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.

abstract painting of a single tree
Rev. Bob James

Life List

Read: Proverbs 15 Sheol and Abaddon lie open before the LORD; how much more the hearts of the children of man! (v. 11) As you read Proverbs, do you sometimes feel as if you’re reading a list? Well, you’re right!

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abstract painting of a single tree
Rev. Bob James

Do Good

Read: Proverbs 13 Disaster pursues sinners, but the righteous are rewarded with good. (v. 21) As I listen to people talk about their lives, I have heard people say, “I wish I could have done better.” It is certainly commendable

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abstract painting of a single tree
Rev. Bob James

Good Words Require Work

Read: Proverbs 12:15-18 There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. (v. 18) I’m guilty of it, and likely you are too. I have spoken words that have been reckless

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abstract painting of a single tree
Rev. Bob James

God’s Precious Family

Read: Proverbs 11 Whoever troubles his own household will inherit the wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise of heart. (v. 29) The family is a precious thing to God. He created the family through Adam and

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abstract painting of a single tree
Rev. Bob James

Rich Blessing

Read: Proverbs 10 The blessing of the LORD makes rich, and he adds no sorrow with it. (v. 22) At some point in your life, you have probably been told, “Work hard. Get a good education. Apply yourself. Stick to

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abstract painting of a single tree
Rev. Bob James

A Good Fear

Read: Proverbs 9:10-12 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. (v. 11) Fear God? What does that mean? It’s this: you must know he holds your life in

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abstract painting of a single tree
Rev. Bob James

Trust, Tell, and Live Wisdom

Read: Proverbs 8 For wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her. (v. 11) The book of Proverbs tells us clearly—there is no wisdom without God. Biblical wisdom is seeing and responding to

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abstract painting of a single tree
Rev. Bob James

A Godly Sister

Read: Proverbs 7 Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call insight your intimate friend. (v. 4) Do you ever think about the “stupid” things you’ve done in life? Occasionally a moment, a word, a person, or a circumstance

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abstract painting of a single tree
Rev. Bob James

God Ever-present

Read: Proverbs 6 Bind them on your heart always; tie them around your neck. (v. 21) “Bind them”—bind the words of God to your heart. You’ll see this phrase in Proverbs 3, 6, and 7. You’ll see it, too, in

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