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Water of Life: One and Only One

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionOne and Only One

In the Word

From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water. James 3:10–12

Of the Word

Dandelions will never produce roses. A lion will never give birth to a zebra. A salt water fish cannot survive in fresh water, and a fresh water fish will die in salt water. A fig tree will never bear olives, and an olive branch will never produce figs. Jesus asked, “Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles” (Matthew 7:16b)?

Christians were not created for opposing purposes. We were not created to praise God and curse others with the same mouth. This isn’t to say that Christians won’t sin. But when we do sin, we confess our sins and we receive forgiveness. … if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous (1 John 2:1b). Jesus speaks for us before the Father. By His all-atoning sacrifice on the cross, He made payment for our sins.

With hearts and minds focused on Christ, our mouths will speak Christ-like words.

Walking with my Lord

God of Creation, You created me to be Your child. Forgive me for all the times I have sinned, and help me to live a life of praise to You. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Water of Life. Michael Heckmann, author. 28/28 ©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: All Dried Up

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionAll Dried Up

In the Word

“[Judah’s] nobles send their servants for water; they come to the cisterns; they find no water; they return with their vessels empty; they are ashamed and confounded and cover their heads.”  Jeremiah 14:3

Of the Word

“Give it all you’ve got!” We’ve heard this saying at a sporting event, during a work project, or when we were about to take a test. It encourages us to put forth our best effort.

Jeremiah wrote about servants who went to look for water, did their best, and found nothing. Their jars were empty, and they were ashamed. What happens when our best isn’t good enough? What happens when we have nothing left to give or when we give it all and get nothing in return? It is in these times that it is extremely easy to get down and discouraged and eventually just give up all hope of succeeding.

When we are discouraged, worn down, and weary, Jesus comes to us with the promise that we don’t have to give anything. By His death and resurrection, He gives us forgiveness and the assurance of eternal life. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope (Romans 15:13).

Walking with my Lord

Giver of every good gift, grant that I grow in wisdom and grace. Strengthen my trust in Your goodness all the days of my life. In Your Son’s holy name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Water of Life. Michael Heckmann, author. 27/28 ©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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From Quiet Times to Noisy Love: Worshipful Moments

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionWorshipful Moments

In the Word

And they worshipped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy … Luke 24:52

Of the Word

Unfortunately, it’s a typical Sunday morning: spilt cereal, toothpaste-spitting contests, arguments in the car. Attempting to concentrate on the service surrounded by squirmy children causes you to wonder, “Is this really worth it?” Even for those without young children, worries and distractions interfere with our intent to worship.

God understands us and forgives us when we are inattentive. He truly accepts us just as we are. Before worship begins, we can ask our Father for help in opening our hearts and minds to His presence. The Holy Spirit will enable us to hear and absorb the Word, as well as renew us to serve Him.

Our Lord loves it when we come to His house, and He loves when we bring our children. The visit may not always be perfect, but He welcomes us in love and is delighted to fill our hearts with His forgiveness and encouragement. We can return home refreshed and with great joy!

Walking with my Lord

Lord, never let circumstances keep me from the privilege of worshipping You, my Savior and Redeemer. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: From Quiet Times to Noisy Love. Jan Struck, author. 30/30 ©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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From Quiet Times to Noisy Love: Praise

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionVarieties of Praise

In the Word

… be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart …  Ephesians 5:18b–19

Of the Word

Scripture shows us a favorite form of praise is music. Psalms were sung in acknowledgment and thankfulness for God’s unending love. As King David readied the materials and workmen needed for Solomon to build the Temple, he also organized musicians who would exalt God with lyres, harps, and cymbals. Almost 300 skilled singers were assembled. Now that is a church choir!

The Word of Christ dwells in us with songs, hymns, and spiritual songs. In worship we may gain spiritual strength by singing familiar hymns or popular contemporary Christian songs. Martin Luther truly understood the power of praise when he wrote, “The devil does not stay where music is.”

