Thursday (3/19/2020) - Lord God, by your Word fill me with a spirit of gratitude and thanksgiving
Colossians 3:1–17 -Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory. So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming. You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world. But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him. In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us. Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.
There are just some things that should characterize a Christian. Paul gives us a long list of things that we shouldn’t be involved with but then he gives us a list of things that should describe every believer. Mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, forgiveness, love and peace should all be seen in the life of the Christian. And then at the very end of his list he sees to tack on this idea that we should always be thankful. But it is clear from the rest of the text that the idea of thankfulness was just thrown on the end. I think it is much more of a “saving the best for last”.
Everything we do and say should be done with an attitude of thanksgiving. As we show mercy, kindness and humility, as we forgive and love, as we live lives of peace, our thankfulness should be an overarching characteristic that sets us apart from everyone else. In these difficult days we will have many opportunities to live out these character traits and especially gratefulness. While many people around us will be reacting out of fear and frustration and scrambling to take care of themselves first, we can act out of an attitude of gratefulness knowing that we represent Jesus Christ.
Imagine what a difference your thankfulness can make on other people. Take time to say thank you to the workers at the grocery store, the doctors and nurses you see, the person who delivers your mail, those who are stressed and overwhelmed. You might startle them but you also might just be a little bit of Jesus in their world. And who doesn’t need more Jesus right now?