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How, Lord … can I look to the future?

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionHow, Lord … can I look to the future?

In the Word

Forget what happened in the past, and do not dwell on events from long ago. I am going to do something new. It is already happening. Don’t you recognize it?  Isaiah 43:18–19a (GOD’S WORD)

Of the Word

It is impossible to walk forward if we’re looking back. Sooner or later we will stumble. It is much safer to look to where we are going than to where we have been. Likewise, we won’t ever see what the future holds if we continue to live in the past. How can we possibly have a better tomorrow if we are still living with the troubles of yesterday? The past is past.

God wants us to live joy-filled lives. That is possible if we focus on Him. We receive God’s forgiveness when we go to Him in prayer, confessing our wrongs, fears, regrets, and doubts about the past. God is faithful and reliable. If we confess our sins, he forgives them and cleanses us from everything we’ve done wrong (1 John 1:9 GOD’S WORD).

We are forgiven! Now it’s time to move on, time to focus on hopes not fears. It’s time to recognize God is waiting to lead us to a future He has already planned for us. 

Walking with my Lord

Gracious Lord, I am ready to focus on Your promises of forgiveness and love. Help me to grow in faith and be willing to allow the Holy Spirit to lead me where You have planned for me to go. May I recognize Your blessings along the way. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: How, Lord? Marcia Gomulka and Myrna Lou Meyer, authors. 16/32 ©2011 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118. www.lwml.org
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.
Scripture quotations marked (GOD’S WORD) are taken from GOD’S WORD ®, © 1995, God’s Word to the Nations. Used by permission of Baker Publishing Group.
 

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Simple Trust: The Face in the Mirror

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionThe Face in the Mirror

In the Word

Your face, LORD, I will seek. Psalm 27:8b

Of the Word

If you wake up in the morning but don’t recognize yourself in the mirror, what do you have?
Prosopagnosia

People who have prosopagnosia are not able to recognize faces. They recognize the individual features as being nose or mouth or eyes, but they are not able to know who the face belongs to — not even if it is a close family member. Even more startling, they cannot even recognize their own faces.

As tough as that would be, it would not be as dangerous as not being able to recognize God’s face, not being able to see Him in our daily circumstances, not being able to notice how He takes care of us. Perhaps that is why the Psalms are filled with the reminder to seek God’s face. Your face, LORD, I will seek (Psalm 27:8b).

Be on the lookout for God today. Even when you don’t feel His presence, God is with you. He promises, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20b).

Remember His promises and then thank Him for watching over you.

Walking with my Lord

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for knowing my face and my heart. Help me to remember Your loving, caring presence in every day of my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Simple Trust. Elaine Bickel, author. 18/29 ©2011 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118. www.lwml.org
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.
 

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Simple Trust: Wrong Conclusions

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionWrong Conclusions

In the Word

“The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7b

Of the Word

Who entered his own look-alike contest and lost?
Charlie Chaplin

Charlie Chaplin once entered a Charlie Chaplin look-alike contest and lost! He was not even a finalist. The judges’ standards made them reach the wrong conclusion.

Have you ever been misjudged? Has someone taken a look at you and drawn a wrong or hurtful conclusion? That has probably happened to all of us. Chances are we have probably misjudged others, too.

God judges fairly every time. People look at actions and appearances to draw conclusions. But God, in total love, looks at the heart. “The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7b).

By God’s grace, our hearts are changed and He sees the faith that the Holy Spirit has given us.

Walking with my Lord

O Lord, thank You for looking deep into my heart and still loving me. Forgive me for the times I have judged others by their outward appearances. Through Your Holy Spirit help me look at others with loving eyes. In Your forgiving name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Simple Trust. Elaine Bickel, author. 17/29 ©2011 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118. www.lwml.org
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.
 

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Simple Trust: Extravagant Forgiveness

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionExtravagant Forgiveness

In the Word

“Your sins are forgiven.” Luke 7:48b

Of the Word

The German language has many different words to describe these. What are they?
Kisses

One kiss cannot possibly be described in any language. It is the kiss of Judas, the disciple who betrayed Jesus. Scripture says, Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him (Matthew 26:49).

A kiss usually shows love, but Judas’ kiss was a betrayal. When we put others before God, spending time with them instead of Him, we are betraying Him, too.

