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Living in Joy: Joy in Reaching Out

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Joy in reaching out to people everywhere with God’s Word

In the Word

And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come (Matthew 24:14).

Of the Word

With the invention of electronic communication via the internet our world is so much more accessible. Missionaries who were once in very remote places now have access to the outside world through generator-powered computers.

When Jesus spoke to His disciples about reaching the whole world with the Gospel they must have thought He was exaggerating. How could this message actually be preached everywhere? Today we see evidence of that message being spread to the outermost parts of the earth. We may not personally be able to share the Gospel around the world, but we can make our Christian witness known in our daily lives. We can support our church’s missionary efforts with prayer and financial gifts. What joy we have in knowing God’s Word is reaching people everywhere.

Walking with my Lord

Heavenly Father, support and strengthen missionaries everywhere as they deal with the hardships and joys of speaking Your saving Word to those still in the darkness of sin. Give me strength to boldly witness of You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in Joy. Authors: Dcs. Betty Knapp, Irene Mensing, Myrna Lou Meyer, Margaret White. 16/30 ©2005 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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Comfort from the Psalms: Forgiving Myself

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Forgiving Myself

In the Word

Do not remember the sins of my youth or my rebellious ways (Psalm 25:7a GW).

Of the Word

Sins of our past can burden us with “what if” questions. “What if I hadn’t fallen into addiction?” “What if I kept the child I chose to abort?” “What if I hadn’t lied?” “What if I hadn’t cheated?” “What if I hadn’t taken what wasn’t mine?” “What if I had tried harder to save my marriage?” We can beat ourselves up with regrets from the past but, the past is the past. Under no circumstances can it be changed.

What can be changed is how we face the future. Christ invites us to come to Him and lay our sins at the foot of the cross, asking with repentant hearts for His forgiveness. And we, God’s very own children, can walk away forgiven. We are forgiven to live a full life in Him, forgiven to be what He wants us to be.

When we leave the foot of the cross, we leave our burdens there. Picking them up again only serves to separate us from God’s good and perfect forgiveness. God says, “… I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more” (Hebrews 8:12). Holding fast to God’s forgiveness, we can learn to forgive ourselves and move forward in accordance with His will.

Walking with my Lord

Forgiving Father, I am ashamed of the times I have hurt You because of my sin. I come, asking Your forgiveness. Through Your Holy Spirit help me to live a life that honors You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Comfort from the Psalms. Authors: Marcia Gomulka & Myrna Lou Meyer. 18/30 ©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 GW are taken from GOD’S WORD, God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society, Grand Rapids, MI. Copyright © 1995.

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Comfort from the Psalms: An Unchanging God

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An Unchanging God

In the Word

Your word, O Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations … (Psalm 119:89–90a).

Of the Word

Isn’t it amazing how many things have changed in our lifetimes? Travel that may have taken our grandparents days or weeks can now be done in hours. We can be almost anywhere in the world within minutes, thanks to the Internet. Things don’t even look the same as they did when we were growing up. Televisions, appliances, and the car in the driveway have all undergone dramatic changes.

Change doesn’t always come easily to us. We may yearn for a slower pace, a simpler lifestyle, or an uncomplicated telephone!! We sometimes ask, “Why can’t things just stay the same?” But change is inevitable!

With all that is changing around us, how wonderful it is to know that God’s Word is the same for all time. What He said yesterday still stands today. His promises to love us, grant us peace, and never leave us are still in effect. God hasn’t changed His plan of salvation for us, and it won’t be any different tomorrow.

“… the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever” (1 Peter 1:24b–25a).

Walking with my Lord

Loving Father, I am grateful that Your unchanging Word and love are always there to give me strength. Help me to cling to it in all of life’s situations. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Comfort from the Psalms. Authors: Marcia Gomulka & Myrna Lou Meyer. 17/30 ©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.

An Unchanging God — PRINTABLE VERSION

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Comfort from the Psalms: Facing the Enemy

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Facing the Enemy

In the Word

I go to you for protection, Lord; rescue me from my enemies (Psalm 143:9 GNT).

