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Water of Life: Blood and Water

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionBlood and Water

In the Word

But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water.  John 19:34

Of the Word

A famous painting of Jesus entitled “Divine Mercy,” He is clothed in a white robe with one hand raised and the other on His breast. From His chest flow two rays of light, one white and one red. At the bottom of the painting is the phrase, “Jesus, I trust in You.”

The red ray represents Jesus’ blood, and the white ray reminds us of the water that flowed from His side. Some compare the red and white rays to both sacraments of the church: Jesus’ blood of the new covenant in Holy Communion and the cleansing waters of Holy Baptism. Both the blood and the water bring life and salvation.

For unbelievers, Jesus’ death is a moment of defeat and disgrace, not glory. But hidden beneath Jesus’ suffering and death is His work of redemption: the work of God bringing His fallen creation back to Himself, the work of God redeeming His creation through His Son. Jesus, who instituted the sacraments, is the entrance into eternal life.

Walking with my Lord

King of Mercy, through the spilling of Your blood and the water of Holy Baptism, I am made Your forgiven child. Keep me in the true faith. In Your name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Water of Life. Michael Heckmann, author. 19/28 ©2013 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
 
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From Quiet Times to Noisy Love: On the Same Team

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionOn the Same Team

In the Word

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. 1 Corinthians 12: 4–6

Of the Word

Bankers, lawyers, and retail clerks in hot debate, coveys of screaming parents, marching bands: it is the fall phenomenon of Friday Night High School Football. Fans, young and old, gather to show their team spirit.

Christians also see this unifying spirit within their congregations where members come with an assortment of backgrounds, abilities, ages, occupations, and skills. Sometimes it may seem as if some groups are working toward vastly different goals, but remembering that the cross is at the center of Christian service can bring unity again.

The apostle Paul reminds us we must constantly acknowledge our purpose and unity are in … the same Spirit … the same Lord … the same God who empowers them all in everyone (1 Corinthians 12:4-6). Our worship, projects, and goal statements are meaningless if not Christ-centered. We are able to share the Gospel only through the power of God and the unity of our hearts, minds, and spirits. We are one body in Christ! We are, after all, on the same team.

Walking with my Lord

Lord, empower me to work with others as we serve together in Your name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: From Quiet Times to Noisy Love. Jan Struck, author. 21/30 ©2013 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
 
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From Quiet Times to Noisy Love: Patience, Patience

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionPatience, Patience

In the Word

Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! Psalm 27:14

Of the Word

She thought she was mentally prepared for six weeks on crutches. Instead, she discovered she was not a “patient” patient. The wait for healing was intolerable and she was in constant pain. Her prayers turned into whining! Then a card arrived in the mail with a much-needed message: “Patience does not mean waiting. Patience is how we behave while we are waiting.”

We often give our request to God in faith, but forget the response will come in His time. Waiting for the Lord’s answer can be difficult. God knows how stubbornly impatient we can be! Perhaps that is why David, who wrote Psalm 27, instructs us twice in verse 14 to Wait for the Lord, as well as being strong and letting your heart take courage as you wait.

Our God is gracious and loving. He knows what is best for us and when the time is right. In a world that expects instant gratification, we can be witnesses to the faithfulness of our Lord by our confident patience and trust in Him.

Walking with my Lord

Lord, forgive my times of impatience. Instead give me the peace that passes all understanding as I wait with hope for You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: From Quiet Times to Noisy Love. Jan Struck, author. 20/30 ©2013 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
 
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From Quiet Times to Noisy Love: Noisy Love

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionNoisy Love

In the Word

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!  Psalm 100:1

Of the Word

They all showed up for the holiday celebration — more than expected! Each family member was full of excitement, hugs, and laughter. When she had offered her home, she had not anticipated this level of noise and chaos. She was questioning her decision and searching for aspirin when her five-year-old tackled her knees, lifted his grinning face, and blurted, “I like noisy love!”

The Lord welcomes “noisy love” from His children. The Bible records numerous celebrations of thanksgiving and praise that involved stringed instruments, trumpets, and cymbals — even dancing. Our God takes pleasure in the honest response of joy from the ones He has redeemed. It is a sweet sound in His ear when His grateful children overflow with praise. So the next time a song of praise sets our toes tapping, or the chatter of Fellowship Hour bubbles over into the church hallway, or even when the cries of a baby are heard during the sermon, we can thank the Holy Spirit for “joyful noise.”

