"Before we did anything, before we make anything, God loved us first. He's the initiator. He's the one who makes us grow. We may start with the smallest seed, and by God's grace, see it grow into a mighty tree. The truth of the gospel is the power of God (Romans 1:16) for life, for transformation, for all we need (2 Peter 1:3). Our gospel roots determine what kind of trees we will be. They determine our identity as a child of God, as a new creation, a new person.
Before a tree ever bears fruit, it must first tap into life-giving sources. God's free and gracious love for us precedes our response of worship and good works (Eph 2:8-10). I'm no arborist, but I know that the bigger a tree is, the more extensive its root system will be. In fact, I'm told that a tree's root system is just as big as its branch system. In the same way, we also need to be deeply rooted to our own source of life. If we're to be healthy, we should be growing: bigger, stronger, and healthier. The more we're rooted in good soil and tapped into life-giving water, the more we can grow, whether or not we're surrounded by a wasteland. The mature, healthy tree will bear fruit, and so should we - the kind of "fruit that will last," according to Jesus' words in John 15:16." - Stephen Lutz, College Ministry in a Post-Christian Culture
These words have settled into my mind since I first read them last week. Our gospel roots determine what kind of tree we will be. Which leads me to ask: How am I stewarding my time, resources, talents, and spiritual development - right now, in the midst of work, transitions, and personal commitments? Am I a top heavy tree relying on the external resources - easily blown over by the next change of plans or unexpected struggle - or am I establishing in God's power a ferocious, growing, strong, and healthy root system - one that will and does bear fruit?
On another note, not entirely unrelated, these are the articles and pieces I found compelling, thoughtful, and interesting for your Wednesday.
01 | Why Design Stinks.
02 | When reading the Bible feels like a chore.
03 | Clearing Clutter is not all it's cracked up to be.
04 | We have Lent all wrong.
05 | Rejoicing in Lament.
06 | To Pray.