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Faith-filled Parenting: Service

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Service

In the Word

Serve the Lord with gladness (Psalm 100:2a ESV).

Of the Word

Jesus Christ is the model of servanthood for all people. He served His Father by coming to earth to fulfill the plan of salvation. He served the world by dying on the cross and then rising again to complete the plan of salvation. While on earth, He was a servant leader, putting His followers’ needs before His own and loving them to death, even death on a cross.

Parents know that children are like sponges, absorbing everything they see and hear. Remembering that, parents model compassion, love, and forgiveness. Following Jesus’ example, they strive to meet their children’s needs, especially their spiritual needs. They show that Christian service is a joyful response to all that Jesus has done for them.

Stretch your faith-filled parenting: As a family, participate in a service project in your community.

Walking with my Lord

Serving Savior, You did not come to be served, but to serve by giving Your life for all people. Open pathways of joyous service so that my family and I may respond to Your love. In Your name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Faith-Filled Parenting. Authors: Rev. Larry and Shari Miller. 30/32 ©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.
Scripture quotations marked (ESV) were taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

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Walking with My Lord: Soften my hard heart

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What does it take to soften my hard heart?

In the Word

… no more hateful feelings of any sort. Instead, be kind and tender-hearted to one another, and forgive one another, as God has forgiven you through Christ (Ephesians 4:31c–32 GNT).

Of the Word

Jen keeps a ledger — a list of payments and expenses — and makes sure that everything balances each month. She keeps another “ledger” in her heart and mind — a list of wrongs her family and friends commit against her. She makes them “pay,” but this hard-hearted approach keeps Jen miserable most of the time.

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times” (Matthew 18:21–22). Jesus teaches us to forgive again and again when others sin against us.

The prophet Jeremiah explained that when Jesus came then God would declare: “I will forgive their sins and I will no longer remember their wrongs” (Jeremiah 31:34b GNT). This is the way God forgives. Because Jesus took our punishment on the cross, full forgiveness is ours by faith. Now with God’s help, we can strive to forgive others as He forgives us — without counting, without remembering, without resentment.

Walking with my Lord

Lord, soften my heart to forgive as You forgive. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Walking with My Lord. Author: Donna Streufert. 20/30  ©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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Walking with My Lord: Hold me, Lord

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Hold me, Lord, when suffering consumes me!

In the Word

He nurses them when they are sick, and soothes their pains and worries (Psalm 41:3 TLB).

Of the Word

“It is cancer, then?” Del asked. “Yes,” came the reply. The diagnosis crashed into his family’s life in that one phone call. Nothing would be quite the same ever again.

Del was sick, but they all were suffering. In the months ahead, Del and his family would yield their pain, their anxiety, their grief to Him. Jesus would soothe their suffering with His great love. They would trust His love for the outcome. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

They would take comfort in God’s promises. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me … (Psalm 23:4a).

Walking with my Lord

Lord Jesus, You hold me close to Your heart. Though my body and mind suffer pain, there I safely rest. Your compassion for me is limitless and I know You have my best interests at heart. Heal me as You see fit. Keep me and those who love me ever close to You. In Your name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Walking with My Lord. Author: Donna Streufert. 19/30  ©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 TLB are taken from THE LIVING BIBLE, Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, IL. Copyright © 1971.

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Faith-filled Parenting: Salvation

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Salvation

In the Word

“He is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:11–12).

Of the Word

Salvation is the foundation of each Christian’s faith. Christians believe that Jesus, true God and true Man, came to earth to suffer and die for our sins. He saved us from the consequences of sin, from the devil, and from death. He rose again, so that all believers in Him will have eternal life.

It is the privilege and responsibility of parents to share the joy of that salvation with their children. Children need to know they are sinners, but more importantly that they are saved by what Jesus has done for them on the cross. They need to realize that in their Baptism the Holy Spirit made them God’s dearly loved children. As their faith grows and matures, they will look forward to life forever with Jesus their Savior!

