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Living in the Spirit: Guides Me

Living in the Spirit … Guides MeMustard Seed Daily Devotion

In the Word

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things. Philippians 4:8

Of the Word

They say you are what you eat. The news is filled with the latest reports on vitamins, cholesterol, trans fats, antioxidants, and the merits of dark chocolate and coffee.

St. Paul would probably say, "Wait! You are what you think!" Read his list. He encourages us to think about what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy. He leaves no room for negativism, pessimism, jealousy, or meanness. They are mental garbage, or, as Zig Ziglar named them, "stinkin' thinkin'." (See You At the Top, Zig Ziglar, Pelican Publishing Co., Gretna, LA, 1979, page 209)

We cannot think ourselves into physical nourishment, and we certainly cannot think ourselves into godliness. The good that we think, say, and do is a result of the Holy Spirit's work in our hearts. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works … (Ephesians 2:10a).

Walking with my Lord

With the psalmist I pray: Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me (Psalm 51:10–12). This I pray in Jesus' name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in the Spirit. Authors: Marcia Gomulka, Dcs. Betty Knapp, Myrna Lou Meyer. 15/30 ©2007 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
 

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Living in the Spirit: Brings Fellowship

Living in the Spirit … Brings FellowshipMustard Seed Daily Devotion

In the Word

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14

Of the Word

"Trinity Fellowship," "Faith Bible Fellowship," "Gospel Fellowship Church," "Victory Life Fellowship." These are names chosen by certain Christian groups. No particular denomination is apparent, but for all of them the word "fellowship" is important.

The dictionary defines fellowship as "companionship, friendly association, mutual sharing, brotherhood." It certainly seems to be a fitting word for a group of Christians.

Look again at St. Paul's words. His benediction to the Corinthian Christians includes all three persons of the Trinity. Christians know something of the grace, love, and fellowship freely given by the Triune God.

How do we demonstrate that we know what God has done for us? Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers (Galatians 6:10).

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever (Psalm 136:1).

Walking with my Lord

Gracious Lord, thank You for the love, grace, and fellowship You have given to me. Be with me today as I go about my daily routines. Help me to live as one who belongs to You. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in the Spirit. Authors: Marcia Gomulka, Dcs. Betty Knapp, Myrna Lou Meyer. 14/30 ©2007 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
 

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Living in the Spirit: Makes Me God's Temple

Living in the Spirit … Makes Me God's TempleMustard Seed Daily Devotion

In the Word

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19–20

Of the Word

Doctors and firemen are often on call. They may plan a relaxing day at the golf course or at home, but if the phone rings they must report for duty. No questions, no excuses, no hesitation. Duty calls, and their time is no longer their own.

St. Paul reminded his friends in Corinth that they were not their own, either. Though Corinth was a very wicked city, the Christians, by God's grace, were temples of the Holy Spirit. How could this be?

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices … Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:1a, 2a).

By the power of the Holy Spirit, they were transformed, changed from sinners to saints. And by the power of the Holy Spirit, so are we!

Walking with my Lord

Lord God, thank You for transforming me. Help me to be on call for You, serving and glorifying You in all that I do. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in the Spirit. Authors: Marcia Gomulka, Dcs. Betty Knapp, Myrna Lou Meyer. 13/30 ©2007 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
 

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With This Ring: Blending Families

Blending Families: Yours, Mine, and OursMustard Seed Daily Devotion

In the Word

Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. 1 Corinthians 10:24

Of the Word

You can choose your friends, but you're stuck with your family. That feeling of being "stuck" is sometimes heightened in a family that is considered "blended." Bringing together two people with different histories, traditions, and habits is hard enough; adding children to the mix can be as challenging as matching a dryer full of socks! Each member of a blended family is faced with the same challenge of getting along.

Our sinful nature causes us to look only to ourselves and our own interests. We tend to look on life and say, "I want it my way. Why do I have to share anything?" In Christ, however, we do not live our lives for ourselves. We see family members (regardless of how we "get" them) as gifts from God. As Christ did, we set aside our own need to be continually satisfied and instead work for the good of others. While it is not easy, with the help of God's Holy Spirit, it is how we live.

