This year is going to be a good and abundant year because of Jesus. As a church family, we are going to kick off the year with prayer and fasting. Fasting is disconnecting from the world and prayer is connecting with God; giving something up we depend on and replacing it with God. Our theme for 2018 is Rooted In Jesus – flourish in life. This theme is an invitation to go back to the basics of a relationship with Jesus and build our lives in Him.
Alright. Hey, everybody, welcome to Valley Creek Church. I am so glad that you are here with us on this first weekend of 2018. We want to welcome all of our campuses whether you are in Denton, Flower Mound, Lewisville, the Venue and the extension site. Watching online somewhere in the world. We are so glad that you are here with us. It’s great to be one church that meets in multiple locations and it is good to be back. I hope you and your family had a great Christmas and New Years. I hope you got some time to rest and relax and reflect a little bit and here we are its 2018. A new year, a fresh start, a new beginning, a new day and I believe it’s going to be a good year. Psalm 65:11 says, “You crown the year with goodness and Your paths drip with abundance.” I want to just declare that verse over your life this year as we start together in 2018, that this is going to be a good and abundant year because of Jesus.
Because of what Jesus has done, your year will be filled with the goodness of God. It will be filled with the abundance of God and if we will just walk in his ways, we will experience the fullness of the life that He offers. And so we’re going to start this year together, kind of the same way we’ve done the last bunch of years, we’re going to start with 21 days of prayer and fasting. And if you’ve never done that before, you’re not sure what it is, man, it’s a great way to start your year. Simply think about it like this, fasting is disconnecting from the world and prayer is connecting with God. It’s all this. Fasting is just giving something up that you depend on in order to create space in your life, in order to connect with God. Giving something up to spend time with Him. And what often happens when we get into fasting, we often think about food, food-related fasting, and so we get so focus on what we’re going to eat, what we’re not going to eat, when we’re going to eat it, how we’re going to eat it, then we get grumpy because we get hungry as we start complaining about all the food we should be eating and we get so focus on what we’re fasting. Now we kind of forget to connect with God.
But the whole point is creating space in your life to meet with Him. Prayer and fasting is about turning the affection and the focus of your heart to Jesus. And so this year, I believe that God is inviting us to do 21 days of prayer and fasting and I believe He’s inviting us to fast social media. Now. Now, hang on, don’t leave yet, let me finish what I’m about to say. I know some of you you’re just scrolling on your feed and you just stood in the moment I said that. You don’t listen to anything else until that point. Okay, just listen for a second. Here’s what I think. I think for 21 days God is inviting us to disconnect from the voices of the world and connect with His voice. For 21 days to stop being so concern with what everyone else has to say and be focused on what God has to say. For 21 days to not be concerned about telling the world what’s on our mind but spending time asking God what’s on His mind.
Now, I realize that instantly feels very uncomfortable for a lot of us, because here’s what I would say. I think social media is the great addiction of this generation. It is a socially acceptable addiction. And just got it call what it is, it’s an addiction. It creates — it’s like — it’s literary like and as it’s reaching for something and there’s a hit. When every time you do it and that’s why you get so jumpy when you’re at this red light or you haven’t checked it in five minutes. There’s like something in it that gives us a chemical on a physical reaction in our body where we actually depend on it. That’s why it feels so hard to give it up. And there’s nothing wrong with social media, it’s a great tool to declare the Kingdom of God, but it can’t master us. Romans 6:16, “You are slave to whomever you obey.” I do not want to be enslaved to a piece of technology. I want technology to be under the rule and reign of Jesus in my life. And so you might be sitting here, you might say, well, great, I don’t have social media. Okay, its fine, maybe its technology, maybe its media, maybe it’s a meal for you.
It really doesn’t matter. And some of you the moment I said that you said, “Yup, I’m going to do that, bro. That’s cool.” Here’s just what I would say, why don’t you just ask Jesus if he wants you to fast, and what He wants you to fast. What if you just literally, just took a moment in your life this week and just say, “God, what do I look to or depend on more than I look to you or depend on you?” That might be a good thing to just take a break from for 21 days. And so for 21 days we’re just going to do that and my encouragement to you is everyday pray this simple prayer, “Jesus, give my heart the desire to seek you.” Its one of the things we’ve done as our prayer and fasting together as a church is we usually have one prayer that we pray for 21 days, everyday, “Jesus just give my heart the desire to seek you.” And then take some time and read the chapter a day that we’ve given you this year, we’re going to go through the bible every month and we’re going to give you a new reading plan. A chapter a day that’s going to have a theme and it’s going to take us all throughout the scriptures and we’re going to look at some amazing themes together. A chapter a day, super reasonable, you can do it. Read it, listen to what God wants to say to you, respond to that and I promise you that by the end of the 21 days what God wants to say to you is better than any social media feed you would have ever read.
