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The Word: Wisdom for Living: I Can’t Do It…

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionI Can’t Do It by Myself

In the Word

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.  Ecclesiastes 4:9–10a (NIV)

Of the Word

As adults, we frequently take the attitude of that stubborn two-year-old who declares, “I can do it myself!” Why are we often reluctant to ask for help or advice? Do we think it will show we are getting too old, or too weak, or (heaven forbid) too stupid? We sometimes stumble along until finally, when all else fails, we admit we can’t do it alone.

God didn’t create us to go through life without help. He inspired the writer of Ecclesiastes to write, one can help the other. Our loving Father also gives us family and friends to love and care for us, to pick us up and give us support. Knowing God doesn’t want us to go it alone, let’s not be reluctant to ask for help — or, in turn, give help to someone else.

The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down… (Psalm 146:8b).

A Point to Ponder: Who do I know who may need a lift today?

Walking with my Lord

Lord, I admit I am helpless and can’t go through life alone. Thank You for the loved ones You send into my life. Thank You also for sending Jesus to pick me up out of sin and redeem me with His life. In His name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Word: Wisdom for Living. Authors: Marcia Gomulka and Myrna Lou Meyer. 10/32 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. Code: #40198
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations marked (NIV) 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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Everyday Celebrations: Perfect Plans

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionPerfect Plans

In the Word

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

Of the Word

Few things are as carefully planned as a wedding. From the bride’s dress to the cake and decorations, every detail is thoughtfully selected. Sometimes, despite months of careful planning, things do not go as expected. A flat tire, a fainting bridegroom, or a bad storm can instantly change the carefully thought-out plan. We simply are not able to predict what the day may bring!

The good news is our loving Lord knows the plans He has for us. He reveals them to us when we need to know them and not before. Sometimes we want to take control of the planning, but our plans are best left in God’s loving hands.

Be at peace as you place your marriage in God’s care, knowing you can trust Him. His plans are perfect. His plans are to give you a future and a hope both here on earth and for eternity in heaven through faith in Jesus Christ. When husband and wife as one place their marriage in God’s hands, they can celebrate together the future God has planned for them.

Walking with my Lord

Lord Jesus, give me the peace of knowing my future is secure because of Your loving sacrifice. Fill me with hope as I trust Your plans. In Your name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Everyday Celebrations. Authors: Elaine Bickel and Jan Struck. 9/28 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. Code: #40195
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
 

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Everyday Celebrations: The Always-Open Hand

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionThe Always-Open Hand

In the Word

You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing.  Psalm 145:16

Of the Word

A child takes food from a parent’s hand. An aged parent is fed with a spoon held in the hand of a loving caregiver. A family pet eats from the hand of its master. Each is evidence of a bond, a connection, a trust relationship.

We are fed daily by the hand of our Heavenly Father. He provides seeds for the farmer who plants and harvests. He has equipped the skilled cooks who prepare the food. From His hand to our mouths, God provides. We join the Psalmist in saying, You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing (Psalm 145:16).

When families gather for a meal, it is important to thank God for all He has provided. He wants us to have that intimate trust relationship with Him. We can share more than food; we can share the hope we have in Jesus Christ as a redeemed child of God.

Walking with my Lord

Lord, thank You for opening Your hand and satisfying my needs. Remind me that You are always at my table. Help me to focus on Your goodness and to trust You for all things. In Your gracious name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Everyday Celebrations. Authors: Elaine Bickel and Jan Struck. 8/28 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. Code: #40195
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
 

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View the printable PDF of this devotion, The Always-Open Hand

Everyday Celebrations: What’s for Dinner?

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionWhat’s for Dinner?

In the Word

There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment?  Ecclesiastes 2:24–25

Of the Word

Mothers may dread hearing the question, “What’s for dinner?” They know the answer will please some and disappoint others. Family dinners can be a great reminder of God’s goodness no matter what is being served.

God could have had all the food look or taste the same, but He created bright red watermelons and tomatoes, purple grapes and cabbage, green beans and lettuce, orange pumpkins and carrots.

