Getting Personal

Colossians 3:16-17

“Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.”

Background:

  • “All the preceding appeals have to do largely with duties Christians owe one another.  Verses 16, 17 focus attention on matters that have to do more directly with the personal life.”  (Expositor’s Bible Commentary)
  • These two verses from Paul are packed with truths that greatly impact our daily living if we take it to heart.  Take a moment to reread, meditate on, or memorize this short passage.
  • “To ‘let the word of Christ dwell in you richly’ is to let it ‘have ample room’ (BV) or ‘remain as a rich treasure’ (Wey) in the heart.  Thus we are to submit to the demands of the Christian message and let it become so deeply implanted within us as to control all our thinking.” (EBC)
  • What is the rich message about Christ?   It is the gospel – the good news that His death provides a substitutionary payment for our sin and that He rose from the dead and now lives within us through His Holy Spirit.  Paul says we need to let this truth fill our lives and that we should teach and counsel each with this wisdom.
  • I am convicted that sometimes the poor messages of this world fill my life through television, music, or my own human reasoning that often starves for God’s Word.  The outflow of this is teaching and counseling my children and those around me with some of the world’s misconstrued notions about life.  (Things like – “you can’t help who you love” “follow your heart” “you deserve the best of everything”  “stuff will make you happy” … etc. etc.)
  • When God’s Word and His message fills our lives, the outflow of joy and singing praise to Him follows.  “The great periods of renewal in Christendom have always been accompanied by an outburst of hymnology.  The floodgates of emotion opened: a supernatural dread alternated with an unspeakable joy.” (EBC)
  • Then Paul says that whatever we say or do, we should do it as a representative of Christ.  This is where it gets really personal.  This reveals that there is no delineation between sacred and secular.  Paul says it is all sacred. We can’t just reserve spirituality for Sunday mornings and live the rest of the week however we please.  As the Word of God fills our lives, we should begin to see all that we do in relation to Christ.  This affects how we treat others first thing in the morning (ouch).  How I do mundane tasks like laundry, dishes, and grocery shopping begin to matter.  The way I treat a waitress, grocery checker, boss, and anyone – matters.  My thought life, my careless words, my parenting – everything – should be flavored by my identity as a follower of Christ.  I am representing Him in everything I say and do.  (I told you this one is getting personal!)

Application Questions:

  • What are some ways you can more intentionally let God’s message fill your life?  We’ve never had so much access in all of history – commentaries, sermons online, youversion right on our phones.  Yet I must fight to give it priority over the sea of other offerings out there.  Think about times we are waiting – we could meditate on a Scripture instead of check FB for the 5th time, play a game of solitare, or check emails that can wait.
  • As you teach and counsel others (your children, kids in Sunday School, just in regular conversation) what message comes across?
  • Now think about all that you say and do.  If someone followed you around with a video camera all day yesterday, would they say your life represented Christ?  Yikes.  I don’t want to answer my own question.  Praise God for new mercies everyday.  We will never be a perfect representative of Christ, but we are Christ-followers.  He calls us to emulate Him in all we say and do and He provides us with His power to live it out.

Prayer:

Adoration:  Praise God that He gives us His Word and His Spirit to fill our lives.

Confession: Admit the areas of your life that don’t represent Christ and ask God to change you as His Word fills your life.

Thanksgiving: Thank Him for the opportunity to represent Him throughout this day.

Supplication:  Ask Him to fill your life with His message so that you can be His ambassador today.

 

 

 

 

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