The garden of our hearts should have a root system that’s extensive and well fed. It is how we stand in times of distress and difficulty. The devil has a strategy to wipe out generations of faith. (Mark 4:3-18)

Speaker(s): Pastor Duane George, Pastor Barry Quirk
Sermon # 11362
6:30 PM on 11/5/2017


P. Duane George

Tomorrow I feel I reached a hallmark in my life. I’ve been celebrating P. Scibelli’s birthday for 35 years! Can we sing Happy Birthday to P. Scibelli! (We did). I remember he had one birthday party in S. Africa and P. Manny and the church said we’ll make you lasagna for your birthday. He kept downplaying it and they brought out the lasagna and it was shepherd’s pie! I was quite excited actually.

Think with me what do you think was David’s worst point in his whole life? There could be many of them. There is one point in 1 Sam 21 where David sort of gets a lot of credit but for the wrong reason.

1 Sam 21 he runs from Saul and to the high priest. When the high priest asked him why are you here alone? He lies to the high priest. He says Saul sent me on a mission. High priest gives him shew bread and he shares with the 400 men and he gets Goliath’s sword.

David lies and later on in vs. 12 of 21 he is alone. He takes the shewbread with his men which is unholy and ends up living in fear for the first time in his life. He hasn’t feared the lion, the bear, Goliath, Saul but now he is afraid. Once he becomes afraid, he runs to the Philistines and acts insane and mad frothing at the mouth and scratching at the door. He has reached a low in his life. God brings him to cave Adullam where God adds 400 men to him.

He writes Ps 40. God has taken me from the miry clay and set me on a rock. He was withering on the ground and acting like a mad man. He has put me on a rock. He thinks he is over the low part of his life. Comes down from the mountain to meet the high priest. He gets word that 85 priests were killed because of his lie. He hits a new low. How many heard the message of P. Love this morning? It reminded me of this. Maybe we’ve made mistakes and maybe it didn’t cost 85 people their lives, but it did cause damage or harm. It’s easy to carry that guilt, live in fear and when will the next shoe drop. How worse will this get? It is the high priest’s son that gives him the news. My father and the priest have been killed by Saul. He tells the high priest’s son they are after you as much as me. David was supposed to when he got the sword stay and protect the high priest but because of fear he ran.

We see later in 1 Sa 30 remember Ziglag. He made another mistake. He didn’t leave men there to protect it and went off to battle. David begins to fall into this despair once again. His men are thinking of stoning him. He remembers I have been here before and God redeemed the whole thing. He encouraged himself in the Lord and calls the high priest. The high priest was the son of the high priest who was killed. Bring the ephod. Lord says go and you’ll recover all. In our lives, God gives us these little things. We make mistakes and find a friend. We err in our way and God gives us a victory. It’s so easy to carry around the negativity, the rocks and everything that goes with this life when instead we can live the life of Christ. We don’t have to live in the past. We can live in the life God has given us. We have sword, bread, high priest, friend, pastor, church.

My heart goes out to that church in Texas. You’re worshipping God in service and a man comes in and kills 27 and walks out the door. The pastor’s 14-year old daughter and a mother with child.

Though we have made mistakes and lied in our ways it may never cost 85 people their lives but it hurt people and ourselves. Sometimes it’s hard to get over that guilt. Things happen that bring it back to our remembrance. That was so stupid. I can’t believe I did that. God says did what? I took care of it. It’s forgiven. Forgotten. David you are the man who has been wholly after my heart. You have a perfect heart after me. He had a whole mindset after God. Even after he fled the high priest and in the cave, he is writing a psalm. He’s after God.

It’s Ps. 40: 1-11. After he finds out about the high priest, that’s when he writes the priest of Ps. 40 where he says God help me. Only way I’ll get through this is because of you. He lives in that depression for brief moment and gains victory. In our lives when we make those decisions, God help me so I don’t live in guilt, fear, and lie. I live at the Cross. I live in your grace and mercy. We see God add the blessings and victories. We see him add everything he wants in our life. We don’t have to live in the guilt and fear.


P. Barry Quirk

Congratulate yourself for being here tonight. Congratulations. I don’t say that lightly. Considering the days we are living in. The news today is indicative of the world we live in now. You could be really downtrodden about all those things. Our hearts break in these circumstances when we hear about the terror that happens in our world.

