Did you know that God’s Word is actually making changes in you right now? It’s true! And today, I want to show you four ways the Word is operating in your life.
The Apostle Paul admonishes the church to “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching, and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” (Colossians 3:16). In other words, Paul is saying for us to “allow” the word to work in these areas:
- Admonishing; and
How do we allow the Word to dwell in us?
First of all, we have to “let” the Word become important to us. It is a matter of choice; a determination of our will.
Jesus is the Word made flesh, so that should give us plenty of reason to make reading, studying, meditating, and memorizing the Word a high priority in our lives. When we do so, the Word should “dwell” in us. It is not something temporary, but a fact that the Word of God is at home in us. In other words, the Word has taken up a permanent residence inside us.
Rick Renner, in his book Sparkling Gems from the Greek (volume 1), says, “So when Paul tells us to let the word of Christ “dwell” in us, he is beseeching us to give God’s Word such a grand, welcoming reception that it literally feels at home in us and therefore comes to take up permanent residency!”
Let me ask you, “Does the Word feel at home in you and feel welcome in you?” Selah! Remember it was the Word that Jesus quoted when rebutting Satan in the wilderness.
So then, what does it mean to let the Word dwell in you richly?
The word “richly” is the Greek word plousios which means in abundance, extreme wealth, enormous affluence, great prosperity, extravagantly lavish. WOW!
Does God’s Word have that kind of “clout” with us that we can boast like that? Are we rich in the Word? Are we spiritual paupers or millionaires in the Word? If the Word dwells in us richly, then we will flourish in the above-mentioned areas. Let’s take a look at them.
Wisdom is special insight that is not naturally attained. I’m not talking about education, which gives knowledge, data, information, and facts. Wisdom gives principles, solutions, and answers. Some have said that wisdom is applied knowledge.
Paul prayed for the Ephesian church that “the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him” (Ephesians 1:17). This kind of wisdom gives practical and workable principles to make us “rich” in Him. James says this kind of wisdom comes from above and is “first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy” (3:17). Wisdom is not just brains; it is understanding coupled with character.
Teaching is to inform, instruct, demonstrate, and prescribe. Paul lists teaching as one of the five-fold ministries in church leadership so that the church can grow and be built up. Jesus said that “the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you” (John 14:26).
One way to teach the Word and God’s principles to your children (and to a whole generation) is given in the Old Testament. God says in Deuteronomy 11:19, “You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” In other words, God’s word is to be so much a part of your life that it comes out of your mouth and is shown in every action of your life.
Friend, that is a sobering thought. How much of our living is Word-oriented?
It’s like eating a lot of garlic. After awhile it is on your breath, coming out of the pores of your skin, and passing through your whole entire system. We should eat the Word, drink the Word, hear the Word, teach the Word, and live the Word so that it oozes out of every fiber of our being.
To admonish is to reprove, warn, caution, remind, urge, or exhort. Whereas teaching is imparting positive truth, admonishing is attempting to improve or correct that which needs attention.
One example of this is in 2 Thessalonians 3:11, when Paul says that if anyone does not obey the Word, then do not keep company with them; yet, not to consider him an enemy, but to admonish him as a brother. That admonishing is not necessarily a mean thing; it could be just a warning to be careful.
Jude says “there are some whom you must pity because of their doubts; some you must save by snatching them out of the fire. But there are others for whom your pity must be mixed with caution, hating the very clothes which their deeds have soiled” (Phillips).
The Bible also says:
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching” (2 Timothy 3:16; 4:2).
We are to constantly sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Jack Hayford says in his writings that almost all great leaders include a time of singing to the Lord in their personal devotional times. Singing is not just for church in a corporate setting, but it vital in your time alone with God.
Letting the Word of Christ dwell in you richly will produce a heart of worship. The Psalmist says “Oh, sing to the Lord a new song! Sing to the Lord all the earth. Sing to the Lord, bless His name” (Psalm 96:1,2). And Paul states, “I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding” (1 Corinthians 14:15).
This kind of singing is not hysteria, emotionalism, or any type of abnormality. It is singing praise and worship to the Lord. James asks, “Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms” (5:13).
Even in heaven, there is singing around the throne. The saints are singing of the worth, the holiness, the majesty, the glory, the honor, and the power of God Almighty and of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Singing praises is a basic practice in Christianity, and yet it is so dynamic. The book of Psalms was the worship hymnal for the early church. Singing opens our hearts; invites the Lord to come; and releases the Holy spirit to do a work in us. Humans excel beyond all other created things because of their capacity to sing. And in the corporate church setting, praise and worship sets the tone for the Word to be implanted in our hearts.
Singing is all throughout the Bible.
God tells Job that singing accompanied the creation of our world (Job 38:6,7). Luke writes that Christ’s birth was accompanied by a heavenly host praising God saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
Singing even wins battles. King Jehoshaphat was facing a serious battle against Moab, Ammon, and Syria, so he proclaimed a time of fasting and praying. The Lord answered through a prophet that they were to stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. The prophet proclaimed, “You will not need to fight in this battle” (2 Chronicles 20:17).
Then, Israel began to praise and worship the Lord “with voices loud and high.” The King appointed those who could sing to go out before the army. And the Bible says, “Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; AND THEY WERE DEFEATED” (verse 22, emphasis mine).
I hope you can now see how letting the word dwell in you richly will bear much fruit.
Peter promises that if we add to our faith things like virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love, then we will neither be barren nor unfruitful. I want to be rich in the Word, don’t you? I want to be a spiritual millionaire. Why? So that I can give it away.
I am not talking about money! I am talking about having an impact on the earth. Freely you have received, freely give. Then the cycle will begin all over again in an upward spiral. Remember that Scripture promises, “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom” (Luke 6:38).
Let’s get rich in the word so that out of our abundance, we can freely give. Will you join me in letting the Word work in your heart today? If so, leave a comment below!