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.”