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In Times of Need: Family Conflicts

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionFamily Conflicts

In the Word

“O God … Please deliver me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I fear him, that he may come and attack me … “ Genesis 32:9b, 11a

Of the Word

In Genesis 32, Jacob seemed to have much to fear. He had stolen his brother Esau’s birthright and blessing. Esau threatened to kill him, and Jacob ran for his life.

Years passed. Jacob was ready to return to his homeland. When he learned that Esau was advancing toward him with four hundred men, he feared attack. He had sinned, and he deserved his brother’s wrath; but in all confidence he prayed to the Lord: “But you said, ‘I will surely do you good, and make your offspring as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude’” (Genesis 32:12).

Jacob faced his brother knowing that the Lord would be faithful to His promise. When finally they did meet, Esau forgave Jacob, and the brothers were reconciled.

We may sometimes face fear and uncertainty in our families. Yet, even in the midst of a family conflict, the same Savior Who paid for Jacob’s sin and ours promises to care for us according to His perfect will.

Walking with my Lord

Lord Jesus, let me cast my cares on You because You love me with an everlasting love. In Your name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: In Times of Need. Authors: Rev. Larry Krueger, Rev. Mike Mattil, & Rev. Kris Whitby. 21/30 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118. 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: What Should We Do?

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionWhat Should We Do?

In the Word

But Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “Let us go up at once and occupy [the land], for we are well able to overcome it." Then the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we are.” Numbers 13:30–31

Of the Word

As the people of Israel neared the Promised Land, they felt uncertain about entering it. A faithful spy, Caleb, brought words of assurance that the people could enter the land and overcome it. Ten other spies brought words of doom, warning the Israelites not to enter the land for fear of failure. A decision had to be made and, ultimately, fear overcame them. As a result, the Israelites wandered in the wilderness for forty years.

Communities are faced with decisions and uncertainty, asking, “What should we do?” There is opportunity for success and fear of failure. In such times, well-gained knowledge is a helpful guide. Good information provides good guidance for good decisions.

The lesson learned from Numbers 14 is not to allow fear to overcome. Decisions from fear are decisions to fail. But biblically-based and God-sought decisions allow community leaders to take effective action and lead the people forward. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act (Psalm 37:5).

Walking with my Lord

O Lord, I do not know what lies over the horizon in uncertain times. But do not let fear overcome me. Enable me to be committed to Your ways in all that I do. In Your holy name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: In Times of Need. Authors: Rev. Larry Krueger, Rev. Mike Mattil, & Rev. Kris Whitby. 20/30 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118. 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: Who Can Be Trusted

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionWho Can Be Trusted

In the Word

Peter said, … “Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.” … And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things. Acts 5:4b, 11

Of the Word

It happens all too often. Public officials get elected, promoting squeaky-clean images and touting honorable lives. Then they get caught in a scandal. They try to cover it up. They deny any knowledge or involvement, but evidence proves otherwise. They have lied to the people. They have lied to God. The community has been betrayed. The people are left wondering, “What is the truth? Who can be trusted?”

In Acts 5, Ananias and Sapphira tried to deceive their faith community. But God handled the problem. Death instantly came upon them. While such swift judgment may not come upon all who publicly betray or deceive, do not fear. God will bring about justice.

He [God] will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity (Psalm 98:9b). Hold to the words of the psalmist, Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation (Psalm 146:3). Who can be trusted? God! Fret not yourself because of evildoers; trust in him [God] and he will act (Psalm 37:1a, 5b). God can be trusted!

Walking with my Lord

O Lord, sometimes it is hard to know who can be trusted. Leaders have betrayed and deceived. I am glad I can trust You, Lord, to bring forth truth and justice in this world. In Your holy name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: In Times of Need. Authors: Rev. Larry Krueger, Rev. Mike Mattil, & Rev. Kris Whitby. 19/30 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118. 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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The Word: Wisdom for Living: Parenting Profession

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionThe Parenting Profession

In the Word

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

Of the Word

Advanced degrees are required for those in many professions — doctors, lawyers, pastors, engineers. Yet parenting, probably the most important profession one can have, requires no advanced degree.

