“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him,” (Col 2:6a)
Continually walking with Jesus is easier said than done. Maybe we have gotten out of the habit, found another walking partner or we are just not feeling it. Whatever it may be, Paul knows it can happen, which is why he, like the good spiritual trainer he is, provides us with motivation for why we should keep walking with Jesus. (see Part 1, Part 2)
(3) We must remember God’s work and allow it to drive us to thanksgiving (vs. 7d)
Paul ends verse 7 by telling us that the Colossians were, “abounding in thanksgiving” (2:7d). Commenting on this verse, John Calvin says,
“When he adds, with thanksgiving, he would have them always keep in mind from what source faith itself proceeds, that they may not be puffed up with presumption, but may rather with fear repose [or keep] themselves in the gift of God.”
Calvin is hitting on an important point because continually thanking God for the work He is doing in our lives causes us to remember that it is God, not ourselves or something else in this world, that saves us and continues to grow us. Thankfulness, then, guards us against thinking too much of ourselves, or too much of the things of this world. It keeps us centered on that which provides all we need for life and godliness — Jesus.
Along these same lines, John Piper in his sermon, Guard Yourself with Gratitude, says,
“Thankfulness is an essential guardian of the soul, and therefore we should guard ourselves with gratitude. Evidently we are fair game for the devil when we don’t abound with thanksgiving. Unless the song of thanksgiving is being sung in our hearts the enemy outside will deceive his way into the city of our soul, and the enemy sympathizers within will make his job easy. So for the sake of your own safety, strive to fill your heart with thanksgiving! Guard yourselves with gratitude!”
If we truly focus on what God has done for us, then abounding in thanksgiving shouldn’t be a problem. He gave His only Son to suffer a punishment that we deserve in order to repair our relationship with the Him, so we could live in His kingdom for all eternity. He delivered us from the domain of darkness, freeing us from the bondage of sin so that we can walk in Jesus. He sustains our life each and every day by providing for our physical, spiritual, and psychological needs. God does all this, and more, for those who don’t deserve it. When we think about all of what God has done and is doing for us, we should abound in thanksgiving. As we abound in thanksgiving, our gratitude should keep us walking with Jesus.
Question for Reflection
- Are you thankful for the work God has and is doing in your life?
Post adapted from my sermon How can we continue to walk with Jesus?