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Living in the Spirit: Enables Me to Follow Jesus

Living in the Spirit … Enables Me to Follow JesusMustard Seed Daily Devotion

In the Word

… live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. Galatians 5:16–17a

Of the Word

Do you remember playing tug-o-war as a youngster? Teams were chosen, the rope was stretched, and the pulling began. Muscles bulged, feet slipped, onlookers cheered. And finally one team glowed in victory while the other sagged in defeat.

Does your life seem like a tug-o-war? Are you pulled by temptations and tugged by the Spirit? Yes? Yes! All Christians are! As St. Paul said, For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing (Romans 7:18b–19).

How can we win the battle? St. Paul reminds us, You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you (Romans 8:9a).

Because of God's grace, we have His Spirit. Jesus has won the tug-o-war against sin for us by His death on the cross.

Walking with my Lord

Dear Lord, I face daily battles with sin and temptations. I confess that sometimes I fail. Forgive me and strengthen me, for I pray in Jesus' name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in the Spirit. Authors: Marcia Gomulka, Dcs. Betty Knapp, Myrna Lou Meyer. 9/30 ©2007 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®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
 

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Living in the Spirit: Is God's Gift

Living in the Spirit … Is God's GiftMustard Seed Daily Devotion

In the Word

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God…  Ephesians 2:8

Of the Word

Lights on the dashboard signaled trouble, and she was many miles from home. Slowly she rolled into a farmyard, hoping that someone was there. The farmer came out, assessed the problem and offered a ride to the nearest town. Several hours later when the car was once again drivable she offered fervent thanks and a cash gift. The farmer warmly accepted her gratitude but vehemently refused her money. "Helping you was my gift to you," he insisted. "If I take your money, my help isn't a gift anymore."

So it is with God's grace; it is a gift. Grace is not earned. It cannot be bought for any price in any currency by any individual. It is a gift, a precious gift given by a loving God.

We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us (1 Corinthians 2:12).

It is impossible to comprehend a holy God who would freely give the gift of His grace to sinful people who turn their backs on Him. Only by His Spirit can we believe the good news that His gift is ours.

Walking with my Lord

Thank You, Lord, for the gifts of faith and salvation. When my faith weakens, strengthen me with Your Spirit. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in the Spirit. Authors: Marcia Gomulka, Dcs. Betty Knapp, Myrna Lou Meyer. 8/30 ©2007 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®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
 

Living in the Spirit … Is God’s Gift devotion — printable version

 

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Living in the Spirit: Means Freedom

Living in the Spirit … Means FreedomMustard Seed Daily Devotion

In the Word

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1–2

Of the Word

Freedom. What does it mean in today's society? The word is used to support both liberal and conservative ideas and philosophies. Some are God-pleasing and others are not. What does freedom mean to a Christian? We can look at it in two ways: First, the Christian has freedom from sin and death. Neither has power anymore. The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:56–57).

Second, the Christian has freedom to live a new life, a life in Christ. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins (Colossians 1:13–14).

As Christians we have freedom from death; freedom to live for Him. Thank God for His gift of freedom!

Walking with my Lord

Lord of Life, thank You for setting me free from sin and death through Jesus Christ. Help me to live my new life for You. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in the Spirit. Authors: Marcia Gomulka, Dcs. Betty Knapp, Myrna Lou Meyer. 7/30 ©2007 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®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
 

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View printable PDF of this devotion, Living in the Spirit: Means Freedom

With This Ring: Communicating Love

Communicating Love: Speaking the truth in loveMustard Seed Daily Devotion

In the Word

So then, get rid of lies. Speak the truth to each other, because we are all members of the same body (Ephesians 4:25 God's Word).

Of the Word

A wife complained to the marriage counselor that her husband never said "I love you" to her. The husband replied, "I said it on our wedding day and if that situation changes, you will be the first to know." We can laugh at this humorous story, but unfortunately it does reflect reality for those who do not regularly verbalize affection.

Love is certainly communicated through actions (which often do speak louder than words), but when words are absent it is easy to question the sincerity of the actions. Only when words and actions are in sync is the message reliable.

No matter how meaningful they are, actions aren't always understood. Clarify what you do with words that also express how you feel. Healthy marriages need both the words and the actions to communicate love. Be intentional in sharing your love with your spouse.

Walking with my Lord

Dear Lover of the world, teach us to communicate love to one another in words and in actions and in so doing be Christ-like in our living. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: With this Ring. Authors: Rev. Wes and Deaconess Sonja Baumeister. 9/28 ©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: Forgiveness

Forgiveness: Keep no record of wrongs.Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

In the Word

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13

Of the Word

It is always nice to have an ace up your sleeve. If you get in a spot, you can rely on that one piece of information that will give you an advantage during an argument or disagreement. The world tells us to gain an advantage. Do what it takes to win. Look out for yourself. The problem is that God simply doesn't want His children to live that way.

Jesus says: love your enemies, give to the one who asks you, be merciful. There will be times when your spouse wrongs you and you will wrong your spouse. To keep track of those wrongs is, well, wrong. When you forgive your spouse, you give up the right to get even. You clean the slate. You erase the file. St. Paul says that [love] keeps no record of wrongs (1 Corinthians 13:5b).

In order for your marriage to grow and thrive, forgiveness must be at the heart. This is exactly what is found at the heart of our relationship with Christ. We are able to remain in relationship with God because we are forgiven by Christ.

Walking with my Lord

Dear Redeemer, thank You for forgiving our sins because You paid for them on the cross. Help us to forgive each other and hold no grudges against one another. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: With this Ring. Authors: Rev. Wes and Deaconess Sonja Baumeister. 8/28 ©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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With This Ring: Friends

Friends: Who? When? Where? How often?Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

In the Word

"Let us discern for ourselves what is right; let us learn together what is good." Job 34:4

Of the Word

Bowling night, Bible study, ladies night out, a hunting trip, a quick get-together after work — and suddenly time with friends is crowding out time together. It is easy for one spouse to feel jealousy or resentment toward the other spouse's friends. The perception might be that there is more fun to be had with friends than with each other. It is good and healthy to spend time with friends outside of the marriage; but when that time begins to infringe upon "couple-time," an adjustment is in order.

Setting boundaries that are comfortable for both of you can ease much tension. Giving permission for your spouse to spend time away from you sends the message of trust. Being open with your feelings keeps your mate informed of your concerns. Every now and then cancel plans with friends and tell your spouse that you would rather spend time together. Sacrifices like that can do a lot of good for a marriage.

Walking with my Lord

Dear Lord, You give us friends for support and enjoyment. Help us to balance our time so that our love and support for everyone grows. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: With this Ring. Authors: Rev. Wes and Deaconess Sonja Baumeister. 7/28 ©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 His Word

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionBegin with God … He Gives His Word

In the Word

Why did God give us His Word?

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105

Of the Word

When driving to a new place we can easily become lost and confused because we are in unfamiliar territory. God knew we would need a road map for our life and He gave it to us in His inspired Word, the Bible.

But these [words] are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name (John 20:31).

The Bible is truly the greatest “self-help” book ever written. God’s Word tells us the Good News of Jesus and it teaches us how to love and forgive. It gives directions for living confidently, for relating to those around us, and for solving life’s problems. Best of all, God’s Word is constant and true.

The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever (Isaiah 40:8).

Walking with my Lord

Lord, I am grateful for the Bible. Through it You assure me of Your faithfulness, guidance, and forgiveness. Help me to study Your Word daily for direction in my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Begin with God. Authors: Marcia Gomulka, Dcs. Betty Knapp, Myrna Lou Meyer. 9/28 ©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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