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Daughters of the King: Martha

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionMartha — Ultimate Doer

Martha’s Story: Luke 10:38–42

In the Word

Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.  John 11:5

Of the Word

Martha: big sister to Mary and Lazarus and personal friend of Jesus. Hospitality to others was her trademark. What it must have been like to have Jesus as a guest! Being a loving hostess, Martha was busy in the kitchen. Meanwhile, sister Mary was in another room listening as Jesus taught. Put out about having to prepare the meal alone, Martha complained to Jesus, “Tell her to help me” (Luke 10:40b CEB)!

We are all a bit like Martha when it comes to allowing the things of life to stand between us and spending time with our Savior. We want to be faithful in our daily devotions and to have a more fervent prayer life. But our overcommitted lives make us cry, “But Lord, I have so many things I have to do.” With love and understanding, Jesus told Martha — and us — where our priority should be. But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41-42).

Walking with my Lord

Jesus, help me make the choice each day to follow You, for nothing else can bring me satisfaction. In Your saving name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Daughters of the King. Marcia Gomulka and Myrna Lou Meyer, authors. 21/34 ©2013 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org
Scripture taken from the Common English Bible®, CEB® Copyright © 2010, 2011 by Common English Bible.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. The “CEB” and “Common English Bible” trademarks are registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Common English Bible. Use of either trademark requires the permission of Common English Bible. All rights reserved.
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: Anna

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionAnna — Present in Prayer

Anna’s Story: Luke 2:36–38

In the Word

She [Anna] did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day.  Luke 2:37b

Of the Word

When she was younger, Ida never missed a worship service or church activity. Now into her ninth decade, she depended on others to bring her to worship if her weak and ailing body allowed. One Sunday as she was surrounded by her church family, she smiled and said, “I’m not always here, but I can always pray!”

Perhaps she took her example from aged Anna who actually lived at the temple. Her service included fasting and prayer night and day (Luke 2:37b). She was eighty-four years old when Jesus was presented at the temple, and we can assume that she spent the remainder of her life in service there.

Whether young or old, rich or poor, weak or strong, each of us has a place of service to the Lord. We are nourished by Word and sacrament, and we go out to serve Him at home and in the workplace. And like Anna as her modern-day sister in faith, we can always pray.

Walking with my Lord

Thank You, Lord, for giving me life and salvation in Jesus Christ. Help me serve You, dedicating my time and talents to You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Daughters of the King. Marcia Gomulka and Myrna Lou Meyer, authors. 20/34 ©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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Daughters of the King: Elizabeth and Mary

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionElizabeth and Mary — Friends in Need

(Elizabeth and Mary’s Story: Luke 1:5–56)

In the Word

In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, and she … greeted Elizabeth. Luke 1:39, 40

Of the Word

When you’re “in over your head,” where do you turn? Do you seek advice from a parent, a friend, a pastor? Do you turn to God? Do you try to “tough it out” on your own?

When the angel Gabriel brought Mary the news that she would bear the long-awaited Messiah, He added a post script — her kinswoman Elizabeth, old and barren, would also bear a son. Somehow Mary made the 100-mile trip from Nazareth to the hill country of Judea to be with Elizabeth. When she arrived, Elizabeth’s unborn baby even jumped for joy! We can only imagine their conversations during the weeks that followed. No doubt they reviewed the messages of the angel, filled with awe and amazement as their bodies proved the truth of His words. Neither aged Elizabeth nor young Mary had to “go it alone.” Together they faced the future which God had planned for them. Like them, we treasure the loved ones God places around us, those who listen, reassure, encourage, and affirm. Through them, God shares His love with us.

Walking with my Lord

Dear Lord, thank You for the people who have mentored me through difficult circumstances. Shower me with Your love so I can share it with others. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Daughters of the King. Marcia Gomulka and Myrna Lou Meyer, authors. 19/34 ©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 ESV Bible® (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: Plans and Promises

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionPlans and Promises

In the Word

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

Of the Word

Well, it’s true. The box the toy came in provides more entertainment than the toy itself. I find it amazing that cardboard, plastic, tape, and wrapping paper are more attractive to small children than the toy.

