Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Today we're gonna talk about roots. And not the kind you have to color once a month!!!

These roots secure God's Word deep inside of our hearts.

"Growing roots" is the fourth ingredient in Beth's fertilizer for a great harvest of God's Word.

We will add it to the other ingredients we've talked about:

Treasuring the wonder
Protecting our hearts
Expecting the test

The main passage Beth used for this ingredient was Paul's prayer to the saints at Ephesus.

"Therefore I ask that you do not lose heart at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height and to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge that you may be filled with all the fullness of God."

Ephesians 3:13-19

WOW! What a prayer! As Ethan says when I've cooked something that he really likes, "I'll have some of that!"

Beth said she chose that passage because: "Our roots will be as deep as we know God's love to be."

As I thought about that statement, I thought about another passage. This one from Peter.

Peter lists things that as believers we will add to our faith. They include:

brotherly kindness

And then Peter says, " For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and he has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sin." 2Peter 1:8-9

Peter says if you aren't growing in the above things, then you have forgotten what Jesus did for you. All these characteristics will be added to your life if you know and remember what Jesus did.

Jesus is the Source.

Paul says in Romans 7, that no good dwells in him. That the good he does is through Jesus Christ.

I agree with Paul.

We can't manufacture those characteristics and we can't manufacture roots that will secure God's Word in our hearts. Roots will come from remembering and trusting in what Jesus did.

I see it as kind of an input and output system.

I will show mercy to others in direct proportion to how I recognize the mercy God has shown me.

I will show as much grace to others in proportion as to how I remember and accept the grace God has poured out on my life.

And, forgiveness. If I am not forgiving, I am fooling myself about my sin and forgetting what it took for them to be washed away.

If I am impatient with others, I have forgotten about God's "loooooooooooooooongsuffering" towards me.

If I don't want to give up my time when someone needs me, and I pretend I don't see a need, I have forgotten that God has told me that He will always be with me, and that when I call, He will hear.

When I refuse to allow God to love someone through me, then I must have forgotten that He loved me enough to send His Son to die for me.

That's why it's so important for these roots to go "waaaaaaaaaaaaaay" down. We have to know the depths of God's feelings toward us. What His covenant means. We have to know His promises. We grow roots by remembering.

How else can we get a good root system started? One that will reach out and soak up all of God's goodness for us to share? One that won't let God's Word be blown away when the storms come? When the winds of discouragement and doubt blow down on us?

What can we do if we can't remember what God did? What if it feels like all of God's goodness is for someone else? What if the Word just doesn't seem to get down deep in our hearts? It's here today and gone tomorrow?

Well, maybe there's some hardness that the roots can't penetrate. Maybe there's something there. Something that's been there a long time. Maybe you've forgotten that it's there. Or maybe you've just accepted it. What use to feel wrong, now feels right.

I found this in my Charles Spurgeon's "Morning and Evening Devotions", and it is "soooooo" good. (That's the third time in this post I have purposely misspelled a word for emphasis. Sorry. That's just the way I talk. I think it is from teaching 4-year olds for 16 years!)

"In the parable, the seed in one case fell upon ground having a rocky bottom, covered over with a thin layer of earth; when the seed began to take root, its downward growth was hindered by the hard stone, and therefore it spent its strength in pushing its green shoot aloft as high as it could. But having no inward moisture derived from root nourishment, it withered away. Is this my case? Have I been making a fair show in the flesh without having a corresponding inner life? Good growth takes place upward and downward at the same time. Am I rooted in sincere fidelity and love to Jesus? If my heart remains unsoftened and unfertilized by grace, the good seed may germinate for a season, but it must ultimately wither, for it cannot flourish on a rocky, unbroken, unsanctified heart."

And Spurgeon ends with this prayer, "O, heavenly Sower, plow me first, and then cast the truth into me, and let me yield a bounteous harvest."

Personally, I don't think getting my heart tilled up and plowed under is going to feel very good. I dread it. But, I do think there are some things that need to go. Some hurts and disappointments I need to give up. Some for the first, second, third and ... times.

I know what a heart that doesn't have His Word growing in it looks like, and what it produces. A very selfish, painful, ugly, unproductive harvest.

I think I know the choice that has to be made.

There's gonna be some tillin' going on.


  1. Lots to think about in this one. Thanks for sharing. LOVE YOU MaryLois

  2. I watch to see if you have blogged so I can soak up what God is showing you. Thanks!