Samuel, a little boy who decided to remove the distractions of the world and lean and to listen to God, said in 1 Samuel 3:10, “Speak Lord, for you servant is listening.” He heard the voice of God and he became a great Prophet of God. Your destiny is not found in the voices of the world, your destiny is found in the voice of God. And I believe He has a great word for you this year. And so I’m giving you a week to prepare, a week to like start like with, you know, weaning off of whatever it is that you’re going to do. We’ll start it next weekend together. You’ll take these 21 days and to read our three day encounter with God, that will be in February, it will be amazing. But I’m telling you, you will not regret creating space in order to meet with God, okay? You with me on that? Okay.
I’m glad you’re still here and you didn’t leave because we talked about social media for a moment, the great addiction of the generation. Okay. So pretty much every year when we start the year for the last couple years, what we do is we kind of talk about our theme for the year. We talk about the theme or the big idea that we believe God has for our church for that year. And so it’s usually at the end of the previous year, our leader start praying and processing and hearing God on where He wants us to go and what he wants us to focus on. And when we get that theme, with that big idea, we try to build everything we do through the rest of the year around it and it’s a really big deal to us because in case you haven’t figured it out yet, we’re not playing church or a community of people on mission with God. So we have no interest in playing church. We have a high interest in following Jesus and everywhere he wants us to go. So when He gives us the theme, it’s because there’s something He wants to do in this family for that year. And so, if you think about it that He’s been with us, a few years ago the theme was breakthrough.
And then this past year was healthy relationships. And when we have that theme, there is a favor and a grace on that topic in that year if you will lean into it. If God speaks a word to us and says, this is what I want you to focus on, He’s telling us, there’s a special grace and a special favor in that area that if you’ll lean into it, He will do something significant in your life. And so our theme for 2018 is very simple it’s just this, “Rooted in Jesus.” The theme for 2018, the big idea is Rooted in Jesus, Flourish in Life. In other words, it’s time to go back to the basics. It’s time to go back to just connecting in a relationship with Jesus and having our lives be build up in Him. You see seven years ago, the first sermon series — the first real big sermon series we ever did was called “Rooted.” And if you’ve been tracking with us over the last few months, we just finished the series called “Seven.” Where we did seven markers to messages from the past seven years because it was seven years ago, our founding Pastor moved to China.
I was able to transition into this role. And so we looked at that season is kind of a Valley Creek 2.0 if you will. It’s a whole new chapter and a season of our journey together. And here we are seven years later, and when we look back on that, we did the series called “Rooted” and it was a really big deal for us. But we read the bible, we prayed, we build community, we leaned in to the extent of the revelation that we had and I am convinced that because we got rooted together that was the catalyst of all the growth that we’ve seen over this past seven years. We are healthy people. We have rooted people that were there to lean and serve and give and reach the laws. And here we are seven years later and we’ve reach thousands of new people and I believe God is inviting us to go back to this concept of being rooted in Jesus, not rooted in religion, not rooted in activities, not rooted discipline, rooted in the person and the work of Jesus that we may flourish in life.
And so our theme verses for this year, there going to be two theme passages that were going to look at pretty much all year is going to be Colossians 2:6 and 7 and Ephesians 3:14 through 19. The only two places in the bible where the word rooted is use. And Paul, he writes both of the letters to both of those churches, the church at Colossae, the church at Ephesus. He’s writing the good churches. He’s writing to healthy the churches. He’s writing the churches that are on mission, that are moving forward that believe in the goodness of God. He’s writing the churches just like us. And listen to what He says. Colossians 2:6 and 7, “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught and overflowing with thankfulness.” Break it down. He says, so then just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, everything starts with salvation. Everything starts with believing and receiving what Jesus has done for us.
