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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!



"I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing." John 15:5 NKJV

Growing up in a family of builders and farmers, I heard and saw a lot about what life really is all about. My family wasn't educated by the world of books, but they earned practical doctorates in their level of understanding about the laws of nature and what a person needed to know to survive.

Grandpa constantly told me words of wisdom such as: "If something misses you, an inch is as good as a mile, so let it go, you're safe." "A dog can smell whether you are afraid or not, and you're not safe if you are afraid, so be brave." "Look people in the eye because they are deciding about you." And, one I came up with later that was based on what he didn't understand very well: "Women are not men; learn the difference or you will pay the consequences."

One of the phrases I heard growing up was; "A Bumper Crop" (a crop that was abundant). Bumper crops could save the farm when droughts and insects took the farmer's security away. 

Recently, I opened my heart up to the Holy Spirit as I remembered: "No one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God" (I Cor. 2:11). The words "Bumper Crop" came over and over to my soul. I claimed today's verse that if I abide in Jesus, I would constantly produce abundant Kingdom fruit.

Oh, the joy to know that if God's children abide in Jesus, they will produce the Heavenly Vine-Dressers' heartfelt desire - bumper crops. I claim this right now. Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!

This has been a very good day!

Help us Father to realize that each day your children can bear abundant fruit. We yield to our Vine, Jesus. Let the power of the Holy Spirit produce the life He came to give through us. We pray in Your Son's name. Amen!


Dr. Bob (AZ)


Ruled by Fear

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7 NLT

Fred feared the dark. His parents told him there was nothing in the dark that wasn’t there in the light. Even as a youngster, he knew that wasn’t true. Try as he might, he couldn’t shake the fear. Then one day his friend Rad suggested they have a camping adventure in his back yard. Not wanting to admit his fear, Fred agreed. 

The experience was worse than Fred imagined. Without divulging his fear, he convinced Rad to leave a light on in the bathroom so they could see how to get to the facilities should they need them. Rad agreed. Rad had an evil sister, however, who somehow discerned Fred’s fear and made sure she extinguished the light. By the time the first rays of daylight peeped over the horizon, Fred was a nervous wreck. 

I’ve struggled with this and other fears myself. Darkness wasn’t my friend when I was younger. Dad tried to help me defeat it by sending me into the backyard by myself. It didn’t work. At 55, I’m still a little nervous when piercing the darkness. 

Though God has instilled in us a healthy sense of fear, He doesn’t expect it to lead to unhealthy emotional reactions. Avoiding a dangerous neighborhood is just good sense; stepping into the path of an oncoming semi isn’t. Through the instilled emotion of fear, God gives wisdom to avoid dangerous situations. Those that are beyond my control, I depend on Him to protect me from. And He’s promised He would. 

Conquering unreasonable fears starts when we admit to God we have them. Then we can lean on Him for strength to face and overcome them. 

Father, deliver us from unreasonable fears. Help us remember You have not given us a spirit of fear.


Martin (SC)


Show Mercy

Save others by snatching them from the fire of hell. Show mercy to others, even though you are afraid that you might be stained by their sinful lives. Jude 1:23 (GOD’S WORD Translation)

Sinners unsettled the Jewish elite. Strict adherence to the law triggered a fear of being stained by ungodly people. Self-righteous Pharisees allowed rules to outweigh compassion. They offered little mercy. 

Jesus, on the other hand, fraternized with wrongdoers. His grace-filled eyes recognized hearts needing forgiveness. He lived and died to take away the stains of sinners. He yearned for His disciples to follow His merciful example. 

I learned these lessons at church. Yet here I sat with the self-righteous heart of a Pharisee while my pastor preached about God’s grace. I blamed the stained gash in the pew cushion beside me.

Ignoring the sermon, I focused on the ugly three-inch split. Sturdy thread held it together, but long stitches exposed padding. The failed attempt to clean stains left an unsightly mess on the church pew. Hideous.

Suddenly God lovingly spoke to my heart. Imperfections surround you. Gaze into your own life and find flaws. This sanctuary, My House, is full of broken people. I came to take away their sins, stains, and scars. In exchange I offer forgiveness, mercy, and grace. A truly remorseful heart cancels out the stains of a wicked heart. Show mercy.

Lesson learned, Lord. I hear you saying, “Go and make disciples. Stop worrying about their stains. Point them to Me, the Savior of the world, and I’ll do the cleaning. Sinners need Me.” 

Jesus, I will follow you and bring glory to your name. AMEN.


