Posted in Daily Threads

A Heart of Gratitude Part 1

Be Thankful

The Book of Colossians is a letter written by Paul to the new Christian church in Colosse. It speaks to Christian believers like you and me. These people had committed their lives to Christ.

Colossians 3:15-17 (focusing on 15 today) (NIV)

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 word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 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.

Elusive Peace

Peace, lasting peace, is an elusive thing in our society. It is a thing that everyone is searching for, even striving for, and, sadly, few people actually find it. Many times people think they have finally acquired it, but then it quickly disintegrates as a new stressful situation arises. Even as Christians we tend to struggle with a lack of peace.

Leaky Boats

Imagine yourself in a lifeboat out in the ocean. It is a very dark night with overcast skies and no moon. One more little thing… your boat is leaking. 

Peace? Probably not. So you have to fitfully bail water all night long. You are exhausted and so ready to quit but you keep bailing knowing that you are fighting for your life.

As the sun begins to rise over the horizon, and light breaks through the darkness, you realize that you are in a lagoon. You step out of the boat into knee deep water. How long did you frantically bail in water shallow enough to stand in, when safety was only a step away?

God’s peace is like that for believers. We cannot see it and we may not be able to feel it, but we can know absolutely that we are safe in His care and that His best will go forth.

I am reminded of how a child will hold onto their parent in the shallow end of the pool. The parent is trying to convince the child that he can touch bottom but the child cannot hear their words because of the fit of fear they are presently pitching. The child can only begin to enjoy the pool once they realize that they can indeed touch bottom and easily keep their head out of the water.

This may seem like mindless rambling so as we look at verse 15 today, let’s think about peace and how elusive it can be. For Christ Followers, it is actually always there for us.

Let’s go to the Verse:

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts… “

The peace of Christ is in our hearts as soon as we receive Him as Lord and Savior. As we surrender control and salvation to Him, we are no longer enemies with Him so we have made peace with Him. In addition to having peace with God though, we also have His peace in us. It comes with belonging to Him. But, we must let it rule. This is another area where we need to surrender control. So often we give up that peace because we are not listening carefully and applying God’s Word to our lives. This clearly states that we are to let His peace rule in our heart, doesn’t it? Also, it is not a suggestion. This is a command. An overarching peace in a bad situation can be a huge witness to those who do not yet know Christ because everyone is looking for peace! Everyone!

We are to live in unity with Him – in oneness; not divided. When we are living in unity with God we will be peaceful because we know who we belong to. However, as Christians, if we are full of anxiety, anger, panic, etc., the peace of Christ is NOT ruling in our hearts. We are divided from Him by our lack of trust in Him. Oneness means one mind, one way of thinking.

Unity of One Body

“…since as members of one body you are called to peace… “

We are called to be one with God – in unity, in His perfect will. He wants our will, desires, and plans to match He wants His will, desires, and plans. When we receive Christ we also become part of one body – the Body of Christ. We are called to be at peace in and with that Body – at oneness, not divided. If we are all letting the peace of Christ rule in our hearts then the peace of Christ will rule in the Body of Christ as a whole.

Thankful

“…and be thankful.”

There is such a lack of thankfulness in my own heart it is appalling! After all that Christ has done to

  • make me His
  • reveal Himself to me
  • allow me to get to know Him
  • take care of me and my family
  • show me His will and help me live in it
  • help me focus my life on Him

and so on, and so on. I can never list all that He is and all He has done for me. Yes, to not be always in a fit of ecstatic thankfulness is appalling. His blessings are overwhelming! Are you overwhelmed with them? I pray that we will be overwhelmed with both the realization of the endless blessing He pours out and with the appropriate gratitude that He is due.

May we be very aware and so very grateful!

Let’s pray:

Lord, thank You so much for all You are doing in our lives. Thank You that You bring us together on a daily basis to share in Your word. Thank You that You deal with my heart as I write each weeknight. Your love is overwhelming. Help us, Lord, to be ready and able to live as You want us to live. We love You, Lord! Please make us completely Yours. In Jesus name. Amen.

Go Deeper Today:

John 16:33

 

 

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