"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." Colossians 3:15-17
The Apostle Paul gives us another great insight into being thankful. Thanksgiving is "thanks- living". He makes that clear in these verses. What you give when you give thanks is - you!
THE SURRENDER, V. 15
"Let the peace of God rule in your hearts......."
The word used for "rule" is the word "umpire". Finding peace with God is a result of allowing Him to be the umpire in your life. He makes the calls, especially the judgment calls. You surrender to His authority and His judgment. You play the game He makes the calls. That sounds like surrender to me!
THE SOURCE, V. 16
"Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your heart to God."
If you are going to allow God to be the umpire in your life on a permanent basis you will need to know the rules. That is where knowledge and understanding of the Word comes into play. It is impossible to know whether or not the umpire is making good calls if you don't know the rules. God's Word not only outlines the rules but it give detailed insights about the Umpire so you can know Who He is.
As this was being written the believers in the churches only had the Old Testament. The New Testament was still being written. These verses are part of that process. The stories about Jesus and the formative doctrines and teachings of the Apostles were memorized and passed on by word of mouth. That became the focus of their fellowship and worship. No wonder they had such exciting services!
THE SUBSTANCE, V. 17
Thankfulness ultimately must be lived out! How do I know you are thankful unless you show it with your attitudes and your actions? This is why I say thanksgiving is "thanks-living". According to this text, thanks-living is not something you do occasionally or once a year but it is a lifestyle. It is a mindset. It is a perspective. Everything you do and every decision you make is filtered through a thankful spirit.
Thanks-living is living out the transformed life for the glory of God. Thanks-living is the outward expression of an inward presence and power.
Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday. Thanks-living is the holy way!