Scripture: Colossians 3:12-17
with little time
by Pastor Todd Buurstra

Problems aren’t your problem. Huh? Our reaction to them is our problem. For example,

Problem: You get a D.
Stinkin’ Thinkin’: I’m stupid. I’ll never get Calculus!
Qualification: Maybe, maybe not.

Problem: Your lover tells you: We’re thru!
Stinkin’ Thinkin’: I have so screwed up this relationship! Really?
Qualification: Sure?

Problem: Your boss says, Your services aren’t needed.
Stinkin’ Thinkin’: I’ll never get my kids through college.
Qualification: True?

Since Eve ate the kumquat, every human has suffered from stinkin’ thinkin’ because sin has affected us body (sickness), soul (selfishness), and mind (stinkin’ thinkin’). Paul’s mind must have been spiraling downhill as he sat there to rot in prison writing this letter to the Colossians. So Paul meditates, and calls us to the same, Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, he says. How does Christ-centered meditation help us with stinkin’ thinkin’?

Well first, is what you’re doing Christ-centered meditation? In Paul’s words, is it the word of Christ that’s dwelling in you? I mean there’s a whole smorgasboard of meditation options out there. I remember hearing an otherwise pretty good reformed professor say once, Yoga is not Christian. What? I thought. I think yoga can be Christian, but what I think he was saying is that the act of just emptying your mind (like is popular now in yoga, or Transcendental Meditation, or any Eastern religion) is not Christian, per se. It’s what you fill your mind with.

Paul wants us to fill our mind with the word of Christ to purify stinkin’ thinkin’. So in his culture of many gods, he asserted, Christ is the image of the invisible God…all things have been created through him and for him… Christ is the head of the…church…so that he might come to have first place in everything… For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell. Nothing else, no other god, no empty mind compares to the word of Christ.

And Christ’s word is not just to dwell in us, it is to dwell in us richly. You’ve heard about the little guy who gave me a penny the other Sunday? I stooped down and said Thanks, buddy. What’s this for? He said, It’s for you. My daddy says you’re the poorest preacher in town. How do I become a richer preacher to nourish your spirits more richly? Like communion, we let Christ’s word nourish us–the richest of fare! The Hebrew word for meditate shares the same root as a cow chewing her cud. Guigo said: “Scripture… Reading, as it were, puts the food into the mouth. Meditation chews it and breaks it up. Not the empty calories of an empty mind yoga, it’s the nourishment of Christ-centered meditation, which could be yoga.

Say more about how I let the word of Christ dwell in me richly? You find a verse through which Christ speaks to you, and chew on it. Turn it over in your mind until you think:

Problem: You get a D.
Meditation’ Thinin’: I Cor. 2:16: I have the mind of Christ. Hmmm, God gave me a mechanical mind.

Problem: Your lover says, We’re thru!
Meditation’ Thinin’: Jer. 31:3: I love you with an everlasting love. I am still loved.

Problem: Your boss says, Your services aren’t needed.
Meditation’ Thinin’: Phil 4:19: God will supply my need. We’ll be ok.

The waitress picked up a quarter and said, this is the best tip I’ll get all day. Why? You see all the napkins on the floor? Just before you there was a group of headstart kids here. They get one meal a day from their headstart class and this was their meal. Then their teacher gives them each a quarter to play one video game over there. You see, these kids don’t have Xboxes at home. This one little boy had been living in a rusted school bus, but now his family has upgraded to a shack. But his mom tries to make her kids rich on the inside. She tells her kids often, I Thessalonians 5:18: Give thanks in all things. So he leaves his quarter to thank me.

That’s the power of letting the word of Christ dwell in your richly.

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