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The Mustard Seed Ministries Blog

If you are interested in writing a devotional (or submitting any other type of entry) for Mustard Seed Ministries, please click here to learn about the writing process and how we accept submissions. Thanks for reading!

Friday
Feb052016

The Battlefield of My Mind

Finally, brothers and sisters, 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 4:8 NIV


I’ve always had difficulty letting go of negative things that were said to me or about me. It just seems easier to remember the bad than it is the good. Until I really understood this verse:
"Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it", (Proverbs 4:23 NIV) and began to apply it to my life on a daily basis.

I’ve learned that I must take charge of my thought life on a daily basis, it is not a one time deal. I may not have control over every thought that comes into my mind, but with the help of God and His word I can choose which thoughts I dwell on and believe in.

I believe if we the body of Christ, as a whole, learn to control our thought life and to truly believe what God’s word says about us, we could operate in the true power of God in every area of our lives.

Lord I ask You to allow Your Holy Spirit to show me what thoughts I should meditate on throughout the day. Help me to not dwell on negativity and allow it to invade my spirit. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Sharon (AL)

Friday
Jan292016

My Child's Blocks

"A Foolish Man... Built His House on the Sand." Matthew 7:26 NKJV


Our oldest grand-daughter was married last month on a party barge on Lake Union in Seattle, WA. We looked out at the Space Needle and we were dazzled by the beauty of the Sun sparkling off the water and thought that life passes too quickly.

Later, we slowly danced and looked into each others eyes and felt that the Lord was far better to us than we deserved. Our beautiful grand-daughter was starting a new life in New York with a fine young man who owned two gyms. We desired that more than anything, they would have the most important thing in life - an ongoing personal relationship with the Lord Jesus which was the center of all the success and health that we had found.

I wrote a poem to them based on what Jesus had said, because I remembered when she had invited me into her bedroom to have a tea party when she was just four. Building blocks were important to her then.

Building Blocks
by Papa

Once you were a little girl and building blocks were your friend
You never wanted your blocks to fall; you wouldn't even lend.

Now you are a big girl building a new life with a fine young man.
You have chosen not to build your blocks on sand, the Lord will help them stand.

"Everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like the foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house. And great was its fall." Matthew 7:26 NKJV


Dear Lord, please raise up a new generation that loves You and Your precious Word. They will not find the best things of life: Your friendship and Your power in their lives without Your help. We trust in You Lord. In Your name we pray. Amen

Dr. Bob (AZ)

Friday
Jan222016

TAKE OFF YOUR SHOES

God said, "Do not come any closer. Take off your sandals, because you are standing on holy ground." Ex. 3:5 TEV


Why "Take off your shoes?" How did that interfere with God communicating with Moses?

I sat in my favorite pew listening to the text being read. I listened to the pastor as he zeroed in on God calling Moses and Moses arguing with God. But I kept coming back in my mind to "take off your shoes." Then my mind wandered to what I needed to attend to as soon as I arrived at my office Monday morning. Soon I was weighing two projects, trying to decide which one carried the greater priority.

Suddenly the light dawned on my question. "Moses, take off your shoes, for you are standing on Holy Ground." Could shoes take on other forms? Could they take the form of work, Sunday dinner, any number of things that might stand in the way of connecting with the Holy One? If Moses's shoes stood between him and God, they needed to be gone. If my musings about Monday morning tasks prevented me from receiving a message from God at that moment, they needed to be gone. I knew then, without a doubt, that there were probably many other "shoes" in my life that needed to be gone.


Lord, help us to remove any obstacles that hinder our relationship with You.

Madeline (NE)

Saturday
Jan162016

A Gracious God

So he prayed to the Lord, and said, “Ah. Lord, was not this what I said when I was still in my country? Therefore I fled previously to Tarshish; for I know that you are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in loving kindness, One who relents from doing harm. Jonah 4:2. (NKJ)



The story of Jonah is a colorful portrait of a man avoiding his calling, who held the unsaved masses in disdain. He was so bent on avoiding God’s call to preach to the sin sick city of Nineveh that he boarded a ship bound to Tarshish instead. We all know what follows---Jonah being thrown overboard during a terrible storm, followed by being swallowed by a whale.

It took prayer and supplication for him to be coughed up on shore and make good on his promise to God to go to Nineveh. After he finally obeyed his call and was instrumental in converting the Ninevites, instead of being jubilant and praising God, he retreated to a hill overlooking the city to sulk. He knew God was as good as His word and would give the Ninevites a reprieve if they would but repent once called to task by God’s prophet. This did not sit well with the proud and self-righteous Jonah.

In response, God allowed a plant to grow over him and provide shade. Jonah was pleased with the outcome until the next day, when the Lord sent a worm to cause the plant to wither. To further make his point, God sent a fierce wind to add to Jonah’s misery. Only then did God address him directly for the second time, calling him out for showing more concern over a withered plant than he had over the one hundred twenty thousand souls in jeopardy in the city of Nineveh.

