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Living in Praise: Spoken Praise

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Spoken Praise

In the Word

Through Jesus … let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise — the fruit of lips that confess his name (Hebrews 13:15).

Of the Word

Jesus’ first disciples had mouths on them. Nathanael used his mouth to mock the Lord’s background: “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” (John 1:46a). James and John used theirs to elevate themselves in Jesus’ kingdom: “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory” (Mark 10:37b). And Peter, the big mouth, used his to overestimate his abilities, redirect Jesus’ earthly mission, boast of his loyalty, and deny he ever knew His Lord!

Jesus’ present-day disciples are no different. Bickering, boasting, and backbiting come from the mouth, as do lies, gossip, and ridicule. So what about Jesus’ mouth? To Nathanael, He spoke words of acceptance. To James and John, He shared the truth of godly service. To Peter, He offered forgiveness, instruction, and a fresh start (several times).

If you have a mouth on you, take comfort in what comes out of your Lord’s mouth. He welcomes, admonishes, teaches, forgives, and offers you a new beginning in the righteousness that belongs to you in Him.

Walking with my Lord

Lord, with clear, exalted voice I gladly make the choice
To use my lips to praise and glorify Your name.
In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in Praise. Author: Patricia Mitchell. 18/32 ©2007 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org

Scripture quotations 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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Living in Praise: Excellent Praise

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Excellent Praise

In the Word

…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things (Philippians 4:8b).

Of the Word

We’re not the first generation of Christians to condemn popular culture. Christians in first-century Rome lived in a culture of drunken revelries in honor of the Emperor and the gods. Exhibitions of torture and gruesome executions were carried out for the amusement of the crowds. Collusion and conspiracies were common among the powerful. Conspicuous consumption of material goods among the wealthy was the standard. Those who abstained from these activities came under suspicion. A satirist of the day referred to Christians as river sewage and another observer dismissed Christianity as “a novel and baneful superstition.”

As Christians, we’re called to select for our meditation, conversation, entertainment, and example those things worthy of our attention. Like Christians down through the ages, we’re mocked by comedians and snubbed by pundits because popular culture resists our challenge. Our separation from popular culture disputes its value and our dissenting voice names its failings.

The Holy Spirit provides us with the backbone we need to stand for and choose all things excellent and praiseworthy in whatever culture we find ourselves. Praise Him today by thinking about those things. 

Walking with my Lord

Lord, in thought and word and deed, may I find everything I need
In all things excellent and good.
In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in Praise. Author: Patricia Mitchell. 16/32 ©2007 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org

Scripture quotations 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.

Historical background on ancient Rome from New Testament History by F. F. Bruce (Doubleday, 1969) pages 393-401.

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Walking with My Lord: Wake up singing …

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Wake up singing of God’s love!

In the Word

Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days (Psalm 90:14).

Of the Word

Katy was singing in the shower. The water splashed through her hair, ran down her face, into her eyes and she kept singing. Listening in the kitchen, her mother marveled at Katy’s joyful anticipation of this new day! What are our first thoughts and feelings as we begin a new day? … God has shown us how much he loves us — it was while we were still sinners that Christ died for us! (Romans 5:8 GNT). That simple truth, when it is our first thought each day, can set the tone for the hours to come. Then we will sing with the psalmist: You have changed my sadness into a joyful dance; you have taken away my sorrow and surrounded me with joy. So I will not be silent; I will sing praise to you. Lord, you are my God; I will give you thanks forever (Psalm 30:11–12 GNT). Each new day becomes a day for singing and dancing. No whining allowed. 

Walking with my Lord

Lord Jesus, make Your home in my heart. Brighten my smile, soften my voice, lighten my step, and make gentle my hands. Sing through my service to others today. In Your name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Walking with My Lord. Author: Donna Streufert. 26/30  ©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.

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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Walking with My Lord: Jesus, my New Morning!

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This is Jesus, my New Morning!

In the Word

“One shall come who rules righteously, Who rules in the fear of God. He shall be as the light of the morning; A cloudless sunrise When the tender grass Springs forth upon the earth; As sunshine after rain” (2 Samuel 23:3b–4 TLB).

