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With This Ring: Intimacy

Intimacy: A Gift from GodMustard Seed Daily Devotion

In the Word

How much more pleasing is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your perfume than any spice! Song of Songs 4:10b

Of the Word

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth — for your love is more delightful than wine. … Take me away with you — let us hurry! Let the king bring me into his chambers (Song of Songs 1:2, 4). And so begins one of the most passionate books ever written, the Song of Songs.

Reading this Old Testament book helps one realize that God is the creator of sexual intimacy, and it is good! The language of the book reflects a different time and culture, but the concepts are timeless.

Sexual intimacy is the indescribable physical expression of love between a husband and wife that properly occurs within the context of trust, vulnerability, and gentleness. When any of these are lacking, the sexual relationship, as well as the whole relationship, suffers. Fostering this intimacy takes communication on verbal, emotional, and physical levels. Share with your spouse what you enjoy and what you don't enjoy. Discuss what brings you closer together. Rejoice in this special gift of God.

Walking with my Lord

Dear Creator of all that is good, thank You for the gift of sexual intimacy. Help us to care for one another on this level to deepen our love for each other. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: With this Ring. Authors: Rev. Wes and Deaconess Sonja Baumeister. 10/28 ©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: He Gives Strength

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionBegin with God … He Gives Strength

In the Word

To whom can we turn for strength?

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1).

Of the Word

Physical strength is a powerful thing — just look at a football player or a weightlifter! All over this country people are spending money and hours in fitness centers to improve their strength. Physical strength is necessary; without it we couldn't walk across a room.

But where does the strength come from to sustain us when our heart and mind and soul are crying out in weakness? When we feel fearful and know that we can't do it on our own, God speaks to us.

"I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand" (Is. 41:10b).

When we face temptation we are reminded of God's promises.

… the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one (2 Thessalonians 3:3).

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1).

When life just seems too much to bear, we can step boldly, knowing that God is always there. We can proclaim along with King David, "It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect" (2 Samuel 22:33).

Walking with my Lord

Dear Lord, be my Strength and Refuge. May I always depend on You to help me be spiritually strong even when I am physically weak. I know You are steadfast and I thank You for Your promise of strength to overcome the evil one. Make me strong to do Your work. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Begin with God. Authors: Marcia Gomulka, Dcs. Betty Knapp, Myrna Lou Meyer. 12/28 ©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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Begin with God: He Gives Wisdom

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionBegin with God … He Gives Wisdom

In the Word

What is God's gift of wisdom?

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him (James 1:5).

Of the Word

What makes a person wise? Is it incredible knowledge or enormous heart? True wisdom is knowing how to apply God's Word to our lives. God's gift of wisdom leads each of us to discern His will. God's wisdom is revealed through Holy Scripture.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding (Psalm 111:10a).

… you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 3:15).

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him (James 1:5).

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere (James 3:17).

Wisdom is God's generous gift to us. Through wisdom we are taught how to live our lives in accordance with God's will.

Walking with my Lord

Dear Father in Heaven, I know that You are the all-wise God. Your Spirit of wisdom in me is essential for me to live a life pleasing to You. I ask that You give generously of Your wisdom to me so that my life will reflect You in all that I say and do. I ask in Jesus' name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Begin with God. Authors: Marcia Gomulka, Dcs. Betty Knapp, Myrna Lou Meyer. 11/28 ©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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Begin with God: He Gives Comfort

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionBegin with God … He Gives Comfort

In the Word

Is God always ready to listen to me?

My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life (Psalm 119:50).

Of the Word

Wouldn't it be fantastic to be comfortable all of the time? In our everyday lives we want to have comfortable shoes, comfortable beds, comfortable temperatures, comfortable friends. We even have our own special comfort foods. But, alas, being comfortable all of the time just isn't "real." Aches and pains come our way as do old age, job losses, broken-down communications, suffering, and even death. These are the times we can turn to God knowing that only He can comfort our innermost being. The comforting "things" of this world are only temporary fixes, but God's comfort lasts.

