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The Word: Wisdom for Living: Best Friends Forever!

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionBFF — Best Friends Forever!

In the Word

… there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24b

Of the Word

A century ago, families often lived within a few miles of each other. For Sunday dinners, holidays, and birthdays, and even workdays, parents and siblings were together.

Today, families may communicate by phone, email, and Skype while separated by miles or even continents. A different kind of “family,” a family of friends, may be close in heart as well as in geography.

Consider the friendship of David and Jonathan (1 Samuel 18:1–4). When King Saul, Jonathan’s father, was determined to harm David, Jonathan defended and protected him. After Jonathan’s death, David remembered their friendship and lovingly cared for Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s crippled son (2 Samuel 9).

How is friendship demonstrated today? A cup of coffee, a ride, a note (handwritten or typed), a smile, a hug: all show the care and concern of a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

A Point to Ponder: To whom can I be a friend today?

Walking with my Lord

Loving Lord, thank You for faithful friends who have shared Your love with me. Help me to be a loving, caring friend to someone today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Word: Wisdom for Living. Authors: Marcia Gomulka and Myrna Lou Meyer. 24/32 ©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: What Seems Right

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionWhat Seems Right

In the Word

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. Proverbs 16:25

Of the Word

Sin looks pretty good — sometimes even tasty, exciting, glamorous, or handsome. The forbidden fruit in Eden looked delicious, but what catastrophic repercussions followed that first bite!

Like he talked to Eve in the Garden, Satan is still talking today. “Did God actually say…?” he asks. Does God actually say anything about the sanctity of human life? Does He actually say anything about marriage? Does He actually have guidelines about getting along with others?

When confronted by Satan (Luke 4:1–12), Jesus used Scripture to refute him. We, too, can use the Word to show us not just what seems right, but what is right for the people of God. King David advised, Seek the LORD and his strength (1 Chronicles 16:11a).

We can hold fast to this promise, The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life (Psalm 21:7).

A Point to Ponder: What is Satan’s favorite way to tempt me? How do I resist him?

Walking with my Lord

Lord Jesus, when temptations come — and I know they will come — keep me focused on You. Send the Holy Spirit to make me strong. In Your name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Word: Wisdom for Living. Authors: Marcia Gomulka and Myrna Lou Meyer. 23/32 ©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: Firstfruits or …

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionFirstfruits or Leftovers

In the Word

Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; … Proverbs 3:9

Of the Word

How do you like leftovers? Most people don’t like yesterday’s soggy pasta, overcooked steak, or mushy vegetables. Even when leftovers are doctored up, they’re still leftovers.

What does God say about leftovers? When it comes to gifts, He wants our firstfruits, not leftovers!

Stories are told about families who made conscious decisions to give their offerings to the Lord first and then pay their monthly bills. God blessed their firstfruits, offerings given with love and in faith.

God gave His Firstfruit, His one-and-only Son, Jesus Christ. His death on Calvary’s cross assures us of life and salvation, and those gifts are ours through His Spirit’s gift of faith.

Because He gives us His best, can we offer Him our leftovers? No, in faith-filled response to His love, we want to give Him our best.

A Point to Ponder: What time, talent, and treasure firstfruit gifts can I offer today?

Walking with my Lord

Heavenly Father, I give You thanks for the gift of salvation that is mine through faith in Jesus. Fill my heart with such love and praise for You that I will willingly serve You with all that I am and have. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Word: Wisdom for Living. Authors: Marcia Gomulka and Myrna Lou Meyer. 22/32 ©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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Everyday Celebrations: Working for His Glory

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionWorking for His Glory

In the Word

… whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31b (NIV)

Of the Word

Do you remember receiving your first paycheck? Maybe it was received for lawn mowing, snow shoveling, or babysitting. That money was so special some have framed the first dollar ever made!

