No Roots

This week,I was driving to work and was listening to a sermon. The title was “What Tough Times Teach Us”. The key scripture being in Acts:

When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. -Act 14:21-22


The message was encouraging, and what stood out was his analogy at the end. He mentioned the characteristics of a white oak tree. He mentioned what strength they had. That their root systems will grow to almost mirror their height, pushing down as deep as the tree is high and branching out as wide as the branches! The white oak can withstand incredibly strong storms due to their strength and deep roots.

When I heard that, I thought Mark 4:17:

And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away. That there had to be roots to be able to withstand and endure through tribulation.


That when there were no roots developed from the seed planted, the plant would not endure the storms to come. They willbe able to endure for a little while. However, with pressure from each additional storm, it will not withstand, and it falls. The follower will not be spiritually strengthened but fall away from their faith in Christ Jesus. How many of us parents are so fearful of our children falling away from the faith? What can we do? Let us dig deeper and look more in the scripture for the word ROOT.

We can often reflect on the scripture from Colossians when we think of roots:
Therefore, 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. See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. -Col 2:6-8


We read that the roots must be formed in the foundation of Christ Jesus and built up in Him. The root system grows as our faith grows in Him, and we start to mirror His image. If those roots are not growing and digging deep, what has happened? I think of the keyword that was taught in Vacation Bible School this week; do we find Jesus TRUSTWORTHY? If we can not establish our faith in Him as we were taught through the receiving of the Word and the Gospel, how will we withstand? Are we walking in Him? By Him alone, we develop strength to withstand all that comes our way.

Lord Jesus, how do I teach this to my children? Well, like the scripture said, “just as you were taught”. When I think of the being taught, I think of visual learning. Are my children seeing me walk in Him? Are they seeing that I find Jesus TRUSTWORTHY? When tribulation comes our way, are Dane and I able to withstand the strong storms? From the sermon mentioned, Acts 14 alludes to this key theme of faith, that they must “continue in the faith”. The apostles were to strengthen the disciples by encouraging them to continue on in their faith in Christ Jesus. The scripture ends with promising that they will endure hardships in this life as a follower of Jesus. They are promised that they must go through many tribulations as they enter the kingdom of God. That no matter the storms around them, they must carry on. To be able to carry on, we have to remain (abide); to remain, we must not up root or lose faith.

We are called to go through trials, tribulation, and persecution as followers of Him. I do not want my children to be oblivious to this essential truth. When we encourage them to trust Jesus in all things, I pray they will develop roots. When hardships come our way, I pray as parents, we display unshakeable faith in Jesus, so they will develop roots. When I tell them the Truth that is the in Word, I pray that develops roots. When I entrust my children to Jesus and pray for their spiritual strength, I pray that develops roots. When Dane and I display the fruit of the Spirit of Christ-like love and grace to them, I pray it develops roots.

My children’s faith is their own. They are entrusted to Dane and I to teach the faith and to display it. As we heed to obey the Lord in this, I will find the Lord TRUSTWORTHY to work in my children. Let me leave you with this prayer from the Scriptures to pray over ourselves as parents and over our children. (In the sidebar)

Prayer for Spiritual Strength

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being ROOTED and GROUNDED in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. -Eph 3:14-21

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