family devotion

jesus and the little children

READ ABOUT IT: MARK 9-10

Jesus and His disciples came to Capernaum. When He was in the house He asked them, "What were you discussing on the way?" But the disciples kept silent. On the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. 


Jesus sat down and called the twelve. He said to them, "If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all." Jesus took a child and put him in the midst of them. Taking the child in His arms, Jesus said to the disciples, "Whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me. And whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me."


Jesus left there and went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan. Crowds gathered to Him again. Again, as was His custom, Jesus taught them. And they were bringing children to Jesus that He might touch them. The disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, He was indignant. He said to them, "Let the children come to Me. Do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it." 


And Jesus took the children in His arms and blessed them, laying His hands on them. 


TALK ABOUT IT: 

1. What were the disciples arguing about while walking with Jesus? What did Jesus say makes a person "first"?

2. Sometimes you may feel unimportant. How does Jesus show that even children have an important place in God's family?

3. What was Jesus' reaction when the disciples tried to keep the children away from Him? How does Jesus take you in His arms and bless you?


PRAY ABOUT IT: 

Jesus, you welcome all into your arms, wrapping them with your nail-scarred hands and demonstrating true servanthood and love. Thank you for welcoming us into Your kingdom as your children; in your name, amen.


This week's devotion is from 120 Bible Stories, "Jesus and the Little Children" p. 208.

A Note for Parents

Children are a gift from the Lord. The psalmist writes, "Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from Him" (Psalm 127:3). If you read this entire psalm, it speaks of the blessings God provides--home, security, food, and children. In particular, children are referred to as a heritage--gifts not possessions. And entrusted with these gifts, parents become stewards. 


What an awesome responsibility to nurture--to feed, nourish, sustain, maintain, cherish, and provide for these gifts from God. As parents provide for their material needs, it is essential that we also take into consideration their spiritual needs. It is indeed the work of the Holy Spirit to plant faith in the hearts of our children and to cause that faith to grow. But it is also an awesome privilege to be an instrument of the Holy Spirit, to hear the splash of baptismal water, and to trust in God's loving care and direction for our children as they grow. 


This note today is taken from the Arch Book Baby Jesus Visits the Temple by Alice Earnheart Maas.

Weekly DEVOTIONS

Each week, CYPRESS CHAPEL will provide you with a devotion to center additional thoughts around the lesson that was offered on Sunday.  You may want to return to some of these devotions throughout the year, or even share them with friends. 


Why are family devotions important? In recent years the responsibility to raise a child in the faith has been placed on the church (staff, programs, events); today we are seeing a stea decline in regular church membership as a result of this trend. The hope of CYPRESS CHAPEL is that parents and kids are able to openly talk about their faith with each other.