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Living as a Woman in Mission: Light in the ...

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionLight in the Darkness

In the Word

I lift up my eyes to the hills — where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1–2

Of the Word

The hill behind my house, not grand by mountain standards, is a challenge for my legs and lungs. One very dreary fall morning when my mood matched the weather, I was sitting at my kitchen table staring out into the backyard. Suddenly I was awed by “fire” in the treetops on the hill. The sun had broken through the clouds and its rays turned the trees to a brilliant orange that blazed against the black sky. It lasted only a few minutes, but what joy filled my heart as my eyes feasted on the beauty!

A greater joy came from remembering the One who made the hill, the trees, and the dark gloomy morning with its spark of beauty. Our merciful God is still in charge. The touch of His love turns darkness into light.

Time spent praying, praising God, and reading His Word helps me remember that though my days are not always sunny and fun, God is with me. His beauty, love, and mercy surround me. When my spirits start to sag, I look to my hill — or better yet, climb it. I find myself praising God for this bit of creation He has given me.

Walking with my Lord

Creator God, help me look for the beauty in my world and in the people You put into my life. Let the joy of hope shine in me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living as a Woman in Mission. Author: Barbara Carlson. 12/32 ©2009 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118. 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 as a Woman in Mission: Unexplainable Peace

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionUnexplainable Peace

In the Word

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6

Of the Word

The small African airport was crowded and seats were few, but I found one. For two weeks I had been in Africa as a prayer seminar instructor. I was tired and hungry. Pulling out my billfold, I was shocked to discover my credit and ATM cards were missing. Immediately, I searched all the pockets of my purse and jacket. Nothing. I waited for panic to set in but instead experienced an overwhelming sense of peace. Calmly, I prayed the Lord would keep my cards from opportunists and left for my departure gate.

“Lady! Lady!” a man shouted. As I turned I saw him holding my cards. “Are these yours?” I ran back thanking him profusely. The cards had fallen between the chair and cushion where moments before I had been sitting. The calm I felt when my cards were missing was not of my own doing. That sense of calm was a gift from God as miraculous as recovering my cards! Now I have a deeper appreciation of St. Paul’s words: And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).

Walking with my Lord

Lord, You promise peace in all circumstances. Help me to remember that wherever I go You are with me. Teach me to trust in You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living as a Woman in Mission. Author: Marilyn Luschen. 11/32 ©2009 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118. 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 as a Woman in Mission: Mirror, Mirror

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionMirror, Mirror, What Do I See When Looking at Me?

In the Word

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Proverbs 31:30

Of the Word

How does the world see us? Sometimes the world perceives us as polished, poised, and — on a really good hair day — even pretty. Yet deep down inside, our feelings can be that we are anything but beautiful.

We have the feeling of dissatisfaction because we don’t have the perfect shape or figure. We live with the “if only” syndrome: If only I had thinner thighs, a flatter stomach, or lovelier locks, I would be happier with myself. As a result we feel anxious and fretful.

Through our intimate relationship with Him, Jesus gives us true beauty. He provides confidence to face each day, imparting a glow that no cosmetic or clothing can replicate. Our love for the Savior puts a twinkle in our eye, a spring in our step, and a peace in our soul. Makeup can cover imperfections and make us prettier, but Jesus’ love makes us beautiful. The next time you look into a mirror, smile. Know that Jesus has made you truly beautiful, inside and out!

Walking with my Lord

Dear Jesus, help me to accept myself as You have created me. Let all with whom I come into contact see You through the sparkle in my eyes, the kind words from my lips, and the love from my outstretched hands. In Your name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living as a Woman in Mission. Author: Terry Lee Kieschnick. 10/32 ©2009 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118. 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 Joy: Reflecting God’s Love Brings Joy

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionReflecting God’s Love Brings Joy

In the Word

We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19

Of the Word

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves (Romans 12:9–10). God has given us the perfect pattern for loving, but our sinful nature often prevents us from following His pattern.