Walking with my Lord

Lord, fill my heart with Your grace and mercy. Let me enjoy moments of noisy, loving praise. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: From Quiet Times to Noisy Love. Jan Struck, author. 19/30 ©2013 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
 

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View the printable PDF of this devotion, Noisy Love

Daughters of the King: Martha

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionMartha — Ultimate Doer

Martha’s Story: Luke 10:38–42

In the Word

Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.  John 11:5

Of the Word

Martha: big sister to Mary and Lazarus and personal friend of Jesus. Hospitality to others was her trademark. What it must have been like to have Jesus as a guest! Being a loving hostess, Martha was busy in the kitchen. Meanwhile, sister Mary was in another room listening as Jesus taught. Put out about having to prepare the meal alone, Martha complained to Jesus, “Tell her to help me” (Luke 10:40b CEB)!

We are all a bit like Martha when it comes to allowing the things of life to stand between us and spending time with our Savior. We want to be faithful in our daily devotions and to have a more fervent prayer life. But our overcommitted lives make us cry, “But Lord, I have so many things I have to do.” With love and understanding, Jesus told Martha — and us — where our priority should be. But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41-42).

Walking with my Lord

Jesus, help me make the choice each day to follow You, for nothing else can bring me satisfaction. In Your saving name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Daughters of the King. Marcia Gomulka and Myrna Lou Meyer, authors. 21/34 ©2013 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org
Scripture taken from the Common English Bible®, CEB® Copyright © 2010, 2011 by Common English Bible.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. The “CEB” and “Common English Bible” trademarks are registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Common English Bible. Use of either trademark requires the permission of Common English Bible. All rights reserved.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
 
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Daughters of the King: Anna

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionAnna — Present in Prayer

Anna’s Story: Luke 2:36–38

In the Word

She [Anna] did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day.  Luke 2:37b

Of the Word

When she was younger, Ida never missed a worship service or church activity. Now into her ninth decade, she depended on others to bring her to worship if her weak and ailing body allowed. One Sunday as she was surrounded by her church family, she smiled and said, “I’m not always here, but I can always pray!”

Perhaps she took her example from aged Anna who actually lived at the temple. Her service included fasting and prayer night and day (Luke 2:37b). She was eighty-four years old when Jesus was presented at the temple, and we can assume that she spent the remainder of her life in service there.

Whether young or old, rich or poor, weak or strong, each of us has a place of service to the Lord. We are nourished by Word and sacrament, and we go out to serve Him at home and in the workplace. And like Anna as her modern-day sister in faith, we can always pray.

Walking with my Lord

Thank You, Lord, for giving me life and salvation in Jesus Christ. Help me serve You, dedicating my time and talents to You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Daughters of the King. Marcia Gomulka and Myrna Lou Meyer, authors. 20/34 ©2013 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
 
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Daughters of the King: Elizabeth and Mary

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionElizabeth and Mary — Friends in Need

(Elizabeth and Mary’s Story: Luke 1:5–56)

In the Word

In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, and she … greeted Elizabeth. Luke 1:39, 40

Of the Word

When you’re “in over your head,” where do you turn? Do you seek advice from a parent, a friend, a pastor? Do you turn to God? Do you try to “tough it out” on your own?

When the angel Gabriel brought Mary the news that she would bear the long-awaited Messiah, He added a post script — her kinswoman Elizabeth, old and barren, would also bear a son. Somehow Mary made the 100-mile trip from Nazareth to the hill country of Judea to be with Elizabeth. When she arrived, Elizabeth’s unborn baby even jumped for joy! We can only imagine their conversations during the weeks that followed. No doubt they reviewed the messages of the angel, filled with awe and amazement as their bodies proved the truth of His words. Neither aged Elizabeth nor young Mary had to “go it alone.” Together they faced the future which God had planned for them. Like them, we treasure the loved ones God places around us, those who listen, reassure, encourage, and affirm. Through them, God shares His love with us.

Walking with my Lord

Dear Lord, thank You for the people who have mentored me through difficult circumstances. Shower me with Your love so I can share it with others. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Daughters of the King. Marcia Gomulka and Myrna Lou Meyer, authors. 19/34 ©2013 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from the ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
 
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