Yesterday I had the incredible privilege of baptizing a young man into Christ. I can’t think of anything better than to be present when Jesus washes a person’s sins away in his blood and through his grace.
His decision to follow Jesus will change everything about him—his priorities, his perspectives, his words and actions. Everything.
And I think that’s what Paul means in this verse:
“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 3:17).
In fact, Paul was probably reminding us of the day we committed ourselves to Christ.
“Just as you were baptized in his name,” Paul was saying, “Do everything in your life in a way that is conscious of his authority and reputation.”
That’s a reminder we all need, isn’t it?
The apostle doesn’t want us to miss his point. He writes “whatever you do,” and to make it abundantly clear he adds these words: “in word or deed.”
We should do everything in a way that’s conscious of Jesus’ claim on us.
The way we talk to our kids.
How we speak to the slow-as-molasses department store clerk.
What we do when we’re cut off in traffic.
What we see on television and the web sites we visit.
In fact, it’d be good to get into the habit of asking ourselves before we speak or act, “Will this word or action bring honor or shame to the name of Jesus?”
Will he be praised?
Will it make the people around me think more highly of Jesus?
Will God smile when he hears what I say and sees what I do?
That principle is so easy to forget.
It’s easy to think that following Jesus means watching out for the big sins, the really bad mistakes, the ones committed by the awful sinners.
But we probably ought to remember that Jesus actually walks with us all the time and cares about everything we do.
Once we’ve put him on in baptism, we wear him everywhere we go.
Think about that today. Remember the day you first began walking with Christ.
And then let every word and action be consistent with the one whose name you wear.