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Walking with My Lord: Words sting and wound

Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

Words shot from all sides sting and wound. How do I respond?

In the Word

Their tongue is a deadly arrow; it speaks with deceit. With his mouth each speaks cordially to his neighbor, but in his heart he sets a trap for him (Jeremiah 9:8).

Of the Word

No one enjoys being a target or a verbal punching bag. Criticism hurts. Gossip wounds. We feel especially wounded and betrayed by unkind words from someone we considered a friend. We may respond by lashing out or retreating inward. Either way we lose.

How does a Christian respond? Jesus suffered criticism, gossip, scorn, and betrayal. Sometimes He responded with silence — always with love. He taught His disciples: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…” (Matthew 5:44b). St. Paul took Jesus as his model. He wrote of himself and other apostles: When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly (1 Corinthians 4:12b–13a).

Love is always at the heart of our Christian response. Sometimes that means speaking up and speaking the truth. As we grow and mature in our faith we are humble, gentle, and patient with one another as Jesus was. And in love we speak the truth to one another as Jesus did.

Walking with my Lord

Lord Jesus, You understand how I feel when words wound me. Make me patient. Make me wise. Help me love as You love. Show me when to speak up and when to keep still. In Your name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Walking with My Lord. Author: Donna Streufert. 17/30  ©2007 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. 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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Faith-filled Parenting: Goodness

Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

Goodness

In the Word

How great is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you, which you bestow in the sight of men on those who take refuge in you (Psalm 31:19).

Of the Word

Jesus exudes goodness. In His goodness He took the punishment for our sins, paying for them with His life on Calvary’s cross. He continues to give His good gifts of salvation and the hope for eternal life to each believer in Him.

Our Father in heaven is good to us. He fills our lives to overflowing with blessings — both physical and spiritual — which sustain our life on earth. We can sing with joy and gratitude, “God is so good, He’s so good to me!” That joyful refrain is ours on earth and through eternity.

Everything good comes from God. In turn, parents are good to their children by providing what they need for a full life. They are especially good to their children when they share the knowledge of God that leads to eternal life in heaven.

Stretch your faith-filled parenting: Have daily devotions and read God’s Word with your child, learning together of God’s goodness.

Walking with my Lord

Good and gracious Lord, I see Your goodness poured out as You sacrificed Yourself for me on the cross. Help me to share Your goodness with others. In Your name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Faith-Filled Parenting. Authors: Rev. Larry and Shari Miller. 27/32 ©2009 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. 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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Faith-filled Parenting: Beauty

Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

Beauty

In the Word

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well (Psalm 139:14).

Of the Word

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” is an oft-repeated phrase. Fortunately, God the Father looks at His dear children through the eyes of Jesus, the Savior and Redeemer of the world who suffered and died on the cross so that everyone could be saved. Our Heavenly Father, looking through the shadow of the cross, sees His children as forgiven. This “spiritual beauty” is much more important than any physical trait or characteristic.

In our world, physical appearance is very important, especially to young people. Children need to receive affirmation from their parents that they look nice, have a beautiful smile, or have a great sense of fashion. Most importantly, however, parents must assure their children that they have inner beauty because God has claimed them as His own.

Stretch your faith-filled parenting: Make an effort to compliment the appearance of your child each day. Be specific. Remind your child of the inner beauty that is a gift from God. 

Walking with my Lord

Creating Father, thank You for sending Jesus to take away the stain of sin and making me clean and beautiful in Your sight. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Faith-Filled Parenting. Authors: Rev. Larry and Shari Miller. 26/32 ©2009 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. 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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Walking with My Lord: Called to belong to the Lord

Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

We’re called to belong to the Lord.

In the Word

He saved us and called us to be his own people, not because of what we have done, but because of his own purpose and grace (2 Timothy 1:9a GNT).

Of the Word

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” children are often asked. “What have I done with my life?” the elderly often wonder. The journey from childhood to old age challenges us to discover our gifts and identity and offers opportunities for living out God’s purpose for us. While God has a custom-made life plan for each of us, He also has a single purpose for all. Even before the world was made, God had already chosen us to be his through our union with Christ, so that we would be holy and without fault before him. Because of his love God had already decided that through Jesus Christ he would make us his children — this was his pleasure and purpose (Ephesians 1:4–5 GNT).

