Rooted and Established

“Faith is like a tender plant, rooted in Christ alone, watered by the Spirit and the Word, strengthened by the winds of adversity and the sunshine of blessing.” – Anne Graham Lotz

I am rooted and established

In his second letter to young Timothy, the Apostle Paul sowed a guiding principle into his son in the faith that would reap the greatest eternal reward. Although he stressed the importance of studying the scriptures, he especially wanted to impress upon Timothy the value of the scriptures for personal application and living God’s way. Much studying would certainly bolster Timothy’s intellectual growth. Even greater though, personal application of the scriptures would lead to spiritual growth that would lay a rooted and established foundation upon which he could grow an unshakable faith.

“Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.” – 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (MSG)

Studying scripture has value for intellectual growth.

The religious leaders in the days of Jesus were steeped in study and knowledge. Yet, the Gospel of John reports that Jesus challenged and even rebuked them because they intellectually knew the scriptures backwards and forwards while proudly denying that Jesus was in fact the divine embodiment of those scriptures! These powerful religious figures possessed great knowledge of the ancient scriptures, yet spiritually they were dead.

 “You have your heads in your Bibles constantly because you think you’ll find eternal life there. But you miss the forest for the trees. These Scriptures are all about me! And here I am, standing right before you, and you aren’t willing to receive from me the life you say you want.” – John 5:39-40

Today, many scholars, theologians, seminarians, pastors and teachers, often get caught up in Bible study as an isolated intellectual exercise. You might think that being involved in multiple Bible studies is necessary or admirable. In fact, it’s common to hear well-meaning believers quote another verse from Paul’s letter to Timothy, in the King James version that reads “Study to shew thyself approved….” (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV). However, the word ‘study’ is not the best translation from the original language. Rather, this passage is referring to giving diligence to handling the scriptures correctly – which is to draw and discern applicable truths that are to be applied in daily life.

Applying scripture is vital to spiritual growth.

Applying the scriptures to your own life is what establishes you to stand the test of time and receive strength and direction in the midst of life’s storms and struggles. It’s so incredibly powerful and alive because the Spirit of Christ himself is the Word of God, as several passages below will testify. So, when you become more rooted and established through personal application of Scripture, you are actually becoming more rooted and established in Jesus.

“In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.” – John 1:1-2).

“Here, Word is a title of the Lord Jesus (The term translated ‘Word’ is logos, which basically means ‘the expression of a thought.’ Logos can be thought of as the total message of God to man (Acts 11:1; 1 Thessalonians 2:13). Jesus embodied that total message, and that is why He is called the ‘Logos,’ or ‘Word,’ of God (Colossians 1:19; 2:9). – https://www.gotquestions.org/Jesus-Bible-Word-God.html

Truly this is the cornerstone for every Christ follower! Your life immersed in the Word and empowered by His Spirit. The Word, imprinted on your heart. Christ the Word, your Cornerstone, upon which you build your new life. Among the other traits that grow in your life, this one supports all the others. Yet, all the other traits serve to deepen and nourish the roots.

Being firmly rooted and established in Scripture is vital to a lifestyle and mindset that is vehemently unswayed by the culture, customs, and credos originating from man. This is just as true today as it was in the early days of the Christian faith. This is why the Apostle Paul conveyed in another letter to the church in Colosse (below) the urgency to be rooted and established in Christ.

“I say this so that no one will deceive you with persuasive [but thoroughly deceptive] arguments. For even though I am absent [from you] in body, nevertheless I am with you in spirit, delighted to see your good discipline [as you stand shoulder to shoulder and form a solid front] and to see the stability of your faith in Christ [your steadfast reliance on Him and your unwavering confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness]. Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in [union with] Him [reflecting His character in the things you do and say—living lives that lead others away from sin], having been deeply rooted [in Him] and now being continually built up in Him and [becoming increasingly more] established in your faith, just as you were taught, and overflowing in it with gratitude. See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception [pseudo-intellectual babble], according to the tradition [and musings] of mere men, following the elementary principles of this world, rather than following [the truth—the teachings of] Christ. For in Him all the fullness of Deity (the Godhead) dwells in bodily form [completely expressing the divine essence of God]. And in Him you have been made complete [achieving spiritual stature through Christ], and He is the head over all rule and authority [of every angelic and earthly power].” – Colossians 2:4-10 (The Amplified Bible) 

As a result of being rooted and established, as quoted by Anne Graham Lotz, Christ followers are “strengthened by the winds of adversity,” no matter the volatile circumstances of life. Your trust is firmly grounded in Him, no matter what may come! Listen to the ancient prophet Habakkuk who wrote this incredible testimony of His steadfast faith, secure in our everlasting God:

“Even if the fig tree does not blossom
and there are no grapes on the vines,
If the olive trees fail to give fruit
and the fields produce no food,
If the flocks die far from the fold
and there are no cattle in the stalls;
Then I will still rejoice in the Eternal!
I will rejoice in the God who saves me!
The Eternal Lord is my strength!
He has made my feet like the feet of a deer;
He allows me to walk on high places.”
Habakkuk 3:17-19

With thoughtful study, highlighted by seeking and praying for true insight and discernment on how to apply that study to your personal life and faith, over time you’ll be amazed at how the Truth woven into all Scripture changes you and builds your strong foundation, rooted deep and firmly established.

“For you, the Word is your happiness.
    It is your focus—from dusk to dawn.
You are like a tree,
    planted by flowing, cool streams of water that never run dry.
Your fruit ripens in its time;
    your leaves never fade or curl in the summer sun.
No matter what you do, you prosper.”
– Psalm 1:2-3

“These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life… They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock. Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit—but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock.” – Jesus speaking to His disciples, Matthew 7:24-25

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