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.

Amy Clemens

Inheritance in Light

Read: Colossians 1:9-14 Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. (v. 12) There is a lot to be learned about inheritance from the Bible. The ESV translation uses

Amy Clemens

Darkness in Light’s Disguise

Read: 2 Corinthians 11:12-15 Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. (vv. 14-15) These days, I can see how as an “intelligent” youth, I

Amy Clemens

Light at the Judgment

Read: 1 Corinthians 4:1-5 Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. (v. 5) Paul was guilty

Amy Clemens

The Armor of Light

Read: Romans 13:5-14 The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. (v. 12) Saul of Tarsus is transformed. No more blinded

Amy Clemens

Suddenly a Light from Heaven

Read: Acts 9:1-20 Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. (v. 3) Saul went on his way. His way was to power up with his fine legal mind,

Amy Clemens

Darkness Has Not Overcome

Read: John 1:1-5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (v. 5) We hear so much about spiritual darkness today, and we who love the light can feel a sense of overwhelm or even

Amy Clemens

Shrewd Children of Light?

Read: Luke 16:1-15 The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. (v. 8 NIV) It’s

Amy Clemens

Light for Revelation

Read: Luke 2:25-35 My eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel. (vv. 30-32) Simeon, who spoke these words

Amy Clemens

Secrets Come to Light

Read: Mark 4:21-25 For nothing is hidden except to be made manifest; nor is anything secret except to come to light. (v. 22) We live in an age of incredible scientific discovery. While quantum physics describes nature at the smallest

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