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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!

Wednesday
Nov192014

Sweet Assurance

Hebrews 6:1 (KJV) Romans 8:35 (KJV) 1 Pet. 1:4,5 (KJV)

Have you ever known anyone who has doubted their salvation or possibly have you ever doubted yourself? This happens more often than you think. I know, because it has happened to me.

It has been easy for me to see the fault in myself and think I am not good enough for Jesus, or for Heaven. It is true, I am not. My assurance does not come from the goodness that I do or asking Jesus to save me over and over; it is from what Jesus did, shedding His blood and dying for my sins; "not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God," Hebrews 6:1 "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?" Romans 8:35 "To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." 1 Pet. 1:4,5


Lord Jesus, help us to believe in what you did and not in our own goodness; in Jesus name. Amen

 

Rhonda (Virginia)

Wednesday
Nov192014

Lost But Not Lost

2 Cor. 5:7, KJV (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) Suggested Reading: Prov. 3:5-6, Prov 16:9, Ps 17:5

Have you ever been lost, but not so lost you couldn’t find your way home? That’s what happened to me. I knew my way around town, but didn’t know exactly where my friend lived. I used a street near her house. It was the wrong street, so I called her. She said to get on Walnut. I knew where Walnut was. However, there was a jog, so I ended on a wrong street again. I called again. She said to get back on Walnut and look for Jefferson. I found Jefferson, and promptly went the opposite direction, and called the third time. She told me she would wave me down.
That’s what following Jesus is like for me. I start, but problems arise, like a jog in my plans or picking the wrong direction. Just like I had to get back on Walnut, Jesus sends me back to the point I got off track. My friend encouraged me each time by saying how close I was. So also Jesus encourages me along too. Just like she watched for me, Jesus is at the finish line looking forward to and cheering us on.

Thought for the Day: Not knowing where you are going is less important than trusting God.


Prayer: Thank you for keeping us on the narrow way and giving guidance each day.

Bonnie (KS)

 

Friday
Nov072014

"Can Love Contain Death?"

"The Wages of Sin Is Death", Romans 6:23

Early in my career, I was confused by my patients opinions about love. A number (including several ministers) claimed to have found the love that they had always needed in the arms of a lover that wasn't their husband or wife. I soon learned that this was only one type of love that I had to ferret through.

Love comes in many shades and intensities. Some righteous, and some not so much.

Tender love for a baby can morph into furious love if you threaten that momma's baby. My love for our dog is certainly different than my love for my backyard palm trees.

One of the saddest experiences is when a child of God looses their first love for Jesus. We become lonely for Him. The eternal flavor of Jesus surpasses any other type of love, and we miss Him deep down in our heart. Desperately seeking for love in all the wrong places, we miss our first love. Depression sets in as the Holy Spirit is grieved. We forget that we are part of the bride of Christ, as John 3;29 tells us.


The types of love are varied and colorful. And, some types of love have death in them. Feelings of love are real (whether healthy or not). Shame and hatred can squash old love feelings, but every time that we love, it becomes apart of our personalities fabric. This is why our Father tells us many times in The Book to be careful who we love..

But above all, a day without our first love is a sad day.

Lord Jesus, You are my first love. Please help me to be faithful to You today. I open the door of my heart afresh to you right now. I need you Lord.
AMEN

Robert (AZ)

Wednesday
Oct292014

Rejection Hurts

But if any place refuses to welcome you or listen to you, shake its dust from your feet as you leave to show that you have abandoned those people to their fate. (Mark 6:11 NLT)


They were told not to move, but what if moving would quell another’s feelings of rejection?

Lunch room rules state a student must remain in the same seat. New students often feel uncomfortable regardless of where they sit, especially if they don’t know anyone—and Scarlet didn't. One student, however, took the initiative to break the rule. I assumed she was coming to ask permission to go to the bathroom, but instead she asked, “Dr. Wiles, can me and ____ go and sit by the new girl?” Last year, she had been the new girl. I suppose she knew how rejection felt. An honorable act of intervention. 

Jesus knew many would reject his message of love. During my lifetime, I've been rejected numerous times for various things. When I was young, I was normally the last one picked for a game team. I've been turned down for jobs and overlooked for promotions. And I have numerous notches in my belt representing the times one of my articles or devotions has been turned down for publication. 

