Pulpit-Press is pleased to announce the release of our latest book:
Rooted, by Brad Whitt. Here is an excerpt:
Our family recently took a vacation. On the way, we passed some palm trees that were propped up by 2 X 4s.
I had these trees on my mind when we arrived at our destination in Charleston, S.C. We took a tour of the Lagare Waring House in Charleston and enjoyed the beauty of the Avenue of Oaks. I couldn’t help but contrast these magnificent oaks that covered the walkway with the palm trees that had to be propped up externally to be supported. What was the difference?
The oaks are rooted. “The root system of a mature oak tree can total hundreds of miles. They may … occupy a space four to seven times the width of the tree’s crown.” In contrast, the root system of a palm trees is quite small. Paul says we are to be like those oaks:
As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving (Colossians 2:6–7).
This book is about how you can be rooted deeply in Christ. Here are some of the benefits you can look forward to as you become rooted in Christ:
- Stability. People who are deeply rooted will withstand the storms of life. They are like the wise man that built his house on a rock. They are not shaken by the storms of life. They are not “tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting” (Ephesians 4:14).
- Continual nourishment. Rooted people have a deep source of spiritual nourishment which continually feeds them. They are like a tree, planted by the streams of water which bears its fruit in season (Psalm 1).
- Joy. Jesus said, “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full”( John 15:10–11). The happiest people on the planet are people who are rooted in Christ.
- Fruitfulness. Rooted plants are fruit-bearing plants. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). Jesus didn’t say we would be even more fruitful if we abide in Christ. He said that without Christ we can do nothing. Rooted in Christ, we will bear much fruit. It is an all or nothing deal.
- Peace. There is peace in knowing that your roots go down deep. There is peace in knowing you can withstand every drought and storm. “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). The Bible describes it as a peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4.6, 7).
- Assurance of our salvation. God’s will for every believer is that you have absolute confidence in your salvation. God wants you to know that you will go to Heaven when you die. Rooted people know. They don’t just hope; they know.
- Spiritual growth. You can’t grow up unless your roots go down. Only rooted people grow. “That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:17–19).
- Purpose. When our roots go down deep, we discover why God put us here. We discover that “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). We discover what good works God has prepared in advance for us to do. There is nothing like living life on purpose. Only rooted people know this joy.
Being rooted has many benefits: stability, continual nourishment, joy, fruitfulness, peace, assurance of salvation, and purpose. How do we become rooted?