In our pastor’s conference a few weeks back, someone was speaking about in their hearts determined to stop thinking about whose not in the seats and thankful for who is in their seats. From this pulpit I’m encouraged from the messages out here. Maybe you left with a healthy pit in your stomach. It wasn’t the warm fuzzy but more like the ooh! I needed the chiropractic healing but the process is painful. We want as many people as we can in the church seats. The more who hear, the more glorified God is. At the same time, a great price was paid for the message and way of discipleship and the Cross. And hoeing the tough road. There is an incredible price paid. I’m thankful the results is there are some amazingly awesome people in our seats. When I say congratulate yourself in this day when everything comes against us following J.C. We have made a determination Sunday evening we will be in the house of the Lord fellowshipping around this book. That’s amazing. Thank you Jesus. He has encouraged us to the place where we are simple enough to say that’s where I need to be.

As I listened to P. Duane the heroes of our faith were men with like passions. They lives are not judged on the sprint but the marathon. Easy to be spectacular in our sprint. Sometimes the grind of the marathon can wear us down. Why is it Christians we can be so excited and changed in our lives in our zealous salvation?

Remember those feelings of coming in and changed the way you thought? Ok. I was 9. I don’t remember that. But over time getting to see – great to see Barbara Cook here. Her son John who went to Bible school and graduated in Hungary. He did it different. We were on our senior class trip in Prague and he said first time I heard P. Stevens preach I was crying. I was ten months old! Sounds about right!

So we have this zeal in our lives from being a new believer. When my parents came home from Framingham and said we go to hear this man preaching. We came out of an organized religion and heard this grace message. I remember coming home and we had this block we lived on. I told my friend about the Gospel and his father said what are you talking about? It’s not about works. It’s by grace through faith. Ok young man.

God taught us as babes something religion has contradicted for years. Yet there is something pulling on us. Something can make this life of J.C. mundane. Can make it more of a job than a life. Three services a week. In our hearts in this day we live in we have another opportunity to gather and hear a message fitly framed from heaven and be a partaker to have life and joy in our soul to keep us in trials that we have no ability to stand against except from the Word of God. I want to withdraw from that? We start to rationalize and think of the setting the church provides. Or kept here because we have a ministry I like. Or like to be in a crowd…in and of themselves there’s nothing wrong. We want a church that has life. I think you’ll understand what I’m saying in a moment.

There are trees, plants, roots. Eighty percent of the weight of the plant is below the surface. Listen to this statistic. Study from Colorado State. Because out of sight roots out of mind. 80% of all plant disorder includes soil or root problems. The plant root system constitutes the major part of the plant body. The roots are so massive the weight may exceed the entire plant body. A rye (?) body has root growth of about 3 miles per day. That’s happening below the surface.

I lived in central Florida for a while. My family went to the mission field to central Florida. We had cows! The Knowles had beaches! I remember a lot of cypress trees. Below the surface are these roots. We didn’t have snow days but smoke days which happen from fires burning below the surface. The smoke pops out of the ground. Something out of the Princess Bride. I don’t know if I’m the first person to reference that in the pulpit. The root structure is so grand it can cause so much trouble. Smolders and then fire burns below the surface and smog so thick they cancel school. It’s terrible! With that thought, how did I become the principal?

We start to look at our lives. You plant them with a stick or something. Tomato plants with stake and they grow upon it. Sometimes we so look at external circumstances we tend to rely on them and forget the need to have roots that grow deep. The depth of the roots, the roots growing deep means fruit appears above surface. Without depth not much change. Fruit appears…what are the problems that occur?

Mark 4:3-4 one problem with roots is when there is no root.

vs. 5. Shallow roots.

Mt. 13:6, no root, withered away. That zealous life as a Christian…difficulty comes in and do I let that produce something in me? Do I let God grow roots in me or do I become offended or moved or fearful and roots not allowed to take residence in the ground. Shallow roots are real issue.

Mk 4:17, I love the fact we live in the marathon and not the sprint. I can be offended. This message is not to say as some have taken it to mean they are gone and never return. I can get offended and get right with God. Lord, is there something in this you want me to have. One response is filled with self-preservation or the other one is what do you have in this for me. How can I grow? It changes the whole situation. Then rotten roots. When plants have those roots go into the ground, I don’t claim to be a green thumb. I know you have to have good soil, sun, water, and can’t let the weeds choke it out or let chemicals dump on it. In David’s day there was the depth of the roots. Justice, faith, humility, not corruption and idolatry so much as we experience today.

