“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.”
Colossians 3:17 (KJV)
How are you? I am enjoying these posts on thankfulness. I hope you are enjoying them too. I don’t know about you, but God is convicting me and changing my heart as I research and write about these verses. I hope we all have a more thankful heart by the end of this month.
In last week’s post, I pondered the words in Ephesians 5:20. You can read it here. The words in Ephesians 5:20 are quite similar to the words in Colossians 3:17.
Let’s think about the reasons we do things for a moment. When we are children, many times we do things because our parents or teachers tell us to do them. Now, we may do things to please our spouse or to keep our jobs. We may do things to make our children happy or to help them. We might take care of ourselves better for our children, so we can be there for them longer. We might even do something just because we enjoy it. What are some of the reasons you do things?
These are considered very good reasons. However, it may not be “THE reason” we are called to do things. We are called to focus on God, even more than on our parents, teachers, kids, bosses, or selves. God may ask us to do the same exact things. He may remind us of the love of our family and the righteousness in having integrity in our selves and in our job. Yet, we are called to do things “for Him” and in Jesus’ name.
It is easy to think that we can do this or that for a family member, a friend, and an employer. We can “see” them and touch them physically. And, it may be easy to think that we are going to church or feeding the poor “for God” or in Jesus’ name. Although, we are called to do more “for God” and in Jesus’ name than just the “churchy” and “volunteer” type things. We are called to do ALL things for God and in Jesus’ name.
So, what does that mean? It means that everything we do or say we do it for God and in Jesus’ name. Why am I trying to lose weight? I am trying to lose weight because God has asked me to be obedient and be healthier. Why am I writing this blog? I am writing this blog because God has called me to write it and to encourage others to read the Bible and pray more. Why do I try to be a good wife? God has called me to be a good wife. We are called to do every thing, from the most impressive and exciting to the most inconsequential and mundane, for God and in the name of Jesus.
It may be more difficult for us to do things for God instead of for our family, for our friends, or for our boss. At first, we might not know that we are called to do things for God. However, once we do know, it can still be difficult. It might be so ingrained in us from our culture and upbringing to do things for those around us, that we might forget that we are called to do things for God. We might feel strange or afraid to say that we are doing things for God, while our culture still says to do things for those around us and for ourselves. Or, because we don’t physically see God and we do our family, it might be hard to remember to do things for God instead of those around us that we do physically see.
Yet, the more we build a relationship with God and the more we get close to Him, the more apt we are to remember to put Him first and to do things for Him. We will pray in the morning and ask God what we can do for Him during the day. Then, we will be more apt to do each thing that we do or say for Him. Not only will we be more apt to do things for God, but we will also be more apt to do things better. After all, aren’t we more apt to do things better for those we love, for those we respect, for those we admire, and for those we want to impress?
So, let’s look at Colossians 3:17 more closely, before I close this post. The first part of Colossians 3:17 (KJV) says, “And whatsoever ye do in word and deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus…”. I have touched on quite a bit of this already. (In the last post, I gave a link to a great explanation for doing things in the name of Jesus and what it means. You can read my last post here. However, in this post, I will ponder the words myself.)
So, what does it mean to do things in the name of Jesus? We may all have our own answer to this. For me, it is doing something as Jesus has shown us to do, because He has called us to do it. It is doing something with Jesus’ power, strength, peace, or will. It is doing something because Jesus died on the cross for us and we are so thankful. It is doing something because we are Jesus’ brothers and sisters and we are called to the same mission of loving our Father in heaven and building His kingdom. It means doing something the way Jesus wants us to do it because we are proud to be on “team Jesus” and want to do everything we can to stop, put down, dismiss, and overcome “team devil”.
I hope I said that well. What do you think? What do you think it means to do things in the name of Jesus?
There is one last point to Colossians 3:17. Not only are we called to do everything in the name of Jesus for God, we are also called to do it while “giving thanks to God and the Father by him”. I know that some of the things we are called to do aren’t very fun. We might be called to do some very difficult, mundane, strenuous, emotional things during some times of hardship, displeasure, fear, and awkwardness. However, even then, we are called to do everything while giving thanks to God. (I gave more thought to the thankfulness while pondering Ephesians 5:20 in the last post. You can read it here.) For me, this seems like the most difficult part. We aren’t used to giving thanks in difficult times. What do you think?
Thank you for your heavenly Word and your precious gift of Jesus, your only begotten Son. Thank you for showing us your will and guiding us through your Word and prayer. Help us to “remember” to do things for you and in the name of Jesus. Help us to focus on you, even more so than the loved ones that we can physically see. Help us to do all things for you and with you. And, help us to be thankful to you as we do the things we are called to do. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective questions for Colossians 3:17 (KJV):
*What does Colossians 3:17 mean to me?