Of the Word

Bev rolled over, stretched, and opened one eye. Brilliant sunshine flooded the room. She smiled to herself and prayed, “Thank You, Lord, for this new morning.” Just as a new day promises a fresh start, so also, Jesus comes into our hearts with His renewing love, lighting the darkness of sin, forgiving us fully. By faith we depend on Him as our Morning Light. At the end of his life, King David was conscious of God’s Spirit speaking to him, reminding him that the Messiah was “as the light of the morning” (2 Samuel 23:4a TLB). Years before, David had written, The Lord is my light and my salvation — whom shall I fear? (Psalm 27:1a). Now we need not cling to the sins, pains, and disappointments of yesterday. With Jesus we begin anew. Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22–23).

Walking with my Lord

Joined to You in Baptism, dear Lord, I am a new being. You made me Your child. You forgive me and set me on my path today. I praise and thank You for this fresh start. In Your name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Walking with My Lord. Author: Donna Streufert. 22/30  ©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.

Scripture quotations marked TLB are taken from THE LIVING BIBLE, Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, IL. Copyright © 1971.

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Living in Praise: Blessed Praise

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Blessed Praise

In the Word

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ (Ephesians 1:3).

Of the Word

Long before identity theft became a widespread concern, people attempted to steal Jesus’ identity. A crowd wanted to make Him their bread-producing king. Temple leaders wanted to prove Him an associate of Beelzebub. A few of His disciples wanted to cast Him as the liberator of Jews from Roman oppression.

People today who identify Jesus as solely a “great teacher” reveal they’re willing to accept as a teacher someone who claimed first-hand knowledge of the mansions of heaven, declared He would rise from the dead and called Himself “the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6b). Yet in denying that Jesus identified Himself as divine, they also ignore the fact He forgave sins, demonstrated power over nature, rose from the dead, and promised His presence “to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20b). As 20th century author C.S. Lewis said, “Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse.” Let no one steal His true identity from you. Praise Him by calling Him your Savior, Redeemer, and Friend.

Walking with my Lord

My praise is faith in Jesus, Savior, Lord, and Friend,
For He is truly Son of God, and truly Son of Man.
In His name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in Praise. Author: Patricia Mitchell. 16/32 ©2007 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org

Scripture quotations 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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Living in Praise: Glad Praise

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Glad Praise

In the Word

You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent (Psalm 30:11–12a).

Of the Word

Before-and-after photos present the benefits (at least to the models!) of using a certain brand of wrinkle cream or of swallowing a particular diet pill. Advertisers want to convince us to buy the product capable of making such a difference in our lives.

The Bible says we — all of us — were born into sin. Before Baptism, before Spirit-given faith in Jesus Christ, we were dead in our sins with no hope of change. After Baptism, after Spirit-given faith in Jesus Christ, we became alive in Him. After Him and in Him, we’ve changed. We know God loves us. We know Jesus won our salvation. We know He continues to nurture faith in us through the gift of the Holy Spirit. What a difference!

But is it a visible difference? Would anyone looking at God’s “after” people be able to differentiate them from “before” people? Do your words and actions praise and proclaim the difference He has made in your life? Would your “after” photo convince others to find out more about Jesus Christ?

Walking with my Lord

Thanks be to You for the price You have paid — Let my actions exhibit the difference You've made! 
In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
 


Mustard Seed: Living in Praise. Author: Patricia Mitchell. 15/32 ©2007 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org

Scripture quotations 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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Living in Praise: Courageous Praise

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Courageous Praise

In the Word

And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them (Acts 16:25 KJV).

Of the Word

“Hey, wait a minute, God! It’s not supposed to happen like this!” At one time or another, we’ve all had that feeling. Our godly hopes and plans shatter in the reality of job loss, financial woes, disabilities, divorce. We’re not at all where we want to be. In response, we can either dismiss God and sit down and pout, or engage Him in serious conversation as we continue to walk His way.

The latter choice takes courage. First, courage to set aside our expectations — no matter how reasonable and well-founded they were — and listen to what God tells us in His Word. Second, courage to separate our preferences from God’s plans, discerning His will in our present situation. Third, courage to invite His Holy Spirit to fortify our faith. Only in Him can we find courage to accept reality, control what we can control, and identify new ways to serve Him and His people.

When it’s not supposed to happen like this — but it does — keep walking. The scenery has changed, but your Companion remains the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Walking with my Lord

When things aren’t going my way, let me go in Yours…
Walk with me, Lord Jesus, in these troubled hours.
In Your name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in Praise. Author: Patricia Mitchell. 13/32 ©2007 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org

Scripture quotations 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.

Scripture quotations marked KJV are taken from the King James Version of the Holy Bible. Public Domain.

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