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Daughters of the King: Naaman's Servant Girl

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionNaaman’s Servant Girl — A Bold Missionary

Her Story: 2 Kings 5:1–14

In the Word

Now the Syrians on one of their raids had carried off a little girl from the land of Israel, and she worked in the service of Naaman’s wife.  2 Kings 5:2

Of the Word

In all of the accounts of the great Syrian army commander Naaman, only three verses speak of the servant girl and yet God used her in a powerful way. All we know for certain about her is that she was young, she had been kidnapped, and she knew of the prophet Elisha. She must have sensed the heartbreak Naaman’s leprosy caused, for she said to her mistress, “Would that my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy” (2 Kings 5:3b). Because the servant girl spoke up, Naaman did go to Elisha; he was cured of the leprosy; and most important of all he professed “… Behold, I know that there is no God in all the earth but in Israel … ” (2 Kings 5:15b).

Age doesn’t matter when it comes to serving God! We learn from this girl that we can be missionaries wherever we are. While she could have kept quiet, her actions teach us to speak boldly about what our great God can do. What a beautiful example she is of one making the best of an unpleasant situation.

Walking with my Lord

Father, please open my eyes to the opportunities You give me to serve others. May I speak to them boldly of Your love, mercy, and strength. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Daughters of the King. Marcia Gomulka and Myrna Lou Meyer, authors. 17/34 ©2013 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 ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
 
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Daughters of the King: The Widow of Zarepath

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionThe Widow of Zarepath — Nothing Left but Trust

Her Story: 1 Kings 17:1–24

In the Word

Then the word of the Lord came to him [Elijah], “Arise, go to Zarephath … I have commanded a widow there to feed you.”  1 Kings 17:8a; 9b

Of the Word

Because of a drought, a widow’s flour and oil was nearly gone. She would bake a bit of bread then she and her son would lie down to die. Enter the prophet Elijah who asks for some bread and water. Explaining her situation to Elijah, he tells the widow not to be afraid. Miraculously, the flour and oil lasted for days.

This story has yet another miracle. The widow’s son dies of an illness and even Elijah doesn’t understand why God let the child die. He fervently prays for life to be returned to him. Miraculously it was! This woman, led to despair, thought circumstances couldn’t get any worse, and yet they did. And we cry, “Lord, I, too have been there.”

God doesn’t want us dangling at the end of a rope. He wants to be our strength. Just as He told the widow not to be afraid, our Father gives us that same assurance. “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed” (Deuteronomy 31:8).

Walking with my Lord

Lord, when life is difficult help me freely surrender my troubles to You. Then help me trust in Your promise to always be with me. I pray in Your Almighty name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Daughters of the King. Marcia Gomulka and Myrna Lou Meyer, authors. 16/34 ©2013 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 ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
 

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Love, Laughter, and Lullabies: Fragrance Free

Fragrance FreeMustard Seed Daily Devotion

In the Word

For we are the aroma of Christ to God …  2 Corinthians 2:15a

Of the Word

The baby wipes box boasts that the wipes are fragrance free. If only there was a guarantee that the used baby wipe was also fragrance free! Like, me, you’ve probably had a couple gagging, eye-watering moments when duty calls!

Before we judge our babies by what they sometimes produce, we need to take a whiff of ourselves. Scripture tells us that we were dead in our transgressions and sins, and dead things tend to be very smelly.

In contrast, the apostle Paul wrote about a pleasant aroma, the Gospel of Christ, which makes us alive by His grace. The stinking, rotting self was left behind. We have the sure hope of eternal life, and that is news that must be shared!

You may think you are not up to the task of spreading this fragrant Good News. Paul also wrote that our sufficiency does not come from us, but from Christ alone. The Holy Spirit empowers us, making us bold in our witness to others.

Walking with my Lord

Dear Lord, help me spread the pleasant aroma of Your Gospel to the world around me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Love, Laughter, and Lullabies. DCE Amanda Stacy, author. 18/30 ©2013 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, English Standard Version Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
 

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Love, Laughter, and Lullabies: Thinking?

What Were They Thinking?Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

In the Word

… but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

Of the Word

While I watched my daughter move food from her plate to the highchair tray and back again, I thought to myself, “What in the world is she thinking?” Sometimes I wonder what possesses my daughter to do what she does.

