This past Sunday we continued a series called THE WELL. The main idea was our need for a deeper source to live our lives out of.
Initially, we looked at how Solitude and Silence are essential pieces for hearing from God. This practice helps us make room for God’s voice in the middle of the enormous distractions in our life.
From the earliest Christians, the Scriptures were seen as a deep well to live out of. Viewed as God’s word to us, culminating and clarified in Jesus, Christ followers have dug deep into scripture for life, direction, wisdom, hope, and obviously the core message of good news for humanity.
How does scripture become that deeper well to draw from?
The source you dwell on becomes the source you draw from.
Unless someone draws on Scripture, it will rarely, if ever, become a source one can draw from.
Let 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. (Col. 3:16)
Here’s a few ways we can allow the word of Christ (or scripture itself) to become the reality in which we order our lives around:
Paul assumes the church (christians) will be taught and admonished, likely through elders (local pastors/leaders), men and women with the gift of teaching, or ministries with this specific purpose (youth, kids, groups, etc.).
“You” is first plural. Paul sees the message of Christ richly dwelling among the church.
The word of Christ is received… on Sundays and in other environments. This is likely the first way the early church envisioned this since podcasts, video, or even more than one copy of any part of scripture (including Paul’s letter) were even available.
More broadly we can also say we receive:
- locally (in our local churches, the main church the NT ties to our participation);
- universally (beyond our local churches from trusted voices; e.g., N.T. Wright, Tim Keller, Fleming Rutledge, Eugene Peterson, John Stott, Ruth Barton);
- historically (acknowledging the church through the ages gives us a great foundation, standing on the apostles teaching);
- creedal (the church often expressed its main message in creeds – concisely written statements of belief usually produced out of a need for clarity);
- Christian (the message of scripture culminates in Christ and is clarified by Christ);
- contextual (every generation needs to hear God’s word in fresh ways for its time. We can only live the gospel of the Kingdom in our generation, in the middle of our city, relationships or challenges).
Sundays are a great environment to dwell on scripture by receiving. Groups or extended community are great environments to learn, process and apply together.
We dwell on things by repeating them. So we repeat (or recite) scripture when we gather. The Lord’s Prayer, a psalm, a gospel. Perhaps it is embedded in our songs.
Sundays and groups are effective environments to repeat/recite scripture together.
READ & REFLECT
The word dwelling among “you” overflows into your personal practices.
If you’re going to draw on the scripture, you’ll have to dwell on it personally.
Read it long and broad (straight through, whole sections, uninterrupted afternoons). Read it short and deep (focusing on a few lines, a small section, or praying through it).
Daily ingesting the scripture is key. Add deep dives weekly or periodically (1-3 hours or a retreat). This is vital way for scripture to richly dwell in you.
Start with one of these sections (Psalm 1, 23, Matthew 5-7, Romans 8, Ephesians 1-2, 3:14-21, Colossians 1, 2:20-3:14).
PARTNER SILENCE AND SCRIPTURE
If you’ve already committed to practicing solitude and silence daily (e.g., 5 minutes), you are setting yourself up to hear from God through scripture. Scripture is the counterpart to the practice of silence.
Where can you start? 5 min. of silence + 10 min. of scripture
Disengage in silence. Engage in scripture.
Let’s dwell on scripture in a variety of ways – receiving, repeating, reading, reflecting – so we can draw from scripture for every aspect of life.
(Join us Sunday as we talk about another deep well we can draw from!)