The Mystery Revealed, Christ is Enough, so Walk in Newness of Life
Do you enjoy where you live? Is your home a sanctuary of comfort, love, and safety? After a long day at work or school, do you enjoy walking through the door and finally being home? I hope so! I know I do. Home is a haven in the midst of the rough world and a place where I am the most comfortable to be myself. But what makes home such a special place is not the location or the building but the people living in it. It is the love and laughter shared, the encouragement given, and the lighthearted teasing and joking that makes our home the place that it is.
In short, it’s the relationships within the family that make a house a home. A broken family with splintered relationships can live in the lap of luxury with the fanciest house on the block but not have a home. And the reverse is also true. Where there is love and solid relationships it doesn’t matter if you live in a tiny apartment, for as the saying goes “home is where the heart is.”
But what does all this have to do with Colossians? Well, let’s find out, shall we? Our focus verse for today is from 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.”
This is a power-packed verse with a lot of truths and thoughts we could meditate and ponder on. However, today we’re going to narrow our focus down to the first phrase and specifically two key words in that phrase: dwell and richly.
To Dwell Richly
The first word is a verb, meaning an action. However, it’s not just any old verb; it’s a present imperative active verb. Did that mean anything to you? In the Greek, present imperative active verbs mean that the subject (you and I) are commanded (the imperative part) to continuously (present) and actively carry out the action. So what is Paul commanding us to continuously and actively do? Let God’s Word dwell in us. The literal meaning of the Greek word dwell is “to inhabit, to be at home in.” Starting to see the connection between Colossians and our intro?
But Paul doesn’t just tell the Colossians to let the Word of Christ dwell in you. He gives them another important piece of information, a little adverb that further describes how Christ’s Word is supposed to dwell in them. That word is richly, or as its Greek literal translation reads: “copiously, abundantly, richly.” God’s Word isn’t meant to just passively sit idle in the far recesses of our hearts. No! It must richly and abundantly dwell in us, filling us, inhabiting us, and making its home in us.
Putting it All Together
But in order for the Words of Christ to be at home, the speaker of those words must be welcome. Jesus wants to be a member of our spiritual house. He wants to have such a close relationship with you that He feels at home in your heart. He doesn’t want to be a casual observer in our lives; He wants an active role and free reign to make Himself at home in our most inner places.
But what does this really mean and look like in practical terms? Well, just as I am not afraid to speak a word of encouragement or admonition to my family due to my relationships with them and known love for them, so also in order for Christ’s Words to dwell in us richly, Christ must be a familiar and well-known member of our heart’s home. So well-known and familiar that He is not afraid to speak truth into our lives. He should be able to tell us some tough convicting things without fear of reprisal or being kicked out. That’s the way it works in our physical homes with welcome family members, and that’s also the way it should work in our spiritual home.
So how do we make Jesus become a permanent member of our heart’s home? We don’t do anything! Go back and look at the first word in Colossians 3:16. What is it? Let. That’s a passive action verb meaning that we don’t have to do anything, we just stay out of the way. Jesus will make Himself at home in our hearts, we just have to let Him and not hinder the process of moving in.
Will you do it? Will you allow the Lord Jesus to fully move in and completely inhabit your whole heart? Will you let His Words richly and abundantly dwell and make their home in your heart? He will not come in unless you ask. Therefore, let’s step out of the way and welcome the Risen Christ, our Redeemer and Savior into His new home.
Just as God’s Spirit indwelt the tabernacle of old and His presence there could be seen for miles around, so also those who have Christ’s Word richly dwelling in them can be clearly seen by the watching world. So let us make our heart Christ’s home and allow Him and His Word to fully inhabit our innermost parts, so that we might be like the holy tabernacle of old where all those around us looking on will plainly see that He is at home in our hearts.
“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.”
~I Corinthians 3:18