The Word Indwelling
It’s good to read the Bible. It’s good to think about it and meditate about it. But the real benefit there is for you is when the Word of Christ dwells in you.
Alright, thank you very much and hello again dear radio friend, how in the world are you? You doin’ alright today? Well yes, of course, I wait for you to answer. You know that. (chuckle) I’m glad to have you talk back to me anytime.
Oh, dear, I’ve preached to so many people who were sleeping in services that I’m always glad to have them awake and responding and talking back. God bless you today. So nice to be back with you.
We’re doing some wrap up thoughts of, on, Colossians. We were chatting about some of these verb forms in Colossians three, and, uh, I got to talking about this matter of the new life “…which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him.” God’s plan is to refresh you every day, make you grow so that you’re more like the Lord Jesus, “…after the image of Him that created him.”
See, the new life that God has given you is God’s own life. And so, He constantly refreshes and refurbishes and refines and shines up, so to speak, that, that life that came from Him in the first place which is what you call the Christian life; to be more like the Lord Jesus.
The old Sunday School song, we don’t sing it any longer I notice, “More like the Master, I would ever be. More of His meekness, more humility.“ Oh, to be more like the Lord Jesus Christ.
Well then, you have the, um, the two put ons: put on the new man and put on, as the elect of God holy and beloved, compassions and mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering, forbearing one another and forgiving one another. If any man have a quarrel…
See? You put on the new man. That’s the new nature generally speaking.
Then the specifics that reveal the presence of that new nature. What are they? Compassion, mercy, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering, forbearance, forgiveness. See? And above all these things, put on Calvary love-charity. That word ‘charity’ in Colossians three fourteen is the Greek word ‘agape’ which means Calvary love. John three sixteen love,
For God so loved the world…” Same word.
Put on Calvary love, which is the bond of perfectness.
What holds Christians together? What holds your life together in the first place? Calvary love. And what holds Christians together so they don’t fly at each other’s throats? Calvary love.
You and I disagree with each other in terms of our various kinds of perspective. We have different viewpoints, don’t we, as we look at life and at God’s work.
I have a little saying, “If you find a man who always agrees with you, you have to watch him ‘cause he’s apt to lie about other things too!” You know, to disagree is one of the, one of the givens, I suppose, among human beings. We see things differently, but there is something that holds us together in spite of our disagreements. What is it? Calvary love.
We love the Lord Jesus, and He loves us and we’re bound together with that heavenly love affair with the Saviour! The bond of perfectness.
Then, he says, “…let the peace of God rule in your hearts…” Let the peace of God rule in your hearts. “…to which also ye are called in one body; and be…thankful.”
That word ‘rule’ is our word ‘referee’; let the peace of God be the referee–the One that decides things, in other words. You’re facing a decision. You don’t know whether to go this way or that, choose this job or that. Leave here, go someplace else or stay here and tough it through. All the different decisions. Which college shall I attend? Which job shall I seek? Which career shall I choose? Which person shall I marry? All of the decisions that we face in life. He says, “Let the peace of God rule in your hearts.”
Do you know, that because the Holy Spirit dwells in your heart (if you’re a believer), He prays according to the will of God, and when you are praying selfishly you will know, down deep in your heart, that you’re not getting anywhere.
And when you pray according to the will of God you’re gonna have perfect peace about it as you accept, by faith, God’s will in a matter you’re gonna have peace about it in your heart, because that’s what the Holy Spirit of God will produce, you see.
“Now, may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope through the power of the Holy Ghost.”
The Holy Spirit of God produces peace and hope and joy, according to that verse from Romans that I just quoted for you.
The Holy Spirit, Who dwells within the believer, will produce a, an experience of God’s peace when you’re praying about something in the will of God. And when you’re praying selfishly, and against the will of God, you’re not gonna get anywhere and you’re not gonna feel, in your own heart, any sense of peace and well-being. It’s that simple.
He says, “Let the peace of God be the referee in your hearts.” Uh, he says you’re called to that. That’s part of what God wants for you. Did you know that God wants you to be sure of His will? And did you know that God has called you to be a person who is at peace with yourself, and with Him and with the world around you? That’s part of His calling.
And the way to do it is to yield, by faith, to the will of God; what you know to be God’s will, yield to it and do it. When you don’t know God’s will wait on Him ‘til you do know.
