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Living in Joy: Joy in knowing God’s care

nullJoy in knowing God’s care

In the Word

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

Of the Word

The morning had begun early with a tiny baby to feed, a toddler to cuddle, a husband to send off to work. Then she readied herself for a day in the classroom. Finally the car was loaded with children, diaper bags and homework. A red light on the way to the caregiver’s house gave her a moment to gather her thoughts. “Thank You, God, for the red light,” she prayed.

Is a red light important enough for prayer? Does God really care whether traffic lights are red or green?

If God cares for little brown sparrows and if He knows the exact number of hairs upon our heads (Matthew 10:29-31), He must care about traffic lights, too!

Unexpected moments of quiet – waiting for the light to change, waiting for the train to pass, waiting for the line to move – can be used to remember God’s loving care. With the psalmist we can pray, May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you (Psalm 33:22).

Walking with my Lord

Dear Lord, help me to find joy in unexpected moments of peace and quiet. Forgive me when I become annoyed and unable to see Your love and care in them. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in Joy. Authors: Dcs. Betty Knapp, Irene Mensing, Myrna Lou Meyer, Margaret White. 15/30 ©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 witnessing of God’s love

nullJoy in witnessing of God’s love

In the Word

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom… Colossians 3:16a

Of the Word

Can you remember when you first learned about Jesus? It may have been your parents who taught you to sing “Jesus Loves Me, This I Know.” Maybe it was a grandparent whose quiet witness and loving encouragement set a positive example of the Christian faith. For some it might have been a loving Sunday school teacher or dedicated youth leader. Many of us have been blessed by the Christian witness of someone who spoke of the Savior Jesus and pointed us to God’s Word.

The Apostle Paul wrote to the Christians at Colossae giving them the encouragement to … set your hearts on things above … (Colossians 3:1b). He continued by admonishing them with directions for living a holy life. But his instructions did not end with just learning to live as Christians; they went on to encourage all believers to share that wonderful message with others. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom … (Colossians 3:16a).

Walking with my Lord

Dear Father, I have much to learn about You, and many others have still to learn of Your everlasting love. Help me to lead my life as both student and teacher. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in Joy. Authors: Dcs. Betty Knapp, Irene Mensing, Myrna Lou Meyer, Margaret White. 14/30 ©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 precious gift ...

nullJoy in God’s precious gift of heaven

In the Word

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

Of the Word

What is the best gift you have ever received? A beautiful doll, a diamond ring, a handmade quilt? What is the most precious gift you have received? Your loving spouse, a child, a special friend? Christians would undoubtedly say that the greatest gift of all is the promise of eternal life given by God Himself. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).”

The Apostle Paul recognized the promise of eternal life with Jesus to be a gift of God, indeed the best gift we could receive. He wrote, By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you (1 Corinthians 15:2a). We cannot keep silent about this wonderful news!

Walking with my Lord

Dear Father, I know that because of sin I deserve death. But I also know that You sent Jesus to take away my sin and to give me life and salvation. Help me to share the faith in my heart by telling of Jesus, Your most precious gift to me. In His name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in Joy. Authors: Dcs. Betty Knapp, Irene Mensing, Myrna Lou Meyer, Margaret White. 13/30 ©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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Comfort from the Psalms: Problem or Purpose?

nullProblem or Purpose?

In the Word

Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again … Psalm 71:20a

Of the Word

“Rain, rain go away,” the nursery rhyme begins. Rain can spoil a summer picnic, a baseball game, or a leisurely walk. But rain also has a purpose. It waters crops, keeps lawns beautiful, and fills lakes and rivers.

Do troubles have a purpose? They can weigh us down and wear us out. They can make us lose focus on the One who created us. That is certainly not God’s plan. The Apostle Paul, like the psalmist, had troubles, many and bitter, but he was inspired to write: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).

When surrounded by trouble and frustrations mount, the Adversary uses our doubt to make us ask, “Do I still love God? Do I have any faith at all?” The Holy Spirit hears our cries and assures us that the faith He planted in our hearts is still there. God has not left us alone in our frustrations. He continually works in us, working for the good of those who love him. That is His promise and He will do it.

Walking with my Lord

Dear Lord, when my life seems to be filled with the stormy clouds of trouble remind me that You are working all things for my good. Forgive my weakness and show me the sunshine of Your love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Comfort from the Psalms. Authors: Marcia Gomulka & Myrna Lou Meyer. 15/30 ©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: Why, Lord?

nullWhy, Lord?

In the Word

But you, O God, do see trouble and grief; you consider it to take it in hand. Psalm 10:14a

Of the Word

Why, Lord? Why did that beautiful young mother die? She had so much to live for! Why did the cancer treatment – long and harsh – fail in the end? The family is devastated. Why did disease rob the father of the joy of playing with his sons? He will never play catch with them. Why, Lord?

We seek answers from God. We may listen, hoping for words like Jeremiah heard when he was called to be God’s prophet. “Do not be afraid … for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord (Jeremiah 1:8).

God does speak to us in His Word. He reminds us that He has made us His own. “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1b). Jesus promises to be with us. … I am with you always, to the very end of the age (Matthew 28:20b).

Trouble and grief will come, for we live in a sin-filled world. But God the Father will see us through. All who are His children by faith in Christ will live with Him in heaven where “Why, Lord?” will never be asked again!

Walking with my Lord

Holy Spirit, help me to see beyond my questions and to rely on Your love and grace. Forgive my doubts and my worries. Help my faith to grow stronger through them. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Comfort from the Psalms. Authors: Marcia Gomulka & Myrna Lou Meyer. 14/30 ©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: How Long?

nullHow Long?

In the Word

How long, O Lord? … How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? Psalm 13:1a, 2a

Of the Word

“Are we there yet?” Everyone who has traveled with children has heard that question multitudes of times. No matter how many games, snacks, and breaks parents provide, little tykes are impatient to arrive at the destination.

The psalmist’s question isn’t much different. How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart (Psalm 13:2a)?

What are those thoughts? Fear of the future? Divorce or separation? Addiction?

What are those sorrows? Illness or death? A wayward child? Miscarriage?

No matter what the trouble, God’s Word is true. The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom (2 Timothy 4:18a).

Walking with my Lord

Gracious Father, when I long for relief from all that troubles me, wrap me in Your love and remind me of Your promises. Keep me safe until the day Your kingdom comes. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Comfort from the Psalms. Authors: Marcia Gomulka & Myrna Lou Meyer. 13/30 ©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: God’s Time is the Best Time

nullFaith is … Trusting that God’s Time is the Best Time

In the Word

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 1 Peter 5:6

Of the Word

We all experience days, even weeks, when everything in life seems to be going our way. But then suddenly, altogether unexpectedly, everything shifts into reverse. One day the sun is shining brightly; the next day all is dark and overcast. One week we are actively carrying out our responsibilities; the next week we are lying helpless in a hospital bed.

God is Lord. He rules His creation and His children with a mighty hand. When we pray to our God in our time of need, we may do so with confidence, knowing that the God who sent His Son to die for us certainly will also … lift [us] up in [His] time.

It has been said there are two ways to open a flower bud. You can force the petals apart and, in doing so, destroy the flower; or you can leave it alone until slowly but surely, God unfolds it. God’s ways are not our ways. Nor is His time our time. But our comfort lies in the fact that His time is based on the true wisdom and knowledge of a God who not only knows us, but loves us.

Walking with my Lord

Help me, O Lord, to patiently bear all things and trust that Your timing is always best. For Jesus’ sake and in His name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in Faith. Author: Rev. Darold Reiner. 15/30 ©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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