Have you ever stayed as a guest in a home where the people made you feel like an unwelcomed guest? I recently read a story about a pastor who had been asked to preach at a church that was far away from his home, but the congregation could not afford to put him up in a hotel. They told him that a family in the church had offered to have him stay in their home for the few days that he was there.
When the pastor arrived at the home the mother of the family greeted him coldly and showed him his room. She then told him, “Don’t expect any meals or expect us to talk with you. We agreed to let you use this room but you are on your own for anything else.” She left the pastor standing in the doorway, and for the next five days and nights that he was there, the entire family went about their business as if he was not there. He had never felt more awkward and unwanted in his life. He was an unwelcomed guest.
That story got me thinking about what Paul the apostle says in Colossians 3:16: “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you…”
In Colossians 3:16, Paul tells us that the word of Christ should dwell in us richly. The word dwell is taken from the Greek word enoikeo, which is a compound of the words en and oikos. The word en means in, and the word oikos is the Greek word for home. Together they mean to dwell in a home. It carries the idea of someone who takes up permanent residence in a home.
So when Paul tells us to let the word of Christ dwell in us richly, he is encouraging us to give God’s word a warm and welcoming reception so that it feels at home in us and takes up permanent residency within us!
Does the word of God have this kind of place in your life? Does it dwell in you richly? Does it feel at home in your life or is it being treated as a complete stranger just as that pastor was? I pray that the word of God is a welcome guest in your life and that it will always be at home and dwell in you richly!