Stretch your faith-filled parenting: What do you believe about Jesus? Share Jesus’ salvation HIS-story with your child.

Walking with my Lord

Bringer of Salvation, may the Good News of Your salvation be always on my lips and in my heart. Give me the words to assure my child that every sin is covered by Your grace. In Your name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Faith-Filled Parenting. Authors: Rev. Larry and Shari Miller. 28/32 ©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: Words sting and wound

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Words shot from all sides sting and wound. How do I respond?

In the Word

Their tongue is a deadly arrow; it speaks with deceit. With his mouth each speaks cordially to his neighbor, but in his heart he sets a trap for him (Jeremiah 9:8).

Of the Word

No one enjoys being a target or a verbal punching bag. Criticism hurts. Gossip wounds. We feel especially wounded and betrayed by unkind words from someone we considered a friend. We may respond by lashing out or retreating inward. Either way we lose.

How does a Christian respond? Jesus suffered criticism, gossip, scorn, and betrayal. Sometimes He responded with silence — always with love. He taught His disciples: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…” (Matthew 5:44b). St. Paul took Jesus as his model. He wrote of himself and other apostles: When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly (1 Corinthians 4:12b–13a).

Love is always at the heart of our Christian response. Sometimes that means speaking up and speaking the truth. As we grow and mature in our faith we are humble, gentle, and patient with one another as Jesus was. And in love we speak the truth to one another as Jesus did.

Walking with my Lord

Lord Jesus, You understand how I feel when words wound me. Make me patient. Make me wise. Help me love as You love. Show me when to speak up and when to keep still. In Your name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Walking with My Lord. Author: Donna Streufert. 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 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: Goodness

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Goodness

In the Word

How great is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you, which you bestow in the sight of men on those who take refuge in you (Psalm 31:19).

Of the Word

Jesus exudes goodness. In His goodness He took the punishment for our sins, paying for them with His life on Calvary’s cross. He continues to give His good gifts of salvation and the hope for eternal life to each believer in Him.

Our Father in heaven is good to us. He fills our lives to overflowing with blessings — both physical and spiritual — which sustain our life on earth. We can sing with joy and gratitude, “God is so good, He’s so good to me!” That joyful refrain is ours on earth and through eternity.

Everything good comes from God. In turn, parents are good to their children by providing what they need for a full life. They are especially good to their children when they share the knowledge of God that leads to eternal life in heaven.

Stretch your faith-filled parenting: Have daily devotions and read God’s Word with your child, learning together of God’s goodness.

Walking with my Lord

Good and gracious Lord, I see Your goodness poured out as You sacrificed Yourself for me on the cross. Help me to share Your goodness with others. In Your name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Faith-Filled Parenting. Authors: Rev. Larry and Shari Miller. 27/32 ©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: Beauty

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Beauty

In the Word

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well (Psalm 139:14).

Of the Word

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” is an oft-repeated phrase. Fortunately, God the Father looks at His dear children through the eyes of Jesus, the Savior and Redeemer of the world who suffered and died on the cross so that everyone could be saved. Our Heavenly Father, looking through the shadow of the cross, sees His children as forgiven. This “spiritual beauty” is much more important than any physical trait or characteristic.

In our world, physical appearance is very important, especially to young people. Children need to receive affirmation from their parents that they look nice, have a beautiful smile, or have a great sense of fashion. Most importantly, however, parents must assure their children that they have inner beauty because God has claimed them as His own.

Stretch your faith-filled parenting: Make an effort to compliment the appearance of your child each day. Be specific. Remind your child of the inner beauty that is a gift from God. 

Walking with my Lord

Creating Father, thank You for sending Jesus to take away the stain of sin and making me clean and beautiful in Your sight. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Faith-Filled Parenting. Authors: Rev. Larry and Shari Miller. 26/32 ©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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