Article by: Sarah Koontz
This year, we invite you to join us as we set aside five minutes each day to DWELL on God’s Word!
Our free DWELL360 study takes readers on a guided journey through the foundational truths of Scripture. Together, we will establish a vibrant, life-giving 360-degree view of what God has done for us, what He is doing in us, and what He wants to do through us.
One of our greatest privileges as believers is studying God’s Word and sharing God’s Gospel with others. This year-long study of Galatians and our in-depth look at the twelve key truths it contains will equip us for this glorious assignment.
Although the DWELL360 study will only take a few minutes each day to complete, I believe it has the power to transform the lives of every single person who commits to completing it.
It is my prayer that this study will remind Christians of the importance of carving out time each day to dwell on the truth of Scripture.
But what does the word, “dwell,” really mean?
I’m so glad you asked!We know how intimidating it can be to commit to a year-long Bible study, so our team has done everything in our power to make this study simple, satisfying, and sanctifying.
DWELL in God’s Word: A Hebrew Definition of Dwell
In the Old Testament, dwell is a translation of nine different Hebrew words. The most frequent Hebrew word for dwell is yashabh (yaw-shab’) which means “to sit down.”
The Hebrew words for dwell have varied meanings including, “to settle down; to inhabit; to remain.”
Interestingly, the rabbinic word shekhinah (that which dwells—referring to the glory of the Divine presence) is derived from one of the Hebrew words for dwell (shakhan). This is the term used in God’s instruction to Moses regarding the tabernacle:
“They are to make a sanctuary for Me so that I may dwell among them. You must make it according to all that I show you—the pattern of the tabernacle as well as the pattern of all its furnishings.” Exodus 25:8-9
If you have ever taken the time to study the detailed instructions God gave the Israelites regarding the tabernacle (Ex 25-31), you understand how many different requirements had to be met for the high priests to enter the place where God “causes His Shekhinah to dwell.”
As twenty-first-century Christians, we are often quick to grab hold of God’s grace, His forgiveness, and His love.
Yet we must never forget that God is the source of all that is holy upon the earth, and the only One who is truly holy.
There are certain requirements that must be met for humans to interact with a holy God.
Under the old covenant (the law God established for the Israelites), the high priest entered the holy of holies once a year—on the day of atonement (Heb 9:1-10). And he could only enter after completing a series of sacrifices and rituals (Lev 16) to assure that he was cleansed of all his sins.
No one else was allowed to enter the “most holy place” where God’s spirit dwelled.
DWELL in God’s Word: A New Testament Perspective
Thankfully, Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection made it possible for all people to be cleansed of their sins and gain access to God through a new covenant (Heb 9:11-23).
Hebrews 10:19-22 says, “Therefore, brothers, since we have boldness to enter the sanctuary through the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way He has opened for us through the curtain (that is, His flesh), and since we have a great high priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water.”
God’s holiness inspires hope in the hearts of all who long for more than this world has to offer.God’s holiness inspires hope in the hearts of all who long for more than this world has to offer.
This beautiful truth leads us to the New Testament words for dwell—menó (men’-o), katoikeó (kat-oy-keh’-o), and oikeó (oy-keh’-o).
- Menó means, “to remain, abide, stay with.”
- Katoikeó means, “to settle down as a permanent resident.”
- Oikeó means, “to inhabit, indwell.”
Because we live under the new covenant, we are able to receive forgiveness of sins and experience the presence of God in our day-to-day lives!
The New Testament teaches us that:
- God dwells (menó) in us (1 Jn 4:12 NIV)
- Jesus dwells (katoikeó) in us (Eph 3:17-19)
- The Holy Spirit dwells (oikeó) in us (1 Cor 3:16 NIV).
The New Testament also teaches us that God’s Word is to dwell in us (Col 3:16). And that, sweet friend, is what our DWELL360 study is all about!
Together we will learn how to be at home in the Bible and how to invite the truths of the Bible to inhabit our whole being.The New Testament teaches us that God’s Word is to dwell in us (Col 3:16). That, sweet friend, is what the #DWELL360STUDY is all about!
I encourage you to “dwell” on these life-giving truths for a few moments right now: We serve a holy God; He is set apart, different, uncommon. As we begin to experience God’s presence in our lives (through the inworking of the Holy Spirit), we invite Him to reign in our lives (by the power of the resurrected Christ), and experience His divine peace (by the study and application of His Word), we will begin to reflect His holiness to our broken world. Although we can’t perfectly reflect His holiness, we are called to pursue that reflection throughout our life. This is a worthy quest, indeed.
Because we serve a God who passionately and persistently pursues us, we must learn to passionately and persistently pursue Him.
Will You Accept Our Invitation?
In the words of the Apostle Peter in 1 Peter 1:14-16, “ As obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires of your former ignorance. But as the One who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; for it is written, Be holy, because I am holy.’”
If the idea of dwelling in the Word intimidates you, do not allow fear to prevent you from this pursuit!
We have formatted this study in such a manner that anyone who decides to participate is capable of completing it.
Don’t believe me? Think you are the exception?
Ok. Answer this question for me—Do you have time to dwell on a brief 1-2 verse passage of Scripture each day?
Just one truth a day for 360 days. That’s all we ask!Just one truth a day for 360 days. That’s all we ask!
And don’t worry, I’ll be here with you every step of the way.
Encouraging you, reminding you of the value of what you are doing, and helping you apply the truths you are learning to your life.
Together, we will establish a vibrant, life-giving 360-degree view of what God has done for us, what He will do in us, and what He wants to do through us this year.
Are you ready?
This e-mail-based Bible Study consists of monthly lessons, including a devotional from the book of Galatians, a 30-day Scripture reading plan, shareable graphic, a workbook, and digital planner. The estimated time commitment is just 10-15 minutes per day.
THE DWELL360 BIBLE STUDY WILL HELP YOU:
- Establish a consistent, manageable Bible study routine
- Discover who God is and who He made you to be
- Fill your heart and mind with the freeing truth of Scripture
- Diligently apply God’s Word to your daily life
- Recognize any teaching that distorts the Gospel
Thanks to the generous donations of our Discipleship Team and our Support Team, this study is available for free to anyone who wishes to participate.
One of my favorite definitions of the term “dwell” comes from the King James Dictionary: “To abide as a permanent resident, continuance, residence, state of life, sojourning, habitation.”
As a Christian, I desire to reside in God’s presence, sojourn in God’s Word, and continue in God’s ways all the days of my life.
If you share my desire to learn how to DWELL in God’s Word this year, I hope you will join us for this free 360-day study.
And don’t forget to share this exciting opportunity with your friends online and in person. Bible study is always more fun with friends!
Article Originally Published on December 17, 2019