Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
God’s Prescription for Joy
Do the words of Colossians 3:16-17 describe your life? I hope the answer to that question is a definite YES!
We find in Paul’s words the prescription for an abundant life and it begins with the Word of God dwelling richly in us. The Greek word enoikeomeans to dwell, or to live in and live with, or to inhabit. In other words we should live in the Word of God like we live in our homes. When we have an abundance of the Word in us and are full of the Scriptures the joy of Christ is overflowing in our lives and it spills into the lives of others.
I have found the words of George Mueller to be true in my own life:
“The vigor of our spiritual life will be in exact proportion to the place held by the Bible in our life and thoughts. I solemnly state this from the experience of 54 years. The first 3 years after conversion I neglected the word of God. Since I began to search it diligently the blessing has been wonderful. Great has been the blessing from consecutive, diligent, daily study. I look upon it as a lost day when I have not had a good time over the word of God.”
To dwell in us “richly” has the twofold meaning of quantity and degree; it means abundantly, applying it and using it in all its teaching, but also using it constantly, at all times and in all circumstances. God’s Word always magnifies Jesus Christ and when we are full of the Word of God we are filled with the Holy Spirit and the life of Christ. We discover how rich the Word is with spiritual treasures that give value and meaning to our lives.
It is unfortunate in the church today that many believers do not allow God’s Word to dwell in their hearts. With busy and hectic lives, they settle for “fast food”, maybe a 5 minute devotional on the run. Time is not set aside to read, study, and dig deep for the valuable treasures buried in the Word of God. What a loss to the quality of life that is promised to every believer.
I love it when we are fellowshipping around the Word of God in my small group and all of a sudden God places a song on someone’s heart to sing. I always panic when that someone is me because I can make a noise that brings God joy, but I don’t know about the joy it may bring to anyone else. But we are so full of the Word and the Spirit that we can’t help but sing! That is what this verse Paul is writing is all about.
Thankfulness and gratitude supernaturally flow out of time spent in the Word of God which brings joy that we can’t keep to ourselves. This is the abundant life that Jesus wants us to live.
And no matter what we are going through in life, if the Word of God dwells richly in us, deep and abiding joy will be the result. How can we know if we are filled with the Word of God? Our hearts are filled with joy and gratitude.
Evaluate where you have been dwelling lately.
Is your heart sick, are you discouraged and depressed? If so, God would prescribe Colossians 3:16-17 for your cure. If you are lacking joy and gratitude, it is possible you have been dwelling in the wrong places. It’s time to come back home and live inand with the Word of God. I promise if you make the time to dwell there, you will find the remedy for all that ails you.
Enjoy the truths of Colossians 3:16-17 as you listen to a sample of Sherri Youngward’s “Scripture Songs” from Psalm 61:1-4. This is exactly what God is prescribing! I highly recommend investing in a copy to help you give thanks to God and hide Scripture in your heart.