Monday, February 21, 2011


               "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."  (NIV)

the site where Colosse once stood
In this letter to the Colossians, the apostle Paul is trying to educate the people of this town.  Although he had never met these people, Paul cared about them;  word had reached Paul through other missionaries that false teaching had entered into this city.  In this letter, which later became known as the book of Colossians, Paul teaches and reinforces that Christ is sufficient for all our needs and that we are to be a living lesson for each other.  My very basic paraphrase of Paul's message is as follows:

  Keep God's word in you at all times.  Study it. Memorize it. Cherish it. Share it.  Share it in word and in deed.  Share it in song. Share it in actions. Share it in all your transactions. Share it in your personal life. Share it in your business transactions. Bring Christ and His word into your everyday world. As a Believer, you are a representative of Christ. You may be the only glimpse of Jesus that some people ever see... A light shining in a darkened part of the world...  This reminds me of the passage in Deuteronomy when God instructs His people  about what to do with His Word:  "Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds: tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the door frames  of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many..."  (Deuteronomy 11:18-21 NIV)

You might ask, "Why should I study the Bible?" Well, the Bible is God's word. It is alive with excellent advice on how to live, how to get along with others, how to understand yourself.  It also contains beautiful descriptions of the ancient world.  Much more importantly, it contains God's plan of salvation for YOU.

You might ask, "Why should I memorize scripture verses?"  Here is a scripture verse to help answer that question:  "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you."  (Psalm 119:11 NIV)

You might ask, "Why should I sing songs of praise?"  Again, let the scriptures reveal the answer:  "And the Levites carried the ark of God with the poles on their shoulders, as Moses had commanded in accordance with the word of the Lord. David told the leaders of the Levites to appoint their brothers as singers to sing joyful songs, accompanied by musical instruments - lyres, harps, and cymbals."  (I Chronicles 15:15,16 NIV) And, "Let Israel rejoice in their Maker; let the people of Zion be glad in their King. Let them praise his name with dancing and make music with tambourine and harp. For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with salvation." Psalm 149:2-4  NIV)

Everything God tells us to do is for our own good.  Our heavenly Father didn't set up a bunch of rules as stumbling blocks for His people.  On the contrary, He gave us instructions to make our lives better.  It is up to each of us individually to follow His instructions for a better life.

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