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The Word: Wisdom for Living: Soft and Sweet

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionSoft and Sweet

In the Word

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger (Proverbs 15:1).

Of the Word

Two classrooms, two sets of children, two teachers. One stood at her door, loudly reminding her children, “Don’t run! Don’t push! And don’t talk!” The other smiled and quietly said, “Remember your manners.” It’s not hard to guess which class demonstrated better behavior.

What harsh words do we hear today? How do our hearts and minds react? The writer of Proverbs uses the words “wrath” and “anger,” both probable reactions to harsh demands. It can be hard to give a soft answer when we are hurt, put down, and disgusted.

But Jesus’ words remind us, “… let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). He promises, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9).

Only He can give the desire and strength to turn from anger and instead be an instrument of peace.

A Point to Ponder: Where and when can I give a soft answer rather than an angry one?

Walking with my Lord

Lord God, when I am confronted with harsh and angry words help me to take a deep breath and respond with kindness and love. Help me glorify You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Word: Wisdom for Living. Authors: Marcia Gomulka and Myrna Lou Meyer. 27/32 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. 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: Glory be … to Whom?

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionGlory be … to Whom?

In the Word

It is not good to eat much honey, nor is it glorious to seek one’s own glory (Proverbs 25:27).

Of the Word

Everybody loves a feast, whether it is a church dinner, a family smorgasbord, or a restaurant buffet. Imagine all that delicious food — and then imagine eating only the desserts. Lots of them, nothing but the desserts!

Dessert is fine, but too much does not provide a balanced diet and can even make one physically ill.

Solomon compares eating too much honey with self-glorification. A honey overload can lead to stomach ache; self-glorification can lead to something worse: spiritual illness.

Jesus, God’s own Son, had all glory. Yet He stooped low, grabbed a towel, and washed the dusty feet of His disciples (John 13:4–5). He demonstrated no pride, no arrogance, only loving service. That is the example He set for His disciples, and it is the example He sets for His people today.

A Point to Ponder: How can I demonstrate a servant attitude like Jesus did?

Walking with my Lord

Lord Jesus, when I am tempted to “toot my own horn,” remind me that I am Your servant, redeemed by You, chosen by You, commissioned to serve You. In Your name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Word: Wisdom for Living. Authors: Marcia Gomulka and Myrna Lou Meyer. 26/32 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. 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: Cheerleaders

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionCheerleaders

In the Word

… a word in season, how good it is! (Proverbs 15:23b).

Of the Word

Bright smiles, cute outfits, rousing chants, rhythmic dances, dazzling cartwheels! Who are they? The cheerleaders, of course! No matter what the score, they shout out their encouragement to both players and spectators.

Scripture has a few cheerleaders, too. Take Barnabas, for example. Former persecutor, newly converted Paul needed a cheerleader, and Barnabas rose to the occasion. He encouraged fearful, reluctant people to listen to Paul’s story. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles and declared to them how on the road he had seen the Lord, who spoke to him, and how at Damascus he had preached boldly in the name of Jesus (Acts 9:27).

Is there a Paul among us today, someone for whom we can be an advocate; someone for whom we can speak a good word? No cartwheels, no pompoms, no high kicks are needed, just willingness to speak encouraging words to those who need them.

A Point to Ponder: Who needs my encouraging words today?

Walking with my Lord

Loving Lord, send me to someone who needs a word of encouragement today. Help me to share Your light. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Word: Wisdom for Living. Authors: Marcia Gomulka and Myrna Lou Meyer. 25/32 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. 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: A Big Step

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionA Big Step

In the Word

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity (1 Timothy 4:12 NIV).

Of the Word

Confirmation is a special day! Many parents remember the day they brought their child to be baptized into the body of Christ. Now that child is making a personal promise to remain faithful to the Savior throughout life.

For some, confirmation is translated as, “Whew! That’s done!” The fact is, it is not the end. It is just the beginning of a journey of faith. Confirmation instruction provides the foundation of scriptural truths that enables a young person to truly begin the life God has planned. A life centered in the cross of Christ gives strength, courage, and joy to each day.

