family devotion

Real. present. god.

READ ABOUT IT: Psalm 46


TALK ABOUT IT:

Do you think about God as a good luck charm? Do you "pull Him out" only when you decide you need Him? Do you try to put God into a box - to demand how He acts, works, and relates to you, to the church, and to the world? Are you busy telling Him what to do, instead of listening and obeying? What things are especially difficult to trust God about and follow? What things would you rather have control over that you don't?


THINK ABOUT IT:

The LC-MS National Youth Gathering was just held (7/11-7/15) in Minneapolis, MN. Over 20,000 young people traveled to MN from around the country and the world to worship, grow in faith and to serve others as they learn about the REAL. PRESENT. GOD. During The Gathering, Psalm 46 served as the foundation and theme for the week.


The Psalms are powerful parts of Scripture. They are songs and prayers and come from the heart of those who lift them up. Throughout the book of Psalms we see the wide range of experience the people of God endure. From praise and thanks to sadness and anger, and everything in between.


Psalm 46 is a Psalm that all followers of Jesus can be encouraged by. Even as mountains fall into the sea, even as the earth melts, even as trouble surrounds us, even when we continue to tell God what He can and cannot do, He remains our helper, He remains our refuge, He is our fortress.


In fact, God is SO real and SO present that He comes to be with us, even in our trouble. Jesus came for you! Jesus was tempted, ridiculed, mocked, beaten and killed for you! He is real. In baptism, we are united to Christ. We are put to death in the water and raised to new life in Christ by His promise. Therefore, we will not fear - because Christ was raised from the dead and he is coming to welcome us into eternal life with him.


And until that day, He remains present with us. Not only are we blessed by the gift of the Holy Spirit, Jesus on the night he was betrayed offered to His disciples, His true body and blood, the bread and the wine. We partake of this body and blood in communion today. We come humbly to the table of the Lord and are reminded, encouraged, and strengthened by the promise of His presence. We even taste it! He is present.


So, when we feel God is far off and try to tell Him how to act, how to work in our lives, when everything seems out of control and falling apart because God isn't doing what YOU want Him to do, remember this Psalm. Pray this Psalm. BE STILL and KNOW. He is with you, He is real, He is present, He is your fortress, a very present help in times of trouble.


TODAY'S PRAYER: 

Dear Jesus, soften our hearts to You. Help us to trust and obey in You above all things. Remind us when we try to be in control, that though the mountains move and the earth gives way and we are surrounded by all kinds of trouble, You are there. You are real. You are present. You are our fortress. Amen.


MEMORY VERSE:

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble... The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Psalm 46: 1;11

sharefaith kids devotions

Studying God's Word is a lifelong endeavor as we learn more about the one who created, redeemed, and sanctifies us. We want to encourage families to grow together in their faith along this journey. 


Sharefaith Kids has some great resources that CC families are welcome to enjoy. Check out this week's story and the devotion that is available to you!


Acts 3 | Peter Heals the Lame Beggar

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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.