Monday, December 15, 2008

What's in a Name?

December 15: Colossians 1-4 & Philemon

1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.

12 Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 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 3:1-2 & 12-17, ESV


What's in a Name?

When I was a child I was not very old when I discovered that everything I did, whether good or bad, affected our name within the community. Being from a small town, a tarnished name was hard to overcome. We would do well to think of this same principle as Christians. What's in a name? More importantly, how well do you represent the name of Jesus?

That really sums up the meaning of the verses shown above; unfortunately we tend to forget that in everything we do or say, at work or at home, we are representing the name of Jesus! In Colossians, Paul is addressing the church at Colossi; this epistle was written to Christians, not to unbelievers.

So how should Christians act? I cannot answer that question more succinctly than Paul did in Colossians 3:12-17.

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 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.

It is a pretty tall order; as a matter of fact, no matter how hard we try we are certain to fail! That is, we will fail if we attempt to be obedient to the Lord in our own power. We must go to Christ! Only through the power of God can we live as we are called to live in these verses. Just imagine what churches would be like today if all believers really took these verses to heart!

We sing about it, especially at this time of year:

Peace on earth,
goodwill to men.

Think about that as you make your preparations for Christmas; the preparations of your heart are more important than any other. So, in your life, what's in a name? How do you represent the name of Jesus?

God Bless You,
Linda

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