If the Word Dwells in Us, Wonderful Things Happen

by Wayne Barber

I've been in many homes across our world and have felt at home in most of them. It's so wonderful to feel at home in someone's house. Years ago, I was doing a meeting for a friend of mine in Mississippi. The church he pastored was far from any motel, so I agreed to stay in the home of some fine folks whom I knew. They were so hospitable. When my friend that was doing the music that week and I arrived at their house, the first thing we noticed was two sticks that were leaning against the wall at the end of the driveway. We wondered what they were for until we got out of the car. Immediately the meanest dog I've ever seen came charging at us so we grabbed a stick apiece and defended ourselves until we got in the house. They had thought of everything.

These precious folks were up in age and had left us a note telling us to be "right at home." They had several bedrooms that were vacant, so we each picked a room. In the kitchen, there was a large pound cake waiting for us. I'm not talking about one of those dry cakes that make you gag you when you eat it-I'm talking about a great moist pound cake. One that if you put a piece on your forehead your tongue would slap your brains out! Good stuff! Next to the pound cake was a huge pitcher of tea! How perfect! We so felt at home! It was as if the home was ours! We could truly "dwell" in this house!

This is the thought that the Apostle Paul gives us when he says in Colossians 3:16, "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." It is no accident that the Word is associated with Christ. Peter said in his sermon in Acts 2: 36, "Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified." Christ is Lord! God's Word is His Word! Just as Christ is our authority, so is His Word!

When we allow the Word of God to richly "dwell"-be at home, find a resting-place-in our lives, then and only then is it our authority! And once it genuinely is our authority, we see how practical it is. Paul says "with all wisdom." The word "with" means to reside within something as a permanent resident. The permanent resident in the Word of God is His wisdom. It is sopha-the divine ability to be able to apply the Word that God has taught to each and every area of one's life.

God's Word does address every area of our lives if we allow it to be our authority. It must be "taught"-and it will be taught if we allow it to dwell in our lives, permeating our lives with wisdom to face any situation life brings along. It is living this way that causes us to see the futile behavior of this world and to want to "admonish" and warn others of the impending consequences of living according to the flesh.

Follow the verse along: "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." When one lives that way, a song is birthed in his heart. He wants to sing Scripture, the Psalms, and he wants to sing about God and His greatness in his life, and he wants to sing to God of how grateful his heart is for all that God has done in his life.

Worship is born! This effects his whole being. Everything, whether word or deed, changes! Verse 17 says: "Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father." If you follow the rest of the epistle, you will see how relationships are radically affected at home and even at the workplace! The Word of God richly dwelling in the believer's life is synonymous with being filled with the Spirit, found in verse 18. One cannot happen without the other. Man, it just doesn't make sense to live any other way, does it? Does the Word of God richly dwell in your life?

Wayne Barber is senior pastor of Hoffmantown Church
in Albuquerque, New Mexico

2011 Disciple 155x50 2011 AMG 155x50
Disciple Banner Ad