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.

Individual standing on fence by mountains raising arms
Ben Aguilera

Alive in Christ

Read: Ephesians 2:1-10 Even when we were dead in our trespasses, [God] made us alive together with Christ. (v. 5) What does it mean to be alive in Christ? It does not mean that you must have your life together. Being

Individual standing on fence by mountains raising arms
Jeff Munroe

Elijah’s Loneliness

Read: 1 Kings 19:1-18 I, even I only, am left. (v. 10) It’s a safe bet that Elijah wasn’t just feeling alone but was feeling downright lonely when he hid for a night in a cave on Mount Horeb. He had

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

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

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)

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

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,

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.

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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