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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
Aug282015

"I Didn't Know What To Do"

"It is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure." Philippians 2:13


I have been having the feeling that I don't know what to do. This feeling may come primarily from my retiring last year from my position as a Prison Minister.

I began praying about my confusion and opened up my heart to the Holy Spirit. Surprisingly, statements began to burn in my heart and I went to sleep that night with a flood of verses pouring through my mind and heart.

I could hardly wait to get out of bed the next morning to see if I could still remember what had seemed so important.

I sat down at my computer and was sorely tempted to jump right in, but then I remembered that no man knows the things of God except the Spirit of God, so I prayed. When I opened my eyes, I felt as if I had lost control of my self as verses and passages flowed out so fast that I couldn't write them down. The flood stopped and I found that my question had been answered. I had learned what I was to do. He gave me 50 passages, but I'll boil them down to the first three that we are to start and end with:

1. Abide each day in Jesus, our Vine. John15:4-5 (and we will bear much fruit)
2. Obey Jesus' commandments. John 15:10 (and we will abide in His love.)
3. Feed His Sheep. John 21:16 (and we will show Him that we love Him.)

It seems as if we are to never retire from building the Kingdom.

Knowing now what to do, I'll never have the excuse again that I don't know what to do.


Dear Lord, we get confused sometimes and don't know what to do. Help us to obey 

 

Bob (AZ)

Friday
Aug212015

WHO'S GOT THE POWER

But when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will be filled with power, and you will be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, in all of Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Acts 1:8


Kings have risen and they have fallen. An aspiring king often found a way to have the reigning king killed. Nations were conquered by neighboring nations to gain additional power. There was, and still is, always someone trying to wrest power away from someone else.

The desire for power over our fellow men and women is not limited to nations. Our sinful nature results in it rearing its ugly head all around us at all levels, even on the school grounds as bullies try to intimidate classmates.

Jesus came to offer a new kind of power; a power to be His witnesses through all the earth. This is not a power over our fellow men and women, but the power to bring the message of love and redemption to them. Jesus came to turn the world upside down; to undo the damage satan did in the garden. Yes, He has given us power; the power of the Holy Spirit to do the work He has assigned us.


Lord, help us to resist the urge to acquire earthly power. Empower us with Your Holy Spirit to spread the life-giving message of Your love and redemption to a hurting world. Amen.

 

Madeline (NE)

Friday
Aug142015

WHO IS THIS MAN?

Suddenly a strong wind blew up and the waves began to spill into the boat. v. 37a TEV


While answering a call on line 1, the secretary paged me to say I had a call on line 2. A moment later my cell phone rang. "Just a few minutes of peace would be nice," I muttered to myself.

The disciples most likely expected their little outing on the lake to be a pleasant escape from the demands of the crowds. But the desired peace turned into fear for their lives. As giant waves tossed the boat, flooding the deck, the distraught disciples pleaded for Jesus' help. But when he was actually able to help them they seemed a bit surprised. "Who is this man that even the wind and the waves obey Him?

Who is this Man? Scripture gives Him many names; Lord, Master, Teacher, Savior, Messiah, Shepherd, to list a few. He shows caring compassion, love, mercy, forgiveness.

Who is this Man? With the disciples, I stand in awe of His greatness. A greatness that I will never, in a lifetime begin to grasp. But this much we know. In Mark 4 He makes it clear to us that He desires to bring peace into our tumultuous lives. And in Luke 2:14 the angels announced from the heavens that He comes to bring peace on earth.


God of the universe, Creator of all that exists, we stand in awe of your greatness. You and you alone can bring peace into our frazzled lives. Help us to remember to turn to you, the Prince of Peace, for that peace. Amen.

 

Madeline (NE)

Friday
Aug072015

Comfort Through Compassion

NIRV-Matthew 27:47-48 Some of those standing there heard Jesus cry out. They said, "He's calling for Elijah." Right away one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar and put it on a stick. He offered it to Jesus to drink.


A stranger heard Jesus cry out. He ran to get what was on hand to offer some sort of comfort to Jesus. This in the midst of great adversity that day on the cross. Someone's heart, witnessing the scene, exploded with compassion. The urge to comfort Jesus probably came without warning or much rational thinking. The consequence could have been dyer.

This scene of the person "running" to get the wine vinegar is recorded in both Matthew and Mark. In three of the four gospels the act of giving Jesus wine vinegar was to comfort him. 

Who are you called to comfort? How will you comfort them with what you have available on the 'scene'? Listen for the Father's call on your heart to bring comfort for someone in need. You never know what Glory that person may bring to the Kingdom of Christ Jesus in their suffering. God knows. Listen.


