family devotion

Beach Breakfast

READ ABOUT IT: JOHN 21:1-14

At this point, there was no denying that Jesus had risen from the grave. His followers had seen Him at the tomb and in the upper room on the day of his resurrection, and then with Thomas in the same spot a week later. Two disciples had even talked to Jesus while walking to Emmaus, but only realized it was him after they discussed breaking bread together. 


It should have come as no surprise that Jesus would continue to make appearances and let the disciples know that he had won--he defeated death and the grave, and was now their risen Savior. So why were they surprised again when he shows up at the shore of the Sea of Galilee? After all, it was just about in that same spot a few years earlier where Jesus called Peter, James and John to drop their nets and 'Follow Me'. 


And yet that's where they were, unchanged in their daily routine--only this time failing to catch fish all night. 


In response, Jesus offers them some simple guidance, and then invites them to come in to shore after nearly breaking their nets with 153 fish. 153!!! Jesus stirs the fire, cooks some fish, distributes it among them and then turns to Peter to restore their relationship. (After all, the last time Peter had a one-on-one conversation, he was told that he would deny knowing Jesus three times...and then he did.)


Jesus takes the time to forgive Peter. He wanted Peter to know how much he loved him, and that Peter was going to demonstrate Jesus' sacrificial love, as a shepherd of the sheep, to all people of the world. 


Are you ready for God to restore you? Are you awaiting for God to speak into your life when you're trying to do what you do well (like the disciples) yet don't seem to have the same results? What about asking God for help when your life seems to be coming up with empty nets--are you ready to ask for help?


PRAY ABOUT IT: 

Jesus, thank you for your restorative love and hope for us. Help us to always be mindful of your work in our lives, and how you desire to use us for your kingdom's work. In your 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 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.