A Thankful People-November 24, 2013pm
Be thankful for the larger body of Christ and the work that they are doing for His Kingdom. Be thankful when we hear about their faith. Be thankful not jealous. Jealousy may be putting us at odds where God is blessing and in so doing we may be against the same kingdom we claim to love and serve also.
Paul speaks of faith, hope, and love that stored up in heaven which they have already heard about as believers, and which also God expects us to share. Remember that we are not also that this gospel is already bearing fruit all over the world and you are a part of it so pray for your brothers and sisters in Christ around the world and down the street.
The gospel though does not bear fruit just through hearing alone but also through understanding God’s grace in all its truth. We will not bear fruit through hearing alone but in understanding, accepting, and living into God’s grace. Until we understand who we are and our condition before God we do not truly understand grace. We give thanks when we understand our place and the greatness of His grace. It is this place of grace and thankfulness that we also learn to give thanks and pray for our brothers and sisters all over the world that are sharing the gospel and bearing fruit.
In learning to give thanks, we do not discover who we are but rather who God is. In giving thanks we are able to see the blessings of others as God’s acts of grace upon their lives. Paul says from the day they heard about the church at Colossae that have not stopped praying for them asking God to continue to bless through knowing God’s will, spiritual wisdom, and understanding. Why would we pray this for our brothers and sisters? So that they live a life worthy of the Lord and pleasing to Him. What is it that is pleasing to the Lord? Bearing fruit in every good work, growing in knowledge of God, and being strengthened with all power. The reason that He desires these things for us is that tough times will come and when they do we will have endurance because we have learned to trust His grace in spite of our circumstances. We will be able to live with patience, which is not the same as tolerating something, someone, or some circumstance, but is seeing with a larger view that one day does not make a lifetime. The current circumstances are not the final word.
Trust God and thank Him for the blessings of His presence, His grace, and the promise of Kingdom. His grace has rescued us from darkness to the Kingdom of light to share in the Kingdom of His Son. That is more thank enough to give thanks not just at Thanksgiving but everyday. Live a life of grace because God has been gracious.