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Water of Life: Christ-Like Service

Christ-Like ServiceMustard Seed Daily Devotion

In the Word

Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. John 13:5

Of the Word

Each year, millions of dollars are spent on feet: classy shoes, fuzzy socks, pedicures. But most people don’t want to touch someone else’s feet. However, foot washing was a common practice in Bible times. It was a sign of hospitality when guests’ dusty feet were washed, and usually a lowly slave or servant stooped to do the task.

Jesus — the Almighty God, King of kings, Lord of lords — took the servant’s job. He bent down, took towel and basin, and then washed His disciples’ feet. He gave the example of true humility and demonstrated one facet of the love and self-sacrifice He would show on the cross the very next day.

His willing service cost Him His life but washes away our sins and brings life to us. Jesus “came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28b).

Walking with my Lord

Lord, Your willingness to serve me led You to the cross to save me from my sins. Lead me to follow Your example and serve my neighbors in loving ways. In Your name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Water of Life. Michael Heckmann, author. 6/28 ©2013 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League,  801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
 

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Water of Life: Good and Gracious Land

Good and Gracious LandMustard Seed Daily Devotion

In the Word

“For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing out in the valleys and hills …” Deuteronomy 8:7

Of the Word

As they wandered in the wilderness, God graciously provided for the Israelites but, at the time, all they could see were the hardships of life in the desert. They complained because it was hot, they had no food or water, and they were tired of walking. It went so far that some wished they were back in Egypt living as slaves. They knew they would die there, but at least they would be taken care of. But God had provided for them through their desert wanderings, and He promised them abundance in their new home. They just couldn’t see it.

It is often hard for us, too, to see God’s love and care. God’s promises are for us, just as they were for the Israelites. Jesus says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

Through faith, we can be sure of God’s guidance through our lives, and we can be just as sure of being brought to heaven. In that good land, we will experience no pain or death, only rest and peace.

Walking with my Lord

Great Provider, thank You for giving me what I need according to Your will. Bring me to the good land You have promised me — my heavenly home. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Water of Life. Michael Heckmann, author. 5/28 ©2013 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
 

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Water of Life: Drawn Out of Death

Drawn Out of DeathMustard Seed Daily Devotion

In the Word

When the child grew up, she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. She named him Moses, “Because,” she said, “I drew him out of the water.” Exodus 2:10

Of the Word

Fearing the growing Hebrew slave population in Egypt, the Pharaoh ordered all newborn Hebrew boys to be thrown into the Nile River. Wanting to protect her son, the mother of Moses laid him in a waterproof basket before putting him in the river. Ironically, it was Pharaoh’s daughter who saw Moses, rescued him from drowning, and raised him as her son.

Similarly, we, too, have been rescued from drowning, not in the River Nile, but in our sin. We are saved by the beautiful waters of Baptism. Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death (Romans 6:3)?

Through Holy Baptism we receive the benefits of Christ’s death on the cross. Our sinful nature, the Old Adam, is washed away by water and the Word. Our new life begins, a life of faith in Christ and the forgiveness He brings. Because we are alive in Christ, we can live in peace and joy.

Walking with my Lord

Saving Father, through my Baptism I have been brought out of death to life. Continually remind me of this new life and the new creation that I am in Your Son Jesus. It is in His name that I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Water of Life. Michael Heckmann, author. 4/28 ©2013 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
 

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From Quiet Times to Noisy Love: Belly Laugh ...

Belly Laugh MomentsMustard Seed Daily Devotion

In the Word

“God will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.” (Job 8:21 NCV)

Of the Word

It happened at the most inappropriate times! The two sisters would catch each other’s eye, and a fit of uncontrolled giggles would ensue. The more their father gave them his warning look, the worse the laughter grew. And what was the most embarrassing part? The sisters were both in their forties!

Not only are belly laughs contagious, they are quite healthy. Studies show laughter can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and lessen chronic pain. This shouldn’t be surprising, because God is the creator of laughter. “God will yet fill your mouth with laughter, and your lips with shouts of joy” (Job 8:21 NCV). Laughter in Job? Yes! Our Lord wants us to know that, even in difficult times, His desire for us is total joy in Him.

