*This article was originally written for Creative Retreat Kits. See bible journaling page process Here
And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6-7, NLT
Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, overflowing with gratitude. Colossians 2:6-7, HCSB
Today in a world where so many people receive Christ , but do not fully walk in Him, there is such a need for simple yet touching truth. The truth that the word of God truly gives. When we take the time to meditate on the word we begin to peel back the layers and the blessing. Today I want to pick apart these verses and remind you not to stop at receiving Christ, but to continue to walk in Him daily. That is when you will start to receive sustainable growth.
Simple things of the Christian life provide continual, reliable spiritual fuel for growth.
Receiving then walking
I see Christians filled with pride. I see Christians controlled by anger and jealousy. I see Christian wives leaving their husbands instead of relying on Jesus to strengthen them through marriage. Of course, the Christian life does not mean a perfect sin-free life, but I see to many Christians who do not rely on Jesus. I see so many relying on their flesh and their own emotions. I see to many Christians who do not walk the true Christian walk and who do not bother to take the time to root themselves in Christ.
And I want to bring light to that today.
Friend I long for you to not stop at just receiving Christ. That is only the first step. I long for you to walk in Him and carry into practice the true Christian life in your walk. I long for you to live an abundant life in Christ which can only happen when you live it out daily in your walk even when it is hard.
Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord,
The word received here in the Greek means to accept or acknowledge, not only to acknowledge, but to lay hold of something in order to use it.
We have received Christ for a purpose. Not just for our own eternal benefits, but to use His word and His spirit in powerful ways to change us and then to reach others. We are constantly being refined and sanctified, but only if we allow His word to wash over us and cleans us daily.
walk in Him
The Hebrew word for walk means to live. Walking in Him means living the word out in our lives. It means to live out what we believe and to live out what the word teaches us.
The more closely we walk with Christ, the more we are rooted and established in the faith.
Rooted and Built up
Like I said above, every Christian has received Christ, but we need to walk in Him and not all do. Therefore they are not rooted in Him and therefore can not be built up in Him.
rooted and built up in Him
The word rooted means to strengthen with roots, to render firm, established, cause a person or thing to be thoroughly grounded.
Often in the bible a tree is compared to humans. I want to look at tree roots and the purpose of them.
He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:8
Roots are what anchors the tree, keeping it straight and stable. They absorb water from the soil and take nutrients and chemicals from the soil to use them to produce what they need for the trees growth, development, and repair.
And roots are the first part of the tree to emerge when a seed germinates, which shows their importance.
Once we receive Christ and are planted in good soil, we must start to root ourselves in Christ. Our roots start to grow and we start to become stable. And like a tree, how can we be built up without roots? How can a tree emerge out from under the soil without its roots? When our roots are withered, then we will not bear fruit (Hosea 9:16).
The word rooted here is past tense implying vital insertion in Christ first. Built up here is present tense implying progressive increase. As we grow, our roots continue to grow deeper while we are being continually built up.
Without the vital insertion in Christ then we can not progressively increase in our growth.
and established in the faith
In order to have sustainable growth in Christ, we need all these elements that we see in this verse. We need to receive and continue to receive what Christ has for us. We need to walk in Him, living our lives according to the word. As we do this we will be rooted, built up in Him which will enable us to have a firm, stable faith.
just as you were taught, overflowing with gratitude
We always have to be reminded of what we have been taught. Allow the Holy Spirit to remind you and don’t reject wise godly counsel. Do not quench the Holy spirit and allow Him to convict your heart. Walk in obedience to the Spirit according to the word of God.
Since we live by the spirit, we must also follow the spirit. Galatians 5:25
When we call ourselves Christians we are calling ourselves “little Christ”. We are made in His image. We are His ambassadors. We are entrusted to represent Him.
Now can I ask you a question? Are you living a life that honors Him? Does your life resemble Christ and reflect Him?
You are such a precious light for Christ and He has entrusted you. I urge you to continue to grow and root yourselves in Him through the word. Follow His spirit and be obedient to it no matter how hard it is. He is so trustworthy. He is so faithful. You will not be let down and your life will be filled with true abundance as it overflows with thanksgiving.
As we do this we will advance to fuller maturity in Christ.
A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance. John 10:10
Paul's Prayer for Our Growth
I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 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 is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.
Ephesians 3:16-21, NLT