October 17, 2014
""Let the word of Christ richly dwell with you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father."" (Colossians 3:16-17)
When God in His grace saves us, there is a part of us that is fully and completely changed. Our spirit is regenerated—brought to life—as it is joined with His Spirit within us. We now have ""Christ in us, the hope of glory!"" We are new creatures and we will never be the same. The ""old self"" that Paul speaks to the Colossians about, has been ""laid aside"" and we have been changed into a ""new self.""
But there is also a part that is not immediately changed. Our physical body is not transformed by salvation. It holds the promise of a future newness in eternity with a body that will be like Christ’s, but it continues to decay in this life. And our soul (our MIND, our EMOTIONS, and our WILL) is not instantly changed. That must happen progressively until we draw our last breath. Our minds need to be continually renewed, our emotions tamed, and our wills broken.
This is the process of sanctification...and it begins in our mind. For this reason, Paul often reminds us of the place the Word of God plays in this process. He told the Romans the path to transformation is the renewing of their minds. (Romans 12:2). And here, he reminds the Colossians that they must let the word of Christ richly dwell—settle down and be at home—within them.
...involves a choice, doesn't it? Implied in this single word is the reminder that we can ignore the Word or open the door to invite God's Word to be at home in us. The Word of Christ IS Christ just as much as your words are you. But if we will not give time and attention to Christ’s Word daily, hourly, it will be an occasional visitor, not a settled resident.
“THE WORD OF CHRIST”
It is not thoughts about Christ. The Bible itself is to be our constant study and meditation. The greatest cause of our weakness as Christians is our inattention to the actual words of the Scripture. We read books, maybe some devotional thoughts of others, listen to some worship music, but fail to quietly, aggressively sit down at the feet of Jesus with our Bibles open and listen to Him.
“RICHLY DWELL WITHIN YOU”
...implies that it is to not only be read and listened to, but digested. The Word must be studied, meditated upon, memorized until it finds it's home and does its work in us and through us. We must stay at the Bible until each truth finds a settled home in our hearts.
“WITH ALL WISDOM TEACHING AND ADMONISHING ONE ANOTHER”
...is the flow of the consumed Word through us to others. To ""admonish"" means to ""put it in mind"" of another. We are to be so full of God's Word that it flows from our minds to the minds of our families, co-workers, our brothers and sisters in Christ and those with no knowledge of the Savior.
“AND WHATEVER YOU DO IN WORD OR DEED”
The word of God is not given to merely make us more intelligent, but to change our lives and the lives of others. Our daily delight should be listening to Christ and following him so that His direction and leadership dominate every common word and deed.
The ultimate tragedy of the Christian life is to have the Source of all wisdom and life in us and never let Him speak. To ignore His counsel. To miss His encouragement. To stop our ears to His priceless direction. To pay no attention to His warnings. To suffer the loss of not knowing Him and the height, depth, length, and breadth of His love.
Pay careful attention to the opening word of Paul’s sentence. It is his careful admonition and our conscious choice. ""Let."" Are you inviting Christ’s Word to be at home in your heart?
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June 08, 2019
June 07, 2019
… with most of us modern Christians is that we are stoppable. A little discomfort, a turn from our desired daily routine, or a little resistance from those to whom we’re witnessing throws us off. We have not settled the issue that our greatest joy and highest purpose comes from our witness, and so we are unwilling to push through in sharing Christ with others every day, even in the mildest environments. Even when persecution is not present.
June 03, 2019
These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer (Acts 1:14)
Prayer is the foundation for all of life. Imagine the emotions and sense of fear and expectancy when Christ had been resurrected, appeared to His disciples, and then ascended. They were instructed to merely wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit who would endue them with power to be witnesses to Christ all across the world (Acts 1:8).
So, what did they do?