And the moment we accept him as Lord, we become a new creation, we become beloved sons and daughters, we become forgiven and free. And so maybe you’re here at the beginning of a new year and your life is broken. You barely got here. You drag yourself in the door today, your stress, your weary, you’re worn out and you need a fresh start. Okay, can I tell you, it doesn’t matter where you’ve been or what you’ve done, Jesus is here to bring you new life. All you have to do is believe and receive what? That He is who He says He is and that He did what He said He did. And so Paul says, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him. In other words, the whole point isn’t about getting to heaven someday, it’s about living in the realities of heaven today. So continue to live in the reality of what He has given you, rooted and built up in Him. Rooted and built up in Jesus. In other words let your roots go down into Him, let Him be your foundation, your source, your center, your life, and then he will build up the fullness of your life.
Your roots have to go down before your life can be built up. To be rooted and built up in Him, strengthen in the faith. In other words when you get rooted in Jesus, your faith begins to grow, because Hebrews 12:2 tells us, that “Jesus is the author and perfecter of our faith.” So the more we look at Him and our faith begins to grow. Strengthen in the faith as you were taught, which means you actually have to be taught how to get rooted in Jesus and walk with Him and overflowing with thankfulness. In other words, He tells us that when we get rooted, our response will be to worship. You know, you are a rooted person or that you’re getting rooted in Jesus when your desire to worship Him continues to increase, because He who has been forgiven much loves much. So if you want to know if you’re leaning into this theme, when we get to about March or May or September or next December, the question will be, is your desire to worship going up, because He says, you will overflow with thankfulness.
When you get rooted in the person in the work of Jesus. Now, that’s the first reference. The second one is Ephesians 3 and look at this verse 14, “For this reason I kneel before the Father from whom the whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you being rooted and established in love, may have power together with all the saints to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ and to know this love that surpasses knowledge that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” He says get rooted and establish in love. But remember love is not an action, love is not a feeling, love is not a concept, love is a person and His name is Jesus. So He’s telling us the exact same thing. He’s telling us in Colossians 2, He’s saying get rooted and establish in Jesus, because God is love.
And as you get rooted in Him, He says you will be filled to the measure of the fullness of God. Are you kidding me? He says, if you’ll get rooted in Jesus, He will flourish in life. If you get rooted in Him then all of the life and character and the power of Jesus will fill up inside of you and overflow and spill into the world around you. In other words, the roots of your heart determines the fruit of your life. Whatever you’re connected to in here determines your reality out here. Jesus is both the soil and the atmosphere of growth. He says, get rooted and establish and you will flourish in life. Does that make sense to you? Deep roots lead to a wildlife. And all you going to do is just think about a tree. If you think about a tree, a tree is — roots have to go deeper than the tree is tall. The roots have to spread out wider than the tree is wide. And in fact when you look at the giant tree it’s so impressive.
The trunk and branches — and then for me it’s amazing, but you know what’s even more impressive is the root structure. And the truth is this all of us sitting this root, we want a big life. No one walks in here today saying I want to small and fruitless life with no branches. No we all want get this, I want a big life. I want a lot of fruit, I want a lot of branches. And so we get rooted, our problem is we get rooted in the wrong things. We get rooted in money, in work, in addiction, in hobby, in activities, in people, in religion, in technology and all kinds of stuff. And the problem is those things never deliver on what they promise. So we get rooted in them and we don’t have a root structure, so we can’t stand the strain or the weight of life and everything comes crashing down and we find ourselves dry and weary and burdened. Every person sitting in this room, you’re rooted in something. The question is this, what are you rooted at?
And then you have to ask, well how do I know what I’m rooted in? Well, I would just say you have to ask yourself these three questions. What do I rest on, what do I received from and what do I trusted? Think of a tree that’s rooted in good soil, it rests on the soil, the soil carries all of the weight of that tree. It receives from the soil, the soil gives all its nutrients, all the vitamins, everything that tree needs to grow, it receives from the soil and then it trusts in the soil. The tree doesn’t put one root down in the concrete, one root down in the asphalt, and one root down in the rock, they have a diversified portfolio in case the soil didn’t work out. Is all in with that soil and fully trusts in it. And so the question is, is then what do you rest on receive from entrusting? Maybe its work, and work is your comfort, because you rest on it. Work is what you receive from, it’s your source. And work is in the sense to your — your trust, because you find your significance in it.
