been faithful to serve and love others. Thank You, Lord, that You notice me. You see me. You are recording my faithfulness and I choose to keep investing in things of eternal value. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

living a life of purpose requires...

Jennifer Cole

Losing your life. Yes, quite possibly the world’s most unpopular answer -- but it’s true! At the very foundation of building a life of purpose, one that leaves an eternal legacy, is choosing to make your life all about Christ, and not about yourself.

Depending on your upbringing or what you may or may not have heard over the years about the Lord...that may be a scary thought. “You’re asking me to lose my life, for Him?” Yes. Not literally, but yes -- in terms of shifting your heart’s attention from things in this world that are temporary and onto things that have lasting impact.

In a culture where many choose to just “do their thing” and do whatever they want to do, this notion of choosing to invest your life into the cause of Christ does not get talked about enough! But friends, the truth is -- living for Him is the only true freedom! When you let Him take the lead in your life, you don’t have to figure everything out on your own. You don’t have to make things happen, you don’t have to know all the answers...rather, you just rest in Him and follow the Holy Spirit’s lead...and He’ll guide you on His perfect path for you. Doesn’t the thought of that just make you want to take a deep breath? It’s so freeing!

When we willingly ask Jesus to be the Lord of our life, we’re asking Him to “take the wheel” as the song goes...but something really significant happens inside of us. We see this in Galatians 2:20, which says: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (NKJV). If you’ve been crucified with Christ, it means the old you is gone -- your spirit has been reborn, and it is Christ who lives in you and equips you for your purpose-filled life!

It’s not scary to let the Lord take the lead when you understand His character -- I encourage each of you to marinate your heart in scriptures about who He is and what He’s like -- the more you get to know Him, the easier it is to give Him all of you and just follow His lead! He loves you, never leaves you, protects you, heals you, forgives you, cherishes you, and He made you -- He knows the very number of hairs on your head.

>>There is no one who loves you more fully, completely and unconditionally than the Lord -- and you can trust Him to lead your life!

When we choose to live for Christ and build a life of purpose, there will be a process we go through...not just once, but probably several times in different seasons of life as we continue to mature in our faith. It’s called the “law of death and resurrection” and simply put, it means that we need to die to our own way of making things happen and let Him fulfill the dreams in our heart His way -- which is always the BEST way!

A great illustration of this principle is found in John 12:24:26, let’s check it out: “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor” (NKJV).

I pray that today each of us is even more stirred up to lay down our own life for Christ and follow His lead...His plans lead us in our life of true purpose. In whatever circle of influence you’re in, whatever career, family, city...if you’ll choose to make your life about Him...He’ll not only bless your life but help you impact all those around you for Christ. YOU can have an eternal impact...now that’s something worth investing your life in!

Say This: “Father, I ask You to take my life and consecrate it to You. I choose to submit my way of making things happens, my plans and my striving. Rather, I choose to live for Christ! I ask You to please help me to follow Your lead every day of my life and build a life rich in purpose that impacts those in my world for You. I trust You and know that You’re blessing me beyond measure and helping me to make an eternal difference in the lives of many! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

have I been forgotten?

Jennifer Cole

What is it about certain seasons in life that can just make you feel a bit...lost? Ever felt like you were so far off the grid that even God had forgotten your coordinates? If you find yourself in a season like that...the basic truth that you need to hear today is that God sees YOU. He knows right where you’re at and not only are you NOT lost, you are actually right where you’re supposed to be! God is equipping you for your life’s purpose, even if your current season seems a bit boring, mundane or like you’re “lost in a field somewhere.” Let’s look at David’s life and you’ll see just what I mean…

In 1 Samuel 16, we learn a lot about David. He was the son of Jesse and one of eight brothers. The other brothers were more gifted, more handsome and of greater stature...but we know that while man looks at the outside of a person, God looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). So, when God told Samuel to go to Jesse’s house and He’d show Him who the anointed one would be, Samuel reviewed each of the seven brothers first. From the outside view, they each looked like they should be the chosen one. However, God confirmed that none of those seven brothers was it. That’s when Jesse mentioned having an eighth son...who was out tending the sheep, like usual. When that eighth son, David, came to Samuel, God confirmed His anointing on David.

David’s stature, job and other external factors may not have impressed many...but it’s not the external attributes that qualified him. God qualified Him. God saw David’s heart. He saw that David was faithful in the basics -- He loved the Lord, He tended the sheep well and He was faithful in all the everyday, ordinary actions. God chose him to make a big difference in his day-and-age! Like David, each of us has a call on our lives...a divinely implanted purpose that God desires to help us live out in full. It doesn’t matter if we aren’t the smartest, prettiest or handsomest, from the best side of town and most prestigious schools...God looks at our heart and our faithfulness in the basics. So, don’t think that just because you are out in the fields “tending sheep” that God has somehow forgotten about you. 

>>In fact, the work that God is doing in your heart while you’re in the field is some of the most profound and essential work that will ever happen in your life! 

Think about David again...in the field, he learned about being a leader -- he had to figure out how to get the sheep to follow him, how to keep them safe and so on. He also spent that “field time” honing his skills -- he got quite proficient at the harp and the slingshot. Remember when Goliath entered the scene? David didn’t pick up a stone and a slingshot on that day and just hope he could use it. Nope! He had been practicing and practicing and practicing that particular weapon while in the field -- he had absolutely mastered that weapon and used it that fateful day to take down the giant.

Like David, your field time will be time well spent! Take note of the gifts and talents the Lord has given you and be intentional about honing those skills. Become the very best you can be at those skills, and trust that when it’s your “Goliath day” He will position you to move mighty mountains with those very basic skills that you were faithful to practice. You may be in a field tending sheep...but that doesn’t mean you are off God’s radar. On the contrary -- He’s positioned you exactly where you need to be right now. Be faithful in the basics and honor the field time...and your big day to put those skills to use will come!

Say This: “Father, thank You that my ‘field time’ is intentional and I am not off your radar! You know right where I am. Lord, help me to recognize the gifts you’ve given me and be faithful in honing those skills while in the field. I trust that at just the right time you’ll help me use those skills and the basics I’ve been faithful in, to make a big difference for You in this world. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”