How different the sinful woman was! … and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them (Luke 7:38). Her kisses showed what was in her heart. Jesus told this woman the very same thing He wants to tell you today, “Your sins are forgiven” (Luke 7:48b).

Walking with my Lord

O God, forgive the many times I have betrayed You by failure to speak and act or by words and actions that were wrong. Help me to be a bold and faithful witness. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Simple Trust. Elaine Bickel, author. 16/29 ©2011 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118. www.lwml.org
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.
 

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Joyful, Joyful: Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionRock of Ages, Cleft for Me

In the Word

… [LORD]… be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me. Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me. Psalm 31:2b–3

Of the Word

Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood, From Thy riven side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure: Cleanse me from its guilt and power.

A rock is stable and firm, generally unmoving and solid. God is called the “Rock of Ages” in this classic hymn. The writer prays, “Let me hide myself in Thee.” God’s firm promises of love and mercy sustain His people when temptations and hard times befall them.

We have done nothing to earn His love or forgiveness; they are ours only through the saving work of Jesus. His work brings eternal life to all who trust in Him.

Our loving God promises to be with us, even in death. The last stanza states, “While I draw this fleeting breath, When mine eyelids close in death, When I soar to worlds unknown, See Thee on Thy judgment throne, Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee.”

Walking with my Lord

O God, my strong Rock, You provide safe refuge when life overwhelms me. Help me to look to You, because You are my strength and my hiding place. In Jesus' protecting name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Joyful, Joyful. Rev. Larry and Shari Miller, authors. 15/31. Hymn Text: LSB 761. ©2011  Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118. www.lwml.org
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.
All hymns are public domain with the text reprinted from Lutheran Service Book, ©2006, Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO.
 

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Joyful, Joyful: Praise to the Lord, The Almighty

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionPraise to the Lord, The Almighty

In the Word

Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Let all the people say, “Amen!” Praise the LORD. Psalm 106:48

Of the Word

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise Him, for He is your health and salvation!
Let all who hear Now to His temple draw near,
Joining in glad adoration!

Not only do we praise God for the awesome world He created, but we praise Him for the “Wings of His mercy did shade” us. His mercy took on the form of His Son Jesus who took the punishment that we deserved for our sins. Because this same Jesus rose again from the dead, we look forward to praising Him eternally in heaven.

In fact, the words of the final stanza can be heard ringing in Christian churches and homes throughout the land and in heaven above: “Let the Amen Sound from His people again; Gladly forever adore Him!”

Walking with my Lord

Praise be to You, O Lord, for Your almighty power displayed in Your creating, redeeming, and sanctifying work in my life and in the universe. When I am faced with overwhelming situations, remind me that no power on earth is greater than You! When You deliver me, remind me to give thanks and praise to You! In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Joyful, Joyful. Rev. Larry and Shari Miller, authors. 14/31. Hymn Text: LSB 790. ©2011  Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118. www.lwml.org
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.
All hymns are public domain with the text reprinted from Lutheran Service Book, ©2006, Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO.
 

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Joyful, Joyful: Onward, Christian Soldiers

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionOnward, Christian Soldiers

In the Word

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. Ephesians 6:10–11

Of the Word

Onward, Christian soldiers, Marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus Going on before.

The people of the Church of God are sometimes called Christian soldiers. The battles we fight are against the devil, the world, and our own sinful flesh. Praise God that we have a victor in the wars, our Savior Jesus Christ.

He is the King of an imperishable kingdom — the kingdom of glory. The battles we face on earth are fought with Him beside us. He promises guidance and protection in His Word.

“Onward, then, ye faithful, Join our happy throng, Blend with ours your voices In the triumph song: Glory, laud, and honor Unto Christ, the king; This through countless ages Men and angels sing. Onward, Christian soldiers, Marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus Going on before.”

Walking with my Lord

Victorious Savior, help me to realize that I am Your Christian soldier and that my enemies are Satan, the sinful world, and my own evil desires. Arm me with Your Word and grant me the victory. In Your strong name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Joyful, Joyful. Rev. Larry and Shari Miller, authors. 13/31. Hymn Text: LSB 662. ©2011  Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118. www.lwml.org
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.
All hymns are public domain with the text reprinted from Lutheran Service Book, ©2006, Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO.
 

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