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The Race of Faith: Encouragement

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionContinuing to Train — Encouragement

In the Word

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:2425

Of the Word

Having a hard time remaining consistent with your runs? Want to meet more runners like yourself? You may want to consider joining a local running club. Increasingly popular, these clubs serve to support, encourage, and motivate members while training.

The author of Hebrews directs us to meet together and give encouragement to each other. Today’s Christians call it “going to church.”

Where else will you consistently hear the Word of God preached and receive the Sacraments? Where else can you join with other Christian voices to pray, praise, and give thanks? As you run your race of faith, meet together in worship and Bible study to support, encourage, and motivate each other.

Walking with my Lord

Dear God, thank You for Your Church on earth where I learn of Your faithfulness. Through Your Holy Spirit motivate me to reach out to others with encouragement as they run their race of faith. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Race of Faith. Author: Amanda Stacy, DCE. 17/28 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. 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: A God-Pleasing Aroma

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionContinuing to Train — A God-Pleasing Aroma

In the Word

For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 2 Corinthians 2:15

Of the Word

Let’s face it. When you’re done with a run you’re not only sweaty, but you also stink. The deodorant you put on three miles ago can only do so much to cover the full body odor that emanates from every pore.

You know what else stinks? Sin. And it also emanates from every pore of your body. Deodorant can’t cover it up, and it remains even after a shower. So how do you become the pleasing aroma Paul wrote about in Second Corinthians? Through the sweet smell of the Gospel.

Only the Good News of Christ’s death and resurrection can cover the decaying smell of sin. So be cleansed by the Gospel, and let it seep into every pore of your soul. And to your neighbors and friends you will be the aroma of Christ.

Walking with my Lord

Heavenly Father, thank You for the sweet message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Let it not only cleanse my soul, but emanate to the world around me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Race of Faith. Author: Amanda Stacy, DCE. 16/28 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. 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: Betrayal and Disappointment

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionBetrayal and Disappointment

In the Word

And immediately the rooster crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” And he broke down and wept. Mark 14:72

Of the Word

Peter was a loyal supporter of Jesus. Emphatically declaring his devotion to Jesus, he said, "If I must die with you I will not deny you” (Mark 14:31b).Yet, when it came time to stand on his words, Peter disowned his friend. He denied even knowing Jesus. Loyalty was traded for self-preservation. Though Jesus predicted Peter’s denial, “… you will deny me three times” (Mark 14:30b), the disappointment in that moment was profound.

There is no denying the hurt when a Christian friend is a betrayer. It hurts. It stings. It destroys. Friendships are dissolved. Trust is ruined. It is so disappointing. If your Christian friends cannot be trusted, who can you trust?

Jesus knows this experience firsthand. Jesus also shows how to mend these breaks. He later came to Peter, asking, “Do you love me?” (John 21:17b). Jesus’ love and Peter’s penitent heart mended the broken trust. Isn’t it the same with us? Mending betrayal begins with love, a forgiving love from God Himself.

Walking with my Lord

O Lord, it hurts when a friend betrays me. Grant me the love to forgive and to trust again. Heal the brokenness that weighs upon my heart. In Your holy name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: In Times of Need. Authors: Rev. Larry Krueger, Rev. Mike Mattil, & Rev. Kris Whitby. 18/30 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. 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: Betrayal

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionBetrayal

In the Word

So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel. 2 Samuel 15:6b

Of the Word

The Bible story of King David and his son, Absalom, is a story of family betrayal. Absalom was plotting to overthrow his father and seize his kingship. His conspiracy left a trail of deceit, betrayal, lies, and even plans to murder his father. In the end, it was Absalom who would die, and only his father’s pain remained. “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you …” (2 Samuel 18:33b).

Betrayal in a family exchanges doing for one another with “How could you do this to me?” Trust is destroyed when trust should abound. Forgiveness is withheld when grace is required. Betrayal is devastating but can be overcome when God’s love abounds and hearts are softened.

David never stopped loving his son, as Scripture teaches us all, … keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8b). Forgiveness and reconciliation are found in Christ. 

