Colossians 3:23 - ALIVE in CHRIST!
Colossians 3:23 (NIV) Whatever you do, work
at it with all your heart, as working for the
Lord, not for men.
Colossians 3:23 (AMP) Whatever may be your
task, work at it heartily (from the soul), as
[something done] for the Lord and not for men,
Both dogs and cats have taught me lessons
A dog loves unconditionally, accepting
discipline and holding no resentment. A dog follows its
master and likes to be right at his or her feet.
Our dog Shabah was always where we were. When we
went upstairs to bed, he planted himself right in
our doorway. In the morning, he sat on my feet
or Rick's while we did our devotions together.
He was easily trained because he wanted to
please us. If he needed something, he let us know
through his manner and his "puppy dog look": "I have
to go out." "Please please please throw
the tennis ball." "Give me a scratch." We always
responded. Shabah died, but now Sarge is much the
I had numerous cats when I was a child,
and cats are lovely but independent. They don't
need to be with the "master" at all times. In
fact, cats seem to think they are the masters of
their own realms. "Here, kitty, kitty," doesn't
always bring them running. Sometimes cats will look
at you with that "what do you want?"
expression, and sometimes they'll find a nice quiet
place and just plain ignore you. On the plus side,
petting them is said to reduce stress. Who can
resist that nimbly purring sound they make when
they're being stroked? But affection has to be on
their own terms. They'll come when they're called
as long as you're offering food or milk. If
there isn't something in it for them, they'll come
when they please.
Don't get me wrong; I love both dogs and
cats. But in matters of faith, I don't want to be
like a cat, thinking I can call the shots and do
my own thing. I want to be like a dog. I want
to be at my Master's feet. I want to serve Him
the way the apostle Peter describes: "willingly,
not grudgingly - not for what [I] will get out
of it, but because [I am] eager to serve God."
When I hear God's quiet voice, I want to come
running, grinning from ear to ear, ready to do
whatever He asks.
Lord God, I want to be wholehearted in my
devotion to You, loving You fully and unconditionally
because You are my God and You care for me. Teach me
to be loyal, to remain close to You, and to be
eager to do Your will. May I serve You with my
whole heart, not out of duty but out of pure love
for who You are. [Earth Psalms by Francine
Rivers re 1 Peter 5:2]
Doing vs. Being
My high school graduating class had its
thirtieth anniversary reunion a number of summers ago.
I'm sure they had a ball. A blast would better
describe it, knowing that crowd. You gotta understand
the east side of Houston back in the 1950s to
have some idea of that explosive student body
a couple of thousand strong and a lot of 'em
mean as a junkyard dog with a nail in his paw.
Since I wasn't able to attend the
reunion, I decided to blow the dust off my yearbook
and stroll down nostalgia lane. Faces aroused
smiles and stories as one memory after another
washed over me. Funny, I remembered a project we
seniors were given before the yearbook went to press
back in '52. We were asked to think about the
next twenty years and answer, "What do I want to
do?" The plan was to record our dreams and goals
in the yearbook, then evaluate them when we met
again at each subsequent reunion you know,
sort of a decade-by-decade checkup. Some of the
goals are not fitting to repeat, but some are both
interesting and revealing.
Several said: "Make a million bucks."
"Win all-American honors and play
"Be the concertmaster of a
"Finish medical school and have a
practice in Honolulu."
"Become the world heavyweight
"Make a living writing short
stories, plays, and novels."
"Travel abroad as a news
"Live fast, die young, and leave a
All sorts of goals. Some admirable, some
questionable, some crazy, a few stupid.
Without wanting to sound needlessly
critical, as I look back over three decades, I think
we were asked to answer the wrong question.
What we want to do is not nearly as important as
what we want to be. And the longer I live the
more significant that becomes. It's possible to
do lots of things yet be zilch as a person.
Doing is usually connected with a
vocation or career, how we make a living. Being is
much deeper. It relates to character, who we are,
and how we make a life. Doing is tied in closely
with activity, accomplishments, and tangible
things - like salary, prestige, involvements,
roles, and trophies. Being, on the other hand, has
more to do with intangibles, the kind of people
we become down inside, much of which can't be
measured by objective yardsticks and impressive
awards. But of the two, being will ultimately
outdistance doing every time. It may take half a
lifetime to perfect but hands down, it's far more
valuable. And lasting. And inspiring.
Remember those familiar words from
Colossians 3? Twice we read, "Whatever you do
whatever you do " (Colossians 3:17, 23). It's
almost as if the Lord is saying, "Makes no
difference what it is, whatever you do " But then
He immediately addresses things that have to do
with being. Like being thankful, being
considerate, being obedient, being sincere, being
diligent. Same pattern - God emphasizes being more
So then, are you giving thought these
days to things that count? I hope so.
Goal-setting and achieving are important, especially if
we are in need of being motivated. Moving in
the right direction is a great way to break the
mold of mediocrity. It's helpful to ask, "What do
I want to do?"
But while you're at it, take a deeper
look inside. Ask yourself the harder question,
"What do I want to be?" Then listen to your heart
your inner spirit. True treasures will
emerge. Pick one or two to start with. Don't tell
anybody, just concentrate some time and attention on
that particular target. Watch God work. It will
amaze you how He arranges circumstances so that
the very target you and He decided on will begin
to take shape within you. Sometimes it will be
painful; other times, sheer joy. It won't happen
overnight, but that's a major difference between doing
and being. One may take only twenty years; the
other, the better part of your lifetime.
One can be recorded in a yearbook and is
easily forgotten; but the other requires a
lifebook, which is on display forever. [Chuck Swindoll
Many people dread their work. If
youre one of them, try changing your attitude
toward your work! Gods eyes fall on the work of
our hands. One stay-at-home-mom keeps this sign
over her sink: Divine tasks performed here,
daily. Indeed, work can be worship.
Peter wrote, You are a chosen people.
You are a kingdom of priests, a holy nation,
Gods very own possession. This is so you can
show others the goodness of God. (1 Peter
2:9). So, let every detail in your life - your
words, actions, whatever - be done in the name of
the Master, Jesus. (Colossians 3:17). You
dont drive to an office, you drive to a
sanctuary. You dont attend a school, you attend a
temple. You may not wear a clerical collar, but you
could, because your work is Gods pulpit! [Max
Lucado Daily Devotional at maxlucado.com]
LINK FOR FURTHER STUDY ON THIS PASSAGE
EXCELLENT VIDEO SERIES ON 28 REVELATIONS OF
1st of 28: Divine Dining:
2nd of 28: Pictures of the Divine:
3rd of 28: A Dirty Bible:
4th of 28: Cared For:
5th of 28: Saved:
6th of 28: You Can Change:
7th of 28: Reprogramming Our Brains:
8th of 28 Our Holy Father:
9th of 28 Gifts of Service:
10th of 28 The Holy Spirit:
Live ongoing series in progress.
If anyone has a paraphrase, commentary or
testimony on this passage of Scripture, either
personal or otherwise, I would be interested in
hearing from you. Thanks in advance and let's keep
uplifting Jesus that all might be drawn to Him. Fred