Words of Hope Daily Devotional

The Words of Hope Devotional is a non-profit, donor-supported publication whose goal is to encourage readers to grow in faith through the practice of daily Bible reading and prayer. The devotional is available in your email, in print, and as an app in Google Play and the App Store.

Simple Love

Read: Hebrews 13:1-7

Let mutual love continue. (v. 1 NRSV)

With two children in elementary school, I’m constantly signing student homework planners to keep track of what’s happening in class and receiving quarterly reports of all of the assignments my kids have or haven’t turned in. Report cards come home regularly to tell me my kids’ grades. And then there’s extra credit to boost their grade if we’re not satisfied.

Sometimes we treat following Jesus like earning a grade. We constantly wonder if we’ve done enough to get an A. If I’ve donated canned goods to a local food pantry this month, do I have to serve at the soup kitchen as well? I know I’m supposed to love my enemies, but what about the person who told a nasty rumor about me? We’re like Peter asking Jesus, “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive?” (Matt. 18:21 NRSV).

The author of Hebrews reminds us to keep it simple. Don’t worry about keeping score—just love! We might actually want a grade because it tells us where we stand. But for God, it’s not about the grade, it’s about the heart. God wants us to love freely, because we have been loved (1 John 4:19). Instead of asking if you’ve done enough, ask yourself where God is giving you an opportunity to show love to others: remember those in prison, show hospitality, be content with what you have—but all of those things spring from one simple command: love. —Jen Petersen

As you pray, thank God for his simple love for you.

About the Author

parent child holding hands
Nancy Boote

Belonging to the Lord

Read: Romans 14:7-9 Whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. (v. 8 NIV) After seeing my mother alive for the last time, the Spirit reminded me of this truth: “whether we live or die, we belong to the

Read More »
parent child holding hands
Nancy Boote

Belonging to One Another

Read: Romans 12:3-8 So in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. (v. 5 NIV) Families are wonderful. Families are messy. We need families. From the beginning of creation, we were not meant

Read More »
parent child holding hands
Nancy Boote

Heirs

Read: Galatians 3:26-29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. (v. 29 NIV) What does it mean to be an heir? When my adoptive parents died, as their only living child, I

Read More »
parent child holding hands
Nancy Boote

The Spirit Testifies

Read: Romans 8:14-17 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. (v. 16 NIV) There is a big difference between being included and belonging. For example, I can attend church and feel included in worship through my

Read More »
parent child holding hands
Nancy Boote

Children of God

Read: 1 John 3:1-10 See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! (v. 1 NIV) What does it mean that God lavished his great love

Read More »
parent child holding hands
Nancy Boote

God’s Forever Family

Read: John 1:1-14 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. (v. 12) Being adopted has helped me understand what it means to be welcomed and included as

Read More »
parent child holding hands
Nancy Boote

His Father Saw Him

Read: Luke 15:11-24 But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. (v. 20) When I was a child, I got on the wrong bus on

Read More »
parent child holding hands
Nancy Boote

Son and Daughter

Read: Matthew 9:1-8; 18-22 Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” (v. 22) My dad would lovingly say to me, “You’s a good daughter!” Instead of saying, “You’re,” he purposely used improper

Read More »
parent child holding hands
Nancy Boote

Carried by the Shepherd

Read: Isaiah 40:1-11 He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart. (v. 11 NIV) David reminds us in Psalm 100 that we are the Lord’s sheep. We belong to him! Isaiah continues with this beautiful

Read More »

Podcast

Listen to the daily devotional wherever you get your podcasts.

YouVersion Series

Words of Hope devotionals are available on The Bible App!

Books

Autobiographies and reading plans for groups or individuals.