Abounding In Thanksgiving
Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. - Colossians 2:6 -
I've recently been enjoying a more detailed study of Paul's letter to the Colossians, using the Bible Arcing Method.
One of the key take-away's for me was found in Colossians 2:6, and specifically the phrase, "abounding in thanksgiving".
Now, I consider myself a reasonably 'thankful' type of guy, but I had to ask myself, "Am I truly abounding in thanksgiving? Is the overall tone of my life, my words and my conduct, marked prominently by an attitude of thanksgiving?"
The reason why I need to be marked by thanksgiving is, as a Christian, 'thankfulness' is all I really have to offer!
Look at Paul's reasoning in Colossians 2:6: Our walk with Christ should continue and develop on the same basis we received Christ. That is to say, the way you received Christ as Lord of your life is the same way you should continue to walk in him.
So how did we receive Christ? What did you do to earn his redemptive work at the cross and receive salvation?
Nothing! You received him by faith.
You did nothing. Jesus did everything.
Your salvation was everything to do with grace, and nothing to do with works.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Eph 2:8-9)
So if this is the way we received Christ Jesus the Lord, Paul's reasoning is that this is the way we continue in him. And that's why we must abound in thanksgiving. Any growing, any maturing, any deepening, is all a work of grace and not owing to any special ability or spiritual level I attain.
In a way, salvation has robbed me of everything except thanksgiving. All I am truly left with is the opportunity to say 1000 times a day, in a 1000 different ways, "Thank you".
When I do this, when I proclaim my dependant thankfulness, I magnify the name and worth of Christ; I say to the world, "He has become more, and I have become less. Jesus is worthy of all your honour and praise."
Not content to leave it at that, the Lord seemingly needed to drive the point home further. I happened to watch a 'Look at the Book' episode by John Piper on Psalm 50:8-15, titled, 'God Does Not Need You'. I'd encourage you to take the time to watch it for yourself.
To the praise of His glory!