Even with Isaiah there was the same depth. Man of prayer and faith and deep rooted. In general we read in Is. 5 the people lost their roots. 5:24, it’s pretty simple. We want fruit yet so many times we are interested in the external. We are looking at the 20% to say what can we do to make it better. When the roots go into the ground and get rotten, they can affect the other plants around them. We get a root of bitterness and talk about it. Or we are around someone and we talk about it. It’s an expression that I haven’t let God heal me. You can deal with some of these roots by pulling them up and cut away the dangerous parts, scrub them and replant in healthy soil and they can grow again. The results are amazing. The roots that grow. No shallow roots, rotten roots but how about healthy roots.

Jer 17:8, it doesn’t see the heat when it’s coming. We’ve been asked how you guys do it. Hang around P. Schaller and travel and see things going on and we get opposition. Anyone ever experience it? We’ve all experienced opposition. Sometimes it’s very common but in that opposition I wonder how healthy our leaves can stay. Our roots are planted in a place where we can receive living water. The externalities don’t matter. My roots are grounded and in him. The life source of those roots has everything to do with how the fruit blossoms. The leaf stays green even in the heat.

Eph 1:18 he would grant you to strengthen you with might in the inner man. We have no control over our roots. I react or come bitter and have root problems. Thank you Lord for this day of affliction and have root growth. I start to become personally related to him and get to know his character. All things for my sake. I got some things to do at the prayer altar. Thank God you are gracious about it. It’s growth producing not devastating. It’s awesome. Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith, being rooted and grounded…height.

Is 37:31, root downward and bear fruit upward. Shallow rooted Christian or church withers and dies. We see the opportunity to take root downward and have fruit bear upward. We are nourished up in the words of faith and good doctrine.

Eph 3:17, rooted and grounded in love.

Col 2:7 rooted and built up in him.

Gal 5:22-23. Those are things the Lord gives to us to allow our roots in him.

Col 1:10, Is 3:10, the fear of the Lord is clean and endures forever.

Judgment of the Lord is true and righteous altogether, Ps 19:9 more to be desired…honeycomb. Wow. They are sweet and more valuable than gold. That’s what the precepts of God are to me. Take me from being concerned about externalities to doing surgery on me inwardly. All the pain and suffering is nothing compared to the fruit that happens above the surface when rooted and grounded in him. Does my attitude change toward church and the Bible when in uncomfortable environment? Root problem. External things don’t keep us very long. Person depends on his surroundings changes when his or her surroundings change. Personal prayer, one on one communication with Jesus Christ, eating the bread of life and fed in own soul…

Roots make us discerners and confident in his calling, 2 Ti 2:15. God I am here in my insecurities. I’m fearful and insecure but in him I don’t need to be ashamed. I can rightly divide the Word of truth. I know from studying his life and Word I am accepted in the beloved. I am in him and have all the fullness of God. In him I have life evermore. Joy, peace. Roots give us personal convictions. When we know how we can walk because of who he is in our life. Prune trees and flowers can bud for a season but without roots they don’t endure. Root downward to experience fruit upward. May cause opposition or to face the enemy but doesn’t matter because won’t see heat when it comes. May cause drought condition but roots connected to living water. We congratulate ourselves for being here and following Jesus Christ when not popular.

Thank you for your mercy and grace. In our lives today, in our young people’s lives today we have concerned about roots. This world system hates God and everything about them. These things called phones are evil in many ways. One button away from complete hell at any given moment. I’m serious about it. We see the devastation of looking at a picture or being involved in a chat group or language changing. The devil has a strategy to wipe our kids out. Is my house a house where God’s word is upheld? Our little disagreements will be temporary. If not, there be fires and personal devastation and bitterness and sorrow. It’s a real thing.

We don’t care what we look like. I’m up here in a wool coat sweating. I don’t care. My wife might care! Most important to me is my roots are grounded with you that my fruit may bear, your fruit borne in me that feeds others and gives glory to you.



Please enjoy these sermon notes from the messages preached at Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. These notes are provided to aid in your study and understanding of the Word. Note that these notes do not represent complete, word-for-word transcriptions. Also, they may contain omissions as well as some errors in spelling and structure, etc., as we attempt to provide them as soon as possible. Our hope is that these notes serve as a way to help you search and connect with messages on related subjects and passages. Thank you for your interest in the ministry of Greater Grace.