When we fully grasp our deliverance from sin and sorrow, the unmerited gift of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, what other response is there? Uncontained shouts of gratitude, delight, and laughter! Exactly the way the God of Joy designed it.

Walking with my Lord

Lord, thank You for the gift of uncontrolled laughter as I celebrate Your grace and mercy with the fellow redeemed. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: From Quiet Times to Noisy Love. Jan Struck, author. 6/30 ©2013 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org
Scripture quotations marked (NCV) are taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from the ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
 

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From Quiet Times to Noisy Love: Becoming Family

Becoming FamilyMustard Seed Daily Devotion

In the Word

God places the lonely in families … (Psalm 68:6a NLT)

Of the Word

Some people live within a few miles of their family members; others measure the distance in time zones. Some consider the proximity too constrictive; others ache to be closer to home. In each situation, there are those who are lonely. Surprised? Our God is not, and He understands. We are a very mobile society, and it is evident in our churches.

It is quite common for our membership to include transplants from other towns, states, or countries. Even in smaller congregations individuals may feel excluded. Our caring Father understands our need to be connected and accepted. His compassion is obvious in the words, God places the lonely in families (Psalm 68:6a NLT). Think how often Jesus reached out in compassion to the solitary and isolated.

We can all learn to be more welcoming. When opportunities arise, talk to someone new at Sunday coffee hour. Introduce yourself to an unfamiliar person. Invite someone to Bible study or choir. Expect delightful consequences! This spirit of love might change an ordinary Sunday into a true family reunion!

Walking with my Lord

Lord, fill me with the courage and compassion to reach my hand out in Christian friendship to someone I don’t know. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: From Quiet Times to Noisy Love. Jan Struck, author. 5/30 ©2013 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation. Copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from the ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
 

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From Quiet Times to Noisy Love: Be Still Moments

Be Still MomentsMustard Seed Daily Devotion

In the Word

“Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10a)

Of the Word

Our lives can become ones of perpetual motion and sound. Work, school, church, sports — sometimes we’re convinced we just passed ourselves on the road! Add to the mix the racket of noises surrounding us and we yearn for a bubble bath in a sound-proof room.

Our Lord understands how demanding the lives we lead are, yet He wants to be connected to us; He wants to spend time with us. So He calls us to “Be still, and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10a).” Not just silent but subdued. We need a location and time when we are fully in His presence, listening for His voice.

This quiet time with our Lord requires planning and perseverance. We can’t just squeeze in a visit; we must schedule the time and place. Morning scripture, lunchtime prayer, or family devotions at supper are life-giving times with our Father. Then we can be still in refreshing fellowship with God.

Walking with my Lord

Lord, some relaxations I choose provide a temporary respite, but time spent with You gives unending joy and peace. Thank You for times when I choose to be still in Your arms. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: From Quiet Times to Noisy Love. Jan Struck, author. 4/30 ©2013 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from the ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
 

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Daughters of the King: Miriam

Miriam — LeaderMustard Seed Daily Devotion

(Miriam’s Story: Exodus 15:20–21)

In the Word

“For I brought you up from the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery, and I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.” (Micah 6:4)

Of the Word

Gifted by God, Miriam the prophetess accompanied her brothers Moses and Aaron in the great exodus out of Egypt. When there was celebrating, Miriam picked up her tambourine and lead the women in singing and dancing. But being a leader wasn’t enough. Wanting equal billing with Moses, envy reared its ugly head and Miriam spoke out against him.

God’s anger was swift … Miriam was struck with leprosy. And Moses cried to the Lord, “O God, please heal her — please” (Numbers 12:13). With mercy, God answered that plea. Not always satisfied with the gifts God gives us, we, like Miriam, may seek more: more credit where credit is due, more glory. But our God calls us to serve Him; to use the gifts He gave us according to His will. In doing so we must remember the glory goes to Him alone.

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves (Philippians 2:3).

Walking with my Lord

Thank You, Father for showing mercy when I make it all about me. In Your name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Daughters of the King. Marcia Gomulka and Myrna Lou Meyer, authors. 6/34 ©2013 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
 

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