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: 
August 3, 2021

An Incomplete Life

Read: Mark 10:17-22

You lack one thing. (v. 21)

The rich young man reminds me of myself in too many college classes when I would ask, “Professor, is this going to be on the test?” I wanted the A, and often got it, but missed the learning that came from studying the subject. This young man could check all the boxes when Jesus listed six of the Ten Commandments. The disciples in the crowd likely nodded approvingly, “This guy is good. He must be saved.”

What Jesus said next must have surprised them. On Jesus’ grading scale, the man received an incomplete: “You lack one thing” (v. 21). He obeyed all the outward, visible commandments: do not murder, do not steal, and the like. By all accounts, he was a good person, but Jesus knew his heart. His possessions ruled him as a god that demanded worship. He missed the most important commandment: “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30).

The “one thing” he lacked was not so much the selling of possessions as it was missing the invitation of Jesus: “Come, follow me.” It is good news that we do not need to prove ourselves to God by checking another box. No amount of wealth can satisfy our souls. No amount of good works can cover our sins. There is just one who can satisfy and save: Jesus. Jesus looks at us with the same love and makes the same invitation. —Jon Opgenorth

As you pray, accept Jesus’ invitation to follow.

hands with bible
Ericka Loynes

Do Not Lie

Read: 2 Kings 4:16-17, 25-37 Then she said, “Did I ask my lord for a son? Did I not say, ‘Do not deceive me?’” (v. 28) As part of our tradition on Christmas, my extended family plays the white elephant

hands with bible
Ericka Loynes

I’m All Alone

Read: 1 Kings 19:9-18 I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away. (vv. 10, 14) One of my favorite poems is “Footprints in the Sand.” As I read it, I love the reassuring

hands with bible
Ericka Loynes

Call Me Mara

Read: Ruth 1:3-9, 16-22 Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. (v. 20) Recently, I became aware of a concept called “Class Reunion Syndrome.” In Psychology Today, Dr. Mary C.

hands with bible
Ericka Loynes

Show Me a Sign

Read: Judges 6:15-17, 36-39; 7:1-7 Show me a sign that it is you who speak with me. (6:17) In the 1984 classic movie Karate Kid, one of the best scenes is when the teen star, Daniel, is getting beat up

hands with bible
Ericka Loynes

Do You Believe God?

Read: Hebrews 11:1-12 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. (v. 6) In the classic movie Indiana Jones

Helen Hofman

A Parent’s Blessing

Read: Matthew 10:37-42 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it. (v. 39) We were visiting a supporting church in the United States. A middle-aged man said to me, “Our

Helen Hofman

Estevan Prayed

Read: Ephesians 6:10-16 Take your stand against the devil’s schemes. (v. 11 NIV) The Theological Education by Extension Program was finishing its fifth year. The goal of this program was theological training for the many new believers who would be

Helen Hofman

Heaven-sent Wisdom

Read: Leviticus 19:18; James 3:13-18 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. (v. 17 NIV) Calixto and Maria had been childless for

Helen Hofman

God Frees the Tojolabal Christians

Read: Psalm 91 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. (v. 11 NIV) There was conflict in the Tojolabal village of Saltillo. Nine Christian men fled their homes because the non-Christian majority

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