2nd Anniversary, GCF Durham
The Shepherd’s Tree can grow up to 30 feet. It has large branches that can provide shade to people and animals to protect them against the scorching heat of the South African desert. But what is amazing about this tree, is not its size, or the shade but its roots. The roots can reach around 220 feet far down the ground. It grows so deep that it can suck the water and nutrients underground and keep it alive even without rain for many months. It is also the tree’s way of surviving from the searing heat of the African desert. The Bible also speaks of spiritual roots. These roots simply refer to the believer’s faith in Christ. And just as the roots are the foundation of a tree, so is faith in Christ the foundation of our being. Faith in Christ informs us how to see life and how to live according to His principles and precepts.
1. Building up others will grow deep spiritual roots.
“2 My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart.” v.2a, NIV.
Paul’s life is marked by:
A strong desire to encourage the believers in Colossae to persevere.
He cared for the spiritual needs of others. (See Col. 2:5)
He was concerned about heresies causing divisions in the church. (See Col. 2:4)
He defended the Person of Christ and His completed salvation work on the cross. (See Col. 2:2; cf. Jn. 17:4)
And encouraged the church, to grow deep in their understanding of their future glory with Christ. (Col.1:27)
He taught the church that the reality of Christ is meant to be experienced daily. (See Col. 2:2-4; cf. Rom. 8:16)
2. Unconditional Love for others will grow deeper spiritual roots.
“being knit together in love.” v.2b. KJV.
Love is a continuing progressive action for others.
It is based on Agape love – God’s unconditional love for us.
Love cares and protects. (See Jn 10:28)
If Christ is in us, then we have His love.
Christ’s love in us, enables us to unconditionally love others.
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35.
How do we express love to a fellow believer?
James 1:19 says, “19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”
Galatians 5:13 – “13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.”
Philippians 3:13, “13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.”
Hebrews 12:2-3, “2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Don’t fix your eyes on yourself!)
Ephesians 4:32, “32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
(You can forgive others, if you have received God’s forgiveness.)
3. Living the life of Christ will grow the deepest spiritual roots.
“6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” vv. 6-7
Receiving Christ also means receiving His life.
All TRUE believers are encouraged to live for Christ, in Christ, and by Christ.
“For many professing Christians there is no new creation, no victory, no joy, no praise… Because there is no reality of the living Christ, whose grace is more than sufficient.” Jim Owen, Christian Psychology’s War On God’s Word, 17.