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.

Today's Devotional: 
January 21, 2022

Crescendos of Grace

Read: Romans 11:11-24

So do not become proud, but stand in awe. (v. 20 NRSV)

Lake Emma sits nestled in a small canyon at 12,000 feet in the shadow of Colorado’s Mount Democrat. Standing on one side, I yelled “Hello!” at the top of my lungs, counting four or five echoes before fading out. An echo provides an apt metaphor for Paul’s understanding of God’s mission with one exception. The echoes of God’s grace don’t fade; they grow in volume with each reverberation.

Listen for the echo of grace in today’s reading. God fulfills his promises to Old Testament Israel in Jesus. The gospel sounds off! Many Israelites rejected Jesus. In their “stumble” and “trespass” (v. 11), the gospel echoes to Gentiles, who are “grafted in among the others” (v. 17). Paul experienced this pattern through Acts. He began in each city by preaching to Jews. When they rejected Jesus, he preached to Gentiles, and many were saved (see Acts 18, for example). Paul desires for his own Jewish people to see the echo of God’s grace towards Gentiles and become jealous, and so be grafted in again by God (v. 14). Their return will be as “life from the dead” (v. 15), exploding in good news to the world. The crescendo of grace grows.

There is only one response for those of us grafted in after others’ rejection: “do not become proud, but stand in awe” (v. 20 NRSV). We did nothing to deserve being included. The growing crescendo of grace simply swept over us. May our inclusion lead many others to become followers of Jesus. —Jon Opgenorth

As you pray, bow in awe of God’s grace.

Laura Sweet

A New Heart

Read: Ezekiel 36:22-32 And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. (v. 26) Have you ever known someone who was truly hard-hearted? According to the Lexico.com dictionary, a hard-hearted person

Laura Sweet

All Things New

Read: Isaiah 65:17-25 For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered. (v. 17) Doesn’t it feel good to put up a brand-new calendar at the first of the year? While

Scott Hoezee

Worthy!

Read: Revelation 4:1-11 Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power. (v. 11) It is fitting to conclude our reflections on Jesus’ birth by hearing again the glorious song “Worthy are you!” What Jesus

Scott Hoezee

Antichrists

Read: 1 John 4:1-6 This is the spirit of the antichrist. (v. 3) Most of us have heard of the Antichrist. And most of us have picked up on the idea that some Christians believe the day will come when

Scott Hoezee

Be Not Deceived

Read: 1 John 1:1-10 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves. (v. 8) Most of us are more familiar with John 1 than with 1 John 1. But it’s obvious the same apostle wrote both. John again

Scott Hoezee

Family

Read: Galatians 4:1-7 God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” (v. 6) Earlier this month in looking at the family tree of Jesus in Matthew 1, we noted that at the end of

Scott Hoezee

Epiphany

Read: Titus 2:11-15 For the grace of God has appeared . . . (v. 11) In ten days the church will mark Epiphany. The word means “to appear,” and on January 6 the church in some traditions will mark the

Scott Hoezee

Emptied Out

Read: Philippians 2:5-11 [He] emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant. (v. 7) Paul loved the Philippian church. But he had heard that the sin of pride had become a problem for them. It often is for all

Scott Hoezee

The Dragon

Read: Revelation 12:1-6 And the dragon stood before the woman. (v. 4) If you read today’s passage on this Christmas Day, then you know we are a long way from “Silent Night.” John on the island of Patmos shows us

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