It is exciting to be chosen for a new job. From flipping burgers to fixing computers, from grocery bagger to store owner, from mail clerk to director of marketing, each job is special. For some, a first job continues until retirement. Others change jobs and careers in their search for fulfilling work. Some use their skills in a high-rise office and some in the family home.

God has given us the talents that we use in our work. Each person’s skill set may be different, but the Creator of our gifts wants us to do it all for the glory of God … (1 Corinthians 10:31b NIV). When we give our best at our job, we are honoring the Lord of our salvation and life, and can give witness to our Savior Jesus Christ who gave His all for us on the cross of Calvary. No matter the nature of our job, we can perform it for His glory and with the strength He provides.

Walking with my Lord

Giver of all things, I thank and praise You for my current employment. May what I do give glory to You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Everyday Celebrations. Authors: Elaine Bickel and Jan Struck. 21/28 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118. 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.
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: The Cleansing Water

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionThe Cleansing Water

In the Word

Baptism … now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, … 1 Peter 3:21

Of the Word

New parents are bombarded with lists of “necessities” for their baby! Everyone has recommendations for the best car seat, stroller, and diapers, as well as differing opinions on feeding and sleeping schedules.

Realizing many things are essential to the physical well-being of a newborn, the Christian parent is also concerned about the child’s spiritual needs. As cute as this tiny baby is, sin separates the child from its Creator. God’s plan to redeem us meant sending His own Son to conquer sin by dying for us on the cross. That new life comes to us through the Holy Spirit in Baptism.

Baptism … now saves you … through the resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 3:21). Parents present the baby entrusted to them to the mercy of the Eternal Father. By grace, Baptism is a means of salvation by which the Holy Spirit produces faith in the child. The child receives the sign of the cross and assurance of life forever. That is the best gift parents can give their precious child.

Walking with my Lord

Father, I thank You for this precious gift You have given to me. Enable me to nurture and instruct my child according to Your will. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Everyday Celebrations. Authors: Elaine Bickel and Jan Struck. 20/28 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118. 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 Gift of Friendship

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionThe Gift of Friendship

In the Word

… there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24b

Of the Word

Friendships come in many forms: school friendships, childhood friendships, multigenerational friendships, work friendships. Some friendships are new; others remain solid after many years. We see some friends almost daily while others are miles away.

How wonderful it is to have a friend in whom we have complete trust. One who forgives us, encourages us, and loves us – warts and all. Our deepest friendships are those that share a mutual faith in Christ. What a blessing to have a friend who prays for us and shares God’s Word with us! These relationships are treasured gifts from our Savior Jesus Who is our truest friend.

We thank and praise God for the cross-centered love of Christian friendships. We celebrate the laughter that is shared, the conversations that never end, the hugs that give us strength. Whether a single day or years pass between visits, we can thank God that A friend loves at all times (Proverbs 17:17a).

Walking with my Lord

Jesus, how awesome that Your love comes to me through friends. Thank You! In Your name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Everyday Celebrations. Authors: Elaine Bickel and Jan Struck. 19/28 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118. 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: Hindrances

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionThe Race — Hindrances

In the Word

… let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us … Hebrews 12:1b

Of the Word

Runners are often seen with a running belt or an armband that holds all their essential items: water, house keys, phone. Without a belt or armband, a runner’s hands would get full, and full hands would become a hindrance in running the race.

Our hands — and hearts — also become full if we carry around hurts, fears, and unforgiving attitudes. Sin weighs us down. It is hard to run the race of faith with all of that burden clinging to us.

But John tells us the Good News, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Forgiven through the blood of Jesus Christ on the cross, our sin-filled hands are empty. Nothing weighs us down. Nothing holds us back. We are now ready to run the race of faith!

Walking with my Lord

Merciful God, thank You for the forgiveness of sins through Your Son, Jesus Christ. With the help of the Holy Spirit, enable me to confess my sins and finish the race of faith with nothing weighing me down. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Race of Faith. Author: Amanda Stacy, DCE. 21/28 ©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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