Welcome A plant is only as good as its root system. The same could be said for each and every one of us. Today’s devotional is all about how the roots have it!
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Food For Thought I shared a while back how grass won’t grow in our front yard. The reason for that is how many mature trees are growing in the yard…seven just in the front yard of our average neighborhood lot. These trees have a crazy root system. Their roots dominate the soil, selfishly in all of the moisture and nutrients that might otherwise feed and water grass. Our yard is a perfect example of how a strong root system will determine your growth and survival. Our trees are massive and survive drought, disease, and ice storms.
In spiritual terms, let’s take a look at the parable Jesus tells in Matthew, chapter thirteen. Here is the Parable of the Sower, as recorded in the NIV Bible:
“A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.”
Jesus knew a thing or two about plants and roots. He also used objects that were familiar with his listeners to help teach his spiritual lessons. Many in his audience probably had planted seeds before and was familiar with the many ways seed can be unproductive or yield much. So Jesus chose these words. In this lesson, we are much like the seeds and the plants. Notice in verse six, how the young plants withered because they “had no root.” Sounds a lot like our tiny little grass shoots in the yard that quickly vanish after a few weeks.
I do not want my Christian life to be like that of the seeds planted in shallow soil, quick to spring up, but also dying just as quick because I do not have strong roots. We must make our own “soil” rich and fertile, establishing a firm root system, ready to produce much harvest for the Lord.
So how do we get this metaphorical fertile soil to be productive for the Lord? It may seem like a no-brainer, but we must immerse ourselves in the word of God and conversation with Him. This is the nourishment our soil needs, along with teachings from wise leaders and counsel from other mature Christians. And pull the weeds! The things that are keeping you from living a productive life for God need to go away. Don’t worry, this message is for myself, as well! Turn off the offensive music or television or movie. Stop scrolling through the negative social media feed. Walk away from gossip or unwholesome talk. Walk away from the parts of your life keeping your from growing and establishing a strong root system. For me, that meant walking away from a long career. But I’m not worried. In the 15 months since I left, I can feel how mush stronger my root system is and I can feel myself growing.
Think about the last words of Jesus’ parable in verses eight and nine. “Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop–a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let him hear.” When you have the good soil and the firm roots, you will begin to yield a bumper crop for the Lord. The exciting part is, you may just never know how big your harvest is! When you continue to sow and scatter the seed, it may fall in some amazing places, therefore, continuing to grow God’s kingdom.
Are you taking care of your root system in order to produce a valuable crop?
Today’s Scriptures In addition to reading Matthew, chapter thirteen, I have included these few scriptures as well. (Verses selected using Bible.com)
Psalm 1:3 He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.
Jeremiah 17:7-8 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD And whose trust is the LORD. “For he will be like a tree planted by the water, That extends its roots by a stream And will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought Nor cease to yield fruit.
Matthew 3:10 “The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
Luke 8:11-13 “Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God. “Those beside the road are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they will not believe and be saved. “Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away.
Colossians 2:6-7 Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.
Today’s Recipe We now know how important it is to have a strong root system to further our growth in our spiritual lives. Did you also know that we can get great nutrition for our physical bodies from root vegetables? Some of you may be well aware of the delicious, nutritious assortment of root vegetables available from your local farm stand or supermarket. Some of you may be saying, what’s a root vegetable? Root vegetables are those we consume that have the edible portion below the ground. We actually eat the roots of the plants. These include carrots, radishes, rutabaga, parsnips, turnips, beets, onions, garlic, shallots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and several others. As root vegetables, they absorb nutrients from the soil, so the more rich the soil, the more healthy these vegetables will be for consumption.
Here’s a blurb about root vegetable nutrition from 3 Fat Chicks: “Most root vegetables are high in complex carbohydrates, which break down into sugar in your body to give you energy and the ability to function properly. They are also high in fiber and phytonutrients, and normally are low in fat as well as in calories. Additionally, they are generally high in vitamin C, beta-carotene, and contain essential minerals such as potassium, phosphorous, magnesium and small amounts of iron.”
The great thing about so many different root vegetable options, you can mix and match which ones work best for your household and taste buds. I will throw out the disclaimer, however, that the brighter and deeper the color of your vegetables, generally the more nutritious they are going to be. For our root vegetables, think bright orange carrots and sweet potato, deep purple in beets and red onions, and bright red radishes. That’s not to say you can’t throw in some of the other choices here and there, like I did for today’s Roast Root Vegetable Medley. They pair nicely with some roast chicken.
Roast Root Vegetable Medley (about 6 servings, and feel free to mix it up a bit using the list above)
- 3 small potaotes
- 2 medium beets
- 3 medium carrots
- 1 large red onion
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp cracked black pepper
Set oven to 375 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
Wash all the vegetables and peel the onion and carrots. Cut the tops off the carrots, beets, and onion. Cut the potatoes, beets, and onion into eighths. Cut the carrots into 5 or 6 pieces. Place all of them in a large bowl. Add olive oil, salt, and pepper; toss to coat. Spread the vegetables evenly over the prepared baking sheet. Roast at 375 for 45-50 minutes.
Amazon Products I used for this recipe (I actually own, and love, these products!):