Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
History and Context:
Colossians was written by Paul to the church in Colosse, a town in Asia Minor about 100 miles from Ephesus. The church in Colosse had begun to follow various pagan practices, including the worship of elemnetal spirits. For this reason, Paul declares Christ's supremacy over all spirits and the entire created universe. He also spends a lot of time denouncing false teachers. The first part of the book is simply establishing correct doctrine whereas the second part is discussing more practical application in correct conduct.
In this chapter we see Paul begin by listing various forms of evil behavior. He says we need to put off the evil behaviors and put on the behaviors listed above. We need to put on mercy, kindness, patience, humilty, and meekness. But he says the most important thing to put on is love. This importance put on love echoes 1 Corinthians 13 when Paul writes that love is the 'greatest of these' over faith and hope. When we put these things on, he says we can then allow the peace of God to rule in our hearts, and the Word of Christ to dwell in us. To sum it all up he writes; "And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him."
Today's challenge comes from the final verse. "And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." Whatever we do, we should do it in His name. We should look to glorify Him in all our actions, in all our words. The challenge today is to be conscious about this. Go through your day today with the idea that everything you do you will do it as if you are doing it for Jesus Himself. This might be especially challengeing for those of you who have to work today. It is easy to think that the job is just for money and to do just enough to slip by, but Paul writes here that we should act as if we are working for Jesus in our job. Do it to the best of your ability, with the best attitude!
Lord, help me to perform every action as if I am doing it for you, and to speak every word as if I am speaking in your name. Direct my actions and my words today. Help my attitude in all that I am doing. Let me bring glory to you! In Jesus' Name, Amen!