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Everyday Celebrations: Still Wonderfully Made

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionMaybe Not Cute, but Still Wonderfully Made

In the Word

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14a

Of the Word

Chances are, when we were born, family and friends came to check us out! They tried to figure out who we looked like and what we would likely do. One look at our fingers and they saw a concert pianist. Flexible toes assured them we were destined for the Olympics. Everyone who looked at us declared us handsome or beautiful and certainly cute!

As the days go by and years add up, it is important to continue to look at our hands, our feet, ourselves. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. Our value is determined by the God who created us and His Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, who redeemed us. Our Heavenly Father is the Master Craftsman Who designed each minute part of us! Whether our hands are strong and firm or arthritic and weak, they can be folded to thank the God who created them. Whether our feet are long or short, narrow or wide, strong or no longer able to support us, they are able to walk in His ways. Today is a day to celebrate, a day to declare, I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14a).

Walking with my Lord

Lord, help me to use all that I am and have to glorify You. In Jesus’ name. Amen. 


Mustard Seed: Everyday Celebrations. Authors: Elaine Bickel and Jan Struck. 6/28 ©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.
 

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Everyday Celebrations: What Day is This?

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionWhat Day is This?

In the Word

This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

Of the Word

Every day is a gift from God. We have heard it. We have said it. We believe it! We can confidently face each day as a gift because God has made it.

While every day is a gift from God, there are certain days that make us more aware of this — birthdays, anniversaries, baptisms, and weddings. These tend to be the days we look forward to and look back on with joy. These are the days when others are likely to celebrate with us and become more aware of the One Who has blessed us.

When we pause and reflect on today, we become more aware of Who God is and who we are through faith in Jesus Christ. We do not cause the sun to rise, but we are able to enjoy the sunshine. We do not make the rains fall, but we can praise the God Who reigns! We do not have to take on the weight of the world, we can trustingly wait to see how God will take care of us in the future as He has in the past. Celebrate today! Celebrate every day knowing, This is the day that the LORD has made;… (Psalm 118:24a).

Walking with my Lord

Lord, help me to celebrate each day as a gift from You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Everyday Celebrations. Authors: Elaine Bickel and Jan Struck. 5/28 ©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.
 

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Everyday Celebrations: Designed as a Gift

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionDesigned as a Gift

In the Word

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, ... 1 Peter 4:10a (NIV)

Of the Word

When God created you, He designed you to be a gift to the people in your life! God then gave you specific talents and skills to be that gift. He gave you ears to be a listener and eyes to see the needs of others. Our Father gave you a heart filled with His hope so those around you could see His presence in your life.

Because we are aware of our own sins and shortcomings, it is not always easy to believe we are a “gift.” We may be hesitant to open ourselves up to others fearing they will see the “real” us – imperfect, sinful, a failure. Ah, but that’s when God can use us in spite of our weaknesses and imperfections. Because we have received His forgiveness, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit we can share His message of hope and salvation in both words and deeds.

Be a special gift to someone today by sharing the beautiful message of hope that the grace of God gives us through His Son, our Savior, Jesus. His gift to us is eternal life with Him. What a gift!

Walking with my Lord

Lord God, thank You for the gifts You have given me. Help me to use them to Your glory as I share Your love with others. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Everyday Celebrations. Authors: Elaine Bickel and Jan Struck. 4/28 ©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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The Race of Faith: Staying Motivated

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionStarting Out — Staying Motivated

In the Word

For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. 2 Corinthians 5:14–15

Of the Word

Sometimes the enthusiasm to get up and start running just isn’t there. It’s too hard. It takes too much time. It’s too hard. (Yes, that excuse needed to be said again!) This is the time when a runner needs to examine the goals for running in the first place. Is it to lose weight, be healthy, or finish a race? Hopefully, remembering these goals and the need to reach them will motivate the runner to get up and run.

At times it’s hard to be a Christian. Going to church on Sunday and giving time to ministry takes too many hours out of our day. Sometimes being a Christian doesn’t seem like fun. If any of these excuses sound familiar, remember the Apostle Paul. He, too, had many hard times during his ministry. He may have had to remind himself of his goals and motivation.

