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The Race of Faith: Staying Nourished

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionStarting Out – Staying Nourished

In the Word

“I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” John 6:51

Of the Word

A healthy lifestyle cannot be based on exercise alone. Not too many people would be inclined to eat a bag of chips or a pound of chocolate and then go for a run. Besides the stomachache that would slow you down, it doesn’t make sense to eat unhealthy food while trying to get healthy.

So what is the healthiest, most nourishing, and satisfying food we can eat? No fruit, vegetable, or even Greek yogurt can compare to the food God offers through His Son, Jesus Christ. This food is not the bread and fish Jesus used to feed the five thousand (Matthew 14:13-21), or the breakfast He prepared for His disciples after His resurrection (John 21:1-14). The life-sustaining food God gives us is Jesus Himself.

Jesus said “I am the living bread” (John 6:51a). In the Sacrament of the Altar, believers have the opportunity to partake of this food while receiving the benefits of the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation. Christ’s body and blood sacrificed and given to us will not only give us strength to live a new earthly life, but it will continue to sustain us on through eternity.

Walking with my Lord

Heavenly Father, thank You for providing living bread through Your Son, Jesus Christ. Continue to nourish and sustain me through this life to life everlasting. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Race of Faith. Author: Amanda Stacy, DCE. 2/28 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. Code: #40196
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
 

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The Race of Faith: Staying Hydrated

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionStarting Out – Staying Hydrated

In the Word

Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” John 4:10 (NIV)

Of the Word

Ask anyone who does any type of physical exercise what the single most important thing needed is and the answer will be ... water. Exercise apps and the music playlist are nice to have, but without drinking enough water serious problems can occur.

Jesus also knew this. After walking in the desert heat, He was thirsty and asked a Samaritan woman for water. He told her the kind of water all people should be asking for is living water.

You see, when we drink earthly water we will be thirsty again. But Jesus offers His people everything they need through the gift of the Holy Spirit in the waters of Baptism. In those waters we receive life, salvation, and the forgiveness of sins. And in those waters we are washed clean. And it is in those waters we will be truly refreshed.

Let us follow the advice of Jesus, asking Him for this living water. Not only will we have enough to keep us satisfied on this earth, but it will be enough to last us to eternity.

Walking with my Lord

Dear Jesus, refresh me with Your living water so that I may be strengthened through Your Spirit to share with others the refreshing words of salvation that come from You. In Your name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Race of Faith. Author: Amanda Stacy, DCE. 1/28 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. Code: #40196
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations marked (NIV) 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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In Times of Need: Comfort from Others

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionComfort from Others

In the Word

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Of the Word

Reaching a new level of pain we cry out, “I never knew I could hurt this much!” It doesn’t matter if it is mental, physical, emotional, or spiritual pain. It hurts! And often in our pain we try to isolate ourselves from others. While this isolation is understandable, it may not be the best thing for us.

God has placed us in caring Christian communities because He does not mean for us to live a solitary life. Those around us may have also experienced hurt and suffering. They may not know exactly how we feel, but having received God’s comfort they are able to comfort us.

This loving comfort is something God expects us to share with each other. When we have been comforted, this enables us to pass it on. In turn, when we are hurting we must learn to allow others to share God’s comfort with us.

Walking with my Lord

Lord Jesus, thank You for providing a way for Your people to share Your comfort with each other. Help me to be comforting to others when I can and to willingly receive comfort when I am hurting. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: In Times of Need. Authors: Rev. Larry Krueger, Rev. Mike Mattil, & Rev. Kris Whitby. 3/30 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. Code: #40197
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
 

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In Times of Need: Do Not Lose Heart

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionDo Not Lose Heart

In the Word

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 2 Corinthians 4:16

Of the Word

It is easy to get discouraged when we hurt. Simply having someone tell us to “hang in there” or “keep a stiff upper lip” is not enough. We may want to be strong, but when the pain comes it can overwhelm us.

How can we not lose heart when we feel like we are wasting away? Paul advised the Corinthian believers to be renewed daily. We, too, can take advantage of the ways in which God makes His grace available.

  • Remember Baptism. God is at work claiming us as His dearly loved children, putting His name on us, and washing away our sins.

  • Spend time in His Word. Reflect on the promise and the message of forgiveness, life, and salvation that Jesus accomplished for everyone.