*What does it mean to do all things for God?
*Do I do all things for God? (If no, why not?)
*What does it mean to do things in the name of Jesus?
*Do I do things in the name of Jesus? (If not, why not?)
*What does it mean to do everything while giving thanks to God?
*How are we called to give thanks to God even in difficult times?
*What other verses come to mind when I read Colossians 3:17?
*What can I do to better heed the words in Colossians 3:17?
If you enjoyed this post, you may like the following similar posts:
*Focusing on God
*Doing things in Jesus' name
Now, it is your turn:
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“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;”
Ephesians 5:20 (KJV)
How are you? As I mentioned last week, I thought it would be a nice idea to have a group of “thankfulness” posts this November, since we think of November as the month of thanksgiving. Last week’s post was on Psalms 105:1. You can read it here, if you haven’t already.
This week’s verse is Ephesians 5:20.
In Ephesians 5, Paul writes lists of things we should and shouldn’t do as Christians. One of those things that we should do is to give thanks to God, as we see in Ephesians 5:20. In the previous verse (Ephesians 5:19), we are called to do things such as “speaking to [ourselves] in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in [our} heart to the Lord;”. So, are these things suggested ways to “give thanks” to God or other things on the list of things to do?
How do you give thanks to God? I think that Ephesians 5:19 can be taken in both ways. I think that singing psalms and God’s praises can be one way that we give thanks to God. I think that any time we thank God, show Him appreciation, rely on Him, testify of His love, and give Him the glory; we are giving thanks to God.
Although, if we look closely, Ephesians 5:20 tells us more than to “give thanks to God”. It also tells us to give thanks “always” for “all things” unto God. Hmmm. Being called to “give thanks to God” might sound easy enough to do, especially as you are growing in faith and knowing that we have so much about which to give Him thanks. However, giving thanks “always” and for “all things” might sound more difficult.
So, are we called to say “thank you God for…, thank you God for…, thank you God for…, thank you God for…, every minute of every day about every thing that we experience whether it is good or bad? You might have a different perspective on it, but I think it is taking it too literally and out of context.
I think it is good to realize that we have so much about which to thank God, including for our life, skills, talents, world, friends, family, and so much more. It is good to realize that the things “we accomplish” and the things “we do” couldn’t be done without God. We are His creations and He has created us to be able to do the things we can do. So, yes, I think God wants us to learn to be humble and thank Him, giving Him the credit instead of taking the credit for ourselves. And, just as most of us would thank someone for a gift or a kindness, we are also called to thank God for gifts and kindnesses.
Okay. Being thankful often might be something we can learn to do. But… are we really called to give thanks for all the bad things we experience too? My thought? I think we remember that God doesn’t “give us” all the bad things. However, He does help us through them. And, He uses them as “teaching tools” and uses them to “help us grow closer to Him”.
So, I think we need to be thankful, even in difficult times. However, I think we need to watch what we say and how we say it. For example, if we have a car accident, I don’t think we would say, “thank you for this accident”. God didn’t make us or give us an accident. I think we would rather say something like, “thank you for helping me through this accident. Help me to be thankful that it wasn’t worse. Use it to help me get closer to you”.
There is one thing more that we are called to do in Ephesians 5:20. We are called to give thanks in Jesus’ name. I found a post by Pastor JD Greear that explains this part very well. Please, click here to read it.
Thank you for being our Heavenly Father. Thank you for giving us your Son to be, not only our Lord and Savior, but also our ultimate role model and guide to you. Help us to heed your calling to give you thanks always and help us to do so no matter our circumstances. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective questions for Ephesians 5:20 (KJV):
*What does Ephesians 5:20 mean to me?
*How do I give thanks to God?
*What does it mean to give thanks to God always?
*What does it mean to give thanks to God in all things?
*Do I really have to give thanks for “bad things” too?
*What does it mean to give thanks to God in the name of Jesus?
*What other verse or verses remind me of Ephesians 5:20?
*How can I better heed the words in Ephesians 5:20?
If you enjoyed this post, you may enjoy one of these posts as well:
*Do We Claim to be Self-made or God-made?
*3 Things We are Called to do in Psalms 105:1
Now, it is your turn:
I am so glad you are here. I hope you are enjoying the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations. If you feel led, please feel free to comment or contact me. I look forward to reading what you have to say. May God bless you and guide you.
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This is Jodi. I am so glad you are here! I am a Christian and life-long learner. I enjoy sharing and encouraging others. I pray you are blessed by this blog. Thank you for being here.