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With This Ring: Not Who I Married

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionNot Who I Married: Who is this person?

In the Word

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8

Of the Word

"Who are you, and what have you done with the person I married?" Do you ever find yourself wishing you could ask that question out loud? You thought you knew your spouse inside and out. Now it seems your mate reveals something new every day.

As these discoveries are made you have two options: panic and second guess your choice of partner, or rejoice and realize that life is bound to bring change. Like death and taxes, change is impossible to avoid, even in marriage. However, couples who are not willing to change and grow with one another will probably find themselves feeling frustrated, angry, and cheated.

So take time to talk about it. Be patient with each other and find ways to face the differences together. In prayer, place each other into the loving arms of the only changeless being in the universe, the God who walks with you through every change. 

Walking with my Lord 

Dear Lord, life brings change whether we like it or not. Thank You that You do not change and that You are with us as we do. Teach us patience and grace as we walk with You and each other through whatever life brings. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: With this Ring. Authors: Rev. Wes and Deaconess Sonja Baumeister. 19/28 ©2008 Lutheran Women's Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.
 

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Begin with God: He Helps Ease Loneliness

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionBegin with God … He Helps Ease Loneliness

In the Word

How can I ease my loneliness?

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Matthew 11:28

Of the Word

Loneliness is not just being alone. It is feeling alone and unloved. But are we ever truly alone? No, for Jesus promises: … surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age (Matthew 28:20b).

When lonely feelings do come, how can we cope with them? Jesus' comforting words bring reassurance. Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28).

What is our response to Jesus' promise and His loving invitation to rest in Him? Inspired by the Holy Spirit, St. Peter wrote, Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others … (1 Peter 4:10a).

Knowing that we are never truly alone — even though our human nature would have us believe otherwise — we can trust fully in God and then reach out in love to others.

Walking with my Lord

Dear Savior, thank You for Your promise to be with me always. When dark and lonely times come, help me to believe without a doubt that You are close beside me. Show me ways of service that will ease my loneliness and bring joy to others. In Your name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Begin with God. Authors: Marcia Gomulka, Dcs. Betty Knapp, Myrna Lou Meyer. 21/28 ©2007 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org
Scripture quotations 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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Begin with God: He Helps Us Calm Anger

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionBegin with God … He Helps Us Calm Anger

In the Word

Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.  James 1:19b–20

Of the Word

"He has a short fuse." "She was really steamed." "She's mad as a hornet." "I was about to blow up." Many figures of speech are used to describe anger. What does God have to say about it?

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice  (Ephesians 4:31).

"Think before you speak." "Get rid of angry words." How easy to say, but how hard to do! Our help comes from God. Through His Spirit He helps us to recognize and confess our sinful anger. He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy (Proverbs 28:13).

Pray for the Holy Spirit's gifts. He brings anger management skills! But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law (Galatians 5:22–23).

Walking with my Lord

Dear Heavenly Father, anger — my own or that of others — has caused hurt, frustration and separation in many lives. Forgive me for my sinful outbursts and quiet grumbling. Help me to remember Your love for me. Help me to show kindness, patience and a forgiving spirit to those around me. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Begin with God. Authors: Marcia Gomulka, Dcs. Betty Knapp, Myrna Lou Meyer. 20/28 ©2007 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org
Scripture quotations 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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Begin with God: He Helps Us Eliminate Envy

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionBegin with God … He Helps Us Eliminate Envy

In the Word

…where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.  James 3:16

Of the Word

Sweet is to bitter as contentment is to envy. Most of us would choose a sweet flavor over a bitter one, and we would certainly choose feelings of contentment over feelings of envy or jealousy. Unfortunately, envy is often a part of human relationships because of sin.

What happens when envy rules? God's Word says, … where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice (James 3:16). God directs, … rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind (1 Peter 2:1).

How can we rid ourselves of the evil of envy? First, we must recognize it; then we must confess it. If we confess our sins, he … will forgive us our sins … (1 John 1:9).

