“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. See to it that no one takes you captive though hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and basic principles of this world rather than Christ.”    – Colossians 2:6-8


Can a tree live without roots? Can it continually grow stronger, prevailing against the winds, if the roots aren’t there?

Of course not!

No plant can go strong without it’s roots finding water, and in the same way, no Christian can grow strong without their roots being in Christ! Without Him, you can grow tall, but it is all based on pride and selfishness, and you will soon fall at the first true storm. But only when you realize continued growth and provision is found deep below, and you seek out to find it as a root does water, can you grow through a humble spirit and in the knowledge that it is only through Christ’s provision which you have been made strong. And then, when all roots are firmly gripped and entangled in Christ’s deep love and wisdom, can you withstand any storm the world may produce.

Are your roots shallow, while you take pride in your knowledge of Christ, or are they deep seated in the wisdom that only through Christ can such knowledge – and ability to love – truly exist?

TAKING THE JUMP (embracing the gift)

“I will give your life to you as a prize in all places, wherever you go.”  – Jeremiah 45:5

“For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you will appear with Him in glory.”  – Colossians 3:3-4

The bible constantly tells us our life is simply a gift given to us by God. Christianity is constantly compared to death, and life, and we are constantly told to die in order to live. Yet how often do we see this gift of life as a prize given to us by God? How often do we live as if our life is a gift given by God? How easy it is to underestimate the value given to us in Jeremiah 45:5!

In order to truly recognize our value, we first must look at the meaning of a gift. A gift is something given, from one person to another, and is seen as new to the one receiving the gift. In order for your life to be given to you as a gift, it first belongs to Christ, because He is the one giving it, which means in order for you to receive this gift, you must first give the entirety of yourself over to Christ. Only then can He bestow upon you His gift of true life, and true freedom in His love. It requires reckless abandon – to give our life to something we don’t understand, and to realize that the questions we have for Him often cannot be answered without first surrendering our own doubt to Him and letting Him guide us through our questioning. This cannot be done until we surrender all control.

“Abandonment means to refuse yourself the luxury of asking any questions.” – Oswald Chambers

Abandonment is refusing luxury. Have you abandoned your questioning and learned to rely and trust completely on Him? Our questioning is nothing other than a lack of trust. We must break ourselves of that habit, and embrace the knowledge He has given, telling us and assuring us that HE HAS EVERYTHING UNDER CONTROL.

Think of it as a cliff jump into water below. If we continually question the safety of the jump, we will never jump, and we will never realize where the joy of the jump comes from – and that is in the rush of the unknown. In a sense of complete safety, there is no unknown, and all excitement is lost. Life cannot be lived in a place of complete safety, and neither can our spiritual lives, because we live in a world where unknowns will always be present. We control nothing, and He controls everything. He isn’t going to tell us what to expect, but He is continually inviting us to quit pretending we know what’s coming and simply embrace His control in the midst of the unknown. Only when we let go and embrace the beauty of His unknown can we truly see our destination, or not fear not knowing where exactly that destination is. Only when we let go can we truly be given our lives as a gift, and see them as such, living them according to the plan arranged by the only one who knows the map and hidden surprises better than ourselves.

See your life as a gift given to you, and recognize that the plan He has given in His gift is designed exactly how you need it to be – whether you know it or not. Trust His plan, embrace His unknown, and always remember, above all, that His gift is exactly that, and it is good.

AS I SAW IT – COL. 2:6-7

Copyright Joel Helenbolt

When you look at the drawing in my last post, you might wonder what it has to do with Colossians 2:6-7. A dead tree with something coming out of it, by a lake in a forest, with a partly cloudy sky? What does that have to do with following Christ? Let me tell you.

“And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow Him. Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.”       -Colossians 2:6-7

I actually came up with a lot of ideas of how I wanted to draw this verse, and I’m not talented enough to draw some of my ideas, but they all involved a tree interacting with water, to coincide with verse 7, telling us to let our “roots grow down into Him,” and promising us that if we allow that to happen, we will “overflow with thankfulness.”

Notice the spring emerging from the center of the tree, and this one spring creating a lake thousands of times greater than that spring. This is to show the unimaginable blessings of Christ. He has the ability to bless us, and satisfy us, to levels we’ve never imagined – He is able to create a lake out of the tiny spring overflowing from our lives. But first we must die to sin, as this tree appears to be dead, and live in Christ, as stated in Romans 6:11 (as well as many other places):

“So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.”

The overarching theme of this drawing is as a Christian, you must be all in, letting your “roots grow down into Him,” and once you do that, He can create a spring of blessings through you, using you in ways you’d never imagined. (I, for example, never thought I’d be a writer!) You may be seen as a worthless, dead stump to the rest of the world, yet through your death can come new life, and the blessings of living faithfully.

But take note – Christianity doesn’t have a wading pool. You can’t be half in, continuing to live as you please as long as you go to church on Sunday and pray every so often. Christianity is a cliff jump. You’re either all in,despite the unseen in the water below you, or you’re sitting at the top of the cliff, afraid to take the risk of losing yourself in the plunge.


“And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow Him. Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.”       -Colossians 2:6-7

Colossians 2:6-7 Copyright Joel Helenbolt