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From Quiet Times to Noisy Love: Worshipful Moments

nullWorshipful Moments

In the Word

And they worshipped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy … Luke 24:52

Of the Word

Unfortunately, it’s a typical Sunday morning: spilt cereal, toothpaste-spitting contests, arguments in the car. Attempting to concentrate on the service surrounded by squirmy children causes you to wonder, “Is this really worth it?” Even for those without young children, worries and distractions interfere with our intent to worship.

God understands us and forgives us when we are inattentive. He truly accepts us just as we are. Before worship begins, we can ask our Father for help in opening our hearts and minds to His presence. The Holy Spirit will enable us to hear and absorb the Word, as well as renew us to serve Him.

Our Lord loves it when we come to His house, and He loves when we bring our children. The visit may not always be perfect, but He welcomes us in love and is delighted to fill our hearts with His forgiveness and encouragement. We can return home refreshed and with great joy!

Walking with my Lord

Lord, never let circumstances keep me from the privilege of worshipping You, my Savior and Redeemer. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: From Quiet Times to Noisy Love. Jan Struck, author. 30/30 ©2013 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118. 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: Praise

nullVarieties of Praise

In the Word

… be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart …  Ephesians 5:18b–19

Of the Word

Scripture shows us a favorite form of praise is music. Psalms were sung in acknowledgment and thankfulness for God’s unending love. As King David readied the materials and workmen needed for Solomon to build the Temple, he also organized musicians who would exalt God with lyres, harps, and cymbals. Almost 300 skilled singers were assembled. Now that is a church choir!

The Word of Christ dwells in us with songs, hymns, and spiritual songs. In worship we may gain spiritual strength by singing familiar hymns or popular contemporary Christian songs. Martin Luther truly understood the power of praise when he wrote, “The devil does not stay where music is.”

Not every hymn or praise song may be your style of music. Whether traditional hymns on a pipe organ or contemporary songs played by guitars and drums, God accepts all praise that declares His majesty, unconditional love, and salvation through Christ. And to that, we can all respond … “Amen and Amen.”

Walking with my Lord

Lord, remind me that musical praise comes in many forms and that I am blessed to adore You in a variety of ways. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: From Quiet Times to Noisy Love. Jan Struck, author. 29/30 ©2013 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118. 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: God's Hands

nullTruly in God’s Hands

In the Word

“… yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands …” Isaiah 49: 15b–16a

Of the Word

The ancient art form of tattoos has become quite popular. To some, it is a way to honor a person or to commemorate an event. Others simply want to conform to the crowd. A teenage girl might not realize that the rose tattooed on her back could look more like a cabbage when she is older!

It may come as a surprise to you to hear about God’s tattoo — “… yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands” (Isaiah 49:15b–16a). The Israelites understood how extremely difficult it was to remove such an engraving. God wanted them to know He would never forget His people; their presence was burned into His hands and His mind. That is how much He loved them! Jesus bears the same remembrance of us on His hands, as well. The marks of the crucifixion on His palms express the depth of His love for each of us. Those scars assure us of His sacrifice on our behalf and His promise that we are always in His hands. That is how much He loves us!

Walking with my Lord

Lord, may my daily witness of Your atonement place the mark of Your hands on the hearts of those around me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: From Quiet Times to Noisy Love. Jan Struck, author. 28/30 ©2013 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118. 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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Daughters of the King: Unbelievable Joy

nullRhoda — Unexpected, Unbelievable Joy

Rhoda’s Story: Acts 12:1–17

In the Word

And when he [Peter] knocked at the door of the gateway, a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer. Recognizing Peter’s voice, in her joy she did not open the gate but ran in and reported that Peter was standing at the gate. Acts 12:13–14

Of the Word

Rhoda was given the scary-but-important task of guarding the house gate on a dark night. King Herod had already killed James. Peter was in jail. Identities of Jesus’ followers were probably known. Who would be caught next?

While others prayed, Rhoda guarded the gate. Unbeknownst to them, God’s angel had released Peter, who then made his way to Mary’s house. Rhoda heard his knock and recognized his voice. But she was so overcome with joy that she left the poor man standing outside in the dark! She couldn’t believe that prayers had been answered.

