How Are You Addressing Your Root?

“‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. – Luke 13:8 All of us tend to classify people into categories. Good or bad. Saved or lost. Successful or lazy. Jesus was talking to a group of people that had assumed they were better, or more righteous, because something bad had not happened to them. In reply, Jesus confronted this belief by asking if the people who had died suddenly were more guilty or bigger sinners than others living in the same place. Then Jesus went on with a parable about a tree that was not producing any fruit. When the man who owned the vineyard asked that the tree be cut down, the caretaker made the reply that is quoted above. “I’ll dig around it and fertilize it.” Notice what the first impulse was – to address the root of the tree. In response to the lack of fruit, the caretaker did not look to the branches and leaves. The same principle can be repeated for unhealthy fruit. A problem with the fruit is the result of a problem with the root. Repentance requires that we address our root. Becoming more aware that we realize the depth to which we look to the world for significance. Authentic fruit is the result of being rooted in Christ. Having an identity that is defined by God’s love for you is an intentional process of knowing your lies and when you are prone to shame and applying truth. What areas are you tempted to root your identity apart from God? In...

Fruit and the Spirit

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. – Galatians 5:22 – 23 It is the desire of most of the followers of Jesus that I know to be closer to God. So, when our lives are compared to the verse above, the path seems clear. The solution is more fruit. Now, our well-meaning desire for closeness becomes a mandate to try harder. Because I want intimacy with God, I will set myself on being more self-controlled. Because I am in Christ, I should make sure that I act more joyful. I’m sure you can see and maybe are living in this pattern. If we follow the path of focusing on producing fruit, then we become slaves to our performance. But this verse, thankfully, is not about behavior modification. The broader passage is Paul reminding those in Christ that their behavior is actually a product of their root. A tree does not control its fruit. If a tree is planted in poor soil or is not given water, it cannot simply try harder to produce pleasing fruit. The same is true with us. Fruit is a product of being connected to the Spirit, it is NOT and invitation for the Spirit. [Click here to Tweet that.] The fruit of our life is indicative of our root – on what we are basing our identity. This verse in Galatians tells us what to look for. If you are not seeing love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, then it is highly likely that you are attempting...

Gain Perspective. Live Well.

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