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Joyful, Joyful: Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus

nullStand Up, Stand Up for Jesus

In the Word

But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened.” But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. 1 Peter 3:14-15a.

Of the Word

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, Ye soldiers of the cross.
Lift high His royal banner; It must not suffer loss.
From vict'ry unto vict'ry His army He shall lead
Till ev'ry foe is vanquished, And Christ is Lord indeed.

Christ came into the world and lived a perfect life among us. He suffered and died on the cross to pay the debt for our sins. Then He rose triumphantly to assure us of eternal life. What a Savior! What a message for us to spread to the world!

When Jesus is beside us, we can enter the world with confidence. He gives us the power to overcome evil. We will face daily battles, but God assures us of the ultimate victory.

“Stand up, stand up for Jesus; The strife will not be long; This day the din of battle, The next the victor’s song. The soldiers, overcoming, Their crown of life shall see And with the King of Glory Shall reign eternally.”

Walking with my Lord

Jesus, Savior, be with me and make me bold to stand up for You, witnessing to the hope I have in You. When taking a stand for You is difficult, remind me that You have already won the victory! In Your glorious name I stand and pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Joyful, Joyful. Rev. Larry and Shari Miller, authors. 16/31. Hymn Text: LSB 660. ©2011  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.
All hymns are public domain with the text reprinted from Lutheran Service Book, ©2006, Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO.
 

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How, Lord … can I cope with stress?

nullHow, Lord … can I cope with stress?

In the Word

I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

Of the Word

A young college graduate was called to teach in a rather remote area. Her first task was to order supplies for her brand-new classroom. She depended upon her pastor to give guidance, but in a matter of weeks he accepted a call to a new congregation. However, before he moved, he preached on the text, I can do everything through him who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13).

Weeks rolled by, and she was reminded again and again of those precious words. Caring Christians in the church and community encouraged and prayed for her. Her parents and old friends stayed in touch. Loving children in her class hugged, smiled, and learned. Through him, she did what was required, and she was blessed.

What is your story? What challenges do you face? What promises of God do you cling to?

God is faithful. He promises, “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5b). God’s loving power surrounds His people. We can depend upon Him for all things.

Walking with my Lord

Dear Lord, without You I am weak and helpless. Guide me through the troubles and challenges in my life, and help me to trust in You for every need. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: How, Lord? Marcia Gomulka and Myrna Lou Meyer, authors. 18/32 ©2011 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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How, Lord … can I face growing older?

nullHow, Lord … can I face growing older?

In the Word

...we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 2 Corinthians 4:16

Of the Word

Hair color. Creams and lotions. Regenerating formulas. Botox. In our society, advertisements for prolonging youth — or at least holding off the evidences of aging — are all around us. It seems that no one wants to get old or seem old, let alone look old. But aging is a fact of life, and it happens one day at a time.

How does God want us to handle it? St. Paul says, ... we do not lose heart. How can that be when wrinkles form, muscles weaken, vigor lessens? Paul reminds us that God renews us day by day.

His Spirit strengthens us, gives us focus, helps us face the future with hope and peace.

Will the wrinkles go away? Perhaps the worry wrinkles will be replaced by smile wrinkles! Will creaky knees cease to ache? Perhaps they will ache after bowing before the Lord in prayer and praise. What a blessed renewal God has promised us!

Walking with my Lord

Dear Lord, no matter what my age is, give me day-by-day renewal. Increase my faith and revive my spirit. Help me trust in You for all I need. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: How, Lord? Marcia Gomulka and Myrna Lou Meyer, authors. 17/32 ©2011 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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How, Lord … can I look to the future?

nullHow, Lord … can I look to the future?

In the Word

Forget what happened in the past, and do not dwell on events from long ago. I am going to do something new. It is already happening. Don’t you recognize it?  Isaiah 43:18-19a (GOD’S WORD)

Of the Word

It is impossible to walk forward if we’re looking back. Sooner or later we will stumble. It is much safer to look to where we are going than to where we have been. Likewise, we won’t ever see what the future holds if we continue to live in the past. How can we possibly have a better tomorrow if we are still living with the troubles of yesterday? The past is past.

