Colossians 1:3-14 (ESV)
We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf and has made known to us your love in the Spirit. And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, Who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in Whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
...So as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him... This should be our goal each day. Here Paul is telling the church to pay attention to what they are doing at all times. According to Adam Clarke’s Commentary, to be fully pleasing to Him includes not just believing the right thing, but doing the right thing, at the right time, with the right attitude.
Sometimes I do the right thing, but with an attitude. If I am grudgingly obedient, then I am not fulfilling Paul’s admonition to the Colossians. Jesus challenged the scribes and pharisees once with a parable about two sons asked by their father to go into the field and work. The first one said he would go, but then did not. The second one said he would not go, then changed his mind and went. He asked them which son did his father’s will. Of course we know the answer. The one who actually went and did the job. Jesus never said that either one of them was commended for doing the job, only that one of them did it. I think there is a difference in doing a job, and doing it in a manner pleasing to God.
The question we must ask ourselves is this: “Am I doing what I do for myself or for Jesus?” If the answer is Jesus, then I must ensure it meets the scriptural admonition.
We are all called to do everything we do for Jesus. When I go to work at my regular job, I should do my job as unto Jesus. How I spend my time, how I treat the customers, how I deal with the boss, etc. When I am not at work, I should treat my wife and children the way I would if Jesus was standing there with me. Because He is. He is always with me. He promised He would never leave me.
My prayer is that the Lord will let His presence be known to each one of us today, and that we may all, as Paul said to the Colossians, "Walk in a manner worthy of Christ, fully pleasing to Him."
by Virgil Stripes
Photo: Crosses carved into the walls of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher by the crusaders.