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Thursday, September 28, 2006
"Overflowing With Thankfulness"
"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness" (Colossians 2:6,7).
The other day my computer's music program froze up while playing a song and it kept repeating over and over, "Thank you, thank you, thank you…" Well, I just suppose the Lord wanted to remind me of the need to be thankful.
Contentedness and thankfulness are two desirable character qualities that are interrelated. One of the great sins against God is unthankfulness. Yet it is very dominant today even 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 reminds the Colossian believers of the foundational steps in the Christian walk. Notice the key words: "received", "continue", "rooted", "built up", and "strengthened". He ends with the appeal to be "overflowing with thankfulness." Today I want to focus on just this single phrase. The word for overflowing means "to superabound."
Paul writes here from a prison, a location surely not conducive to a thankful spirit. He could so easily be in the dumps of despair and compared to many others justly so. But early in His service for Christ Paul had learned to praise God while in prison (see Acts 16:25). Thankfulness is a major theme in Paul's Christian life.
Throughout His Word God has called us to thankfulness. Erwin Lutzer has observed "You can learn to give thanks even if you don't feel particularly thankful. If God gives a command, he expects obedience, whether you are in the mood or not. Thankfulness, like forgiveness, is not an emotion. Thankfulness is an intelligent response of gratitude to God." Amen! May God help us all to overflow with thankfulness today!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen and Brooksyne Weber
Today's Prayer: Father, my blessings come from a variety of sources, but they originate from Your generous and loving interest on my behalf. You love to give! In fact, You gave the ultimate gift in the sacrifice of Your Son who took the penalty for my sins. When I consider the blessings of family, friends, work, food, and other daily comforts it stirs up a heart of gratitude. But when I consider all the spiritual blessings that I receive as I continue to live in You I am overflowing with thankfulness. May it spill out to those around me so that they too might partake of the Bread of Life. Amen.
Many times we preachers have an illustration, story or experience we like to share in a sermon but don't always have a spiritual point to make with it. (Admittedly, we often share it anyway!) I don't have a spiritual point yet for an experience I had yesterday so I'll just share it here in the footers.
I was driving my friend Jesse on some business errands and we had just dropped off his buggy wheels in a blacksmith shop for repairs. I needed to use the restroom so I pulled into a service station/convenience store in Intercourse. On the door, scrawled out in handwritten letters, was this "welcoming" sign:
Restrooms for customers only
Definition of customer: Someone who buys something.
I started to walk back to the truck but I really needed to use the facilities so I walked in and said, "I'm gonna buy a cup of coffee, but I really do need to use your restroom first." The lady scowled her approval. I made use of the facilities and then got two cups of coffee; one for Jesse and one for me and proceeded to pay for it. When I realized I didn't have cash I pulled out my credit card. As I handed it to her she scowled as she told me, "We don't take plastic for less than $10.00". I was taken aback and gave her a bewildered expression as I thought to myself, "Well, what am I supposed to do now? I sure can't undo using the restroom!" I received no mercy from her but went out to the truck and, thankfully, Jesse had some cash and ended up buying us each a cup of coffee! (One lesson in this story is how not to represent customer service.)
I took today's photo in Paradise Township in Eastern Lancaster County yesterday. It is probably one of the most famous farm views in all of Lancaster County and the same scene is used each morning in the daily paper. Here's another photo taken from the same spot but facing another direction.
(Note the one room schoolhouse to the left, along with the outhouses)
(Click on photo to enlarge)
Here is a song we enjoy titled "Forever" that may prompt you to consider your many blessings. May it help you to reflect upon the love of God and experience overflowing thankfulness in your life today.
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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