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Worship Message - Do Everything

Do Everything…

Throughout the recent Advent season, we did, during the Sunday morning and Christmas Eve messages, highlight several songs of Christmas. Songs that proclaim the message of Jesus’ birth.

Some of the songs we talked about were kind of sad ones .

O Come, O Come Emmanuel, which tells of the people of God, before Jesus, crying out for a Savior. Crying out because they were suffering.

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, which at the start reminds us there was and still is a lack of peace and good will in the world.

Away in a Manger, which reminds us Jesus’ first bed was a feeding trough. How sad that someone so great had such a humble beginning.

Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne, which reminds us that Jesus had not only a humble beginning, but later faced rejection as He ministered. Later still He was crucified.

Some of the songs were sad ones, but others were joyous.

Joy to the World. The Lord has come. The challenge in that song is that we join the earth in receiving the King.

How Great Our Joy.

God Is With Us. That song reminds us God’s love rains on the world. The love comes in the form of Jesus.

Last Sunday, two more songs were highlighted.

The first was As With Gladness Men of Old. That one tells of the visit of the Wise Men to Jesus. Men who were guided by a star, who worshiped Jesus when they met Him, who gave Him precious gifts at that time. That Christmas song ends with the prayer we all should speak. The prayer that the Lord whose birth we celebrated will keep us in His narrow way. That He will keep us all the way to Heaven.

The second song of last week was a reminder of what we are to do after saying that prayer. The song was Go, Tell It on the Mountain. What we are to do is tell others about Jesus.

For this message, one more song to highlight. Not a Christmas song, but one that is related to the challenge to tell others about Jesus. One that actually expands that challenge to the point of telling others about Jesus, not only with our words, but in everything we do.

The song is Do Everything. It is recorded by Steven Curtis Chapman. Let’s review the message of the song, and who it applies to, that being everyone. We will do that to set the stage for a look at what the Bible teaches about doing everything as ways of telling others about Jesus.

Are you a parent picking up toys on the living room floor for the fifteenth time today? Matching socks, sweeping up Cheerios? Do you wonder sometimes, does it matter at all?

Let me remind you. It all matters. It matters as long as you do everything you do to the glory of the One who made you ‘cause He made you to do every little thing that you do so you could bring a smile to His face.

Maybe you're a guy with a suit and tie. Maybe your shirt says your name. You may be hooking up mergers or cooking up burgers, but at the end of the day, little stuff, big stuff, in between stuff, God sees it all the same. And yes, it all matters. It matters as long as you do everything you do to the glory of the One who made you ‘cause He made you to do every little thing that you do so you could bring a smile to His face.

Maybe you're sitting in math class. Or maybe you’re on a mission in the Congo. Or maybe you're working in an office, singing along with the radio.

Maybe you're dining at a 5-star restaurant or feeding orphans in Myanmar.

The message is that anywhere and everywhere you are, whatever you do, it all matters. So don't ever forget to do everything you do to the glory of the One who made you ‘cause He made you to do every little thing that you do so you could bring a smile to His face and tell the story of grace.

What an important message. Whatever you and I do, we are to do it to the glory of God. We are to do whatever we do in ways that will please the one whose birth we just celebrated. We will please Him as we do and say things that will let others know about Him.

Which is the message of not only the song Do Everything, but of the Bible as well. Including chapter 3 of the New Testament Book of Colossians, where the wording of two verses perfectly fits the challenge. Much of the rest of the chapter will be talked about as well because the rest of the chapter explains how to do everything to the glory of God.

Colossians 3. The author is the apostle Paul. He begins the chapter with a challenge for all who are Christians. “If then you have been raised with Christ [if you are a Christian - if you have accepted the one we just celebrated - if you know Him as the Savior He was born to be] seek the things that are above [things that are holy and pure and spiritual, worthy of] where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.”

To be able to seek such things, “set your minds on things that are above rather than on things that are on earth.”

In a commentary I read this, which is at least a partial explanation of the difference between things above and things on earth.

Things on earth include ambition, getting, ruling, avenging. And hey, there is nothing inherently wrong with having certain ambitions. They can help keep us focused. And sometimes any of us might be put in some sort of leadership position. In that way, ruling will be required.

But things above, by contrast, include God’s will being the basis of what we want, and giving, and serving being the basis for leading others, and forgiving.

Those of us who are Christians are to concentrate on things above. On what is holy and pure. Things worthy of Christ. That will help us do everything we do to the glory of God.

As we concentrate on things above, we are - this also is in Colossians 3 - to “put to death what is earthly in us,” including fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, all of which cause the wrath of God.

Fornication and impurity. Those two refer to physical relationships outside the bounds of marriage between one man and one woman. It goes beyond just the physical to the thoughts people have.

Passion and evil desire. Passion here refers to passion over reason, as in not thinking about what is done, including the costs of actions and the effects actions can have on relationships. It is the demand for what I want, even if it is harmful to you. That can of course lead to desiring - to wanting - what is evil rather than what is helpful, personally and to others.

Covetousness is the desire to have more and more, including a desire to have what belongs to others. It refers to an unquenchable desire for more and more. As I also read in a commentary, covetousness is no easier to satisfy than it is fill with water a bowl with a hole in it.

And if what is coveted is money, it can lead to theft. If prestige, it can lead to slandering others. If power, it can lead to tyranny. If the coveting is centered on another person, it can lead to fornication and impurity.

Paul reminded the Christians in Colossae - he reminds us - that what we are to put to death, we “once walked in.” We once did those things. But that is no longer to be the case for those of us who are Christians. We are to be different.

