Thursday, July 14, 2022

Do it all in the Name of the Lord

 Read Colossians 3

Let’s keep it simple this morning.  How much is the tithe?

That’s right, it’s ten percent.  Tithe means tenth.  That’s an easy one.

How much did God’s people give of their income over the course of a year?  If you count all of the feasts and other gatherings, it was probably over twenty-five percent.

Some of these offerings were enjoyed by the people as they gave them.  Some blessed others.  Some opened the floodgates of heaven.

How much should the New Testament believer—the born-again Christian—give to the Lord?

That’s easy and you don’t even have to be good at math.  You just have to remember the song.  Jesus paid it all.  All to him I owe.

Yes, it’s one hundred percent.  We are to give everything to the Lord.  Our life truly belongs to him now.

The logistics don’t involve a complete monetary and property transfer.  It is a transfer of the heart and mind.  It is a wholesale exchange of the ways of the world for the ways of God that we know in Christ Jesus.

It is a continuation of what brought us to Jesus—repentance.  Repentance is more than just turning around and going the other way, though that’s a part of it.  It is turning away from the evil of this world and turning to God.

It is leaving behind the old thinking, habits, and passions that anchored us to the world and seeking God and his kingdom and his righteousness.  OBTW—when we leave our old thinking, habits, and passions behind, we don’t get a claim check for them like at a pawn shop thinking, maybe one day I will be back for them.

Paul says it well as he began this chapter.

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

You remember the warm-up drill that we do most Sundays, rightI am crucified with Christ.  Christ lives in me.  Paul tells us that is more than a few catchy words.  It is how we are to live.

We seek God, his kingdom, and his righteousness by taking on the yoke of our Master, Jesus Christ.

If anything pulls us away from following him, we disconnect from that temptation or habit or earthly desire and refocus on our Master.

Actually, Paul tells us to put these sinful ways to death. We see one of the forms that Paul used to describe this.  Take off the old self and put on the new self.

Take off your dirty clothes and put on clean clothes.

Take off that which defiles you and put on that which cleanses you.

Take off your sinful human nature and put on God’s loving nature.

We repent before we receive Jesus as Lord and we continue to repent as we strive to live as this new creature that we have become in Christ.

It’s a process.  It’s work.  It’s worth it.

It is where our blessings and peace and fulness reside.

These are big blue arrows.  How about some specifics?

OK, get rid of anger, rage, malice, slander, foul language, lying, lust, greed, idolatry, and all evil desires.

In its place take on the things that you have learned from Christ.  Take on the image of Christ.  Become his image and likeness in all that you do.

That’s good imagery, now how about some specifics.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

That sounds a bit like the fruit of the Spirit. Listen further.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 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.

Thankfulness, peace, wisdom, gratitude, admonishing each other not by our human nature but by God’s word and his hymns and spiritual songs.  That’s not a chewing-out.  It’s restoration, redemption, and reconciliation.

We have gone from general to specific in Paul’s instructions.  Now let’s go from these specifics to the most general approach to responding to God’s grace that we knew in Christ Jesus.

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.

In every breath we take, in every thought we think, in every action, we are to do it in the name of the Lord.  Our response to this gift of salvation that came completely from God is to give our lives completely to him.

Realize that in so doing, God fills our lives with so many good things.  God takes everything and uses it for the good of those who love him.  God has always looked out for what is best for us even when we didn’t have a clue.

Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.

Let everything you do be done for God and for God’s glory.  Once you have given up your life to him, you will see how full your life become.


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