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.

First Things First

Read: Matthew 6:33-34

Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house. (Prov. 24:27)

Recently I visited the historic sites of Abraham Lincoln’s boyhood in Kentucky and Indiana. The Lincoln family led a hard life on a series of frontier farms. Everyone knows about the log cabins they lived in, but the first job was always felling the trees to clear the fields for planting and splitting rails for fences to protect the crops. First things first; crops before houses. Because it didn’t do much good to have a cabin if there was nothing in it to eat when winter came.

Besides offering good advice for early American pioneers, the proverb has some practical wisdom for us. It tells us to make sure we put first things first and second things second in our lives. It’s amazing how easily distracted we are, how readily tempted to do what we like rather than what needs to be done. It’s true with our Saturday chores, our homework, our jobs—and our life’s priorities. Jesus told us plainly what those priorities should be: God’s kingdom and his righteousness. Put those first things first, and the secondary things have a way of working out for us.

What does that actually look like? It can be something as simple as beginning each day with Bible reading and prayer before turning to our daily business. My pastor has a good formula: “Scripture before screens.” It’s remarkable what cultivating daily godly habits can do. —David Bast

As you pray, ask the Lord to help you be consistent in your daily devotions.

About the Author

Rev. Dave Bast retired as the President and Broadcast Minister of Words of Hope in January 2017, after 23 years with the ministry. Prior to his ministry and work at Words of Hope, Dave served as a pastor for 18 years in congregations in the Reformed Church in America. He is the author of several devotional books. A graduate of Hope College and Western Theological Seminary, he has also studied at both the Fuller and Calvin seminaries. Dave and his wife, Betty Jo, have four children and four grandchildren. Dave enjoys reading, growing tomatoes, and avidly follows the Detroit Tigers.

Rev. Joel Plantinga

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Outward-focused

Read: Philippians 2:1-11 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. (v. 3) There are a variety of reasons people “choose” a church, and I’ve heard a lot of them. Whatever it

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Generous

Read: Proverbs 11:23-31 Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered. (v. 25) Reality check: Every breath we breathe comes from God. Our lives belong to God (“you were bought with a price”; 1

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Praying

Read: 1 Thessalonians 5:12-22 Pray without ceasing. (v. 17) “Well, I guess I can at least pray for you.” I’ve heard these words many times when one is trying to help another, only to find that there is little that

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Connected

Read: Hebrews 10:19-25 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works. (v. 24) In an episode of NBC’s hit series The Office, Dwight was challenged to do something for a co-worker needing a

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Willing to Try

Read: Numbers 13:1-3, 17-33 Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it. (v. 30) The story of the spies is so applicable to today. The new land God was leading his

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Mentoring

Read: 2 Timothy 2:1-13 And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. (v. 2) A book I read about President Harry S. Truman

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Devoted

Read: Acts 2:42-47 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. (v. 42) When I teach our church’s class on financial management, I always feel a tinge of regret

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Welcoming

Read: Matthew 5:43-48 And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? (v. 47) Disneyland is known as “The Happiest Place on Earth.” They offer more than rides. They offer an experience. Everything that happens

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