October 20

Colossians 3:15-17 15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

The beginning of verse 15 could literally be translated, "Let the peace of Christ umpire your heart." Most Christians struggle with knowing the will of God for their lives. Here is an excellent guideline. If the question in your heart is not clearly answered in God's Word, what does the Holy Spirit have to say about it? Is there a sense of calm and peace that prevails as you walk in the Spirit, or are you in inner turmoil over the issue? The lack of peace is the umpire, the Holy Spirit, saying "Out!" The fruit of the Spirit is peace, so when peace is not there, you know that you need to check where you have missed God's will.

Both verse 15 and 16 tell us to let something happen. Let the peace of God rule in your heart. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. As we saw at the beginning of the chapter, there are steps we must take for our spiritual growth. These two commands are not so much actions we take as influences we are to welcome. When the Spirit directs us in the paths of peace or speaks to us through the Word, we are to welcome and cooperate with those influences.

I don't know if the first century church struggled over music, but these three expressions for songs seem to cover all the bases. Whatever type of music we prefer, all the words of our music should be richly influence by the Word of God. The songs should speak of our gratitude for all God's goodness.

Finally, he instructs them to speak and act with the authority of our Lord Jesus. Every part of our life should be in His name. Only His gracious redemption and transformation of us, through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, makes this effective life possible. That is why we should always thank Him as we walk in the Spirit.

Consider: What is the Umpire's call regarding decisions before you today?