Sunday, August 19, 2018

Colossians Words Day 19: Thankful

Day 19 ~ Thankful

In the beginning of the letter we saw in Paul's prayer for the Colossians (1:9-14 - see Day 5:Wisdom) that he asked God to fill them with the knowledge of His will. Paul prayed this so that, filled with the knowledge of God's will,  they would be able to live in a manner that is worthy of the Lord and that pleases Him in all ways. One of the ways Paul listed as evidence that one is living in a manner worthy of the Lord is a life of gratitude, continually giving thanks to the Father (1:12). Paul weaves this call to thankful, grateful living throughout his letter.

In 2:6-7 Paul's call on Christ followers is to "live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness." Our faith in Christ is not only a set of beliefs that we commit to with our minds. It is also a lifestyle that we submit to that  transforms who we are and how we live. While grammar can be boring and at times hard to grasp, there are times when the knowledge of the grammar used in the Greek can help us gain a deeper sense of what God is calling us to. Here in this verse, Paul lists four ways we are to live in Christ - rooted, built up, strengthened, and overflowing with thanksgiving. These four words (participles) are in the passive voice in the Greek, which means we do not produce them. They are produced in us by God. We play a role in that we must do what is necessary to keep ourselves connected to and positioned before Christ for transformation (look at the metaphor of the vine and the branches in John 15:1-8 for a picture of this). Also note, that of the four things listed, the first one, rooted, is a perfect tense, which means it is a past completed action that has continuing effect. You have been rooted in Christ. You are thoroughly grounded in Him and will continue to be. You have a firm foundation of faith in Him. The next three things are present tense, which means they are ongoing processes produced in us by God. They continue to grow as we continue to grow in our faith. So we will continually be built up and strengthened and we will continually overflow with thanksgiving.As we grow in our faith our lives will express these qualities produced in us by God. The words are passive, but we are not to be passive. Paul calls us to "continue to live in Him". We play a part in God producing these things in us by faithfully living and growing our faith in Christ. I love the word Paul used to describe the thanksgiving that God produces in us - it is overflowing - great quantities of gratitude and thanksgiving bubble up in us and overflow in our lives. What an awesome picture! Am I participating in the life of faith God calls me to in such a manner that gratitude to Him bubbles up and overflows in my life? Sounds like a great thing to pray for!

This leads Paul then to call to us to "be thankful" (3:15 & 4:2) and to "do all things , whether in word or in deed, in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him" (3:17). This one of the ways we obediently live out our lives in a manner worthy of and pleasing to the Lord. Giving thanks becomes both an expression of who we are in Christ and an expression of praise and worship to God for His rich blessings to us through Christ.

If you are behind or just joining in, you can find a list with links to the previous words here.

Please share your creative responses to today's word and Bible verses in the Words Facebook group or on Instagram using #colossianswords.

#foundonbrighton #everydayjournals2018

No comments:

Post a Comment