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Living in Praise: Lively Praise

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionLively Praise

In the Word

…you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9

Of the Word

Awards ceremonies bubble with excitement. As names are called, winners make their way to the stage and pour out gratitude to family, teachers, mentors, colleagues, and friends. In an animated and lively way, awards recipients say “thank you” for recognition of their achievements.

Before time began, God awarded us the honor of being named among His family of believers. Then, in the saving work of Jesus Christ, He clothed us in His royal robes of righteousness and gave us the privilege of serving Him now and for eternity. Through faith nurtured in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, He builds and strengthens our relationship with Him, convincing us that we belong to Him. All this, and we have done absolutely nothing to receive or deserve God’s recognition!

In and because of Christ, we are winners! God has called our names through Baptism and faith in Jesus’ work of salvation. Let us step forward and offer Him animated praise and lively acts of thanksgiving and love!

Walking with my Lord

I’m honored to belong to You, and privileged to believe,
Instill in me a thankful heart for all I have received.
In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in Praise. Author: Patricia Mitchell. 19/32 ©2007 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118 www.lwml.org
Scripture quotations 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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Living in Praise: Spoken Praise

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionSpoken Praise

In the Word

Through Jesus … let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise — the fruit of lips that confess his name. Hebrews 13:15

Of the Word

Jesus’ first disciples had mouths on them. Nathanael used his mouth to mock the Lord’s background: “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” (John 1:46a). James and John used theirs to elevate themselves in Jesus’ kingdom: “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory” (Mark 10:37b). And Peter, the big mouth, used his to overestimate his abilities, redirect Jesus’ earthly mission, boast of his loyalty, and deny he ever knew His Lord!

Jesus’ present-day disciples are no different. Bickering, boasting, and backbiting come from the mouth, as do lies, gossip, and ridicule. So what about Jesus’ mouth? To Nathanael, He spoke words of acceptance. To James and John, He shared the truth of godly service. To Peter, He offered forgiveness, instruction, and a fresh start (several times).

If you have a mouth on you, take comfort in what comes out of your Lord’s mouth. He welcomes, admonishes, teaches, forgives, and offers you a new beginning in the righteousness that belongs to you in Him.

Walking with my Lord

Lord, with clear, exalted voice I gladly make the choice
To use my lips to praise and glorify Your name.
In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in Praise. Author: Patricia Mitchell. 18/32 ©2007 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118 www.lwml.org
Scripture quotations 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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Living in Praise: Excellent Praise

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionExcellent Praise

In the Word

…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things. Philippians 4:8b

Of the Word

We’re not the first generation of Christians to condemn popular culture. Christians in first-century Rome lived in a culture of drunken revelries in honor of the Emperor and the gods. Exhibitions of torture and gruesome executions were carried out for the amusement of the crowds. Collusion and conspiracies were common among the powerful. Conspicuous consumption of material goods among the wealthy was the standard. Those who abstained from these activities came under suspicion. A satirist of the day referred to Christians as river sewage and another observer dismissed Christianity as “a novel and baneful superstition.”

As Christians, we’re called to select for our meditation, conversation, entertainment, and example those things worthy of our attention. Like Christians down through the ages, we’re mocked by comedians and snubbed by pundits because popular culture resists our challenge. Our separation from popular culture disputes its value and our dissenting voice names its failings.

The Holy Spirit provides us with the backbone we need to stand for and choose all things excellent and praiseworthy in whatever culture we find ourselves. Praise Him today by thinking about those things. 

Walking with my Lord

Lord, in thought and word and deed, may I find everything I need
In all things excellent and good.
In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in Praise. Author: Patricia Mitchell. 16/32 ©2007 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118 www.lwml.org
Scripture quotations 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.
Historical background on ancient Rome from New Testament History by F. F. Bruce (Doubleday, 1969) pages 393-401.
 

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Walking with My Lord: Wake up singing …

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionWake up singing of God’s love!

In the Word

Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. Psalm 90:14

Of the Word

Katy was singing in the shower. The water splashed through her hair, ran down her face, into her eyes and she kept singing. Listening in the kitchen, her mother marveled at Katy’s joyful anticipation of this new day! What are our first thoughts and feelings as we begin a new day? … God has shown us how much he loves us — it was while we were still sinners that Christ died for us (Romans 5:8 GNT)! That simple truth, when it is our first thought each day, can set the tone for the hours to come. Then we will sing with the psalmist: You have changed my sadness into a joyful dance; you have taken away my sorrow and surrounded me with joy. So I will not be silent; I will sing praise to you. Lord, you are my God; I will give you thanks forever (Psalm 30:11–12 GNT). Each new day becomes a day for singing and dancing. No whining allowed. 