It’s easy — most of the time, anyway — to love family and friends. But loving those who are different from us is much harder. Barriers are created by a strange hair style or color, by a foreign language, by odd, dirty, or ragged clothing.

The Holy Spirit gives us a Christ-like heart in order that we may put aside our natural feelings and begin to reflect God’s love.

Walking with my Lord

Dear Lord, forgive me for the unloving feelings I have toward others. Help me to remember how much You love me. Help me to share Your love, particularly with those who are different from me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in Joy. Authors: Dcs. Betty Knapp, Irene Mensing, Myrna Lou Meyer, Margaret White. 12/30 ©2005 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St Louis, MO 63118. 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 Joy: Joy in God’s Changelessness

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionJoy in God’s Changelessness

In the Word

I the Lord do not change. Malachi 3:6a

Of the Word

Grandparents entertain their grandchildren with stories of the olden days. They tell of farming with horses, cooking for threshing crews, butchering and curing meat for the winter. They experienced and adjusted to hundreds of changes over the years. They went from horses to automatic transmissions, from smokehouses to supermarkets. But as Christians, one thing had never changed: their unchanging God. Their faith — His gift to them at baptism — had seen them through and would see them into eternity.

No matter what changes come throughout our lives, our God will never change. His love is permanent and changeless. His promise of salvation is sure. His heaven awaits for all who know Jesus as Lord and Savior.

You, O Lord, reign forever; your throne endures from generation to generation (Lamentations 5:19). They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved — you and your household (Acts 16:31).”

Walking with my Lord

Lord, thank You for the gift of faith that enables me to know You. Thank You for being constant and unchangeable in this rapidly-changing world. Help me to accept and enjoy the changes that come into my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in Joy. Authors: Dcs. Betty Knapp, Irene Mensing, Myrna Lou Meyer, Margaret White. 10/30 ©2005 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St Louis, MO 63118. 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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Comfort from the Psalms: Good Grief = Relief

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionGood Grief = Relief

In the Word

… the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in him. Psalm 32:10b

Of the Word

When things go wrong for poor cartoon character Charlie Brown, he often says, “Good grief!” Can grief ever be good?

Yes! Grief over sin leads to repentance, repentance to confession, and confession to forgiveness. Though the world may advise, “You mess up, you cover it up,” the Word of God says otherwise. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord” — and you forgave the guilt of my sin (Psalm 32:5).

How can we be sure of God’s forgiveness? He sent Jesus to live and die and rise again. Over and over in His Word, He promises forgiveness. God’s love and forgiveness are sure.

Walking with my Lord

Loving Father, I have sinned. Forgive me for Jesus’ sake and help me to live according to Your will. Thank You for Your unfailing love. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Comfort from the Psalms. Authors: Marcia Gomulka & Myrna Lou Meyer. 12/30 ©2009 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St Louis, MO 63118. 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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Comfort from the Psalms: Not Alone

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionNot Alone

In the Word

… where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1b, 2

Of the Word

“No! I do it by self!” cried the determined three-year-old. “When I get it figured out, Mom, I’ll let you know,” said the equally-determined teenager when her mother offered help. Both the child and the teen rejected help in favor of “going it alone.”

Do those words and attitudes come from God’s people? Too often, we choose to strike out on our own trying to do it by ourselves. We forget the Lord has promised to share every burden.

He promised Joshua, leader of the children of Israel, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Joshua 1:5b). Joshua had served faithfully for years when God assigned him the new and formidable task of taking the Israelites into Canaan. Joshua was an ordinary man but he became extraordinary when God’s Spirit blessed him with strength and courage. What task awaits you? Big or small, you don’t have to “go it alone.” Our heavenly Father stands ready to lead you to it and help you through it.

Walking with my Lord

Dear Lord, sometimes I am like a willful child, stubbornly refusing Your help. Send Your Spirit to soften my heart and remind me of Your promise to be my Helper. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Comfort from the Psalms. Authors: Marcia Gomulka & Myrna Lou Meyer. 11/30 ©2009 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St Louis, MO 63118. 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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