In Colossians 3:16-17 Paul says
DWELLING IN THE WORD
The first thing that Paul emphasizes is for us to “let the word of Christ dwell“ in us. The word “dwell” means to ‘live in’, or to ‘feel at home’. Paul urges us to have such a relationship with God and be completely saturated by His word, that His word feels like home in our lives.
When you become saturated by His word (feel at home with it) you begin to draw strength, wisdom, motive, and direction as it deeply inspires your ways of living. Therefore, the more you begin to understand the word of God, the more you will understand the ways of God and the heart of God.
When you understand what God cares about, then you begin to care about one another in the same manner that God does which is not associated to your own selfish motives. When you understand how God loves, then you can love apart from the desire of wanting your desires fulfilled, or your needs met. Today we live in a selfie world. A time in which the mindset is trained to care all about “me”. If it doesn’t satisfy me, if it doesn’t benefit me, if it doesn’t revolve around me, then I have zero interest. It’s the type of mindset that hinders our understanding of God’s nature, heart, and work through us.
Dwelling in His word becomes our shield against this mindset. It allows us to be so deeply saturated in who God is, that everything we do and how we view the world around us is not based on what we feel or see but based on what God feels and sees. Our motives, and desires become influenced by God (through His word) that little by little our selfish desires and selfish interests become replaced with God’s desires and God’s interests.
KNOWING HIM WHO IS GOOD TO DO GOOD
In the second part of this verse Paul continues by saying that once we have let the word ‘become our home’, then we can proceed by doing all deeds in the name of the Lord. Let’s get a little deeper here. We can’t do good deeds, or show goodness, mercy, kindness without first understanding the source of it all. A lot of you reading this have probably raised your eyebrows at this point, but before you shake your head let me explain.
We walk around once in a while giving some of our spare change to homeless people (that’s if we don’t need that change for coffee, or parking, or bus fare). And if we are feeling really generous, then we might volunteer at a shelter or feed the poor once a year. But let’s be honest, more than half of the time the only motivation we have for showing kindness or doing good is because of the way it makes us feel afterwards – personal satisfaction. We feel good knowing that someone out there has a need in which we foolishly believe only we can fulfill. Kindness, generosity, compassion, love, are all characteristics not feelings.
There is a reason why Paul first urges us to be saturated by the word of Christ, before telling us to go do all deeds in the name of the Lord. Firstly, when you are first saturated by His word, then every deed that follows brings Him glory. Secondly, you can’t understand kindness, goodness, mercy, love, compassion (especially show it in it’s most accurate form) if you don’t understand the source of all those things which is God Himself. You are very capable of doing good, but without the Word the intent and motive for doing so would not bring glory to God.
When we understand who is the root of all good things, we can proceed to do good things in the way which are a direct reflection of Him who is good in all ways.
See you next Monday! 🙂