Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to Him through God the Father.

Colossians 3: 17

 

This very thought can change the way that we live our lives. For me, I know that it can be a true game changer; for, I have to admit that there are a lot of things that I do and many of the thoughts that I have that are done in the name of getting it done or for the sake of getting what I want. In fact, when I consider my day-to-day life, there is relatively little that actually looks like it is done for the glory of God, and there is a lot that is just done.

 

The change that adopting this attitude requires is simple yet profound. It is simple in that as children of the living God we have the Spirit of Christ living within us; so, we already have Christ’s understanding and guidance to rely upon, and we have the Spirit to reveal God’s will and His heart and mind to us. Thus, God’s way of viewing our day is something that we can access directly, personally, and continually. There is literally nothing that we will be required to think about or to do that the Lord is not a party to and a part of. However, the rub in making this a personal reality is found in my own will, for I still need to seek God’s heart and mind and be willing to make it my priority in everything. Frankly, I am not there yet.

 

The good news is that God knows exactly where I am. He continues to demonstrate loving patience, grace, and a commitment to working in and with me in order to bring about the change that is required for me to grow to this desired outcome of functioning fully as a child of God. In the meantime, I can recognize my desire to turn over more of my own heart and mind to the Lord, I can identify and specifically surrender relationships and situations to Christ, and I can plan to seek out His will and attitude in every potentially difficult moment of my day. This desire to make Christ the center of my day, which then places me in the background, is fulfilled through prayer and in expressions of thanks to the Lord wherein I recognize the presence and the importance of Christ in every detail of my life.

 

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Colossians 3: 17

 

Everything is a rather large and inclusive collection. This is particularly true when that everything is characterized by whatever. Whatever is a word that is defined as, “Everything, regardless of other conditions or circumstances.” So, it would seem that Paul is saying that followers of Christ should go through life with every word we utter and all of the actions that we take being completely committed to Jesus. In this way of viewing life, Christ is Lord over and of it all. There are no holdbacks or private and personal areas that we get to own ourselves.

 

This understanding of life and of how to live it is a really big deal; it is a game changer. Embracing this sort of perspective on each day will reframe my approach to it. I can no longer consider that some of the interactions that I have are of no real importance. Even more significantly in this light, I must view the people who I meet in the manner that Christ sees them. They matter, and the words I say to them and the impression that I leave with them are to be those of my Lord. Even the thoughts and the deeds that are done in private can have an impact on others, and Christ desires that I would allow Him to redeem all of me, even my private self.

 

It seems to me that an attitude about life that considers everything as Christ’s is not burdensome. Instead, it is freeing, for it places me squarely in the center of God’s grace. I do not have the capacity or the ability to live in this manner on my own, and experience tells me that I will not do so consistently. Yet, God not only forgives my failures but He also guides my repentant heart onto a better path. As I humbly submit my life to Christ with every word and deed that I do conveying His love and truth, Christ changes me. He works at the center of my being in a way that makes loving and caring for everyone and all things, which was unnatural before, into my new true self. There is peace in this transformation, and for this I give thanks to the Lord.

Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Colossians 3: 17

 

A few days ago I was considering what it means to pray in the name of Jesus. In this verse Paul talks about the related idea of living in the same manner. In doing this Paul seems to roll a lot of life up into one package. He says that we should take on all aspects of life, both our words and our bigger actions, as things which are done out of a Christ-centered motivation and inspiration. That is a lot to ask. It places such things as the way that we handle the unwanted phone call and place a food order in the same arena as the manner in which we speak to our closest friends and family.

 

As I consider this, the word “whatever” becomes very big. There is a lot of ground covered by it. In fact, no aspect of living escapes that inclusion. It seems that Paul is telling me that when I entered into relationship with God through Christ that I signed on for a whole lot more than just merely knowing God. I accepted the fact that this new relationship means change in my essential self and that a part of this change involves the ways that I view and respond to the world and its inhabitants. This is not so easy to do, but it is very rational.

 

You see, God cares deeply about everyone. There are no exceptions. He desires that each of the people in this world would know Him and be in relationship with Him. One of the primary ways that this message of hope and restoration is conveyed to people in our world is through the lives that followers of Christ live. As we speak and act through our days, so Christ is portrayed in our world. Thus, allowing Christ’s love, grace, mercy, peace, and righteousness, His name, to show in all that we say and do speaks the gospel of Christ more clearly than any other form of evangelistic proclamation.

Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to Him through God the Father.

Colossians 3: 17

 

This very thought can change the way that we live our lives. For me, I know that it can be a true game changer; for, I have to admit that there are a lot of things that I do and many of the thoughts that I have that are done in the name of getting it done or for the sake of getting what I want. In fact, when I consider my day to day life, there is relatively little that actually looks like it is done for the glory of God, and there is a lot that is just done.

 

The change that adopting this attitude requires is simple yet profound. It is simple in that as children of the living God we have the Spirit of Christ living within us; so, we already have Christ’s understanding and guidance to rely upon, and we have the Spirit to reveal God’s will and His heart and mind to us. Thus, God’s way of viewing our day is something that we can access directly, personally, and continually. There is literally nothing that we will be required to think about or to do that the Lord is not a party to and a part of. However, the rub in making this a personal reality is found in my own will, for I still need to seek God’s heart and mind and be willing to make it my priority in everything. Frankly, I am not there yet.

 

The good news is that God knows exactly where I am. He continues to demonstrate loving patience, grace, and a commitment to working in and with me in order to bring about the change that is required for me to grow to this desired outcome of functioning fully as a child of God. In the meantime, I can recognize my desire to turn over more of my own heart and mind to the Lord, I can identify and specifically surrender relationships and situations to Christ, and I can plan to seek out His will and attitude in every potentially difficult moment of my day. These are my tactics for making my day one in which people around me will see Christ when they interact with me. Yours may be different; however, if you don’t plan to make it happen, it won’t, and making this happen is one of the best ways that we can give thanks to God for His love for us.