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Monday, December 10 , 2018, 11:04 am | Mostly Cloudy 55º


Jim Langley: Deep Roots Revisited

Years ago, we were the recipient of a very special dwarf apple tree. It was a gift from a dear friend at church who developed a new variety called New Dawn, which had unusually deep roots.

Deep roots allow for a much longer plant life. The first fruit from that tree was simply delicious. Unfortunately, we sold that home and had to leave the gift behind for the new owners to enjoy.

Most dwarf fruit trees have very shallow roots, which greatly reduces their life span.

In Jeremiah 17:7-8 we’re told, “But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by water that sends out its roots by the stream.”

I would have loved to have taken that New Dawn apple tree with us, but the roots were quite deep and I felt it was best to simply allow the tree to thrive in our old backyard. I’m certain it’s doing quite well these days, many years after we planted it.

Now, let’s address the depth of our spiritual roots.

It’s quite possible to go through life and not develop deep roots in our spiritual lives. I’ve been fortunate to have several excellent pastors and mentors who have stressed the value of strengthening my understanding of God’s Word and the importance of developing an intimate relationship with Christ. I’ve also been held accountable through programs like CBMC’s Operation Timothy study.

Heavy rains and high winds often uproot trees here on the West Coast. The problem stems from the lack of deep roots in many varieties of trees planted in our area. Needless to say, an uprooted tree has met its demise. All it’s good for is firewood!

Healthy fruit trees with deep roots produce much fruit, which is their sole purpose in existing. Healthy shade trees will obviously grow taller and fuller and provide more than adequate shade.

In our individual lives, we must allow our roots to go deep spiritually in order to meet our true purpose for God’s glory. We exist for His purpose and need to be in tune with His desires for our lives. That means we need to be planted near the Living Water that will allow our roots to grow deep and bear much fruit.

One of my early scriptures memorized in Operation Timothy was Galatians 5:22-23. After Paul discusses the conflict all believers have with their sinful nature and addresses the deeds of the flesh, he continues, “But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

That pretty well sums up what our Lord expects from us as His disciples. This can only be accomplished supernaturally with the help of the Holy Spirit that lives within all believers.

While attending a CBMC National Convention years ago, I had the pleasure to be one of 20 or so men to meet with our keynote speaker, Steve Farrar, one evening. His book, Point Man, was instrumental in helping me focus on my Christian walk and becoming a better husband and father.

Farrar tells a story in the book about his experience as a young boy seeing his father frequently on his knees as he went through deep financial hardship in his development business. This helped Farrar to realize that we often can’t tell the depth of a person’s faith until they’ve literally fallen and we can see the extent of the roots exposed.

His Dad came through the storm that would topple most men because of his unwavering faith in Christ.

So, how deep are your spiritual roots? Now please don’t kid yourself. Our Heavenly Father knows the depth of our relationship and we all know that there’s certainly room for improvement.

Why don’t you have an intimate conversation with Him this day, and strive to deepen those roots for His glory?

Passages to Ponder

» Psalm 1:1-3

» Galatians 5:17-21

» Ephesians 3:14-19

» Revelation 22:16-17

— Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent in Santa Barbara. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his personal relationship with God, and his goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. As a longtime member of CBMC of Santa Barbara (Christian Business Men’s Connection), he started writing Fourth Quarter Strategies columns in 2014, and he now reaches an international audience through the CBMC International devotional Monday Manna. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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