The end-goal of the Christian life is to live in such a way that we bring God glory at every turn. As we learned last time, part of this means having our hearts ruled by His peace. Paul laid this out for us in Colossians 3:14-15:
14 Above all, put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. 15 And let the peace of Christ, to which you were also called in one body, rule your hearts. And be thankful.
But in the next verse, He is going to show us a tactic that will undergird everything you do, whether it is in word or in deed, to live a life that brings Him glory. Look at verse 16:
16 Let the word of Christ dwell richly among you, in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another through psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.
How to Be Filled With the Word
When Paul writes “richly,” he means in full measure. He gives us the idea of filling our cup so full that it bursts and overflows into every area of our lives. But to fully unpack what he means here, we need to look at some context. Notice what he wrote to this church in Colossians 2:6-8:
6 So then, just as you have received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, 7 being rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and overflowing with gratitude. 8 Be careful that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit based on human tradition, based on the elements of the world, rather than Christ.
The concept of filling was so important for the Colossians and for all of the believers in the first century because they had a tendency to embrace worldly philosophies rather than godly ones.
If we are going to live gospel-saturated, Christ-centered lives, we must evict godless philosophies and intentionally “set our minds on things above.” With the above passage in mind, see how Paul uses Colossians 3:16 to show us three things that we can focus on in order to fill our minds with His Word.
Teaching refers to instruction in doctrine and theology. All doctrine (the things that we believe) should be base on and flow from the Word of God.
We cannot worship a God that we know nothing about, and we cannot afford to worship a God of our imagination. We must be filled with knowledge of who God is so that we can praise Him correctly.
Admonishing refers to instruction about behavior, based on truths that we have learned from God’s Word. Specifically, it means to warn someone of something that is to be avoided. If you have a sister or a brother in Christ doing something or displaying an attitude that runs contrary to God’s Word, we should approach them about it.
We must not only teach Christian doctrine, but instruct believers in Christian character, giving stern warnings and encouragement to live Christ-centered, God-honoring lives.
We should praise God for who He is, what He has done for us, and what He promises to continue doing, and one of the best ways to do this is through musical worship. Singing helps us internalize and express the messages of the songs in a way that reaches down into our hearts.
Whether you’re on the cusp of something new or you’re making today a new start going forward, keep these tips from Paul in the forefront of your mind. Cultivate a heart ruled by peace and fill your mind with His truth. Then you will be set up for a life that will bring Him glory wherever you go.