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The Race of Faith: Breath, Breathe

Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

Starting Out — Breath, Breathe

In the Word

And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20:22).

Of the Word

A few essentials are needed to run: water, food, clothes, shoes, and, of course, breath. Seems like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? You need to breathe when running. If you don’t breathe, you won’t go far.

After Jesus’ resurrection from the grave and before His ascension into heaven, His disciples learned that a few essentials were also needed to proclaim the Good News of salvation to the world. They needed living water (John 4:10), the bread of life (John 6:51), clothes of righteousness (Galatians 3:27), shoes (Ephesians 6:15), and breath. But this breath is different than the breath needed by a runner.

Jesus breathed on them the breath of life, the Holy Spirit. As the One who calls, gathers, and enlightens, the Holy Spirit was essential for the disciples to be able to complete the work Christ gave to them.

This life-giving breath is also essential for us. The Holy Spirit called us by the Gospel, gathered us into God’s kingdom, and enlightened us with His gifts. Only He can begin faith in one’s heart, and only He can equip us to share that faith with others.

Walking with my Lord

Father, thank You for the gift of Your Holy Spirit. As I enjoy the gifts He gives to me, also equip me to complete the work You have assigned to me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Race of Faith. Author: Amanda Stacy, DCE. 5/28 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. Code: #40196

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 Race of Faith: Running Shoes

Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

Starting Out — Running Shoes

In the Word

… and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace (Ephesians 6:15).

Of the Word

The right shoes make a world of difference while running. Ill-fitting shoes with no support can cause discomfort, pain, and even injury. For this reason, many serious runners get their feet fitted with shoes that cater to their own special needs.

St. Paul encourages us to make the same considerations regarding our spiritual footwear. In order to stand firm in faith, we need the right shoes. The support these shoes give through the Gospel of peace will never cause pain. This peace will soothe and restore us and also equip us for whatever we encounter in life.

This equipping is important because Paul wants us to stand firm in faith and be ready to move. These shoes are part of the armor of God, preparing Christ’s followers to go into the world to preach, teach, and fight against evil. So let the peace of Jesus Christ help you stand firm in faith. And when it’s time, that same peace will support you as you take your faith into the world.

Walking with my Lord

Thank You, Father, for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which gives me peace. Equipped with that peace, help me stand firm in my faith so I may share it with those around me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Race of Faith. Author: Amanda Stacy, DCE. 4/28 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. Code: #40196

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: In His Loving Hands

Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

In His Loving Hands

In the Word

… put your trust in the Lord (Psalm 4:5b).

Of the Word

The young woman sat on the examination table after hearing the doctor tell her, “You have cancer.” Her response: “Well, that stinks!” While some might consider that a rude way to say it, her reaction was an accurate assessment of her situation. Illness is a problem we all have to face, and we are almost never prepared for it. It can knock us down to the depths of despair.

Having the support of loved ones makes facing difficult situations easier than facing them alone. But it is even better to go to the One in control of everything: our loving God. And we can do just that. He invites us to come to Him with anything and everything.

The psalmist says, But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hand … (Psalm 31:14–15a). That is true in good times and in bad. We just need to be reminded of it more when things seem to be going wrong. He is in control. It is all in the loving hands of the One who was willing to die to pay for our sin. He’s got us and our situations in His hands. Trust Him!

Walking with my Lord

Lord Jesus, help me trust that my times are in Your loving and caring hands. In Your name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: In Times of Need. Authors: Rev. Larry Krueger, Rev. Mike Mattil, & Rev. Kris Whitby. 6/30 ©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: Asking for Healing

Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

Asking for Healing

In the Word

I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy. Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live (Psalm 116:1–2).

Of the Word

“Lord, have mercy!” is a common refrain spoken in worship. They are also words many people say in their daily prayers and they become especially meaningful when dealing with an illness. We ask God for His kindness and goodness, things we don’t deserve. But our loving God is in the habit of giving His people the good things they don’t deserve. There is nothing wrong in asking for God’s blessings. In fact, God expects it from us.

