Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Living as Positive People in a Negative World: 4 Everything You Do

Living as Positive People in a Negative World:
4 Everything You Do

Text: Colossian 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

Introduction: My own thanks
Thanks first to the Lord for the blessings in my life that now go beyond number and even memory. I have been blessed past specific acts to a life of blessing. Blessing upon blessing with the next blessing beginning before the present one has finished echoing in my heart. Thank You Father.

Thank you to my family. You are the greatest blessing God has given me. When I was first married my brother-in-law asked me if I was going to have any children. When I replied "Yes" he was dumb founded. "Why would you bring children into this sick world?" he seriously asked. I didn't have a good answer then but you my family are the answer. This world is a better place because you are in it. You have amazed me with your love, loyalty and faith. I see God working in your life and I amazed at who you have become and who you will one day be.

Thanks to my church. You took a wounded and discouraged Pastor and loved him. I still cannot get past the miracle God worked through you to heal me. You are my family and in the Lord and it is a relationship uniquely blessed by God. I am not all the Pastor you deserve but you have loved me in spite of my shortcomings, such are the greatest blessing of God in our life.

 Bible commentator Matthew Henry, after being robbed, wrote this in his diary:
   Let me be thankful, first because I was never robbed before. Second, because although they took my wallet they did not take my life. Third, because although they took my all, it was not much. Fourth, because it was I who was robbed, not I who robbed.

Whatever you Do

Colossian 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him

A. The Extent of Positive Living

1.         JFB - 17. Translated literally the beginning of this verse would say, "And everything whatsoever you all do . . . do all, " 
3.         In Word or Deed
a)         The command was meant to encompasses all of us and all of our activities.  In word or deed means that the entire person and all their actions and decisions must be done because of thankfulness to God. The entire life should be lived in thankfulness and the attitude must always be one of thankfulness.
b)         When they act the actions show thankfulness.  If they speak their words reveal thankfulness. It is understood that everything from the smallest speech to the greatest action must be motivated and accomplished through thanksgiving.
Example: Hezekiah 2 Chronicles 31:20 And thus did Hezekiah throughout all Judah, and wrought that which was good and right and truth before the LORD his God. 21 And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God, and in the law, and in the commandments, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart, and prospered.

B. How Extensive Is Your Positive Life?

1.         In spiritual tasks- Are you raising your children for Christ? Loving your spouse, going to church, praying, reading your Bible?  These are good, because we understand as things we do for God.
2.         What about secular tasks, everyday works and challenges? - What about that homework assignment?  What about that report at work?  What about that computer you repair or that pipe you replace?  Are you doing these things Christ?  Do you see each work of your hands as a opportunity to serve God?  God’s word says we should and we must if we are truly thankful.
3.         What about the hard and unseen things? - What about forgiving an injury or overlooking a offense?  What about letting others go before us? What about doing God’s work without any chance of being recognized for it?  This is where a true understanding of thanksgiving begins to be seen. In everything whether spiritual or secular, seen or unseen, hard or mundane I must do it for Jesus Christ because He did everything for me.

C. Illustrations

1.  German pastor Martin Rinkart served in the walled town of Eilenburg during the horrors of the Thirty Years War of 1618-1648.
 Eilenburg became an overcrowded refuge for the surrounding area. The fugitives suffered from epidemic and famine. At the beginning of 1637, the year of the Great Pestilence, there were four ministers in Eilenburg. But one abandoned his post for healthier areas and could not be persuaded to return. Pastor Rinkhart officiated at the funerals of the other two. As the only pastor left, he often conducted services for as many as 40 to 50 persons a day--some 4,480 in all. In May of that year, his own wife died. By the end of the year, the refugees had to be buried in trenches without services.
   Yet living in a world dominated by death, Pastor Rinkart wrote the following prayer for his children to offer to the Lord:

   Now thank we all our God With hearts and hands and voices;
   Who wondrous things hath done, In whom this world rejoices.
   Who, from our mother's arms, Hath led us on our way,
   With countless gifts of love, And still is ours today.

Transition: Everything we do, no matter what it is, should be done with out hearts and thoughts toward God. The next qualifier in the verse, is in the name of Jesus.

Do All in Jesus Name

Colossian 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him

A. The Emissary for Positive Living

1. JFB - in the name of the Lord Jesus, as disciples called by His name as His, seeking His guidance and help, and desiring to act so as to gain His approval
2. NTWP - This is a sort of Golden Rule for Christians "in the name of the Lord Jesus", in the spirit of the Lord Jesus.  
3. “In Jesus name” means acting, working, living and doing through ourselves what Christ would if he were here. It is not just asking the question “What would Jesus Do?” but knowing and then fulfilling the answer in our own lives.        