Are we ever surprised at God’s answers? Do we shout for joy but forget to praise the One who provided for us? Our loving God wants us to bring our needs to Him, and He wants us to honor Him with our thanks. “… call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me” (Psalm 50:15).

Walking with my Lord

Dear Lord, You always work for my good. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayers. Help me recognize Your surprises as special blessings. Forgive my failure to see Your answers, and fill my heart with thanksgiving. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Daughters of the King. Marcia Gomulka and Myrna Lou Meyer, authors. 30/34 ©2013 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118. 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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Daughters of the King: A Woman of Charity

nullDorcas — A Woman of Charity

Dorcas’ Story: Acts 9:36–42

In the Word

Now there was in Joppa a disciple named Tabitha, which, translated, means Dorcas. She was full of good works and acts of charity. Acts 9:36

Of the Word

As a follower of Jesus, Dorcas heard the message of Jesus Christ and lived it out in her daily life. She loved her risen Lord and imitated Him by letting His light and love shine through her by sewing garments for the poor. Sadly, Dorcas became sick and died.

Her devastated friends, with hope and in faith, sent for the apostle Peter who was in a nearby town. In Dorcas’ room Peter knelt and prayed. With the power of Jesus — not his own — Peter told Dorcas to arise. And she opened her eyes and sat up.

Dead in our sin, we too have been brought back to life through the saving sacrifice of Jesus, not by our good works. Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection we strive to give God glory and reflect His love through the life we lead. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2: 8–10).

Walking with my Lord

Dear God, may I always and in every circumstance be Your willing servant. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Daughters of the King. Marcia Gomulka and Myrna Lou Meyer, authors. 29/34 ©2013 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118. 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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Daughters of the King: He Knows My Name!

nullMary Magdalene — He Knows My Name!

Mary Magdalene’s Story: John 20:1–18

In the Word

Jesus said to her, “Mary.” John 20:16a

Of the Word

Hearing your name in a busy airport or across a crowded room usually brings relief or pleasure. And for some, nothing is better than a phone call that begins with a cheery, “Hi, Mom!”

When Mary went to the tomb on that Sunday after the crucifixion of Jesus, she was in mourning. She believed that her master, her teacher, her healer, her friend was dead. Angels voiced their concern, and she tearfully explained, “I don’t know where His body is.” Turning away, she thought she saw the caretaker of the garden. The angels had no answers; perhaps he could help. And He did! He spoke her name, “Mary.” Tears evaporated. Mourning ended. Joy blossomed.

God’s promise showers us with the same joy Mary felt. “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1b). Our God is alive. He knows us by name. He calls us His very own!

Walking with my Lord

Thank You, Lord, for giving me life, for redeeming me, for knowing my name. Forgive my fears and tears and help me live for You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Daughters of the King. Marcia Gomulka and Myrna Lou Meyer, authors. 28/34 ©2013 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118. 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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Love, Laughter, and Lullabies: Leaving

nullLeaving

In the Word

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” … he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. Acts 1:8, 9b

Of the Word

Leaving my baby with someone else for the first time was rough. I knew eventually I would need to get out of the house for an afternoon, go on a date with my husband, or go back to work and I would need to place her in someone else’s care. Having a helpful and understanding husband, caring family members, and a trusted babysitter helped make it easier to walk out that door for the first time.

After His resurrection, Jesus told His disciples that He was leaving the earth to return to His Father’s right hand. He also gave them quite a daunting task; they were to make disciples of all nations, baptizing and teaching all that He had taught them during their time together. He promised that the Holy Spirit would come to help them spread the Gospel message to others.

We, too, can rely on this trusted Helper to call, gather, enlighten, and keep us in the one true faith. And the Spirit gives us the same power the disciples had, the power to complete the Great Commission to go and tell.

Walking with my Lord

Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Make me bold to share my faith with others. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Love, Laughter, and Lullabies. DCE Amanda Stacy, author. 30/30 ©2013 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118. 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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