Walking with my Lord

O Lord, help me in this time of betrayal. Help me to forgive. Help me to reach out. Help me to love. I need Your grace to permeate my life and for healing to begin. In Your holy name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: In Times of Need. Authors: Rev. Larry Krueger, Rev. Mike Mattil, & Rev. Kris Whitby. 17/30 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. 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: A Community Weeps

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionA Community Weeps

In the Word

Then David and the people who were with him raised their voices and wept until they had no more strength to weep. 1 Samuel 30:4

Of the Word

When a community tragedy strikes, the community weeps. In 1 Samuel 30, David and the people with him had returned to their town of Ziklag to find it burned. Their wives, sons, and daughters had been taken captive. The loss was overwhelming. David was distressed. The people were devastated. Thy wept until they had no more strength to weep. The people were bitter, and they blamed David. They wanted answers.

The exhaustive emotions, grief, and weeping described in 1 Samuel 30 are common in a community when tragedy strikes. Distress, devastation, and bitterness sweep through hearts and souls. Answers are demanded but seldom given to satisfaction. Who is to blame? How does one endure? What does one do now? In tragic times, the response of David serves well. … David strengthened himself in the LORD his God (1 Samuel 30:6b). Strength is found in God’s Word and Sacraments. In God is strength when we ourselves have no more.

Walking with my Lord

O Lord, my strength is failing. This tragedy is overwhelming. Give me consolation and healing through Your Word and Spirit. In Your holy name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: In Times of Need. Authors: Rev. Larry Krueger, Rev. Mike Mattil, & Rev. Kris Whitby. 16/30 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. 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: The Best Fear

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionThe Best Fear

In the Word

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge … Proverbs 1:7a

Of the Word

What do you fear? For some, it may be tornadoes or hurricanes. For farmers, it may be drought, frost, or flood. For employees, it may be loss of a job because of a downturn in the economy. Every one of us has experienced times of fear, and those times usually bear a negative connotation.

But what is Solomon’s definition when he speaks of the fear of the LORD? (Proverbs 1:7a)He doesn’t mean a heart-pounding, skin-crawling, knee-knocking fear! No, Solomon means quite the opposite. He speaks of a relationship with God, a relationship of respect, awe, love, and obedience. That relationship, he reminds us, is the beginning of true wisdom.

Living in the fear of the Lord means that, like St. Paul’s Colossian friends, we … may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding… (Colossians 1:9b). Earthly fear may still tempt us, but by the power of the Holy Spirit we are free to love our all-powerful God.

A Point to Ponder: How does the fear of the LORD remove earthly fears that Satan may use against me?

Walking with my Lord

Dear Lord, when I am beset by worldly fears, help me cling to You. Remind me that the fear of the LORD gives me joy and peace because You are my God. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Word: Wisdom for Living. Authors: Marcia Gomulka and Myrna Lou Meyer. 18/32 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. 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: True Treasure

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionTrue Treasure

In the Word

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver. Proverbs 25:11

Of the Word

Think for a moment of a treasured piece of jewelry — the gold cross given to you on your confirmation day, your wedding band, grandma’s antique brooch. Perhaps fond thoughts and happy memories flood your mind.

The writer of Proverbs compares an appropriate word to a treasured piece of jewelry. A loving word, an encouraging word, even a correcting word may have more value than any jewel. It may bring about forgiveness after anger, joy after sorrow, peace after pain.

Jesus gives us beautiful examples of words fitly spoken.… “your sins are forgiven” (Matthew 9:2b). “Fear not, … you are of more value than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:31). “Let the little children come to me … ” (Matthew 19:14b).At the tomb on Easter Day, Jesus’ simple “Mary” brought her joy and gave her direction (John 20:16).

A Point to Ponder: What fitly spoken words brought about a change in my life?

Walking with my Lord

Thank You, Lord, for fitly spoken words that have brought Your love to me. Help me speak words of encouragement, direction, and peace so that others may know Your love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Word: Wisdom for Living. Authors: Marcia Gomulka and Myrna Lou Meyer. 17/32 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. 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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