Verse of the Day and Devotional 5/3/2022

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Verse of the Day May 3rd, 2022

Scripture

And the surviving remnant of the house of Judah shall again take root downward and bear fruit upward. – Isaiah 37:31 ESV

Devotion

What am I taking root in right now? Have you thought about that question recently? Where am I putting my roots and what fruit do I hope to produce?

The book of Isaiah contains a prophecy about the returning exiles taking root once again and bearing fruit. They were uprooted from their land and led into captivity, yet the Lord gives a promise through the prophet Isaiah that a remnant of people will once again take root and bear fruit. God is faithful and always seeks to establish a people rooted in His love to bear fruit for His glory.

Has the Lord allowed you to be uprooted from your normal daily life because of the global pandemic, natural disasters, or social/political unrest? It is so easy to allow these events to drive us to the constant media that is available at our fingertips. However, the fruit of being constantly connected to news sources tends to be anxiety, despair, or confusion. It is also easy to take root in isolating from everything and everyone which could lead to the fruits of depression, loneliness, and hopelessness.

Root systems can develop quickly. The weed that appears in garden seems to pop up overnight. A gardener needs to stay on top of the garden pulling weeds frequently before they take deeper root and choke out the good fruit. John 15 says that Jesus is the true vine and God is the gardener who cuts off every branch that does not bear fruit. He watches over us and cares for us diligently.Since He is such a faithful and merciful Father, this may be a great time to invite Him to search our hearts and reveal some of the roots we may not be able to see. Psalm 139:23-24 offers a great prayer to invite God to examine our heart:

God, examine me and know my mind.
Test me and know all my worries.
Make sure that I am not going the wrong way.
Lead me on the path that has always been right.

God desires that we take root in Him. John 15 also says that He chose us and appointed us to bear fruit—real fruit that will last. Now is the time to get rooted in Christ, rooted in the Word of God, and rooted in His body, the Church. As the Lord reveals areas of our heart that may have a faulty root system, confess and renounce them. Then seek prayer and support to lay new roots in Him. Allow those roots to sink deeply into His truth, love, and mercy through worship, prayer, and fellowship with other believers. This will help us to be rooted and grounded in His love, producing the fruit of the Spirit for a world in need.

By Scott Stevens, Bible League International staff, Illinois, U.S.

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