So different, we will also “put away anger and wrath, malice, slander, foul talk, and lieing.”

Wrath is defined as a quick rage. Something that can lead a person to say something without thinking. Something that can be hurtful and never taken back.

Anger refers to a long-lasting, slow-burning feeling. One that refuses to be pacified.

Both are to be put away. Easy? Of course not. But it can be done with the power of the Lord.

We who are Christians are to put away malice. Malice is wanting the worst to happen to someone else, which is the opposite of love.

We are to put away slander, foul talk, and lieing. Those things refer to insulting for the purpose of hurting the reputation of someone else. To obscenities. And we of course know what lieing is.

Remember the theme for today. It is to do everything we do to the glory of the one who made us. To the glory of God. To accomplish that, the first step must be to have nothing to do with - and yes, we might have done any or all of these things before, but as Christians, we must have nothing to do with - fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness. We must have nothing to do with anger, wrath, malice, slander, foul talk, and lieing.

Instead… Here is an important point. It is not enough to get rid of what is bad. We are to put good things in the place of what is bad. Instead, we are “put on, as God's chosen ones, as those who are holy and beloved by God [as Christians], compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, patience, and forgiveness.”

We are to have a desire to help others. Our words and our actions are to be helpful. We are to be kind enough to want others to have advantages. Humble enough to want to assist others as they, too, grow in the Christian faith. Meek enough to be patient even with those who have not yet begun a Christian walk. We are to forgive those who hurt us.

Again, none of that is easy to put on. But we can put on every one of those things. We can accomplish that with the help of the Lord. Which we need to do to fit what Paul adds. “Above all these, put on love. That is what is to bind everything together in perfect harmony.“

Paul goes on to suggest all this is not to be a solitary exercise. We are work on putting away and putting to death what is bad and putting on what is good. We are to do that together. As Paul wrote, may we “let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts so that we can be one spiritual body.”

As that one body, we are to “let the word of Christ dwell in us richly.” We are to “teach and admonish one another in all wisdom.” We are to “sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.” We are to teach and sing “with thankfulness in our hearts to God.”

That is why getting together on Sunday mornings is so important. So critical.

We do not gather - and the same thing can be said for Wednesday evening Bible study and youth meetings and when the Women of Worth in Christ meet and when we have dinners and other events - we do not gather just to be getting together.

Our meeting together is critical because those are the times we do teach and admonish and sing and are thankful together, each time teaching and reminding and teaching and reminding the word of Christ about what needs to be done to accomplish the theme for this message, which is stated this way in verse 17. “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.”

As the words of the song Do Everything ask, are you a parent or a student? Are you sitting in math class, at a desk in a corporate office, or at a work bench? Are you retired? That one is not in the song. I add that one. It makes no difference. As the song and as Colossians 3 proclaim, whatever you do, make sure your words and your actions are handled in ways that are pleasing to the Lord. Make sure what you say and do are ways of giving thanks to God for giving us Jesus and the salvation He came to offer. What better way to encourage each other. What better way to be a witness for the world.

Remember the last song last Sunday? It was Go, Tell It on the Mountain. Our words are important. So, too, are our actions important ways to tell others about Jesus. Do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus. Honor Him by having what you say and what you do be pleasing to Him.

And, as Paul ends the chapter, doing everything in the name of the Lord is also to be done on a smaller scale. It is to be done within each family. And yes, that applies to each member of each family.

“Wives, be subject to your husbands.” That includes respecting them.

“Husbands, love your wives. Do not be harsh with them.” In other words, I am to do my best to not be angry with Lynna Gene, to not be jealous when she succeeds at things, to not be impure. I am instead to show her compassion. I am to be kind to her. Together we are to be centered on Jesus’ words. We are to sing together. Sing about the Lord together.

And “children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.”

Of course, “fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.” Fathers are to show good, spiritual behaviors and attitudes to their children. That will make it easier for them to be obedient.

And beyond that, “Slaves [that referred at that time to slaves, but I think it applies to being in the work force in our time in our society], obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not with eyeservice or as men-pleasers [not just when others are looking and not just to make sure you do not get into trouble], but in singleness of heart, fearing the Lord.”

And here is the theme again, this time in verse 23. “Whatever your task, work heartily, as serving the Lord and not men.”

Why? It is because it is from the Lord that we will receive the inheritance - a spiritual inheritance, as in a good relationship with God, as our reward. And yes, your earthly boss may be the one writing the check each week or each month. but the one you - the one we - are really serving is the Lord Christ.

* * * * *

A long time ago, the people of God began crying out for a Savior. Two thousand years ago, the crying out was answered. It was answered when Jesus was born.

After Jesus’ birth, there continued to be difficult times. Difficult times continue even to this day. But Jesus brought joy. Joy we are to share with others.

Sharing we can certainly do with our words. Sharing we can also do by our actions. Let’s do that, no matter what we do in life. In fact, let’s make doing that at least one of our resolutions for 2015.

Parent or student? Executive or blue collar worker? Young or old, male or female. The message is the same. Anywhere and everywhere you are, and whatever we do, it all matters. So don't ever forget to do everything you do to the glory of the One who made you ‘cause He made you to do every little thing that you do so you could bring a smile to His face and tell the story of grace.

Let’s pray. Lord, no matter what role we have, whatever role You give us in life, help us to do what we do in ways that You will be pleased. Even if no one else notices, You notice. May causing You to smile be our first goal always.

And even if no one ever acknowledges what we do or how we do it, may what we do show Your grace. May that, too, be our goal, not just this day, but all through this year of 2015.

Thank You. Amen.

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