Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another is all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with THANKFULNESS in your hearts to God. 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. Colossians 3: 16-17 ESV
Christians should lead and be true examples of what it means to be thankful. I dare say there is nothing more confusing to the world than for one who claims to know and have Jesus in their life and then communicate ingratitude. Ingratitude projects frustration and bitterness which will give a very poor understanding to the world of who and how we should be in Christ. Is there ever a time in the Christian’s life that projecting unthankfulness is acceptable? Not according to scripture…. give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5: 18 ESV The only way the Christian will be able to live in perpetual thankfulness is to, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly,” Colossians 3:1a ESV
It is much easier to give thanks when things are going well, but when things are difficult it can be more challenging. The key to staying thankful is staying focused… Set your minds on things that are above, not things that are on earth. Colossians 3:2 ESV In other words, don’t focus as much on a particular situation, but rather focus upon who you know God to be…. even when things might not make sense. He is sovereign over all things and nothing escapes his eyes…. nothing. To live thankful is to live believing, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13: 8 ESV When a person attempts to make God make sense in their mind, it is to attempt to put God in a box of their understanding….. which is an impossible task. God states this concerning Himself… For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my way higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9 ESV
TEACHING THANKFULNESS :
For a person to be thankful to God, they first need to understand who God is and all that he has done. This foundational teaching of God begins in Genesis and goes throughout the entire Bible. In Genesis we understand that God made everything that was made and God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:10, 1:12, 1:18, 1:21, 1:25…. In fact,God saw everything that he had made, and behold it was very good. Genesis 1:31 ESV Everything that God made was good and perfect until sin was introduced to Eve by the serpent. God, in his mercy, put together a redemptive plan to make possible forgiveness and restoration of all that sin destroyed. That is mainly the relationship that he had with Adam and Eve before they sinned.
It is amazing how God can take nothing and make it something. Every person that has believed and accepted the redeeming grace of God is made new in Christ Jesus. If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. ALL THIS IS FROM GOD, who through CHRIST reconciled us to himself. 2 Corinthians 5: 17-18a ESV
The first and most important fact for which the Christian should be thankful is God redeeming them from their sin. The moment sin entered into the world God knew he would send his son to die for our sins. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV Focus upon this fact as a Christian, and you will live thankful and proclaim to others in thankfulness this truth in your life.
SING WITH THANKFULNESS:
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly……………… singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with THANKFULNESS in your hearts to God. Colossians 3: 16-17 ESV
I will give to the Lord thanks due to his righteousness, and I will SING praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High. Psalms 7:17 ESV
SING praises to the LORD, O you his saints, and thanks to his Holy Name. Psalms 30:4 ESV
It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to SING praises to your name, O Most High Psalms 92:1 ESV
SING to the LORD with thanksgiving; Psalms147:7a ESV
If you are a Christian, singing should grow sweeter for you, as it is a way to give and express thankfulness to God. Understand this is a song of worship from the heart for God and His enjoyment. He hears the song of the heart which makes it beautiful to him even if all others credit you as not a singer. Perhaps this would even fall under the category of making a joyful noise in some cases. Never the less, God enjoys the songs of praise for him, from his children.
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. Colossians 3:17 ESV
The test to know if you are living as a Christian in everything is this…….. am I able to thank God at the end of my speech or actions for what I said or did. As Christians we must remember we are ambassadors for Christ, and we represent Him to everyone around us by how we live. (2 Corinthians 5:20 Ephesians 6:20 )
You might be in a situation for which you might ask, “How can I thank God for this situation?” We don’t thank God for the sin / action of someone that may cause you a great deal of pain, but we can thank God for the knowledge that He died even for the sin of the person doing you wrong. We thank him for that understanding; for to have that understanding gives evidence that you know and hopefully have experienced the power of such great forgiveness yourself. Jesus’s disciples and many other saints through the years have died martyr’s deaths for their belief in Jesus. I have read about many of those accounts, and I was impressed that while dying, a song sprang from their lips, a prayer of forgiveness for those who where harming them, and many other actions that would be indicative of a believer / ambassador.
Evaluate everything you say or do and ask yourself, “Am I living and speaking as I should?” I dare say that in all our lives we have room for improvement, and seeing where improvement is needed…. repent, turn around, and move in the opposite direction. If you complain, look for a way to give thanks. If you act / behave with a non christian action …. change. Find a scripture that applies to your speech or action and memorize it to use in the battle to change. Remember… GIVE THANKS in all circumstances for THIS IS THE WILL OF GOD IN CHRIST JESUS FOR YOU. 1 Thessalonians 5: 18 ESV
Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David