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I have always loved the first chapter of Psalms because it gives a simple path toward being a strong, fruitful, prosperous, and successful believer. God gives us three don’ts and one big do. Don’t walk in ungodly counsel. Don’t stand with sinners. Don’t sit in the judgmental seat of scorners. Do delight in God’s Word so much that you will make it your meditation day and night. The reward of this type of living is spiritual success as God likens this person to a healthy tree planted by the rivers of water that is fruitful and prosperous.

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. Psalms 1:1-3

All Christians would like to bear the fruit of the Spirit, (love, joy and peace) continually, but to some this sounds like a mere dream or a pie-in-the-sky pseudo hope. Many Christians are so full of hate, sadness, and strife that they can’t seem to muster up any evidence of the fruit of the Spirit except on rare occasions when everything is really going their way in life. Jesus teaches us that we will know the true prophets from the false prophets by the kind of fruit that is growing on their tree. He told us that people would know whether we are His disciples or not by whether or not we had the love of God flowing out of our lives to others. If love, joy, and peace are the evidence of our personal relationship with Jesus, and yet, there are still some times in our lives when we do not have these qualities, then we should look carefully and examine what it takes to keep the fruit of the Spirit growing on our tree.

In the book of Colossians, there are two little verses that contain a treasure of truth that I consider a golden apple of God’s Word. Here we see that after believing and receiving Jesus Christ into our lives, the Bible tells us that we must continue to follow Jesus. In doing so, we need to let our roots grow down into Christ, to build our life on Him, so that our faith will grow strong and our hearts will overflow with gratitude.

And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6-7 NLT

Here are five points we see in these precious two verses of Scripture:

  • Continue to follow Him
  • Rooted in Him
  • Built on Him
  • Faith grows strong in the truth
  • Overflowing with gratitude

When God’s Word tells us to grow our roots down into Jesus Christ, this means that we should plant our lives solidly upon the Word of God. Many people are firmly planted in their careers, their families, or their ministries. When this is the case, if they lose their job, go through a divorce, or lose their position or ministry, then their lives are devastated. Sometimes people will want to kill themselves over losing something temporal in which they were rooted. We should never put our roots down into temporal things. Instead, we need to be rooted in the eternal Word of God.

Others are planted in the soil of religion. As a result, when their religion fails them, they become dismayed, discouraged, or depressed. People all over the world make the mistake of planting themselves in something temporal, and because of this, they have no eternal gain from their lives. Don’t mistake religion for a relationship with Jesus Christ. They are not the same; in fact, they are not even similar to each other.

To plant yourself solely upon God’s Word is to be planted in the soil of reality. It is like building your house upon a rock instead of upon sinking sand. Now that I have a relationship with Jesus Christ, the very Source of all life, light, and love, I am to put my roots down into Christ. The deeper I am willing to be rooted, the greater and taller my tree will grow. Putting your roots down means going down instead of up. It is descending into His humility, seeking the moisture of God’s humility Word. The main problem with the modern day church world is a lack of spiritual thirst and hunger. If you are truly thirsty for the waters of God’s Word, then you will gladly descend down toward the Source of life. As you thirst for Jesus, then you will gladly go down into the unknown, down into the darkness, down into the humility of the Son of God. There you will find the moisture that you need in order to grow spiritually; there you will find the Source of all life.

If I am rooted in Jesus Christ, then I am rooted in not only His Word, but I also am rooted in His purpose. In order to be rooted in His eternal purpose, I must first be uprooted from the soil or ground of my false purpose. I once thought that life was about financial success, personal fame, glory, gain and materialism. Thank God, He uprooted me and planted me in the soil of Christ, and there I discovered His purpose for my life. My roots are now deeper than ever in knowing God and making His Name known. I am here for His pleasure and not my own. My purpose is to give Jesus all of the glory, honor, and obedience that He deserves.

If I am rooted in Jesus Christ, then I am rooted in His Word, His purpose and also in His nature. This means that I gladly cooperate with God as He uproots me from ground or soil of my sinful fallen nature. My human nature is the exact opposite of God’s nature. To be rooted in God’s nature means that I must let go of all hate, envy, jealousy, pride, selfishness, hypocrisy, deceit, and so on. I simply ask God to uproot me and plant me in the ground or soil of His nature. It is here that I can sink my roots into His love, mercy, grace, longsuffering, goodness, truth, humility, generosity, integrity, and forgiveness.

