Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Richly dwell - Colossians 3:16-17

"Let the word of Christ richly dwell within 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)
There used to be a saying, "GIGO" or "Garbage in, garbage out!" Those things we sow into our lives will eventually come out as the inevitable fruit of the seeds we have sown. Some, having sown the garbage of the world will spew forth a harvest of garbage in their lives. Others, having sown the good seed of the word of God will bring forth the fruit of the Kingdom by which many, including themselves, will be feed.

Paul admonishes us to partake deeply of the word of God and to let it dwell deep within. The word of God is not mere words, but the very thoughts, councils, ideas, plans, and purposes of God. Jesus Himself, being the very word of God, is reflected and acknowledged in His words. God cares for His words, watching over them to perform them.

God desires that His word would dwell within us in great measure. Here, "richly" referring more to quantity than value. Paul's words could have been translated, "Let the word of Christ dwell copiously within you." So how does one let the world of God dwell copiously within them? By letting it produce its fruit within them. God's word is powerful and it has a job to do. When we yield to it and let it do its task, then it will dwell richly within us. Specifically, Paul makes mention of three things.

First is to let the word of God be expressed through us in all wisdom as we teach and admonish one another. Such an action takes community and relationships where we can encourage each other and share the word of truth that is inside of us. From time-to-time we all need instruction, wisdom, and warning. As we learn to release the word of God rather than our own words, then the word of God will grow in richness in ourselves and in those we share it with.

Secondly we can sing! With songs, hymns, and spiritual songs. Let the word of God bubble up in your lives and be released as songs to the Lord. We don't have to wait for a song service to sing, we can sing with our voices and with our hearts any time we are moved to thankfulness. I have been in other cultures where singing, especially corporate singing, is an accepted form of expression and fellowship with each other. The same is true with the Kingdom of God. There is something powerful that happens when you hear the praises of God coming out of your own mouth, or at least your neighbors mouth!

Finally, we must recognize God as our all in all. Not only must we do all we do in His name, but we must also recognize that it is through Him that we do what we do. Any good gift, any measure of goodness and righteousness, and form of blessing that might emanate from our lives is because of Him. We do all in His name because He has become all-in-all to us. We do all in His name because His word has supplanted all that remained of ourselves. We do all in His name because our old self has died and we live our new life in Him. What better reason to give thanks.

David Robison

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