God wants us to live joy-filled lives. That is possible if we focus on Him. We receive God’s forgiveness when we go to Him in prayer, confessing our wrongs, fears, regrets, and doubts about the past. God is faithful and reliable. If we confess our sins, he forgives them and cleanses us from everything we’ve done wrong (1 John 1:9 GOD’S WORD).

We are forgiven! Now it’s time to move on, time to focus on hopes not fears. It’s time to recognize God is waiting to lead us to a future He has already planned for us. 

Walking with my Lord

Gracious Lord, I am ready to focus on Your promises of forgiveness and love. Help me to grow in faith and be willing to allow the Holy Spirit to lead me where You have planned for me to go. May I recognize Your blessings along the way. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: How, Lord? Marcia Gomulka and Myrna Lou Meyer, authors. 16/32 ©2011 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.
Scripture quotations marked (GOD’S WORD) are taken from GOD’S WORD ®, © 1995, God’s Word to the Nations. Used by permission of Baker Publishing Group.
 

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Simple Trust: The Face in the Mirror

nullThe Face in the Mirror

In the Word

Your face, LORD, I will seek. Psalm 27:8b

Of the Word

If you wake up in the morning but don’t recognize yourself in the mirror, what do you have?
Prosopagnosia

People who have prosopagnosia are not able to recognize faces. They recognize the individual features as being nose or mouth or eyes, but they are not able to know who the face belongs to — not even if it is a close family member. Even more startling, they cannot even recognize their own faces.

As tough as that would be, it would not be as dangerous as not being able to recognize God’s face, not being able to see Him in our daily circumstances, not being able to notice how He takes care of us. Perhaps that is why the Psalms are filled with the reminder to seek God’s face. Your face, LORD, I will seek (Psalm 27:8b).

Be on the lookout for God today. Even when you don’t feel His presence, God is with you. He promises, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20b).

Remember His promises and then thank Him for watching over you.

Walking with my Lord

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for knowing my face and my heart. Help me to remember Your loving, caring presence in every day of my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Simple Trust. Elaine Bickel, author. 18/29 ©2011 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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Simple Trust: Wrong Conclusions

nullWrong Conclusions

In the Word

“The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7b

Of the Word

Who entered his own look-alike contest and lost?
Charlie Chaplin

Charlie Chaplin once entered a Charlie Chaplin look-alike contest and lost! He was not even a finalist. The judges’ standards made them reach the wrong conclusion.

Have you ever been misjudged? Has someone taken a look at you and drawn a wrong or hurtful conclusion? That has probably happened to all of us. Chances are we have probably misjudged others, too.

God judges fairly every time. People look at actions and appearances to draw conclusions. But God, in total love, looks at the heart. “The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7b).

By God’s grace, our hearts are changed and He sees the faith that the Holy Spirit has given us.

Walking with my Lord

O Lord, thank You for looking deep into my heart and still loving me. Forgive me for the times I have judged others by their outward appearances. Through Your Holy Spirit help me look at others with loving eyes. In Your forgiving name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Simple Trust. Elaine Bickel, author. 17/29 ©2011 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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Simple Trust: Extravagant Forgiveness

nullExtravagant Forgiveness

In the Word

“Your sins are forgiven.” Luke 7:48b

Of the Word

The German language has many different words to describe these. What are they?
Kisses

One kiss cannot possibly be described in any language. It is the kiss of Judas, the disciple who betrayed Jesus. Scripture says, Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him (Matthew 26:49).

A kiss usually shows love, but Judas’ kiss was a betrayal. When we put others before God, spending time with them instead of Him, we are betraying Him, too.

How different the sinful woman was! … and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them (Luke 7:38). Her kisses showed what was in her heart. Jesus told this woman the very same thing He wants to tell you today, “Your sins are forgiven” (Luke 7:48b).

Walking with my Lord

O God, forgive the many times I have betrayed You by failure to speak and act or by words and actions that were wrong. Help me to be a bold and faithful witness. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Simple Trust. Elaine Bickel, author. 16/29 ©2011 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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