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Joyful, Joyful: I’m but a Stranger Here

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionI’m but a Stranger Here

In the Word

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. Ephesians 2:19–20

Of the Word

I’m but a stranger here, Heav’n is my home;
Earth is a desert drear, Heav’n is my home.
Danger and sorrow stand Round me on ev’ry hand;
Heav’n is my fatherland, Heav’n is my home.

This hymn of hope and comfort is often sung at funerals or on days of remembrance of the saints in heaven. Our earthly life is a pilgrimage, one that will end in the glories of heaven for all who believe and are forgiven through the saving work of Jesus.

The conviction of the phrase, “Heav’n is my home,” adds to the beauty of the hymn. It confidently states “heaven is my home” not “heaven will be my home” or “heaven might be my home.”

“And I shall surely stand There at my Lord’s right hand; Heav’n is my fatherland, Heav’n is my home.”

Walking with my Lord

Eternal God, thank You for preparing my heavenly home. Grant me that upward view through each step I take on the earth. In Jesus’ heaven-opening name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Joyful, Joyful. Rev. Larry and Shari Miller, authors. 24/31. Hymn Text: LSB 748. ©2011  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.
All hymns are public domain with the text reprinted from Lutheran Service Book, ©2006, Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO.
 

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Joyful, Joyful: I am Trusting Thee, Lord Jesus

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionI am Trusting Thee, Lord Jesus

In the Word

“Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.” Isaiah 12:2

Of the Word

I am trusting Thee, Lord Jesus, Trusting only Thee;
Trusting Thee for full salvation, Great and free.

In that day they will say, “Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the LORD, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation” (Isaiah 25:9).

Trust is the theme of this hymn from beginning to end. We are reminded that we can trust in God for our salvation, pardon, grace, mercy, and guidance. Our salvation has been won through the merits of Jesus our Savior, and we are forgiven.

The trust we have in our Savior is a gift from God. By faith, we look to Jesus who gives us His Holy Spirit and the power and strength to live our days for Him. He supplies all our needs — both physically and spiritually. What a loving God we have!

Walking with my Lord

Loving Savior, when I look to myself I am fearful, but when I trust in You I have hope! Help me, by the power of the Holy Spirit through Word and Sacrament, to keep my eyes on You, knowing that You are indeed faithful! In Your trustworthy name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Joyful, Joyful. Rev. Larry and Shari Miller, authors. 23/31. Hymn Text: LSB 729. ©2011  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.
All hymns are public domain with the text reprinted from Lutheran Service Book, ©2006, Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO.
 

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Joyful, Joyful: Hark, the Voice of Jesus Crying

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionHark, the Voice of Jesus Crying

In the Word

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!" Isaiah 6:8

Of the Word

Hark, the voice of Jesus crying, “Who will go and work today?
Fields are white and harvests waiting — Who will bear the sheaves away?”
Loud and long the Master calleth; Rich reward He offers thee.
Who will answer, gladly saying, “Here am I, send me, send me”?

Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." Matthew 9:37–38

“Hark, the Voice of Jesus Crying” encourages us to listen as God speaks to us. In His Word, God gives us the Good News of salvation in Jesus Christ. He also gives us the direction — the command — to share that Good News with all people.

The whole world needs to know the Good News of salvation in Jesus Christ right now! We are urged to heed God’s call through His Word, spreading the news of salvation to everyone, everywhere. We “Take the task He gives you gladly, Let His work your pleasure be; Answer quickly when He calleth, ‘Here am I, send me, send me!’”

Walking with my Lord

O Lord of the Harvest, send me! In Your life-changing name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Joyful, Joyful. Rev. Larry and Shari Miller, authors. 22/31. Hymn Text: LSB 826. ©2011  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.
All hymns are public domain with the text reprinted from Lutheran Service Book, ©2006, Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO.
 

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How, Lord … can I carry my burdens?

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionHow, Lord … can I carry my burdens?

