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The Joy of Christmas: Forever Love

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionForever Love

In the Word

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever. Psalm 136:1

Of the Word

Over 2,000 years ago … In those days … The Christmas narrative usually begins with these words. We're taken back in time to Bethlehem, to a man and a woman and a newborn Baby taking refuge in a stable warmed by sleeping cattle. 

So much has changed! Now we have hotels for travelers, hospitals for expectant mothers, and spacious barns for animals. What hasn't changed, however, is the love of the One the Christmas narrative is all about, the One named Jesus.

Love brought Jesus to earth. Love led Him to heal the sick and feed the hungry, and the same love compelled Him to die on the cross for our sins. Love prompted Him to show Himself to many witnesses after His resurrection. Those witnesses told their children what they had seen and heard, and the news was carried on to their children's children. And now it is told to us.

Change is inevitable in our lives, but God's love remains forever.

Walking with my Lord

Lord, let Your Gospel come alive in my heart today. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Joy of Christmas. 5/32 Author: Patricia Mitchell. ©2011 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St Louis, MO 63118. www.lwml.org
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from The HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.
 
 

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The Joy of Christmas: Christ is Coming!

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionChrist is Coming

In the Word

A voice of one calling: "In the desert prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God." Isaiah 40:3

Of the Word

During the weeks leading up to Christmas, our thoughts naturally turn to gifts, food, and festivities. After all, Christmas is coming, and we want to have everything ready — the presents wrapped, the cookies baked, and the tree sparkling. Christmas is coming! 

All our preparations, however, are nothing more than a flurry of activity unless we remember it is Christ's coming we celebrate. Why did He come? He came as a fulfillment of the promise God made through His many prophets of old. He came so we could know God's love and compassion in human form, and so we could see His power at work in the lives of people.

When we honor Him by setting aside special time to join with others in worship and praise, we are celebrating the coming of Christ. When we rejoice in His goodness by sharing His message of love and forgiveness, we are celebrating the coming of Christ. When we wrap, bake, and decorate with His joy in our hearts, we are celebrating the coming of Christ.

May our Christmas celebrations reflect the coming of Christ into the world … and into our hearts.

Walking with my Lord

Lord Jesus, let each day be a celebration of You! Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Joy of Christmas. Author: Patricia Mitchell. 4/32 ©2011 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St Louis, MO 63118. www.lwml.org
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from The HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.
 
 

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The Joy of Christmas: It is a New Day

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionIt is a New Day

In the Word

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17

Of the Word

Sometimes we are glad to see days come to a close. They have been hard, boring, or exhausting. We have heard bad news, or we have suffered a heartbreaking event. "Whew!" we sigh, and we look to a new day for better times.

The birth of Jesus brought to the world a brand new day. It was the first day of His life on earth, a life that would bring Him the scorn and mockery of many who heard Him speak Word of God in truth. It would bring Him betrayal and beating and death on a cross in fulfillment of the plan of God for our salvation. But His death was not His last day on earth! Three days later, Jesus rose, bringing to us victory over guilt and death, over hopelessness and despair.

No matter what the day brings, today is a day to rejoice. Jesus came to bring the gift of His grace and the assurance of life in and with Him. He came so we can put the past behind us and delight in a brand new day.

Walking with my Lord

Lord Jesus, a new day dawned when You came down from heaven to earth, and now I can rejoice in You every day! Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Joy of Christmas. Author: Patricia Mitchell. 3/32 ©2011 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St Louis, MO 63118. www.lwml.org
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from The HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.
 
 

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The Joy of Christmas: Come One, Come All

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionCome One, Come All

In the Word

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

Of the Word

You're invited! During the holidays invitations just keep pouring in. Many of them might include the question, "Will you let us know whether or not you can come?"

Through God's angel an invitation was given to the shepherds watching their sheep on the lonely hills near Bethlehem. Their response was "Yes!" as they interrupted their work to see where the newborn Savior lay in a manger. With a star in the east, God summoned the Magi. They, too, said "Yes!" even though it meant traveling far from home to find the Holy Child.

Christmas may bring many invitations, but the most important one is the one sent by our Lord. He invites us to come and hear His voice in the words of Scripture and to join with others in the celebration of His birth. Just as He invited the shepherds and the Magi, He invites us to come to His cradle and worship Him.

Walking with my Lord

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for coming into my life. Thank You for inviting me into Your presence. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Joy of Christmas. Author: Patricia Mitchell. 2/32 ©2011 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St Louis, MO 63118. www.lwml.org
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from The HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.
 
 

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The Joy of Christmas: A Familiar Story

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionA Familiar Story

In the Word

… and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7

Of the Word

The Christmas story is one we've heard time and again. We know about Mary and Joseph, the shepherds and the angels, the one bright guiding star in the sky, and the Magi on their way to Bethlehem. We know they came to visit the Baby Jesus born in a manger because we hear about it every year.

As often as it's been repeated, however, the Christmas story still has relevance to us. Like Mary and Joseph, we are aware of God's presence, His will, and His work in our lives. Like the shepherds and angels, all of us join our voices in praise to the newborn King. Like the Magi, we follow His light and offer ourselves before Him in humility and gratitude.

The Nativity still takes place in hearts and lives throughout the world. The Holy Spirit brings joy to God's people each time the Christmas story is heard.

Walking with my Lord

Lord Jesus, as I hear the story of Your birth in Bethlehem, open my heart and mind to its meaning in my life. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Joy of Christmas. Author: Patricia Mitchell. 1/32 ©2011 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St Louis, MO 63118. www.lwml.org
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are 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 Joy: Joy in God’s protection

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionJoy in God’s protection

In the Word

I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Psalm 91:2

Of the Word

The deer dashed headlong into the path of the car. But God was there. The machines blinked and beeped beside the hospital bed. But God was there. A narrow escape; a long wait. Almost everyone has a story to tell, a story that can end with thanks for God’s presence and protection.

The scriptures are filled with stories of narrow escapes, long waits, and God’s protection. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego faced a fiery death with the certainty that God could save them. They added, “But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up (Daniel 3:18).” God did choose to save them in a miraculous way.

Does God always rescue in such amazing ways? No. He may have another plan, a better plan. But no matter what the outcome, His presence is just as sure. We can trust Him to provide love, mercy and grace exactly as His people need them.

Walking with my Lord

Thank You, Lord, for being my refuge and fortress. Help me to remember that, no matter what I face in life, You are beside me. Help me to trust in You completely. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in Joy. Authors: Dcs. Betty Knapp, Irene Mensing, Myrna Lou Meyer, Margaret White. 21/30 ©2005 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 Joy: Joy in God’s omnipotence

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionJoy in God’s omnipotence

In the Word

Is anything too hard for the Lord? Genesis 18:14a

For nothing is impossible with God. Luke 1:37

Of the Word

How do you face your problems? Because we are human, we are tempted to dwell on them, wallow in self-pity, and blame others for them. Guilt, revenge, anger and despair can result.

The Bible gives us some examples of people who chose better ways to handle their problems. Hannah took her biggest problem, barrenness, to the Lord in prayer. (1 Samuel 1:10–12) Elijah asked God to send fire to consume the waterlogged sacrifice. (1 Kings 18:36–38) Gideon trusted that the small army of God could defeat the enemies. (Judges 7:15–22) Mary simply accepted the angel’s amazing message that she was to be the mother of the Messiah. (Luke 1:38)

In these and many other instances, God has proved that what seems impossible to us is entirely possible for Him. Our God is able to handle any problem because He is God!

Walking with my Lord

Dear Lord, You know about all the “impossibles” in my life. Help me to turn them over to You, knowing with faith-filled certainty that You can and will turn them into “possibles.” When I weaken, help me cling tightly to Your promises. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in Joy. Authors: Dcs. Betty Knapp, Irene Mensing, Myrna Lou Meyer, Margaret White. 20/30 ©2005 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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