So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. NIV
Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. 14 He appointed twelve — designating them apostles b-that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach 15 and to have authority to drive out demons. 1NIV
Before we get into the text I want to talk with about the importance of two things in our spiritual development
1st the importance of Roots:
• First let me say I grew up hating roots – tree roots that is!
• Reason was because whenever Pafford & Sons contracted a job to remove the stumps of the tree. We had to dig into out and chop out the roots by manual labor. (Shovel, pick, axes and back breaking sweaty work!)
• Paul uses this metaphor in Colossians to create a picture in our minds correlating plants/trees and our growing up and growing deep
• Roots are clearly Critical for nourishment and development
• Roots are clearly Critical as a firm foundation and stability in storms
• So Paul lets us that if we want to grow up and grow deep we need to be rooted!
2nd the Metaphor of being ‘rooted’ can be likened to the ‘Process’ of discipleship. Note, I said process. I believe one of the reason why the church has failed to turn the world upside like the apostles did is because for the most part we have not embraced discipleship as a process and thought of it as a program. Let me see if I can illustrate this for you.
Four weeks ago I paid my money to register for a half marathon in The Colony. The 13.1-mile race will take place on Saturday morning near the end of October. All though I have been running fairly consistently for 20 plus years I knew that if I wanted to do well and finish strong on October 22 I would need to get with the program! So I found an eight-week training program to tune me up and prepare my body for the race. The training program ends with race day and after I run the half-marathon I will cut back on the miles I’ve been running each week. Why? Because I finished my training program.
There is a huge difference between a program and a process. Programs have beginning and ending points. This morning my goal in the next 20 minutes is to help us desire & see how we can be Rooted – and how this Growing Up and Growing Deep is a Process.
So to be Rooted and grow up and grow deep we must engage the discipleship process that is …
I. Relational (vs. 14 “that they might be with him”)
A. Effective discipleship happens within the context of relationship
1. Honest healthy relationship are the vehicles that God uses to change lives our and others!
• Listening to teaching and reading books about the issues we struggle with can be helpful, but they will only get us so far.
• Most of us learn best by watching someone else demonstrate what the Bible teaches.
• Reason that we do connect groups!
2. Paul disciple Timothy
a. Notice the context of Paul’s Relationship with Timothy as sends him to the Corinthians
1 Cor 4:17
For this reason I am sending to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church. NIV
Which leads us to the fact that ….
B. They ‘did’ life together –
Throughout the New Testament there are occasion in which the writer records the disciples calling Jesus ‘rabbi.’ We understand that it means ‘teacher.’ What we might miss thought is understanding that if someone had a ‘rabbi-discipleship relationship in that day it met being “With him.” Following not only their teaching but literally following them and learning and copying the rabbi’s life and actions.
They attended a wedding with him (John 2:1-11), walked through the countryside (Matthew 12:1-8), and ate together (Matthew 9:9-13). Jesus spent time with his disciples in everyday life and used those circumstances as teaching opportunities. He took them along as he healed the sick, preached to the multitudes, and ministered to others.
To Grow up and grow deep we must be rooted in our relationship with Christ and others who are following him.
The single greatest factor in making (developing) disciples is relationships – It is because of our relationship with Jesus and our relationship with people that others come to Christ.
Play igniter video – Strangers
So to be Rooted and grow up and grow deep we must engage the discipleship process that is relational and secondly…
II. Intentional (vs. 14 “that he might send them out”)
This verse shows us that Jesus was intentional in his relationship with the 12 and that the 12 were intentional in their relationship with Jesus.
To be intentional means to be deliberate or do something on purpose. Listen to what a prominent pollster found:
In 2007 George Barna found that born-again Christians were “statistically indistinguishable” from their non-Christian neighbors in 15 moral behaviors (including lying, gossiping, substance abuse and extramarital sex). Two years later, Barna observed that 66 percent of American adults are what he terms “Casual Christians.”
Casuals are self-identified Christians who “do not view matters of faith as central to one’s purpose or success in life.” Casuals want a low-demand faith, one that helps them feel religious and be better people, without having to take a stand on moral issues. Barna calls it “faith in moderation.” I think “lukewarm” was how Jesus put it. (from the article published on Break Point – Intentional Discipleship, ALL THINGS EXAMINED By: Regis Nicoll|Published: June 17, 2011 5:34 PM)
• If we are going to grow up and grow strong it with not because we are causal Christians!
• It will be because we are intentional in our commitment to Jesus and the principals he taught.
• It will be because of the intentional yoke of discipleship.
So to be Rooted and grow up and grow deep we must engage the discipleship process that is relational and intentional which becomes ….
III. Transformational (vs. “and to have authority to drive out demons.”)
There is transformational power/authority in being rooted in Christ Jesus. Make no mistake intentionally following his principals and commands will transform us as well as others.
Play video from Sermon Central – Transformation is Possible
Researchers have discovered 8 key things in the lives of Jesus followers who are growing deeper and are being transformed:
1. Bible engagement
2. Obeying God and denying self
3. Serving God and others
4. Sharing Christ
5. Exercising faith
6. Seeking God
7. Building relationships
8. Unashamed transparency
(Research done by Lifeway Research who asked more than 4,000 people about their spiritual lives and level of maturity.)
The story is told of a group of women that met for Bible study. While studying in the book of Malachi, chapter three, they came across verse three which says: “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.” This verse puzzled the women and they wondered how this statement applied to the character and nature of God. The following week, one of the the women called up a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him while at work. As she watched the silversmith work, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire, where the flames were the hottest as to burn away all the impurities. The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot, then she thought again about the verse, that “He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.” She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the entire time the silver was being refined. The man answered yes, that not only did he have to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on it the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left even a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed. The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, “But how do you know when the silver is fully refined?” He smiled at her and answered, “Oh, that’s easy – when I see my image in it.”
You see being Rooted and built up in Christ is all about reflecting him to the point that our actions, reactions, our words, our every lives are reflection of Jesus!
What relationships are helping you with you to Grow up and Grow Deeper in Christ? Is there a relationship that is hinder it?
Who are you intentional being disciple and disciplining?
Has your life been and is it being transformed as a result of your relationship with Jesus?