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Nov 26, 2017

And be Thankful

And be Thankful

Passage: Colossians 3:12-17

Speaker: Pastor Chris Riedel

Category: thankful

Keywords: blessings, thankful, thanksgiving

Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and be thankful.

Devotional

 

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

 

 

— Philippians 4:4-9 (NIV)

Eugene Peterson talks about the rhythm of the Psalms with passive evening psalms and active morning psalms. “Passivity, in which we let God work his will in us, is primary, but activity, in which we obey the will worked in us in the world, is also essential” (Answering God, p. 65). Here in Philippians, we see that great promise of rest, that in offering our concerns to God, we might have peace.
 

How do we gain rest by giving our cares to God? I think the key is thanksgiving. Prayer as a series of requests — a Christmas list we prepare for mom and dad, or for Santa — falls short of the reverence we owe God. Maybe our troubles leave us short of reverence. The ongoing search for work, our depression or that of a family member, abuse, cancer — all of those things, and a thousand smaller claims, will naturally leave us hurt and questioning God’s love. 

If we can take the next step to thanksgiving, we bring ourselves back into relationship. As we turn to appreciation for what God has given us — the warm home, the loving spouse, coffee — we approach God again with new perspective. In that perspective, we remember again that our ultimate thanksgiving is for God’s salvation. Through Christ, He did the work, gaining victory over sin and death. That is Good News — the best news! Knowing that we rest in that great work, we can trust God for our day-to-day situations, both great and small.

Prayer

Heavenly, gracious Father, let me rest in the knowledge that You have done the work for me. My salvation is securely in Your hands, by the grace You showed through a little boy born to Mary. He did what I could never do on my own. This season is so often stressful. Let me continually offer thanks for the victory You have already won. Give me the chance to share that Good News with those who need it, whether by a gentle word or a simple deed. Father, let this season in which we celebrate our King be filled with thanksgiving. In Your precious Son Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

Written by Jon McHenry. Jon leads our devotional team, is a council member, worship speaker and part of the men’s ministry at Arcola Church. He is a devoted husband and father.