Maybe you’re rooted in money and money is your comfort, you rest on it when you have it and maybe money is your supply, it’s what you receive from and maybe money is what you trust in, it brings your significance and your security. Maybe you’re rooted in anxiety. You say who wants to be rooted in anxiety? I’m not saying you rooted in things you want to be rooted in, but we can rooted in something. And you might rest on it, you actually find comfort in being anxious, because it’s all you’ve ever known. You might receive from anxiety, because it determines what you think about and how you feel all day long. And you might actually trust it because you might say, who would I be if I’m not anxious, because I need to be anxious because I somehow think that I’m controlling the world by being anxious in this moment. So actually trust in that thing. Does that make sense to you?
We’re not supposed to be rooted on those things. We’re only told to be rooted in Jesus, because that’s where we flourish in life. So just think about it, He says we need to rest on Him. Listen to this verse, Matthew 11, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion?” Anybody who feel like that? “Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me, work with me and watch how I do. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. And I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Oh come on, that’s a good verse for 2018. And here’s what He says. He says, hey rest on me. A life with Jesus is a life of ease. It’s a life without burdens. Jesus doesn’t put burdens on you, He takes burdens off of you. You don’t have to strive, you don’t have to perform, you don’t have to achieve. You just literarily get to rest in the finish work of Jesus, which is why the bible tells us we are seated at the right hand of the Father with Christ. We’re sitting, why? Because the work is done and its time to rest on Him. I mean just think of John, the disciple. At the end of Jesus’ life, with the Passover, He’s about to go to the cross, it’s a very chaotic and confusing time.
And yet in that Passover meal, it says that John is resting on Jesus’ chest. He’s resting on the love of God. Because he’s decided to be rooted in Jesus. So rest on Him and then receive from Him. Philippians 4:19, “My God will need all of your needs according to his glorious richness in Christ Jesus.” He promises he will supply everything you can ever possibly need. Romans 5:17, says it like this, “For if, by the trespass of one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through one man Jesus Christ.” There is again. He says, if you get rooted in Jesus, you will reign in life, you’ll flourish in life and what do we need to do, just receive. Receive what? The abundant provision of grace. Grace. Undeserved favor and supernatural empowerment. It is not just the forgiveness of sins, it’s the complete transformation of who you are and the empowerment to live a victorious life.
So receive the abundant, not a small, scarce, drippy supply of grace. Abundant and the gift of righteousness. It’s a gift, which means you can earn it, righteousness is right standing with God which means Jesus came to be send so that you can now be the righteousness of God, He says receive it. Receive everything, Jesus is your supply, your source, your strength. In other words what he is saying this, hey Jesus is going to give you everything you need, so we just open yourself up start receiving it. Receive his forgiveness for your failures. Receive His hope for your brokeness. Receive His healing for your sickness, receive His power for that area you need a break through and receive his love in amidst of your life. Listen, grace supplies what the law demands. Everything that ever has been or ever will be required of you, everything you will ever need has already been given to you by Jesus. You just have to receive it. It’s like the woman with the flow of blood.
She’s 12 — sick for 12 years, she can’t get cured, and she sees Jesus walk by and it says she reaches out takes a hold of Him and in that moment when she grabs Him, power flows from Jesus into her body and she is instantly made whole. She received from Jesus as she got rooted in him and everything changed. And then the last thing is trust in Him, rest on Him, receive from Him, trust in Him. Jeremiah 17, “This is what the Lord says, Cursed is the one who trusts in man in their own effort, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord. He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert in a salt land where no one lives.” I don’t know where that is, but it don’t sound good.
But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes, its leaves are always green, it has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” He says, hey, you are either cursed or you’re blessed. To be cursed means you have supernatural power working against you, to be blessed means you have supernatural power working for you. He says a cursed man trusts in himself, a cursed man or woman is rooted in themselves, they want to do everything through their self effort, their own abilities, their own strength through their flesh, they want to do it all on their own and He says that’s fine, if you want to get rooted in yourself just understand you will be a dry bush in the desert. And don’t sound very good though. He says, but if you want to be blessed trust in me. Trust me and you’ll be like a tree that puts its roots way down deep in the ground. And even when the drought comes, even when the heat comes, even when the storm comes, you’ll be so rooted in the ground that you will have everything you will ever need and you will flourish in this life. You won’t fear circumstances, you won’t dear situations because you will be anchored in hope, you will be anchored in truth. He is our trust.
