Hi everyone it’s Mick here, welcome to Tuesday’s Podcast.
Our reflections this week are asking ‘Is it possible to change?’ Yesterday, we reflected on the truth that all change starts with me but doesn’t end with me remember the question ‘Will you receive Christ this day?’ Change comes through receiving Jesus. Today, we see how the fruit of Godly change is thankfulness. Our reading is Col 2:1-7 and our focus verse is v7b ‘rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. …’
We sometimes overcomplicate the Christian faith. We give the impression that there are lots of add ons to being a Christian – certain extra things you need to understand or do. In today’s reading Paul challenges this kind of false teaching completely. He keeps reminding his readers then, and us today that all you need is Jesus. It is not a matter of adding anything else to Jesus, but rather of putting into practice what you already have received from him: ‘My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: just go ahead with what you’ve been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him. You’re deeply rooted in him. You’re well constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you’ve been taught’ (vv.6–7a, MSG).
Then comes this wonderful phrase in v7b overflowing with thankfulness. … or as the Message bible says let your living spill over into thanksgiving . Two words here to reflect upon; firstly, thanksgiving – gratitude to God for his unmerited love in our lives. It’s called ‘grace’; the kindness of God filling our lives.
This letter was written in Greek and the word used here is for thanksgiving is ‘eucharist’ – thanking Jesus for his love and kindness in our lives, supremely seen in his death and resurrection. That’s what we do when we take bread and wine in church, we remember Jesus and say a big thank you to him as we offer our worship and praise. Sadly, communion services in some churches are more like a funeral dirge than a celebration. I love the Eucharist at STC – we keep it simple and thanksgiving just oozes from this celebration gathering!
The second word is ‘overflow’ – the word here means ‘above and beyond the normal’ or ‘exceeding the ordinary’. Paul says that as Christians we are to spill over with thanksgiving – I just love that! How do you know when a glass is really full of water? When it overflows and the table gets soaked! How do you know when a Christian is full of thank yous? When the people around them get soaked in God’s goodness, kindness and generosity! It’s so good to be around people like that – thankfulness is contagious, once you start you it affects other people.
Is it possible to change? Yes it is with Jesus. How do I know I’ve changed. Here’s the test – the fruit of Godly change is thankfulness. After nearly forty years of following Jesus I’m still learning this great truth; to constantly give thanks every day for all he has given me in my life, my amazing wife, our wonderful children and grandchildren, our home, our friends, the work God has called us to, the money he gives us, the list goes on! To let my thank you bubble up and touch those around me. Many years ago, not long after becoming a Christian, a colleague at work at a Monday morning meeting asked me this ‘Mick, it’s Monday, what have you got to be so happy about?’ My reply came straight out: ‘I went to church yesterday!’ Okay, maybe not the best answer, but it was good enough to get a God conversation going! I know it sounds crazy but it actually works! let your living spill over into thanksgiving
Where could I overflow today!
Lord Jesus, thank you that my life is safe with you – rooted and grounded in your love. Thank you for giving my life meaning and purpose. Thank you for all the many blessings in my life. Thank you. Help me to live a life of thanksgiving and overflow with you this day and every day. Amen.
BIBLE READING: Colossians 2:1-7
I want you to know how hard I am contending for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in Christ is.
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.