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Everyday Celebrations: Celebrate Families

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionCelebrate Families

In the Word

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)

Of the Word

Families used to live in close proximity and came together on a regular basis. Now families are scattered around the country and sometimes even around the world. Although technology allows for daily written or visual contact, nothing can replace a family gathering.

Hugs are shared, laughter flows, conversations continue through the night. Being in the presence of those you love, and who love you, can certainly lift your spirits. These folks have seen your struggles and your triumphs. Family celebrates with you, cries with you, and inspires you.

Paul understood the importance of family gatherings, especially for the early church. Sometimes the joy of our salvation through Jesus’ death and resurrection can be dimmed by responsibilities and concerns. Our gracious Father gives us families as a reminder of His personal love for us. Whether with relatives or friends in the faith, God wants us to encourage each other. Families share. Families pray. Families forgive. Celebrate families!

Walking with my Lord

Lord, thank You for placing me in a family. Help me to love them as You love me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Everyday Celebrations. Authors: Elaine Bickel and Jan Struck. 18/28 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. Code: #40195
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations marked (NIV) 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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Everyday Celebrations: Happy Anniversary!

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionHappy Anniversary!

In the Word

A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12b (NIV)

Of the Word

At the 50th anniversary celebration the husband was asked, “What is the secret of your long marriage?” “Well,” drawled the gentleman, “I never tried to hold things together with a thread when I needed a rope.” After the puzzled laughter subsided, he added, “Handling life’s problems alone would have been tough. My wife gave me added strength. But the Lord held us together.”

After God created Adam, He said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him” (Genesis 2:18 NIV). God formed Eve to be Adam’s earthly partner, a strand of two woven into one flesh.

However, the heart of any marriage is truly defined as A cord of three strands is not quickly broken (Ecclesiastes 4:12b). Christ, the Third Strand, gives strength to husband and wife. A shared faith in Him sustains us in the challenges of life and multiplies the joys of our blessings. The Creator desires to be the center of every marriage.

Walking with my Lord

Jesus, we daily celebrate our marriage union in You. Help us to always look to You for strength and guidance. In Your loving name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Everyday Celebrations. Authors: Elaine Bickel and Jan Struck. 17/28 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. Code: #40195
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations marked (NIV) 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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Everyday Celebrations: Belly Laughs

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionBelly Laughs

In the Word

Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.” Psalm 126:2

Of the Word

There are few things more contagious than the laughter of a young child. That unselfconscious, from-the-toes giggle that expands into a full-blown belly laugh. The cause does not matter because the action takes on a life of its own. Soon, everyone in the room has gotten caught up in the laughter.

Perhaps adults should experience one good belly laugh a month, especially with another person. It could become the next fitness rage! Think of the worries and stress that might be eliminated without a prescription.

Christians have the best reason to express such total joy. Helplessly lost in our sin, we face only sorrow and death. Our merciful God sent Jesus to redeem us from the debt we owed by His death on the cross and glorious resurrection. We experience Easter joy every day, a joy so contagious that those whose lives we touch will say, “The LORD has done great things … ” (Psalm 126:2b).

Walking with my Lord

Jesus, thank You for the laughter You have put into my life. Let my joy in You as my Savior overflow so others may know You, too! In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Everyday Celebrations. Authors: Elaine Bickel and Jan Struck. 16/28 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. Code: #40195
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
 

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The Race of Faith: First Place

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionThe Race — First Place

In the Word

And He sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” Mark 9:35

Of the Word

Imagine what would happen if the last runner to cross the finish line was declared the winner of the race. There would be some laughter, questions of sanity, and a reality check at the awards ceremony. The truth is, the last runner in is never the winner.

So imagine the disciples’ confusion when Jesus declared that for anyone to be first in His kingdom, he must, in fact, be last. How is this possible? Jesus placed a “winning” status on those who serve others with humility. Need an example? Jesus humbly served His creation by being born into our midst, feeding us through His Word, healing us, and saving us. By humbly serving our neighbors we follow Jesus’ example.

Walking with my Lord

Christ Jesus, in humility You served all of creation and made the supreme sacrifice by giving Your own life on Calvary’s cross. Help me to follow Your example and humbly serve my neighbor. In Your name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Race of Faith. Author: Amanda Stacy, DCE. 18/28 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. Code: #40196
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
 

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The Race of Faith: Encouragement

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionContinuing to Train — Encouragement

In the Word

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:2425

Of the Word

Having a hard time remaining consistent with your runs? Want to meet more runners like yourself? You may want to consider joining a local running club. Increasingly popular, these clubs serve to support, encourage, and motivate members while training.

The author of Hebrews directs us to meet together and give encouragement to each other. Today’s Christians call it “going to church.”

Where else will you consistently hear the Word of God preached and receive the Sacraments? Where else can you join with other Christian voices to pray, praise, and give thanks? As you run your race of faith, meet together in worship and Bible study to support, encourage, and motivate each other.

Walking with my Lord

Dear God, thank You for Your Church on earth where I learn of Your faithfulness. Through Your Holy Spirit motivate me to reach out to others with encouragement as they run their race of faith. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Race of Faith. Author: Amanda Stacy, DCE. 17/28 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. Code: #40196
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
 

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The Race of Faith: A God-Pleasing Aroma

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionContinuing to Train — A God-Pleasing Aroma

In the Word

For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 2 Corinthians 2:15

Of the Word

Let’s face it. When you’re done with a run you’re not only sweaty, but you also stink. The deodorant you put on three miles ago can only do so much to cover the full body odor that emanates from every pore.

You know what else stinks? Sin. And it also emanates from every pore of your body. Deodorant can’t cover it up, and it remains even after a shower. So how do you become the pleasing aroma Paul wrote about in Second Corinthians? Through the sweet smell of the Gospel.

Only the Good News of Christ’s death and resurrection can cover the decaying smell of sin. So be cleansed by the Gospel, and let it seep into every pore of your soul. And to your neighbors and friends you will be the aroma of Christ.

Walking with my Lord

Heavenly Father, thank You for the sweet message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Let it not only cleanse my soul, but emanate to the world around me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Race of Faith. Author: Amanda Stacy, DCE. 16/28 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. Code: #40196
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
 

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In Times of Need: Betrayal and Disappointment

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionBetrayal and Disappointment

In the Word

And immediately the rooster crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” And he broke down and wept. Mark 14:72

Of the Word

Peter was a loyal supporter of Jesus. Emphatically declaring his devotion to Jesus, he said, "If I must die with you I will not deny you” (Mark 14:31b).Yet, when it came time to stand on his words, Peter disowned his friend. He denied even knowing Jesus. Loyalty was traded for self-preservation. Though Jesus predicted Peter’s denial, “… you will deny me three times” (Mark 14:30b), the disappointment in that moment was profound.

There is no denying the hurt when a Christian friend is a betrayer. It hurts. It stings. It destroys. Friendships are dissolved. Trust is ruined. It is so disappointing. If your Christian friends cannot be trusted, who can you trust?

Jesus knows this experience firsthand. Jesus also shows how to mend these breaks. He later came to Peter, asking, “Do you love me?” (John 21:17b). Jesus’ love and Peter’s penitent heart mended the broken trust. Isn’t it the same with us? Mending betrayal begins with love, a forgiving love from God Himself.

Walking with my Lord

O Lord, it hurts when a friend betrays me. Grant me the love to forgive and to trust again. Heal the brokenness that weighs upon my heart. In Your holy name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: In Times of Need. Authors: Rev. Larry Krueger, Rev. Mike Mattil, & Rev. Kris Whitby. 18/30 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. Code: #40197
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
 

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