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July 24, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”—Colossians 3:15-17 (NIV)
Yesterday, we discussed the unifying and transforming power of God’s love! Today’s Scripture continues to describe its fruits: the peace of Christ in our hearts, the habit of reading his Word, the necessity of worshipping Him, and the effort to do everything for His glory. As I read these three verses over again, though, the Spirit opened my eyes to see a common thread among these fruits: gratitude! It’s the love of God which unifies and transforms us to live a lifestyle of holiness in Christ Jesus, yet it’s our continual praise and thanksgiving that will keep our hearts humble and abiding in His love! Let’s take a closer look!
● Colossians 3:15: “And be thankful.”
In verse 15, Paul writes about the peace of Christ ruling our hearts since we’ve been called to peace through salvation in Christ (Romans 5:1). As he talks about that peace, though, he directly calls his audience to be thankful! Why? Because he knows that thanksgiving is both a natural result of us experiencing God’s love and a clear command to those of us who have submitted to that love.
● Colossians 3:16: “with gratitude in your hearts.”
In verse 16, Paul goes on to encourage the Colossian church to put the Word of God at the center of their teaching, worship, and fellowship. Yet again, he doesn’t fail to leave out that their acts of faith must be accompanied by a heart of gratitude for God’s unconditional and undeserved love!
● Colossians 3:17: “giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
In today’s final verse, Paul closes this section of his letter in a clean summary saying that in all we say and do, we should strive to do so in the name of Jesus and for the glory of God. And once again, Paul purposefully finishes his statement with a command to give thanks to God!
Why is it so important to recognize this theme? Because of what Paul writes in Romans 1:21 (NIV), “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.”
This verse exposes how our evil human nature can turn us away from God—through rejecting His glory and not giving thanks!
However, the gracious love of God made a way for us to not only be reconciled but also transformed from the inside out by His Holy Spirit! In view of this, there’s not a shadow of a doubt that gratitude must fill our hearts and guide our steps alongside the love of Christ because the two inevitably go hand in hand! Thank you Jesus!
DIG: Where have you possibly been lacking in gratitude? In what ways has it possibly impacted some of the fruit in your life?
DISCOVER: How can you be more intentional in adopting an attitude of gratitude?
DO: Write down or sing praises of thanksgiving to the Lord today! Be specific, thoughtful, and unhurried!
Samy Rodriguez has been serving with the Calvary writing team since 2020 as a senior at Calvary Christian Academy. Before going to study communications, biblical studies, and intercultural studies at Palm Beach Atlantic University, she interned with the Calvary Communications Team and was a student leader in HSM (High School Ministry). She is passionate about communicating God’s Word and looks forward to continuing to serve in ministry after college.