Hello friends and loved ones.
This is the first of a multi-part lesson on being rooted and grounded in love taught for a Ladies Day last summer. I had planned on editing it, but time has gotten away from me, so I am just presenting it as is, intro and everything. I did not know at the time of this writing that Satan would have more in store for our family. God is His Divine wisdom certainly knows best to not reveal to us our future struggles. It was a needed study for me at the time, and continues to be one for me now.
Though you were not sitting in the audience that day, I left it as if you were. May God bless us all in our endeavors to study His word and grow ever closer to Him.
I know that all of us are busy with ever so many things, and I certainly appreciate your desire to come and study from God’s Holy word when you could have chosen a dozen or more other things to do today. I truly don’t say that lightly. I am thankful for each and every one of you that has come to dig into God’s Word. I hope you brought your bibles, but if not grab one off the pew. I plan on using a lot of my favorite scriptures, and Sharleen would tell you, that's most of the Bible. We have a lot to study, and not much time.
When the two people that know me best in life heard that my topic was Rooted and Grounded in Love: I shall not be moved, they both immediately laughed. The joke was not lost on me either. David has always said that if I had a theme song, it would be Tom Petty’s “I won’t Back Down”.
But all kidding aside, this study was just what I needed.
Since the time I was assigned this lesson, I have prayed, studied and pondered how God could use me to edify and encourage all of you. I have honestly felt somewhat inadequate and beaten down with all that Satan has been accomplishing lately. Between illness and so many struggling marriages and breaking hearts both in and out of the church, I have felt my faith at times to be too weak to get through, let alone to really reach out to others as I should be doing.
It has been rough.
But God's word and Christian friends have strengthened me. And, in the very midst of feeling overwhelmed and even somewhat despairing with my head hanging down, I was assigned a lesson on not being moved from HIM, my God, my Savior and Redeemer. When I turned inward to muster strength for this lesson, frankly, I didn’t find much in my reserves.
So, I got busy and dug into the Word…And my eyes shifted back up to where they should have been all the time.
Possibly through God’s good Providence, or maybe just some clever planning on the part of our elder’s wives, God continues to teach me and refine me in His Holy Word, those things that I need to strengthen and improve upon in my own life, that I might strengthen others. “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble…” 2 Corinthians 1 : 3-4
So, lucky us, you don’t have to hear a lesson relying on my wisdom or knowledge, and I didn’t have to write one based on what’s in my little brain. To God be the glory! His Word is all sufficient to keep us on track…or get us back on track when Satan is trying to derail and uproot us. And I needed back on track. Maybe some of you do too.
This study has been a tremendous faith builder for me and I pray that you will be encouraged as well to lift up your heads and hearts, lift up your eyes and focus back on Christ, our Savior and Redeemer and His Holy Word. Let Him give you the strength you need to keep going. Bring your focus back to our great Redeemer and Friend. He has given us all the answers we will ever need, IF ONLY we will spend the time and effort studying His Holy Word, His light will come shining forth to lift our burdens, and to help our roots grow down deep into the spiritual water of His Word. “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not fear when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8
Roots form a network for a tree or plant that give balance, and hold the tree firmly in place. They keep it upright and prevent it from crashing to the ground when the storms of life prevail. Roots grow deep to bring nourishment to every cell, leaf and twig. They are life to the tree. If a disease affects the roots of a plant, or you chop through a trees root system, it will soon die.
The spiritual application is crystal clear. Without roots growing down into God's word we will end up spiritually uprooted and lost. The only way to grow our spiritual roots is to study. Obviously our spiritual roots will stop growing and stop providing us nourishment when we stop studying the Word of God. They can also become diseased by discouragement and sin. Lift up your eyes and look around. Brothers and Sisters in Christ are growing weaker daily, some are even dying in the garden of Christianity because they don’t have deep roots reaching the water of His word. Instead of spiritual redwoods, they’re spiritual tumbleweeds blown by the wind in every direction. Why?
I believe it’s because it takes work to stay rooted and grounded in love. Christianity is not a passive, cater-to-me lifestyle. It takes study, thought, prayer and work to remain faithful and encourage others to remain faithful as well. Psalm 16:8-9 says “I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.” Christianity doesn’t just happen. It’s about selflessness and discipline.
Some of us may have to work at staying rooted and grounded harder than others simply because we all have our own personalities and life experiences that have molded us, for good or bad, over the years. I don't like the terms "high-strung" or "high-maintenance". I'll let you gues why. :) I prefer to look at people in varying degrees of "passionate to laid-backness".
Maybe for some of us our tongue is harder to control; maybe another struggles with the temptation to dress immodestly as they did before they became a Christian. Another may struggle with self confidence in teaching God's word; or struggle with controlling their temper. No matter the temptation, the trial, the person or the personality type, God has the same solution for all of us. He is infinite in His wisdom. He is the designer of each and every one of us and HE KNOWS HIS CREATION. Sometimes we despair in our differences. Do we think God did not design us?
His solution for standing firm can only be found in His word. That's the "magic pill" so to speak, and nothing else. It won't make worries and problems disappear, but I guarantee that it will make us able to cope, and not just to cope, but to overcome; to have courage and stand firm. The KEY is in our hands. We will be studying three points to aid us in our Christian walk, but the first is, no doubt, the most important.
Shwew, that was a long winded introduction!
The first point will follow soon.
Have a wonderful day friends!