How many of us when faced with complying with God’s will for our lives book passage on our own trip to Tarshish? And how many of us secretly harbor resentful thoughts as well as prideful feelings of moral superiority towards those who struggle with the sins so prevalent in today’s society? You don’t have to be of Jonah’s station as prophet and statesman to find yourself outside God’s favor due to the self-inflicted sin of pride. What a sorry world it would be if God patterned his graciousness after ours.


Prayer: Dear Lord, Please instruct us to follow your example and be gracious towards all those whom you have called.

Carol (NC)

 

Friday
Jan082016

Great Joy

8-12 There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God’s angel stood among them and God’s glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:10-12 The Message (MSG)

 


Usually we hear these verses talked about at Christmas time…but today I want to bring out a wonderful, wonderful, emotion… 

Great JOY! 

I’ve found that there is no greater JOY than the arrival of a new baby…boy, or, girl, makes no difference. The parents are bursting with happiness and GREAT JOY. I’m going to say that a lot…GREAT JOY, GREAT JOY…GREAT JOY! 

The proud grandparents, step-grands, uncles and siblings-everyone is filled with GREAT JOY because of the arrival of a new life! 

That’s what God’s angel was talking about when he spoke to the shepherd’s all those years ago concerning, Jesus, God’s son! God the Father sent out the announcement and hand delivered it to the lowliest of people…sheepherders, and animals in a tiny barn in Bethlehem. WOW! The savior of the world is born. 

But what a grand announcement it is…The Light of God’s glory burst on the scene…God’s special messenger speaks up and says…Hey, don’t be afraid…I’m here to give you GREAT JOY…the Messiah is born!

Catch a glimpse of Him in your heart today…let that GREAT JOY spring out from your inner being, get excited…sing…jump…dance…let people wonder what in the world is going on with you? JOY IS CONTAGIOUS… 

JOY causes exuberance in the spirit and you not only smile from ear to ear, you actually glow…. 

Synonyms for Joy! 

Bliss, hilarity, liveliness, gladness, delight, elation, comfort, jubilance, treasure, fruition, rapture, refreshment, solace, good humor, exultation…just to name a few. 

Whatever is causing you to have the absence of GREAT JOY in your life today…put it aside, your choice, right now and receive God’s GREAT JOY!!! If you have to literally make yourself laugh out loud…JUST DO IT! You will be amazed how it will change your whole perspective for this day! God bless you! I speak GREAT JOY over you today!


Let’s pray…Father in the name of your beautiful son, Jesus, I ask you to saturate all who read this with your GREAT JOY…let the Joy of the Lord catch fire in the hearts of men and women, boys and girls, and let them never recover… Amen!!!!! Yes Hilarity…let it flow…Amen!

Marla Shaw (FL)

Friday
Jan012016

A Drift Wood Treasure

"Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her the fruit of her hands, And let her own works praise her in the gates." Proverbs 31:30-31


I married a hardworking farmer's daughter. She was described by her sister as "the pick of the litter."

Two weeks ago we were at a beach cabin for a month in Washington State and I learned a lot about virtuous women. What taught me was when my wife brought home what I named "Whale Boy" because he looks just like a Sperm Whale. When I first met him, he was a soaked piece of drift wood three and a half by two feet and weighed a good two hundred pounds.

On the beach, she had made her mind up that we were going to take it back to our Arizona home. To be honest, I thought she must have had too much salt air.

One thing I've learned about my Spirit filled wife is to help her go after her visions. So, I helped her bring the piece out of the surf. I thought reality would strike her and she would forget about it, I was wrong.

The next morning, I woke up and found Whale Boy in our backyard. She had taken the gurney and levered her treasure up. She then wrapped the rope around her waist and step by struggling step brought her treasure home to me.

Whale Boy is dried out now and weighs about seventy pounds. He makes me think of virtuous women every time I look at him. I think of Proverbs chapter thirty-one which says virtuous women work with their hands out of a heart that believes they can do all things through Christ who strengthens them. They set out in faith that has a child-like quality. They bring help and love.

Bodies and backgrounds are different, but every Christian woman can claim the Lord is their strength and become a river of godly love. They can be a virtuous woman.


Help your daughters dear Lord to be unlimited. Help them to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. We need them to build lives and the Kingdom of Heaven. Amen and Amen.

 

Dr. Bob (AZ)

Friday
Dec252015

A GOOD QUESTION

For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given. Isa. 9:6a TEV


Christmas day had arrived. Gifts were piled high around the Christmas tree. The family sat in a circle. Eight-year-old Emily volunteered to pass out the gifts. 

I was enjoying watching others open gifts when six-year-old Brandon walked up to me and softly asked, "Can I be your Christmas present?" Overwhelmed by his request, I took him in my arms, assured him that he would be the best present I ever got, and lifted him onto my lap.

Long before Christmas Day arrives, big red bows adorn everything from toys to automobiles, implying that your loved-one couldn't possibly survive Christmas without "one of these." Secular music adds to the clamor, helping to drown out the voice of the Christ Child. We are swept into their promotions, so we shop and wrap, shop and wrap.

But stop a moment. Find a quiet time and place. And listen. Can you hear the small voice of the Christ Child over the clamor? He is asking, "Can I be your Christmas Present?"


Lord, help us to stay focused on the Christ of Christmas. Amen.

 

Madeline (NE)