God gave us taste buds so we could experience salty, sweet, and sour. He gave us the desire for food so we could receive the nutrients we need, just as we receive spiritual nutrition through Jesus’ body and blood shed for us on the cross and given to us in the Lord’s Supper. He offers to us both this physical and spiritual nutrition and says, “Enjoy!”

God wants us to recognize and enjoy His goodness when we come together. This will only happen if we see all this as a gift from God. So what’s for dinner? An opportunity to see and taste God’s goodness again!

Walking with my Lord

Thank You, Lord, for the food You provide from Your bounty. In Jesus’ name. Amen. 


Mustard Seed: Everyday Celebrations. Authors: Elaine Bickel and Jan Struck. 7/28 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. Code: #40195
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
 

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The Race of Faith: The First Step

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionStarting Out — The First Step

In the Word

He said, “Come” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. Matthew 14:29

Of the Word

The hardest step to take when running is usually the first step. Literally. It’s hard to open the door, put one foot in front of the other, and run. Maybe it’s the fear of failure or unrealistic expectations. Maybe you’ve never run before and it’s out of your comfort zone. But in order to overcome those obstacles, you just have to take the first step.

Imagine Peter, poised at the edge of a boat, braced against the waves with his feet apart, and his robes whipping around him in the wind. Jesus said only one word, “Come.” And Peter took his first step on water. Peter walked toward Jesus in spite of the reasons he should have just stayed in the boat.

It’s a lot like the Christian life, right? We have excuses and reasons why following Jesus is not practical or easy in this day and age. Yet Jesus says, “Come.” And like Peter, we find that the peace of Christ and hope for a new life make the first step, and then another, worthwhile.

Walking with my Lord

Heavenly Father, in the midst of the storms of life, when doubts and fears swirl around me, thank You for the invitation to come to You and for Your outstretched hand that keeps me afloat. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Race of Faith. Author: Amanda Stacy, DCE. 9/28 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. Code: #40196
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
 

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The Race of Faith: Charting Your Path

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionStarting Out — Charting Your Path

In the Word

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11

Of the Word

Many running apps help to chart a running path. Knowing where you are going and how far you are going make these apps helpful tools for runners.

In much the same way, King David praised God in the Psalms for leading him down the path of life. Like us, David was sinful. And like us, David didn’t always know where he was going or what turn to take. He definitely didn’t know how long the path would be.

In his sin, David strayed from God’s intended path of life many times. Unfortunately, we do the same. But God, more all-knowing than any app, already knows our destination and the path we should take in order to get there. Our loving Father doesn’t just chart the way for us and then leave us alone to find it by ourselves. As He did with King David, God takes us by the hand and walks with us on our path of life.

Walking with my Lord

Heavenly Father, in my sin, I stray from You. Take me by the hand and lead me in Your path of righteousness so I may follow You into life everlasting. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Race of Faith. Author: Amanda Stacy, DCE. 8/28 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. Code: #40196
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
 

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The Race of Faith: Setting Goals

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionStarting Out — Setting Goals

In the Word

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 1 Corinthians 9:24

Of the Word

Why do you run? Maybe you want to lose weight. Maybe you want to complete a 5K. Or maybe you want to have a healthier lifestyle. In any case, one should have some goals before beginning to run. goals help to keep us focused and eventually, to mark accomplishments. Before running a race the goal may be to achieve a personal record, to cross the finish line first, or to simply complete the run.

Saint Paul is a good example of someone who had goals. He wrote in his letter to the Corinthians that he did not run aimlessly. He encouraged the believers to run that they may receive the prize. Paul, however, was not writing about a physical race. He used the race as a metaphor for the Christian life.

Paul served others in his ministry. Shouldn’t our goal be the same? Like Paul may we also seek to serve others for God’s glory. And at the end, by God’s grace and through faith, we will also be able to take hold of the prize of eternal life.

Walking with my Lord

Heavenly Father, help me to run the race of my Christian life by loving You and serving others so that, at the finish line, I may take hold of the prize of eternal life Jesus won for me. In His name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Race of Faith. Author: Amanda Stacy, DCE. 7/28 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. Code: #40196
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
 

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