Jeremiah, known as the “Weeping Prophet”, lived and prophesied in the last days before the Jewish people were taken into captivity. God asked him to tell the people that, because of their unrepentant sin, He was prepared to remove them from the land. As you can imagine, his message was not popular, and he went through great persecution. And yet, he found great comfort in God’s Word: “Thy Words were found and I ate them. And Thy Words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; for I have been called by Thy Name, O Lord God of hosts” (Jeremiah 15:16-KJV). As our series on Priorities ends, we find a great encouragement to “dwell richly” in the Words of God.
Share with your group your favorite Christian song/hymn, and why it is your favorite.
Read Colossians 3:16. What is “the message of Christ”?
According to Grant Richison (versebyversecommentary.com/colossians/colossians-316), “The word ‘dwell’ means to keep house. We should live in the Word of God like we live in our homes….The Word should become so familiar to us that we know it like the back of our hand….This is more than just reading the Bible.” On Sunday, Jim shared his experience in the Word late one night. Have you experienced God’s Word in this way?
Though this verse is a great reminder to an individual, it’s actually addressed corporately. How do we at Fellowship “let the message of Christ dwell” among us?
Not only are we to dwell in the Word, we are to do so “richly”. Read the following verses and list how the Word of God can enrich our lives.
- Psalm 119:9-11
- Psalm 119:105
- Proverbs 2:6
- Romans 15:4
- 2 Timothy 3:16-17
- 1 Peter 2:2
- Hebrews 4:12
Paul encourages Christians to “teach and admonish one another with all wisdom”. Discuss practical ways to “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15) with each other. Are you open to this in your life?
It is interesting that Paul encourages us to “teach and admonish one another…through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit”. When you come to church on Sundays, do you come with the awareness that singing to God is something that builds up other believers? Will this awareness change the way you approach Sunday morning worship?
What part does gratitude play in this passage?
Read Colossians 3:17. Think of some of your ordinary routines (sleeping, eating, working, driving, etc.). How might these things be different if you kept at the forefront of your mind that you are doing them “in the name of the Lord Jesus?”
16Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Colossians 3:16-17
The following is a list of some practical ways to “let the message of Christ dwell richly among you”. Pick one or more to incorporate into your life on a regular basis.
- Commit to daily devotions. Choose a place and time to do so. Consider using a book devotional, internet tools (studylight.org, biblehub.com, biblestudytools.com), or phone apps (YouVersion Bible, DriveTime Devotions, First 5) to help you get started.
- Be part of a Community Group or small group, where teaching and accountability meet life. Fellowship has many Community Groups you could join. Contact Delene Kirtland (440.543.5643 x231 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Read the Bible through. You will often have questions or concerns about what you read. Leave some time for reflection or to dive deeper utilizing the great tools available on the internet. God welcomes your questions and concerns as part of a growing relationship. YouVersion has plans to help you track your progress. Also, Lud Golz is leading his radio audience through “Read It Through In Two”. His daily radio program highlights portions that are being read. You can follow along with him at gettinggodsmessage.org/archive.cfm.
- Strengthen your prayer life. Set a time each day to speak with and listen to God. If you need help, pray through the Psalms or other Scriptures. There are also a number of book resources listed on Fellowship’s website (http://www.fellowshipcleveland.com/prayer-books).
- Go on a mission trip. This is a great way to get to know fellow Christ-followers while reaching out to others. Fellowship has two adult mission trips scheduled for July 2017: West Virginia (July 16-22) and Ethiopia (July 21-30). Visit http://www.fellowshipcleveland.com/go-on-a-mission for details.
- Sing with joy! Even if you don’t like the musical style or loudness of the instruments or voices, mediate on the words being sung. Listen to Christian radio stations or CD’s throughout the day, sing along as you can, and praise God.
- Look for ways to be more God–honoring in all areas of your life – at home, at church, at a restaurant, in the post office, while shopping, etc.