Lately I have chosen to do a more focused reading of various books of the Bible instead of reading through it “in a year”. It has helped me pay attention to things better, rather than just reading to get it done (because I like checking off lists). I started reading through Colossians daily for the month of August and am accompanying that with scripture writing through that epistle with Heidi St. John’s plan. It has been good for me to read books as a whole, instead of in installments. Continuity really helps in getting the meaning. I know that’s not a profound idea, but it translates into some pretty profound stuff when you do it!
This passage has been grabbing my attention:
“And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. ” Colossians 3:14-16
The word “rule” has me thinking. To rule means to restrain, control, direct or influence something or someone. According to Roberton’s Word Pictures of the New Testament, this word is an old verb, meaning to “act as an umpire”. An umpire makes the ultimate decision on all crucial calls in sports. He ascertains. He discerns. He decides.
Peace is supposed to do that for us. And the context of this word tells us how. Choosing to love as God does, unconditionally, unreservedly. Choosing thankfulness “in everything”, even if it can’t be literally “for everything”. Choosing to immerse our wayward minds and hearts in the Word…richly.
Some of this is cyclical…we can’t love with agape unless we understand what it looks like through God’s Word. Our growing love for God means our trust also grows so that we can choose to have a thankful heart regardless of circumstances. Immersing our minds in scripture (Bible reading, good solid Christian books, scripturally-based music, and scripture memorization) changes our perspective on everything.
This is one of the reasons I really like the idea of scripture writing. It gets me to really meditate on what I’ve read. Try it! It’s free. And have a peace-FULL heart.