Wednesday, July 23, 2008


The number of the blog post is 555.

Yep, this is my five hundred and fifty fifth blog post! (I don't have much to say, do I?). :) In late May, I had in mind to make a special entry when I hit the 500 mark, but I totally spaced that off. So then June 12th was coming up, which was my 2nd year blogiversary, but again I spaced it off! So I thought, hmmm, what special milestone is coming up? How about Post Number 555! Why not, eh? And I didn't space it off this time!

What I'd really like to do on this "occasion" is just to take a moment to explain what "Grace Roots" is about, especially for those who might be new here. A few times in the past, I've shared how it all got started. Here's a link to what I think was the first time I shared it.

The core of Grace Roots is this: being rooted and established in grace, growing in grace, knowing who we are in Christ, and living out of our true identity.

Hebrews 13:9 says "it is good that the heart be established in grace" and 2 Peter 3:18 says "grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." Colossians 2:7 says "Let your roots grow down into him (Jesus) and draw up nourishment from him, so you will grow in faith, strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught."

In Christ we have received a brand new identity. We've become new creations (2 Cor 5:17, Gal 6:15). We've been born again of incorruptible seed (1 Pet 1:23). We've become partakers of the divine nature (2 Pet 1:4). We are living stones, being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood (1 Pet 2:5). We are complete in Christ (Col 2:10). We are the righteousness of God (2 cor 5:21). In Christ, we are a lot of wonderful things! We have been joined together with God as one spirit! (1 Cor 6:17).

What Grace Roots is about is encouraging one another in all these wonderful things, and allowing time to become established in all these things and to grow in all of them. Fruit is a natural product of becoming established in grace and growing in grace. The fruit that grows naturally in the life of a Christian includes love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control (Gal 5:22-23). But what I think the church fatefully forgets is that becoming established, growing naturally, and bearing fruit is a process. This natural process is not automatic and it doesn't happen overnight. Roots take time to grow down into fertile soil and to draw up nourishment, and it can't be forced.

Ps 92:12-14 (NKJV)
The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree,
He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
Those who are planted in the house of the LORD
Shall flourish in the courts of our God.
They shall still bear fruit in old age;
They shall be fresh and flourishing...

As mentioned in the first link above, the palm tree doesn't bear fruit during the first ten years of it's life! It spends that time becoming established in the fertile soil by digging its roots deep down, and simply spreading out its branches toward heaven. Humanly speaking, it's simply setting our faces towards heaven (God), basking in His love and getting to know Him over time (not instantaneously). The full DNA of the cedar of Lebanon is in the tiny seed, and the seed eventually becomes a mighty, mighty tree! But... it doesn't become a mighty, mighty tree overnight! It takes years. Similarly, even though the fullness of Christ dwells in us, neither do we instantaneously grow and mature quickly into people who understand and live in this fullness.

Grace Roots: Becoming established in grace. Growing in grace. Digging our roots deeper and deeper into grace. Plants don't grow by striving. They grow by resting, abiding, in fertile soil. The fertile soil of our lives in Christ is... grace.


  1. Joel, congratulations on 555. Your blog has been a great source of encouragement to me and I'm very glad you decided to join the wild world of blogging.

    I appreciate the reminder that growing in grace is a process. I didn't know that the palm tree doesn't bear fruit during its first ten years. What a beautiful analogy of our lives as we grow in grace.

    Thanks for sharing this.

  2. According the very Reverend J Slick Breeze's latest teaching (DVD available for the mere price of $55.50) - '5-5-5' is the mark of the Grace Beast! ! !

    giggling like a school girl

    keep em coming!

  3. Lol! That was good one WC!

    Congratulations Joel! You are a great encouragement in my own grace walk.
    The palm tree was a good reminder today!
    Thank you for sharing your journey with all of us...

    Keep writing...

  4. Aida and Bino,

    Thanks so much for the encouraging words, and I just want to say that it's all mutual. I've truly enjoyed getting to know you and the others.

    I need to be reminded often that growing in grace is a process. I still find it easy to be down on myself sometimes if I don't think I'm growing fast enough and I have to be reminded that all I need to focus on is God and His grace, not on growing, and it's He who works in me to will and to do according to His good purpose.


    My holier-than-thou twin-brother-from-another-mother-in-a-parallel-universe, The ever-so-extra-very-very Rev. J. Slick Breeze, was crying out loud because he was so very upset that you missed a few decimal points. He says the DVD series is a "steal" at $5,550. But he says it's worth every penny to him.