Called to belong to the Lord, we no longer live to satisfy only ourselves. In light of our calling in Christ our day-to-day activities take on new meaning. Now faith, love, purity, and obedience earmark the days of our lives from baptismal font to grave. 

Walking with my Lord

Dear God, I praise You for loving me so much that You graciously adopted me as Your child. Now I belong to You. May I honor You each day I live. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Walking with My Lord. Author: Donna Streufert. 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 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: Under the cross of Christ

Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

Walls crumble under the cross of Christ.

In the Word

For he is our peace, who has made us both one, and has broken down the dividing wall of hostility … (Ephesians 2:14 RSV).

Of the Word

A wall is being built on the edge of Bethlehem. Armed soldiers man the checkpoint. The wall is a sign of hostility, mistrust, and fear between peoples. The wall in Bethlehem is made of steel and stone. The walls we sometimes build between ourselves and others may be made of fear, prejudice, pride, or selfishness.

In Christ, however, these walls crumble to dust. St. Paul reminded the early Christians: You are all God’s children by believing in Christ Jesus. Clearly, all of you who were baptized in Christ’s name have clothed yourselves with Christ. There are neither Jews nor Greeks, slaves nor free people, males nor females. You are all the same in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:26–28 GW).

Faith in Christ is the glue that holds believers together. Gone are distinctions of race, gender, and economic status. Now we relate to fellow Christians with love, acceptance, and forgiveness. We are dearly beloved children of one Heavenly Father.

Walking with my Lord

Lord Jesus, You died for the sins of all people. Now all who believe in You are one family. Forgive me when I’m tempted to set myself apart and look down on others. Help me understand and reach out an open hand. In Your name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Walking with My Lord. Author: Donna Streufert. 13/30  ©2007 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. 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 RSV are taken from the REVISED STANDARD VERSION, Thomas Nelson and Sons, New York, NY. Copyright © 1952.
Scripture quotations marked GW are taken from GOD’S WORD, God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society, Grand Rapids, MI. Copyright © 1995.

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Walking with My Lord: Sing in the face of danger?

Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

Can we truly sing in the face of danger?

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

Sometimes it seems we are surrounded by a thick forest of fears. Wars, crime, terror, and natural disasters threaten our sense of security. Financial crisis, sickness, death, loss, and loneliness can leave us inwardly trembling and anxious.

God’s people of the Old Testament experienced fear, too. When the Egyptians were at Israel’s back, God divided the sea and rescued them. In celebration Moses and the people sang, “The Lord is my strength and my song. He is my Savior” (Exodus 15:2a GW).

Regardless of circumstances, can we truly trust and not be afraid? Faced with foreign invasion, disaster, and ruin the prophet Habakkuk confidently said: Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God, my Savior (Habakkuk 3:17–18).

Walking with my Lord

Lord, when You walk with me on my life’s pathway, teach me to trust and not be afraid. Then I will sing Your praises! In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Walking with My Lord. Author: Donna Streufert. 11/30  ©2007 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. 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 GW are taken from GOD’S WORD, God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society, Grand Rapids, MI. Copyright © 1995.

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Faith-filled Parenting: Gratitude

Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

Gratitude

In the Word

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever (Psalm 118:1).

Of the Word

Christian men and women are grateful to the heavenly Father for the gift of His Son Jesus, whose death and resurrection gives them salvation and eternal life. As a result, they want to serve Him in all that they do and say.

Do our actions always reflect our gratitude? When children respond to their parents’ comments with a flippant remark or the classic “rolling of the eyes,” they are showing their disdain — not their gratitude. What is needed is a new attitude — an attitude of gratitude.

When parents model gratitude by readily acknowledging all that God has done, they set an example worth emulating. With the help of the Holy Spirit an attitude of gratitude can become the standard operating policy in the family.

Stretch your faith-filled parenting: Tell about a spiritual blessing for which you are grateful. Ask your child to share one, too.

Walking with my Lord

Gracious God, fill me with thanksgiving for all the blessings You have poured into my life. Help me to show You my gratitude through both words and actions. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Faith-Filled Parenting. Authors: Rev. Larry and Shari Miller. 25/32 ©2009 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. 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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