And so Jesus says it like this himself, John 15, “He says remain in me.” In other words rest on, receive from, and trust in me and I will remain in you. “No branch can bear fruit by itself, it must remain in the vine, neither can you bear fruit, neither can you flourish in life unless you are rooted in me. I am the vine and you are the branches. If a man remains in me, if he gets rooted in me it allows my life to flow through him, he will flourish in life because apart from me, you can do nothing.” In other words Jesus says, “Hey, why don’t you stop trying to flourish in life and start trying to get rooted in me. Because I promise then you will flourish in life.” Are you with me on all that? Okay, well then the question that you should ask if you are with me is this, how then do we get rooted? It’s all really good, rest on, receive from, trust in, okay, well how do we actually do it, well I think there’s really five roots, or five pathways of connection is what I would like to call them to connect you with God, that will help you rest on, receive from and trust in him this year.
These are not religious activities, they are connections of intimacy. And so I want to show you these because this is what we’re going to talk about this year through out the year. The first one is just engage the scriptures. John 5, Jesus says, “You diligently study the scriptures because you think by them you possess eternal life. These scriptures testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” In other words Jesus says, “Hey, you know what, the scriptures are not about making you smart. They’re not about giving you knowledge, they’re not about making you religious, they’re not about filling your head with a bunch of stuff. No, no, these are the footprints that lead you to me. It’s the path way of helping you discover who I am and what I have done that you might flourish in life.” So we got to engage the scriptures. And the second one is just talk with God, like pray. Hebrews 4:16, “Let us boldly approach the throne of grace in our time of need that we might find mercy.” Who’s sitting in the throne of grace? Jesus. And he says because of what I’ve done you can walk right into the throne room of God and we can talk about what’s on your heart and we can talk about what’s on my heart.
And when we talk about what’s on our hearts, you’re going to get to know me in a whole different way. And then you got to build Godly relationships. Matthew 18:20 Jesus says, “Where two or three are gathered, there I am also.” He says when you hangout with other people, where you talk about, learn about and become like Jesus together, he promises, he pulls up a chair, he sits down, and you have a fresh encounter with him. We think about what we read in Ephesians that you’ll be filled to the measure of the fullness of God. Do you understand the people in this room, they’re also filled to the measure of the fullness of God. So when you sit with them to talk about God, they actually show you facets of Jesus that you are unable to see on your own. So you need them if you want to see the fullness of Jesus. The fourth thing is just meet the needs you see, like serve somebody, because Jesus says all right whatever you’ve done for the least of these you’ve done for me. He says when you meet in me and some else I’ve created you to be a servant leader and when you step into that space, guess what, I show up.
And it’s like you did it for me and I’ll reveal myself to you. And then the last one is invest your time. This is the one we like the least, we’ll talk about that later. But it takes time to do all of these. Think of Acts 2:42, it says “They devoted themselves, first century church to the apostles teaching the prayer, to the breaking of bread and the fellowship.” In other words they said we’re all in on this whole deal and what happened they got so rooted and had such an encounter with Jesus that they flourished in life. If you will get rooted in Jesus, he promises you will flourish in life and here is the deal, all the fruit that you want to see, finances, and family, and the fruit of the spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and freedom and purpose and all that stuff that will happen naturally, and effortlessly if you will get rooted in Jesus. Our problem is if you go back to Colossians 2:6, it says that just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord.
We received Christ Jesus as Lord, but then we go and get rooted in something else. That’s why He says get rooted in Christ or — yeah, receive Christ Jesus as Lord and then get rooted in him. Our problem is we receive Jesus, but then we go and we get rooted in something else because we think that’s where we’ll flourish in life. I mean just thinking my wife for a moment, this I think there’s a lot of people with marriage is like just as you got married, you get married well then what? You can say, hey that’s good enough, I know you were good. Or you can say hey, you know what, I want to file these paths of intimacy, I want to actually listen to what you have to say. I actually want to spend some time talking about what’s on your heart and what’s on my heart. I actually want to build a relationship with you, with other people because I’ll see you in different lights when we’re hanging out with other people. I actually want to figure out the needs of your heart, figure out how to meet them and oh yeah it’s going to take a lot of my time if I really want to get down here and get deep with you. That’s true of any relationship in your life. Why would we expect it to be different with Jesus?
