Roots can impact us - physiologically and emotionally. Different roots can do different things.
There are a number of articles in print and online that discuss the efficacy of various roots, flowers and herbs. A number of years ago the University of Michigan sponsored a study which demonstrated that chamomile extract had roughly the same efficacy as many prescription sleeping medications when given to adults with insomnia. Other clinical studies have shown that sage can relieve a sore throat, and that one can lower their blood pressure levels simply by drinking hibiscus tea. But the impact goes beyond our physiology, and some can even impact our mental condition. In the United States, for example, the National Institutes for Health, the Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland clinic have all reported on studies which demonstrate the effectiveness of St. John's Wort in battling depression. The Journal of the American Medical Association even reports that, in comparison with standard antidepressants (imipramine, amitriptyline, or maprotiline) in 3 trials, 63.9% responded to St John's wort compared with 58.5% with the antidepressant.
OK, enough about THOSE TYPES of roots, because this is not a medical article, nor is it intended to give any medical advice. ("Consult your doctor, don't sue me," blah, blah……) There are OTHER roots that can impact us in ways that none of these can even begin to imagine. Let's talk about roots that can heal ….. memories. Or relationships. Or even fear.
Our verse for today comes from the second chapter of Paul's letter to the Colossians. It says, "Therefore, just as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving."
JUST AS YOU RECEIVED CHRIST JESUS THE LORD, SO WALK IN HIM
This begs the question, "How did you receive Christ Jesus as Lord?" The answer is, "BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH." There were no signed contracts. No purchases. If you have received Christ Jesus as your Lord, then you made a decision to BELIEVE IN YOUR HEART that Jesus is Lord, and to CONFESS WITH YOUR MOUTH that God raised Him from the dead. It was an act of faith, pure and simple. Nothing changed on the outside. No physical evidence could prove that the deed had been done. You didn't get a specific color of hair, no halo appeared behind your head.
It was a gift of grace (nothing you could do) that was accepted and received by faith. You didn't have every answer to every question. (I still don't!) But what you knew compelled you to believe Him.
Well, that is the SAME WAY that we WALK IN HIM. Day by day, we choose trust, and the roots of our faith go deeper. We choose to act upon what He has said, and the roots go deeper still.
ROOTED AND BUILT UP IN HIM, AND ESTABLISHED IN THE FAITH
Our continued obedience drives us beyond our comfort zone and well beyond our individual abilities. The roots reach down to areas of strength and sustenance that deliver life-giving power and hope. As we let our roots grow down into HIM, we receive His strength, His power, His grace, His wisdom, His anointing. the list could go on, quite literally, forever.
We need these roots, because we are not the vine, only branches off from the vine. This is why Christ tells us, "As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me." If we ever get separated from the vine, we may look pretty for a time. (Think of cut flowers in a vase. Initially looking beautiful, but unchangeably in the process of dying because they've been cut off from their roots.)
We need to remain connected to THE ROOT, and He is Jesus.
JUST AS YOU WERE TAUGHT
Paul wrote this to the church in Colossae because he knew it would be read to them in their assemblies. In other words, he knew they WERE being taught, because they were gathering together under a leader who would teach them.
How about you? Are you consistently gathering with those who know and love Christ? There is much to learn if we are to grow.
ABOUNDING IN THANKSGIVING
The natural reaction when one receives something of value is thanksgiving. If you and your life are constantly being given TO and there is no desire in your heart to GIVE SOMETHING BACK then something is terribly wrong. I'm not speaking here only about money. It goes much deeper than that. When one chooses to give a gift, they typically consider the question, "What would this person truly enjoy?" We give to bring joy to the recipient.
When you are giving back to God in gratefulness for what He has done in your life, we give that which will bring HIM joy. First, of course, we give ourselves to Him. The bible uses the image of a marriage here, and the most intimate of relationships. No holding back, total abandonment. But there is more to give than just ourselves, We all possess time, talent and treasure. Some of A
LL of that ought to go to God, if we are truly grateful.
It is true that roots can impact us - physiologically and emotionally. It is also true that different roots can do different things.
Our spiritual roots -- being rooted and grounded in HIM -- these are roots that can have unending impact.
Do you have roots that impact your life??