Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
Does the word of Christ dwell richly in you? This was the question I posed to those attending the Summer Celebration Gathering a few weeks ago. For simple church to work, the bar for discipleship truly has to be raised. We cannot simply lower the bar for having church gatherings. Everyone has to be disciples and making disciples simultaneously. I’ve thought about this a great deal and it is truly hard to imagine how the Word of Christ could dwell in someone richly apart from a steady diet of His word. Without written copies of Christ’s words accessible, it was important in the early days of the Church that Christ’s words be hid in the hearts of His followers. Today we are privileged to have copies of the Bible readily available, yet many people, including myself, simply do not spend much time meditating on His Word. “Teaching them to obey all that He has commanded” (Matthew 28:19) is difficult when we don’t even know what has been commanded.
Here are a couple of helpful ideas about God’s Word that I have picked up along the way…
1. The entire Bible contains the message about Christ (or Word of Christ). A friend shared this easy memorization tool a few years back:
- Old Testament – Anticipation of Christ
- Gospels – Manifestation of Christ
- Acts – Proclamation of Christ
- Letters – Explanation of Christ
- Revelation – Culmination of Christ
2. Intake of God’s word exposes those places in us where we are not allowing the Holy Spirit to have access. A great illustration of this is found in comparing the work of God’s Word to that of a coronary angiography. As the Word of Christ exposes areas of our life where Chris does not have free reign, we are able to come to the Great Physician and ask him to remove those actions, beliefs, and attitudes that are in the way.
3. Life Transformation Groups (LTG’s) seem to be a great way to facilitate the Word of Christ dwelling richly in us and others. Certainly there is no formula for growing in Christ and ones heart motivation will ultimately determine how beneficial something like a LTG will be. In fact, I resisted the idea of an LTG as presented by Neil Cole for a time because 1) it wasn’t very original, 2) I didn’t like the name of it, and 3) it seemed too much like a “formula.” However, I found myself realizing more and more how essential reading and obeying God’s Word within the context of a small (2-4 people) community really is. So we are encouraging individuals to find a friend or seeker of the same sex to join them in reading approximately 30 chapters of God’s Word each week. As we read, we are seeking to “admonish” each other or gently help one another obey Christ in our everyday lives. I can’t speak for everyone, but as I have been reading more of God’s Word I have experienced a deeper richness in my relationship with Him. In fact, I find myself loving the Christ more–not only loving the book that points to Him. Also, this really enables us to help each other learn to “feed themselves” on God’s word as opposed to becoming overly dependent on a study, book, individual, or sermon for spiritual nourishment.
Fore more information on Life Transformation Groups (LTG’s) See Below:
Short Explanation of LTG’s (PDF)
Audio Presentation on Life Transformation Groups
Video Presentation about Life Transformation Groups
Video Presentation about LTGs
Intro to Life Transformation Groups | Audio
Answering Questions about LTGs- Audio
Email Dialogue about LTGs
Life Transformation Group Cards
I’ve also found this one page printout of an Old Testament timeline to be helpful. I found it online…
We need to read the Bible daily and know the Bible; but even more improtantly, we need to allow the Bible to connect with the Living Word in our hearts and then openly share the Word become flesh with others.