Bismillah alrahman alrahim (In the name of God the gracious and merciful).
In many parts of the world this phrase, or the first word of it, is uttered many times each day. It is chanted to receive blessing and protection from God and to seek His favor. Some of the occasions fitting for its use are:
- To begin a prayer
- To begin an article like this one
- When one gets into a car
- Before beginning a meal
- Before accepting a payment
- Before butchering an animal
- When beginning a work project
And the list continues...
It seems this phrase could certainly help to keep God in the forefront of our minds, but even this is no guarantee and can quickly become a habit that’s done without even thinking. However, we are taught in Scripture “You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God . . .”
We have a kids’ DVD around here that seems to get played over and over until I can almost sing it through from memory (even though I’ve spent very little time actively watching or listening). Based on Colossians 3, one part goes like this, “Whatever you do, in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus . . . giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
So I’m thinking, what percentage of my words and deeds are done ‘in the name of the Lord Jesus’? How much of my energies in life are spent merely to make me more comfortable and happy? I’m not suggesting it’s wasted energy to try to make myself comfortable, but it depends why I want to be comfortable and if comfort is the end goal. How much of what I do and say is aimed at my reputation and my honor? (Some of my motives are difficult for me to evaluate; others, unfortunately, easy.)
Here is an excerpt from a recent article I read on the reasons for exercise:
“I also know that I am prone to depression and discouragement, and I have discovered that if I go to the gym three times a week and hammer my body, I simply don’t get depressed as often. Now, I am sure there are physiological reasons for that. But whatever those are, I know that they work. I know depression hurts my ministry, my marriage, and my parenting. So for the sake of kingdom purposes, I am off to the gym.
"The need for exercise may be controversial, but eating is not — everybody has to eat and sleep to live. You can live without exercise, but you can’t live without eating and sleeping. So the question becomes, how do I govern my eating and sleeping to maximize my life and soul for the kingdom? Everybody will discover the connections as they think about it.”John Piper
“Am I now trying to get people to think well of me? Or do I want God to think well of me? Am I trying to please people? If I were, I would not be serving Christ.” Galatians 1:10
“All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord. Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” Proverbs 16:2-3
--Written by a DNI worker