As I conclude this year’s Thanksgiving month of thanks, I want to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving! May the day be filled with thanks to the God who provides all we have and need. I chose as today’s verses Colossians 3:15-17. Let the Word of God bring to mind the many things you have to be thankful for and to create in you a growing attitude of gratitude towards Almighty God.
15 “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 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.“
Have a blessed day thanking your heavenly Father, thanking Jesus, and thanking His indwelling Holy Spirit. Let your praises of Thanks be a sweet aroma towards Him.
What type of language do you use to thank God? Are your words plain and simple, direct and forthright? If you want others to understand how you feel about God and why you feel the need to thank Him, then you should say what is in your heart with emotion and love. In Psalm 145 the psalmist lays out his feelings about God, who He is and why God should receive his (ours too) thanks and praise.
I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever. Eternal God and King 2 Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever. 3 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, Unsearchable in His greatness and his greatness is unsearchable.
4 One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts. 5 On the glorious splendor of your majesty, Majestic, Wonderous and on your wondrous works, I will meditate. 6 They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds, Awesome deeds, His Greatness and I will declare your greatness. 7 They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness and shall sing aloud of your righteousness. His Goodness and Righteousness
8 The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. His Grace, Mercy, Patience and Love 9 The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made. His Goodness and Mercy
10 All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord, All Creation will give thanks to Him! and all your saints shall bless you!
What an amazing list of attributes of our God! He is all those and so much more. Let your heart overflow with gratitude and thanks towards Almighty God!
This morning I was studying about the righteousness of God made manifest in Jesus the Son. Then Psalm 7:17jumped out at me as I was reviewing passages on giving thanks. “I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.”
What greater reason do we have to give thanks than that we stand on His righteousness and not our own? The Bible tells us in Romans 3:10“None is righteous, no, not one;” We are all born sinners. You only need to look at yourself and you will realize that every day you cannot do everything right, say everything correctly, hurt no one, be kind at all times, etc. It is not possible. But, Jesus tells us that in Him all things are possible. Having His Holy Spirit within us, empowers us to live rightly for Him. I love the way Titus explains this in 2:11-13 “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,”Through Christ alone we obtain our right standing with God. Paul writes in Philippians 3:8-10 “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,”
Knowing then that our right standing before God is all because of Christ and His sacrifice on the cross, shouldn’t that lead us to thankfulness? Without Christ, we are condemned, lost and would be eternally separated from God. Thank you Jesus! Due to your righteousness, I am healed, loved, freed from the power of sin, saved, cherished as God’s child, cared for, protected, provided for, and blessed. The list of what Jesus has done for me is endless! May these facts cause us to be living in thanks to Him. Giving Him praise and honor for all He has done and will do! May the words of Psalm 7:17 be on your lips today in praise.
“I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.” Psalm 7:17
Do you have friends, neighbors and loved ones who do not have faith in God or even know of Jesus? How can that cause me to be thankful? Worried and concerned for their eternal fate is more like it. However, Isaiah 55:6-9 holds facts about God Almighty that will create thankfulness in the midst of these troubling thoughts.
Isaiah was writing a message to the future Israelites who would become captives in Babylon. He was imploring them to remember God and return to the Lord as He alone can satisfy. “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters;” Isaiah 55 verse 1. He continues with his call to return in verses 6-9 giving them and us profound hope and thankful hearts.
Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:6-9
Why would these verses cause us to have hope, creating thankfulness in our hearts? 1- verse 7 God promises to freely forgive anyone who turns to Him and forsakes his sinning ways. 2- God promises to have mercy on them by not giving them what they deserve for their sins, but treating them with grace and love. These two things bring us hope for our loved ones and friends that do not know Jesus. We know that God is waiting and promises forgiveness and mercy towards anyone who comes to Him! God will not change His mind and decide their sins were to numerous or egregious. God is unchanging and we can depend upon Him as He is the same “yesterday, today and forever” Hebrews 13:8.
Why include verses 8-9 in this discussion as they are not part of the promise of forgiveness?Verses 8 and 9 explain to us the fact that God does not think or act like us. He is does not harbor hate, grudges, or resentments. We cannot think or act like God as it is not in our nature, but it is in His! This is something to be thankful for too. God is above us and His way of dealing with people and circumstances are not anything like ours. How many times have you seen God answer prayer in amazing, out of the box, ways! I am thankful that He my merciful, omnipotent God and that His ways and thoughts are greater than mine.
Let these promises of mercy and love for the lost fill you with hope as you continue to pray for the salvation of those you know who do not know Jesus as Savior. Let the knowledge of God’s ways being so unlike our own cause you to be thankful for Him and fill you with Hope.
A lesson and truth I received from the scriptures we studies this month on cultivating a habit of thankfulness in our lives is this: Thankfulness has a powerful affect on me and all those around me.
How have you seen this to be true this season of thanksgiving? Is your mindset towards thanks contagious? “How we thank God for you! Because of you we have great joy as we enter God’s presence.” 1 Thessalonians 1:9 Paul felt that the thanks he had for his fellow believers, for their faith and love for God, caused him to rejoice. He saw God working in their lives and this brought joy and thankfulness to his own worship. I would call that contagious thanks. Have you ever been thankful for someone or something and it caused you to give thanks to God? As we live our lives, we need to look for those things that God gives us that create ‘contagious thanks’ within our hearts. As we give thanks to Him in these situations, God will faithfully create in us a thanks that will be contagious and will result in our being in a constant state of thankfulness and joy. Paul left the Thessalonianswith these words in 5:16-18 “Always be joyful.Never stop praying.Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”
Develop that attitude of gratitude and watch it grow in your own life and then watch it rub off into the lives of those around you.
“Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.17 And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.” Colossians 3:16-17
Having an attitude of gratitude is what Paul is talking about in Colossians. He commends us to be filled with Christ and be used to bless each others lives with thankful hearts. The ministry we have with each other is to be done with thankfulness because we are being representatives of Jesus to each other. That is a staggering thought that God considers me to be Jesus’ representative when I talk with my neighbors, greet strangers, do my job at work and talk with my family day to day. Our Jesus ‘face’ is not just for Sunday or when we desire to be like Him but all day every day. Paul is teaching us that everything we say and do reflects on Jesus. His final words in this passage are that we should thank God for all these opportunities.
Today– face the world with the Love of Jesus in your heart knowing that you represent Him before all that you meet. Thank God for every person and opportunity that comes your way with an attitude of gratitude. Now that is kingdom living at its best!
Have a blessed day filled with encounters for Jesus,