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Walking with My Lord: I belong to you.

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I belong to you. You belong to me.

In the Word

Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others (Romans 12:4–5).

Of the Word

Evie gazed lovingly on her newborn baby girl. Four daughters in one family! And each one was a little individual with a temperament and a mind of her own. Evie wondered about the special place her new baby would fill in their growing family. One thing was for sure. She would be cherished, embraced, nurtured, encouraged, and loved. She would always belong.

In God’s family it’s much the same. As brothers and sisters in Christ we belong to each other. We live in harmony, are sympathetic, loving, compassionate, and humble. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn (Romans 12:15). But just as earthly families sometimes forget they belong to each other, so also members of God’s family sometimes forget. Fear or busyness or indifference may make us hesitate to get involved with the joys and sorrows of fellow Christians. Then the Spirit gently reminds us who we are and Whose we are!

Walking with my Lord

Heavenly Father, You have blessed me with a family of faith. You have given me brothers and sisters, my fellow redeemed, to care for and love. Forgive me when I forget each one is Your precious child. Help me listen, empathize, and reach out to others who need me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Walking with My Lord. Author: Donna Streufert. 8/30  ©2007 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. 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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Walking with My Lord: No cookie cutters

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God didn’t use a cookie cutter when He created us.

In the Word

Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? (1 Corinthians 12:29–30).

Of the Word

Jill stared in the mirror, examining her limp hair and not-so-perfect teeth. “Why can’t I have curly hair like Amy’s?” she complained. “She’s beautiful, sings solos in the church choir and has loads of friends.” Jill was forgetting her own lovely eyes, her winning ways with kids, and her shrewd business sense.

God didn’t use a cookie cutter when He created us, stamping out everyone to fit the exact same mold. God has made us what we are (Ephesians 2:10a GW). Our Creator knew exactly the best way to put us all together — physical characteristics, talents, and personality. Then, He drew up a plan for us to use His gifts. He has created us in Christ Jesus to live lives filled with good works that he has prepared [in advance] for us to do (Ephesians 2:10b GW).

Every person is God’s unique creation. Every life has a purpose. What joy we find in discovering our God-given gifts and following His lead in using them to serve others!

Walking with my Lord

Father, thank You for creating me just as You wished. Forgive me when I compare myself to others and complain about the gifts I lack. Show me how to honor You with the abilities You have given me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Walking with My Lord. Author: Donna Streufert. 7/30  ©2007 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. 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 GW are taken from GOD’S WORD, God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society, Grand Rapids, MI. Copyright © 1995.

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Faith-filled Parenting: Worship

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Worship

In the Word

Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness (Psalm 29:2).

Of the Word

Our God is an awesome God! He loved the world so much that He saw its need and sent His Son Jesus to earth to be both God and man. Jesus lived a perfect life, then suffered and died on the cross for the sins of the world. He rose again so that those who believe might live eternally with Him in heaven. God deserves all honor and praise.

Worship is the vehicle the Lord has established to praise and thank the triune God for His love and salvation. There also we receive assurance of Jesus’ love and forgiveness through hearing God’s Word and receiving Holy Communion.

Because children learn by example, it is important that they see their parents frequently and willingly worshipping the Lord by participating in liturgy, song, and prayer. Regular worship can become a habit that provides a lifetime of blessings.

Stretch your faith-filled parenting: As a family, make a resolution to attend worship at least once a week and to participate in all it has to offer.

Walking with my Lord

O Lord, help me to live a life that worships and praises You in all that I do. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Faith-Filled Parenting. Authors: Rev. Larry and Shari Miller. 23/32 ©2009 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. 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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Walking with My Lord: Does God smile at me?

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Does God smile at me? Yes! Grace is God’s smile upon us!

In the Word

“… the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you …” (Numbers 6:25).

Of the Word

An unexpected smile from a stranger can brighten our day! It’s especially sweet since we’ve probably done nothing to deserve such graciousness. A stranger doesn’t even know us.

Our Lord, the One who knows us best, flashes His gracious smile on us daily! Because of our weakness, failure, and disobedience, we may fear that God is scowling. God assures us, however, that His smile does not depend on us. It’s His free gift. For it is by God’s grace that you have been saved through faith. It is not the result of your own efforts, but God’s gift, so that no one can boast about it (Ephesians 2:8–9 GNT). Grace is God’s smile upon us.

