Fill your life with joy!

Posted by: Amanda Bridle | Tuesday, June 18th, 2024 (11:31am)

Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. 
COLOSSIANS 3:16 | NLT

The joy of the knowing the Word

In what ways do you allow the message of Christ to fill your life? What are your current habits when it comes to reading the Word? In my life, I use a devotional to guide my breakfast table readings with my two younger children. Every day includes a passage from the Psalms, which are my personal favorites for sharing with others. I often find that when I am reading the Psalms, the Holy Spirit will bring friends to mind who could use different verses. I’ll drop a note in the mail or send a quick text of encouragement.

I also share a special bedtime routine with my son where we read some of the Bible together. He’s old enough to have outgrown children’s Bibles (The Storybook Bible is my favorite for little ones!) and after reading The Action Bible (this one is great for independent readers who like graphic novels) he seemed to have some curiosity about the “real” Bible. We started with the book of Acts and kept a running list of miracles. Then at his request, we started with 1 Samuel so we could read David’s story. That has brought us through 2 Samuel and on into 1 and 2 Kings. We’re currently keeping a running list of kings and whether they pursued God.

In previous seasons, I’ve been able to be a part of Bible studies offered by my church and found the homework kept me accountable to making progress and understanding the Word more deeply. If you, like me, feel like you just don’t have time for a Bible study you might just want to evaluate your media consumption.

How does what you watch, listen to, or follow online contribute to filling your life with the wisdom of Christ? Are you following other believers on social media? Is your feed filled with life-giving counsel? Or does social media distract you from what is most important?

I personally find Facebook gobbles up an enormous amount of time for me. I’ve also been working to break the habit of mindlessly checking email or scrolling Instagram whenever I have a moment of downtime. Taking the app off your phone and only going on an app when you intentionally sit down on a computer or tablet might help.

What about the shows and movies you watch? Or the music and podcasts you listen to? If you want to let the message of Christ fill your ears while you drive or do chores, I have a radio station I can recommend to you!

In the midst of a heated discussion about screen time, my teen daughter put the screen time widget front and center on my phone so I can see exactly how much time I spend on each app. It’s been very surprising to see how quickly things add up. I honestly have more time than I think. I am working to be more intentional in how I use my evenings.

The joy of being in relationships

This verse reminds us to “teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives.” This means you need to have people in your life that you can teach and counsel. Conversely, you need those same people to teach and counsel you.

Having people in your life is what God designed and intends for us. He demonstrates it in Genesis 1:26 during creation when he announces, “And God said, Let us make man in our image…” Notice the word “us” – God himself is in community at all times: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Hop down to the creation story in Genesis 2. In verse 18 he declares of Adam “It is not good that the man should be alone.” The same is true of us. American culture celebrates independence but truly we are designed for community!

We belong to a small group at church. There are weeks when we’d honestly rather just skip the meeting because we’re tired. If you’re an introvert working an extroverted job (my husband!), it really takes some determination to follow through and show up. Time and time again, we find that when we show up the Holy Spirit does too. I never leave small group wishing I hadn’t attended.

How are you nurturing the communities and relationships God has already given you? This could be your family, your neighbors, or your coworkers. As an introvert myself, I often have to remind myself it’s ok to take some extra time to just chat with people! Or maybe you are being nudged to explore a new opportunity to serve in a local ministry or nonprofit? Or perhaps there’s someone around you who could use a mentor or friend? One of my frequent prayers is that I would use my life and my time well. Don’t be afraid to ask God “What should I do next?”

The joy of praise, worship, and gratitude

The final exhortation in this verse is to “Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.” I find it so intriguing that the act of singing to God is tied to thankful hearts. I don’t know about you but sometimes I enter worship knowing in my mind I should be grateful but participating in worship brings the message home to my heart and soul. 

Let this be your encouragement to join other believers in worship this next Sunday, even if you’ve been away for a while. The actions of singing and worshipping are pleasing to God but they’re also healing for you.

The rest of the time, I invite you to tune in to our station for daily encouragement and worship through song:
91.3 WCSG for Grand Rapids / Lakeshore
88.3 WCXK for Kalamazoo

90.9 WCFG Battle Creek
89.9 WCXB Benton Harbor

Even better – download our app and take our music with you wherever you go.

Leave knowing this – God does desire for us to experience joy and his Word shows us where to go looking for it.

 

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