Rooted in Christ: Developing the Fundamentals for Discipleship
By Mark Jones
“Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him.” Colossians 2:7
As a basketball fan, there are lots of current and former players to admire. But, one of my all-time favorites is former NBA star Ray Allen. For one, Ray Allen’s shot was as fundamentally sound as you could find. From his elbows to his elevation to his eyes, it was a thing of basketball beauty. He was always in shape, he ran like a gazelle, and he was durable (played at least 70 games in 13 of his 18 NBA seasons). He could shoot over you, dunk over you, or outrun you on the fast break. It is easy to see why he is the number one guy on the all-time list of NBA three-pointers made, and by a large margin.
How could this ten-time all-star create such a career and legacy? Easy answer: his game was founded on good fundamentals. To last almost two decades, he had to be in shape. This meant he was serious about his diet and his exercise, even in the offseason. As he aged, he needed to stretch more. To be the shooter he was, he had to shoot hundreds of shots a day with good form to create the muscle memory needed to do it over and over without thought. He had to practice with his teammates, so they would know where to find him on any given possession.
As Christian competitors, our fundamentals game with God is more important than that of our sport. To build the life our God wants to build, our identity, our sport, and everything we do, needs to be rooted in Jesus. He is our most fundamental truth. We cannot expect to glorify God, lead others to Christ, or disciple them if we are not rooted in Jesus ourselves. Ask yourself these basic questions: do you desire to seek Him each day? Is it easy or hard for you to be in His Word daily? Do you talk to Him often? Do you seek advice and help from those who love Christ? Remember, Ray Allen could not have that career without his root in the basics. We cannot expect to live for God without a strong root in Jesus. But also remember, we are all works in progress. There will be times when we want to give up, but the good news is that we always have solace in Jesus. All it takes is a willing heart and a bended knee.
- Who is the most fundamental player you’ve seen in your sport?
- How did you answer the four questions above? (Be honest with yourself).
- What do you need to do to root yourself in Jesus more firmly?
“Father, thank You for sending Your Son to be the ultimate support for the root of our lives. Please, help us to root ourselves even more firmly in Him, so You can grow our lives as You desire to. Amen.”