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

Individual standing on fence by mountains raising arms
Steven Bouma-Prediger

The Palm and the Cedar of Lebanon

Read: Psalm 92 The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. (v. 12) When was the last time you ate a date? What do you recall about the taste, smell, and texture? Do you know

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Individual standing on fence by mountains raising arms
John Tousley

The Apostles’ Creed Belief-Summary

Read: Deuteronomy 11:18-25 You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul. (v. 18) The Apostles’ Creed is a historic summary of essential Christian beliefs. Interested inquirers and growing Christians could get a good

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Individual standing on fence by mountains raising arms
Myrna Folkert

Floodgates of Heaven

Read: Malachi 3:8-12 Test me in this . . . and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. (v. 10 NIV)

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Individual standing on fence by mountains raising arms
Stan Mast

The Fruit of Faith

READ : Matthew 7:15-20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. (v. 20 NIV) Jesus’ strong words in Matthew 7:21 may sound like salvation by works, but Jesus didn’t mean that. We are saved not by our obedience, but by Christ’s. We must simply trust

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Individual standing on fence by mountains raising arms
Steven Bouma-Prediger

God Pitched His Tent Among Us

READ : John 1:1-18 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. (v. 14) It was raining, cold and hard, as we finally canoed into our camp for the night. It may have been spring back home, with blooming tulips,

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Individual standing on fence by mountains raising arms
Joy Petroelje

Humility in Prayer

READ : Luke 18:9-14 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted. (v. 14) It doesn’t take too much digging into the Bible to realize God honors, and expects, a humble heart.

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Individual standing on fence by mountains raising arms
Adam Stout

Saul’s Armor

READ : 1 Samuel 17:19-39 Then Saul . . . put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. (v. 38 NIV) Before David went out to face Goliath, King Saul dressed David in his own

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Individual standing on fence by mountains raising arms
Jessica Heikoop

Moses: “Reluctant Leader”

READ : Exodus 3-4:17 Oh, my Lord, please send someone else. (4:13) Moses didn’t exactly see himself as being a spokesperson for God. When God called him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, Moses’ first reaction was disbelief. Even when

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Individual standing on fence by mountains raising arms
Peggy Byland

Uncover His Feet

READ: Ruth 3:1-18 Go and uncover his feet and lie down, and he will tell you what to do. (v. 4) Barley threshing was in progress, and each evening following their work Boaz and his men celebrated another harvest day

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