Let your hearts overflow with thanksgiving.
~Colossians 2:8, NEB
There is a direct connection between understanding grace and having a thankful heart.
Wade challenged us to sit down and read Paul’s letter to the Colossians in one sitting and I did this last Tuesday. My newest bible is the New English Bible and I ordered it because F.F. Bruce refers to it often in his commentary on Romans. Two things jumped from the pages into my mind and heart. First the number of times that Paul reminds us that we are in Christ. Of course the crescendo of this theme is 1:27, “Christ in you, the hope of glory to come.” But the second theme is appropriate for the season. Paul mentions thanksgiving more than once. There is a passage in chapter three, “Let Christ peace rule in your hearts and be filled with GRATITUDE. Sing thankfully in your hearts to God with Psalm, hymns and spiritual songs. Whatever you do, whether it is a deed or a word, do it in the name of Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father for Him, the only begotten.” This is actually my own paraphrase but it comes from Colossians 3:15-19.
Put this with I Thessalonians 5:18, In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. The key to this verse is in the preposition. Paul did not tell us to be thankful ‘for’ everything but ‘in’ everything. In other words, no matter what are circumstances are, as Christians we are to be thankful. No we are not thankful for cancer, crime or abortion but in the midst of all these things, we are to have a grateful attitude. They say I have covid and my head has ached all day but I am thankful. I will take a headache over a ventilator, know what I mean. If we are willing to take an honest inventory, there is always something to be thankful for. I promise, you have never meet one happy ungrateful person. People who understand grace and their need for it are thankful. People who complain constantly do not understand grace.
You can’t beat this weather. It has been a gorgeous week. On a far less cheerful note: Johnny Burnett is not doing well at all. His kidneys are not working and his heart is erratic. At this point the doctors are not giving Betty much hope.