And so what He’s saying is hey, these are pathways of intimacy, come deeper with me, everything that you’ve experienced, I have so much more. In fact Colossians 3:3 says you have died and your life is now hidden with Christ, see if you can catch this. You have died and your life is hidden with Christ. Which means your life is found as you get rooted in him, it’s not found in all the fruit of the world. We think the life that we’re looking for is found in all the fruit of the world, he says your life is hidden with Christ, which means the more you dive through these roots and get deeper in Jesus, the more you actually discover who you are, who He is and what you are created to do. Because your life is found Him. And guess what, and He is limitless, so your roots haven’t gone far enough yet. I mean think of the disciples, you understand when Jesus came and picked the disciples they were rooted in the wrong things. They were rooted in work.
They were rooted in money, they were rooted in religion. And so they had to be uprooted from the wrong things, so they can get rooted in the right things. And so for three years they hung out with Jesus and what did they do, they engaged the scriptures, they talked with him, they built relationships with each other, they served the people around them and they invested all their time. And what happened after that three years? They were so rooted in Jesus that they were overflowing with the flourishing of the fullness of life. And the same is true for us. And so here is the vision for the year, is this. Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Another translation says where there is no revelation people cast of restraint. So if you can catch it a vision, is a revelation from God that constrains you. A vision is a revelation, a direction that God has given you that constraints you, it puts guard rails in your life and you spend everything you have running towards that thing because you know God is telling you this is the best destination you can go. And I think a lot of us, we start the New Year, but we don’t have a vision, yeah you got to hope, and you probably got a resolution and you want to break a bad habit and loose five pounds and change up this behavior, and maybe change this thing over here, whatever, that’s not a vision though. A vision of something that constrains you that you spend your entire life running after her. And so if you don’t have a vision for 2018, can I invite you to let this be your vision? Because who are you going to be a year from now? You’ll be someone, and like we already talked about you’re rooted in something, and roots never stop growing. So your roots are going to keep growing and they’re going to either get deeper in the wrong thing or they’re going to get deeper in the right one. The choice is really yours. You have to remember that it’s direction not intention that determines your destiny. It doesn’t matter what the intent of your heart is, the matters where you’re actually going. And the truth is at the end of the day, this is not a sermon series.
This is an invitation to a lifestyle of freedom. It is about moving from religion to relationship because here’s the deal it is so easy to identify with Jesus without actually connecting with him. Like can I just — are we okay beginning in there? Can I just say this? When did it become normal and acceptable to follow Jesus without getting rooted in him? Think about that. It’s probably not a very like church growth thing to say on the first weekend of the year. When did it become normal and acceptable to say I’m following Jesus, but I’m not actually getting rooted in him? I don’t know. But that’s kind of what a lot of us believe. You see if I can just give you my sense for the year. My sense for the year is that a whole lot of our hearts have drifted. I think a whole lot of us, we. We have been up rooted from Jesus or we never got rooted in the first place. And the affections of our hearts have drifted to something else. And it’s different from different one of us. Some of us we’ve drifted because we — we’re really disappointed. God didn’t come through the way we thought he should, He did answer a prayer, we wanted in to pray something happened. Some of us our heart has drifted because we’ve got a hurt. Somewhere along the way and the last season or two, we got hurt by someone or something and so we’re still wounded. Some of us we — we’ve just been distracted by the busyness of kids in school and work and all the stuffs that’s going on our lives. Some of us its — we’ve drifted because we’ve been so passionate about something else, a hobby, a startup business, an activity, or kid’s thing, whatever it might be. And none of things and none themselves are bad. The problem is, is when they take the affections of your heart and uproot you from Jesus and root you in something else. Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
Get rooted in Jesus and you’ll flourish in life. Notice he doesn’t say, delight yourself in the desires of your heart and he will also give you himself. There’s a very particular order He gives us. That hobby, that activity, that business, that technology, that thing, whatever is going on is not bad. It’s just not supposed to get out of order. You just not supposed to be rooted in it. In fact listen to Revelation 2 it says, “You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen. Repent and do the things you did at first.” In other words, He’s saying hey your heart is drifted from me. And the truth is this — when He says remember the height from which you have fallen when your — when your roots are weak. You’ll always fall. And it says go back into the things you did it first. In other words, go back to when you first receive Jesus as Lord. You got excited about discovering who He is, and what He has done. Just go back and do these things. Listen if your marriages in chaos right now, that’s a verse for marriage. Remember, repent, go back and do the things you did it first when you we’re excited to talk and spend time together all as a — that was He’s inviting you to do though with Him. To just go back to the basics. Listen to me, if you’re not rooted in Jesus, you shouldn’t feel guilty, you shouldn’t feel ashamed, you shouldn’t feel condemned, you should feel dry, and weary and burdened. That’s it. Why? Because you can’t flourish without Him. He’s not mad, he’s not upset, he’s just trying to say, hey would you come back home, because I don’t want you to be a dry bush in the desert. I want you to be an oak, that’s standing strong, and tall, and firm, that thrives in every season. You see whatever you’re rooted in, will show up in your life.
