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.

Individual standing on fence by mountains raising arms
Peggy Byland

Uncover His Feet

READ : Ruth 3:1-18 Go and uncover his feet and lie down, and he will tell you what to do. (v. 4) Barley threshing was in progress, and each evening following their work Boaz and his men celebrated another harvest

Individual standing on fence by mountains raising arms
Leanne VanDyk

Hezekiah’s Prayer for Healing

READ : Isaiah 38:1-6 Remember now, O Lord, I implore you, how I have walked before you in faithfulness. (v. 3) Such a short, simple prayer certainly had a remarkable result. King Hezekiah was very ill. When the prophet Isaiah told

Individual standing on fence by mountains raising arms
Leanne VanDyk

Solomon’s Prayer of Dedication

READ : 1 Kings 8:22-30 But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Even heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you, much less this house that I have built! (v. 27) When an ocean liner or aircraft carrier is dedicated,

Individual standing on fence by mountains raising arms
Leanne VanDyk

Jehoshaphat’s Prayer for Deliverance

READ : 2 Chronicles 20:5-17 O Lord, God of our ancestors, are you not God in heaven? (v. 6) Messengers came to King Jehoshaphat one day with the terrifying news that an enormous army was gathered against the people of Judah.

Individual standing on fence by mountains raising arms
Leanne VanDyk

Samson’s Prayer of Revenge

READ : Judges 16:23-31 Lord God, remember me and strengthen me only this once, O God. (v. 28) Is it possible for someone to pray an authentic prayer that asks for revenge? That is exactly what Samson prayed for. This is

Individual standing on fence by mountains raising arms
Leanne VanDyk

Moses’ Prayer of Repentance

READ : Exodus 32:15-20, Exodus 32:30-34 But now, if you will only forgive their sin — but if not, blot me out of the book that you have written. (v. 32) What should have been a wonderful time of celebration and joy

Individual standing on fence by mountains raising arms
Rev. David Bast

A Word of Exhortation

READ : Hebrews 13:20-25 Bear with my word of exhortation. (v. 22) The book of Hebrews was written to encourage wavering Christians. Its recipients were people who professed the Christian faith, but now were having second thoughts. The writer of Hebrews

Individual standing on fence by mountains raising arms
Helen Brownson

Our Prayers are a Sweet Aroma to The Lord

READ : Revelation 5:6-12 “…Angels were holding golden bowls, full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints” (v. 8). “Another angel…was given a great quantity of incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints” (Rev. 8:3). Do

Individual standing on fence by mountains raising arms
John Muller

Love is the Greatest Virtue

READ : 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13 is well worth memorizing. It upgrades love to the top of the list of Christian virtues. In the

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