"Whatever I Do"
Colossians 3:12-17 - Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 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.
This is the Word of the Lord.
This devotion pairs with this weekend's Lutheran Hour sermon, which can be found at lutheranhour.org.
"Whatever you do .. do everything in the Name of the Lord Jesus ..."
I remember talking about this with my friend Paul more than 20 years ago. Paul worked at a transitionary housing program in Phoenix. I was a teacher spending my Thanksgiving break visiting him and volunteering through the holiday. We were playing catch in the warm November Phoenix sun. And as we tossed the ball, we kept coming back to what we wanted to do with our lives. We felt like we were spinning our wheels, like we should be doing something grand in the Name of Jesus. As we talked, this verse came to mind, and it struck me suddenly. I think the apostle Paul think means it. Whatever I do, I needed to be doing it for the glory of the Lord.
Twice in less than a chapter Paul makes this assertion. In chapter 3 verse 17 he writes, "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." And then, just a few sentences later in verses 23 and 24, he exhorts his readers, "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ."
Now it's worth noting that I did not walk away with some faulty notion that we earn our salvation. I understood, even back then, that Paul had waited to talk about how we live our lives. Making sure to first, once again, emphasize the truth that in Christ, and Christ alone we have been made holy and righteous before God. What we cannot do, the Father sent His Son to do for us, so that by His death and resurrection we might be certain of our eternal reward. No, what struck me about this passage all those years ago was the certain realization that my entire life mattered, and that my life had a purpose. My friend and I didn't need to go off searching for grand things to do for Jesus; He had already given us things to do: I was a teacher. My friend Paul was a case worker for the homeless. We were both sons, and brothers, and neighbors. There was plenty to do right where we were.
Now to a twenty-something in the midst of the typical existential quandaries that post-college life throws your way, this was a powerful realization. Our lives matter; our entire lives matter. And the Lord God, Creator of the heavens and earth, has a purpose for our lives. This is a big deal. As humans, we want to feel a sense of purpose, that our work, our efforts, our actions, are contributing to something larger than ourselves. They are and they do.
"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."
WE PRAY: Almighty Father, help us to see the everyday work that we do as being more than mundane, but a way to bring glory to Your Name and bless those around us. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Rev. Dr. Jason Broge.
1. Do you have a close friend or relative you can speak to about your future plans? Does it help?
2. Forgiving others can be very hard. What was Jesus' example in this for us?
3. What can you do, right now where you are, that can be a big help to someone else?
Today's Bible Readings: Job 30-31 Matthew 13:31-58
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