Pray:
Dear God show each of us who we can comfort. Show me how. Show me now. Let me run to them with what You have given me!

Stacy (MO)

Friday
Jul312015

"The Help Of My Countenance"

"Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God: for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God." Psalm 43:5 NKJV

 

Depression colored my horizons. Looking afar, I could not see through dark bellowing clouds that touched my clothing. I stumbled onward, for what was I to do but that? Unseen potholes caused me to fall and I wished to lay there. I desired to cease my struggles. But, I remembered my children at home and had to go on one halting step at a time.

These words describe the world that I lived in for several years when I had to learn to be both a father and a mother. I had lived in a world only a conscientious mother can make.

I had never made a cake before, so I went to the store sure that I could do what she had done. At home again, I thought that one or more boxes of pre-mix per pan would make a good fat cake. The pans sure were heavy when I took them out of the oven. I laid them out on the counter and thought it would be good to put the frosting on while the layers were hot so that it could soak in.

When I was finished, I had a giant cake that was a lot shorter on one side than the other and weighed a ton. The frosting was sliding off the plate. The kids didn't laugh (much) and our dog, who would eat anything, wouldn't touch it. I forgot my troubles for awhile.

Strangely, the Lord used this to lighten my countenance, and to help my broken and lonely heart. Place you broken heart in His hands and gradually learn to laugh at yourself. He will lighten your load through silly things.


"Dear Lord, sometimes our hearts just break so badly that we just can't go on, but You will never leave us or forsake us, and that's really all we need. Hold our hand and help us stand. Amen and Amen."

 

Dr. Bob (AZ)

Friday
Jul242015

Recognizing God’s Voice

So he said to Samuel, “Go and lie down again, and if someone calls again, say, ‘Speak, LORD, your servant is listening.’” I Samuel 3:9 NLT


Listening to the right voices determine one’s life course. 

My cousin and I were simple country boys who loved romping in the woods. Times were simpler then. No cell phones. No video games. Just our youth and imaginations. Our parents and grandparents didn’t fear for our safety. We were allowed to roam as long as we listened for the voice—a car horn. We may have heard other horns, but our grandmother’s we recognized. When we heard, we listened. 

Young Samuel assisted Eli the priest in God’s work, but he’d never heard God’s voice. God’s messages were rare. To follow God’s directive, Samuel had to recognize his voice. 

Recognizing God’s voice requires training just as young Samuel had to learn to distinguish it from the other voices that commanded his attention. Samuel may have heard an audible voice. Presently, however, I won’t be so fortunate. God speaks through his Spirit to my spirit, so I must learn to hear him with spiritual ears. 

When God speaks, what he says will agree with his Word. Anything I think I’ve heard that contradicts that comes from my soul’s enemy. Just as becoming a good listener takes practice, so learning to listen to God requires the same. Hearing God isn’t an automatic process. 

Listening to God also demands silence. Silence is difficult in my noisy world. Even doing good things can steal my listening time from God. Jesus left the crowd for a mountaintop meeting with his Father. He also rose early in the morning to speak with his Father. I must be still and know he is God. 

Have you learned the art of recognizing God’s voice?


Father, give us the spiritual wisdom to recognize Your voice so that we might obey Your directives.

 

Martin (SC)

Friday
Jul102015

They Were Sawed In Two

"They were stoned, they were sawn asunder" KJV Hebrews 11:37


Sitting in Church yesterday, I became distracted. The last few weeks we have been studying the subject of faith from the book of Hebrews. Chapter four had stirred deep and warm feelings when I was reminded that there is still a Sabbatical rest in existence.

That was a bit confusing to me until I realized that all I had to do to enter into a Sabbatical rest was to cease from my works and rest in what He has done. That felt right and strong, but it wasn't what distracted me.

Hebrews 11:37 is what distracted me. This is not a verse for the faint of heart. I read about my brothers and sisters being cut in two, and my mind got stuck. Knowing that my family members around the world today are being beheaded and tortured just because they love Jesus brought powerful sorrow to my heart. But, this also brought a righteous anger and determination to my soul to resist evil and defend God's people anyway I can.

I remembered that the blood of martyrs is the life blood of the Church, but I still had small tears in my eyes for my brothers and sisters.. Then, I pictured Jesus on the Cross and understood that God's love is more powerful than man can understand. I also remembered that life is in the blood and God's children often have to sacrifice for the Kingdom. And, that the death of God's children is precious in His sight. Praise the Lord, the Holy Spirit brought peace to my soul as He taught me about the things of God,

I was very grateful and could finally lift up my head..

Fear strikes us sometimes Lord when we see what's happening. We come to You right now for your peace that passes understanding. Amen and Amen.

 

Rev. Dr. Robert (AZ)