Summary: #11 in series. Thanksgiving message. How being thankful and drawing strength from Jesus go hand in hand.
Colossians 3:15-17 – Thankful Living
Today we are continuing our journey through Colossians: Putting Christ First. We have been talking about living Christocentric lives, that is, putting Jesus at the centre of all we do, living for Him, working for Him, enjoying our family for Him, going cranberrying for Him, and so on.
And today being Thanksgiving, we find ourselves focused on Him again. Today’s passage mentions being thankful 3 times in 3 verses. Well, the whole book of Colossians only mentions it 6 or 7 times, so we can guess that Paul is trying to get something across here. Let’s read 3:15-17.
Maybe you heard about the large family was sitting around the breakfast table one morning. As the custom, the father returned thanks, blessing God for the food. Immediately after, however, as was his bad habit, he began to grumble about hard times, the poor quality of the food he was forced to eat, the way it was cooked, and much more.
His little daughter interrupted him, “Dad, do you suppose God heard what you said a little while ago when you were giving thanks?”
“Certainly,” the father replied with the confident air of an instructor.
“And did he hear what you said about the bacon and the coffee?”
“Of course,” replied the father with a note of caution in his voice.
Then his daughter asked, “Dad, which did God believe?”
It’s funny how we often speak from both sides of your mouths – we thank God and then we curse our situations. I think it’s often because we forget all the blessings we have. Some have more material things than others, to be sure. Some go through horrible circumstances and painful situations, yes. It is easy to forget all that God has done for us.
It’s too bad that Thanksgiving happens only once a year. It’s so nice that we set aside one day a year to be thankful. Like how we set aside one Sunday a year to remember how Jesus rose from the dead, or 1 day a year to remember that God came in human flesh and dwelt among us.
But we are here, today, to be thankful. Thankfulness really flows from a life lived for Jesus. I want you to notice 3 things today, 3 ways of living Christocentric lives, 3 ways of drawing strength from Jesus.
The 1st is this: Let the peace of Christ rule, and be thankful – v15. Peace is an elusive beast. When we have it, we feel great. But we lose it so often and so easily, many of us anyway. We understand that we have peace with God – Romans 5:1. But the peace of God, the peace of Christ, that sense that everything will be OK no matter how they look… that misses us too often.
Peace also wears another face, as seen in the context of this verse. It’s about how you get along with others, fellow believers, members of the same body.
So how do you have peace in your life? How do you let it rule? Well, you need to understand it’s there for the asking. It isn’t something to be worked up; it’s something to be prayed about.