Col 3:16 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.
As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, we turn our thoughts to the abundance of blessings we enjoy here in America. We still have freedom of religion, freedom to move from state to state without policing, freedom of speech (most of the time), etc. We have the freedom to own as many Bibles as we want and to share with others what Christ has done for us.
But what do we do with God’s Word? Do we apply Paul’s exhortation to let God’s Word dwell within us richly in all wisdom? The word “richly” here is defined as “abundantly.” How abundant is God’s Word in your life? You can read the Bible from cover to cover but does God’s Word dwell in you abundantly? Does it produce wisdom? If we were to truly glean from this verse, there would be no arguments amongst Christians because God’s Word would be the same in each heart. Instead, man imposes his own thoughts and opinions into his Bible reading and forms his own words, thoughts and opinions – not those of God.
Noah Webster defines the word “admonish” as:
To instruct; advise; warn.
Paul encourages us to allow God’s Word to dwell abundantly within us, giving us wisdom so that we may teach, instruct and warn others. How? The answer follows: with Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. I doubt that Paul meant that we should only be ministering to others in song. He ends this verse with “singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” Grace is defined as kindness and favor. We receive unmerited favor from God through Christ. We do not deserve salvation but He died just the same. Christ is a wonderful example of One who displays grace.
What am I trying to say? We should, with wisdom, teach, instruct, advise and warn others with kindness and favor. When we communicate in this manner, I believe that it will be received by others as though they are listening to something melodious, with truth and meaning. The Book of Psalms is a wonderful example – these are songs written with power behind each word. The reader is instructed, advised and warned in each song!
Kindness and favor, to me, is shown to someone I care about. Christ died for all men – He loves all men. His kindness and favor did not discriminate. Therefore, I believe that we are to communicate God’s Word to others with kindness and favor – meaning that we should treat all people the same. I would not be yelling and screaming at a loved one nor should I be screaming at someone as a way to communicate that they are lost.
I tend to listen less if someone is “in my face screaming and pointing a finger” at me. Granted, there are times when a little fire needs to be used with certain people, but not all are this way. This is where wisdom comes in … this is where listening to the Holy Spirit’s leading will let you know what method of communication is appropriate. God speaks to us when we read His Word and are open to His leading. The Holy Spirit shows me the meat He has for me that day through His Word.
So let’s have God’s Word working within us abundantly so we may teach, advise and warn others effectively. When we prepare ourselves to be used of God, He won’t disappoint us. He will guide and direct us in the path that we should go and the method that we should use. That is why the Book of Psalms is so effective and can be read over and over without it getting old! Each time our heart is prepared to receive, God speaks. May our words to others be received in like manner!