Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I'd like to thank Jesus...

We have all heard preachers, worship leaders and study leaders emphasise that worship is not just a singing thing or a Sunday thing but a whole life thing. In fact from the time I came to faith in Christ 17 years ago I have been constantly warned about becoming a “Sunday Christian”. But as consistent as this teaching has been I don’t recall too many people actually helping me to reconcile what it actually means to worship Jesus with the whole of my life.

I have often been pointed to 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.” It is kind of the gold standard of ‘worship with your whole life’ verses… but I wonder if any of us actually know what it means to “do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus”?

I mean practically what does doing something in the name of Jesus actually look like? I think we all know that it means more than giving lip-service to Jesus. We have all smirked cynically at famous actors, musicians and sports stars who honour Jesus in their acceptance speeches… because deep down we know that simply proclaiming that you are doing something in the name of the Lord Jesus doesn't necessarily mean that Jesus is honoured by your actions.

And yet so often this is the extent of our attempts to worship Jesus in everything... we just tack Jesus' name onto the end of our lifestyle in the hope that it rubber stamps our actions and attitudes.  We say "grace" before meals but rarely give a thought as to whether or not what we are eating... how we are eating... or who we are eating with is actually worshipful.  It is so easy to give Jesus' name lip-service!

We desperately need a practical, real-life understanding of what it means to do everything in the name of Jesus.

Truly honouring Jesus’ name is not simply a matter of treating His name like a fashion accessory to our lives... as if its presence provides some kind of superstitious blessing… a way of guaranteeing God’s favour. Rather, doing everything in the name of the Lord Jesus means doing everything in such a way that the person of Jesus is actually brought to bear on your life… doing everything in such a way that Jesus is in some way revealed by our actions and attitudes… when people encounter us they are actually reminded of Jesus..

A sporting star’s sporting achievements are not done in the name of Jesus simply when he or she writes Jesus into their post-match interview… but more so when Jesus is written all over the way they play their sport. In their sacrificial actions, compassionate sportsmanship, humble view of themselves, honesty and integrity with officials and gracious and dignified interaction with their opposition.

So in our quest to worship Jesus with all of our lives the question we need to be asking of ourselves is: how can I bring Jesus to bear on each and every situation I find myself in? Over the next few posts I hope to start a discussion that will practically examine our attitudes towards the different contexts in which we live in the hope that we might be able to exercise, work, manage our finances, get married, study and do everything in the name of Jesus Christ.

Ultimately this is not just about our own worship of God… it is also pivotal to the mission God has called us to. We need to acknowledge that the way we live our lives as Christians must be radically different from others who do not have their hope in Him. The Apostle Peter tells us to always be prepared to give an answer for the hope that we have… but if our hope looks the same as the rest of the world's... why would anyone ever ask us any questions?  

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