NURTURING THE ROOTS

DUAL ALLEGIANCE
August 29, 2021

SCRIPTURE: JOB 29:18-25

In today’s world, it is often common to be indifferent to your roots. Many people move away and never come back. Unfortunately, this is the reality for some people when it comes to faith. We are to be like trees planted by the rivers of water bringing forth fruit, like vines whose branches climb the walls and spread. We are to be like vines that bring forth good grapes, not wild weeds looking for cracks in the sidewalk. If we continue to be indifferent, we can’t grow because the roots aren’t there. Some people feel why they should give to a church and enhance spiritual growth when they can just go out and buy things that they desire. It gives them an initial high and might make them feel good for a while but it’s often a short lived feeling. Some people have no interest in reading the Bible and would rather just watch TV. Why consider the consequences of my actions or the effect on others as long as I am doing what I want? Enhancing our spiritual growth helps us spread our religious roots and makes us better people. God will notice!

I had a conversation this week about work. If you are going to be somewhere 40 hours a week, why not work as hard as you can, gain experience, and take on more responsibility even if your pay is not improving? For one thing, it shows your commitment to your job. You will also be noticed and rewarded by a promotion. You also have the satisfaction of doing a good job and demonstrating a good work ethic.

Let’s look at Job’s testimony as we look back to his happier and more productive days. Job was a prophet who lived a good life but God took away his protections and life became very challenging for him.

Job 29:19 “My root is spread out to the waters. And dew lies all night on my branches.” Biblical writers often express the idea that we must spread out our roots to the living waters.

Psalm 92:13-14
Planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will bear fruit in old age. They will stay fresh and green.
Psalm 80:9 My vine grows deep in the soil. You cleared the ground before it and it took root and tilled the land.

When a desert plant gets hot and dry, it turns into a tumbleweed and blows around without direction. Living waters help us go back to our roots and find direction for our lives. A prominent minister once said that in his experience, “I must get 3 people into the church in order to save one soul!”

So many people want their interests to be at the surface of the church. They want socializing, friendships, and programs. All of this is good but that’s not what brings the fruits of God’s labor for us. It is the nourishment of the Bible that makes our roots run deep. Christian life calls for “rooting and grounding in love.” Even more important than our love for one another is our love for God.

My soul is made fertile by labor. Proverbs 28:19 “Those who work their land will have abundant food but those who chase fantasies will have their fill of poverty.” We must nurture on our spiritual lives or our lives will lack the direction that god wants us to take.

Genesis 49:22 “Joseph is a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough by a spring; it’s branches run over a wall.” The fruitfulness of the running branch can be expected of the vine that spreads its roots to the waters. In our earthly lives, it’s the living waters that sends the roots down deep into the soil and accepts the labors of God’s love that brings a lifetime of fertility.