A very good morning to you my precious friends
Colossians 2:6-7 says “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness”
We often complain about our jobs, our living conditions, our bodies and self-image, and so much more. Why can’t we just be thankful?
Paul tells us that as a Christian, we have everything we need to be thankful for through Christ. Receiving Jesus as Lord (accepting what He did for us on the cross) should eventually lead to abundant thanksgiving in our lives. Not constant complaining.
The Christian life continues the same way it begins, by faith in Jesus. Our entire lives will be successful if we live out of our union with Christ. The apostle Paul in these verses, gives three practical ways describing how we are to continuously live in Christ and be thankful.
First we are to be rooted and built up in Christ. Imagine a large oak tree that can withstand the wind, rain, snow and even seasons of drought; it is able to flourish because of a strong root system. The roots give it stability and the means to acquire nutrients and moisture from the ground. What you see above ground is only a fraction of the tree; the most important part of the tree remains underground.
In Psalm 1:3 King David likens the person who delights in God, flourishes in their relationship with Him and finds gratification in God’s laws as a tree; strong and prosperous. “That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither whatever they do prospers”.
In the same way, it is necessary that our root system is built on the Lord Jesus and that this is the foundation for growth in life. Ephesians 2:19-20 reminds us that as believers we are “members of God’s household built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the Chief cornerstone”.
Being rooted in Jesus is the first practical step of continuing in Christ the same way as we began.
The second step is being strengthened in faith. We begin our journey with Christ by faith so it also makes sense that verse 7 tells us that this is how we continue our entire lives by “becoming increasingly more rooted and established in the faith”. Think of faith like a muscle that needs to be constantly exercised so that it will be strong, in shape and ready to withstand anything and everything.
Like the oak tree, faith is like the trunk of the tree that grows tall and strong over the years. It is the part of the tree that is exposed to the elements so it needs to be strong and able to withstand outside forces. It is also the part of the tree that never stops growing which means the trunk is the visible results of the depth of the root system; the more rooted the larger the tree.
Lastly, we are to abound and overflow with thanksgiving and gratitude. To visualize in terms of our tree, gratitude is the plume; it is a natural and visible part of the tree showing the health of the entire thing. Without leaves, trees look bare and dead; however even dead branches when trimmed give life to the whole. In the same way, the Christian life without thanksgiving and gratitude severely damages the health of the believer. A life that overflows with gratitude shows maturity.
Like the tree example, this simple practice is the natural outflow of the previous two things. When we are established in Christ and secure and growing in faith; able to see God moving in each and every circumstance, then thanksgiving abounds. This is a beautiful picture of the redeemed life; rooted, secure, strong, able, mature, complete and continually bringing glory to God through a life of gratitude.
If we stray from this as the basis of our life, we put all we hold dear at risk. But if we continue, if we grow, if we root ourselves in this truth and make it the undergirding reality of our lives, then our future is secure and our victory assured.
“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him…”
Let us pray:
Heavenly Father God, I thank You for the challenging and enduring truth of Jesus' Lordship. Thank You for giving me all I need for a worthy walk in Christ. Conform my life to closely reflect His lordship in my work, my family, and daily influence. Help me to walk worthy of the calling wherewith I have been called - may I learn to listen to the leading of Your Holy Spirit and walk in spirit and truth, in HIM, all the days of my life - to Your praise and glory, In the name of the Lord Jesus I pray. Amen.
Much love to you from Maurice and Margaret