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The Joy of Christmas: It is a New Day

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionIt is a New Day

In the Word

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Of the Word

Sometimes we are glad to see days come to a close. They have been hard, boring, or exhausting. We have heard bad news, or we have suffered a heartbreaking event. "Whew!" we sigh, and we look to a new day for better times.

The birth of Jesus brought to the world a brand new day. It was the first day of His life on earth, a life that would bring Him the scorn and mockery of many who heard Him speak Word of God in truth. It would bring Him betrayal and beating and death on a cross in fulfillment of the plan of God for our salvation. But His death was not His last day on earth! Three days later, Jesus rose, bringing to us victory over guilt and death, over hopelessness and despair.

No matter what the day brings, today is a day to rejoice. Jesus came to bring the gift of His grace and the assurance of life in and with Him. He came so we can put the past behind us and delight in a brand new day.

Walking with my Lord

Lord Jesus, a new day dawned when You came down from heaven to earth, and now I can rejoice in You every day! Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Joy of Christmas. Author: Patricia Mitchell. 3/32 ©2011 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from The HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.
 
 

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The Joy of Christmas: Come One, Come All

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionCome One, Come All

In the Word

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28).

Of the Word

You're invited! During the holidays invitations just keep pouring in. Many of them might include the question, "Will you let us know whether or not you can come?"

Through God's angel an invitation was given to the shepherds watching their sheep on the lonely hills near Bethlehem. Their response was "Yes!" as they interrupted their work to see where the newborn Savior lay in a manger. With a star in the east, God summoned the Magi. They, too, said "Yes!" even though it meant traveling far from home to find the Holy Child.

Christmas may bring many invitations, but the most important one is the one sent by our Lord. He invites us to come and hear His voice in the words of Scripture and to join with others in the celebration of His birth. Just as He invited the shepherds and the Magi, He invites us to come to His cradle and worship Him.

Walking with my Lord

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for coming into my life. Thank You for inviting me into Your presence. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Joy of Christmas. Author: Patricia Mitchell. 2/32 ©2011 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from The HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.
 
 

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The Joy of Christmas: A Familiar Story

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionA Familiar Story

In the Word

… and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn (Luke 2:7).

Of the Word

The Christmas story is one we've heard time and again. We know about Mary and Joseph, the shepherds and the angels, the one bright guiding star in the sky, and the Magi on their way to Bethlehem. We know they came to visit the Baby Jesus born in a manger because we hear about it every year.

As often as it's been repeated, however, the Christmas story still has relevance to us. Like Mary and Joseph, we are aware of God's presence, His will, and His work in our lives. Like the shepherds and angels, all of us join our voices in praise to the newborn King. Like the Magi, we follow His light and offer ourselves before Him in humility and gratitude.

The Nativity still takes place in hearts and lives throughout the world. The Holy Spirit brings joy to God's people each time the Christmas story is heard.

Walking with my Lord

Lord Jesus, as I hear the story of Your birth in Bethlehem, open my heart and mind to its meaning in my life. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Joy of Christmas. Author: Patricia Mitchell. 1/32 ©2011 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are 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: Trusting God

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionFaith is … Trusting God

In the Word

In you our fathers put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them (Psalm 22:4).

Of the Word

Trust is the foundation of every good relationship. Children trust and depend on their parents. Patients who submit to surgery rely on the doctor’s skilled hands. Couples count on one another for love and support.

So often our trust and confidence is misplaced, and then disappointments come. We may trust our physical strength, yet illness lays us low. We build our assets with investments, and then a recession comes to threaten our security. We confide our secrets with friends only to find their hearts are false.

We are reminded to focus our attention on God, who alone is trustworthy. We can rely on Him because we have proof that He has acted mightily for us. In Jesus Christ, God assumed the burden of our broken nature and paid the price for our sin.

On earth there is no sure and certain cure for all that ails us. No insurance policy will protect us against the evil around us. But the Lord has promised His presence even in the middle of our problems and crises. His promises are sure and certain. That is why we can trust Him!