Walking with my Lord

Dear Creator of families, You place us in families that sometimes are a challenge. Give us strength to look past our own needs to see the blessing You give us in them. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: With this Ring. Authors: Rev. Wes and Deaconess Sonja Baumeister. 15/28 ©2008 Lutheran Women's Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.
 

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With This Ring: In-Laws

In-Laws: Love 'Em, Tolerate 'Em, or Move Away From 'Em!Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

In the Word

"Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you." Exodus 20:12

Of the Word

Family members give joy when they visit, some when they come and some when they leave. Technically, you marry your spouse and not the whole family, but in reality it's a package deal. Holidays and special events often require interaction with in-laws. Whether you love them and enjoy time with them, or prefer they stay as far away as possible, it is inevitable that you will have to interact with them at least occasionally.

As a couple, talk honestly about your feelings. Share the behaviors you like or dislike about your spouse's family. "Leaving and cleaving" is a process for both you and your parents. Decide together the boundaries that will keep tension to a minimum. These boundaries will probably change over time as your relationships change.

Above all, remember the command of Jesus to "'Love your neighbor as yourself '" (Matthew 22:39b). Your families are your "neighbors." Give them the honor and respect you want them to give you.

Walking with my Lord

Dear Father, inspire in us a love and respect for our entire family as You love us. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: With this Ring. Authors: Rev. Wes and Deaconess Sonja Baumeister. 14/28 ©2008 Lutheran Women's Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.
 

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With This Ring: Decisions

Decisions: How will we make decisions together?Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

In the Word

Know also that wisdom is sweet to your soul; if you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off. Proverbs 24:14

Of the Word

You just knew it would come to this: a horrible fight over a very big decision. What you decide will change your family’s future, but the two of you disagree on which outcome is best. What do you do now? How do you decide who gets the final word? Who “wins”?

Instead of looking at the decision as a contest where you and your mate are opponents, think of yourselves as teammates. The decision is the opponent. Teammates look to the good of the team, not their individual interests. They use tools like compromise and sacrifice to ensure that the whole team is successful.

Work together to look at the big picture you have for your marriage and life. Honestly discuss fears, hopes, challenges, and how each choice will help meet the goals you have. Commend the decision making process to prayer, trusting that through God’s Word the Holy Spirit will guide your choices.

Walking with my Lord

Dear God, as we face difficult decisions, help us to be willing to compromise. Through Your Holy Spirit give us confidence to know that whatever the future holds we will face it together with You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: With this Ring. Authors: Rev. Wes and Deaconess Sonja Baumeister. 13/28 ©2008 Lutheran Women's Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.
 

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Begin with God: He Gives Peace

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionBegin with God … He Gives Peace

In the Word

Where can I find lasting peace?

"I will strengthen you and help you …" (Isaiah 41:10b).

Of the Word

Peace is a hope and a prayer of people around the world. How can we have peace when we are surrounded by unrest, unhappiness, even terrorism? God gives His reasons through Scripture. We can have peace because God says:

I LOVE YOU.
"I have loved you with an everlasting love …" (Jeremiah 31:3b).

I FORGIVE YOU.
"… I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more" (Hebrews 8:12).

I HEAR YOUR PRAYERS.
"Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear" (Isaiah 65:24).

I WILL HELP YOU.
"I will strengthen you and help you …" (Isaiah 41:10b).

I SENT JESUS.
"… a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:11b).

Because of God's power and love, we can have inner peace no matter what challenges this world gives to us.

Walking with my Lord

Dear Lord, You are the only source of true and lasting peace. When I feel restless and confused, guide me to Your Word and help me to once again see Your assurances to me. Only with You can I confidently face each new day. Grant me peace in Jesus' name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Begin with God. Authors: Marcia Gomulka, Dcs. Betty Knapp, Myrna Lou Meyer. 15/28 ©2007 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
 

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