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Will Your Anchor Hold?

 And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to live in obedience to him.  Let your roots grow down into him and draw up nourishment from him, so you will grow in faith, strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught. Let your lives overflow with thanksgiving for all he has done. (Col. 2:6-7)

 

I bring you greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ whose reign is eternal.  May His peace be multiplied to you always.  I welcome you to May edition of Cathedral Echoes.  May you receive new insight as you go through.

Both the Old and New Testament draw images of the plant world to describe God’s people and teach valuable lessons about our spiritual condition.  Nature surrounds us; its images are familiar to us and can aptly communicate spiritual truths to us because we understand them so well.

Prophet Jeremiah expressed one of the most beautiful analogies in the Old Testament comparing the faith-filled person with a strong, flourishing tree:

“Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jer. 17:7-9

 It is important for us to have a closer look at the purpose and function of the root system of a tree to actually understand what Paul meant by being rooted.  The root system serves to guarantee the existence of the whole tree.  Without a root, a tree simply cannot survive; one of the root’s functions is to anchor the tree in the soil, proving stability and a firm base for the entire structure of the trunk, branches, leaves, and fruit.  Another purpose of the root is to take up water and minerals from the soil, synthesizing food and growth regulators that are transmitted through the wooden portions of the roots to the trunk.  In order to take up water, the roots penetrate into the soil, seeking the best conditions.  In temperate climates, roots are found closer to the surface of the ground, but in drier, amid areas, roots penetrate to a much deeper level, seeking moisture.  Some desert shrubs have roots that extended downwards in the earth as deeply as 230 feet.  Root also store food for late use in the growth of the tree’s trunk, branches and foliage.

In the last Chapter of the Book of Hosea, the Prophet repeats the image of Israel as a fruitful plant or tree watered and sustained by his relationship with the Lord.

“His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon.

They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon. Ephraim shall say, what have I to do any more with idols? I have heard him, and observed him: I am like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found.” Hosea 14:6-8

 

The Lord Jesus Christ drew a lot of images from nature through the use of parables.  He often spoke about the organic circle of life; fruit bearing and death to illustrate the truths of life of the Spirit.  Example of this is the Parable of the Sower.  He made us to understand that the importance of our connection with the Lord himself how we need to be rooted securely in him to sustain life and bear fruit.

“ And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth: but when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.” Mark 4:5-6

Finally, the plant withered and died because the roots found no source of water and nutrients.  Thus we see how important it is that we strike root deep in the Lord, being anchored firmly in faith, and sustained by our fellowship with him.  Ordinarily, without the root, a tree cannot stand on the ground nor survive.  It is the foundation on which it rests.  If the foundation is weak it can be swept away by flood, and if it is very strong, then it would withstand whatever challenge that comes its ways.

Paul knew the importance of being rooted and established.  That was why he stressed so strongly to the members of the Church at Colosse.  In his choice of words, Paul used the same Greek word or verb for “to be rooted” that is used throughout the gospel when Jesus spoke his parables concerning being steadfast rooted and established.  Matt. 7:24-27

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. 

 

One of the most effective ways we can be rooted in Christ is to immerse ourselves in the WORD.  When you read and study scripture, remember that it is a lifetime with the Lord.  You are striking your roots deeper and deeper into good life-giving soil and drinking from the living waters.

The implication is seen in Psalm 1:2-3

“Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners or join in with scoffers. 

 But they delight in doing everything the Lord wants; day and night they think about his law.

They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season without fail.  Their leaves never wither, and in all they do, they prosper.”

As we go from strength to strength in our walk with God this year, let us determine that we shall be rooted and established in Him.  Trusting him that when the storm of temptation and sin come we shall remain firm and unmovable, without threat to our well being.  It is risky to live a life that is not rooted; its consequent result could be disastrous and horrific; devastating and wasteful.  Beloved, determine and take the necessary steps to be rooted.

I fervently pray, that you shall be rooted and established in Him, the enemy of your soul will not be able to sweep you away, for you are like cedar of Lebanon you will flourish and bear fruit to the glory of God.  You are blessed and highly favoured.

As you read through, can you take a minute to reflect on the wordings of this song.

Will your anchor hold in the storm of life?

When the clouds unfold their wrings of strife

When the strong tides lift, and their cable strain,

Will your anchor drift or firm remain

We have an anchor that keeps the soul

                            Steadfast and sure while the billows roll,

                            Fastened to the Rock which cannot move

                            Grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love.

God bless you and keep you.

Your Pastor & Friend

 
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