Walking with my Lord

Lord Jesus, make Your home in my heart. Brighten my smile, soften my voice, lighten my step, and make gentle my hands. Sing through my service to others today. In Your name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Walking with My Lord. Author: Donna Streufert. 26/30  ©2007 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, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.
Scripture quotations marked GNT are taken from the GOOD NEWS TRANSLATION – Second Edition, American Bible Society, New York, NY. Copyright © 1992.
 

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Walking with My Lord: God’s love is surer still.

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionDeath is sure. God’s love is surer still.

In the Word

Remember how short my life is; remember that you created all of us mortal! Who can live and never die? How can we humans keep ourselves from the grave? Psalm 89:47–48 GNT

Of the Word

The kindly pastor arrived to lead devotions at the nursing home. “Where is the lady who always sits here in the front row?” he asked a man in a wheelchair. “Oh, I don’t know,” he replied. “They die like flies around here!” While we may smile at the old man’s cavalier response, we have to admit that death comes to everyone in time. Life seems so short. It races by. Suddenly the vigor of youth gives way to the infirmities of age. Moses wrote about this in Psalm 90. Before you created the hills or brought the world into being, you were eternally God, and will be God forever. You tell us to return to what we were; you change us back to dust … You carry us away like a flood; we last no longer than a dream. We are like weeds that sprout in the morning, that grow and burst into bloom, then dry up and die in the evening (Psalm 90:2, 3, 5, 6 GNT). Though life is short and death is sure, neither can separate us from God’s love. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, …nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38a, 39b). Yes, death is a sure thing. But God’s love is surer still.

Walking with my Lord

Teach me how short my life is, Lord, so that I may become wise. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Walking with My Lord. Author: Donna Streufert. 25/30  ©2007 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, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.
Scripture quotations marked GNT are taken from the GOOD NEWS TRANSLATION – Second Edition, American Bible Society, New York, NY. Copyright © 1992.
 

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Walking with My Lord: Jesus, my New Morning!

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionThis is Jesus, my New Morning!

In the Word

“‘One shall come who rules righteously, Who rules in the fear of God. He shall be as the light of the morning; A cloudless sunrise When the tender grass Springs forth upon the earth; As sunshine after rain.’” 2 Samuel 23:3b–4 (TLB)

Of the Word

Bev rolled over, stretched, and opened one eye. Brilliant sunshine flooded the room. She smiled to herself and prayed, “Thank You, Lord, for this new morning.” Just as a new day promises a fresh start, so also, Jesus comes into our hearts with His renewing love, lighting the darkness of sin, forgiving us fully. By faith we depend on Him as our Morning Light. At the end of his life, King David was conscious of God’s Spirit speaking to him, reminding him that the Messiah was “‘as the light of the morning’” (2 Samuel 23:4a TLB). Years before, David had written, The Lord is my light and my salvation — whom shall I fear (Psalm 27:1a)? Now we need not cling to the sins, pains, and disappointments of yesterday. With Jesus we begin anew. Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22–23).

Walking with my Lord

Joined to You in Baptism, dear Lord, I am a new being. You made me Your child. You forgive me and set me on my path today. I praise and thank You for this fresh start. In Your name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Walking with My Lord. Author: Donna Streufert. 22/30  ©2007 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, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.
Scripture quotations marked TLB are taken from THE LIVING BIBLE, Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, IL. Copyright © 1971.
 

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Living in Praise: Blessed Praise

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionBlessed Praise

In the Word

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. Ephesians 1:3

Of the Word

Long before identity theft became a widespread concern, people attempted to steal Jesus’ identity. A crowd wanted to make Him their bread-producing king. Temple leaders wanted to prove Him an associate of Beelzebub. A few of His disciples wanted to cast Him as the liberator of Jews from Roman oppression.

People today who identify Jesus as solely a “great teacher” reveal they’re willing to accept as a teacher someone who claimed first-hand knowledge of the mansions of heaven, declared He would rise from the dead and called Himself “the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6b). Yet in denying that Jesus identified Himself as divine, they also ignore the fact He forgave sins, demonstrated power over nature, rose from the dead, and promised His presence “to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20b). As 20th century author C.S. Lewis said, “Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse.” Let no one steal His true identity from you. Praise Him by calling Him your Savior, Redeemer, and Friend.

Walking with my Lord

My praise is faith in Jesus, Savior, Lord, and Friend,
For He is truly Son of God, and truly Son of Man.
In His name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in Praise. Author: Patricia Mitchell. 16/32 ©2007 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118 www.lwml.org
Scripture quotations 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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