In the Word

… you are to rejoice before the LORD your God in everything you put your hand to. Deuteronomy 12:18b

Of the Word

Her decline came on slowly — lost words, repeated stories, forgotten faces. The disease progressed, until finally she could do nothing for herself. Her loving family cared for her. They bathed her, fed her, diapered her, sang and talked to her. Sometimes the work was overwhelming. One daughter said, “When I think I cannot go on, I remember that Jesus said whatever we do for the least of these, we do for Him. I told myself that when I was taking care of Mama, I was taking care of Jesus.”

Rejoice … in everything. That’s a tall order! God doesn’t say, “Rejoice for everything,” but rather Rejoice … in everything (Deuteronomy 12:18b.) God’s people can do that — not in and of themselves — but because The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress” (Psalm 46:11). God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1).

Walking with my Lord

Dear Lord, when the load I carry is heavy, help me remember that I am serving You. Then renew my spirit so I can rejoice in You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: How, Lord? Marcia Gomulka and Myrna Lou Meyer, authors. 24/32 ©2011 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.
 

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How, Lord … can I face the unknown?

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionHow, Lord … can I face the unknown?

In the Word

“… do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9b

Of the Word

God grabbed Moses’ attention with a burning bush. He said, “I am sending you to Pharaoh.” For every one of Moses’ excuses, God had a reassurance. (Exodus 3)

God chose Joshua to lead Israel after Moses’ death. Time after time, He promised, “I will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1)

God commanded Jonah, “Go to Nineveh and preach repentance,” but Jonah ran the other way. After living inside a great fish for 72 hours, Jonah was ready to obey God’s call. (Jonah 1–2)

What is God’s call for you today? What unknowns do you face? Unemployment or a new job? A new baby or an empty nest? Relocation or retirement? Moses, Joshua, and Jonah faced multiple challenges just as we do today. God provided strength and courage for them; He does so today. “For nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37).

Walking with my Lord

O God, I, like the people of old, want to give You excuses or run away from You. Forgive me and take away my insecurities. Hold me close, and warm me with Your love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: How, Lord? Marcia Gomulka and Myrna Lou Meyer, authors. 23/32 ©2011 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.
 

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How, Lord … can I handle my fears?

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionHow, Lord … can I handle my fears?

In the Word

…we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. … If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:28, 31b

Of the Word

Fear. How do you handle it? Does it paralyze you? Do you get jittery and sick to your stomach? Do you conquer it by looking it straight in the eyes and forging ahead? Do you hide from it and hope it will go away? Most of us would say “Yes” to all of the above at one time or another.

When faced with circumstances that seemed headed toward a bad ending, a Christian asked herself, “Do I still love God?” She trusted that God would not only see her through the difficulties but would also bring good from them.

Fear says, “Just who do you think you are?”

Faith remembers God’s promises. “… I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you” (Isaiah 46:4b).

Walking with my Lord

Dear Heavenly Father, help me remember Your promises. Give me faith to conquer my fears, knowing You are always with me. In Jesus’ name. Amen. 


Mustard Seed: How, Lord? Marcia Gomulka and Myrna Lou Meyer, authors. 22/32 ©2011 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.
 

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Simple Trust: Nuts About Us

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionNuts About Us

In the Word

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

Of the Word

Why are cashews never sold in their shells like most other nuts?
The shells cause a skin rash similar to poison ivy.

A person trying to open a cashew’s shell soon comes to the conclusion that the nut is worthless or even dangerous, certainly not worth the bother. Yet, someone must have ultimately discovered the nutritious and delicious cashew lying within the shell.

We know people who appear to be irritating and even poisonous. We quickly learn to avoid them, but God is not like that with anyone. His love is boundless. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:7–8).

We can trust Christ with the poisonous, irritating, and deadly truth about ourselves knowing He has died for every sin we have or will ever commit. Jesus is nuts about us!

Walking with my Lord

O God, please forgive me when I am irritating to others. With the help of the Holy Spirit, may the light of Jesus Christ shine through me so others will see Him in what I say and do. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Simple Trust. Elaine Bickel, author. 24/29 ©2011 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.
 

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