29 June, 2022

March 20 | Application

by | 14 March, 2022

Don’t Chop Away Your Roots

By David Faust

We worship “the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come” (Revelation 4:8), so our view of God should shape our perspective about the past, the present, and the future.                  

We can’t live in the past. Our relationship with God shouldn’t rely on a nostalgic preoccupation with the way things used to be. Ecclesiastes 7:10 advises, “Do not say, ‘Why were the old days better than these?’ For it is not wise to ask such questions.” Faith invigorates us in the present and hope propels us toward the future.

But we shouldn’t forget the past. The Christian faith is rooted in historical events. The annual Passover observance reminded the Israelites about their long-ago deliverance from slavery. The Psalms called worshippers to praise the Lord for his faithfulness to past generations. At the Last Supper, Jesus instructed his disciples to eat and drink in remembrance of him. Remembering can be an act of worship. It keeps us in touch with our roots. The apostle Paul told Timothy, “Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead” (2 Timothy 2:8).

THE ROOT SUPPORTS YOU
Romans 11 compares God’s covenant people to an olive tree. Some of the branches (unbelieving Jews) have been cut off, while the Gentiles are like fresh branches grafted onto the tree. Paul cautions the Gentile believers not to be arrogant and consider themselves superior to their brothers and sisters of Jewish descent. Instead, these grafted branches owe a debt of gratitude for the life-giving sap they now receive from God’s tree. Through a remnant of faithful Israelites, Jesus the Messiah came to bring “salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile” (Romans 1:16).

Paul reminded his readers, “You do not support the root, but the root supports you” (Romans 11:18).Isn’t that an interesting turn of phrase? “The root supports you.” This lesson was originally intended for first-century Christians who struggled to unify Jewish and Gentile believers in the body of Christ, but it’s not a stretch to see how it applies to us. We shouldn’t be prideful that God has grafted us like branches onto his tree. Instead, we should be grateful for those who paved the way for us—who supported us so we could bear fruit for the Lord.

It’s easy to find fault with previous generations, and it’s OK to be honest about their flaws. But we should respect and honor our faithful predecessors who supported us and gave us roots in the faith.

Did Christian parents do their best to bring you up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord? Were you influenced by hardworking schoolteachers and college professors who shaped your character and informed your mind? Have you known churches that faithfully teach God’s Word, serve their communities, and demonstrate God’s love by giving generously and caring for others? Have you been blessed by youth groups, camps, Bible colleges, and seminaries that challenged you to deepen your roots in the faith? Are there friends and family members who have loved you, advised you, and enriched your relationship with God over the years?

Who has supported your walk with God and helped you grow in your faith? “Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith” (Hebrews 13:7).

Personal Challenge: Think of two or three people who have deepened your roots in the Christian faith. Tell them why you appreciate their impact on your life.

Christian Standard

Contact us at cs@christianstandardmedia.com

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