The Mystery Revealed, Christ is Enough, so Walk in Newness of Life
As we near the end of Colossians and begin looking at the last chapter, there are several things we’ll notice. First, chapter four seems to be comprised mostly of extremely short exhortation and commands. It’s almost as if Paul was getting tired of writing but had many more important points to share, so he wrote them bullet-point style. We’re going to start looking at one of these short commands today, and will go through more in the coming posts.
After Paul finishes giving out the new rules by which to govern the Christian household, he jumps into brief, yet powerful and convicting exhortations that apply to all believers, regardless of social sphere. The first one is on prayer:
“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.
This verse is very clear and concise with no need for further exposition. However, I would like to look at part of it closer. That part of it being “with thanksgiving.” Paul sprinkled this important theme throughout his letter to the Colossians, so we should take notice.
Thankfulness is mentioned in each chapter of Colossians:
In chapter one, we are encouraged to be strengthened with all power by giving thanks to the Father. Chapter two: abound in thanksgiving. Don’t just give or express a weak, half-hearted offering, abound in it. Chapter three talks about giving thanks from the heart. Thanksgiving and thankfulness needs to come from the heart. It’s not a mental or verbal exercise, but a heartfelt attitude and expression of praise. Now in chapter four, we are exhorted to pray with thanksgiving. As we present our cares, concerns, requests, and praises before God, we should do so with an attitude and heart of thanksgiving.
So how is our thankfulness doing? Do we abound in thanksgiving? Are we a people of gratitude, and do we express that gratitude to the Giver of all things? Is our prayer merely filled with the wants and needs we present before God, or do we spend time in heartfelt thanksgiving? Do we do all things with thankfulness in our hearts to God?
I’ll talk more on the topic of thankfulness and thanksgiving as we get closer to the national American holiday of Thanksgiving. In the meantime, however, let’s take a moment to ponder this powerful little command on prayer that Paul gives us in chapter four and consider the many ways throughout Colossians he exhorts us to do all things with thankfulness. May we be known as a people who rightly give glory and praise to God for all He’s done. And may it be said of us that we truly abound in thanksgiving.
“Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”