family devotion

trusting god

READ ABOUT IT: Numbers 20:1-13

Moses probably didn't think it was a big deal. After all, the people were complaining they were thirsty, Moses took his staff, hit the rock twice, and God flowed water from the rock. The only problem is that God told Moses to speak to the rock--not hit it. 


The other issue that we can see in this story is that the Israelites were suffering in the wilderness, and complaining...a lot. They were hungry and thirsty. When God showed them a land 'flowing with milk and honey' (Numbers 13), they said that the people living in it were bigger and stronger than they were. Their life was more difficult than most, and they grumbled and complained. They even said it would have been better for God to have left them in Egypt as slaves!


Truth is, God had a plan for them. It was going to take a lot longer than expected (God punished them for 40 years of wandering because of their lack of trust), but the promised land was a generation away. By the time their children were grown, they would have a much better life. 


TALK ABOUT IT:

God answers prayers. He even answers grumbling (although if I'm honest, I have trouble responding to my own kids when they are whining all the time). Even though we ask for his guidance and trust that He will provide, we often forget to complete the communication: by giving thanks.


You see, He's present when we pray for that first day of school, surrounding our teachers, staff, and students with His hedge or protection. God is there when we have close calls in our cars, and he's even there when there is an unexplainable medical diagnosis or treatment. 


Thank Him. Recognize that He was there, and that He answers your prayers. If you have trouble remembering all that you have been praying for, keep a prayer journal and go back every so often to see just how God has responded and acted on our behalf. 


PRAY ABOUT IT: 

God, thank you for hearing us when we speak, grumble, and need your guidance. Allow us to listen to your voice and trust in you above all things. In Jesus' name, amen.

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 steady 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.