What’s next? Let us have confidence, then, and approach God’s throne, where there is grace. There we will receive mercy and find grace to help us just when we need it (Hebrews 4:16 GNT).

Walking with my Lord

Dear Lord, Your loving smile lifts me when I’m depressed, comforts me when I’m hurt, encourages me when I blunder. Help me share Jesus my Savior with those who need Him, too. By Your Spirit’s power create and sustain saving faith in all Your children. In Your name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Walking with My Lord. Author: Donna Streufert. 3/30  ©2007 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. 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 GNT are taken from the GOOD NEWS TRANSLATION – Second Edition, American Bible Society, New York, NY. Copyright © 1992.

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Faith-filled Parenting: Obedience

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Obedience

In the Word

Be careful to obey all these regulations I am giving you, so that it may always go well with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what is good and right in the eyes of the LORD your God (Deuteronomy 12:28).

Of the Word

Jesus summarized God’s commandments when He said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:30–31). God the Father knew that these commands would be impossible for us to keep, so He sent His Son Jesus to live perfectly and then to die, not for His own sins but for the sins of all people. His obedience to the Law not only fulfills the Law, but also gives us the freedom to love our Lord and love our neighbor.

In the family, parents are given authority to love and discipline their children. That authority carries with it a great responsibility for parents to discipline with love. Discipline done with love and respect can encourage obedience.

Stretch your faith-filled parenting: Share with your child some of the rules you had when you were a child. Discuss if those rules still apply today. Share how obedience to God brings joy to you.

Walking with my Lord

Obedient Redeemer, give me joy when I do what You want which is also good for those around me. Let all things be done to Your glory. In Your name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Faith-Filled Parenting. Authors: Rev. Larry and Shari Miller. 21/32 ©2009 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. 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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Faith-filled Parenting: Discipline

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Discipline

In the Word

My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in (Proverbs 3:11–12).

Of the Word

Our heavenly Father loved His children so much that He sent His Son Jesus to suffer and die for their sins. Because of Jesus, sins are forgiven. However, this forgiveness does not guarantee that trying situations will not happen. The Father disciplines His children for their good. The Lord lovingly uses adversity to instruct His children and guide them back to Him.

It is the responsibility of the parent to set boundaries for children. Children will often stretch these boundaries to the limit. Discipline is a tool to be used as a loving way to instruct and guide the child back in the right direction — back to the love of Jesus. Faith-filled parenting practices forgiving the sin while still loving the sinner.

Stretch your faith-filled parenting: Resolve to discipline your child with firmness, love, and respect, confident that the Holy Spirit will work through you to do what is best for your child.

Walking with my Lord

Loving Father, forgive me when I am short-tempered and impatient. Help me to show love and respect when it is necessary to be the disciplinarian in my home. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Faith-Filled Parenting. Authors: Rev. Larry and Shari Miller. 20/32 ©2009 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. 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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Living in Prayer: My God knows what He’s doing!

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My God knows what He’s doing! He doesn’t make mistakes!

In the Word

What a God he is! How perfect in every way! All his promises prove true (Psalm 18:30a LB).

Of the Word

It’s Tuesday. The week has barely started and the piles on the desk just keep growing. The phone rings constantly. It’s 2:30 pm and you’ve been “walking backwards” all day. The feeling of “What am I doing here?” replays itself over and over in your head. “I’m not capable of doing this job. It’s too demanding. It’s just too hard!”

… my grace is sufficient for you … (2 Corinthians 12:9a). The phrase keeps running through your head. “Yeah, God, but …” The thought returns my grace is sufficient for you. The Apostle Paul needed to hear those words as much as we do. He experienced a daily “thorn” in the flesh that brought him back to reality knowing it was God working through him that accomplished everything. … for when I am weak, then I am strong — the less I have, the more I depend on him (2 Corinthians 12:10b LB).

Whether it is work demands, child-rearing issues, marital concerns, or health related problems, God’s message remains the same: my grace is sufficient for you.

Walking with my Lord

Lord, help me recognize Your hand leading me each day as I live my life as a witness to Your love and faithfulness. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in Prayer. Written by 2003–2005 LWML Christian Life Committee. 25/31 ©2005 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.

Scripture quotations marked LB are taken from The Living Bible, Copyright © 1971, Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187. All rights reserved.

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