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Begin with God: So We Can Forgive Others

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionBegin with God … So We Can Forgive Others

In the Word

But I [Jesus] tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you …  Matthew 5:44

Of the Word

How can I learn to forgive?

What motivates us to forgive others? For some it is guilt, for others it is responsibility. Neither is a good motivator. How much better it is for us to be motivated by God’s love! Yet only God could promise to forgive and forget — and then keep that promise! … I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more (Jeremiah 31:34b). Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you (Colossians 3:13).

But forgiving is sometimes hard. How can we do it on our own? But I [Jesus] tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you… (Matthew 5:44).

It is difficult to pray for people with whom we are angry. But God will provide us the strength to do so, just as He gives us the strength to forgive. If we follow God’s Word by loving and forgiving each other, peace and joy will be our blessings. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).

Walking with my Lord

Dear Lord God, thank You for the assurance that You forgive and forget. I am not like You when I hold grudges and remember hurts. Forgive me, I pray, and help me to be more like You. Send Your Spirit to fill me with love and forgiveness so that I may have peace and joy. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Begin with God. Authors: Marcia Gomulka, Dcs. Betty Knapp, Myrna Lou Meyer. 27/28 ©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 Faithfulness

Living in the Spirit … Leads Me to FaithfulnessMustard Seed Daily Devotion

In the Word

Let love and faithfulness never leave you … (Proverbs 3:3a)

Of the Word

TRUSTWORTHINESS + RELIABLILTY + LOYALTY = A FAITHFUL PERSON

TRUSTWORTHY.
Can I hardly wait to tell a secret, or can I be trusted with a confidence?

RELIABLE.
Do I make promises and fail to follow through, or do people find that I am reliable?

LOYAL.
Am I always looking for something different or better, or am I loyal?

Because our loving God will be faithful to us through eternity, let us strive to follow His example by: honoring our promises; being faithful to our families; standing up for others; keeping our word; paying our debts; being faithful in our worship and loyal to our Savior Jesus Christ. No words will be sweeter than to one day hear from our Heavenly Father, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:23a)!

…. the fruit of the Spirit is ... faithfulness … (Galatians 5:22).

Walking with my Lord

Father, through the example of Jesus Christ and the guidance of Your Holy Spirit, help me to become a person others will always trust because they see Jesus in me. In His name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in the Spirit. Authors: Marcia Gomulka, Dcs. Betty Knapp, Myrna Lou Meyer. 27/30 ©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 Serve Others

Living in the Spirit … Helps Me Serve OthersMustard Seed Daily Devotion

In the Word

Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.  (1 John 3:18)

Of the Word

… the fruit of the Spirit is … goodness … (Galatians 5:22).

Goodness is simply showing kindness to others. It is a generous giving of ourselves as well as our possessions. Goodness is the ability to identify with others and their needs and then, whenever possible, help without expecting anything in return.

Therefore, as we have the opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers (Galatians 6:10).

Our daily goal should be to do good things for others. But doing good means putting others first, and we aren’t always willing to do that. God, the perfect example of goodness, sent His Son Jesus to teach us how to love and serve others. Jesus, in His goodness, put every one of us first on Good Friday when He went to the cross. The Holy Spirit works in us, helping us to be Christ-like in spite of our human weaknesses.

Walking with my Lord

Gracious God, You have shown goodness to me in all things. Forgive me for failing to follow Your example. Let the Holy Spirit guide me so that others will see Jesus in me. In His name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in the Spirit. Authors: Marcia Gomulka, Dcs. Betty Knapp, Myrna Lou Meyer. 26/30 ©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: Instills Kindness in Me

Living in the Spirit … Instills Kindness in MeMustard Seed Daily Devotion

In the Word

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with … kindness … Bear with each other … Colossians 3:12–13a.

Of the Word

… the fruit of the Spirit is … kindness … (Galatians 5:22).

God’s kindness toward us is everlasting; it’s never going to end. In turn, the God of everlasting kindness wants us, His dearly loved children, to act as He does and be kind to one another. He wants us to wear kindness as we would wear our best outfit.

