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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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The Word: Wisdom for Living: A Direct Line to God

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionA Direct Line to God

In the Word

O God, hear my prayer; give ear to the words of my mouth. Psalm 54:2

Of the Word

Don’t you find it awesome that our prayers, no matter how ineloquent they may be, reach the ear of the almighty God? Also amazing is the fact that our great and loving Father always answers.

Sometimes He says, “Yes, I want this for you, too.” Sometimes His answer is “Not just yet, because I have something different in mind.” Sometimes His answer is “I heard you, but that’s not a good idea.”

God wants us to come to Him with the needs and desires of our heart. While we may not know God’s specific will for all that we ask, He is always ready to listen.

… do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God (Philippians 4:6).

A Point to Ponder: Do I pray about everything, or do I often think, “I can handle this one alone?”

Walking with my Lord

Lord, thank You for the gift of prayer as my connection to You. Through Your Holy Spirit teach me to offer prayers of praise along with requests about my needs. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Word: Wisdom for Living. Authors: Marcia Gomulka and Myrna Lou Meyer. 16/32 ©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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Everyday Celebrations: How Many Candles?

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionHow Many Candles?

In the Word

“Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you.” Isaiah 46:4a (NIV)

Of the Word

The cake was smothered in candles to accurately commemorate Grandma’s milestone birthday. When the family gathered to sing, the youngest grandchild stared at the glowing cake and announced, “Wow! Grandma’s birthday is getting dangerous!”

As the number of candles increases for each of us, it can be surprising. We question, “Who is that old person looking at me in the mirror?” We see the proof of passing time in photo albums and clothing sizes; yet our minds want to argue the facts.

The loving Father of all ages reassures us, Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you (Isaiah 46:4a NIV). Aging can bring concerns about good health and financial security. That is when we remember we have a merciful Redeemer who controls all of our days. God has promised to sustain us at all times and to carry us through all circumstances. He wants us to entrust our life to Him. We can live each day in joyful service and confident hope.

Walking with my Lord

Lord of the Ages, let me be grateful for the blessings represented by each candle on my birthday cake. Help me be ever faithful to You in the coming year. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Everyday Celebrations. Authors: Elaine Bickel and Jan Struck. 15/28 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. 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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Everyday Celebrations: A Family of My Own

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionA Family of My Own

In the Word

[Jesus came] to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons (Galatians 4:5).

Of the Word

The couple held the young girl’s hands as the judge signed the documents. After years of waiting, the adoption was legal. Her delight in belonging was evident in her laughter.

Only those who have been part of an adoption process can fully understand the joy it brings. The joy of answered prayer, of being chosen, of family. Yet, this is exactly the joy Paul meant when he wrote, [Jesus came] to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons (Galatians 4:5).

A child wishing to be adopted is powerless on his own. The parents-to-be choose to create a family, fill out the paperwork, and pay the fees. They work to make it complete and legal. Our heavenly Father did the same for us. He desired to make us His children. Jesus chose to redeem us by fulfilling the Law in our place and paying the price through His death and resurrection. We are no longer orphans but truly members of the family of God. That is definitely reason for celebration!

Walking with my Lord

Holy Father, I thank You each day for my adoption into Your family. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Everyday Celebrations. Authors: Elaine Bickel and Jan Struck. 14/28 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. 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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