One’s service to God is not limited because of youth. Remember, Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example … (1 Timothy 4:12a NIV).There are opportunities to set an example at school as well as at church. People see faith in action whether it is in band or orchestra, playing sports, or participating in service projects. Confirmation is an important step in a Spirit-filled life. The adventure has begun!

Walking with my Lord

Lord, confirm my faith, trust, and hope in You every day! In Your name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Everyday Celebrations. Authors: Elaine Bickel and Jan Struck. 24/28 ©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.
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: New Life in Christ

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionNew Life in Christ

In the Word

… and went on his way rejoicing (Acts 8:39b).

Of the Word

When an adult is baptized in church, it draws the attention of the entire congregation. A mature person is receiving the Sacrament that many individuals received as babies and remember only through photos or videos.

Luke records for us an inspiring account of an adult baptism in Acts chapter eight. The disciple Philip encounters an Ethiopian official returning from worship in Jerusalem. Philip overhears the man reading from Isaiah and offers to discuss it with him. That discussion leads to the Good News of Jesus, which in turn leads to the Ethiopian’s Baptism. Filled with the Holy Spirit, the man … went on his way rejoicing (Acts 8:39b).

To anyone caught in the pain and hopelessness of sin, the Good News of salvation through the death and resurrection of our Savior is life changing. The gift of Baptism, washing away of the “old self” and receiving the new life in Christ, is a true transformation by water and the Word. The adult recipient as well as those who witness it can go on their way rejoicing!

Walking with my Lord

Jesus, I rejoice daily in my Baptism and the new life it gives to me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Everyday Celebrations. Authors: Elaine Bickel and Jan Struck. 23/28 ©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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Everyday Celebrations: The Heart of the Home

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionThe Heart of the Home

In the Word

“But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15b).

Of the Word

Think about the first home in which you remember living. If asked, most people could draw a “blueprint” of its design. Simple floor-plan or elaborate structure, it was home.

It is exciting to move into a new home. Maybe it is your first apartment or the dream house you have been saving for years to purchase. Whatever the size or style, it is your home. Your sanctuary. How fun it will be to make it your own by decorating the walls and arranging the furniture. It is even fun to clean … for a while!

More important than the appearance of the home, is the “heart” of the home. Joshua had a beloved homeland, but he also lived as a nomad. It did not matter where he lived as much as how he lived. He declared, “But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15).

Any home with Christ as its center is a blessed place. We can celebrate the earthly residence we call home, and by faith we are assured of our heavenly home, too.

Walking with my Lord

Lord, thank You for being my Dwelling Place and the Cornerstone of my family. In Jesus’ name. Amen. 


Mustard Seed: Everyday Celebrations. Authors: Elaine Bickel and Jan Struck. 22/28 ©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: Jonah

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionWitnesses — Jonah, You Can Run, But You Can’t Hide

In the Word

Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish, saying, “I called out to the Lord, out of my distress, and he answered me …” (Jonah 2:1–2a).

Of the Word

It’s never a good thing when your run ends in the belly of a big fish. How, you may be wondering, would that ever happen? Just ask Jonah (see Jonah 1:15–17). Unfortunately, unlike other runners you read about in Scripture, Jonah decided to run away from God. Jonah did not want to preach repentance and extend God’s mercy to Nineveh. So, he ran away — and ended up in the big fish.

Fortunately, there is no place to run that is out of God’s reach. God dealt with Jonah in the big fish’s belly, and God will meet you wherever you are as well. Let Jonah remind you there is no place you can run to be away from God. And also be reminded that there is no end to God’s loving patience, mercy, and forgiveness as He deals with His precious people.

Walking with my Lord

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your patience, mercy, and forgiveness. Help me to seek You and Your will instead of running away from You to do my own will. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Race of Faith. Author: Amanda Stacy, DCE. 24/28 ©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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