The kindness the Holy Spirit instills in us enables us to bear with each other, to hold each other up as a stake would hold up a plant, to make allowances for others’ faults, to understand our differences.

The ultimate act of God’s kindness to us, His sinful and undeserving children, was to send His Son Jesus Christ to redeem us. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy (Titus 3:4–5a).

Walking with my Lord

Father, I am undeserving of the kindness You have shown to me. In my dealings with others, help me to always remember Christ on the cross, for His loving kindness saved me. In His name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in the Spirit. Authors: Marcia Gomulka, Dcs. Betty Knapp, Myrna Lou Meyer. 25/30 ©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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With This Ring: Together Forever

Together Forever: For better or for worseMustard Seed Daily Devotion

In the Word

“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5b

Of the Word

The phrase “for better or for worse” has been part of traditional wedding vows for many generations. In most cases, the couple assumes (or at least hopes) that life will only get better. However, if you’ve been married for a while, you have probably discovered that the phrase should have read, “for better AND for worse” because both conditions are part of your experience. One day you can’t imagine being married to anyone else; love is flying and passion is deep. The very next day, you wonder why you ever married this person and true love seems like a lost dream.

Contrary to the “…and they lived happily ever after” storybook ending, real life is a constant mix of better and worse. Celebrate the “better” times and communicate through the “worse” ones. Remember that God is there to lean on when things are tough. His promise to you, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5b), can be your promise to each other, for better AND for worse!

Walking with my Lord

Dear Lord, thank You for Your love, especially when life is tough. Help us to love one another both when life is grand and when it is a struggle. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: With this Ring. Authors: Rev. Wes and Deaconess Sonja Baumeister. 26/28 ©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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With this Ring: Mutual Ministry

Mutual Ministry: Serving the Lord TogetherMustard Seed Daily Devotion

In the Word

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Hebrews 10:24

Of the Word

As individuals, each of you has unique skills and talents which God has already used to touch others. Now, together, you have the opportunity to offer your combined abilities to the building of God’s Kingdom. What skills do you have in common? Which talents complement each other? When do your schedules allow for mutual time to be set aside for service? What kind of encouragement can you give to each other as you serve individually and together in ministry?

The writer of Hebrews states, Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful (Hebrews 10:23). It is in God’s faithfulness that our service is grounded. It is in the sure and certain hope of salvation through Christ that we live and seek to draw others to this faithful God. As partners, spur one another on toward such love and good deeds.

Walking with my Lord

Dear Lord, as we have experienced Your faithfulness and grace, lead us to seek opportunities to share them with those whom You place in our paths. Continue to use us as individuals, and lead us to find ways to serve You together as a couple. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: With this Ring. Authors: Rev. Wes and Deaconess Sonja Baumeister. 25/28 ©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: So We Can Serve Him

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionBegin with God … So We Can Serve Him

In the Word

How will I serve God?

… whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.  Matthew 25:40b

Of the Word

What is your favorite way to be of service to others? What type of serving do you find most difficult to do? Comparing lists with a friend might reveal that what brings joy to one is pure drudgery to another!

God gives His people some specific directions about serving Him. … what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul … (Deuteronomy 10:12). Serve the Lord with gladness (Psalm 100:2a RSV).

Loving service often brings joy to the giver as well as the receiver. However, when we’re feeling less than joyful and willing, remembering Jesus’ words may provide an attitude adjustment. … whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me (Matthew 25:40b).

Service to God and others is thanksgiving and thanks-living, a joyful response for all that God has done for us!

Walking with my Lord

Dear Lord, I thank and praise You for being the God of my life. Thank You for providing opportunities to serve You. Help me to serve with joy, showing an attitude that reflects Your love to others. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Begin with God. Authors: Marcia Gomulka, Dcs. Betty Knapp, Myrna Lou Meyer. 26/28 ©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.
Scripture quotations marked RSV are from the Revised Standard Version, Copyright © OT 1952, NT 1946, Second Edition 1971, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
 

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