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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

"Spiritual Roots"

"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness"  (Colossians 2:6,7).

This last weekend a friend of ours gave us a crepe myrtle plant to transplant. For several years Brooksyne has wanted one of these beautiful flowering trees ever since we saw them when we visited friends in North Carolina.  But they are very expensive in a nursery so she waited.*

Although it's best to transplant in the early spring or fall we needed to get it into the ground so yesterday evening after it cooled down we both went out, found a suitable location and I dug a hole for the plant. Brooksyne took care of the finer details and finished the job, watering the hole and then the newly transplanted crepe myrtle.

During the transplant process the roots were exposed for a short time, although we tried to secure the dirt around them.  We hopefully will never see the roots again as they aren't the part of the plant we desire to look at in an ornamental.  But roots are vital to a plant's health.  We'll be carefully tending and watering the crepe myrtle over the next several weeks until the root system is firmly established and the plant is thriving.

Let's consider the word "rooted" from our daily text this morning.  Paul draws on a familiar agricultural analogy.  Perhaps he had in mind the teaching of our Lord, who warned of the deadly spiritual condition of rootlessness in the parable of the sower.  Jesus said of the seed that fell on rocky places, "but since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away" (Matthew 13:21).

Roots are a vital part of the believer's life.  Our daily verse tells us we are to be "rooted and built up in Him."  The word for root figuratively means to be stabilized.  In Christ we find life giving soil and a sustaining foundation.  However, we have the responsibility to implement the means of grace that God has ordained for our "rooting."  

We all need a good, solid, ever-growing root system that reaches deep into the spiritual soil for the nourishment and stability that God has graciously provided.  This will render us both faithful and fruitful. Developing and maintaining a solid spiritual root system is an active, lifelong pursuit. 

Are you rooted in Christ?  Are your spiritual roots expanding deeper and broader?  I thank God for the inexhaustible supply of spiritual nutrition and water available to the believer "rooted" in Christ!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen C. Weber

Brooksyne's prayer: Lord, we are so very grateful that our family roots are not the sole source of who we are or what we can accomplish.  Our spiritual roots, because of our well-grounded faith in You, goes much deeper and spreads much broader.   We are able to accomplish the impossible because our roots are connected to the Miracle Worker.  It helps us to overcome the pain of our past and deal with the unwelcome circumstances of the present.  May the water of Your Holy Spirit quench our thirst and the spiritual food from Your Word satisfy our hunger. We've tasted and seen that the Lord is good.   As we're firmly rooted in You, Lord, we live, and move, and have our being!  Amen.

* Note from Brooksyne:  Stephen writes kindly that I "waited."  Well, I'm not quite that patient, but the budget restraints spoke louder than the impatience.  For interested gardeners, some varieties of crepe myrtle are winter hardy in the northern zone.  The majority are not, but the one I received is Pennsylvania grown.

For several years Brooksyne and I have both enjoyed a song called "Your Grace Still Amazes Me."  It's not necessarily related to today's message but, my, is it a source of praise to God, and we hope will always be the case!  (Both these versions should open up and play on most computers but may take a broadband connection).
Video    (Hiram Joseph
Audio (a duet by a couple named Jeff and Karen)

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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