Summary: If we are going to soar into the future on eagle’s wings to build a strong church for the Lord we must first have some strong and deep roots.

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Sunday, January 11, 2004 – AM

(This message is partly based on a sermon by Rev. Franklin Jentzen)

Ephesians 3:17-21, "That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen."

Isaiah 40:31, "But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."

What kind of church are we this morning? What are the identifying marks that say who we are and what we are? What king of church do we want to be in the future?

I want us to be a church that remembers and lives by its past; that’s our roots, but we must also be a church that is not afraid to look forward into the future to embrace some new things that God may want to do in these last days; that’s our wings. The guiding light to what we can accept in the future must be the light that we have received from the past. We must never forget our roots lest this tree, this church, dies and withers away.

There are lots of churches that have roots of a great heritage in God but who have no vision, and are unwilling to embrace anything newer than the oldest members of that congregation. Those churches are not growing – they are dying away slowly but surely. We must never forget our roots, but we must also look forward to what God wants to do now.

Job 8:11, "Can the rush grow up without mire? Can the flag grow without water?"

That means that we owe everything we are, and everything we shall be, to those who have shed their blood, sweat and tears and fallen into the mire of the past.

A lot of Christians want to bear some Spiritual Fruit, but if they are not connected to a good root there can be no fruit.

(Use artificial plant) Looks good to the eye, perhaps even better in some cases than the real thing. But the difference is that the real is not perfect, is always growing and changing and has the ability to bear fruit. Artificial plants look good but that’s about all they are, is good looking.

Do you know some artificial Christians? They look good, act right, talk right, and have all appearances of being real, but there is no fruit in their lives. A living plant will sooner or later bear fruit or die and the same goes for a Christian.

If we don’t teach our youth, and our children about their roots in God, when they come to church all they will have is an artificial walk with the Lord. We have to teach them about the Holy Ghost, and do our best to instill within them a desire for all that God has for them, including the Baptism in the Holy Ghost.

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