Not every hymn or praise song may be your style of music. Whether traditional hymns on a pipe organ or contemporary songs played by guitars and drums, God accepts all praise that declares His majesty, unconditional love, and salvation through Christ. And to that, we can all respond … “Amen and Amen.”

Walking with my Lord

Lord, remind me that musical praise comes in many forms and that I am blessed to adore You in a variety of ways. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: From Quiet Times to Noisy Love. Jan Struck, author. 29/30 ©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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From Quiet Times to Noisy Love: God's Hands

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionTruly in God’s Hands

In the Word

“… yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands …” Isaiah 49: 15b–16a

Of the Word

The ancient art form of tattoos has become quite popular. To some, it is a way to honor a person or to commemorate an event. Others simply want to conform to the crowd. A teenage girl might not realize that the rose tattooed on her back could look more like a cabbage when she is older!

It may come as a surprise to you to hear about God’s tattoo — “… yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands” (Isaiah 49:15b–16a). The Israelites understood how extremely difficult it was to remove such an engraving. God wanted them to know He would never forget His people; their presence was burned into His hands and His mind. That is how much He loved them! Jesus bears the same remembrance of us on His hands, as well. The marks of the crucifixion on His palms express the depth of His love for each of us. Those scars assure us of His sacrifice on our behalf and His promise that we are always in His hands. That is how much He loves us!

Walking with my Lord

Lord, may my daily witness of Your atonement place the mark of Your hands on the hearts of those around me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: From Quiet Times to Noisy Love. Jan Struck, author. 28/30 ©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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Daughters of the King: Unbelievable Joy

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionRhoda — Unexpected, Unbelievable Joy

Rhoda’s Story: Acts 12:1–17

In the Word

And when he [Peter] knocked at the door of the gateway, a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer. Recognizing Peter’s voice, in her joy she did not open the gate but ran in and reported that Peter was standing at the gate. Acts 12:13–14

Of the Word

Rhoda was given the scary-but-important task of guarding the house gate on a dark night. King Herod had already killed James. Peter was in jail. Identities of Jesus’ followers were probably known. Who would be caught next?

While others prayed, Rhoda guarded the gate. Unbeknownst to them, God’s angel had released Peter, who then made his way to Mary’s house. Rhoda heard his knock and recognized his voice. But she was so overcome with joy that she left the poor man standing outside in the dark! She couldn’t believe that prayers had been answered.

Are we ever surprised at God’s answers? Do we shout for joy but forget to praise the One who provided for us? Our loving God wants us to bring our needs to Him, and He wants us to honor Him with our thanks. “… call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me” (Psalm 50:15).

Walking with my Lord

Dear Lord, You always work for my good. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayers. Help me recognize Your surprises as special blessings. Forgive my failure to see Your answers, and fill my heart with thanksgiving. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Daughters of the King. Marcia Gomulka and Myrna Lou Meyer, authors. 30/34 ©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 Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
 

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Daughters of the King: A Woman of Charity

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionDorcas — A Woman of Charity

Dorcas’ Story: Acts 9:36–42

In the Word

Now there was in Joppa a disciple named Tabitha, which, translated, means Dorcas. She was full of good works and acts of charity. Acts 9:36

Of the Word

As a follower of Jesus, Dorcas heard the message of Jesus Christ and lived it out in her daily life. She loved her risen Lord and imitated Him by letting His light and love shine through her by sewing garments for the poor. Sadly, Dorcas became sick and died.

Her devastated friends, with hope and in faith, sent for the apostle Peter who was in a nearby town. In Dorcas’ room Peter knelt and prayed. With the power of Jesus — not his own — Peter told Dorcas to arise. And she opened her eyes and sat up.

Dead in our sin, we too have been brought back to life through the saving sacrifice of Jesus, not by our good works. Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection we strive to give God glory and reflect His love through the life we lead. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2: 8–10).

Walking with my Lord

Dear God, may I always and in every circumstance be Your willing servant. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Daughters of the King. Marcia Gomulka and Myrna Lou Meyer, authors. 29/34 ©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 Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
 

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