I’m drawn to a couple of verses in Colossians this week.
“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving” (Col. 2:6-7 ESV).
I want to focus on three different parts of this scripture.
First, “walk in him.” This makes sense. I mean, we should walk in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. In fact, the Bible says, “If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit” (Gal. 5:25 ESV). This verse from Galatians falls shortly after the Fruits of the Spirit. In other words, when we “walk in him,” we sacrifice our fleshly desires and make room for the Holy Spirit.
Secondly, we should be “rooted and built up in him.” A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the importance of our foundations in Christ. Similarly, I want to talk about our roots in Christ.
The prophet Isaiah writes about the year of the Lord’s favor. He writes, “to grant to those who mourn in Zion—to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified” (61:3 ESV).
When we allow our roots to grow in Christ, we become oaks of righteousness. Oak trees are big trees, so they need strong roots. But like the foundation of a beautiful home, we don’t pay attention to the roots of a tree. However, without strong roots, a magnificent tree is impossible. The verse continues to say, “established in the faith.” Every tree needs established roots in order to stand strong.
Allow me to take this concept a step further. When comparing humanity to trees, I can’t help but think of what Jesus teaches. He says, “‘Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he [the Father] takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing’” (John 15:2-5 ESV).
Notice the first sentence of what Jesus says. If a branch doesn’t bear fruit, that branch is removed. On the other hand, if a branch does bear fruit, that branch is pruned in order to produce even more fruit. In other words, if you’re being pruned, take it as a blessing. God doesn’t prune a dead “branch” in your life. If He’s pruning your tree, an abundance of fresh fruit is soon to come.
However, Jesus is careful to mention the importance of abiding in Him as you grow. Always make sure you are rooted in Him—yes, Jesus Christ.
The third part of Colossians I want to study is the following: “abounding in thanksgiving.” It sounds like a holiday we celebrate this time of year! But the Bible tells us to always be thankful.
“And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts” (Col. 3:15-16 NLT).
Thankfulness is like the lid to a container. It’s like the mug to the coffee. The pages of a book. Thankfulness is of the upmost importance when it comes to growing in the Lord. It should be intertwined with everything we do. Everything we say. Our lives should be so full of thankfulness unto God that our roots shake in praise. Our trees should sway in the wind.
I don’t know what your Thanksgiving looks like in 2018. I don’t know what kind of growth you’re experiencing. But thank Him anyway.
Isaiah Pauley is a 2018 graduate of Wahama High School and attends Ohio Christian University. He can be followed at www.isaiahpauley.com, or on Facebook at Isaiah Pauley Page.