DOWN TO THE ROOTS
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.1 John 1:9
You know I don't think that it is a coincidence that the first thing that forms for a plant is it's roots. It begins to sprout from the seed and dig deep to find nourishment that will help the seed to develop into the plant God has prepared to give to the world. But understand that there is something very valuable able the forming of the roots and the importance of keeping them nurtured properly. See each plants has the potential to produce hundreds of roots that go out into the soil to find what the plant needs to survive and to give foundational support. Some roots can go miles deep into the earth and other roots can stay on the surface, but both are attempting to provide an opportunity for the seed to survive.
Today, that is where I want us to think in perspective to our personal faith journey. How deep do our actual roots go? For some of us, we have generations and generations that have been a part of the church, some even the same church, and it allows us to see how the roots can really dig deep when we talk about families in our church. Others, like my family, are connected to the church, but have been moved due to the military or other job opportunities and even though our roots never really had a chance to dig deep into one congregation, they have been able to connect multiple churches in 1000's of miles of roots.
For example, the image of the tree that you see is a picture of a tree from the Redwood Forest in California. It is one of the largest trees known to man. And the crazy things about the trees in the Redwood Forest is that instead of their roots going hundreds of miles deep to help support the weight of the tree, the roots go for miles horizontally and connect with other Redwood Trees so that they can build a support system that is like no other. It is amazing because each tree is connected and they all help each other and feed off each other in order that they can survive drought, fire, or an other natural disaster.
So, my question for us today is this... what type of roots do we have? When we honest look at our lives in the reflection of the mirror, what do we see? Are we rooted in the biblical teachings of Christ? Are we rooted in the physical teachings of science? Are we rooted in the false reality of reality TV thinking that they always have the answer? Are we rooted in sin? Are we rooted in success? Are we rooted in family? I could go on and on and on, but the real reality is the fact that we are ALL rooted in something. And when we finally are able to get to the roots, we are able to see the fruit that is produced. See, I want us all to understand that if we put all of our trust in the world or wealth or status or success, don't be surprised if one day that you are truly fighting to survive. Scripture continues to tell us that all of these materials things will one day fade away. And if that is where we have dug in, it may be something that will one day really cause us to fall and fall hard. See from the roots we draw all of our nourishment remember. That means that in order for us to survive, we have to be connected to something that is going to continue to give us life, and if it is the world, we will continue to live in the world, but if it is God, then we will continue to reproduce God.
One of the craziest plants that I have ever come across is Kudzu. It is a root/weed of a plant that literally grows 2-5 feet a day. It came over from the Far East, and many people use it to make jelly or tea. But the one thing that I recognize is that the this root literally takes over and kills everything that it touches. As I use to drive back and forth to Macon, I would see tons of trees that were covered in this root that literally sucked the life out of everything. And
the only way to kill it was to find the root. You have to chop and chop and chop, because anything that really wanted to live and was living off something else, it was going to take A LOT to kill it. But once the root was dead, within a day the ENTIRE weed plant was dead. Take the time to find the source of its' life and when you separate it from that source it cannot survive. The same can be said about us. If we are removed, physically or spiritually from the root of God, don't be surprised to watch if we begin to allow sin to take over our lives. There is so much in scripture about Jesus being the ROOT of David or the TRUE VINE and we are the branches. I have read many times in scripture where pruning has to be done, and in all of these instances it brings us back to the root.
A few weeks ago we even talked about the Fig Tree that Jesus cursed as he was walking with His disciples back to Jerusalem. He was using it as an analogy for the disciples to realize that the plant was seen as the Kingdom of God. If the roots were separated or destroyed than the Kingdom of God would be destroyed. Jesus wanted them to see the importance of the Gospel in their lives and the necessity of spreading the Gospel to the next generations. The ROOTS must continue to dig deep.. The ROOTS must continue to connect in order for the KINGDOM to stand strong. The same is still true today. WE must be willing to dig deep and stretch wide in this time to continue to provide spiritual connection and nourishment for those that are here with us. We need to reach out and clean out our roots as we continue to need others to help us deal with the sin and stumbling blocks that are in our lives. We need each other.. We need the CHURCH... We need the ROOTS of TODAY to reach out and hold strong as we fight something we have never seen before. The only way we can survive is by building each other up and drawing strength from the firm foundation of God. It will continue to be a battle, but just like the Redwood Trees, one that will allow us to grow strong and show the world the power of our ROOTS.