Comments from Colossians (2:6-7)

And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. (Colossians 2:6-7; New Living Translation)

It’s one thing to “receive Christ” but another to “walk closely with Him.” Many people gladly say “Yes” to everything Jesus offers, but struggle (or refuse) to fully surrender to Him. And, according to the Apostle Paul, this lopsidedness generally produces shallow roots, weak faith, and negativity.

RootsNominal faith — that which we “name but don’t really live” — is nothing new. In the past, we sometimes measured it by church attendance. People who showed up in worship services just two or three times a year were described as “nominal.” We assumed that they didn’t take faith seriously.

In response, many churches felt that the onus lay on them to make worship services more entertaining and more attractive. Pastors have become visionary cheer-leaders. Worship leaders have become concert performers. Sound and lighting systems (and fog machines) rival the best of secular live shows. Surely this will make Sundays more engaging, and people less “nominal.”

But for all of the fanfare, despite all the bells and whistles, church attendance figures continue to morph — downwards. Yes, we have more mega-churches in the United States than at any point in the nation’s history. Yes, many churches have bigger buildings, budgets, and staffs than ever before. But even in these seemingly thriving environments regular attendance is now defined as once or twice a month. The front door and back door are both wide open, biblical illiteracy is on the rise, spiritual maturity is rare, and moral fortitude is waning.

How common are deep spiritual roots, strong faith, and lives of continual gratitude?

Apparently this modern-day phenomenon reflects a centuries-old story. Men and women have always struggled to follow Christ wholeheartedly, build their lives on Him unreservedly, and sink roots into Him deeply.

We may know that struggle too, but never mind yesterday. We gain nothing by bemoaning yesterday’s failures. Nor do we benefit by pointing at others and their “inch-deep faith.”

What about today?

As we read between the lines of Paul’s comment to the Colossians, it seems evident that spiritual strength, life-stability, and hearts overflowing with thankfulness come from a determined resolve “to follow Christ.” It’s really that simple.

If you started today with barely a thought about Christ, take a moment now. Listen to Him. Affirm your devotion to Him. And offer the rest of this day to Him. Then return to Him at least four more times between now and bed. And may His strength and His joy grip you and transform you.

Weakness gives way to strength. Fear gives way to faith. And negativity gives way to hope.

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5 Responses to Comments from Colossians (2:6-7)

  1. Melinda says:

    Thank you David. I needed to read this today.

  2. Barry Thygesen says:

    Thank you David for your clarity and challenge. Sometimes I feel my roots are like root bound roots in a pot plant. It’s a challenge to keep growing in Jesus our Lord when we enter retirement. Dr Richard Johnson keeps challenging me to “continue to grow ageless in the Lord.” Blessings on your ministry David

    • David Timms says:

      Barry, that image of being “root bound” is evocative! Thanks for the timely reminder that this is a life-long pursuit — not just for a season. Blessings.

  3. Kenneth Wadum says:

    Thanks David. I sent a copy of this article to our pastor. I have sent him other of your articles and he enjoys them. The church we attend at this time can at times give the appearance of the mega church model you describe. However, I also see genuine efforts on the part of the leadership to focus on spiritual formation, real life discipleship and missions in many forms. This summer 146 of our middle and high school students are involved in various mission efforts both in other countries and in the U.S. I have known the pastor for many years and have seen many members of the church and staff families in my office. I try to encourage them as much as I can.

    • David Timms says:

      Ken, the challenge of leading people to walk closely with Christ confronts every church, irrespective of size. How encouraging that you are part of a congregation that grapples intentionally with spiritual formation and discipleship! Looking forward to seeing you and Linda next week!! 🙂

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