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Everyday Celebrations: Grand Fun!

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionGrand Fun!

In the Word

Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, … (Proverbs 17:6a).

Of the Word

Someone once joked, “Grandchildren are the reward for outlasting your children.” It has a grain of truth. Parents want to provide the best for their child just as God in Christ Jesus has provided the best for His children. Even though for earthly parents that desire often turns into a self-imposed obligation to be a “perfect” parent — which may create stress, mistakes, and guilt — this is never the case for our perfect Heavenly Father.

Grandchildren are an entirely different story. A grandparent knows how quickly childhood passes and that perfection is impossible. A grandparent has learned that no chore is more important than playing; no book should remain unread; no paycheck can equal a welcome-home smile. A grandparent just wants to live in the present with this treasured “present” from God, our Father.

When grandchildren run across a room for a hug, when you receive a kiss that tastes like jelly, when they cradle your face in their hands and include you in their prayers, you feel like royalty!

Walking with my Lord

Lord, thank You for the gift of grandchildren with whom I can share Your unconditional love. In Your joy-giving name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Everyday Celebrations. Authors: Elaine Bickel and Jan Struck. 25/28 ©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: Philip, Pep in His Step

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionPhilip, Pep in His Step

In the Word

So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him (Acts 8:3031).

Of the Word

Either the chariot was stopped, moving slowly, or God gave Philip a little pep in his step as he ran and caught up to the chariot to hear the Ethiopian reading the scrolls of Isaiah. In any case, as Philip approached the chariot, he had the opportunity to explain Scripture to a searching soul.

How about you? Do you run toward witnessing opportunities or away from them? Or maybe just run a little slower so someone else gets there first?

It’s not always easy to share your faith. However, God didn’t just guide Philip to the chariot and leave. He provided Philip with the knowledge and the resources to tell the Ethiopian man about Christ. Trust that God will do the same for you. And do not be afraid to go where God will lead you.

Walking with my Lord

Heavenly Father, give me a little pep in my step as I notice and take advantage of witnessing opportunities all around me. Give me the knowledge and the resources to share Your Word with searching souls. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Race of Faith. Author: Amanda Stacy, DCE. 27/28 ©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: Peter and John

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionPeter and John, Racing to the Tomb

In the Word

“They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him” (John 20:2b).

Of the Word

After Mary stated Jesus’ body was gone, Peter and John raced to the tomb. There was no jogging, no stopping to put their hands on their knees to catch their breath, no chatting to make the time go by faster. It was most likely a full-on sprint with arms pumping and feet barely touching the dirt. And when they arrived at the empty tomb, they didn’t understand what had happened. The journey back home was probably much more subdued.

You have also heard the words of Mary. When you get to the entrance of the tomb, do you turn around and follow Peter and John’s perplexed footsteps back home? You shouldn’t. The Risen Christ isn’t there. He is alive. So after you race to the tomb, keep running. Run to tell your family, your friends, your neighbors. And don’t stop running until you cross that finish line He won for you in the empty tomb.

Walking with my Lord

Christ Jesus, thank You for the empty tomb. In it, I see victory over death and the promise of life everlasting at the end of my race. Help me to share this victory with those around me. In Your name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Race of Faith. Author: Amanda Stacy, DCE. 26/28 ©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: Paul, Finishing the Race

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionPaul, Finishing the Race

In the Word

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith (2 Timothy 4:7).

Of the Word

While sitting in jail, believing his death was imminent, the Apostle Paul penned his final letter, the second letter to Timothy. Paul knew his Savior, had remained faithful to Him, and confidently stated he had finished the race.

His race route took him far away from home, shipwrecked, beaten, chased out of towns, bitten by snakes, and jailed multiple times. Yet Paul rejoiced in all that Christ had done in him and through him. He was ready to finish his earthly race.

While believers have the same finish line destination, we each have our own obstacles and celebrations along the race route. In all of those things, be like Paul. Let God lead. Praise Him in all circumstances and encourage others until you arrive in God’s eternal rest.

