Let the [spoken] word of Christ have its home within you as you teach and admonish and train one another with all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
As a child, my retention for knowledge was typically dictated by the source. Whatever I learned in school was absorbed and could be recalled at a moment’s notice. I was a pretty competitive little student who always wanted to show others what I knew. At home, it was quite a different story. I did not necessarily absorb instruction from my parents. That is not to say that I did not understand the rules they had in place or that I could not remember what I was allowed and not allowed to do. What I mean is that I often did not take their teaching and let it take root and grow inside of me. I had no desire for their instruction to change me in any way or make me any better. I simply wanted to reject it. Retaining what they tried to teach me would mean that I agreed that their way was right and better. It is the same reason many people reject Jesus Christ today.
Those who love Jesus and desire to follow him will not view his teachings as merely wise guidance or loving instruction. They will view the teachings of Jesus Christ as something very personal to carry within them. To let the words of Jesus Christ have their home within us means that we accept his teaching as perfect truth, and we let that guide how we live. It means that we agree with him. When his word has its home within us it must come out by way of our teaching others. I do not know that there has been a more critical time in human history for the church to stand steadfast on the truth. We live in a time of great relativism and humanism, and people are willing to grab on to anyting but that which is truly sacred and just. The world has gotten very dark very quickly, and we must continue to shine the light of Jesus Christ brightly for everyone to see.
If we correctly put into practice what today’s scripture is instructing us, obedience to Christ will be a no-brainer. If we can cling to his spoken words and keep them fresh in our memories and on our hearts, then we will instinctively behave as we should and live as we should. If we allow his teachings to be at home within us then we carry them as we carry any other part of us. Our Lord does not want his truth to be something external to us. His desire is that we internalize everything He has told us and shown us about his holiness. He wants all of this to be a part of us. Father, help us to clear out the space within us so that the words of your Son can have a home there, and cause your Spirit to remind us of those words so that we can walk as You would have us walk in this world.