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.
Rooted in Christ
Several years ago my brother-in-law asked me to help him remove an unwanted tree from his front yard. It really wasn’t a very big tree. At its thickest the trunk was less than four inches in diameter. This would not be so hard, especially with the assistance of a one-ton pickup truck. Can you see where this is going? Perhaps you are more knowledgeable about trees and trucks than we were. We hooked up a heavy duty chain to the back of the truck. We looped and tied and secured the other end of the chain to our easy victim, the little tree. He got in the truck, put it in gear, and stepped on the gas. When the chain tightened, the truck stopped moving. The tree didn’t move at all. Soon the only things in motion were the spinning tires of the truck that tore up the grass and left ruts in the lawn. I suppose we could have improved our chances by using better techniques, but at any rate I was left with the lasting impression: trees, even small ones, have deep and strong roots that make them difficult to move.
Roots are important for the life and longevity of trees. Roots, spiritually speaking, are even more important for the life and longevity of people. The apostle Paul was writing to a group of Christians about their relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. These were people who had come to know Jesus by faith. They trusted in his forgiveness, and they looked to him for strength. And now Paul was encouraging them to move forward in faith. There would be spiritual enemies that would seek to uproot and destroy them. The chains of false teaching would tug at them. The axes of the devil’s temptations would seek to knock them down. There was a continuing need…that they would sink their roots deeper and deeper into Christ. How? By digging in to his Word. By seeking him in prayer. By exercising faith and godly living.
There are so many things in this world, some subtle and some very blatant, that would seek to uproot our confidence and trust in Christ. Satan and his allies, in their deception and cunning, are always looking for opportunities to tear Christians away from Christ. How do we face those threats? We start by listening to the Lord through the words of his mouthpiece, the apostle Paul. Can you hear him? “Sink your roots deep into the solid foundation of Jesus and his promises!” “Strengthen your roots through Bible study and worship!” “Let the Lord nourish you through the gospel message of Christ as he feeds you with his Word and Supper!” “Approach his throne of grace again and again through prayer with your confessions and concerns!” “Wrap your roots around his unending, gracious forgiveness and love!” Through these things Christian roots are strengthened and deepened. And in him we will stand against anyone who would seek to uproot us!
Lord Jesus, you are the solid foundation of my faith. I thank you for bringing me into a relationship with you. Help me to sink my roots more and more into your love and forgiveness. Strengthen and nourish my faith through your precious and powerful grace. In your name. Amen.