God had wonderful gifts for the Israelites. He had big plans for them: prosperity, a future, a hope, and a personal relationship. The Israelites, however, had a problem with idolatry. You see, instead of enjoying the gifts God wanted to give them, they spent their time playing with frivolous and insignificant imitations of God.

Now ask yourself, “How am I spending my time? How am I using God’s gifts?” His plans and His gifts are also meant for us. The idols of this world bring no true satisfaction. Throw aside those trivial pursuits so you can spend time enjoying the real gifts of God.

Walking with my Lord

Heavenly Father, thank You for all the gifts You have given to me. Help me keep my eyes off of the inconsequential things of this world and instead keep them focused on You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Love, Laughter, and Lullabies. DCE Amanda Stacy, author. 21/30 ©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 Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
 
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Love, Laughter, and Lullabies: Learning to Walk

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionLearning to Walk

In the Word

… Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me”. Matthew 14:29b–30

Of the Word

I watch my daughter as she takes a few steps, falls, and then gets up to try again. Sometimes I help her by holding her hands, and then I remember that I, too, have Someone Who holds my hands.

The apostle Peter learned to walk physically as a baby; but we might say one night on the Sea of Galilee he learned how to walk spiritually with Jesus. In the midst of a stormy sea, Peter stepped out of a boat to walk toward Jesus. However, when he took his eyes off Jesus, he began to sink. Jesus immediately reached out, took hold of Peter, and saved him.

Because we are sinners, we sometimes take our eyes off Jesus, too. But we can rest assured that Jesus will always be there to reach out and take hold of us. Just as He led Peter back to the boat, Jesus will lead us back to the path of safety and salvation.

Walking with my Lord

Dear Jesus, thank You for reaching out, taking me by the hand, and lifting me up when I fall. In Your name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Love, Laughter, and Lullabies. DCE Amanda Stacy, author. 20/30 ©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 Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
 
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Love, Laughter, and Lullabies: Growing …

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionGrowing and Changing

In the Word

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, 2 Peter 3:18a

Of the Word

Watching my daughter grow is amazing! Each time she learns a new word, mimics an action, or gains independence, I realize what fun it is to enjoy the changes. And yet a part of me would like to hold on to the present, to keep her a baby just a little longer.

As much as I enjoy this stage of her life, would I really want my daughter “stuck” in babyhood forever? Certainly not!

Just as our babies grow and mature, the apostle Peter encourages us to grow as Christians. Knowing Jesus loves us so much He sacrificed His life for us is the foundation of the Christian faith, but Jesus has so much more to teach us about Himself, about living for Him, and serving Him.

Just as I cannot be satisfied to keep my daughter helpless and dependent, I cannot be satisfied with a baby-sized faith either. When I dig into God’s Word, the Holy Spirit strengthens me with knowledge that gives me more of the grown-up faith God wants me to have.

Walking with my Lord

Dear Lord, thank You for the faith You gave me when my spiritual life began. Continue to provide opportunities for me to grow in grace and knowledge. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Love, Laughter, and Lullabies. DCE Amanda Stacy, author. 19/30 ©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 Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
 
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Water of Life: Same but Different

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionSame but Different

In the Word

… when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you … 1 Peter 3: 20b-21a

Of the Word

Both Holy Baptism and the great flood of Noah’s day involve water. St. Peter compares them in his epistle. They are alike in that both provide a cleansing.

But they are very different in purpose. The great flood was a flood of wrath. The waters from the sky and from the fountains of the deep killed every living thing outside the ark that housed Noah’s family.

Holy Baptism is a flood of God’s grace that saves us from sin, death, and the devil. It does much more than giving us clean skin. It washes away the grime of sin, giving us a clean spirit. Jesus proclaims, “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved …” (Mark 16:16a).

Walking with my Lord

Almighty God, in the waters of the great flood, You saved Noah and his family from destruction. Through Baptism You have saved me from sin. Hold me as Your child and keep me safe until the end. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Water of Life. Michael Heckmann, author. 18/28 ©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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