Let The Word Dwell in You

Written by Frank Jamerson.

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Col. 3:16).

Notice some of the key words in this verse. First, the word dwell means “to inhabit as one’s abode” (W.E. Vine). It means that the word of God should take permanent residence in our hearts. It is not an occasional visitor, or a total stranger, but an occupant that influences our every thought and action. The word richly emphasizes abundantly. Paul told Timothy that God “gives us richly all things to enjoy” (1 Tim. 6:17).

The expression, in all wisdom, may refer to the manner of teaching, as Paul said “we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom” (Col. 1:18). Or, it may refer to the fact that the word dwelling in us results in true wisdom. Both concepts are true. The word taught must be the true wisdom of God and it must be taught with wisdom. Either interpretation demands that the word must first dwell in us abundantly.

When the word richly dwells in our hearts, it results in praise to God from a thankful (gracious) heart, “with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.” It also results in our words and actions being done “in the name (authority) of Jesus Christ” (Col. 3:17). The next verses show the result in the home and the work place (Col. 3:18-4:1).

Now, the point—how does the word dwell in us richly? If you sent a child to school one hour a week and he/she listened to the teacher for that hour and did no further study, how long would it take for him/her to get out of first grade? Now think—why do so many Christians remain in “first grade” so long?  In order for the word to dwell in our hearts, we must spend a lot of time in the word!

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