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October 18, 2020 | Doug Sauder
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“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. 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 (NIV)
Have you ever seen a really deep tree root system? It’s pretty impressive! Studies have found numerous trees with growing roots of over 33 feet, and one report cited a tree with roots to 174 feet deep. That’s more than half the length of a football field! I think it’s safe to say that nothing is going to uproot a tree that’s planted that firmly and deeply into the earth. And the same is true of our lives when we’re rooted deeply in Christ! The deeper our roots go, the stronger our faith will grow. On the flipside, if we’re not rooted in Christ, we’re always in danger of being uprooted.
In order to remain strong in our faith, weather the storms of life, to stand tall in the face of doubt or persuasive words and well-crafted arguments (Colossians 2:1–5), to discern the truth about God from the fake news that’s been circulating since the beginning of time, and in order to experience the fullness in life and feel complete through our union with Christ, we need to be firmly rooted in the truth and power of the gospel, which declares that Christ Jesus is Lord!
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12 NIV). In Colossians 2:13 (NIV), Paul tells us, “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins.” How did He do that? “By Christ’s physical body through death” (Colossians 1:22 NIV). Paul continues, “He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross” (Colossians 2:13-14 NIV).
The Colossians were in danger of losing sight of this gospel truth. But the message from Paul was clear: Root yourself in Christ, abide in the vine (John 15:1–5). The Christian who develops deep intimacy and a strong relationship with Jesus through real, genuine prayer and reflection, through the study and meditation of His Word, and through worship and repentance will be able to stand strong in the face of storms, trials, hardships, and the winds of empty philosophy and high-sounding nonsense. The more intimately we get to know Him, the deeper our grow roots will grow.
So, if you’re struggling with doubt, unsure if you can believe, or feel yourself being uprooted, I invite you to truly ask yourself, “How deep are my roots?” . . . and even beyond that, “What am I rooted in?”
DIG: How is a Christian built up?
DISCOVER: What are you doing to root yourself deeper and deeper in Christ?
DO: Ask the Lord to help you—by the voice and power of the Spirit—discern the messages that seek to deceive and take you away from the true gospel of Jesus.