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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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View printable PDF of this devotion, Joy in God's Changelessness

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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Comfort from the Psalms: Waiting

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionWaiting

In the Word

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14

Of the Word

Waiting is not fun. We wait in the checkout line. We wait at the traffic light. We wait for test results. Doctors even plan for us to wait by providing a waiting room!

The psalmist says, Wait for the Lord. Waiting for the Lord is not necessarily easy either. Perhaps we’d like to speed up His process. In our impatience we seek to enjoy the results of our hard work without actually doing anything.

The psalmist also says, My times are in your hands … (Psalm 31:15a). Trusting the Lord, we can live today … today. Trusting Jesus does not remove the waiting, but it means that we can be confident in His plan, His timing, and His ultimate blessing.

As we wait, we can say, … I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God” (Psalm 31:14).

Walking with my Lord

Dear Lord, forgive my impatience and help me to wait for Your perfect timing in my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Comfort from the Psalms. Authors: Marcia Gomulka & Myrna Lou Meyer. 10/30 ©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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Living in Faith: ... Included with Christ

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionFaith is … Remembering that We are Included with Christ

In the Word

And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Ephesians 1:13a

Of the Word

“If only I had faith like his!” People are often heard to make such a remark. But in admiring the faith of a fellow Christian, we dare not overlook the fact that we, too, have been greatly blessed by God. You, too, are a part of Christ’s Church. Paul reminds us of this:… you also — as an individual — were included in Christ … What an honor it is to be numbered along with great men and women of faith, people like Abraham, Sarah, Paul, Peter, James, John, Martha, and Mary! With them you also are … included in Christ.

At your baptism, the Triune God entered a covenant with you alone. God’s grace was planned to give you strength in every conflict with sin. God’s grace is given to you to comfort you in the midst of many sorrows in life. You are included in God’s special family! Yes, we may admire other Christians and look up to the Bible’s heroes and heroines of faith. But we must remember we all have the same Savior and the same Word of Truth.

May God’s peace ever dwell in our hearts and cause us to overflow with joy.

Walking with my Lord

“Just as I am, without one plea But that Thy blood was shed for me And that Thou bidd’st me come to Thee, O Lamb of God, I come, I come!” In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in Faith. Author: Rev. Darold Reiner. 12/30 ©2007 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.
“Just As I Am, Without One Plea” words by Charlotte Elliott, music by William B. Bradbury – Public Domain.
 

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Living in Faith: Believing in God’s Grace

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionFaith is … Believing in God’s Grace

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 — not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8–9

Of the Word

One of the biggest obstacles we deal with as the Holy Spirit calls us to faith is our prideful attitude, our inflated opinion of ourselves. We are tempted to imagine we can manage quite well on our own.

God’s greatest work with us is to constantly teach us that without Him we can do nothing. We are deluded into thinking that because we go to church regularly or give of our tithes regularly, we are self-sufficient and therefore able to manage without the Lord.

Have you ever said, “I do the best I can”? Do we actually think that what we are able to do is good enough to stand before God?

What are you actually able to do by yourself? Convert yourself? Break with sin? Believe? Repent? Pray? Live a God-pleasing life? We fail at all of these without the Holy Spirit and His power working in us through Word and Sacrament. We can do none of these on our own power or strength. When we have come to the place where we see this truth clearly, as it really is, then we can recognize our need for God’s grace.

Walking with my Lord

Dear Lord, I confess I can do nothing without You. Help me each day to recognize my need for You and to believe in Your love for me. In Christ’s name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in Faith. Author: Rev. Darold Reiner. 11/30 ©2007 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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