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Love, Laughter, and Lullabies: Milk

nullMilk: The Perfect Food

In the Word

Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation — if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. 1 Peter 2:2-3

Of the Word

Babies need milk. Whether from their mothers or from a bottle, milk is much more nutritious and digestible than a hamburger. Being awakened every two hours when my daughter was an infant proved to me just how much babies crave milk!

The apostle Peter urges us to crave spiritual milk, the pure Word of God. That Word provides nourishment for our souls, assuring us of God’s love and salvation. Through it we are able to read the sweet words of the Gospel, which make us wise to salvation.

In addition, God’s Word comforts us when we mourn. It heals us when we hurt. It convicts us of our sin but lifts us up through the message of forgiveness. And it gives us the words to sing when we rejoice.

Try the spiritual milk Peter wrote about. Just as milk satisfies an infant, God’s Word has answers to satisfy every need.

Walking with my Lord

Dear God, thank You for the words of the Scriptures which satisfy all my needs. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Love, Laughter, and Lullabies. DCE Amanda Stacy, author. 29/30 ©2013 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, English Standard Version Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
 

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Love, Laughter, and Lullabies: Meeting Together

nullMeeting Together

In the Word

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another … Hebrews 10:24–25a

Of the Word

It’s sometimes hard to go out in public with a little one. I found church services with quiet times for confession, reflection, and prayer to be especially difficult. It was usually during those times at church when my daughter decided to add her thoughts on the matter.

The author of Hebrews implores us not to give up meeting together even when it might seem like the “easy” thing to do when our children are little.

Instead of staying away, God wants us to hear His Word, partake of the sacraments, and have fellowship with other Christians. In addition, participating in worship and Christian education will also provide a firm foundation for your baby.

We should not neglect meeting with other Christians. We need the encouragement Christian fellowship provides; and our love and faithfulness may be just the encouragement another mother needs.

Walking with my Lord

Dear Lord, I thank You for the encouragement of other Christians, and I ask that You would help me provide the same blessing to others. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Love, Laughter, and Lullabies. DCE Amanda Stacy, author. 28/30 ©2013 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, English Standard Version Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
 

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Water of Life: Quenching My Thirst

nullQuenching My Thirst

In the Word

Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13–14

Of the Word

Television programming is filled with commercials advertising products that supposedly will help us live a more fulfilled life. The problem is — they never do! Many of us jump from one product to another, thirsting for happiness, never finding it. We are left thirsting for more.

The Samaritan woman spoke of earthly water from the man-made well. The living water Jesus promised was entirely different! In Holy Baptism the water and God’s Word bring new life, satisfying our spiritual thirst. By God’s grace through the work of the Holy Spirit, we become His children, forsaking the desires of the world and living instead for Him.

you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God (1 Corinthians 6:11b).

Walking with my Lord

Gracious Son of God, You have given me Your living water and in it I am satisfied. When I am distracted by the desires and pleasures of this world, remind me of my Baptism and of all You have given me. In Your holy name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Water of Life. Michael Heckmann, author. 26/28 ©2013 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, English Standard Version Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
 

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Water of Life: Water for My Thirst

nullWater for My Thirst

In the Word

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. Psalm 63:1

Of the Word

David, on the run from his enemies in the wilderness of Judah, was quite literally experiencing a dry and weary land. While in hiding, David was away from Jerusalem and may have felt he was distant from God.

Though we might be sitting in a comfy chair in our living room, we may be experiencing a similar spiritual or emotional wilderness. At times we may feel that God is far from us — times of loneliness or loss, times when we question God’s plan for our lives.

Just as our flesh yearns for water in a drought, our soul longs for the Lord’s presence. Even when it seems we are all alone in this world, we are confident that God will never forsake us. He will never leave us. He will never take His eye off us.

So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me” (Hebrews 13:6)?

Walking with my Lord

Ever Present God, through faith I am confident that You will never leave me nor forsake me. In Your Son’s holy name I pray. Amen. 


Mustard Seed: Water of Life. Michael Heckmann, author. 25/28 ©2013 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, English Standard Version Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
 

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From Quiet Times to Noisy Love: Makeover

nullThe Master’s Makeover

In the Word

… and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:23–24

Of the Word

A popular television program features women who receive a fashion makeover. A haircut, cosmetic tips, and a new wardrobe produce dramatic changes. But surprisingly, the recipients are most vocal about the internal changes: attitude, confidence, self-esteem.

Christians sometimes forget they have been given a spiritual makeover. When Christ gave His life on the cross to redeem us, our old self died with Him. Although our salvation is now assured, we often live with the old clothing of guilt, shame, and fear. We attempt to camouflage ourselves with perfection and good works in order to earn God’s mercy. We are living with old messages that cheapen the gift of grace.

The apostle Paul encourages us to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God … (Ephesians 4:24). Because of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross we have been transformed. We wear His robes of righteousness and holiness. We are never the same after the Master’s makeover!

Walking with my Lord

Lord, when I look into life’s mirror, let me rejoice in the robe of righteousness that Jesus has given me to wear. In His name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: From Quiet Times to Noisy Love. Jan Struck, author. 27/30 ©2013 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, English Standard Version Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
 

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From Quiet Times to Noisy Love: Martha Syndrome

nullThe Martha Syndrome

In the Word

Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served … John 12:1-2a

Of the Word

Being told you have “Martha Syndrome” may not be a compliment. Martha hosted Jesus and His disciples in her home. While her sister Mary listened to Him, Martha complained that she was the only one working. Jesus gently counseled that distractions were preventing her from the one thing she needed — hearing the words of God.

When her brother Lazarus was ill, Martha sent for Jesus, believing that He could heal Lazarus. Even when Jesus arrived days after her brother’s death, she affirmed her trust in His power stating, “I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God“ (John 11:27b). A strong statement of faith even prior to the raising of Lazarus! Martha had, after all, heeded Jesus’ advice of hearing the words of God.

The last mention of Martha is a touching one. John records simply, Martha served (John 12:2a). No fanfare, no fuss — just faithful Martha, sharing her gift of hospitality in service to her Lord. That is a “Martha Syndrome” worth imitating.

Walking with my Lord

Lord, when my serving is a distraction from time spent in Your Word, help me balance my time to be in communion with You, my Savior. In Your name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: From Quiet Times to Noisy Love. Jan Struck, author. 26/30 ©2013 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, English Standard Version Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
 
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From Quiet Times to Noisy Love: The End …

nullThe End from the Beginning

In the Word

“… for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning …” Isaiah 46: 9b–10a

Of the Word

She wasn’t warned the book’s plot was so intense! It was 1 a.m., and the uncertainty of the outcome was more than she could handle. She flipped to the last few pages to read the ending. Relieved, she could now fall asleep. Some might regard her action as unthinkable! Others consider it the only sane solution.

In many of life’s decisive moments, we want to know the end in advance. Is it the right time to apply for the promotion? Or buy a house? Which daycare is the best one? It would be so much easier if God would tell us the outcome before we make the decision. We don’t want a sign. We want a billboard! How differently would we live if we truly trusted that our gracious God knows the end from the beginning? He does! God promises, I declare “… the end from the beginning …” (Isaiah 46:10b). God always keeps His word. We need only pray for His guidance, make the best decision we can, and surrender the outcome to Him. The blessed ending is assured.

Walking with my Lord

Lord, in moments of choice, grant me guidance and the peaceful assurance that You have prepared the glorious end to my beginnings. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: From Quiet Times to Noisy Love. Jan Struck, author. 25/30 ©2013 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, English Standard Version Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
 
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