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.
This whole chapter is really loaded with very good stuff, but it can all be overwhelming at times. This verse provides a very simple rule of thumb that can straighten it all out if we get confused. Is what you are saying or doing something you can do in Jesus’ name? Is it something for which You can thank God, or which will cause others to thank God? It’s amazing how much asking that can cut through the clutter and confusion the world and the devil try to dump on us. In a sense, this is the very definition of being a Christian: living your life in Christ. All of the stuff in this chapter that comes before this verse is good and helpful, but it’s easy to get legalistic about it all. Jesus’ biggest conflicts were with the legalistic scribes and Pharisees! If we are living in harmony with His character – which is what was meant in the 1st Century by doing things in someone’s name – then we will be free from both legalism and from bondage to our physical appetites, such as are mentioned in verse five. And this verse also brings up the matter of gratitude. A word study on giving thanks can be very enlightening. It comes up a great deal, and is a major key for unlocking the abundance God has prepared for us as His children in Christ.
This is easy for me to write and talk about, but I must never forget to apply it in my own life. That is a constant risk for those who are in the position of teaching others. Thankfully, teaching something is one of the best ways of learning it yourself! That’s all well and good when it comes to something like Medical English (which is what I teach in schools) but the truths of the Word are far deeper than intellectual knowledge. I learned a long time ago that having something in my head is not the same as having it in my heart to live it out. I’ve got to be totally honest with myself and with God, rejoicing that He has cleansed and saved me and repenting immediately when I stumble, because I do that. That is living in Jesus’ name and giving thanks to the Father through Him.
Father, thank You for this reminder. It is very, very basic, but I must never think that I am somehow “above” the basics. Help me live out Your Word indeed, leading others to do likewise, so that together we may bear abundant fruit, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!