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The Joy of Christmas: Most Valuable Gifts

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionMost Valuable Gifts

In the Word

"And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8b

Of the Word

"What do you want for Christmas?" A child may answer with the name of the latest game or toy. Each of us might answer the question with a list of things we've had our eye on as well. It's a common question asked during the holidays, but rarely is the question addressed to God. Why not? After all, He has an answer for us!

Inspired by the Holy Spirit, the Old Testament prophet Micah spoke of the gifts God wants from us, His beloved people. He asks us for gifts of the heart, given to Him when we do what is right: showing kindness in word and action; living lives of humility and service. These gifts require no money, no ribbons, and no wrapping, only a Spirit-filled longing to bring Him what He desires most.

What does God want for Christmas? He wants our worship and prayers, our time and abilities, our compassion for others. Those are the gifts He receives with a warm smile and an outstretched hand — and not just at Christmas, but all year long.

Walking with my Lord

Lord, help me to walk humbly with You and to live as Your child. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Joy of Christmas. 7/32 Author: Patricia Mitchell. ©2011 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St Louis, MO 63118. 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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The Joy of Christmas: The Whole Story

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionThe Whole Story

In the Word

And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it. Isaiah 40:5a

Of the Word

From the first day of December until Christmas, many families keep an Advent calendar. Day by day, the Nativity narrative unfolds, one picture or Bible verse at a time, until it’s completed on the last day of Advent.

Christian growth happens in a similar way throughout our lives. As we read and study the Word of God each day, each year, each decade of life, His will and His ways become clearer. As His Spirit works in our hearts and minds, we gain spiritual wisdom and understanding. Little by little, He transforms us into spiritually mature men and women, willing and able to follow Him, and to serve as an example to others.

Unlike the Advent calendar, where the whole story is revealed at Christmas, the whole story of God’s plan will be revealed when we see Him face to face in heaven. Until then, Christmas is yet another reminder of His great love for us — the love that sent His beloved Son to us in Bethlehem.

Walking with my Lord

Lord Jesus, keep me faithful to Your Word. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Joy of Christmas. 6/32 Author: Patricia Mitchell. ©2011 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St Louis, MO 63118. 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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The Joy of Christmas: Forever Love

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionForever Love

In the Word

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever. Psalm 136:1

Of the Word

Over 2,000 years ago … In those days … The Christmas narrative usually begins with these words. We're taken back in time to Bethlehem, to a man and a woman and a newborn Baby taking refuge in a stable warmed by sleeping cattle. 

So much has changed! Now we have hotels for travelers, hospitals for expectant mothers, and spacious barns for animals. What hasn't changed, however, is the love of the One the Christmas narrative is all about, the One named Jesus.

Love brought Jesus to earth. Love led Him to heal the sick and feed the hungry, and the same love compelled Him to die on the cross for our sins. Love prompted Him to show Himself to many witnesses after His resurrection. Those witnesses told their children what they had seen and heard, and the news was carried on to their children's children. And now it is told to us.

Change is inevitable in our lives, but God's love remains forever.

Walking with my Lord

Lord, let Your Gospel come alive in my heart today. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Joy of Christmas. 5/32 Author: Patricia Mitchell. ©2011 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St Louis, MO 63118. 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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The Joy of Christmas: Christ is Coming!

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionChrist is Coming

In the Word

A voice of one calling: "In the desert prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God." Isaiah 40:3

Of the Word

During the weeks leading up to Christmas, our thoughts naturally turn to gifts, food, and festivities. After all, Christmas is coming, and we want to have everything ready — the presents wrapped, the cookies baked, and the tree sparkling. Christmas is coming! 

All our preparations, however, are nothing more than a flurry of activity unless we remember it is Christ's coming we celebrate. Why did He come? He came as a fulfillment of the promise God made through His many prophets of old. He came so we could know God's love and compassion in human form, and so we could see His power at work in the lives of people.

When we honor Him by setting aside special time to join with others in worship and praise, we are celebrating the coming of Christ. When we rejoice in His goodness by sharing His message of love and forgiveness, we are celebrating the coming of Christ. When we wrap, bake, and decorate with His joy in our hearts, we are celebrating the coming of Christ.

May our Christmas celebrations reflect the coming of Christ into the world … and into our hearts.

Walking with my Lord

Lord Jesus, let each day be a celebration of You! Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Joy of Christmas. Author: Patricia Mitchell. 4/32 ©2011 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St Louis, MO 63118. 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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The Joy of Christmas: It is a New Day

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionIt is a New Day

In the Word

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17

Of the Word

Sometimes we are glad to see days come to a close. They have been hard, boring, or exhausting. We have heard bad news, or we have suffered a heartbreaking event. "Whew!" we sigh, and we look to a new day for better times.

The birth of Jesus brought to the world a brand new day. It was the first day of His life on earth, a life that would bring Him the scorn and mockery of many who heard Him speak Word of God in truth. It would bring Him betrayal and beating and death on a cross in fulfillment of the plan of God for our salvation. But His death was not His last day on earth! Three days later, Jesus rose, bringing to us victory over guilt and death, over hopelessness and despair.

No matter what the day brings, today is a day to rejoice. Jesus came to bring the gift of His grace and the assurance of life in and with Him. He came so we can put the past behind us and delight in a brand new day.

Walking with my Lord

Lord Jesus, a new day dawned when You came down from heaven to earth, and now I can rejoice in You every day! Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Joy of Christmas. Author: Patricia Mitchell. 3/32 ©2011 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St Louis, MO 63118. 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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The Joy of Christmas: Come One, Come All

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionCome One, Come All

In the Word

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

Of the Word

You're invited! During the holidays invitations just keep pouring in. Many of them might include the question, "Will you let us know whether or not you can come?"

Through God's angel an invitation was given to the shepherds watching their sheep on the lonely hills near Bethlehem. Their response was "Yes!" as they interrupted their work to see where the newborn Savior lay in a manger. With a star in the east, God summoned the Magi. They, too, said "Yes!" even though it meant traveling far from home to find the Holy Child.

Christmas may bring many invitations, but the most important one is the one sent by our Lord. He invites us to come and hear His voice in the words of Scripture and to join with others in the celebration of His birth. Just as He invited the shepherds and the Magi, He invites us to come to His cradle and worship Him.

Walking with my Lord

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for coming into my life. Thank You for inviting me into Your presence. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Joy of Christmas. Author: Patricia Mitchell. 2/32 ©2011 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St Louis, MO 63118. 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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The Joy of Christmas: A Familiar Story

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionA Familiar Story

In the Word

… and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7

Of the Word

The Christmas story is one we've heard time and again. We know about Mary and Joseph, the shepherds and the angels, the one bright guiding star in the sky, and the Magi on their way to Bethlehem. We know they came to visit the Baby Jesus born in a manger because we hear about it every year.

As often as it's been repeated, however, the Christmas story still has relevance to us. Like Mary and Joseph, we are aware of God's presence, His will, and His work in our lives. Like the shepherds and angels, all of us join our voices in praise to the newborn King. Like the Magi, we follow His light and offer ourselves before Him in humility and gratitude.

The Nativity still takes place in hearts and lives throughout the world. The Holy Spirit brings joy to God's people each time the Christmas story is heard.

Walking with my Lord

Lord Jesus, as I hear the story of Your birth in Bethlehem, open my heart and mind to its meaning in my life. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Joy of Christmas. Author: Patricia Mitchell. 1/32 ©2011 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St Louis, MO 63118. 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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