“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.” (Colossians 3:17)
God does not suggest we do all things in the name of Jesus—He commands it. Impossible. How can we possibly do ALL things in the name of the Lord Jesus?
Oddly enough the answer is found in Mexican food. A few verses down Paul says, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
It’s good to visualize the Bible, to make it more three-dimensional. Think of this passage as The Taco of God (you should hear the phrase read in a booming, echoing voice). Each of the virtues—compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience and forgiveness—represent ingredients of this Taco. Each virtue is essential to making a complete life in which God delights (not unlike delighting in a tasty soft taco supreme).
Beans, cheese, beef, chicken or peanut butter—every taco has an “anchor” ingredient that determines the kind of taco it’s going to be. A tortilla holds it together making it a taco instead of, say, a sandwich. In God’s Taco, loving forgiveness is the anchor ingredient. All the other virtues sprout from forgiveness. Without forgiveness it’s impossible to be consistently compassionate, kind, humble or gentle. Love (like a warm tortilla) “binds them all together in perfect unity.” A life that is flavorful and God-filled—where ALL things are done in the name of Jesus—is surrounded by love.
Don’t forget—this is God’s taco. Every single ingredient, every virtue, comes from Him. We live a life of compassion because He is compassionate. We live in kindness because He is so kind. We forgive because He forgives much. We love because He first loved us. The only way we can do all things in the name of Jesus is by the power of Jesus. The more we seek how perfect He is in all these ingredients (kindness, humility, forgiveness, etc.), the more those virtues live out of our lives. It all comes back to Him, wrapped in love, to be used however He chooses. This is how Paul could make such an impossible command. He knew whose taco it was.
Father, I pray that I can remember all that you are and all that you have done for me. You encompass all the best things of this world, and I am honored to beloved and cared for by you.