Yet I take comfort in knowing God never rejects me or anyone else—unless they purposefully ignore him. We are all created in God’s image which makes us important and worthy of acceptance. In fact, Jesus said the second greatest commandment—behind loving him with all my heart, was for me to love others as I do myself. 

The ways I can show acceptance are abundant. Among them are showing forgiveness when I've been wronged, giving restoration to someone who has failed, initiating friendships, and encouraging those who are discouraged. 

What’s one way you can show acceptance to someone today?


Merciful God, when others reject, enable us to be the ones who accept.

Martin (SC)

Friday
Oct242014

A STRANG HAWAIAN STORY

“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints” (Psalm 116:15 KJV)


A few years ago, I was walking by myself at a resort in Hawaii. It was a blessing to be able to hear the beautiful birds as they flew by and to have private time in which I could fill my lungs with the fragrant flower infused air that was so free for the taking.

Waking in sunshine that was filtered by waving palm trees, I felt so free and at peace.

Then, I heard a voice say: “The Lord giveth and He taketh away”. I ignored the voice because I didn’t want to be disturbed. A few steps later, I heard the same words, only it was a firmer voice talking to me. That got my attention so I said: “Is that you Lord”? I felt an affirmation that dazed me.

My wife met me as I stepped into our condo and said: “Honey, your mother is dying”. I called Mom in California and asked my sister, who is a nurse, to lay the cell phone on Mom’s chest because she was semi-conscious. As I sang “Jesus Loves the Little Children”, to my Spirit filled little Mother, she left the room, that had filled with light and warmth. 

Mom isn’t blind in one eye anymore. She won’t fall down and lay there afraid again. She’s with Jesus.

I’m telling myself that the tears that are starting to flow down my face are tears of joy, but they really are because I miss her.


Lord, we praise You for Your conquering death! Amen.

Robert (AZ)

Saturday
Oct182014

GOD'S SPOKES-PERSON

Go, then, to all people everywhere and make them my disciples. Matt. 28:19a TEV

My purchase at the hardeware store was particularly heavy, and knowing that I would be unable to load it into my car without assistance, I asked the check-out girl for carry-out help. A very pleasant gentleman came to assist me. As we exited the store, I made a negative comment about it being a typical windy Nebraska day. His response was that things like that didn't bother him a lot as he looked at life as a journey toward his permant home with his Lord. Rather than the usual "Have a good day" that we hear so often, he followed this with: "Have a blessed day."

When Jesus ascended into heaven, we became his hands, His feet, His mouth. In Matthew 28 we are clearly given that assignment and my carry-out gentleman was doing just that. By picking up on my casual comment and by making a subtle change in the worn out "Have a good day," he made it clear that he served the risen and victorious Savior. And he sent a clear message to me that I could do a much better job of doing so.

 

Lord, help us to take every opportunity to use our hands, our feet and our mouths to serve you, not

occasionally, but at every opportunity. Amen.

 

Madeline (Nebraska)

Thursday
Oct092014

SPIRITUAL FERTILIZER

Do not make an alliance with them or show them any mercy. Deut. 7:2b TEV

Lawn care is an endless job. The alternative to a healthy, well tended lawn, is a weed patch. Failure to fertilize allows your grass to become weak and vulnerable. Weeds can then get a head start and choke out your grass.

Imagine trying to start a new lawn in a weed patch. The Israelites were entering a pagan land -- a weed patch of idolatry. God knew their faith would be challenged and gave them clear instructions for how to avoid the infiltration of idolatry into their lives. "Do not intermarry with the pagans." "Do not allow your children to intermarry with the pagans" vs. 3.

Sinning is as easy as letting our lawn go to crab grass and dandelions. Indeed, we do not need to plant weeds in our lawns. The seed is already there waiting to take over. By the same token, we already have sinful natures waiting to take over. To obey God takes work. It takes a prayerful walk with Him in the study of His Word. That is the fertilizer that keeps us spiritually strong.


Give us strength, Lord, to resist temptation and walk in your Word. Amen.

 

Madeline [Nebraska]