Colossians 2:7 explains that Christians should be "abounding with thanksgiving." The idea of "abounding" in that text is overflowing.
If you were to bump into someone while they're holding a full cup of coffee, it's likely that coffee will spill out. If they're holding a full unsweetened hot green tea, and you bump into them, green tea will likely overflow out.
Whatever fills our heart overflows through our mouth. Bump into some people and bitterness, or anger, or jealously will ooze out because that what's overflowing in their heart. However, Colossians 2:7 explains that what should be overflowing from the child of God is gratitude.
With that in mind, please consider these 4 statements about gratitude. 1) Godly people are thankful people.
The most godly people within any group are also the most sincerely thankful people in that group. Incidentally, the most ungodly people are also the most unthankful. 2) We need to be taught to be sincerely thankful.
Children are not born thankful. Good parents take time to teach their children to be thankful. In our society, we typically only say "thank you" out of custom, etiquette or constraint. In order for our expression of gratitude to be pleasing to God, it must be sincere.
Interestingly, 1 Thessalonians 5:18 explains that gratitude is "the will of God" for the Christian. And, Ephesians 6:6 instructs us to be “doing the will of God from the heart,” which refers to our sincerity.
Further, Hebrews 13:21 explains that Christ works in us to produce His will. As adults we're past having our parent teach us to be thankful, but Christ Himself, through the Holy Spirit, is teaching us to be thankful as He produces His will in yielded Christian people.
3) The impact of unthankfulness on a person is a spiritual poison. Unthankfulness will create entitled, expectant, and spoiled people. Further, to be unthankful is to be Lucifer-like. (Consider Romans 1:21, 2 Timothy 3:2.) 4) The expectation of thankfulness from others is dangerous.
To do things for others with the expectation of thankfulness in return is the wrong reason to serve others. The motive behind why we serve others makes all the difference when it comes to whether or not our service pleases God. Again, motives matter. By way of conclusion, remember the comprehensive nature of Christian gratitude. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says that “in everything” we are to be thankful. The key to being thankful in everything is the phrase “in Christ Jesus."
If you look at your good or bad circumstances through the lense of what Christ Jesus has done on your behalf, you can always find something for which to be thankful.
Because of Christ we can say, "I’m on my way to heaven therefore no matter what I'm facing, I'm thankful." If your family and friends are saved, then no matter what you're facing, you can say, "I’m thankful." No matter what you're facing, you can say, with Jeremiah, “His mercies are new every morning, therefore, I’m thankful."
Truthfully, as Christians, we have everything to be thankful for, and nothing to complain about.
This devotion was written by Pastor James C. Johnson. These devotionals are being published throughout this pandemic in an effort to further strengthen the faith of our NorthStone church family. Feel free to comment below to offer your feedback about today's devotion.