I was deeply challenged yesterday by what Willie shared during the teaching meeting. The main text was Colossians 3.1-17, with an emphasis on verse 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.
What hit me was that to live out the Biblical injunction to encourage other believers, I *must* be letting the word of Christ dwell in me.
Willie told a story of when he worked in construction with another believer, who would daily share with him what the Lord was teaching him from the Word, and would ask what he was learning. Willie began to not only read the Word regularly, but to meditate and think on it, in part so that he would have something to share when his friend would ask. Gradually, he realized that this really thinking on the Word (letting it dwell in him richly) was changing his life.
So it’s a win-win, is it not? If we are letting the Word dwell in us, we are being changed and blessed. And if we are faithful in lifting up others with what we are learning, then they are being blessed as well.
Why is it easier for me to feel motivated to “dwell” for someone else’s benefit, even though I know that my own need is so deep? Only the Lord knows, and He also knew that I needed this challenge and encouragement.
A few ways in which I would like to be changed by this challenge…
To regularly let the Word dwell in me richly
I began this morning by starting to re-read Matthew, and read/meditated on the first chapter. What stood out to me was Immanuel, God with us (oh, look, another “dwelling” concept!), and that all these things happened so that what was written might be fulfilled. Our Father has gone to such lengths to demonstrate His redemptive plan throughout history. The Blessings and I read the second chapter of I John in our morning reading. So much about abiding in this chapter! Abiding in Him, letting His Word abide (dwell) in me. This will change me (I will obey His commandments, His love will be perfected in me), will give me confidence before Him, and so much more. I have been seeking through the day to continue to let His Word dwell in me and permeate my thoughts.
To actively seek to be an encouragement to others
I have been feeling convicted about how much time I piddle away on Facebook in particular. In the midst of Willie’s message yesterday, the thought came to me that I should try limiting my FB time to 15 minutes per day, for at least a week, and see what effect it has on my days/life. I also want to be more deliberate in using FB, and my blog, to be a blessing and encouragement.
To sing and share songs, hymns, and spiritual songs on a regular basis
Here is one that has been on my mind today!
To daily write down at least three gifts (thankfulness in my heart)
The habit of gratitude is a life-changer, and I have sadly let it slip. Ann Voskamp has lovely printables for a each month of the year, to take the joy-dare with a jumping-off-point for counting gifts. Find them here!
So, a month in, I feel that the Lord has given me a word for 2013.
Let His Word dwell in me richly.
Dwell in Him.