Luke 17:11-19 is the Gospel reading typically used for Worship Services on Thanksgiving Eve/Day. In this Gospel story, Jesus heals ten lepers, but only one returns to give glory to God by thanking Him. The reason the one man returned to thank God, whereas the other nine did not, is that his heart had been changed by Christ. He had not merely been healed of physical leprosy, but the Savior more importantly healed the leprosy that covered his heart—sin. The Gospel reading says that his faith made him well. The word, “well” is from the Arameic word sozo, meaning “saved”. What distinguished this one man from the other nine is not that he had been taught to say, “Thank you” but that he had been made new in Christ.
Likewise, in Paul’s letter to the Colossians, we see clearly that the apostle’s exhortations concerning thankfulness grow out of the new-creature-in-Christ.
Take some time this month in your personal or family devotions to explore Colossians 3:1-3; 15-17.
The third chapter of Colossians is all about putting off the old self and putting on the new self, who is being renewed day by day according to the image of Christ (v. 10). Ingratitude is a characteristic of the old sinful self. We really must get beyond the simplistic belief that being thankful is simply what polite people do. The issue is much deeper than having good or bad manners.
The absence of a grateful spirit is contrary to our new calling in Christ.
[The Bible teaches that complaining diminishes our witness for Christ (Phil 2:14-15).]
Let the peace of God rule your heart through prayer (Col 3:15; Phil 4:6-7).
The Peace of God in our heart produces an attitude of gratitude.
Peace of God is different from peace with God.
Peace with God is positional—we are no longer enemies of God, in Christ we are kingdom-citizens, children, and friends (Col 1:21-22; 1 Jn 3:2; Jn 15:15).
The peace of God is experiential—an assurance that guards our inner person through the Spirit, Word, trust, and prayer (Rom 14:17; Isa 26:3; Phil 4:6-7).
Let the Word of Christ dwell within you. (Col. 3:16).
As we take time to meditate on the Word of God it sinks deeply into our very being—challenging and changing our mind’s thoughts and heart’s motives—producing joy. This joy then produces a desire to “sing” Christ-exalting praises throughout the week. A thankful spirit flows from a heart touched by grace, controlled by the Spirit, and fed by the Word.
Do your work diligently, to the glory of Christ, with thanksgiving (Col. 3:17).
Everything we do as believers is sacred. It is an opportunity to show forth the glory of God Who has saved us from the penalty and power of sin. Doing all things “in the Name of Christ” means to do all our work with diligence while “giving thanks” through Christ to the Father.
May the Lord richly bless your life with an ever-growing attitude of gratitude.
“Gratitude is one of the most powerful human emotions.
Once expressed, it changes attitude, brightens outlook, and broadens our perspective.”
“It's a funny thing about life, once you begin to take note of the things you are grateful for, you begin to lose sight of the things that you lack.”
― Germany Kent
E’en So, Lord Jesus Quickly Come
What God has promised, God will fulfill. Even in the deepening darkness of this age the Church maintains its watch. We wait for the rising of the Dayspring, the splendor of Light Everlasting. In the darkness, it is difficult to distinguish those who fight with us from those who fight against us. When the Son returns, He will come to fulfill all our hopes. The shadows will be lifted; all will be light. There is one Light, the Alpha and Omega, the First and Last, the Beginning and the End, the One Who is coming with forgiveness, life and salvation.
Jesus is our Servant-King. By His Death on the cross, we are rescued from the dominion of darkness and brought into the Kingdom of the Beloved Son. He is the Image of the Invisible God. All things were created by Him and for Him, the Center and Preserver of the cosmos. When creation was distorted by sin and tore itself away from the sovereignty of God, the King Himself came into the fallen world to reconcile all things to Himself by making peace through His Blood, shed on the cross. His Life was idly thrown away, but It was a Precious Gift, so precious that the whole world rejoices in Him.
For those whom God has called into His Presence, the time of waiting is over. The saints in Heaven now see God; they have found comfort and have entered fully into His Kingdom. For us on earth who celebrate God’s Redemption, the time of waiting continues. Yet we see signs of the Kingdom in our midst. What is foreshadowed now in Word and Sacrament will be given us completely in the Presence of the Lamb. We ask Holy Spirit for the Gift of faith to live and believe now; trusting that all God has promised will most certainly be done.
We gather in assembly to sing for joy to the Lord, the Author and Perfector of our salvation. We offer Him thanksgiving; and extol Him with our finest gifts of music and song. He will not withhold his Blessing from us. In Word and Sacrament we cry out, “Lord, remember us when You come into Your Kingdom.” Each time we cry out to Him, he bestows on us His Word, Baptismal water, and Eucharistic food and drink as guarantees that we, too, shall be with Him in Paradise, forever sons and daughters in His Kingdom.