5 Minute Read + Scripture readings
Today’s Bible Reading:
Today’s Bible Verse(s):
Colossians 3:16 (CSB): “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.”
Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):
Wouldn’t it be nice if the Bible contained a list of steps to being Spirit-filled? Maybe the Apostle Paul could have written, “Five Easy Steps to Being Filled with the Spirit.”
Nothing like that exists in the Bible. Why? Because among the many other reasons, God doesn’t want us to simply read sections of His Word. He wants us to read and master all of it and understand how it all fits together.
Understanding how we can be filled with the Spirit, then, requires that we look as various Bible passages to consolidate what God has said. So, when we come to Colossians 3:16, we observe that we are commanded to “Let the word of Christ dwell richly among you.” Let’s look at another passage that sheds light on this command.
Paul wrote the letter to the Colossians while he was under house arrest in Rome (Acts 28:16, 30-31). While in that situation, he also wrote Ephesians, Philippians, and Philemon. It is in the letter to the Ephesian Christians that we observe some incredible insights.
I have used the table below to show a comparison between Colossians 3:16-19 with Ephesians 5:18-33. As you look over the following lists, you will observe that God’s Holy Spirit led Paul to follow the same pattern of instruction (that continues beyond the following verses to children, parents, and other comparisons).
|Colossians 3:16-19||Ephesians 5:18-33|
|“Let the word of Christ dwell richly among you, …” |
|“… be filled with the Spirit.” |
|“… in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another through psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.” |
|“speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music with your heart to the Lord,” |
|“And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” |
|“giving thanks always for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,” |
|“submitting to one another in the fear of Christ.” |
|“Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.” |
|“Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord,” |
|“Husbands, love your wives and don’t be bitter toward them.” |
|“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her” |
It is remarkable how similar these passages are. Yet, there is a striking difference. Did you notice it? In Ephesians 5:18, Paul says to be filled with the Spirit. In Colossians 3:16, Paul essentially says to be filled with the Word of God.
This is not incidental. To be filled with the Spirit means that you are filled with the Word of God. Someone who is Spirit-filled has spent much time getting into the Bible and their Bible has gotten into them. Someone simply cannot claim to be filled with the Spirit if they don’t know their Bible.
While the Holy Spirit and the Bible are two separate things (the Bible is an “it” and the Spirit is a “he”), the Holy Spirit’s work is intertwined with Scripture. In fact, the Holy Spirit so values and cooperates with God’s Word that it is His primary weapon.
Ephesians 6:17 (CSB): “Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit—which is the word of God.” (emphasis mine)
So, do you want to be filled (controlled) by the Holy Spirit? Then you simply must spend much time in your Bible. Generally speaking, to the extent that You know, and submit to, and apply God’s Word to your life, you will be filled with the Spirit.
* * * * * * * * * *
Lord Jesus, I know all too well that I am incapable of living a life in pursuit of holiness. On my own, I know that I will often stumble into sin. I need Your Holy Spirit, who already lives within me, to fill me. I need Him to control me. So, to that end, I will spend much time reading and studying my Bible. I will submit to its teachings, obey it, and give You full reign over my life. I pray this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.