by Kathy Lay
This Week's Verse: Ephesians 3:17, "...May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love." (NLT)
A few weeks ago, there was a lot of talk about roots in our house as both my 6th graders were studying for a science test. I helped them study and learned right along with them.
One term on the study sheet was "positive gravitropism" and it referred to the roots of a plant "being pulled down into the ground to allow for them to absorb maximum water and nutrients from the soil." The deeper the roots go, the stronger and healthier the plant is.
This definition made me think of Jesus' parable about the seeds falling into four distinct places. If you remember, some seeds fell on the road and were immediately snatched up by the birds. Some fell in rocky places and though they sprouted new growth, the roots weren't deep so the young plants were quickly scorced by the sun. Still others fell into weeds and again, began to grow, but were eventually choked out by the weeds.
But look what happens to the fourth type. Luke 8:15 says, "But the seed in the good earth—these are the good-hearts who seize the Word and hold on no matter what, sticking with it until there's a harvest."(MSG)
This time the roots went deep. And this week's verse shows that the soil we're to root deeply in is God's love. When we soak it up we're stronger. When we soak it up we're healthier. We're not scorched and we're not choked out.
Things get out of hand though when the enemy takes our focus off of God's amazing, beyond-all-understanding love for his people. We start to think God's love is conditional. That we're not worthy. (And but for the blood of Christ, we're not.)
But Ephesians 3 goes on to say, "May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God"(v. 19, NLT).
By being rooted--really firmly embedded--in God's love in an unshakeably confident way, we'll thrive and be fruitful. Never let the enemy snatch that away.
God, I'm amazed at how you've written your love for us in nature itself. Set our roots firmly so that like a plant, we're nourished by the rich soil of your steadfast love and will go on to produce fruit for you.
Application: Have you allowed God's multifaceted love to nourish your soul? Even when you feel scorched, choked, or snatched away? Plant yourself firmly in the good soil and have faith that the power of his love will grow you taller and stronger than any of the enemy's attempts to stunt your growth.
2 Timothy 1:13, "So keep at your work, this faith and love rooted in Christ, exactly as I set it out for you. It's as sound as the day you first heard it from me. Guard this precious thing placed in your custody by the Holy Spirit who works in us." (MSG)
Jeremiah 17:8, "They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green,and they never stop producing fruit."(NLT)