There is no greater thought we can have in our lifetime than a correct thought about how we view or see God. To be deeply rooted in His nature is to understand what God is really like. Jesus is the most kind and generous person I have ever met. He is relentlessly kind and good to me. His love is intentional and unconditional. His grace is undeserving, unearned and unmerited. He continually amazes me with His abundant merciful loving kindness that he showers onto my life.

Perhaps the single greatest change in one’s life will come from the fact that if we are rooted in Christ Jesus, then we are also rooted in His identity. No longer do we wear the badges or labels of what the world says about us, or what we feel is our identity. The devil will label me with condemning labels like loser, guilty, or man that just can't quite measure up. If I look at where I had my roots in my past, I could wear labels that sprouted up from those soils or fields. I once was firmly planted in the field of materialism and could take on the label of greedy, covetous, prideful, or overly ambitious. Conversely, when I am rooted in His identity, I wear the labels of who God says that I am. I am a child of God, forgiven, clean, holy, redeemed, justified, blameless, a saint, an heir of God with a divine purpose and mission in life. My identity in Christ Jesus is my true identity or my real identity. I am who God says I am and not who the devil wants me to believe that I am.

When I am rooted in Christ Jesus, I am reaching down into His humility to draw upon the waters of life from the very Source of life. When things go bad for me, or when troubles are everywhere, I have learned and am learning to simply let my roots go even deeper into Jesus. This is where so many Christians miss it with God. When presented with dark or painful circumstances, they will reach to something temporal in an attempt to find love, light, and life. When you look for love in all the wrong places, you never find it. Life is found in God, and Jesus is the only way we can stay connected to God. When we are rooted in Christ, we are rooted in His life, light, and love.

In the next verses in the text from Colossians, the Apostle Paul gives a warning to the church to not deviate from the Gospel. There apparently were heresies being spread throughout the church at Colossae, teaching that they needed something more than the Gospel. When believers begin to say “there must be something more”, or “is this all there is?”, they are on the slippery slope of deception that leads to spiritual bondage and destruction. People think these thoughts when their roots in Christ are shallow.

Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority. Colossians 2:8-10 NLT

We are complete in Christ Jesus. Everything we need that we do not have is found in Jesus. I am weak, but He is strong. I am human, but He is divine. I am finite, but He is infinite. When I say that Jesus completes me, I am saying that I am full of Jesus. He satisfies me; he fills every longing of my soul. When your roots go deep into Christ Jesus, then you are no longer searching and longing for the world and what it has to offer, because you are complete in Him. We don’t need high-sounding nonsense. We don’t need the mysteries of the Kabbalah. We don’t need eastern religion, New Age thinking or any other strange or false doctrine. We only need Jesus, and Jesus is enough. Jesus plus nothing equals everything.

We are dead and our lives are hid with Christ in God. We were buried with Him in Baptism and then raised to walk in His newness of life. Jesus took our sins upon Himself at the cross, and He actually became our sins. As He did this, He also paid the penalty and took the punishment or judgment for our sins. However, He didn’t stop there as He also nailed up the Old Covenant Law upon the cross.

Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; Colossians 2:14 KJV

So when we begin to realize what Jesus really did for us at Calvary, our hearts are melted with gratitude for the One who died for us. To say that we need something in addition to Jesus is to say that His death, burial, and resurrection were not enough for us. To say that I need Jesus plus religion is saying that I can't put 100% of my trust and faith in what Jesus did for me at Calvary, so I will trust Jesus and also trust in my morality or my religiosity. The Apostle Paul closes out the second chapter of Colossians with a strong warning to stay away from these deceptive ideologies and demonic teachings.

So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths. For these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come. And Christ himself is that reality. Don’t let anyone condemn you by insisting on pious self-denial or the worship of angels, saying they have had visions about these things. Their sinful minds have made them proud, and they are not connected to Christ, the head of the body. For he holds the whole body together with its joints and ligaments, and it grows as God nourishes it. You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world. So why do you keep on following the rules of the world, such as, “Don’t handle! Don’t taste! Don’t touch!”? Such rules are mere human teachings about things that deteriorate as we use them. These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires. Colossians 2:16-23 NLT

I could give you a thousand examples of how people turn away from the Gospel and get trapped by the tricks of Satan, just simply because their roots do not go down deep enough into Christ Jesus. Most are not even aware when they are falling away, as they grasp and cling on to various concepts that are in complete contradiction to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When you are firmly rooted in Christ Jesus, you will stop looking and longing for something that can only be found in Him.

And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6-7 NLT

Bill Hudson

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