Three reasons you should make Colossians 3:17 your theme verse in 2017

All scripture is breathed out by God. There is no one verse in the Bible that means more than all the other verses. That said, there are some verses or passages where the timeless truth is closer to the surface. These are the types of verses that we can easily memorize and apply on a daily basis. Colossians 3:17 is one of those verses.

“And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him,” 

– Colossians 3:17

I want to encourage you to make this verse your theme in the New Year. You should commit it to memory, post it in your office, stick it on your fridge, write it on your mirror, and quote it at every opportunity. Here is why:

1.  Colossians 3:17 calls for obedience in all aspects of life. Twice in the first part of this verse, you are taught to be obedient to the Lord in “everything.” The words “whatever” and “everything” are the same Greek word. Inspired authors of Scripture often used repetition as a literary device to communicate emphasis. The first part of the verse could literally be translated, “Everything you do… do everything in the name of the Lord…”

Also, if you think about it, all that you do happens in two different realms, the realm of words and the realm of deeds. If you are going to call Jesus “Lord,” then you should make it your goal to be consistent in what you say and what you do. Jesus had a name for individuals who said one thing and did another. He called them hypocrites.  

2. Colossians 3:17 calls for obedience to the Lord alone. It says “do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus.” What does it mean to say or do something in Jesus name? It means to say it, or do it in a way that is in agreement with Him and is consistent with His nature. For example, when we end a prayer with, “in Jesus name,” we are expressing to God our belief that our prayer is consistent with the heart of Jesus.

To say and do everything in Jesus name, is to be submitted to His Lordship in every circumstance. It is to set aside the desires of your flesh and your pride, in all your words and deeds, as a demonstration of your belief in Him as Lord of your life. To act or speak out of pride, deceit, or bitterness, however, is to demonstrate that someone or something other than Jesus is in control of your life.

3. Colossians 3:17 calls for obedience through thanksgiving. “Giving thanks to God the Father through Him,” nicely wraps up the whole thought of Colossians 3:17. We owe everything to God. He created us. He blessed us with every good thing. In fact, we can even rejoice and be thankful in our suffering knowing that He has allowed our suffering that we might find hope in growing closer to Him (cf. Romans 5:1-8). 

We have the great opportunity and privilege of giving thanks to God “through Him (Jesus).” I call it a privilege because apart from Jesus we would have no hope in approaching the throne of God the Father to give thanks. Apart from Him, we are an object of His wrath. However, because of who Jesus is and what He has done, we are able to come boldly to the throne of God (cf. Hebrews 4:16). 

What’s more, through Jesus, we have the privilege of calling Him “Father.” Just as Jacob adopted Ephraim and Manasseh (cf. Genesis 48) because they belonged to his favorite son, Joseph, so also God has also adopted all believers as His children because they belong to His only Son, Jesus. Galatians 4:6 declares to the children of God that “God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts crying ‘Abba! Father!’”

I want to wish all of you a safe and happy New Year. I encourage you to commit the year 2017 to the Lord. Make Colossians 3:17 your aim, “and whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”


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Christmas, it’s more than the nativity.

Every adult child has that one Christmas present that they remember the most. I got mine the Christmas of 1992. It was a 1:4 model kit for a V6 Turbo Engine.
 
My parents had an ulterior motive for giving me this gift. I was taking my first 7th-grade shop class. In shop, we were learning about the internal combustion engine, and I had become fascinated and that is a dangerous thing for me. My inclination has always been to get stuck on things in which I become interested. If there is some sort of attention disorder that is like A-D-D and O-C-D all rolled into one, then I have it.
 
Long story short, prior to getting the model for Christmas, I had completely dismantled our family’s push mower. After attempting to reassemble it, there were a plethora of parts left over. My dad was furious. He did not understand that I was just wanting to see the inner-workings of an engine for myself, that the pictures in my textbook were not satisfying my curiosity. I wanted to study the pistons, valves, and cylinders in three dimensions. Getting me the model for Christmas probably saved all the small engines in our garage from utter destruction.
 
I was fascinated with my gift. As I assembled the model, I got to see all the parts and how they fit and work together. Once assembled, it also had a handle that I could crank that turned the crankshaft and put all the parts in motion. The model engine block was see-through plastic so that I could see the pistons moving through the four cycles, intake-combustion-power-exhaust, and I could see the lifters pushing the valves in and out. At last, my curiosity was satisfied because I had an exact interactive copy of the object of my interest.
 
I think about my model V6 engine when I think about what the Father did for us in sending His son. The earth receiving that baby boy into the world was much like me receiving that model. Prior to His arrival, the only way one could know God was through creation and the Old Testament. However, creation and the Old Testament was a revelation that was incomplete, disjointed, and difficult to grasp. Hebrews 1:2-3 teaches us that “in these last days,” that is now at just the right time, God the Father sent His son who is “the exact imprint of His nature.”
 
Just like my model kit served to satisfy my search for a revelation to the mystery of the inner workings of the internal combustion engine, so also Jesus reveals to perfection the mystery of who God is. No one had ever seen the glory of God, but Jesus was the manifestation of “the radiance of His glory.” He was God in flesh, one whom human beings could see, interact with, and talk to. Through His creation and what He spoke through the Old Testament prophets, mankind could know Him in part, but now through Jesus, man could know Him intimately and as completely as a fallen human can know God.
 
Friends, this is the beauty of Christmas. It is more than an angel visiting a virgin. It is more than a baby being born in a manger. It is more than the visits from the shepherds and wise men. Christmas is about all of those events, but the most important event in the Christmas story is the incarnation.
 
Jesus, who “is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature” and who “upholds the universe by the word of His power,” (Hebrews 1:3) took on flesh and walked among us. Men and women touched Him. They heard His teaching. They saw His miracles, and as such, they came to know Him and behold “His glory as the only son from God the Father” (John 1:14).

 

He died on the cross to make purifications for sins; He was raised from the dead, and today He lives. He lives today, still radiating the glory of God into the hearts of men and women awakening them to salvation. He lives still today, serving as our advocate before the Father. He lives today, upholding the universe by the power of His word. This is our cause for celebrating His glorious birth.

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