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In Times of Need: A Beautiful Thing

Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

A Beautiful Thing

In the Word

Jesus said to them, “For she has done a beautiful thing to me. … In pouring this ointment on my body, she has done it to prepare me for burial” (Matthew 26:10, 12).

Of the Word

One day as Jesus ate dinner, a woman approached Him and poured expensive ointment on Him. In this special moment, her anointing was preparing Him for His burial.

Jesus has also given us a special anointing to prepare us for death. Ours is a baptismal anointing in water and the Word. His sacramental grace prepares us and our loved ones for that final hour with the sure and certain hope of the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting.

Upon this foundation of God’s grace, we have opportunity to offer special “ointments” to family members who are facing death. Hold them. Kiss them. Sing hymns. Read psalms. Pray the Lord’s Prayer. Remind them of Jesus’ love. Gentle touches and grace-filled words are beautiful ways to prepare family members and yourself for that last hour. These are special moments born from what Christ has done to prepare us for the hour of death. It is a beautiful thing.

Walking with my Lord

O Lord, as You have prepared me for my last hours on this earth, so enable me to do beautiful things for those I love. Fill those last hours with grace and peace. In Your holy name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: In Times of Need. Authors: Rev. Larry Krueger, Rev. Mike Mattil, & Rev. Kris Whitby. 11/30 ©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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In Times of Need: Unknown, but not Alone

Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

Unknown, but not Alone

In the Word

“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today” (Genesis 50:20).

Of the Word

It is hard to imagine how frightened the young Joseph was when his brothers threw him into that pit, or when they pulled him back out to sell him to those Midianite traders. He had no idea where he was going or what would happen to him. He was leaving the comfort and security of his father’s house and headed to places and circumstances unknown. Could he have even imagined how powerfully God would use him? Years later, after he had saved his entire family, Joseph recalled that even though his brothers had evil intent when they sold him as a slave, God used that to bring about a fantastic good. (Read more about Joseph in Genesis chapters 37–50.)

We all face unknowns in our lives but as followers of Jesus, we do not do so alone. Though we may not know what the future holds for us, we can confidently say, “I know Who holds my future.”

Walking with my Lord

Lord, thank You for saving me from sin and for being with me in all circumstances. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: In Times of Need. Authors: Rev. Larry Krueger, Rev. Mike Mattil, & Rev. Kris Whitby. 10/30 ©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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The Word: Wisdom for Living: Use Your Nice Words!

Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

Use Your Nice Words!

In the Word

Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body (Proverbs 16:24).

Of the Word

The industrious honey bee produces a natural sweetener that is good-tasting and is thought to have health benefits as well. But when angered, that little bee can inflict a painful sting that, in extreme cases, can cause illness or even death.

The words we use are much like that little bee. They can be soothing and kind, complimentary and loving, or filled with humor and happiness. But other words may sting, inflicting pain, killing good ideas, even diminishing someone’s self-worth.

Perhaps we should commit the sweet, good-tasting words of Colossians 4:6 to heart and allow them to flavor our speech in all situations: Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

A Point to Ponder: Today I will find at least one person to compliment, praise, or encourage.

Walking with my Lord

Lord, forgive me for the hurts my words have caused others. Help me to always speak graciously.
Also, grant me the wisdom to know when to keep silent. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Word: Wisdom for Living. Authors: Marcia Gomulka and Myrna Lou Meyer. 12/32 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. Code: #40198

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 Word: Wisdom for Living: My Hope…

Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

My Hope Isn’t In the Panic Button

In the Word

The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD (Lamentations 3:25–26 NIV).

Of the Word

Life is woven together with good days and troublesome days. The good times are easy to navigate, but it is during the tough times that our faith is put to the test. Troubles will come our way, but what is important is how we handle them and where we put our hope and trust.

We do have choices. We can hit the panic button or lose sleep from worrying. Or we can turn to our trusted Friend, God our heavenly Father, Who is always ready to listen to those who seek Him. In Him is our hope for a brighter tomorrow.