Years ago I read, in somebody’s book, that the soldier–the Christian soldier (he uses a military figure of speech for his illustration)–he said the Christian soldier has a right to wait at headquarters until he gets his marching orders. Then, he can go out into the field of battle confident that he is being led by his general, the author and finisher of our faith, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Wait at headquarters until you know for certain, and then go ahead and do what God is telling you to do and be in perfect peace about it. There need be no uncertainty as to the will of God. God is always on time. Somebody says, “I have to make this decision by the 28th of next month!” And the thing hangs over you and you worry about it. Why not give God a chance to work in your life and to realize that when you have to make the decision and the deadline is there, you’ll know! No question about it.
That’s happened to me so many times that I know that it isn’t happenstance. It isn’t just…it just isn’t coincidence. I know that God does guide and that He guides on time. Yes, He does. You don’t have to know every step ahead of time.
“When He putteth forth His own sheep He goeth before.” All you have to do is follow the shepherd. Follow the footsteps. “As thou goest step by step I will open up the way before thee,” is the way someone has paraphrased one of our precious promises. Step by step. Yes.
“In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.” The Word of the Lord; “God’s Word is a light unto my feet and a lamp unto my path.”
In the old days they used to wear a lamp, they tell me, a little tiny oil lamp upon their feet so that it would show the next step. It wouldn’t show fifty feet away- show the next step.
I learned that as a farm boy on an Ohio farm in the dead of winter when it was very dark and very cold in the early morning when you went out to milk the cows and do the chores. You couldn’t see as far as the barn; you could see just a few steps as you walked through the snow; small boy trudging in the footsteps of my Uncle Frank. And I could see his footsteps and I could see a few feet by the flickering light of a coal-oil lantern. But you couldn’t see very far but you were alright, you knew you were alright because you were following those big, number eleven footsteps, and you knew that the next step was there.
Oh, to trust God step by step today. Would you do that? You don’t have to know it all. All you have to know is that He is in control.
The bus people say, “Take the bus and leave the driving to us. You can sit back and relax,” they say, “because the driver is going to do the worrying for you.”
Well, I think maybe God might say that to some of us! We’re sort of heavenly back-seat drivers aren’t we? Always trying to second-guess God. He says, “Come on now, just trust and obey and leave the driving to Me.”
I think maybe that’s a good idea for somebody today. You’ve been upset and you’ve been fussing about decisions that are coming down the line. Why not let your blessed Lord take care of that. You just obey what you know to be His will this minute! He’ll take care of the next one.
He says, “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly.” I’m a great believer in memorizing the Word of God and, and going over it day by day, so that it gets into the computer of your mind.
You realize that the human brain is, is a computer far more complex than anything man has built. Bill…literally billions of neurological connections, electrical connections, in your brain.
And, the truth of the matter is that we have a surface memory and then we have an unconscious mind, so to speak. Sometimes I joke about the fact the unconscious mind is named for a college freshman. That may be so.
But the unconscious mind is the computer portion of your mind, and if you’ll get the Word of Christ into the computer, that enables the blessed, faithful Holy Spirit of God to crank out-so to speak-that, that-uh-that knowledge at the pressure points when it’s needed.
Well, he says, “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you.” That’s more than just reading it. It’s good to read the Bible. It’s good to think about it and meditate about it but, oh, the benefit there is for you when the Word of Christ dwells in you. Greek word “enoikeitÅ” which means “be at home”.
Let it be at home in your, in your house. Let, let it have a permanent residence in your mind. That’s what he’s saying.
“In all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”
When God’s Word is in the computer of your mind you’re wise in dealing with other people: “In all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another…” And you’re joyful: …”psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord…”
Put the Word of God in the computer. How do you do this? You read it, you meditate on it, you memorize it, you go over it, you think real hard about it, and then you let go of it. And you repeat that process. You’ll be surprised how quickly that precious portion of truth gets into the computer, and you’ll find it popping up, so to speak, at odd moments as the Holy Spirit of God reminds you of that truth.
Read it, meditate on it, memorize it, think real hard about it, and then let go of it, and it will find its way into the computer. God will use it to His glory.
Dear Father, today, may the love of Christ fill us, may the Holy Spirit of God direct us, and may our lives resemble the Lord Jesus because He’s running them. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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