Of the Word

No matter what measures we take to avoid them, enemies sneak into our lives. They come in the form of bills, illnesses, or disappointments. They can be what we eat, drink, or put into our bodies. Enemies may be who we associate with, abusive relationships we endure, or simply what we read, listen to, or watch on TV.

The war against enemies cannot be won alone. Therefore, we must never underestimate the promises in God’s Word and the power of God’s answers to prayer. Participating in counseling or a group discussion may help. Taking part in a Bible study or finding a prayer partner may be helpful, too. Seeking God-pleasing help is not a sign of weakness. Instead it is a step toward fighting off the enemy.

… God has said, “I will never leave you; I will never abandon you.” Let us be bold, then, and say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5b–6 GNT). We can face any enemy with Christ beside us.

Walking with my Lord

Lord, help me, this day and always, to know that Your power is stronger than any enemy I may face. Remind me that Jesus faced and conquered Satan, the most terrible enemy of all. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Comfort from the Psalms. Authors: Marcia Gomulka & Myrna Lou Meyer. 16/30 ©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 GNT are taken from the GOOD NEWS TRANSLATION – Second Edition, American Bible Society, New York, NY. Copyright © 1992.

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The Joy of Christmas: It's a Revelation

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It's a Revelation

In the Word

"… Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him" (Matthew 2:2).

Of the Word

Epiphany, meaning revelation, begins on January 6. It celebrates the revelation of the Son of God to the Gentiles, reminding us that Jesus came to bring forgiveness to everyone, to make the world right with Himself.

Epiphany continues today as God reveals Himself to us through the words of Scripture and strengthens our faith through the power of His Sacraments. The Holy Spirit works in us, increasing our faith and understanding of the plan and purpose of God for our lives. Responding to His love, we share it with others in both words and deeds.

As God's Epiphany work continues in us, we become God's revelation to others of what it means to follow Him. Our Spirit-inspired words and actions have the power to draw others to ask, as the Magi did, "Where is this Jesus? We, too, want to come and worship Him."

Walking with my Lord

Lord Jesus, send Your Holy Spirit into my heart so Your life may be revealed in me. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Joy of Christmas. 32/32 Author: Patricia Mitchell. ©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: The Face of God

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The Face of God

In the Word

On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him (Matthew 2:11a).

Of the Word

The Magi, intelligent and educated men, put aside their own understanding to follow a star in the East. When they came to the place where the Child was, they knelt before Him, worshiped Him, and poured out their treasures at His feet. The learned men, by looking to the wisdom of God, recognized the face of God in Jesus Christ.

The Bible shows us the face of God in Jesus when we approach His Word. We come with humility, putting aside our own visions of Him and discovering what He truly does look like. We come with gratitude, love, and praise because God has given us the Good News of salvation in Christ Jesus. Finally, we come with willingness to allow God to lead us where He would have us go, confident that He is always drawing us closer to Himself.

Today, wise men (and women) are those who look for the Lord not by the light of their own understanding, but by the light of His Word.

Walking with my Lord

Lord Jesus, show Your face to me that I may see and believe. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Joy of Christmas. 31/32 Author: Patricia Mitchell. ©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: Where to Look?

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Where to Look?

In the Word

We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us (1 Corinthians 2:12).

Of the Word

Seeing the star in the East, the Magi knew a king had been born. They headed to the land of Judea, arriving at the most obvious location for such an event — the capital city, Jerusalem. To their surprise, no king had been born to the royal family living in Herod's grand palace.

The Magi are not the only ones who have looked for Jesus Christ in the wrong place. Even today, some people seek Him in secret knowledge and in personal experience, in fleeting feelings and in the forces of nature. Humanly speaking, those are reasonable places to look! But those are not the places God has promised to be found.

Referring to the prophet Micah, the chief priests told the Magi that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. The travelers left Jerusalem and found the One they were looking for. Today, scripture provides the same reliable guidance to all who come to it asking, "Where is the Messiah? Where can I find Him, that I may go worship Him?" He has promised to be found within the pages of the Bible, God's own true words which reveal his Son to us.

Walking with my Lord

Lead me to Your manger, Lord, so I may worship and adore You in truth and love. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Joy of Christmas. 30/32 Author: Patricia Mitchell. ©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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