Summary: This first sermon in the series on the book of Colossians was used on the occasion of Thanksgiving Weekend. It looks at the three things for which Paul was Thankful in almost all of his epistles: Faith, Hope, and Love
*Give Thanks To God*
(Please note: A small portion of this sermon -- main points and subpoints are from the sermon of another though cannot remember who it was from. Probably 85 % of the message would be my own.)
The following link will take you to an MP3 Audio recording of this sermon: http://chirb.it/hwAbO5
1.) This is a special holiday weekend on our calendars and in our hearts.
A.) It is the time we celebrate the harvest, and consciously think on the many blessings of God in our lives.
aa.) Certainly there are many things and many people for which each one of us need to be thankful at this time of Thanksgiving.
ab.) Yet for the Christian, every day should be a day of thanksgiving and of Praise to our God.
aba.) Just the same, there is something very special of having a day and weekend set aside specifically for that purpose.
2.) This morning as each of you think of the many blessings in your life, I want you like the Apostle Paul to also look around at your brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ.
A.) In every letter that the Apostle Paul wrote to the churches you will find there are three things for which Paul was always grateful when he would think of the church.
B.) Today, I want us to look specifically at Colossians as we see these three things for which Paul always expressed thanksgiving for the churches.
ba.) Paul was thankful for their faith.
bb.) Paul was thankful for their love, and
bc.) Paul was thankful for their hope.
C.) I pray that this morning as you think on your brothers and sisters in Christ, that you too will be able to thank God for these same three things with the body of Christ:
I. PAUL WAS THANKFUL FOR THEIR FAITH.
1.) Faith is the channel through which our salvation comes.
A.) "By grace through faith" (Eph. 2:8).
B.) Certainly the Colossian Church understood the meaning of thanksgiving.
ba.) Paul rejoiced as thought on the Church, and blessing they had been to him.
bb.) What a powerful testimony of their faith in Jesus Christ that other Christians were thankful to God because of the faith of this church.
bba.) That was exactly the scene at Colossae; Paul was giving thanks to God because of the faith in this church.
bc.) If we could roll the pages of time back a short bit, Paul had worked with the saints of God in Colossae, but was now separated from them.
bba.) He was likely not able to have regular contact with the church at Colossae.
.01) Now and then somebody might drop by who had some news on the church there.
.02) Once in a while Paul might receive a letter from the church.
.03) Though the arrival of such news was always welcome, it was quite possible to go several months at a time without ever hearing a word on the church.
.04) Yet the occasional tidbits of news Paul would receive filled his heart with thanksgiving.
C.) What greater compliment could any church receive than to hear the words that our faith is causing other Christians to be giving thanks to God?
ca.) What a blessing it would be for this congregation to receive a letter saying that this church has been a blessing to them, and they are thanking God for this church, and for your faith in Christ.
2.) Faith is the knowledge that God is in absolute control of all situations of life and that He is working in everything, all the time.
A.) As we listen to news broadcasts, and events that are happening around the world and even in our own country we could easily get down.
B.) When we come to doubt or wonder we need to go back to the Scriptures, and see how the hand of God has used peoples, nations, and even terrible and wicked events to accomplish great things for his people and those who fear Him.
ba.) It is when we can see the broader perspective that we can lift our eyes to heaven and proclaim ¡§Thanks be to God!¡¨
bb.) It is when we are able to see the hand of God that we grow stronger in our faith and in turn our faith becomes a blessing to those around us.
bba.) It was exactly this type of faith which made the Church at Colossae to be such a blessing to the Apostle Paul.
3.) Faith makes possible our daily Christian walk.
A.) Gal. 2:20
B.) Even this morning, I am mindful of many individuals who are experiencing difficult and challenging things in their lives.
ba.) On any Sunday there are people in this congregation who are experiencing things in their lives that are great challenges.