Colossians 3:16-17 (NIV) "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."
Friend to Friend
The lakes in Florida are beautiful, but relatively shallow as well. Over the years, they fill up with the silt and mire that wash off the shore. In time, they accumulate two to three feet of mire and decaying vegetation at the bottom. Soon that mire begins to deprive the lake, plants and fish of valuable oxygen and eventually the lakes literally die. In order to halt this process, a program has been put in place to drain the lakes periodically and expose the mire. After it is exposed, workers come in and dredge the mire -- restoring the lake bottom to its original condition. The lake water can then be raised and soon the lake, its vegetation and fish are thriving again.
Our lives are much the same. We need to regularly expose and eliminate the "mire" or sin in our lives, since peace is always realized in a right relationship with God. The more we seek God and the more we nurture our relationship with Him, the stronger our peace will grow. When we have a personal relationship with God, we also have access to all of God's power and all of God's peace. How much power we receive from Him and how much peace we experience in Him depends upon how right our relationship is with Him. A right relationship with God depends on how much time we spend in His Word.
Colossians 3:16 (NIV) "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly..."
In this verse, "dwell" means "to feel at home." The Apostle Paul is conveying the idea that God's Word should be such a natural part of our lives that it comfortably dwells with us and feels at home in us. When a Soviet official was asked why a study of the Bible was frowned upon in his country and why those who dared to print and distribute the Bible were severely punished, he replied, "We find that the reading of the Bible changes people in a way that is dangerous to our state!" When God's Word is "comfortable" in us, it not only changes our life, but the lives of others through us.
Our greatest source of power comes from knowing, embracing and applying the Word of God. "For the word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are." (Hebrews 4:12 NLT) God's Word cuts away sin and heals the deepest wounds as it guides, directs and dispels darkness. How many times we have been through the Bible is not nearly as important as how many times the Bible has been through us.
If you visit Yellowstone National Park, you will be given a piece of paper by one of the rangers at the park entrance. On it, in big letters, is written the warning "Do Not Feed the Bears" but when you drive into the heart of the park, you will still see people ignoring the warning. When a ranger was asked what was so bad about feeding the bears, he answered, "You have only a small part of the picture." The ranger went on to describe how, during the fall and winter months, when few people visit the park, the park service personnel have to carry away the bodies of dead bears -- bears who can no longer feed themselves. Frantic Christians obviously do not know how to feed themselves the Word of God because a steady diet of truth produces peace.
Father, I confess to You that I do not treasure Your Word like I should. Please forgive me when I do not spend enough time reading, studying and meditating on the truth of the Bible. Help me to learn how to feed myself and grow in Your truth. I choose to cultivate the discipline of Bible study in my life. Please give me a new hunger and fresh thirst for scripture and teach me how to live it as well as learn it.
In Jesus' name,
Now It's Your Turn
Is bible study a habit in your life? Do you know and apply the Bible each day? What hinders you from reading God's Word each day? What step(s) do you need to take to make Bible study a daily priority? Make a plan for implementing those steps.