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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, 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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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, 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: Having Children

Having Children: Now? Later? Never?Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

In the Word

The person who is truly wise is called understanding, and speaking sweetly helps others learn. Proverbs 16:21 (God's Word)

Of the Word

Crumb crunchers, arrows in the quiver, ankle biters, or gifts of God. No matter what you call them, the prospect of having children often raises questions, emotions, hopes, and fears. For some, becoming parents is simply a natural product of marriage. For others, career choices or infertility may yield a different outcome.

If the decision is made to have children, more questions arise. How soon? How do we know when the time is right? Should we be financially stable before we have children? Should one parent stay at home or work from home? Do we consider daycare? Only you can answer these questions for your unique situation.

As you ponder these questions, seek God's wisdom in His Word. Ask for His guidance through prayer. Talk to people you trust who have "been there." A perfect time may not be apparent, but God is with you in every situation. As you seek His will, He gives courage and strength as you rear the children He gives you, whenever that may be.

Walking with my Lord

Dear Lord, whether children are or are not to be part of our future, help us to live as Your children, treasuring each day of Your love and grace. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: With this Ring. Authors: Rev. Wes and Deaconess Sonja Baumeister. 11/28 ©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.
Scripture passages with the notation of (GOD'S WORD) were taken from GOD'S WORD a copyrighted work of God's Word to the Nations. Quotations are used by permission. Copyright 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. All rights reserved.
 

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With This Ring: Intimacy

Intimacy: A Gift from GodMustard Seed Daily Devotion

In the Word

How much more pleasing is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your perfume than any spice! Song of Songs 4:10b

Of the Word

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth — for your love is more delightful than wine. … Take me away with you — let us hurry! Let the king bring me into his chambers (Song of Songs 1:2, 4). And so begins one of the most passionate books ever written, the Song of Songs.

Reading this Old Testament book helps one realize that God is the creator of sexual intimacy, and it is good! The language of the book reflects a different time and culture, but the concepts are timeless.

Sexual intimacy is the indescribable physical expression of love between a husband and wife that properly occurs within the context of trust, vulnerability, and gentleness. When any of these are lacking, the sexual relationship, as well as the whole relationship, suffers. Fostering this intimacy takes communication on verbal, emotional, and physical levels. Share with your spouse what you enjoy and what you don't enjoy. Discuss what brings you closer together. Rejoice in this special gift of God.

Walking with my Lord

Dear Creator of all that is good, thank You for the gift of sexual intimacy. Help us to care for one another on this level to deepen our love for each other. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: With this Ring. Authors: Rev. Wes and Deaconess Sonja Baumeister. 10/28 ©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 Gives Strength

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionBegin with God … He Gives Strength

In the Word

To whom can we turn for strength?

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

Of the Word

Physical strength is a powerful thing — just look at a football player or a weightlifter! All over this country people are spending money and hours in fitness centers to improve their strength. Physical strength is necessary; without it we couldn't walk across a room.

But where does the strength come from to sustain us when our heart and mind and soul are crying out in weakness? When we feel fearful and know that we can't do it on our own, God speaks to us.

"I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand" (Is. 41:10b).

When we face temptation we are reminded of God's promises.

… the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one (2 Thessalonians 3:3).

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

When life just seems too much to bear, we can step boldly, knowing that God is always there. We can proclaim along with King David, "It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect" (2 Samuel 22:33).

Walking with my Lord

Dear Lord, be my Strength and Refuge. May I always depend on You to help me be spiritually strong even when I am physically weak. I know You are steadfast and I thank You for Your promise of strength to overcome the evil one. Make me strong to do Your work. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Begin with God. Authors: Marcia Gomulka, Dcs. Betty Knapp, Myrna Lou Meyer. 12/28 ©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 Gives Wisdom

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionBegin with God … He Gives Wisdom

In the Word

What is God's gift of wisdom?

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him (James 1:5).

Of the Word

What makes a person wise? Is it incredible knowledge or enormous heart? True wisdom is knowing how to apply God's Word to our lives. God's gift of wisdom leads each of us to discern His will. God's wisdom is revealed through Holy Scripture.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding (Psalm 111:10a).

… you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 3:15).

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him (James 1:5).

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere (James 3:17).

Wisdom is God's generous gift to us. Through wisdom we are taught how to live our lives in accordance with God's will.

Walking with my Lord

Dear Father in Heaven, I know that You are the all-wise God. Your Spirit of wisdom in me is essential for me to live a life pleasing to You. I ask that You give generously of Your wisdom to me so that my life will reflect You in all that I say and do. I ask in Jesus' name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Begin with God. Authors: Marcia Gomulka, Dcs. Betty Knapp, Myrna Lou Meyer. 11/28 ©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 Gives Comfort

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionBegin with God … He Gives Comfort

In the Word

Is God always ready to listen to me?

My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life (Psalm 119:50).

Of the Word

Wouldn't it be fantastic to be comfortable all of the time? In our everyday lives we want to have comfortable shoes, comfortable beds, comfortable temperatures, comfortable friends. We even have our own special comfort foods. But, alas, being comfortable all of the time just isn't "real." Aches and pains come our way as do old age, job losses, broken-down communications, suffering, and even death. These are the times we can turn to God knowing that only He can comfort our innermost being. The comforting "things" of this world are only temporary fixes, but God's comfort lasts.

Praise be to … the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God (2 Corinthians 1:3–4).

My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life (Psalm 119:50).

Walking with my Lord

My dear Father, I sometimes come to You with a heavy heart and in need of Your comfort. I know that You love me and will never leave me, but at times I feel You are so far away. Lord, forgive my weakness and doubt. Help me in these times to lean on You and renew me with Your Holy Spirit. I pray in Jesus' name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Begin with God. Authors: Marcia Gomulka, Dcs. Betty Knapp, Myrna Lou Meyer. 10/28 ©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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