“Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you.”
–Colossians 3:16a nasb
What does the word “home” mean to you? What picture comes to mind when you hear that word? Far too many people think of home as a house or a place to reside. Home for me is a state of relationship more than a state of residence. The ancient proverb says, “Home is where the heart is.”
My father, born in 1921, joined the United States Navy just shy of his seventeenth birthday. He had been raised on a farm in North Carolina during the Great Depression and thus looked forward to the stability of serving in the Navy. He served through WWII and the Korean conflict, and was sunk twice during these years. He often told the stories of the times he would come home on leave. Each time he said his heart was thrilled at the thought of being back on that dirty farm and that small farmhouse, because it was home.
Paul writes in Colossians 3:16 “Let the word of Christ dwell in your richly” (njkv). The word translated “dwell” means “to live in” or “to be at home.” The author is instructing all true believers to allow the Word to take up residence and be at home in their lives. The word of Christ is simply the revelation that Christ brought into the world which is Scripture. The truths of Scripture should impact, influence, and infiltrate every area of our life. John Phillips wrote,
We need to get the Word out of our Bibles and into our hearts. The Word of Christ dwelling in our hearts becomes a vast treasury of wisdom upon which the Holy Spirit can draw as He guides us through the varying circumstances of life.
One of the comforting yet challenging things about God’s love for us is that He has given us absolute and confident access to everything God is and has for us. We have in our hands the very word of God which is sufficient for everything. The challenge is that the word of God will not flourish in a divided heart. Our heart is not designed to be a multifamily complex, but rather a single family place. Whatever is dividing our heart must be cleared out so that the word of Christ might dwell within us richly.
Consider these questions:
1. What is residing in my heart that needs to be cleared and cleaned out?
2. Am I willing to confess these things to the Lord and ask Him for His power to remove these from my heart?
3. Do I admit that He is sufficient to handle these things and replace them with His word?
4. Will I allow His word to take up residence and be at home in my heart today?