Walking with my Lord

“I am trusting Thee, Lord Jesus; Never let me fall. I am trusting Thee forever And for all.” In the name of Jesus. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in Faith. Author: Rev. Darold Reiner. 19/30 ©2007 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, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.
“I Am Trusting Thee, Lord Jesus” words by Frances R. Havergal, music by Henry W. Baker – Public Domain.
 

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Living as a Woman in Mission: Shaped by God

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionShaped by God

In the Word

Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out (Romans 12:2a MSG).

Of the Word

St. Paul exhorts the Romans not to be conformed to this world. Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God remould your minds from within … (Romans 12:2a Phillips). The world around us exerts its influence upon us in many ways, both subtle and obvious. Today’s moral values are often empty inside while shiny on the outside. God, not the world, is the potter. As God’s children we are the clay. We are formed by His hands. The prophet Isaiah said it clearly: … O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand (Isaiah 64:8).

How can we as God’s children hold firmly to His high principles and resist being squeezed into the mold of worldliness? St. Paul says let God remould your mind from within (Romans 12:2b Phillips). Daily reading of God’s Word helps us focus on what is God pleasing. The Holy Spirit helps us grow in faith and spiritual strength.

Walking with my Lord

Lord, keep me from being as weak as clay. With Your Word, mold me, making me strong to resist the false values of the world. Thank You for being my Strength. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living as a Woman in Mission. Author: Marilyn Sagehorn. 18/32 ©2009 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, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.
Scripture quotations marked “MSG” are taken from THE MESSAGE, by Eugene H. Peterson. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations marked “Phillips” are taken from THE NEW TESTAMENT IN MODERN ENGLISH. Copyright © 1958, 1959, 1960 J.B. Phillips and 1947, 1952, 1955, 1957 The Macmillian Company, New York. All rights reserved.
 

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Living as a Woman in Mission: Caring

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionCaring for the Caregiver

In the Word

Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers (Galatians 6:10).

Of the Word

Who takes care of the caregivers when they are weary and physically worn? … when they are emotionally exhausted? … when they are spiritually challenged? Who is to be sensitive to caregivers’ needs?

God commands us to Carry each other’s burdens … (Galatians 6:2a). He gives us opportunities to carry out this command by speaking understanding words or listening patiently. Phone calls, notes of encouragement, or personal visits can brighten the caregiver’s day. Bringing a hot meal or providing respite care so the caregiver can take a break is appreciated. A spontaneous act of kindness can lift the caregiver’s spirit.

Even caregivers who try to hide their weariness or downheartedness need the warmth of God’s love shown through Christian care and concern. Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other … (Colossians 3:12–13a).

Walking with my Lord

Gracious Father, bless me with the gift of sensitivity so that I might see the needs of others and offer sweet refreshment to the weary. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living as a Woman in Mission. Author: Marilyn Sagehorn. 17/32 ©2009 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, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.
 

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Living as a Woman in Mission: Caregiver

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionStrength for the Caregiver

In the Word

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

Of the Word

The psalmist asks, … where does my help come from? As a caregiver I frequently come to a low point and wonder the same thing as the psalmist: What next? The psalmist answers his own question, My help comes from the Lord … (Psalm 121:1b–2a). My courage returns when God reminds me that He is my Help.

Staying immersed in God’s Word buoys my spirit as a caregiver because of the surety of God’s promises. God assures me, “… call upon me in the day of trouble …” Then promises “I will deliver you …” (Psalm 50:15a). God is not promising us that trouble will go away, but He is promising His help. I can accomplish even the most difficult tasks with Him by my side.

The words of the psalmist were the hymns of his day. Today’s hymns and spiritual songs flow with words of trust, confidence, and praise. I am comforted as I read them, sing them, or pray them. I hold them dear because they remind me that God does indeed promise to give me strength.

Walking with my Lord

Loving God, You are my Help and Strength. I call upon You in every need. May I always be anchored to the truth of Your Word that assures me I will, with Your help, be able to accomplish what I must do. May my actions reflect Your love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living as a Woman in Mission. Author: Marilyn Sagehorn. 16/32 ©2009 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, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.
 

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