Note from Jesus
Dear Child of Grace,
You have been blessed with grace because of the Father’s love (John 3:16-18; Colossians 1:12-14). That grace was embodied by My coming to earth in human flesh, My life of service, My atoning death on the Cross, and My victorious resurrection (Colossians 1:15-23) and continues to be yours through the Holy Spirit that has been given to you (Ephesians 1:13-14). You shared in this grace through your baptism because of your faith (Colossians 2:9-15). Your future in glory is secure in Me as I reign over all things (Colossians 3:1-4; Ephesians 1:18-22). So rejoice! Be thankful! Praise your Father in heaven for His bountiful grace that has brought you to a life full of love, hope, and peace in Me!
The Colossian Christians had forgotten the importance of being thankful. So in his short letter to them, Paul began by giving thanks for them. He called on them repeatedly to be thankful. As important as prayer was to Paul, he reminded these Colossian brothers and sisters to always “be thankful when you pray.” In fact, Paul wanted all of their lives to be lived “sending thanks” in My name to the Father!
So why is thankfulness so important? There are many reasons. Thankfulness reminds you that you receive all your blessings from the Father. Thankfulness reminds you of all that you have been given so you are not constantly greedy for more. For the Colossians, however, thankfulness had an added purpose. This purpose can also apply to you. False teachers slip into My people like wolves disguised as sheep. Their smooth sounding words and their claim to special knowledge can create an itch of concern in the hearts of My people who can become uncertain because they are concerned that they may have missed something important. They can be enticed by new teaching that sounds special and especially spiritual. On the other hand, thankfulness roots you in the things you have received from the Father through My death, burial, and resurrection. Thankfulness reminds you that life’s most important grace, My sacrifice for you, is sufficient to bring you to My glory. As Paul warned the Galatians, anything added to the simple gospel about Me is not gospel; it is false teaching and must be opposed (Galatians 1:6-9). Paul wanted the Christian brothers and sisters to follow this important exhortation about thankfulness:
Let your roots grow down deeply in Him, and let Him build you up on a firm foundation. Be strong in the faith, just as you were taught, and always spill over with thankfulness.
So, dear child of My Father, give thanks! Praise God for what you have received. Be filled to overflowing with thanksgiving because you have received grace and the assurance that life ahead of you will be glorious!
Verses to Live
The following verses are the thread of thankfulness that Paul wove into the tapestry of his letter to the Colossians. Read these verses several times. Pause after each section and ask the Holy Spirit to help you receive, incorporate, and display the principles you find in that section. Be blessed! Most of all, learn the grace of being thankful!
As always, we’ve been praying for you, thanking God, the Father of our Lord Jesus the Anointed, ever since we heard of your faith in Jesus the Anointed and your love for His holy ones — faith and love that emerge from the hope you have heard about in the word of truth — the gospel — the very hope that awaits you in heaven.
Since the day we got this good news about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We ask:
Father, may they clearly know Your will and achieve the height and depth of spiritual wisdom and understanding. May their lives be a credit to You, Lord; and what’s more, may they continue to delight You by doing every good work and growing in the true knowledge that comes from being close to You. Strengthen them with Your infinite power, according to Your glorious might, so that they will have everything they need to hold on and endure hardship patiently and joyfully. Thank You, Father, as You have made us eligible to receive our portion of the inheritance given to all those set apart by the light. You have rescued us from dark powers and brought us safely into the kingdom of Your Son, Whom You love and in Whom we are redeemed and forgiven of our sins [through His blood].
Now that you have welcomed the Anointed One, Jesus the Lord, into your lives, continue to journey with Him and allow Him to shape your lives. Let your roots grow down deeply in Him, and let Him build you up on a firm foundation. Be strong in the faith, just as you were taught, and always spill over with thankfulness.
Since you are all set apart by God, made holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with a holy way of life: compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Put up with one another. Forgive. Pardon any offenses against one another, as the Lord has pardoned you, because you should act in kind. But above all these, put on love! Love is the perfect tie to bind these together. Let your hearts fall under the rule of the Anointed’s peace (the peace you were called to as one body), and be thankful.
Let the word of the Anointed One richly inhabit your lives. With all wisdom teach, counsel, and instruct one another. Sing the psalms, compose hymns and songs inspired by the Spirit, and keep on singing — sing to God from hearts full and spilling over with thankfulness. Surely, no matter what you are doing (speaking, writing, or working), do it all in the name of Jesus our Master, sending thanks through Him to God our Father.
Pray, and keep praying. Be alert and thankful when you pray. And while you are at it, add us to your prayers. Pray that God would open doors and windows and minds and eyes and hearts for the word so we can go on telling the mystery of the Anointed, for this is exactly why I am currently imprisoned. Pray that I will proclaim this message clearly and fearlessly as I should.
Emphasis added by placing the words related to thankfulness in bold.
Response in Prayer
O Father of grace and God of glory, thank You! Thank You for the vastness of the universe. Thank You for the mysteries and beauty of this earth. Thank You most of all for grace through the gift of Your Son, Jesus. Thank You for your enduring and transforming presence through the Holy Spirit. Thank You that I will one day see you face-to-face in all of Your glory. Thank you! In Jesus’ name. Amen.
‘A Year with Jesus’ is written by Phil Ware.
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All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved.