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With This Ring: Men and Women...

Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

Men and Women: Different by God's Design

In the Word

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh (Genesis 2:24).

Of the Word

Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus is the title of a book written by John Gray. No matter what you think of the details of the book, the overarching principle is true: men and women are different — and not just physically.

Of course, there is no such thing as a "typical" man or woman; yet there are attitudes and actions that are generally found in one gender and not the other. These differences can be seen as sources of jealousy and frustration or as reasons to celebrate! Consider them as two halves of a whole. Together they make your union complete.

When your differences cause disagreements, take time to consider your spouse's point of view. You might discover a new way of thinking. And you may come to a deeper understanding of who your spouse is and how you complement each other. In marriage, God has made you one. Enjoy the unity that is enhanced by your differences!

Walking with my Lord

Dear Lord, You have created us as individuals, each with our own unique qualities. Help us to rejoice in the gifts You give us and use them to build each other up. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: With this Ring. Authors: Rev. Wes and Deaconess Sonja Baumeister. 17/28 ©2008 Lutheran Women's Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. 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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With This Ring: Child Discipline

Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

Child Discipline … Limits with Love

In the Word

All your sons (children) will be taught by the Lord, and great will be your children's peace (Isaiah 54:13).

Of the Word

"It's the toughest job you'll ever love!" The Peace Corps slogan is right about their organization and about parenting.
 
Being a good parent takes energy and patience in a time when both seem in short supply. The job of parenting can be even more difficult when parents disagree on when and how to discipline. One parent may think it is best to be tough. The other may think it is time to lighten up. One shows love by giving consequences, the other by giving grace. What are parents to do? First of all, keep talking!
 
Set long range goals for your children's future well-being. Determine how your discipline style will affect those goals. Discuss what is best about each style of discipline and work for compromises that will ensure your children experience both love and limits.
 
Seek God's strength. Remember you are a team. Rely on the knowledge that God is blessing your efforts.

Walking with my Lord

Dear Lord, You have blessed us with children and with each other. Help us to work together to rear our children to be faithful servants in Your Kingdom. In Jesus' Name. Amen


Mustard Seed: With this Ring. Authors: Rev. Wes and Deaconess Sonja Baumeister. 16/28 ©2008 Lutheran Women's Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. 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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Begin with God: He Helps Us Cast Out Worry

Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

Begin with God … He Helps Us Cast Out Worry

In the Word

Where can I find strength to handle my worries? 

I can do everything through him who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13).

Of the Word

Worry. It has been a human characteristic since the fall of mankind into sin. Worry makes people weak and sad while Satan dances with glee.

Worry Says: God won't forgive me. 
But God Says: … he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins … (1 John 1:9b).

Worry Says: It will never work out. 
But God Says: … in all things God works for the good of those who love him … (Romans 8:28a).

Worry Says: I just can't do it. 
But God Says: I can do everything through him who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13).

Worry Says: I won't have enough. 
But God Says: … God will meet all your needs. (Philippians 4:19a).

Worry Says: I'm so worried that I can't sleep. 
But God Says: Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).

Jesus asks, "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life" (Matthew 6:27)? Even in our darkest moments, we know that worry is futile. By believing in God's love and mercy, we can ask Him to take away our worries and replace them with confidence and trust.

Walking with my Lord

Dear Lord, You know all of my heartaches, my concerns, my worries. Help me to remember Your promises when worries attack me. Help me to trust in You for all that I need from day to day and moment to moment. Help me to know for certain that Your loving answers will come at the right time and in the right way. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Begin with God. Authors: Marcia Gomulka, Dcs. Betty Knapp, Myrna Lou Meyer. 18/28 ©2007 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org

Unless otherwise indicated, 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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Begin with God: He Helps Us Overcome Fear

Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

Begin with God … He Helps Us Overcome Fear

In the Word

Where can I turn for help when I am afraid?

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1).

Of the Word

What makes us afraid? moving to a new church or community? accepting a new office or responsibility? having a baby or rearing teenagers? coping with illness or retirement? When fear seems to paralyze us, we can look to our God for help.

Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9b).

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1b).

God’s Word says that perfect love drives out fear (1 John 4:18b). God’s love for us is perfect, and we need not be fearful as we follow His will for our lives.

Walking with my Lord

Dear Lord, You know all of my fears, for You know all things. When I become fearful or even terrified, send Your Holy Spirit to renew my faith, strengthen my heart, and focus my eyes on You once more. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Begin with God. Authors: Marcia Gomulka, Dcs. Betty Knapp, Myrna Lou Meyer. 17/28 ©2007 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. 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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Begin with God: He Helps Us Conquer Temptation

Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

Begin with God … He Helps Us Conquer Temptation

In the Word

Can I overcome my temptations?

Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation (Mark 14:38a).

Of the Word

What temptations beset you? Worry? Laziness? Overeating? Swearing? Over-commitment?

God speaks both words of warning and encouragement for us as we face daily temptations. My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them (Proverbs 1:10). No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it (1 Corinthians 10:13). … put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground … (Ephesians 6:13a).

With God’s help we can conquer temptation. But when we fail, He promises forgiveness and gives us strength to try again. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins … (1 John 1:9a).

Walking with my Lord

Dear Heavenly Father, I am not strong enough to face the temptations around me, but You are holy and You are powerful. Help me to turn to You first when temptation comes. Keep me close to You so that I can resist temptation and do Your will. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Begin with God. Authors: Marcia Gomulka, Dcs. Betty Knapp, Myrna Lou Meyer. 16/28 ©2007 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. 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 the Spirit: Guides Me

Living in the Spirit … Guides Me

Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

In the Word

Finally, brothers, 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 4:8).

Of the Word

They say you are what you eat. The news is filled with the latest reports on vitamins, cholesterol, trans fats, antioxidants, and the merits of dark chocolate and coffee.

St. Paul would probably say, "Wait! You are what you think!" Read his list. He encourages us to think about what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy. He leaves no room for negativism, pessimism, jealousy, or meanness. They are mental garbage, or, as Zig Ziglar named them, "stinkin' thinkin'." (See You At the Top, Zig Ziglar, Pelican Publishing Co., Gretna, LA, 1979, page 209)

We cannot think ourselves into physical nourishment, and we certainly cannot think ourselves into godliness. The good that we think, say, and do is a result of the Holy Spirit's work in our hearts. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works … (Ephesians 2:10a).

Walking with my Lord

With the psalmist I pray: Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me (Psalm 51:10–12). This I pray in Jesus' name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in the Spirit. Authors: Marcia Gomulka, Dcs. Betty Knapp, Myrna Lou Meyer. 15/30 ©2007 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org

Unless otherwise indicated, 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 the Spirit: Brings Fellowship

Living in the Spirit … Brings Fellowship

Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

In the Word

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all (2 Corinthians 13:14).

Of the Word

"Trinity Fellowship," "Faith Bible Fellowship," "Gospel Fellowship Church," "Victory Life Fellowship." These are names chosen by certain Christian groups. No particular denomination is apparent, but for all of them the word "fellowship" is important.

The dictionary defines fellowship as "companionship, friendly association, mutual sharing, brotherhood." It certainly seems to be a fitting word for a group of Christians.

Look again at St. Paul's words. His benediction to the Corinthian Christians includes all three persons of the Trinity. Christians know something of the grace, love, and fellowship freely given by the Triune God.

How do we demonstrate that we know what God has done for us? Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers (Galatians 6:10).

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

Walking with my Lord

Gracious Lord, thank You for the love, grace, and fellowship You have given to me. Be with me today as I go about my daily routines. Help me to live as one who belongs to You. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in the Spirit. Authors: Marcia Gomulka, Dcs. Betty Knapp, Myrna Lou Meyer. 14/30 ©2007 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org

Unless otherwise indicated, 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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