Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. – Colossians 3:17
“Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it. – John 14:13-14
“You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. – John 15:16
These have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name. – John 20:31
“In that day you will not question Me about anything Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. “Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full. – John 16:23-24
I’m not certain where the one-word retort, “whatever” came from, but I don’t like it. It’s a throw-away. It’s giving up. It’s surrendering. It’s dismissal. When you say – in response to something you don’t like, “Whatever,” you are sacrificing relational capital. You are dismissing the person to whom you are speaking is irrational, unreasonable, or you are admitting that you have been found out. It’s a no-win retort.
When used properly, however, the word is delightful. It is embracing all of life. It is allowing the truth you hold to permeate every corner of your world. You are admitting that the issue you face has implications in a multitude of places.
When you add God to the equation then you really have something extraordinary! Some people think of God as a slice of the pie that is their life. They have family, work, recreation, friends, social engagements, and God. Some people might even reverse that order – putting God first. But even so this is not the proper place of God.
Whatever you do in word or in deed… is an invitation to allow God into every corner of your heart. Every situation of your life: Every business deal, job decision, interpersonal relationship, emotional concern, political maneuver, career move, vacation decision, or purchase consideration is to be done in the name of the Lord.
If we are to take these words seriously we must not relegate God to a slice of the “me pie” we divvy out here and there, now and then.
The Lord Jesus – if he is to be Lord, is Lord of all of life. And while this may sound discouraging (You mean I have to surrender my less-than-noble-fun to Jesus’ will? Yes you do.) There is a greater truth and comfort to calling Jesus “Lord.” For Jesus’ Lordship has been purchased at a great price. And he rules not with an iron fist or a short leach. He rules with truth, grace, mercy, love, and faithfulness.
To do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus means that we take seriously his redemption – the price he paid for us and for our salvation – and let the light of that act shine on our hearts and minds, and illumine our ways.
We’ll never do this perfectly. But we can follow Jesus with confidence that even the darkest reaches of our hearts – which may seem too ugly to show – are embraced by his love. He has redeemed, forgiven, and saved every part of our being. We now give ourselves fully to his lordship in the confidence of his goodness and love.
Whatever guilt or shame has been redeemed and forgiven. Whatever sin and corruption has been overshadowed with Jesus’ love. Whatever lack we may have has been filled with his goodness. Whatever is an open door to God’s grace.