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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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Begin with God: So We Can Do His Will

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionBegin with God … So We Can Do His Will

In the Word

What is God’s will for me?

… all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.  Romans 3:23–24

Of the Word

What is God’s will for me? What does He say about it? How can I do His will? By inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the Apostle John wrote: … this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us (1 John 3:23).

Not one person on earth can obey God’s laws perfectly. But Jesus, the perfect Son of God Who came to earth as a tiny baby, lived a perfect life and fulfilled the Law for us … all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus (Romans 3:23–24).

Praise be to God that through Christ we are justified. Because of Christ, we are just and right with God — just right for doing His will. That can begin with the love we show toward one another, a love which responds to the love God has given to us through Jesus.

Walking with my Lord

Thank You, God, that I can learn of Your will for me in Your Word. Thank You for sending Jesus to do Your will and to keep the Law perfectly for me. Help me to seek Your will for my life, to joyfully obey You, and to love others as You have loved me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Begin with God. Authors: Marcia Gomulka, Dcs. Betty Knapp, Myrna Lou Meyer. 25/28 ©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: Produces Patience

Living in the Spirit … Produces PatienceMustard Seed Daily Devotion

In the Word

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.  2 Peter 3:9

Of the Word

We have become a world of impatient people. We have instant coffee, instant mashed potatoes, fast access to the internet, and instant messaging on our phones. As Christians we know God answers our prayers but often our impatient attitude says, “Lord, please answer my prayer, and I need an answer now.”

The things we cherish the most in this life don’t happen overnight. In this fast-paced world, precious and wonderful things take time to develop — babies, love, friendships, family, and our own relationship with God. These things must be nurtured and fed with care and patience until they develop and blossom and become what God intends them to be.

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

Patience is a gift of the Holy Spirit, one that must be practiced so it can flourish. By God’s grace, the Holy Spirit will teach us to be patient, just as our Father God is patient with us.

Walking with my Lord

Lord, I thank You for being patient with me especially when I have failed to be what You would have me be. Through Your Holy Spirit, help me to practice patience with others. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in the Spirit. Authors: Marcia Gomulka, Dcs. Betty Knapp, Myrna Lou Meyer. 24/30 ©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: Brings Peace

Living in the Spirit … Brings PeaceMustard Seed Daily Devotion

In the Word

“Why are you troubled …?” Luke 24:38b

Of the Word

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

MY TROUBLE IS MY PAST.

Try as we might, it is difficult to forget the past as well as forgive ourselves. We carry around a load of guilt. We yearn for peace and the Holy Spirit whispers, He [Jesus] is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2).

MY TROUBLE IS THE PRESENT.

Bills are due and money is short. We are alone and lonely. Our parents are aging. Unemployment is just around the corner. Our teenager is troubled. We cry aloud and the Spirit answers, Good people suffer many troubles, but the Lord saves them from them all … (Psalm 34:19 GNT).

MY TROUBLE IS THE FUTURE.

We don’t even have peace at night because we’re worrying about what may happen. The Holy Spirit gently echoes the words of Jesus, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).

Walking with my Lord

Heavenly Father, forgive me for those times that I allow myself to be all tied up in knots from worrying. I know that Your Holy Spirit can bring me peace. Grant me that in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in the Spirit. Authors: Marcia Gomulka, Dcs. Betty Knapp, Myrna Lou Meyer. 23/30 ©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.
Good News Translation® (Today’s English Version, Second Edition) Copyright © 1992 American Bible Society. All rights reserved.
 

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Living in the Spirit: Gives Me Joy

Living in the Spirit … Gives Me JoyMustard Seed Daily Devotion

In the Word

The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.  Psalm 126:3

Of the Word

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

Vacations. Vacation homes. Jobs. Better jobs. TVs. Bigger TVs. Parties. More parties. shopping, shopping, shopping. Boats. Cars, etc., etc., etc. The list of things we think will bring us joy is endless. But the time, energy, and money spent on the pursuit of happiness are wasted because the material things we want today are not a source of everlasting joy. They will not bring comfort when troubles or sorrows enter our lives.

True joy comes to us as the Holy Spirit leads us into living with Jesus Christ. Through Him we have the precious gift of eternal life. Knowing this helps us to walk through the dark times into the Light of Christ’s love. The things of life are only temporary but God’s promises will last forever. Joy is God caring for us.

Let us shout with loud voices, “Joy to the world, the Lord is come!” He has come to give us this message: “For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:40).

Walking with my Lord

Lord, what comfort I have knowing the pursuit of spiritual things will never be time wasted. Thank You for the joy You have put in my life through Your Spirit and Your Son. In His name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in the Spirit. Authors: Marcia Gomulka, Dcs. Betty Knapp, Myrna Lou Meyer. 22/30 ©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.
(Hymn text: “Joy to the World” — public domain.)
 

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