Growing Down | Rooted (part 1) – A Word from Pastor Austin

“Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus as Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding with thanksgiving”. 

Colossians 2:6-7 

“Rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith.” It is hard to read these words and not imagine a tree or some sort of plant. Jesus himself makes this connection in John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without me.” In God’s wisdom, his creation can provide a great illustration that demonstrates God’s command for Discipleship in our lives. 

One tree that does this well is the Boscia Albitrunca, known as the Shepherd’s Tree. The Shepherd’s Tree is found in the Kalahari Desert in Southern Africa. This tree survives in a desert because it has the deepest roots of any other tree on the planet. These deep roots go beyond the desert sand, through cracks in rocks and into underground wells of water up to 230 feet below the surface! This tree illustrates the idea. Of being rooted in Christ, our source of living water. 

Like a seed needs to be planted to take root into the ground, we too need to be planted through salvation in Christ. We need to know Jesus as our personal savior to have a rooted faith. A tree or roots for that matter cannot exist if the tree is not planted. Similarly, our faith and relationship with Christ cannot exist if the seed of the Gospel is not planted in our hearts. 

Like a seed being planted, receiving the Gospel is not the finish line, but a starting line of a life of growth. The Shepherd Tree’s roots don’t start at the water. They must grow deep. The life of a Christian is similar. Salvation is the beginning of a lifelong pursuit of a deeper and more rooted relationship with Jesus. But how do we grow in this relationship? 

This tree and John 15:5 are good examples in that we can do nothing without Christ. Like a tree cannot grow without water, we cannot without Christ. Christ is the water. Christ is our life. Like the roots of the Shepherd Tree, we too must do anything and everything to get to Christ! 

Not only do we get to him, but we want to be with him regularly. Like humans most plants need water regularly otherwise they will die. Our spiritual life is similar in that without a connection and relationship with Jesus it will begin to wither. This is why Jesus said in John 7:37-38, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. The one who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within him.” He is the water that fuels growth in our faith! He is what grows our roots and what our roots grow towards! 

The need to spend time with Jesus, in his Word, through prayer, and reflection are essential to a rooted life. We don’t do it because it is a duty, but because it is life-giving and good for us! Spending time with Jesus is a life-giving joy we GET to do! 

While a tree demonstrates this idea, so does your relationship with your friends. Do you spend time with friends because you have to do it or because you want to? You hang out with friends because you get life and joy out of it. Similarly, how do you get to know a friend more? You spend time with them. If you spend zero time with someone you probably do not know them well or at all. The same is true with our relationship with Jesus. We spend time with him because we get life and joy out of it and because it allows us to know him more! To grow in our relationship with him, to be rooted, we must spend time with him daily. 

Take some time to think about this truth and what it means for your life. 

· Are you growing in and towards Christ? 

· Are you spending time with him daily? 

· How will it impact you if you do or don’t? 

· Is Christ your source of life, every day? 

Commit: 

Commit to making time with Jesus an everyday priority. Every time you see a tree or drink some water, let it be a reminder of your need for Christ and time with him to grow in your faith and live a rooted life. 

Pray: 

Spend time with Jesus this morning through prayer. Be honest and confess if you haven’t spent time with him regularly. Ask Him to remind you and help you to run to Him and spend more time with Him. As Him to cultivate your love for him, that comes from his love for you. Simply talk to Jesus like a friend and spend time with him this morning.

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