Paul’s goal was to tell others of the salvation Jesus had earned for them by dying on the cross. Love for Jesus motivated him to share that story, and that same love motivates believers to run the race of faith today.

Walking with my Lord

Dear Lord, thank You for the love Christ has shown to me through His death and resurrection. May that love motivate me to continue in my Christian faith, even when it’s hard. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Race of Faith. Author: Amanda Stacy, DCE. 6/28 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118 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: Breath, Breathe

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionStarting Out — Breath, Breathe

In the Word

And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” John 20:22

Of the Word

A few essentials are needed to run: water, food, clothes, shoes, and, of course, breath. Seems like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? You need to breathe when running. If you don’t breathe, you won’t go far.

After Jesus’ resurrection from the grave and before His ascension into heaven, His disciples learned that a few essentials were also needed to proclaim the Good News of salvation to the world. They needed living water (John 4:10), the bread of life (John 6:51), clothes of righteousness (Galatians 3:27), shoes (Ephesians 6:15), and breath. But this breath is different than the breath needed by a runner.

Jesus breathed on them the breath of life, the Holy Spirit. As the One who calls, gathers, and enlightens, the Holy Spirit was essential for the disciples to be able to complete the work Christ gave to them.

This life-giving breath is also essential for us. The Holy Spirit called us by the Gospel, gathered us into God’s kingdom, and enlightened us with His gifts. Only He can begin faith in one’s heart, and only He can equip us to share that faith with others.

Walking with my Lord

Father, thank You for the gift of Your Holy Spirit. As I enjoy the gifts He gives to me, also equip me to complete the work You have assigned to me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Race of Faith. Author: Amanda Stacy, DCE. 5/28 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118 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: Running Shoes

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionStarting Out — Running Shoes

In the Word

… and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. Ephesians 6:15

Of the Word

The right shoes make a world of difference while running. Ill-fitting shoes with no support can cause discomfort, pain, and even injury. For this reason, many serious runners get their feet fitted with shoes that cater to their own special needs.

St. Paul encourages us to make the same considerations regarding our spiritual footwear. In order to stand firm in faith, we need the right shoes. The support these shoes give through the Gospel of peace will never cause pain. This peace will soothe and restore us and also equip us for whatever we encounter in life.

This equipping is important because Paul wants us to stand firm in faith and be ready to move. These shoes are part of the armor of God, preparing Christ’s followers to go into the world to preach, teach, and fight against evil. So let the peace of Jesus Christ help you stand firm in faith. And when it’s time, that same peace will support you as you take your faith into the world.

Walking with my Lord

Thank You, Father, for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which gives me peace. Equipped with that peace, help me stand firm in my faith so I may share it with those around me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Race of Faith. Author: Amanda Stacy, DCE. 4/28 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118 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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In Times of Need: In His Loving Hands

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionIn His Loving Hands

In the Word

… put your trust in the Lord. Psalm 4:5b

Of the Word

The young woman sat on the examination table after hearing the doctor tell her, “You have cancer.” Her response: “Well, that stinks!” While some might consider that a rude way to say it, her reaction was an accurate assessment of her situation. Illness is a problem we all have to face, and we are almost never prepared for it. It can knock us down to the depths of despair.

Having the support of loved ones makes facing difficult situations easier than facing them alone. But it is even better to go to the One in control of everything: our loving God. And we can do just that. He invites us to come to Him with anything and everything.

The psalmist says, But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hand … (Psalm 31:14–15a). That is true in good times and in bad. We just need to be reminded of it more when things seem to be going wrong. He is in control. It is all in the loving hands of the One who was willing to die to pay for our sin. He’s got us and our situations in His hands. Trust Him!

Walking with my Lord

Lord Jesus, help me trust that my times are in Your loving and caring hands. In Your name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: In Times of Need. Authors: Rev. Larry Krueger, Rev. Mike Mattil, & Rev. Kris Whitby. 6/30 ©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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