Take 5 (July 18-22, 2016)

Take5

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Lee Walker • Executive Pastor

Richly Dwell

Colossians 3:16 – Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

Monday: Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…

One good technique when reading the Bible is to imagine yourself as being the person or people to whom the words were first directed. Paul is writing to the early Christians in a church in the city of Colossae, in what is now known as Turkey. When he tells them to let the “word of Christ” dwell in them, to what was he referring? The New Testament had not yet been written or circulated, but the Apostles, like Paul, were spreading the word… first-hand accounts of what Jesus had taught.

Now we do have the Bible, translated into our own language. So today we have those trustworthy accounts of what Jesus said and did. Surely we should do all we can to input and infuse those words into our brains and hearts… and our souls. May you and I make sure, everyday, that the life-guiding word of Christ richly dwells in us.

Do more than simply read the Bible. Imagine what “richly dwell” could mean.

Tuesday: Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…

Isn’t “dwell” an interesting word for Paul to use when talking about the word of Christ being in us? “Dwell” conjures up images of home. The teachings of the Christ and, indeed, the entire Bible should find a “home” in us. We should feel comfortable with those teachings; they should become a normal part of our living.

When that happens it will help us know truth when we see it, for truth will be at home in us. It will help us recognize error since lies and dishonesty will feel out of place in the home of our Bible-saturated lives. It will help us answer questions for ourselves, and for those who seek our help, because wisdom will live in the words we have invited into our being.

Do more than simply read the Bible. Invite its words live in you.

Wednesday: …teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom…

This chapter makes several references to “one another.” We can’t get away from it. We are related to everyone around us. We are all part of God’s creation and part of the humanity He made separate, special, and in need of each other. Man: The most social of God’s creatures. (And interesting to note… made in His image, which, speaks to His sociability as well. God wants us to be with Him and to enjoy His fellowship.)

So… we are to teach and admonish one another. Which is harder? Admonish, right? It means to warn or reprimand firmly. Not easy to be the “admonisher;” not easy to be the “admonishee.” If you think either is easy, you scare me. But if you think it is hard, it probably means you are good to go. It should be hard to admonish; but if the word of Christ is dwelling richly in us, God can use us in this “one another” relationship He has built into the Church.

Do more than simply read the Bible. Think of ways to use it to help one another.

Thursday: …singing songs and hymns and spiritual songs…

So if Paul were alive today, would he attend our 9:00 or 10:45 service? Maybe both! Sounds like he covered the musical bases of his day. The point is, when the word is dwelling in us, and our relationship with others is good, our praise to the Lord–musical and otherwise–seems to come from the inside out.

A few years ago I discovered noise-cancelling headphones. Wow, what a difference it makes to listen to music with such a device. With no external sounds getting in, the music seems like it’s coming from inside your brain. That’s how I envision the music Paul talks about here. It just wells up from within us as a response to His goodness and the truth He reveals to us.

Do more than simply read the Bible.
Let its richness well up inside you, spilling out in musical praise.

Friday: …with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

Recently this quote caught my attention: “The world will not believe what we say about Jesus until they see that we believe what we say about Him.” How do we demonstrate that we really believe what we say? Here’s one way: Show thankfulness… all the time, for everything, from the inside out, directed to the source of all good.

Do people like to be around you? If so it is probably because you have a positive, thankful outlook on life. If not, it is possibly because you see nothing good in life and are thankful for little. We please God and encourage those around us when we show appreciation (life is good) and gratitude (the good is from God). This is not Pollyanna. Life has real hardships and some have difficulties in life that are truly hard to bear, perhaps even tragic. But God is good, heaven is real, and even a hard life is short. There is always something to be thankful for.

Do more than simply read the Bible.
Allow its promises to grow thankfulness in your heart to God.