Praise be to … the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God (2 Corinthians 1:3–4).

My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life (Psalm 119:50).

Walking with my Lord

My dear Father, I sometimes come to You with a heavy heart and in need of Your comfort. I know that You love me and will never leave me, but at times I feel You are so far away. Lord, forgive my weakness and doubt. Help me in these times to lean on You and renew me with Your Holy Spirit. I pray in Jesus' name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Begin with God. Authors: Marcia Gomulka, Dcs. Betty Knapp, Myrna Lou Meyer. 10/28 ©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: Enables Me to Follow Jesus

Living in the Spirit … Enables Me to Follow JesusMustard Seed Daily Devotion

In the Word

… live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. Galatians 5:16–17a

Of the Word

Do you remember playing tug-o-war as a youngster? Teams were chosen, the rope was stretched, and the pulling began. Muscles bulged, feet slipped, onlookers cheered. And finally one team glowed in victory while the other sagged in defeat.

Does your life seem like a tug-o-war? Are you pulled by temptations and tugged by the Spirit? Yes? Yes! All Christians are! As St. Paul said, For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing (Romans 7:18b–19).

How can we win the battle? St. Paul reminds us, You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you (Romans 8:9a).

Because of God's grace, we have His Spirit. Jesus has won the tug-o-war against sin for us by His death on the cross.

Walking with my Lord

Dear Lord, I face daily battles with sin and temptations. I confess that sometimes I fail. Forgive me and strengthen me, for I pray in Jesus' name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in the Spirit. Authors: Marcia Gomulka, Dcs. Betty Knapp, Myrna Lou Meyer. 9/30 ©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: Is God's Gift

Living in the Spirit … Is God's GiftMustard Seed Daily Devotion

In the Word

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God…  Ephesians 2:8

Of the Word

Lights on the dashboard signaled trouble, and she was many miles from home. Slowly she rolled into a farmyard, hoping that someone was there. The farmer came out, assessed the problem and offered a ride to the nearest town. Several hours later when the car was once again drivable she offered fervent thanks and a cash gift. The farmer warmly accepted her gratitude but vehemently refused her money. "Helping you was my gift to you," he insisted. "If I take your money, my help isn't a gift anymore."

So it is with God's grace; it is a gift. Grace is not earned. It cannot be bought for any price in any currency by any individual. It is a gift, a precious gift given by a loving God.

We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us (1 Corinthians 2:12).

It is impossible to comprehend a holy God who would freely give the gift of His grace to sinful people who turn their backs on Him. Only by His Spirit can we believe the good news that His gift is ours.

Walking with my Lord

Thank You, Lord, for the gifts of faith and salvation. When my faith weakens, strengthen me with Your Spirit. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in the Spirit. Authors: Marcia Gomulka, Dcs. Betty Knapp, Myrna Lou Meyer. 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 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.
 

Living in the Spirit … Is God’s Gift devotion — printable version

 

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Living in the Spirit: Means Freedom

Living in the Spirit … Means FreedomMustard Seed Daily Devotion

In the Word

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1–2

Of the Word

Freedom. What does it mean in today's society? The word is used to support both liberal and conservative ideas and philosophies. Some are God-pleasing and others are not. What does freedom mean to a Christian? We can look at it in two ways: First, the Christian has freedom from sin and death. Neither has power anymore. The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:56–57).

Second, the Christian has freedom to live a new life, a life in Christ. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins (Colossians 1:13–14).

As Christians we have freedom from death; freedom to live for Him. Thank God for His gift of freedom!

Walking with my Lord

Lord of Life, thank You for setting me free from sin and death through Jesus Christ. Help me to live my new life for You. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in the Spirit. Authors: Marcia Gomulka, Dcs. Betty Knapp, Myrna Lou Meyer. 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 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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View printable PDF of this devotion, Living in the Spirit: Means Freedom

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