Walking with my Lord

Heavenly Father, thank You for the encouragement and work of Paul. Help me run my race like he did — following You wherever You may lead. At the end of the race, let me also confidently say, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Race of Faith. Author: Amanda Stacy, DCE. 25/28 ©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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In Times of Need: God is Always Near

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionGod is Always Near

In the Word

“It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed” (Deuteronomy 31:8).

Of the Word

It was 3 a.m. and Shelly had been awake for hours. Her mind raced and would not let her rest. There was always so much to do and she felt burdened by the relentless grind of daily living. The feeling of loneliness began to settle in and make itself at home in her heart. And then Shelly felt the hand of her husband reach out and gently rest over hers. She didn’t face life alone! God had given her the love of a caring helpmate.

We live in a fast-paced world where the demands of everyday life can overwhelm us. Fear can take over and convince us that we are all alone in our struggles. It is then that we have to slow down, tune out our worries and frustrations, and quietly listen for the voice of our Heavenly Father. No matter our situation, God is never far away — He is always with us! He is our everlasting Helpmate.

Our daily agendas may be full, but the most important to-do on it should be setting aside quiet times to spend in devotion, praise, and prayer with our Lord. During these times of togetherness is when we often sense the loving presence of our Savior. “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:18).

Walking with my Lord

Blessed Savior, thank You for the assurance that You are always with me and that I never have to face life alone. In Your name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: In Times of Need. Authors: Rev. Larry Krueger, Rev. Mike Mattil, & Rev. Kris Whitby. 27/30 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. 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: If Only …

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionIf Only …

In the Word

For all that is in the world — the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life — is not from the Father but is from the world (1 John 2:16).

Of the Word

How many times have those two little words been uttered, “If only”? “If only I can get that raise … that new car … that new outfit … the right diet … the right exercise plan.” Well, then what? Will everything be okay? Will I really be happy? Will I be safe? Will I live forever?

The world relentlessly chases after such things in the hope that once that certain “something” is attained, then everything will be fine and all anxieties will fade away. Christ Jesus gives a better answer.

Jesus says in Matthew 6:25b “Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?”

You are worth more than the consumption of food or the wearing of clothes. You are so precious that Jesus came into this world and died on the cross that you might be forgiven of sin and freely receive God’s unfailing love. Worrying about material things does not add one hour to your life, but the grace of Jesus gives us life and life eternal!

Walking with my Lord

Lord, thank You for caring for me in this life and in eternity. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: In Times of Need. Authors: Rev. Larry Krueger, Rev. Mike Mattil, & Rev. Kris Whitby. 26/30 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. 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: Speaking Boldly

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionSpeaking Boldly

In the Word

[Jesus said,] “And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you might say” (Luke 12:11–12).

Of the Word

Many followers of Christ have faced severe persecution and, in the midst of such circumstances, have given courageous, clear expressions of their faith in Jesus. Stephen faced stoning, and even as death drew near, he gave a gracious witness, asking the Lord to not hold his executioners’ sin against them (Acts 7:54–60).

The Apostle Paul faced persecution time and again, and yet, the Spirit gave him the right words to say to speak the Good News of Jesus! From prison, Paul encouraged the Colossians: Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ (Colossians 3:23–24).

We may never face martyrdom or be hauled before a ruler to bear witness of what Jesus has done for the salvation of the world. Yet, the same Lord who was with Stephen and Paul gives us His Holy Scriptures that tell what Jesus has done for the salvation of mankind. Because the Holy Spirit dwells in us, we can be confident to speak to a neighbor about Christ’s redeeming love. 

Walking with my Lord

Jesus, calm my heart, and let me boldly speak of the joy of knowing You as my Savior. In Your name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: In Times of Need. Authors: Rev. Larry Krueger, Rev. Mike Mattil, & Rev. Kris Whitby. 25/30 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. 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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