And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.Colossians 3:17
The Apostle Paul’s letter to the Colossians is about growing up into maturity in Christ. Paul writes to encourage the Colossians to not get distracted or deceived by worldly philosophies, empty traditions, or useless religion that aren’t rooted in the grace of Jesus Christ.
As Paul encourages the Colossians to continue growing in Christ, he weaves thankfulness into his prayers and instructions for them.
He thanks God continually in his own prayers for them. He prays they would grow in their thankfulness to God. He calls them to be thankful to God in all they do. And he longs for them to be thankful in their own prayers as well.
It’s clear from Paul’s letter that the life of a maturing Christian will be increasingly marked by thankfulness to God for the good he has done for us.
A Grateful Response
God has canceled “the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.” (Col 2:14) Because of this, we have freedom, redemption, and peace with God. So our lives as Christians are lived in grateful response to what God has done for us through Jesus Christ.
We give thanks to God because of the inheritance he has qualified us to receive as his children. (Col 1:12)
We overflow with thanksgiving as we walk obediently in Christ. (Col 2:6-7)
We study our Bibles, disciple one another, and sing praises all with hearts thankful to God. (Col 3:16)
And our prayers are saturated in thanksgiving as well (Col 4:2)
Great Love Shown Lead To Great Thanks Given
Great love shown leads to great thanks given. No greater love could possibly be shown than that of Jesus Christ nailed to the cross in our place. The deeper we grow in our understanding of this, the more thankful we will be. A mark of a maturing disciple is a growing thankfulness for God’s work for us and in us.