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Summary: From Paul’s opening words to Colossi discover one great reason to be thankful.

One Reason to Be Thankful

Colossians 1:3-6

THINGS I’M THANKFUL FOR "...

.the mess to clean after a party because it means I have been surrounded by friends.

.the taxes I pay because it means that I’m employed.

.the clothes that fit a little too snug because it means I have enough to eat.

.my shadow who watches me work because it means I am out in the sunshine.

.a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning and gutters that need fixing because it means I have a place to live.

.the spot I find at the far end of the parking lot because it means I am capable of walking.

.all the complaining I hear about our government because it means we have freedom of speech.

.my huge heating bill because it means I am warm.

.the lady behind me in church who sings off key because it means that I can hear.

.the piles of laundry and ironing because it means my loved ones are nearby.

.weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day because it means I have been productive.

.the alarm that goes off in the early morning hours because it means that I’m alive.

Finding reasons to be thankful is largely a matter of mindset or perception.

* In some parts of Mexico, there are hot springs and cold springs side by side. Great for washing clothes! Women bring the clothes, boil in hot, rinse in cold. Tourist watching said to guide: "I’ll bet they’re pretty grateful to Mother Nature for these springs." Guide: "No señor, there is much grumbling because she provides no soap!"

* It would seem that the human tendency is to be “unthankful” and “ungrateful.” In the midst of the many blessings in this world, too often we have to be reminded to be thankful.

* On Friday morning I began to read Paul’s letter to Colossi and as I passed through the first 6 verses the Holy Spirit reminded me of one of the best reasons to be thankful. That reason is the Lord Jesus Christ. Sadly, we have heard this truth so much that we have almost become inoculated to the concept. Yet, we should be thankful every day for Jesus because His very purpose is to change life. Jesus is a life changer. Consider that term, “Life Changer”.

* I am a fan New Orleans Saints and have been for the better part of 50 years. During the paper bag stage of the franchise, I never donned a paper bag. Yet, they have never experienced the long term success of other football franchises. Then Coach Shaun Peyton is hired. He had the vision to bring Drew Brees as the quarterback and now has developed a “highly skilled” coaching staff who has built a solid team. Today, that franchise is enjoying “life-change” as perennially they are no longer seen as “pushovers” but rather a ‘powerhouse.”

* Life changers are like that. Either a traumatic event or a highly influential person can affect a change in life. Coach would be such a person as is Nick Saban. We could mention other individuals, but whether an event (like an accident or a like a 911 enter) it becomes a defining moment or life-changing moment in life.

* Jesus is such a life changer. Let’s consider the three types of changer:

1. Jesus is a Professional Life Changer – Have you ever given this any thought? While we tend to think that “knowing Jesus” is a good idea and personally helpful, sometimes we lose the concept that Jesus in a life really makes a difference. For Jesus, changing lives is not a hobby, an afterthought, or even something He does to those who ‘believe’ they need a life change. The very reason Jesus left Heaven, at the Father’s behest, and came to earth was to bring about a dramatic change in the lives of His creation. The scripture is littered with this truth.

* 2 Corinthians tells us, “If any man is in Christ, that man is a NEW creation.” The does not mean the person has been renovated; it means he has been rebuilt from the inside out, not from the outside in.

* Paul letter to the Romans tell us to be “not conformed to this world but to be transformed.” Transformation is not only reformation it is reconstruction. Think about the changes Jesus brought into your alcoholic friend’s life, the former drug addict, or the former atheist. Talk about one reason to be thankful? Jesus does this professionally!

2. Jesus is a Permanent Life Changer –When Jesus changes a life, He doesn’t do it for the moment, the hour, the day, the week, or for a couple of months; it is a permanent change. One of the issues facing the church today (and thus people) is how we have simplified “joining” the church. It is easier to join most Baptist churches than it is to join the Civitans or Lions, or the Country Club. Some will want to know how this is pertinent. John the Baptist tells us to “to produce fruit consistent with repentance.” (Luke 3:8) Before Christendom in 313ad, the Ekkleesia (that is, the assembly) were considered rebels, renegades, and sometimes criminals so they had to be careful who they let in. New folks were held to the standard of producing works in accordance with repentance. Here’s the thing: When a life is changed by the power of God, old things are indeed passed away. Old habits, hungers, and heart are a thing of the past and a new way of thinking has replaced it. Jesus changes us by releasing us from the bondage of sin, death, and hell. He sets us free! The one who the SON sets free is FREE INDEED and FREED FOREVER!

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