UPDATE (1/14/14): An edited version of this material will appear in the upcoming book, Grow Down, through Group Publishing.
Part 4 of the manuscript for "Rooted Faith – Grow Down" (continued from yesterday…):
As we become rooted more and more in Christ… then we are able to DRAW UP everything we need to truly live.
Paul says, let your roots grow down into him and draw up nourishment from him so that you will be built up in faith, strong and vigorous in the truth. The idea is that as we establish ourselves deeper into Christ, we will grow more mature and confident and assured together as people to face anything that comes our way because our roots, which will have sunk deeper and deeper into Christ, will enable us to draw up everything we need to be built up in stature and wisdom in this life. Christ will supply all our needs! As we root our lives purely and wholly and completely and devotedly into Christ, as we continue to live in obedience to him, he will give us the wisdom and the strength and the depth of love that we will need to stand firm and tall in this world no matter what kind of Chinook wind blows against us.
So, let your roots GROW DOWN into him and DRAW UP nourishment from him, so you will grow in faith, strong in the truth your were taught. As this happens, then, as we grow down and as we see God nourishing us and constantly replenishing our strength, we will begin more and more to overflow in thanksgiving for all he has done. As our roots grow down, we will draw up from him and then we just seem to naturally GO OUT from our relationship with Jesus with a life of fruitfulness. We oxygenate the world. We pollinate it. We become fruitful. And from us goes the seed of the Gospel all over the world.
This is why I want to get in the way of my son growing UP. Today on his birthday, my prayer is that my son will grow down into Jesus and become the man of God that he was created to be. As he grows down in Christ, he will draw up nourishment from the Lord of the Universe, and he will be built up and become strong and vigorous in the truth… the Good News about Jesus… and in that strength he will overflow with thanksgiving and everyone around him will be blessed.
There is a prayer in Ephesians 3 that I would like us to make our prayer for each other. Paul prayed this:
“When I think of the wisdom and scope of God’s plan, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit. And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is. 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. Now, glory to be to God! By his mighty power at work within you, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than you would ever dare to ask or hope. May he be given glory in the church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever, through endless ages. Amen.
As we move into communion today, we are challenged that now, just as we accepted Christ, we must continue to live in faithfulness to him. So lets start today by rooting ourselves into him. So as we take this time together to accept anew, with pure faith, we remember that he has taken the brunt of our sin upon himself and has forgiven us. And because of that, he reconciles us to God through his death on the cross. Christ Jesus invites today, to receive him anew and to live faithfully in him in a rooted faith.
For the full audio version: 2009-06-07 Rooted Faith – Grow Down – Ken Castor