We might also ask ”What were they thinking?” about some Bible characters. What were Adam and Eve thinking when they dressed in leaves and tried to hide from God? What possessed Jonah to board a ship to Tarshish rather than going to Nineveh? Did Pilate really believe he proved his innocence by simply washing his hands? Martha was in a cooking and cleaning frenzy while God was literally sitting in her home. What was she thinking?

But have we done the same kinds of things? Yes, but God doesn’t throw up His hands, shake His head, and walk away. While we were still sinners, Jesus died for us. Now we are reconciled to God through Jesus Christ, and we can rejoice in the love and  forgiveness He offers.

Walking with my Lord

Heavenly Father, thank You for loving me enough to send Your Son Jesus to live, to die, and to rise for me. In His name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Love, Laughter, and Lullabies. DCE Amanda Stacy, author. 17/30 ©2013 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, English Standard Version Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
 

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Love, Laughter, and Lullabies: Traveling Light

Traveling LightMustard Seed Daily Devotion

In the Word

“Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.”  Isaiah 26:4

Of the Word

There is no such thing as packing light when you have a baby. My diaper bag contains all I need for emergencies: diapers, extra clothes, snacks, toys, creams, powders, lotions. Now if I can find any of that stuff quickly when I need it, I’m in good shape.

Jesus instructed His disciples to travel light, taking only the clothes on their backs. He sent them out ahead of Him to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. They did not take a staff, a bag, food, or money. Jesus sent them with only one thing: the Gospel. They were successful as they shared God’s promises of forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation. Luke recorded, And they departed and went through the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere (Luke 9:6).

Jesus would like us to travel light also by relying on Him and His Gospel. When we fully rely on God and His promise of the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation, we are equipped to share that Gospel with others.

Walking with my Lord

Heavenly Father, help me rely fully on You. Equip me to share the Gospel message with all whose lives touch mine. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Love, Laughter, and Lullabies. DCE Amanda Stacy, author. 16/30 ©2013 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, English Standard Version Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
 

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Water of Life: A Break in the Road

A Break in the RoadMustard Seed Daily Devotion

In the Word

… and as soon as those bearing the ark had come as far as the Jordan, and the feet of the priests bearing the ark were dipped in the brink of the water (now the Jordan overflows all its banks throughout the time of harvest), the waters coming down from above stood and rose up in a heap very far away … Joshua 3:15–16a

Of the Word

No matter how carefully we plan, we will probably encounter obstacles on a long trip. On their way to Canaan, the Israelites ran into a large obstacle — the Jordan River. During its flood stage, the Jordan can be up to a mile wide, twelve feet deep, and very swift. But almighty God stood up the waters so the Israelites could cross over on dry ground.

With the Ark of the Covenant at the head of the procession, God led the Israelites safely across the Jordan.

There is no longer a physical Ark of the Covenant to lead us when we face the raging rivers of this world, but Jesus is always there to be our guide. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6b). When our way is dark He is the Light who leads the way. His way is the only way to eternal life.

Walking with my Lord

O Great Guide, You lead me in the way You have planned for me. Help me to follow, trusting always in You amidst the raging rivers of this world. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Water of Life. Michael Heckmann, author. 15/28 ©2013 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, English Standard Version Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
 

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Water of Life: Called By Name

Called By NameMustard Seed Daily Devotion

In the Word

And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”  Mark 1:10–11

Of the Word

Jesus’ public ministry began after His Baptism in the Jordan River. When He came up out of the water, God declared Him as His Son.

By Baptism, we have been made sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father. He says, “I have called you by name, you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1b). Saint Paul writes, … for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith (Galatians 3:26).

Immediately after His Baptism, the Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan. We, too, are tempted every day — tempted to doubt our faith, tempted to disobey God, tempted to follow the ways of the world. Temptations are all around us and are hard to escape, but because we have been joined with Christ, Satan has no power over us. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8b).

Walking with my Lord

Dear God, You are my Father and I am Your child. Guard and protect me from temptation and help me live my life as one who belongs to You. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Water of Life. Michael Heckmann, author. 14/28 ©2013 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, English Standard Version Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
 

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