Nov 25 A Thankful Heart / By: Bill Crowder Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. Colossians 4:2
Today's Scripture & Insight:
Colossians 4:2–6 (NIV): 2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. 4 Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. 5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
Seneca, the great philosopher of ancient Rome (4 BC–AD 65), was once accused by the empress Messalina of adultery. After the Senate sentenced Seneca to death, the emperor Claudius instead exiled him to Corsica, perhaps because he suspected the charge was false. This reprieve may have shaped Seneca’s view of thankfulness when he wrote: “homicides, tyrants, thieves, adulterers, robbers, sacrilegious men, and traitors there always will be, but worse than all these is the crime of ingratitude.”
A contemporary of Seneca’s, the apostle Paul, may have agreed. In Romans 1:21, he wrote that one of the triggers for the downward collapse of humankind was that they refused to give thanks to God. Writing to the church at Colossae, three times Paul challenged his fellow believers in Christ to gratitude. He said we should be “overflowing with thankfulness” (Colossians 2:7). As we let God’s peace “rule in [our] hearts,” we’re to respond with thankfulness (3:15). In fact, gratitude ought to characterize our prayers (4:2).
God’s great kindnesses to us remind us of one of life’s great realities. He not only deserves our love and worship, He also deserves our thankful hearts. Everything that’s good in life comes from Him (James 1:17).
With all we’ve been given in Christ, gratitude should be as natural as breathing. May we respond to God’s gracious gifts by expressing our gratitude to Him.
Today’s Hymns: Thank you Lord for Your Blessing on me
Scripture to Respond: Ephesians 5:19-20 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Reflection: What are some of the biggest, most enduring blessings you’ve received in life? What everyday blessings have you forgotten?
Prayer: Father, forgive me for always taking You and Your blessings for granted. Create in me a thankful heart, so I’ll honor and praise You for all Your deeds.
Wong Wai Tung (Chief executive officer of The Great Wall Education Foundation) & Sam Chow (Administrative officer of The Great Wall Education Foundation) Reflection and prayer translated by Jenny Hung