Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Putting Down Roots

  I didn’t grow up on a farm, but over the last 40 years of living on one, I’ve learned a lot.  How to drive a tractor, mow acres of grass, and can and freeze produce are but a few of the skills I’ve acquired.  But the thing I find most fascinating, is observing the crops as they grow.  For example, did you know that every individual corn silk acts as a receptor to pollinate a single kernel.  If the silk isn’t pollinated, you’ll find an empty space on the cob, the “fruit” won’t develop without the pollen.  Or how about this, every corn plant sends out a primary set of roots, then later, when it is taller and more mature another set appears to anchor the stalk.  As everyone knows, corn gets as high as an elephant’s eye, and with the added weight of the ears, it needs that extra stability.  Without those secondary roots it could easily be toppled by a gust of wind, heavy rain or a hungry deer.

 I mention this today because, as Christians, sending out roots is a vital part of our spiritual maturity.  The Apostle Paul puts it this way, “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”  Colossians 2:6.  Let’s unpack this verse a bit to understand what he’s talking about.  It’s important to understand that the Colossians were a group of people who had only recently accepted the teachings of Christ, as adults.  This was their first set of roots. We modern day believers, for the most part, received our first set, as children, from our parents, and the church they belonged to. We learned Biblical basics, followed the rules as we were told, and our roots held us steady. Then along came the teen years and adulthood, with all its external influences, and like a gust of wind, those little roots weren’t able to control us as well.

We aren’t a corn plant that naturally stabilizes itself, it is our personal choice whether we set down the next set of roots.  We, like the Colossians must decide, for ourselves, if Christ is who he, and the church, represents him to be. Is he indeed the son of the living God?  Do you understand and accept his word and directives for your life as written in the Bible?  Are you willing to repent of your sins, submit to his authority and live a life rooted in him?  If you stop your spiritual development with only those first, dinky roots, you can easily be blown over.

In the next verses, Paul continues by saying this. “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.”  Colossians 2:6-8.   Don’t think that those first roots, that were handed to you as a child, will suffice.  It is easy to think that merely following rules and traditions is enough, but it’s not.  Paul says they may take you captive, and can be hollow and deceptive. They are not a substitute for secondary roots.  Do you have them yet, or are you swaying in the wind?

This world is a whirlwind of false doctrines, don’t be sucked in or knocked down.  Ask God to send out those strong, eternal roots.  “I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” Ephesians 3:16-19  


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