COLOSSIANS 3:17: “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.” (ESV
OBSERVATION: How can I live as a “light” to the world? Anyone who is a serious student of the Bible will ask themselves this question. Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, exhorted us:
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16 ESV
It is clear that as believers in Jesus Christ we are to shine a lights before men – but how do we do that? Who establishes the list that we are to follow? How do we become lights, without falling prey to legalism and a critical spirit? Paul gives us examples of light and darkness in the third chapter of Colossians. Yet, he does not do this to establish “the list” that we are to follow. Paul’s purpose in these comparisons is simply to illustrate the difference between light and darkness. Paul summarizes his comparisons with this exhortation:
“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.” Colossians 3:14-16 ESV
It all comes back to two things – Jesus and Love. If we stay focused upon Jesus Christ (and His words), and if we allow His Love to work through us, our light will shine. This is why Paul ends this comparison and exhortation with this 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.” If we do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus (that which reflects His character, His teaching, and His life), if we put on His Love, then we will shine forth as lights and our lives and actions will give thanks to God the father – through Jesus Christ!
This is really a very simple and practical, yet powerful principle. We simply need to ask – Would Jesus do this? Did Jesus teach this? Does this lead others to Jesus? Am I walking in the Love of Christ in what I am doing? Are my life and actions giving thanks to God? Is my light shining with His reflection? You don’t need a long checklist to answer these questions, you simply need to know Jesus and His Love! Jesus did not say – “If you master the checklist you will be my disciples.” He said – “If you LOVE Me you will keep my commandments.” And, “By this shall all men know that you are My disciples, in that you have LOVE one for another.” It is all about JESUS and His LOVE! As we look at Jesus we understand what to do! As we abide in Jesus we learn how to love!
Lord, may everything I do today be done in the name of Jesus. May my actions and attitudes be directed and motivated by His Love. Deliver me from the pull and temptations of my “old self” and let me live in the power of the “new self” You have created by Your Spirit through faith in Jesus Christ. May my life today give thanks to God the Father as I walk with Jesus and in the power of His Love! In Jesus Name!