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The Race of Faith: Focus Ahead

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionThe Race — Focus Ahead

In the Word

... let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith …  Hebrews 12:1b–2a

Of the Word

A lot gets missed when you run with your head down and eyes focused on your feet. Encounters with potholes, low tree branches, and the unchained dog will teach you to keep your head up and eyes focused in front of you. You will not only avoid the obstacles but also reach your goal, the finish line.

The author of Hebrews tells us where our focus must be in this race of life: Jesus. With eyes focused on Him, He will help us through life’s obstacles. And with eyes focused on Jesus, the Holy Spirit will enable us to see that the race has already been won. His victory has become our victory.

Walking with my Lord

Heavenly Father, help me to take my eyes off myself. Instead, help me to focus on You, for I know that through Your saving work on the cross, You have finished the race and given me the final victory. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Race of Faith. Author: Amanda Stacy, DCE. 20/28 ©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: Flee From Your Enemy

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionThe Race — Flee From Your Enemy

In the Word

Be sober minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith. … 1 Peter 5:8–9a

Of the Word

Along your race route, have you ever found yourself running from a dog that is chasing you? Many runners have a story like that. While an unchained dog may just want to have a little taste of you, a prowling lion is looking for someone to devour. And that, Peter tells us, is exactly what the devil is and what he does.

Resist the devil, and he will flee from you (James 4:7b). The devil wants no part of the righteousness that comes to us through Jesus’ death and resurrection. So as you stand firm in your faith and follow Christ, there is no need to look over your shoulder as though you are being chased. Instead, focus on Jesus and His cross.

Walking with my Lord

Christ Jesus, help me to stand firm in my faith. Through Your victory on the cross, I know the devil has no power over me. He will, in fact, flee from me. In Your name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Race of Faith. Author: Amanda Stacy, DCE. 19/28 ©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: Family Conflicts

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionFamily Conflicts

In the Word

“O God … Please deliver me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I fear him, that he may come and attack me … “ Genesis 32:9b, 11a

Of the Word

In Genesis 32, Jacob seemed to have much to fear. He had stolen his brother Esau’s birthright and blessing. Esau threatened to kill him, and Jacob ran for his life.

Years passed. Jacob was ready to return to his homeland. When he learned that Esau was advancing toward him with four hundred men, he feared attack. He had sinned, and he deserved his brother’s wrath; but in all confidence he prayed to the Lord: “But you said, ‘I will surely do you good, and make your offspring as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude’” (Genesis 32:12).

Jacob faced his brother knowing that the Lord would be faithful to His promise. When finally they did meet, Esau forgave Jacob, and the brothers were reconciled.

We may sometimes face fear and uncertainty in our families. Yet, even in the midst of a family conflict, the same Savior Who paid for Jacob’s sin and ours promises to care for us according to His perfect will.

Walking with my Lord

Lord Jesus, let me cast my cares on You because You love me with an everlasting love. In Your name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: In Times of Need. Authors: Rev. Larry Krueger, Rev. Mike Mattil, & Rev. Kris Whitby. 21/30 ©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: What Should We Do?

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionWhat Should We Do?

In the Word

But Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “Let us go up at once and occupy [the land], for we are well able to overcome it." Then the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we are.” Numbers 13:30–31

Of the Word

As the people of Israel neared the Promised Land, they felt uncertain about entering it. A faithful spy, Caleb, brought words of assurance that the people could enter the land and overcome it. Ten other spies brought words of doom, warning the Israelites not to enter the land for fear of failure. A decision had to be made and, ultimately, fear overcame them. As a result, the Israelites wandered in the wilderness for forty years.

Communities are faced with decisions and uncertainty, asking, “What should we do?” There is opportunity for success and fear of failure. In such times, well-gained knowledge is a helpful guide. Good information provides good guidance for good decisions.