  • Receive His love and mercy in the Lord’s Supper. In this meal Jesus gives us His body and blood that were offered on the cross, assuring us of the forgiveness and acceptance He earned for us.

God’s strength is available to us, and His desire is for us to be renewed in it.

Walking with my Lord

Renew me, O eternal Light, and let my heart and soul be bright. In Jesus’ name. Amen. 


Mustard Seed: In Times of Need. Authors: Rev. Larry Krueger, Rev. Mike Mattil, & Rev. Kris Whitby. 2/30 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. Code: #40197
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
“Renew Me, O Eternal Light” by Johann Fredrick Ruopp. Public domain.
 

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In Times of Need: God's Grace is Sufficient

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionGod’s Grace is Sufficient

In the Word

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9a

Of the Word

The Apostle Paul wrote of having an unnamed affliction that caused him ongoing pain. He referred to it as a thorn in my flesh (2 Corinthians 12:7b NIV)and he repeatedly asked God to take away this pain. The Lord did not do so. Instead, His response to Paul was, “My grace is sufficient for you …” (2 Corinthians 12:9b).

God’s grace was enough for Paul and it is big enough for us, too. Because of His undeserved love, we have forgiveness of sins and a place in heaven. We don’t have to wait for God’s grace, for we have received it through our trust in Jesus. We, like Paul, are gifted with God’s amazing grace.

This is an important reminder when we are hurting. The same One Who made sure that we have access to eternal life through Jesus gives us His grace to enable us to handle the heartaches, pains, and hurts we will encounter on this side of heaven.

Walking with my Lord

Father, help me to believe and remember that Your grace is enough for me in any and all circumstances. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: In Times of Need. Authors: Rev. Larry Krueger, Rev. Mike Mattil, & Rev. Kris Whitby. 1/30 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105 Code: #40197
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations marked (NIV) 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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The Word: Wisdom for Living — The Choice is Mine

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionThe Choice is Mine

In the Word

The light of the eyes rejoices the heart, and good news refreshes the bones. Proverbs 15:30

Of the Word

Without a doubt smiling faces make us happy, and good news makes us feel better. A twinkle in the eye and a cheerful greeting can give others a feel-good day. People with positive attitudes are a joy to know. The truth is, our outlook on life is a matter of choice. No one can force us to have either a good or a bad attitude.

So what will the choice be today? Will people be pleased to see us or will they try to avoid our presence? Will we speak words of encouragement or discouragement? Will the light of Jesus shine from our eyes? Will the sweet words of the Gospel of grace, love, and forgiveness we share with someone be refreshing to them?

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice (Philippians 4:4). Will the joy of knowing Jesus Christ as the Savior, Who lovingly died for our sins, come through in all we say and do?

A Point to Ponder: How will the light in my eyes reflect the love of Jesus Christ today?

Walking with my Lord

Father, I ask for an attitude like that of Jesus whatever my circumstances may be. Help me to greet others with sweet words that reflect my love for You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Word: Wisdom for Living. Authors: Marcia Gomulka and Myrna Lou Meyer. 3/32 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. Code: #40198
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
 

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The Word: Wisdom for Living — I Am Blessed

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionI Am Blessed

In the Word

Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord. Proverbs 16:20

Of the Word

There are days when we may just want to stay in bed and pull the covers over our heads to keep the world out. Perhaps the job, finances, or ill health — a loved one’s or our own — has become overwhelming. For now, that concern has become too much for us to handle.

We trust in God’s Word and know He will help us when fear and discouragement come our way. But that trust may become a little shaky when we want the problem solved in our time, not God’s. We want it fixed now! Ah, but Proverbs 16:20 says, blessed is he who trusts.

God’s blessings come from His Word as the gift of faith. We receive them in different ways — through a friend, by receiving a promotion, or in any of the countless other gifts He showers upon us. With patient trust we wait for God to act, and we pray for wisdom to recognize His blessings.

“I will put my trust in him” (Hebrews 2:13a).

A Point to Ponder: In what beautiful way has God already blessed me today?

Walking with my Lord

Gracious Lord, by Your Spirit help me to live my life in faith and with trust, knowing You hear my prayers and will answer them in Your time. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Word: Wisdom for Living. Authors: Marcia Gomulka and Myrna Lou Meyer. 2/32 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. Code: #40198
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
 

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