JESUS ONLY: Part 2 (Day 13)
Whatever I Do
Paul concludes this section on “The New Life in Christ” (NRSV) by making a sweeping, all-encompassing statement...
“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” - Colossians 3:17 (NRSV)
James Bryan Smith, a theology professor at Friends University and director of its Christian Spiritual Formation Institute is one of my favorite writers on spiritual formation. I really like his concept that Christ followers are “apprentices” that are continually in the process of learning from “the Master”. highly recommend his Good and Beautiful series of books to you.
Smith has also written a wonderful devotional tome called Hidden in Christ which are his reflections on specific words found in Colossians 3. Read and consider this excerpt from his chapter on the word “whatever.”
'Notice that word: . Everything that we do - every word and every action – is to be done in Jesus’s name and with thanksgiving. It’s not just about what we don’t do; it’s about how we go about every living second of every day. Every moment is a gift, every breath is a gift, everything we eat and drink is a gift. In a sense, all of life is a sacrament, a sacred gift of God. Whatever we do, we do for his glory, because we are his and he is our life.
Easy answers make life easier, but God’s main aim in our lives is not merely to get us to do the right things and to stop doing the wrong things. His aim is to teach us how to love him, to love life, and to do all that we do with him and for his glory. The activity is not so much what’s in question as the heart of the person who does it. Rules do not shape our hearts. They make us focus on the activity rather than the condition of our hearts. Living under the leading of the Holy Spirit is what shapes us into new people, people who live for God and glorify him in all that they do. That is God’s great divine plan in "whatever" we do.'
I yearn to live this “whatever” approach to life in Christ. Will you join me as a fellow apprentice to Christ?
Do I tend to look at most of my life as a long, tedious, and monotonous to-do list? Why or why not?
How do I go about redeeming my view of life to one where I see every moment and everything as a gift?
Is my faith walk characterized more by following the rules or transforming my heart? Explain. How would I like to change?
Abba/Father, Your original design for creation was intended for our delight and marvel and enjoyment. Forgive me when I turn it into something else. Change my heart so that I can see the sacredness of every gift you give. Help me to slow down enough to take notice of Your goodness. Help me relish Your gifts. Help me see every opportunity to act or speak as an opportunity to invite You to be there with me. Help me to honor You in this way. Thank You for the gifts You will give me today, tomorrow, and thereafter. To You be the glory! Amen.