Thanksgiving Blessings

Thanksgiving Blessings
Colossians 2:6-7
New King James Version (NKJV)
6As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.

This Thanksgiving, despite the “hard times” we have all been enduring; take time to thank God, our creator, for what he has provided us. We have our families, a job that puts food on our table and clothes on our backs, we have friends, a free country, where we can freely worship our God without fear of persecution and we have the daily simple pleasures we enjoy, like a warm dog to cuddle with, toasty slippers, the sounds of children, visiting with relatives and your own daily routine.

There was once a company with 3 men working in the factory. A minister was visiting the factory one day and he went in to speak with some of the workers. He asked the first man “What are you doing here?” The man answered “I am putting in my 8 hours, just like I do every day”. The minister thought that this man must not be happy in his job, if all he does is count the hours and live for the weekends. He asked the second man who said “I am doing quality work to produce quality parts, because that’s what the boss pays me to do”. The minister thought “this is good, the man takes pride in his work and his quality of work is important to him, but something still seems to be missing”. The minister asked the third man the same question and the third man said “I am blessed to have a job and the health to come here and work each day. I get up each morning and thank God for another day. In my bible, I read in Colossians that “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men; knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.” The Minister was touched by this man, knowing his life was full and his joy was complete, because he had discovered the secret of a joyful life. He gives all he has to everything he does and as a result, he finds fulfillment in the same job that the others only did for what they got out of it.

Sure, money is tight, tomorrow is uncertain and you don’t want to worry, but you do. You shouldn’t though. Today is a good day. God promises us that we only have to deal with each today, one at a time. Matthew 6:24 says “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” He cares more for you than the sparrow, and gives you a cure for anxiety and worry :” 25For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?28 And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! 31Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

What He says last is “seek first His Kingdom and all these things will be added to you. Follow God, obey His commandments and He will give you the desires of your heart. If you do less, you will get less. Makes sense doesn’t it? Everything in life is like that.

Erma Bombeck was a writer and humorist, who later in her life battled with kidney disease and cancer. In 1992 she wrote, “An estimated 1.5 million people are living today after bouts with breast cancer. Every time I forget to feel grateful to be among them, I hear the voice of an eight-year-old named Christina, who had cancer of the nervous system. When asked what she wanted for her birthday, she thought long and hard and finally said, ‘I don’t know. I have two sticker books and a Cabbage Patch doll. I have everything!’”

That’s sure a great example of contentedness and thankfulness; two character qualities that are interrelated and lacking among so many today. One of the great sins against God is unthankfulness. Yet it is so dominant today right in the midst of affluence and is actually predicted as a mark of the last times. (See 2 Timothy 3:1-5.)

In our daily verses Paul is reminding the Colossian believers of the necessary foundational steps in the Christian walk. Notice the key words: “received”, “walk”, “rooted”, “built up”, and “established in the faith”.

But today we want to focus on just a single phrase. Paul ends this section of Scripture with the appeal to be people “abounding in thanksgiving”. The Greek word used for abound means “to superabound.”

Paul writes here from a prison, surely a location very non conducive to a thankful spirit. He could so easily be in the dumps of despair and legitimately so due to his unjust circumstances. But early on Paul had learned to praise God even while in prison (see Acts 16). Earlier in the epistle he had himself expressed thankfulness to God for the Colossian believers. Indeed thankfulness is a major theme in Paul’s life.

This Thanksgiving, I encourage you to reflect on the great things you have that you don’t always count as great. Superabound in Thanksgiving as you enjoy your 4-day weekend and be thankful that you have paid time off to do whatever you want to do.

This is the official start of the Christmas season, a time when all of America is a little more compassionate and generous than normal, when we all notice others and have a small glimmer of the love of Christ when dealing with our fellow man. I encourage each of you to go out of your way to show love to others by being a blessing to all you come in contact with. Go ahead and throw a buck in the red pot at the grocery store, smile and greet people with a genuine smile, truly caring for each other. After all, we are getting ready to celebrate the birth of our Savior, the creator of the universe, that’s a pretty awesome thing to be thankful for – isn’t it?

God Bless each of you and your families. We are praying for you and hope that the love of Christ abounds in you throughout your holiday season. So be Thankful, For WE are Blessed!

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