give thanks

by Pastor Mark Jordan

“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)

Are you thankful? I mean really thankful? This week we are going to look at spiritual elements of what it means to live a life of thanksgiving. Even though our Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday is a distinctly American holiday, the precept of giving thanks for God’s presence, power, and activity in our lives is universally eternal.

Our Bible passage today connects giving thanks with the call to live in peace and unity with other believers. That sounds good right about now, doesn’t it? We see so many instances of people tearing each other down, when we read today that we are called to build each other up. Encouragement. Worship. Service. Doing it all in the name of Jesus, giving thanks to God through him.

Shortly before Jesus was betrayed, arrested, tortured, crucified, and laid in a tomb three days prior to his resurrection, he told his disciples that he wanted to give them peace that only comes from God…a peace that the world cannot give because it’s a peace it cannot understand. He taught them this while teaching on unity brought by the Holy Spirit, and praying for all of his followers to remain connected in unity. And be thankful.

We need some thanksgiving, don’t we? Giving thanks requires an active approach to living. Encouragement. Worship. Service. Living with a commitment to others, bound by the love of God in Jesus, who God gave to us so we can learn how to give to others. May that be the way we approach this week, and the rest of our lives, actively giving thanks to God with a commitment to peace and unity.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for giving me Jesus. Help me to live a life of giving thanks, committed to the bonds of peace and unity. May it transform the way I worship you and serve others, giving and receiving encouragement. I ask this in Jesus’ holy name. Amen.