Friday, March 20, 2009

Family Roots-Spiritual Roots

Family roots are wonderful to explore, but what are our spiritual roots?

This is a photo of my step-grandmother's family. She was just a baby in 1910 when this photo was taken. She was already being raised in a Christian home. I never thought of her as a step-grandma. I was very close to her, she was just "Grandma" to me. She was a godly, soft spoken woman. She opened her mouth with wisdom....she was a wise woman who loved her Lord. I want to grow up to be like her.

God speaks about the good roots of the person who trusts in the Lord. Not a perfect person, but a person who trusts in the Lord:

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
And whose hope is the LORD.
For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit." -Jeremiah 17:7-8

"All have sinned" Romans says. Christians are sinners. They haven't "arrived" at perfection. They are only different from other sinners in that they listened to the tug on their hearts that there is a God, He loves them and provided a way out of their hopeless situation. They realize their failings, their brokenness, their total inability to do good, to be good in their actions, or in their hearts, and they have thrown themselves on the mercy of the only righteous judge. A judge who took off His holy robe, stepped down into time and our world to die for our sin so that we don't have to suffer eternal death. The judge paid our fine for us. How cool is that?!

You might have been away from church for a long time, or never set foot in one. Maybe you think you know too many hypocrites in the church. There's always room for one more hypocrite! Come on in! We are all spiritually broken people looking for a hospital.

Speaking of hypocrites, there's a parable Jesus tells about the wheat and the weeds (tares) which is very interesting:

Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares? He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.” Matthew 13:24-30

Jesus gives the meaning in Matthew 13:36-43

That was a dirty trick, sowing weeds that look like wheat into the fields. They can't be removed without harming the wheat, uprooting it. Satan is the evil sower, so what is he sowing? His sons, which are everyone from the most awful unrepentant sinner to the false Christian. When I realized there could be tares in the church itself, it freed me from a lot of bitterness. That may sound strange, but the knowledge gave me relief to know that when Christian people are mean, they might not be Christians at all! It also caused me to look at my own life, stop pointing my finger at everyone else, and examine my own heart...."Am I a tare, or could I appear to be one to others?"
"Do I need to remove the beam from my own eye?"

We should "work out our salvation with fear and trembling" :

Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain. -Philippians 2:1-16

"Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled..." Hebrews 12:14-15


Renna said...

This was beautiful, Cha. You were blessed to have a godly grandmother, and even more so because she left the 'step' out of your relationship!

 Cha said...

I agree, she was a wonderful woman.