“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”(Col.3:17) Our days are packed full of different activities from school to work and so on. Our schedules may differ but one thing we all seem to have in common is the fact that we lead very busy lives. No matter how busy we are and no matter how long our days are or even what activities are included we are to do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus. Paul encourages that our every word and deed should be said or done for the Lord. Think about your day and how that mindset might change your approach and even your attitude. Every word that I speak I want to do so as if speaking to the Lord. This idea should change the way we speak no matter what kind of day we are having. Not only will this affect your day for better, it will also improve the day of those to whom you speak. If I gear my every word as if I’m speaking to Jesus I will make a positive impact on those around me. Whatever you do with your words do it as if Jesus is standing next to you. Paul also mentions our deeds or actions and how they should be done for the Lord also. Whatever your job is do it as if you are serving the Lord. If I’m doing my job as if I’m serving the Lord then there won’t be any gripping and complaining. You see, this daily exercise will hold our attitude in check. When everything I say and do is about serving Jesus even my worst days are not such bad days. Paul closes this powerful passage out by encouraging us to do these things all the while giving thanks to God. We should have an attitude of thanksgiving every day. God has blessed us so much and in so many ways but especially with the hope of eternal life through His Son Jesus. Just think about how positive your outlook on life will be if your words and actions are used for the Lord and you have an attitude of thanksgiving daily. When my attitude is good, my day is good. When I’m focused on the Lord, my attitude is good. If we practice what Paul encourages we will be focused on the Lord.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”(Jno.13:34-35) Christians should be the most loving people on the planet. In fact, the first character trait mentioned in the fruit of the Spirit is “love”. (Gal.5:22) Those character qualities mentioned in the fruit of the Spirit are exactly what God expects every Christian’s character to look like. God expects Christians to love one another and to just be loving people in general. Jesus said, people will know that we are His disciples by the love we have for one another. Another mark of discipleship is our love for others. People from friends to community acquaintances will know we are Christians by the way we love. When we lead lives of love it is seen in the way we speak and in the way we treat others. Leading a life of love will be noticed even by strangers who witness how we carry ourselves. When someone is rude to you and you handle the situation in a loving way you are demonstrating the mark of discipleship. We show Jesus to all those around us and that we belong to Him when we love the way He does.
Football players wear protective pads. Baseball players wear hats and gloves. Cheerleaders have pom-poms. Band members have instruments. Each of these are different but are easily identifiable by the equipment they use. What about Christians? How do we identify a Christian? What is the mark of true discipleship? “To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.”(Jno.8:31) Jesus explains that the mark of discipleship is holding to the teachings of Christ. The teachings of Christ are the Biblical principles that Jesus taught to the apostles who in turn passed on in their teaching. The early Christians on Pentecost were devoted “to the apostles’ teaching” (Acts 2:42) which were the teachings of Christ. We know if someone is a Christian or not by the teachings they follow. “Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.”(II Jno.9) Just as some professionals are known by the uniforms they wear so Christians are known by the teachings of Christ that they live by.
We are so curious and enamored with angels. We have so many questions about angels. Are angels only in heaven? Is it possible for a human to have an encounter with an angel in this life? Would we recognize an angel if we saw one? These are just a few questions that may come to mind when we think of angels. Angels have ministered in some pretty important ways through the course of history. It was the angel Gabriel who spoke to Zechariah and foretold of the birth of John the Baptist.(Lk.1:11-20) The angel Gabriel also foretold of the birth of Jesus to the virgin Mary.(Lk.1:26-38) While Jesus was agonizing in prayer in the garden it was an angel who appeared and strengthened him.(Lk.22:43) It was angels who rolled the stone away from Jesus’ tomb.(Lk.24:1-8) Angels played a very significant role in Jesus’ life but do they still today? If you’ve read the Bible, specifically Hebrews, you’ve run across that one verse that peaks our interest and makes us wonder even more about angels. “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.”(Heb.13:2) Wow, so it is possible that we today could encounter an angel. The thought of that happening should influence the way we treat people, especially strangers. “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?”(Heb.1:14) Exactly how angels minister to us today, I’m not totally sure, but I definitely believe there are angels among us.