Devotional | Shannon Miller.

I once hiked through a grove of redwood trees whose average height was 350 feet–as tall as a football field is long!  To look at such a tree, you might think that its roots must be just as long, and straight down, or it would topple. But you would be wrong!  The roots of a redwood are only about 6 feet deep, but they can extend 100 feet or more in all directions. They intertwine with the roots of other redwoods in the grove, and the trees support each other through high winds and floods.  The trees may even exchange water and nutrients through this network of fused roots.

What a picture of what we can do by encouraging one another! Each of us has probably spent time trying to grow in God like a cottonwood–sending a taproot straight down, in isolation from other believers.  But wouldn’t you rather grow up to be a redwood? The need for personal devotions cannot be thrown out (Mark 1:35)–that is where this metaphor finds its limit–and yet the Bible shouts that the Christian faith is meant to be lived in community.

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near,” (Hebrews 10:24-25, ESV).

“And this is God’s plan: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the Good News share equally in the riches inherited by God’s children. Both are part of the same body, and both enjoy the promise of blessings because they belong to Christ Jesus… When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, [from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name]. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is,” (Ephesians 3:6, 14-18, NLT).

Encourage a sister or brother today!