Jesus’ vegetation verbiage was passed down and perpetuated by the early church apostles. I love how Paul exhorts the church at Colossae. In his letter to them he says, “So then, just as you have received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, being rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and overflowing with gratitude.” (Colossians 2:6-7, CSB)
When I read the words “rooted and built up... established,” my mind immediately goes to the forest behind my house. Unlike the succulents in my office that could easily be plucked from their soil, our Georgia pines can withstand the fiercest storms. They bend, but rarely break. Their roots go deep, and they draw nourishment from the soil. While my indoor plants need routine attention, I’ve never had to go out and water the towering trees in my yard.
Friend, this is what God desires of us.
When I think about the implications of Paul’s admonition to be “rooted and built up,” a couple truths become clear:
Are you rooted?
In the book of Isaiah, we read that we are “a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor” (Is 61:3). Our new life is buried in Christ, and the intention is that we turn from our self-confidence and fully rely on Him, because it is to His glory that we do so.
The goal is not just to trust Jesus for our righteousness, but in every area of our lives. He is not just good soil— He is all-sufficient soil, completely worthy of our confidence. We can push our roots down deep into Him; He is our firm foundation.
Today, identify one area or situation in your life you’ve been holding tight to control. Pray a prayer of heartfelt surrender, even if it’s “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mk 9:24).
Are you built up?
I have a fiddle leaf fig tree that can’t stand on its own without support. All of us, early on in our faith journey, are understandably like that. The problem is some of us stay that way.
Do you constantly need stakes and string such as constant affirmation or “mountaintop” experiences to keep you from going down, or are you strong from being nourished by the Word of Truth? 1 Peter 2:2 tells us, “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.” Make a plan to study your Bible regularly. The more you taste its goodness, the more your desire for it will grow.
Green thumb or not, we are all plant ladies because we have been sown, by faith, into Jesus. Now, just as we have received Jesus, let’s continue in Him— being rooted down and built up by putting our full trust in Him and growing in His Word.
Memory Verse: “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:6-7 NIV