God's Word gives us strength to live content with all that He provides for us. But godliness with contentment is great gain (1 Timothy 6:6).

Walking with my Lord

Dear Lord, envy can cause divisions and ruin relationships in homes, churches and workplaces. Help me to recognize it and fight against it in my life. Forgive me when I fail, and help me to be content with the blessings You have showered upon me. Help me to rejoice with others when they, too, are blessed. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Begin with God. Authors: Marcia Gomulka, Dcs. Betty Knapp, Myrna Lou Meyer. 19/28 ©2007 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org
Scripture quotations 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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Living in the Spirit: Leads Me to God's Word

Living in the Spirit … Leads Me to God's WordMustard Seed Daily Devotion

In the Word

Your word, O Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.  Psalm 119:89

Of the Word

"Do I actually have to READ the Bible?" "I read the Bible once so I know it." "My Bible has old-fashioned words in it and I don't understand them." "I'm not a good reader." "I don't have time to read the Bible."

Would the persons who made the above comments say the same thing about food? "Do I actually have to eat?" "I ate once; I know what it's like." "I'm not a good eater." "I don't have time to eat." We would laugh at that kind of reasoning, but the same kinds of excuses are often used for neglecting the reading of God's Word. It is the Word that provides spiritual nourishment for daily life.

God wants us to READ the Bible so we can learn of His grace. Reading it just once is not enough. Contemporary English versions, Bible tapes, CDs, or DVDs make reading easier. Is time the issue? Ask God to slow you down so that you make time for Him in your busy schedule. Time with God may just become the best part of your day!

Walking with my Lord

Father God, Your Word tells me Jesus opened the minds of His followers so they could understand the Scriptures. Please fill me with Your Spirit of understanding and give me a burning desire to read Your Word. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in the Spirit. Authors: Marcia Gomulka, Dcs. Betty Knapp, Myrna Lou Meyer. 18/30 ©2007 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations 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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Living in the Spirit: Helps Me to Pray

Living in the Spirit … Helps Me to PrayMustard Seed Daily Devotion

In the Word

We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us … Romans 8:26b

Of the Word

Sometimes our hearts and minds are unable to put prayers into words. How thankful we can be that the Holy Spirit speaks for us, interceding on our behalf!

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests (Ephesians 6:18a). Praying in the Spirit means that we are praying for God's will to be done in our lives. The Holy Spirit guides us, reminding us that God wants us to pray at any time, in any place, about any need. We can be confident that our loving God hears every prayer, no matter how large or small the request may be.

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:16–18).

Walking with my Lord

Father God, I rejoice knowing that You are always ready to listen to me, no matter what I bring to You. The Holy Spirit brings my prayers to Your ears. Thank You for this gift. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in the Spirit. Authors: Marcia Gomulka, Dcs. Betty Knapp, Myrna Lou Meyer. 17/30 ©2007 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations 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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Living in the Spirit: Christian Unity

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionLiving in the Spirit … Brings About Christian Unity

In the Word

"God plays no favorites! It makes no difference who you are or where you're from — if you want God and are ready to do as he says, the door is open." Acts 10:34b–35 MSG

Of the Word

No color, race, or language barriers will exist in heaven. Class distinctions, income levels, and immigration policies will be things of the past. All Christians will be first-class citizens of heaven.

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household ... (Ephesians 2:19). We will be in heaven because the Holy Spirit brought us to faith in the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

He [God] saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior ... (Titus 3:5b–6). We will be in heaven because Christ brought us together through his death on the cross (Ephesians 2:16a MSG). We will be one people — God's people!

Walking with my Lord

Father, living with You in heaven in peace and harmony with all who have loved You here on earth is something I can scarcely comprehend. Thank You for the gift of Your Spirit and Your Son. In His name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in the Spirit. Authors: Marcia Gomulka, Dcs. Betty Knapp, Myrna Lou Meyer. 16/30 ©2007 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations 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.
Scripture passages with the notation of (MSG) were taken from THE MESSAGE, Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.
 

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