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Living in Praise: Simple Praise

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionSimple Praise

In the Word

From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. Psalm 8:2

Of the Word

Jesus connected with children. Jesus blessed them, telling grown-ups who seek His blessing: “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14b). Jesus summoned a child, announcing to grown-ups who seek holiness: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). Jesus went further, declaring to grown-ups who seek wisdom: “‘You must be born again’” (John 3:7b).

Little children believe what grown-ups say simply because a grown-up said it. That’s the kind of faith Jesus asks of His children of all ages. He invites you to come to Him in full confidence that He will bless you. He tells you to take His forgiveness in complete certainty that He has won it for you. And He shows you how in the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Simple praise comes from the lips of children — and you are His child, no matter how many candles it takes to light your birthday cake!

Walking with my Lord

“Jesus loves me, this I know,
For the Bible tells me so.”
In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in Praise. Author: Patricia Mitchell. 12/32 ©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.
Song “Jesus Loves Me, This I Know” — Public Domain
 

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Living in Praise: Thankful Praise

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionThankful Praise

In the Word

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Psalm 106:1b

Of the Word

A childhood illness left Helen Keller blind and deaf. Despite her disabilities, Helen learned to speak, read Braille, and write with a specially-made typewriter. In 1904, she graduated with honors from Radcliffe College (now part of Harvard University), then devoted her life to the betterment of people with disabilities. “I thank God for my handicaps,” she said, “for through them, I have found myself, my work, and my God.”

Disabilities and failings in the eyes of the world often become the vehicles God uses to show us ourselves, our work, and His purpose for our lives. Like Helen Keller, we may have significant personal obstacles to conquer, and in so doing, become an encouragement and inspiration to others. Or like her celebrated teacher, Anne Sullivan, we may find ourselves uniquely qualified to help, teach, assist, or care for others who lack physical, emotional, or intellectual wholeness.

Our Lord says to us, “…My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9b). Praise be to God, for His power works through us all.

Walking with my Lord

Take my weaknesses, O Lord, and let them be the food
That nurtures true humility and heartfelt gratitude.
In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in Praise. Author: Patricia Mitchell. 11/32 ©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: Personal Praise

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionPersonal Praise

In the Word

The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. … Let every creature praise his holy name for ever and ever. Psalm 145:18, 21b

Of the Word

A pastor once said, “If God has promised it, you can go to the bank with it.”

God has not only promised His presence, He proved it. He spoke to Adam, Eve, Moses, Samuel, Jeremiah, Paul, among many others. He had compassion on Hannah’s barrenness and blessed her with the gift of a child (1 Samuel 1:19–20). He saw Peter in prison and released his chains (Acts 12:7). In Jesus’ life and ministry, God counseled, consoled, healed, and helped numerous people — and made salvation available to all humankind.

When we rely on God’s promises and witness His presence in our daily lives, we gain access to a wealth of contentment, strength, and power. God is here, so why feel alone?  God is here, so why give in to worry? God is here, so why run around looking for Him? God is here, near and present to you and to all who call on Him. Praise Him by “going to the bank” with His promise to be with us wherever we go today.

Walking with my Lord

Your presence, Lord, dispels my fear,
For You have promised — You are near!
In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in Praise. Author: Patricia Mitchell. 9/32 ©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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Walking with My Lord: Watch your words!

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionWatch your words!

In the Word

Kind words are like honey — sweet to the taste and good for your health. Proverbs 16:24 GNT

Of the Word

Most people don’t like the sound of their own voice. Caught on tape, they shudder at what they hear. That’s how it was for Marge. After listening to a tape of a speech she made before a large audience, she was dismayed at how irritable she sounded. Marge resolved to work at making her voice more appealing.

What we say and how we say it have a powerful impact on others. Kind words bring life, but cruel words crush your spirit (Proverbs 15:4 GNT). St. Paul urges us: Do not use harmful words, but only helpful words, the kind that build up and provide what is needed, so that what you say will do good to those who hear you (Ephesians 4:29 GNT).

Kind, helpful affirming words strengthen our relationships with others and are good for our mental health, too. More important, kind words reflect our Lord and His love for all of us.

Walking with my Lord

Lord, forgive me when my speech is irritable and graceless. Fill my mouth with sincere and honeyed words that convey love and patience. Alert me to ways my words can help and heal. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Walking with My Lord. Author: Donna Streufert. 28/30  ©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: My anxious heart fears …

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionMy anxious heart fears, sometimes panics, but God has my welfare at heart.

In the Word

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

Of the Word

Sue couldn’t sleep. Hours passed. Her heart pounded. Her thoughts raced. Faced with starting a new job, her family’s cross-country move and an unexpected pregnancy, Sue felt overwhelmed. No wonder she felt fearful and anxious. Deep in her heart, Sue also felt guilty. She had failed to turn to God’s Word, trust His promises, and rely fully on His unconditional love.

The good news is: The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love … as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us (Psalm 103:8, 12). God showed His great love when Jesus died and rose again to rescue us from sin and death.

Jesus comforted His disciples and He comforts us with the same reassurance: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me” (John 14:1). Sue can trust God’s love, God’s forgiveness, and God’s plans. We can, too.

Walking with my Lord

Dear Lord, when I feel overwhelmed and troubled about an uncertain and challenging future, remind me again of how much You love me. By the Holy Spirit’s power strengthen my faith and trust in You, my Savior. In Your name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Walking with My Lord. Author: Donna Streufert. 27/30  ©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.
 

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Living in Praise: Obedient Praise

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionObedient Praise

In the Word

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise. Psalm 111:10

Of the Word

O-B-E-D-I-E-N-C-E! A certain group of fourth graders loved to sing the praise song. They requested it often and sang with zeal. Their teacher, however, noticed they had considerably less zeal for actually being obedient.

True obedience isn’t easy for anyone. We know the Ten Commandments and have every intention of following them. In practice, however, we find ourselves going by our own rules. We find ourselves being disobedient, just like the fourth graders. And just like St. Paul, who wrote, I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do (Romans 7:15).

The Holy Spirit — the Sanctifier — works within us to change our disobedience into obedience. As a fruit of faith, obedience pleases God. It acknowledges His wisdom and accepts His authority. In addition, obedience praises God. It closes the gap between what we sing about and what we actually do. And obedience paves the way to wisdom — God’s wisdom. O-B-E-D-I-E-N-C-E. Let Him hear it — and see it — in your life today!

Walking with my Lord

Holy Spirit, grant me willing heart and able hands
To act in unity with God’s commands. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in Praise. Author: Patricia Mitchell. 8/32 ©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: Reverent Praise

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionReverent Praise

In the Word

… God is the King of all the earth; sing to him a psalm of praise. Psalm 47:7

Of the Word

God is the King of all the earth! He has granted us, His stewards, the unique privilege and awesome responsibility of taking care of His creation. How we exercise our stewardship differs widely according to our skills, talents, interests, and opportunities. But a crucial element of stewardship remains the same for everyone: a God-given and Spirit-nourished reverence for life.

While reverence for life certainly includes things we will not do — favor abortion, commit murder, harm, or threaten our neighbor — the term is packed with things we will do. Practical, everyday things, like dismissing petty annoyances with patience and humor. Meeting provocation with peace. Maintaining respect for those who oppose us. Forgiving those who offend us. Letting go of personal preferences for the sake of delighting the heart of a loved one.

As the King’s faithful steward, sing to Him a psalm of praise in your response to the life He has given you and in your reverence for the lives of those around you.

Walking with my Lord

Lord, let reverence start within my heart,
Then be a part of all I say and do. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in Praise. Author: Patricia Mitchell. 7/32 ©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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