“Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you.” (Colossians 3:16a NLT)
Studying the Bible in a way that changes your life doesn’t take a bunch of expensive tools. You don’t need commentaries or Bible study software. In fact, if you were stuck on a desert island with just a Bible, you could simply use the method you’ll learn about in this devotional.
Yesterday, I told you how important it was for you to meditate on God’s Word. God says that if we meditate on his Word, we’ll be successful. Here’s a method you can use to meditate on God’s Word in a way that’ll please God.
The “pronounce it” method of biblical meditation is an easy method for meditating on Scripture — and getting every ounce of spiritual nutrition you can out of it.
You start with a verse and read it over and over again. Each time you read the verse, you emphasize a different word. It’s the simplest way to start unlocking Scripture. You can do it even if it’s the first time you’ve ever opened up a Bible. It’s simple but amazingly powerful. Each time you emphasize a different word, you get a different perspective.
Take the first part of Colossians 3:16 for example. The verse says, “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you” (NLT).
The first time you read the verse, emphasize the word “let.” “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you.” What does it mean to let? It means “give permission.” I open the door; it’s my choice. We have to choose to let the Word of God dwell in us richly.
Then, read the verse again and emphasize “word.” “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.” That means I need to get God’s Word in my mind.
Then, emphasize the third word of the verse, “Christ.” You’re not dwelling on what some philosopher, guru, or talk show host has to say. You’re dwelling on the words of Christ! I don’t want to let the word of the world dwell in me, but I do when I spend my time watching TV instead of reading God’s Word.
Then you focus on the word “dwell.” “Let the Word of Christ dwell within you.” The word “dwell” means “to hang there for a long time.” It’s not rushing through God’s Word so you can get on with the rest of your day. To let the Word of Christ dwell in you is to let it live within you.
Then you stop and emphasize the word “in.” It’s good to have the word of Christ around you. You can put the Word of God on a plaque or a bumper, but it won’t change your life until you let it in your life.
Then focus on the word “you.” The Bible isn’t just God’s Word for your pastor, a seminary professor, or your Sunday School teacher; it’s God word for you! The Bible is instruction for every single believer.
Finally, emphasize the word “richly.” What does that mean? It means the opposite of poorly. In other words, richly means lusciously, extravagantly, and profoundly. God doesn’t want his Word to be a poor substitute in your life. He wants it to create beauty in your life.
See all the great jewels you discovered in this passage just by focusing on one word at a time? You didn’t need a seminary degree or a great library of reference tools. You can do this!
Talk About It
How will you dwell on God’s Word throughout your day?
Does your life reflect the richness of God’s Word and his grace? How would it look different to other people if you allowed God’s Word to make a difference in your life?
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional © 2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.