“And whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him.” – Colossians 3:17
We live in a nation where more than half the population believes that they are entitled to whatever they want – whenever they want. It seems that giving thanks is no longer part of our social DNA. However when someone does express thanks it seems to be more out of politeness than true gratitude.
As a little boy, every Christmas my aunt Peggy would knit us kids either yarn house slippers, mittens, or a scarf. As children we were trained to say thank you, but true gratitude is usually not found in that kind of expression, especially when those house slippers made you feel itchy all over. But when my aunt Peggy gave me my cousin’s Hot Wheels Factory, where you could make your own Hot Wheels car, then I freely said thank you with gratitude. Wow! It was totally amazing to me as a boy that I could make my own Hot Wheels car. Gratitude usually arrives from a sense of realizing how undeserving one is. I was not deserving of that Hot Wheels Factory, but I sure was grateful. I never seen or heard of anything like that before.
The glory of the gospel of God’s grace is also totally amazing but at an infinite level. God sent His perfect Son to live the perfect life that I could not live, and He paid the sin debt that I could not pay, forgiving me of all my sins, and transferring me over into the Kingdom of His dear Son with an eternal inheritance. Wow! God in mercy sent His Son to be sin for us, who knew no sin, so that we would be made the righteousness of God. I never heard or seen anything like that before. “Me being righteous as God – simply by faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God!”
The apostle Paul in his letter to the Colossians zeros in on thankfulness. In fact Paul mentions “thanks” or “thanksgiving” at least six times in this letter, and this word “thanks” in verse 17 is the word gratitude. Gratitude is what characterizes God’s people from the rest of the world because the child of God can look back in life and see God’s grace at every turn. As a result the child of God takes thanksgiving to a higher level. Whether if one is speaking or whatever one puts his or her hands to it is in honor of their Lord and Savior with gratitude – gratitude to be part of the heavenly family of God. Consequently, the child of God not only knows what they are thankful for, but whom they are thankful to. Therefore, the child of God lives in a thankful state of being to their heavenly Father, which translates into thanks-living.
David C. Hale, pastor