I had a conversation recently.
Do you want to chant?
Chant with me…
Promises…in Jesus’ name
Wealth…in Jesus’ name
Joy…in Jesus’ name
Being fulfilled…in Jesus’ name
Are we tired yet?
If we end every sentence with “In Jesus’ name” does that validate what is spoken?
The curt answer is “No!”
“Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.”
I will say that there are places where there are more self proclaimed ‘prophets’ than exist in the entire Word of God!
We are aware that there are true and false Prophets:
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.”
Matthew 7:15-20 (NIV)
Prayer in Jesus’ name is taught in John 14:13-14, “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to The Father. You may ask me for anything in My name, and I will do it.”
Some misapply this verse, thinking that saying “in Jesus’ name” at the end of a prayer results in God’s always granting what is asked for. This is essentially treating the words “in Jesus’ name” as a magic formula. This is absolutely unbiblical!
Praying in Jesus’ name means praying with His authority and asking God the Father to act upon our prayers because we come in the name of His Son, Jesus.
Praying in Jesus’ name means the same thing as praying according to the will of God, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of Him” 1 John 5:14-15.
Praying in Jesus’ name is praying for things that will honor and glorify Jesus.
Saying “in Jesus’ name” at the end of a prayer is not a magic formula. If what we ask for or say in prayer is not for God’s glory and according to His will, saying “in Jesus’ name” is meaningless. Genuinely praying in Jesus’ name and for His glory is what is important, not attaching certain words to the end of a prayer. It is not the words in the prayer that matter, but the purpose behind the prayer. Praying for things that are in agreement with God’s will is the essence of praying in Jesus’ name.
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)
This is one of those verses that appears everywhere. You see it on chalkboards, t-shirts, coffee mugs, even tattoos. It’s so present that it feels cliché—co-opted, even, by popular culture. Kind of a pithy proclamation of, “Hey, I’m not living for myself. I do everything for Jesus.”
It’s one downfall of our consumer culture. So many things—even biblical, God-honoring things—have been turned into knick-knacks. Their ubiquity depletes them of power. Seeing them often, we run the risk of blowing off this verse and others like it: “I can do all things through Christ,” or “For I know the plans I have for you,” or “With God all things are possible.”
But before they were bumper stickers and hand-painted on reclaimed barn wood, they were God’s very words. The Creator and Sustainer of the universe spoke them into existence. He whispered them to you and me through their appointed human scribes. They were breathed out for our good and God’s glory.
Colossians 3:17 says so much more than, “Hey, let’s live for Jesus” (though if that’s all it said, and if we pondered that message in and of itself, it would pack a mighty punch). In the context of Paul’s letter to the young church at Colossae, this verse is a call to live from a foundation of gospel-centrality. With the past, present, and future in mind, this verse calls us to live in light of the gospel.
Appreciate the Past: Give Thanks to God the Father through Him
The second half of the verse tells us to give thanks to God the Father through Jesus. We are reminded that God is indeed our Father. He is the one who gives “to all mankind life and breath and everything” (Acts 17:25). He is the Father “from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named” (Ephesians 3:15). We are not self-created, nor self-existing. We have a Father who granted us life and gives us everything we need. He created us and sustains us. Through this verse Paul reminds us to thank our good God.
But not only is God our Father, he’s also our redeemer. When Paul says to give thanks “through him,” he means Jesus. We are to thank the Father through the Son. It is our faith and hope in Jesus, the beloved Son sent on our behalf, that grants us access to the Father. In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul said “for through him we both [Jews and Gentiles] have access in one Spirit to the Father” (2:18). We can approach our Father through the Son and thank him for life and salvation.
This posture of remembering who made us and remembering who saved us lays a foundation of gratitude. As we walk in awareness that we are not responsible for our own life and breath, nor our right standing before a holy God, we walk in humility and thankfulness. The routine acknowledgement that we exist and know God by grace alone leads to gratitude.
Act in the Present: Whatever You Do, in Word or Deed
The foundation of remembering and giving thanks, afforded to us through the Son from the Father, gives us the motivation and basis for how we are to speak and act today. We are creatures, brought forth by a good Creator who wrote us into his story and wrote our stories, as well. We thrive when all that we say and do flows from that ultimate reality and we suffer when we depart from it.
Paul reminded the Corinthians, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). As the blood-bought and adopted children of our Father in heaven, we are called to be his ambassadors, a reflection of him to a watching world. Jesus not only purchased our salvation, but the right to inhabit whatever we do.
We are vessels, jars of clay, living sacrifices. And, we do not belong to ourselves, but to our Lord in heaven. We have been “crucified with Christ and [we] no longer live, but Christ lives in [us]” (Galatians 2:20). As we remember the past with gratitude, let’s live in the present, “working out [our] salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in [us] to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” (Philippians 2:13).
Aim for the Future: Do Everything in the Name of the Lord Jesus
Finally, “everything” in this verse denotes a sum. What will be the sum total of our lives? What will our appreciation of the past and our acts in the present add up to in the end? The call to do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus lifts our eyes to the future and requires us to ask ourselves, “What—or who—am I living for?”
Paul said in another letter to another church, “Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). Who is getting the glory in our lives, God or us? He will not share his glory (Isaiah 42:8). How can we make sure we are living for him? Here are some ways:
Evaluate your plans and dreams and goals and ask yourself, and The Lord through prayer, if they are aligned with His Word, his will, and his character. Put to death whatever is Earthly in you (Colossians 3:5), waging war against your sinful habits. Put on new, godly habits such as compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, patience, bearing with one another, forgiving each other, putting on love, letting the peace of Christ rule in your heart, and letting the the word of Christ dwell in you richly (Colossians 3:12-16). Take all your thoughts captive so they obey Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).
May God Himself grant us fresh eyes to see his eternal Word. May we guard ourselves against becoming complacent and even cynical in our consumer culture, which commodifies Bible verses. Even when we see God’s Word sprinkled here and there—on a bumper sticker or a tattoo or a chalkboard—may we dwell on it and be transformed by it.
It is His Word, after all.
In conclusion: Work hard, and harder yet; the rewards are untold. Look at the examples we have! Very few people have ‘riches’ that were not worked for. For the most part they are still aiming higher still!
Honestly; I honestly learned so much from this share! I even looked at the ‘title’ of the site!
Does it meet the necessary ‘criteria’?
Good question, it IS a lesson for all!
To ‘reason’ it out would seem improper, I will admit that I wanted to state what the subject matter was “God” to Whom we approach in Jesus’ name.