Deborah (Georgia)



(The Lord's servant) must be kind toward all, a good and patient teacher. 2nd Timothy 2:24a.

While training for an office job at our local hospital, I made a mistake. When I realized it and apologized to the girl who was training me, her immediate response was, "Oh, that's ok. You'll get it right the next time."

I was reminded of that day when I recently witnessed a co-worker being reprimanded. She had made a mistake and it was pointed out to her in no uncertain terms that it had better never happen again.

Although my first experience was nearly thirty years ago, I can still see my co-worker's kind, uncondemning face. Her reaction and her remark made an indelible impression on me, not to mention the confidence it gave me that I would be successful in my new job.

As I read Paul's words to Timothy, I compare my two personal experiences and have to ask myself which of the two trainers I most resemble in my daily life. When we claim the title "Christian," from that moment forward we represent Christ in all that we do and say. We commit to living the Word in James 2:8b: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." As mortals, we are prone to failure. But with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can do it.

Father God, help us in all that we do and say to reflect You, the Lord of Love. Amen.

Madeline (NE)



The Cross Is Offensive

"The offense of the Cross" Galatians 5:11 NKJV

I learned about my Father's love by remembering my mother's love for me.

One morning recently, I was having my devotion and learned about love when I remembered how a mother's love was demonstrated before disposable diapers. Mothers dealt with offensive messes before they could then use their washing machines. Love made this service possible.

When I think about my godly departed mother, I sometimes have a tear come when I remember that she loved me enough to cleanse me. When I think about my heavenly Father's love, I think about how He loved me enough to send Jesus to shed His blood so that I could be washed clean.

Now that I've been given new life by the Holy Spirit, when I was born again, I have a new possibility - I can also be washed clean each day. This is possible by the power of confession as I John 1:9 promises. God's children will be forgiven and cleansed if we confess our sins and turn away from them.

My mother's and my Father's hands have one thing in common - being energized by love.

When I think about the Cross, I realize that the Cross is foolishness only to those who have never experienced the father's love personally.

Take a shower in your Father's forgiveness and love today. Without daily cleansing, we will radiate unpleasant earthy aromas that will be noticed by those we are trying to help.

Father, help us to be proud of you and what you've done. What this world finds as offensive, we have found to be the answer to our sins. All we need is Jesus: the way, the truth and the life. In His Name, Amen..

Dr. Bob (AZ)


Then Came Barkley

Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Galatians 6:10 (NIV)

I'd seen him several times on my daily walk. Barkley was a Labradoodle with curly fur, big brown eyes and the same "party animal" personality that had made my male Newfoundland, Toby, so endearing.

Finally, one day I saw his owner outside. "Can I pet your dog?" I asked. He replied, "Sure." The fun began!
Barkley and I became fast friends, and he began to anticipate my arrival every day.

After a few minutes of playtime, it became a game for me to get away before he could jump on me. Barkley is very agile, so getting out of the yard took fast footwork. Leaving those big, soulful eyes behind was tough!
I'm thankful for Barkley...and his owners' willingness to share him.

A few years ago, I had a neighbor who had owned a pair of Rottweilers. Ed missed his big dogs after they died, and he often said that my Newfoundlands, Toby and Molly, gave him the "big dog fix" he so badly needed. Until my dogs died, I never really understood what he meant. Looking back, I'm glad I shared them! God always has a way of returning to us the grace we give to others. Now, I get my "big dog fix" from a lovable Labradoodle-my buddy, Barkley.

Father, Thank You for giving back to us in abundance the good we share with others.

Dorsee (OH)



May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love. Eph. 3:17b TLB

During the spring our various shade trees produce millions of seeds. They fall from the trees, settle and take root in the sidewalk cracks, hedge, fence line and all through my flower beds. When small, they are pulled easily enough after a rain. And no matter how many I pull each year, a new crop sprouts the next spring. The real problem develops when I miss a sprout and its roots have gone too deep to pull. Unable to spray the persistent tree among my flowers, it grows new shoots year after year and continues to thrive.

The Bible often refers to or hearts as fertile ground. Like the seeds that fall from the trees, many unwanted things can take root there; greed, envy, hostility to name a few. If left to thrive, they may be extremely difficult to uproot. Paul knew that the soil of the heart was vulnerable. He uses the analogy of the heart being the soil, fertile and ready for the planting. How important, then that we root out sin before it grows deep roots.

Lord, you are the author of love. You are love. May you so fill our hearts that there is no room for sin to take root Amen.

Madeline (NE)