In Jesus’ Name; November 15, 2018

Colossians 3:17 And 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 “practical living” sections of Paul’s letters are so rich and deep and to the point! If every genuine believer, let alone every church member, would live their lives as Paul has laid out in this chapter, the whole world would be a far better place. In a sense this verse condenses it all into one sentence. We have very little emotional understanding of what it meant in the 1st Century to do things “in someone’s name.” We very glibly rattle off, “In Jesus’ name, amen” at the end of our prayers, but seldom do so with the full weight of glory involved in Jesus giving us permission to do so. Speaking and acting in someone’s name was to do so with the full authority of that individual, and it also meant doing so in line with that individual’s desires and intentions. In many ways it was like a Power of Attorney is today. What Paul is saying here is like the ultimate, “What would Jesus do?” Every detail of our lives is to be in line with who Jesus is, so that we live as His representatives. To the degree that we do that, everything that He has and is is poured out on us. That’s certainly something to be thankful for! The reason Paul includes that as a separate admonition here is that we don’t operate in Jesus’ name perfectly yet, plus the fact that just as Jesus encountered opposition, all the way to being crucified, we will encounter opposition as we act as His agents. We need to be thankful for the privilege! We must never forget Jesus’ admonition in John 16:33: “In this world you will have trouble. But rejoice! I have overcome the world.”

This has been a recurring theme in my life for quite a few years now. Based on 2 Corinthians 5:20, at one point I even posted a sign at the church door: “The Kubara Embassy of the Kingdom of God.” I eventually took that down out of concern for confusion with Jehovah’s Witnesses, because they call their meeting places “Kingdom Halls,” but the principle is certainly valid. (That’s why the devil stole it.) Often when I am to be “on stage” – conducting weddings, teaching classes, or whatever – I explicitly pray that I would be Christ’s agent of blessing to those who see and hear me. I am certainly no more perfect in my implementation of this than Paul was, (Philippians 3:12-14) but I strive to make it the theme of my life. There is certainly much to be thankful for!

Father, thank You for this reminder. Tomorrow I will be speaking to a group of “movers and shakers,” but that isn’t necessarily more important than anything I might do today. Help me indeed live every moment of my life in perfect harmony with Christ in me, by the power of Your Spirit, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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