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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, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118. 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, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118. 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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In Times of Need: Illness Cannot Remove God's Love

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionIllness Cannot Remove God’s Love

In the Word

And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”  John 9:2

Of the Word

Many times people see illness or affliction as a punishment from God. The first disciples of Jesus were not different when they asked, “ … who sinned, this man or his parents?” (John 9:2b). Jesus responded that the man’s blindness was an opportunity for God’s glory to be displayed, and He healed the man.

When illness comes to us or a loved one, we may not consider it to be an opportunity for God to display His goodness. And God’s goodness does not necessarily mean He will provide physical healing. He may, but do we need to have physical healing to see God’s goodness in our lives?

Nothing, not even pain, can take away the assurance that Jesus died to pay for our sins; in this we have spiritual healing. We can be aware that God’s love, kindness, and presence are in our lives when our trust is in His promises. Illness or affliction cannot change that. Believing in Jesus Christ as Savior assures us of an everlasting life where there will be no more pain.

Walking with my Lord

Gracious God, thank You for showing Your glory in my life and the healing You have provided through Jesus. In His name, I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: In Times of Need. Authors: Rev. Larry Krueger, Rev. Mike Mattil, & Rev. Kris Whitby. 9/30 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118. Code: #40197
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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In Times of Need: My Trust is in God

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionMy Trust is in God

In the Word

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?   Psalm 56:3–4

Of the Word

Have you ever been so sick you thought you would die? A dire situation like this may cause us to do some serious soul-searching. Baptized children of God have the certainty of His acceptance and the forgiveness of our sins for Jesus’ sake.

That does not mean that fears don’t come. They do and they will. But followers of Jesus combat fear with trust in their Savior. What can flesh — even flesh that is riddled with sickness — do to those who belong to Jesus?

John Newton’s most famous hymn, “Amazing Grace,” has a stanza that addresses this.
          Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail And mortal life shall cease,
          
Amazing grace shall then prevail In heaven’s joy and peace.

Walking with my Lord

Father, thank You for the assurance that I have no reason to be afraid when my trust is in You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: In Times of Need. Authors: Rev. Larry Krueger, Rev. Mike Mattil, & Rev. Kris Whitby. 8/30 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118. Code: #40197
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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In Times of Need: God is in Control

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionGod is in Control

In the Word

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6–7

Of the Word

Dealing with an illness of a loved one can make us feel helpless. All kinds of questions arise: “Am I doing enough? Am I doing the right thing? Will I have enough money to pay for all of this?” It is easy to get mired in “I” trouble, thinking that we have to handle everything on our own.

God encourages us to humbly remember that He is in control. We can go to Him with our concerns and rely on His promise to care for us and those we love. The One who provided for the forgiveness of sins and the promise of eternal life promises also to care for the physical needs of His children.

Our Father lovingly places others in our lives to help with the care-giving — it may be another family member or even a concerned friend. God can use anyone to be His hands of comfort during challenging times. And God can use us to strengthen the bonds of love and friendship between caregiver and patient.

Walking with my Lord

Thank You, Lord, for the doctors, nurses, and loving family and friends You have sent to me during this time of illness. Give me the grace to accept their offers of help for I know they are serving out of love. Because of their help You are assuring me I am not alone. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: In Times of Need. Authors: Rev. Larry Krueger, Rev. Mike Mattil, & Rev. Kris Whitby. 7/30 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118 Code: #40197
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 Word: Wisdom for Living — Today? Tomorrow?

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionToday? Tomorrow?

In the Word

Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.  Proverbs 27:1

Of the Word

Today is ours, a gift from God. Whether the sun is shining brightly or heavy rains are pounding against the windows, God wants us to have this day. Whether we are happy or sad, healthy or disabled, God made each of us part of His plan for today.

This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it (Psalm 118:24).

So why do we spend so much time thinking about tomorrow? The Psalmist instructs us to rejoice in this day — the day that is here and now. Boasting about tomorrow won’t get it done today! All too soon it will be tomorrow, and we may have passed up an opportunity that should have been taken today. With the power of God’s Holy Spirit behind us, let’s get busy and do what must be done today!

A Point to Ponder: Today is mine, God, a gift from You. How do You want me to use it?

Walking with my Lord

Lord, You have blessed me with today. May all I say and do be to Your glory. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Word: Wisdom for Living. Authors: Marcia Gomulka and Myrna Lou Meyer. 9/32 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118 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.
 

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The Word: Wisdom for Living — Without Friends

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionWhat Would We Do Without Friends?

In the Word

Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice.  Proverbs 27:9 (NIV)

Of the Word

Many smells are pleasing to the senses: freshly-baked bread, newly-mown grass, coffee brewing early in the morning, lilacs in the spring. Aromatherapy oils and lotions have a calming effect and help us to relax.

Proverbs 27:9 compares the aroma of perfume to the sweet advice of a good friend — a friend with whom we can share anything. One who listens and loves us enough to give sound advice.

That’s the kind of friend God instructs us to be: one who nurtures lasting friendships with love and prayers and gives God-pleasing advice, a friend whose presence is as sweet as the aroma of lilacs in the spring.

Love must be sincere. Be devoted to one another in love (Romans 12:9a, 10a NIV).

A Point to Ponder: Have I remembered to thank my friends for their sound advice?

Walking with my Lord

Thank You, Lord, for the wonderful friends You have placed in my life. I am blessed by the joy they bring to me. I pray in the name of my loving Savior and Best Friend, Jesus. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Word: Wisdom for Living. Authors: Marcia Gomulka and Myrna Lou Meyer. 8/32 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118. 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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