TODAY’S READING: Ephesians 3:17
“so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love” EPH 3:17 (NIV)
I remember hearing about an orange grove in Florida whose trees continued to bear big juicy oranges even during a season of severe drought. Throughout the region, owners of other groves were losing entire crops so they asked this owner how his orange trees were still bearing fruit. He explained that as young saplings, they would often go for days without being watered. This caused their roots to grow deeper and deeper into the soil to find the water table and so, as they grew, they were not dependant on rain to flourish - their roots had a constant supply of water.
Paul prays that these believers will be “rooted” and “established” in God’s love. The NLT puts it like this, “and your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong”. Like those orange trees, if we are well-rooted, we will find our strength and nourishment in the Lord, even in difficult times.
Jeremiah 17:7-8 says, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.” (NIV)
How deep are your roots?
Jeremiah said that those who trust in God, would not fear when the heat or drought comes. He didn’t say tough times wouldn’t come but that there was no need to fear if they were rooted firmly in God. This is a time to grow those roots deep into the right soil; to choose to spend more time with God and less time on Netflix; to dig deep into God’s word and to spend time in His presence being replenished as we are re-filled by the Spirit so that when times get harder - when heat, drought or strong winds come - we will not be moved!
How do we deepen our roots?
- Prayer. Throughout this letter, Paul prays for the believers. He is in prison so he can’t visit them but he knows that things shift when we pray. Prayer pulls our roots deeper into the soil of God’s love.
- The Word. Read and digest the word of God. This will nourish, strengthen and enlighten us.
- Fellowship. Hebrews 10:23-25 reminds us why fellowship is so important. Meeting together (even virtually) and encouraging one another, spurs us on to love and good works and prevents us from wavering in our faith.
• Read Ephesians 5:17
• Pray that your roots will grow deep down into the soil of God’s marvellous love.
• What can you do this week to strengthen your roots?