Thanksgiving is a great season! I am sure that many of us appreciate time with family and friends, great food and a lot of it, a day off and most of all the chance to be “thinkful” for what the Lord has done in our lives. No, that is not a typo, but an intentional new word to describe the believers holiday mindset of “thinkfulness!”
I was struck by a reading this morning from Colossians that touches on several key aspects of the believer’s unique thankfulness in life. So since I created a new word, let me define it. Thinkful describes a person that is intentionally and consciously thankful for their relationship with Christ and His work in their life. It is important to that thinkfulness is intentional. The follower of Jesus takes time to celebrate God’s blessing in their life. It is on something that we need to do consciously. The truth of Jesus’ work on the Cross not only secures our relationship with Christ, but changes our perspective and mindset on everything we do.
Paul shared several key truths for us to be thinkful this Thanksgiving. He writes, “And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.” (Colossians 2:13–15) Let me just sketch out several great truths in these verses.
First, God touched us when we were untouchable. He uses the word “dead in your trespasses.” I don’t know about you but I have never seen a dead person do anything. What a powerful metaphor for our inability to have a relationship with our Creator. It reached us in our “uncircumcised” state, speaking of the inability of religious works to bring about spiritual change. Thankfulness results from thinking about God’s love and His intention to bring me to Himself.
Second, Paul reminds us of God’s transforming work within us, “God made alive together with him.” He remade us from the inside out into a new creation. This work of God impacts every aspect of our being so that we are no longer the same! Another reason for us to be “thinkful!”
Third, the work accomplished by Christ’s death and resurrection, “canceling he record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands.” The reality is that the believer is truly free in Christ! It reminds us that the demand of a holy righteous God and His law were completely satisfied by Jesus’ substitution for us on the Cross. It also reminds us that our sins are forgiven, past, present and future. This is something else to be “thinkful!”
Fourth, He delivered us from the evil powers that are at work within our world by, “He disarmed the rulers and authorities.” We are free from the evil influences that drive the cultural thoughts, opinion and actions. The result is that we are able to think Biblical and in turn live God honoring lives is a broken world.
I would encourage you to read all of Colossians 2. Let me leave you with one final thought on being “thinkful” this Thanksgiving season. “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” (Colossians 3:1–2)
-Pastor Joe Parkinson