W.I.S.H. – Weekly Insights for Spiritual Health 07-18-2018
Read: Colossians 3:16 “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.”
I want to introduce and explain a new emphasis that you will be seeing, it’s “Word Verses”. After much thought and prayer, planning and preparation, I’ve decided to select two verses of scripture each month, one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament, for us to live with for that month. They will be verses that all Christian disciples should be familiar with; they will be verses that help us nurture the word of God within us, so that it may dwell “richly”.
This month the two verses are: Colossians 3:16, our verse today, and Isaiah 40:8, our verse last week. Both of these verses refer to God’s word and were selected to launch the “Word Verses” initiative. Some of you may want to try to memorize them, that would be great! However, if you’re not good at memorization, that’s OK, familiarize yourself with them and (most importantly) work at understanding their meaning. That’s always more important than citing chapter and verse.
So, what does it mean to have “the word of Christ dwell in you richly”? It has to do with becoming so familiar with His word and wisdom that those verses speak to our hearts and minds “in real time” the moment we need them. Their wisdom shapes our perspective on a daily basis, as we “connect the dots” to understand ourselves, our surroundings, our circumstances, our relationships, so the Holy Spirit is able to raise God’s word within us to provide wisdom, guidance, and encouragement.
I remember hearing the testimony of a Vietnam POW who was imprisoned for years. His faith helped him endure his captivity. The insight that I remember most is him saying that without a Bible he learned that the only “word of God” that any of us really has is the one that dwells within us. Without a Bible, he was able to remember and be sustained by the promises and assurances of God’s word. I want the word of Christ to dwell in you, and me, richly. Each of us has verses that have spoken God’s truth to us. Our faith finds it’s support and strength from these verses: they are like pillars that hold up our faith and guide our discipleship. I hope that you will join me in this focus; knowing God’s word is the beginning of spiritual health.
Shalom, Pastor Rob Nystrom