His Word in Your Heart
Bible Reading: Colossians 3:16-4:1
Colossians 3:16-17, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
Jacob DeShazer grew up in Madras, Oregon enlisted in the Army and became one of Dolittle’s Raiders. After his plane deployed its bombs, it ran out of fuel and crashed in China. He was captured the next day, then spent the next 40 months in Japanese prison camps where he was severely mistreated and punished. He responded in kind to the threats and abuse of his captors.
Everything changed for Jacob when he was given access to a Bible for three weeks. He read truths about God and Christ and how Jesus was sent to die for his sins. He trusted in Christ and was born again. His demeanor and life changed as a result. He determined to treat his captors with respect, which caused them to do the same. He was eventually rescued, then went on to receive a college education. Eventually he returned to Japan as a missionary—to take the message of the gospel back to the same people who had so severely mistreated him.
The Word of Christ is powerful to save and transform. It can transform rebels into worshippers. It can teach us truths regarding God, Christ, salvation, God’s will for our lives. The Bible has power to instruct, to encourage, and to change. It can bring harmony and love to a marriage, a family, a workplace. It has power to transform lives, families, churches, and even countries. It is a powerful word indeed!
The term dwell in our text translates a Greek term which means to “dwell in, take up residence, make one’s home in.” Different kinds of guests may visit your home and they are met with varying degrees of welcome. There is a difference between how we might welcome a rude relative, or a treasured loved one. Those whom we love are always welcome and we want them to stay for as long as they can. We are glad if they make themselves at home and we are able to spend quality time with them. What degree of welcome is the Word of Christ now receiving in your heart? Is it to you an unwelcome stranger? Is the Word a mere servant? Or is it the beloved master of the house whose presence and company is highly esteemed? Do you take time to hear it, read it, memorize it, and meditate upon it, that you might apply it and ultimately to better know the One of whom it speaks? Make note of this in our text: The worship of God is the result when the word of Christ richly dwells within!
Charles Spurgeon once alluded to the example of John Bunyan as one who had “let the Word of Christ richly dwell within.” He said, “John Bunyan as an instance of what I mean. Read anything of his, and you will see that it is almost like reading the Bible itself. He had studied . . . till his very soul was saturated with Scripture; and, though his writings are charmingly full of poetry, yet he cannot give us his Pilgrim’s Progress – that sweetest of all prose poems – without continually making us feel and say, “Why, this man is a living Bible!” Prick him anywhere; his blood is Bibline, the very essence of the Bible flows from him. He cannot speak without quoting a text, for his very soul is full of the Word of God. I commend his example to you, beloved, and, still more, the example of our Lord Jesus. If the Spirit of God be in you, he will make you love the Word of God; and, if any of you imagine that the Spirit of God will lead you to dispense with the Bible, you are under the influence of another spirit which is not the Spirit of God at all. I trust that the Holy Spirit will endear to you every page of this Divine Record, so that you will feed upon it yourselves, and afterwards speak it out to others.”
HOLY BIBLE, BOOK DIVINE
Holy Bible, book divine,
Precious treasure, thou art mine;
Mine to tell me whence I came,
Mine to teach me what I am:
Mine to chide me when I rove;
Mine to show a Savior’s love;
Mine thou art to guide and guard;
Mine to punish or reward;
Mine to comfort in distress,
Suffering in this wilderness;
Mine to show by living faith,
Man can triumph over death;
Mine to tell of joys to come,
And the rebel sinner’s doom;
O thou holy book divine,
Precious treasure, thou art mine.