Whatever you’re rooted in, the fruit of that reality will always show up in your life. There’s no way around it. Like if you’re rooted in money then there’s no way around it. Greed and fear and hoarding will show up in your life. If you’re rooted in work, there’s no way around it. Stress and anxiety, striving, and exhaustion will show up in your life. If you are rooted in the things of this world, brokenness, hopelessness and selfishness will show up in your life. If you’re rooted in fear, bad decisions, if you’re rooted in insecurity, self condemnation. Wherever you are rooted in, it will show up in your life. Which is why we start the New Year every year, and say I got a change that one thing in my life because it’s just bad. And we try to reap off that bad piece of truth — fruit and throw it away. Or we cut off that branch and we think that’s it, I got taking care off. In a day, a week, a month, a year goes by and that things back with a vengeance. You know what I’m talking about? Why? Because we’re still rooted in the wrong things, so it will keep showing back up in our life.
I mean, Revelation 22 said, “Jesus,” He says, “I, Jesus have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches.” Listen, He says “I am the root and the offspring of David.” Seeing just got — He says, I am the root and the offspring. I’m the root and I’m the fruit. I am the source and I am the supply. In other words, if you get rooted in me, my fruit will naturally and effortlessly show up in your life. Your good fruit is not independent of Jesus, it is the life of Jesus. He is the source and the offspring. The root and the fruit. And so, if you get rooted in Jesus, you’re getting rooted in the prince of peace. So, peace is going to show up your life. If you get rooted in Jesus, the anchor of hope, hope is going to show up your life. If you get rooted in Jesus, the good news of great joy, joy will show up in your life. If you get rooted in Jesus, the one of limitless love, love will show up in your life. If you get rooted in Jesus, the all surpassing power, power will show up in your life. If you get rooted in Jesus the author of life, life will show up in your life.
That’s what He offers you. John 4:10 Jesus says to the woman at the well, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would ask me and I would give you springs of living water.” In other words, he says, “Woman, man, if you knew who I was and what I offered, you would get rooted in me and I would make sure you flourish all the days of your life.” I have no idea where you are at the beginning of this year. I don’t know what you’re rooted in. I don’t know what’s going on. I know this, Jesus doesn’t want anything from you this year, he wants to give everything to you. He is not asking you to try harder, behave better, act to different way, or get real religious. What Jesus is doing is He’s saying hey why don’t you come and rest on me. Receive from me. And trust in me. And I’ll make sure you fully flourish. That’s what He offers. And if your sitting there and your thinking, ugh. That’s why we just want to start this year by praying, “Jesus give my heart a desire to seek you.” Jesus laid down his life so you could be built up in him. Everything else in the world expects you to lay down your life, so it can be built up in you. Only Jesus lies down his life so you might be built up in Him. That is the freedom of a rooted life in Jesus.
So, will you close your eyes with me. Here’s the question. What is the Holy Spirit want to say to you today? What is the Holy Spirit whispering in your mind, there in your heart? Where have you maybe gotten rooted in the wrong thing? What do you need to be uprooted from, so that you can be fully rooted in Him? I believe this year if you will just find the faith to just simply lean into this, to rest on, to receive from and to trust in. The person and the work of Jesus Christ, you will flourish more than you ever have before.
Because when you are rooted in him. His life shows up in your world. Maybe you just need to start this year by asking Jesus give my heart a desire to seek you. Maybe you need to start this year by saying I have never receive Jesus as Lord and today is my day. Maybe you need to start this year by just saying Jesus I’m ready to be rooted in you. Jesus I thank you that laid down your life that we might be built up in you. This year we’re not going to strive, we’re not going to struggle, we’re not going to be religious, and we are not going to be dry bushes in the dessert. We are going to rest on and receive from and trust in you and we will flourish in this life with great branches, great leaves and great fruit, because they will be your life overflowing through us in the days to come. Lord would you give us and a courage and of strength and a unity to say this is the year I’m getting rooted in Jesus. We love you Lord. And we thank you for a new mercy of a new year. One full of goodness and abundance, in your name we pray. Amen.