The Father lovingly sent Jesus to take the punishment our sins deserve so that we could instead receive the good gifts of forgiveness and salvation. Our faith has taken hold of the wonderful gifts He provides. As His faithful children we can ask Him to be merciful to us during times of sickness. He is listening. He wants us to come to Him. And He wants only the best for us, His children.

Walking with my Lord

Heavenly Father, I know You are listening to my prayer for Jesus’ sake. In Your mercy, please grant me the healing I need. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: In Times of Need. Authors: Rev. Larry Krueger, Rev. Mike Mattil, & Rev. Kris Whitby. 5/30 ©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: Weary from Pain

Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

Weary from Pain

In the Word

Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am languishing; heal me, O LORD, for my bones are troubled (Psalm 6:2).

Of the Word

When dealing with a chronic illness, we pray for God’s grace just as the psalmist did. An illness that lingers can be all-consuming and before we know it, it may take over our life.

I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping (Psalm 6:6).

Not a fun situation! While an illness must be addressed and dealt with, remember that it does not define us. That is not who we are. By virtue of our Baptism, we are dearly loved children of God. Our faith in Jesus as our Savior has put us in a relationship with Him that assures us of forgiveness of sins and life everlasting where there will be no more sickness or pain.

It’s our relationship with Jesus that defines who we are, not our illness. As we deal with our illnesses, we take it to the Lord in prayer with this confidence: The LORD has heard my plea; the LORD accepts my prayer (Psalm 6:9).

Walking with my Lord

Father, I praise You for making me Your child. Remind me of that status as I face each new day, especially when illness tries to overwhelm me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: In Times of Need. Authors: Rev. Larry Krueger, Rev. Mike Mattil, & Rev. Kris Whitby. 4/30 ©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 — Be Happy!

Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

Be Happy!

In the Word

“Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my door. For whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from the LORD …” (Proverbs 8:34–35).

Of the Word

Happy! Happy! Happy! This seems to be the mantra of today’s society. Advertising tells us we deserve happiness, so go buy the new car or the latest electronic gadget. In reality, the happiness that comes from material things is fleeting and, sadly, the car gets a dent, and the gadget gets replaced in the stores by an even better one. The happiness we felt when they were new is long gone.

Scripture’s meaning of “blessed” is happy — God’s kind of happy. It is a true happiness that isn’t tied to a thing that only gives us pleasure for a little while. This happiness is found in the Word of God that assures us we are loved and protected by the almighty Father. Proverbs tells us to listen to God’s wisdom and daily search God’s Word for instruction — and then pay heed to it.

Jesus says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death” (John 8:51).

A Point to Ponder: Do I need to re-evaluate what I think brings happiness into my life? 

Walking with my Lord

Father, because of the death and resurrection of Jesus my Savior, I have eternal life! No earthly possession can ever bring me more happiness than that promise. In His saving name I give thanks and pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Word: Wisdom for Living. Authors: Marcia Gomulka and Myrna Lou Meyer. 6/32 ©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 — Seeing Red

Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

Seeing Red

In the Word

Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly (Proverbs 14:29).

Of the Word

It has many names — annoyed, outraged, irritated, or just plain mad. But whatever we choose to call it, its name is anger, and it can be destructive. Will things that could cause us to be angry come our way? Yes. But we are instructed to be slow to anger as is our loving God. The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love (Psalm 145:8).

The acts of a hasty temper may lead to screaming, door slamming, throwing whatever is handy, or hurling insults — all things that not only hurt others but can hurt us. Unchecked anger can poison our very being and lead us to sin.

God doesn’t want anger to overpower us. Nor does He want us to harbor resentment or hold a grudge. He does give us these words to follow; “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry… (Ephesians 4:26 NIV). God is telling us to let it go!

A Point to Ponder: What anger or resentment in my life do I need to turn over to God?

Walking with my Lord

Lord, I confess I allow anger and resentment to creep into my life. Through Your Holy Spirit help me control my words and actions. I pray in Jesus’ forgiving name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Word: Wisdom for Living. Authors: Marcia Gomulka and Myrna Lou Meyer. 5/32 ©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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