Deep Roots

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By Tom Wiles | For The Times-Post

But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit. — Jeremiah 17:1-10

Recent conversations with our financial advisor have been short and sweet.

“Hunker down, we’re in for a rough ride.”

As we talked about the downturn in the markets, I could see in his eyes and hear in his tone that he’s had quite a few difficult conversations with people.

Money is a touchy subject particularly when one sees it flying away!

I just looked at him, smiled, and said, “It’s a good thing we don’t have our trust placed in money.”

As the Lord and Jeremiah continued their conversations, the Lord made some significant comments about where one chooses to place their trust.

Fundamentally, we can trust in and rely on God’s strength or we can trust in human strength, our own or other people’s.

The words God connected to trusting in human strength were: Cursed, stunted, no future hope, barren, uninhabitable.

The words for those trusting in God were: Blessed, well-watered, deep roots, not bothered, not worried, green, fruit producing.

Our whole life is lived in tension.

We can go God’s way or we can go our way.

The decisions we make all day long reveal where we are placing our trust.

Our reactions to certain events and conversations tip our hand as to what we really believe which is often not the same thing as what we say we believe.

Let’s have a moment of honesty.

Reread the two lists of words above and ask yourself, “Which of these two lists best describes my life?”

On their hearts

“But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel on that day,” says the Lord. “I will put my instructions deep within them and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.” — Jeremiah 31:27-40

As my dad was making his best attempt to engage his young squirrely son, he had me repeat back to him one of the fundamental tenets of home projects, assembly and repair – “Righty-Tighty…Lefty-Loosey.”

When driving a screw or tightening a nut, you turn the screwdriver or the wrench to the right. When removing a screw or a nut, you turn to the left.

I have repeated this little ditty so often over the years — it has its own little section in my brain.

The law that God gave the people of Israel through Moses was one they simply could not and would not obey.

The Bible refers to this law as the Old Covenant.

It required provisions for sacrifices to be made for the people’s failures to follow it.

Through Jeremiah, God now tells the people of Israel that a New Covenant is on its way.

This New Covenant will be based on a relationship with God (“everyone…will know me already”) where his instructions will be written on their hearts.

When Jesus was at the last supper with his disciples, he boldly proclaimed that he was ushering in this new covenant through his death and resurrection.

On other occasions, he told them that anyone who believed in him would be welcomed into this new covenant relationship, would be made into a new person with a new heart and then enabled by God’s Holy Spirit to both desire and do that which pleases God.

What’s being written on your heart these days?

Tom Wiles is senior minister of Fall Creek Christian Church in Pendleton. He can be reached at 765-778-3166.

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