Anchor in God's Love

**   This is an excerpt from devotion three (Adult Coloring Bible Study: Nature Walk)

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Scripture
Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NKJV) 
7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, And whose hope is the Lord. 8 For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit. 


Focus Words
All of the words found in scripture are important, but at Bible Stories from the Heart we find that if we choose a few KEY words to focus upon as we read, we are able to feel the amazing power and love of God even deeper. 


Try reading this week’s verses a second time totally focused on these key words: 


Trust- (verb) a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something. Original Word:  -בטח to be secure. 
Spreads out- (verb) extend over a large or increasing area. Original Word: - שׁלח to stretch out, extend, direct. 
River- (noun) a large natural stream of water flowing in a channel to the sea, a lake, or another such stream. Original Word:  -יוּבל stream. 
Heat- (noun) the quality of being hot; high temperature; intensity of feeling, especially of anger or excitement. Original Word:  -חם heat, hot. 
 
History


These verses were written by the prophet Jeremiah.  Jeremiah was chosen by God himself to deliver reverent messages to the nation of Judah.  From the beginning of time Judah had been appointed by God to be a holy role model. Sadly, Judah often chose to do the exact opposite. Instead of leading others in the right direction, Judah many times followed other nations down a path which distanced them from God. 
At the time that God sent Jeremiah to warn his people, Judah had in fact turned almost completely off their Heavenly path. The people of Judah had become "deeply rooted" in worldly thoughts, self-gratification, and idol worship. 
The prophet Jeremiah came to tell Judah that because they were living as the rest of the world and choosing not root themselves in the truth and LOVE of God, their entire nation was bound to suffer the negative consequences. If they did not return to God, Judah would indeed be cursed. 
Jeremiah 17: 5-6 (NKJV) 
5 Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man And makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord. 6 For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes, 
But shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, In a salt land which is not inhabited. 
 
Connection to us


We must not allow ourselves to be led astray. We must intentionally plant ourselves in the LOVE and TRUTH of God! To accomplish this, we must be firmly rooted in the Word of God and allow his "living" water and "everlasting" nourishment to fill us! Through today's lesson, we can heed a powerful warning for our own lives. It is vital that we are aware of where we are placing our faith. Where we plant our faith directly affects where our roots attach and grow! Through this lesson we will learn that the SOIL in which we choose to place our FAITH seed is of utmost importance! Before we continue, let's compare the truth found in these warning verses to the truth found in our focus verses for today.  


Jeremiah 17: 5-6 (NKJV) 
5 Thus says the Lord: 
“Cursed is the man who trusts in man And makes flesh his strength, Whose heart departs from the Lord. 6 For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, And shall not see when good comes, But shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, In a salt land which is not inhabited. 
 
 
Our focus verses: 


Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NKJV) 
7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, And whose hope is the Lord. 8 For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit. 


Let's now compare the differences between a cursed man and a blessed man 


Cursed is the man who trusts in man And makes flesh his strength, 
(This man planted his seed of faith in "worldly" ideas and grew temporary and shallow roots) 


Blessed is the man
who trusts in the Lord, And whose hope is the Lord. 
(This man planted his seed of faith in God and worked to establish DEEP and everlasting roots) 
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Scientific Facts about Roots: 
Permanent Root Types
Each tree we will see has a "system" of roots growing from its base.  Both the tree and root system are anchored by a type of root called a primary root. The primary root is a permanent root that support the weight of the upper tree. The deepest primary roots are called taproots. Taproots begin as a small nub which stem from germinated seeds.  It is important to note that these taproots continue to grow as the tree matures. 
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Connection to us:  
Like trees, Christians also need strong taproots. But, unlike trees, a Christian’s roots are more spiritual than physical. As a child of God matures and grows, we must also work to grow our spiritual taproot deeper and deeper in Christ! It is this spiritual taproot which will actually keep us firmly anchored in God during life’s hardships and storms.  
 
Nature Walk Activity
 
It's now time to take a nature walk. If you are unable to take a nature walk today, here is a video you may watch:   
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDir9-UoPjo 


During our walk, let's work on feeling and seeing the LOVE of GOD through a close observation