“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.”
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you”
The phrase “the word of Christ” is the only occurrence in the New Testament. The usual way the New Testament phrases the idea of the Bible is “the word of the Lord” or “the word of God.”
Note the word “let.” The word of Christ is ready and willing to dwell in us. The only issue that remains is our volition. The “word” will indwell us if we allow it. God will manufacture the word of Christ in our hearts.
The word “dwell” means to keep house. We should live in the Word of Christ like we live in our homes. We are familiar with our home, all the closets, and where we store items. We must thoroughly acquaint ourselves with the Word. The Word should become so familiar to us that we know it like the back of our hand. The idea is to let the word of Christ dwell inside and live at home in our lives. The Word of God needs to inhabit us. This habitation is more than just reading the Bible. God wants us to let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts (v. 15) and the Word of Christ dwell in our hearts.
Some treat the Word of God like a rabbit’s foot or charm. They use it as a fetish. People cannot rub the Bible on warts, and they disappear. We cannot flip the pages of the Bible and blindly put our finger on a verse and claim it for a problem we might have. We should not use the Bible that way. The Bible is no prayer wheel or magic book. We must systematically study the Bible and memorize pertinent verses to deal with weak areas of our Christian lives (Deut. 6:6; 11:18; Josh. 1:8; Job 22:21,22; 23:12: Ps. 1:2;119:9-11; Jer 15:16).
Some believers think that when they get into a jam, all they have to do is pray, “Oh Lord, help me.” Others believe all they need to do is put their finger on a Bible verse, and God will lead them. They give glowing testimonies of how in a time of duress, they flipped open their Bible and put their finger on a verse that helped them. The odds of doing that are about as good as loaded dice in a crap game.
The Word of Christ needs to find lodgment in our souls.
If we spent as much time in the Word of God as we do listening to the news, think how much we would know of God’s will for our lives. We might know how many robberies and murders occurred in our city that week, but what difference does that make in daily living? We might be better off if we did not know those things.
If we generate a serious attitude about letting the Word of Christ dwell in our lives, we will be richer, and our character will grow stronger. Our individual lives will change, and our homes will be better. We will become Christ-centered.
You may say, “But I do not understand what I read in the Bible.” We must work at it. Gradually we will understand and retain more. We do not learn to ride a bicycle the first time we get on it. Neither do know the Bible without effort. It takes time, effort, and dedication. The results will gratify our souls.
Most of us do not take the Word of Christ seriously. We play at it. We do not mark our Bible or memorize it. We do not make it a part of us. Some people memorize hundreds of plays for a football game. Yet if we memorize a verse of Scripture, we want a medal!