Parents are to be guides, supporters, and encouragers as they help children discover their talents, develop their abilities, and use their gifts. Most importantly, God commands that parents be responsible for their spiritual training. When the writer of Proverbs reminds us to Train up a child in the way he should go… “the way” is God’s way.

Parents cheer at ball games and applaud at dance recitals, but how much more important it is to be actively involved in a child’s spiritual growth! A Christian parent’s daily example is a child’s best sermon.

Parenting never ends — just as praying for one’s children is a life-long privilege. And no advanced degree is needed for that.

A Point to Ponder: Who was most faithful in teaching me the way— God’s way — for my life?

Walking with my Lord

Thank You, Lord, for enabling Christian parents to teach their children of Your love. Help me to share my faith by both word and example. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Word: Wisdom for Living. Authors: Marcia Gomulka and Myrna Lou Meyer. 21/32 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118. 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: Listen Up!

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionListen Up!

In the Word

“And now, O sons, listen to me: blessed are those who keep my ways. Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it.” Proverbs 8:32–33

Of the Word

“Turn. That. Thing. Down!” came Dad’s sharp words when the radio blared. “Change the channel! Now!” was Mom’s direction when the TV show was too steamy for young minds. Today’s noises come from more sources — movies, video games, and social media. Some noises are so loud they even cause ear damage. How can the world’s noises be turned off before they cause even more damage: heart and mind damage?

God’s instruction is … listen to me (Proverbs 8:32). He directs His people to think of … whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable… (Philippians 4:8b). When these good things fill hearts and minds, God promises His blessings. … the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).

A Point to Ponder: What noises are interfering with my time for listening to God?

Walking with my Lord

Dear Heavenly Father, help me to avoid the noises and distractions that pull me away from You. Give me wisdom to choose what is good and right for me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Word: Wisdom for Living. Authors: Marcia Gomulka and Myrna Lou Meyer. 20/32 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118. 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: A Heart Full of Trust

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionA Heart Full of Trust

In the Word

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

Of the Word

With the shot clock ticking down, player #9 heaved the ball to #35, who swished it into the basket for a 3-pointer. Hours of practice had built the trust that each man would be in position for the play.

Do God’s children “practice” trusting in Him? King Solomon gives the directive, Trust in the LORD … (Proverbs 3:5a). Not in a teammate, a spouse, a friend, an employer — but in the Lord. How much trust? A little bit? Enough to get me through the mess? No, trust … with all your heart. All!

But what else? Surely there’s something I can do. Yes, get the facts, make evaluations; assess the situation, all the while asking for God’s guidance. Trust His promise, “… I know the plans I have for you … plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). What more could we ask than to be blessed with a hope and a future from the One Who loves us best?

A Point to Ponder: What special circumstance do I face today for which I need to hear these words, Trust in the LORD with all your heart?

Walking with my Lord

Dear Lord, help me to trust in You for every decision, great or small. Fill my heart with the gifts of peace and understanding. In Jesus’ name. Amen. 


Mustard Seed: The Word: Wisdom for Living. Authors: Marcia Gomulka and Myrna Lou Meyer. 19/32 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118. 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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Everyday Celebrations: Celebrate Families

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionCelebrate Families

In the Word

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)

Of the Word

Families used to live in close proximity and came together on a regular basis. Now families are scattered around the country and sometimes even around the world. Although technology allows for daily written or visual contact, nothing can replace a family gathering.

Hugs are shared, laughter flows, conversations continue through the night. Being in the presence of those you love, and who love you, can certainly lift your spirits. These folks have seen your struggles and your triumphs. Family celebrates with you, cries with you, and inspires you.

Paul understood the importance of family gatherings, especially for the early church. Sometimes the joy of our salvation through Jesus’ death and resurrection can be dimmed by responsibilities and concerns. Our gracious Father gives us families as a reminder of His personal love for us. Whether with relatives or friends in the faith, God wants us to encourage each other. Families share. Families pray. Families forgive. Celebrate families!

Walking with my Lord

Lord, thank You for placing me in a family. Help me to love them as You love me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Everyday Celebrations. Authors: Elaine Bickel and Jan Struck. 18/28 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118. Code: #40195
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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