August, 2021 Monthly Message

Colossians 3:1-17

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:

6 For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:

7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.

8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.

9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;

10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.

12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

In the beginning of this chapter, Paul gives clear instructions to Christians about living out our faith in Christ. If you are a believer, in other words, saved by Christ you should avoid participating in sins which might trap you. Sexual immorality, jealousy, slander, and revenge are just a few of the pitfalls that Paul mentions that should not be part of a Christian's life. He then goes on to list what should encompass the life of a Christian, which include compassion humility, patience, and forgiveness to name a few. Then in verse 14 Paul reminds us about the importance of love - "above all things."

This brings us to our memory verse for this month which is verse 17. To do our work in the name of Jesus involves at least two ideas. Firstly, we must recognize that we represent Jesus in the workplace or actually in any place. If we are Christ-followers, how we treat others and how diligently and faithfully we do our work reflects on our Lord. How well do our actions fit with who He is? And secondly, working in "Jesus' name" also implies that we live recognizing that He is our master, our boss, the one to whom we are ultimately accountable. This leads into Paul's reminder that we work for the Lord and not for human masters. Yes, we most likely have horizontal accountability on the job, but the diligence we bring to our work comes from our recognition that, in the end, God is our judge.

The shallow way is to incorporate some Christian signs and gestures into our workplace or even our home, like posting a Bible verse or a Christian bumper sticker. Gestures like this can be meaningful, but in and of themselves they do not constitute a Christ-centered work-life or home-life. A deeper way to understand Paul's challenge is to pray specifically for the work we are in the midst of doing. An even deeper way would be to begin the day by imagining what our daily goals would be if God were the owner of our workplace. With this understanding of Paul's injunction, we would do all the day's work in pursuit of goals that honor

God. The apostle's point is that in God's kingdom, our work and prayer are integrated activities. We tend to see them as two separate activities that need to be balanced. But they are two aspects of the same activity-namely, working to accomplish what God wants accomplished in fellowship with other people and with God.

So, verse 17 sums up in a nutshell what the Christians life should look like and how the born-again believer should behave moment by moment ... in word and in deed - in mind and in motive. The question should not be, "What would Jesus do?' but can this action be carried out in the name of Jesus, and to His glory? Can the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be done in the name of Jesus? Is what I say and do honoring Him? Is what I am and what I think worthy of Him, and is my behavior an accurate reflection of His holy name - or would I be ashamed if He were to catch me in the very act?

If we were to faithfully apply this verse in our everyday, mundane life, how quickly we would unlock the portal to our pain and bathe our problems in His perfect peace. Were we to live our lives in full submission to this godly truth, how many difficulties would disappear, and how many obstacles would become glorious opportunities to lift up His name - in thankful praise to God the Father?

Were we to do everything (in word and in deed) in the name of the Lord Jesus and live our lives in total dependence upon Him, (through prayer and supplication with thanksgiving and praise), how would your life be changed?