Colossians 3:16 (CEB)

16 The word of Christ must live in you richly. Teach and warn each other with all wisdom by singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing to God with gratitude in your hearts.


Have you ever had an experience that made you feel like bursting out in song to thank God? We’re not all great singers, but that shouldn’t stop us from praising God when we experience joy, thankfulness or a sense of awe. It’s easier to experience this when we gather together as the body of Christ in community. Singing favorite hymns, many written by Charles Wesley, transports us as we worship, as well as instructing us with words and images.

When we sing and worship together, we bear witness to the goodness of God, our salvation in Christ, and the blessing of the Holy Spirit. The songs of our praise bands bring the message of Christ to new generations of believers. We continue to teach others to play bells, sing, and play musical instruments to praise God, to instruct, to strengthen and to encourage each other.

As I read this verse, I think of Paul the author writing from a prison cell awaiting trial. Whenever Paul was imprisoned, he used it as an opportunity to tell others about the good news of Jesus. During those times, Paul would sing hymns of faith that echoed through the prison, testifying to the grace and love of God. When he found himself in the worst of situations, Paul was able to sing because “the word of Christ” lived in him. He was able to teach others as he sang to God with gratitude in his heart for all that God had done for him.

by Jeneene Reduker

For Pondering & Prayer

How are we to sing to God with gratitude in our hearts, when the world, and we ourselves, are in such a state? This doesn’t come to us naturally, but is a gift of the indwelling Spirit. Paul tells us that when we have faith and believe in the promises of God, we will feel gratitude for our salvation in Christ. We will grow spiritually in wisdom, teaching others the good news, as we sing to God together, with gratitude in our hearts.

Does the word of Christ live in us, and in our church, so that we can sing to God with gratitude in our hearts? What song will you sing to God today?

Prayer: Holy and Loving God, fill us with the word of Christ so that our hearts may always be grateful and ready to sing and tell others the good news of Jesus. Amen.