The lesson learned from Numbers 14 is not to allow fear to overcome. Decisions from fear are decisions to fail. But biblically-based and God-sought decisions allow community leaders to take effective action and lead the people forward. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act (Psalm 37:5).

Walking with my Lord

O Lord, I do not know what lies over the horizon in uncertain times. But do not let fear overcome me. Enable me to be committed to Your ways in all that I do. In Your holy name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: In Times of Need. Authors: Rev. Larry Krueger, Rev. Mike Mattil, & Rev. Kris Whitby. 20/30 ©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: Who Can Be Trusted

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionWho Can Be Trusted

In the Word

Peter said, … “Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.” … And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things. Acts 5:4b, 11

Of the Word

It happens all too often. Public officials get elected, promoting squeaky-clean images and touting honorable lives. Then they get caught in a scandal. They try to cover it up. They deny any knowledge or involvement, but evidence proves otherwise. They have lied to the people. They have lied to God. The community has been betrayed. The people are left wondering, “What is the truth? Who can be trusted?”

In Acts 5, Ananias and Sapphira tried to deceive their faith community. But God handled the problem. Death instantly came upon them. While such swift judgment may not come upon all who publicly betray or deceive, do not fear. God will bring about justice.

He [God] will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity (Psalm 98:9b). Hold to the words of the psalmist, Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation (Psalm 146:3). Who can be trusted? God! Fret not yourself because of evildoers; trust in him [God] and he will act (Psalm 37:1a, 5b). God can be trusted!

Walking with my Lord

O Lord, sometimes it is hard to know who can be trusted. Leaders have betrayed and deceived. I am glad I can trust You, Lord, to bring forth truth and justice in this world. In Your holy name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: In Times of Need. Authors: Rev. Larry Krueger, Rev. Mike Mattil, & Rev. Kris Whitby. 19/30 ©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: Parenting Profession

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionThe Parenting Profession

In the Word

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

Of the Word

Advanced degrees are required for those in many professions — doctors, lawyers, pastors, engineers. Yet parenting, probably the most important profession one can have, requires no advanced degree.

Parents are to be guides, supporters, and encouragers as they help children discover their talents, develop their abilities, and use their gifts. Most importantly, God commands that parents be responsible for their spiritual training. When the writer of Proverbs reminds us to Train up a child in the way he should go… “the way” is God’s way.

Parents cheer at ball games and applaud at dance recitals, but how much more important it is to be actively involved in a child’s spiritual growth! A Christian parent’s daily example is a child’s best sermon.

Parenting never ends — just as praying for one’s children is a life-long privilege. And no advanced degree is needed for that.

A Point to Ponder: Who was most faithful in teaching me the way— God’s way — for my life?

Walking with my Lord

Thank You, Lord, for enabling Christian parents to teach their children of Your love. Help me to share my faith by both word and example. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Word: Wisdom for Living. Authors: Marcia Gomulka and Myrna Lou Meyer. 21/32 ©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: Listen Up!

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionListen Up!

In the Word

“And now, O sons, listen to me: blessed are those who keep my ways. Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it.” Proverbs 8:32–33

Of the Word

“Turn. That. Thing. Down!” came Dad’s sharp words when the radio blared. “Change the channel! Now!” was Mom’s direction when the TV show was too steamy for young minds. Today’s noises come from more sources — movies, video games, and social media. Some noises are so loud they even cause ear damage. How can the world’s noises be turned off before they cause even more damage: heart and mind damage?

God’s instruction is … listen to me (Proverbs 8:32). He directs His people to think of … whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable… (Philippians 4:8b). When these good things fill hearts and minds, God promises His blessings. … the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).

A Point to Ponder: What noises are interfering with my time for listening to God?

Walking with my Lord

Dear Heavenly Father, help me to avoid the noises and distractions that pull me away from You. Give me wisdom to choose what is good and right for me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Word: Wisdom for Living. Authors: Marcia Gomulka and Myrna Lou Meyer. 20/32 ©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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