B. Claim the name by living the life

1. If we are to experience the power and authority of Jesus name we must begin to work, to risk, to live in that name. We cannot be afraid to let others see who we are, a people called after Jesus own name.
2. That name is seen through the sum of our life. Others recognize the name of Jesus in us as we recognize the reality of all that we are or do being in that name.
a) Romans 14:8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.
b) 1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
c) 2 Corinthians 5:15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
3. We must see the overriding importance of the name of Jesus Christ in us, so that in all we do, we show others who Christ is. We show his name.
4. Like the story of …

C. Illustration

1. There is an old baseball story about a game in which the Cleveland Indians were playing the Chicago Cubs in Chicago. It was the ninth inning and Cleveland was leading 3-0 as Chicago came to bat for the last time. The first three Chicago batters reached base safely. With the bases loaded, the Cleveland manager called in a young relief pitcher. The first ball thrown by the new pitcher was promptly hit over the center field fence: A home run! The game was over; Chicago had won, 4-3. Later, in the clubhouse, the young relief pitcher went over to the Cleveland team's star pitcher, Bob Feller -- one of baseball's "All-Time Greats". "Bob," he said, "tell me how you would have pitched that ball." Bob Feller replied, "Under an assumed name!"
2. What name are you going to be pitching under? 

Transition: So positive people do everything in the name of Jesus Christ. Now there is one qualifier left.

III. Giving Thanks by Him

A. The Expression of Positive Living

1. Interesting term- giving thanks by him.
2. JFB- by him in the Greek, " through Him" as the channel of His grace to us, and of our thanksgiving to Him.
3. Think of it. Jesus is not only the reason for our thanks, he is the channel by which we are able to give thanks. It is like a two-way line of communication, or better yet a river that runs in two directions, His grace flows to us and our thanksgiving flows back to him along that same river.
He is the object of our thanks but he is also the means of our being able to express that thanks.

B. The Thankful Life is the Positive Life

1. The one we are thankful for is the one we give thanks through. Perhaps this is the most positive element of the positive life, not only because of Him but through Him we have so many things to be thankful for.
2.  John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
a)  The way of salvation, the way of truth, the way of life and the way of thanksgiving is through Jesus Christ.
b)  The more we realize that Jesus is our all and all, the more we will express and show our thankfulness. The more it will show in whatsoever we do in words and in deed and the more it must show in our words and deeds.
There is nothing in this world more positive than giving thanks to God for the gift of Jesus Christ by doing those things that show thankfulness.

C. Illustration:   

1. Helen Keller (1890-1968), who was born both blind and deaf, was thought of as a wild animal until she was finally taught to communicate. Then it was discovered sh had an intellect and a loving heart. She came to know the Lord and this woman born without the ability to see or hear loved the Lord, she often spoke of thanksgiving:  "For three things I thank God every day of my life: thanks, that He has vouchsafed me knowledge of His works; deep thanks that He has set in my darkness the lamp of faith; deep, deepest thanks that I have another life to look forward -- a life joyous with light and flowers and heavenly song."
2. I thank God for my handicaps; for, through them, I have found myself, my work, and my God. - Helen Adams Keller (1880-1968)

Conclusion: Dying Missionary’s last entry in diary

1. Allen Gardiner was a naval officer in the British navy and later desiring to serve and even greater King he became a missionary to some of wildest and least settled lands in the new world. He experienced many physical difficulties and hardships throughout his service to the Savior. Despite his troubles, he said, "While God gives me strength, failure will not daunt me." In 1851 after years of trying to find money to reach the people of Patagonia he finally sailed a ship there determined to reach the hostile natives. He as other men landed on Picton island at the far southern tip of South America, with 6 months supply and began to work. Storms delayed the resupply ship and when it finally arrived all they found were the dead bodies of the missionaries who had starved to death. Captain Allen Gardiner was the last to die and he wrote continuously in his diary, It told of the of the hunger, thirst, wounds, and loneliness. The last entry in his little book showed the struggle of his shaking hand as he tried to write legibly. It read, "I am overwhelmed with a sense of the goodness of God."

2. It may seem unbelievable to us that a man dying because of his service to God would, with his last dying strength, praise God.  It can only be true because he had learned the reality of “Colossians 3 verse 17, “in everything you do, do all in the name of Christ giving thanks to God by Him.” Because he had lived his life in that truth it was no difficulty for him to die in that same way.

3. What about us?  How are we living our life?  How are we viewing everything we do? Do you understand living a life of thanksgiving to God through Jesus Christ?
4. When you come to your death it will reflect the life you have lived.  Will it be one of isolation, apathy and unconcern?  Will it be one of fear and uncertainty or will it be one of faith and thanksgiving?  The commitment you make today and for the rest of your life will make that determination.

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