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful (Hebrews 10:23 NIV). I sought the LORD and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears (Psalm 34:4 NIV).

A Point to Ponder: What trouble will I consciously give to God today?

Walking with my Lord

Lord, You promise to hear me when I come to You with my burdens. Grant me the patience to be still and wait for Your answers, for I know they will come. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Word: Wisdom for Living. Authors: Marcia Gomulka and Myrna Lou Meyer. 11/32 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. Code: #40198

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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The Word: Wisdom for Living: I Can’t Do It…

Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

I Can’t Do It by Myself

In the Word

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up (Ecclesiastes 4:9–10a NIV).

Of the Word

As adults, we frequently take the attitude of that stubborn two-year-old who declares, “I can do it myself!” Why are we often reluctant to ask for help or advice? Do we think it will show we are getting too old, or too weak, or (heaven forbid) too stupid? We sometimes stumble along until finally, when all else fails, we admit we can’t do it alone.

God didn’t create us to go through life without help. He inspired the writer of Ecclesiastes to write, one can help the other. Our loving Father also gives us family and friends to love and care for us, to pick us up and give us support. Knowing God doesn’t want us to go it alone, let’s not be reluctant to ask for help — or, in turn, give help to someone else.

The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down… (Psalm 146:8b).

A Point to Ponder: Who do I know who may need a lift today?

Walking with my Lord

Lord, I admit I am helpless and can’t go through life alone. Thank You for the loved ones You send into my life. Thank You also for sending Jesus to pick me up out of sin and redeem me with His life. In His name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Word: Wisdom for Living. Authors: Marcia Gomulka and Myrna Lou Meyer. 10/32 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. Code: #40198

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: Perfect Plans

Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

Perfect Plans

In the Word

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).

Of the Word

Few things are as carefully planned as a wedding. From the bride’s dress to the cake and decorations, every detail is thoughtfully selected. Sometimes, despite months of careful planning, things do not go as expected. A flat tire, a fainting bridegroom, or a bad storm can instantly change the carefully thought-out plan. We simply are not able to predict what the day may bring!

The good news is our loving Lord knows the plans He has for us. He reveals them to us when we need to know them and not before. Sometimes we want to take control of the planning, but our plans are best left in God’s loving hands.

Be at peace as you place your marriage in God’s care, knowing you can trust Him. His plans are perfect. His plans are to give you a future and a hope both here on earth and for eternity in heaven through faith in Jesus Christ. When husband and wife as one place their marriage in God’s hands, they can celebrate together the future God has planned for them.

Walking with my Lord

Lord Jesus, give me the peace of knowing my future is secure because of Your loving sacrifice. Fill me with hope as I trust Your plans. In Your name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Everyday Celebrations. Authors: Elaine Bickel and Jan Struck. 9/28 ©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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Everyday Celebrations: The Always-Open Hand

Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

The Always-Open Hand

In the Word

You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing (Psalm 145:16).

Of the Word

A child takes food from a parent’s hand. An aged parent is fed with a spoon held in the hand of a loving caregiver. A family pet eats from the hand of its master. Each is evidence of a bond, a connection, a trust relationship.

We are fed daily by the hand of our Heavenly Father. He provides seeds for the farmer who plants and harvests. He has equipped the skilled cooks who prepare the food. From His hand to our mouths, God provides. We join the Psalmist in saying, You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing (Psalm 145:16).

When families gather for a meal, it is important to thank God for all He has provided. He wants us to have that intimate trust relationship with Him. We can share more than food; we can share the hope we have in Jesus Christ as a redeemed child of God.

Walking with my Lord

Lord, thank You for opening Your hand and satisfying my needs. Remind me that You are always at my table. Help me to focus on Your goodness and to trust You for all things. In Your gracious name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Everyday Celebrations. Authors: Elaine Bickel and Jan Struck. 8/28 ©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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View the printable PDF of this devotion, The Always-Open Hand

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