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Vital signs- Thursday, November 9th, 2023


“Walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” COLOSSIANS 2:6-7 (ESV)


If we walk around with a full glass and someone bumps into us unexpectedly, whatever is inside it will come out. The same principle also applies to our character: if we are filled with bitterness, ingratitude, envy, or jealousy, then it won’t take much of a “bump” for what is within us to overflow.

As Paul wrote to the Colossian Christians, he encouraged them instead to be marked by a grateful heart—a key characteristic of the Christian life. The word Paul uses to describe this thankfulness, “abounding,” comes from a fairly common Greek word, perisseuo. In other places in Scripture and in other English translations, its root is translated as “overflowing.” Paul’s meaning is clear: when people “bumped into” these believers, the overspill, he instructed, was to be thankfulness.

When men and women have not been transformed by Christ, ingratitude—along with its resulting bitterness, complaining, anger, and malice—often marks their lives. In Christ, however, believers trade ingratitude for thanksgiving, bitterness for joy, and anger for peace. Having heard of God’s grace in all its truth and having turned to Him in repentance and faith, we have our sins forgiven. We have the Spirit dwelling in us. We have a new family in the church of God. We have eternal life ahead of us. We have access to the heavenly throne room in prayer. In other words, we have much to be grateful for. Thankfulness becomes the song, the overflow, of the Christian.

This kind of gratitude has significant effects. It turns our gaze to God and away from ourselves and our circumstances. It defends us against the devil’s whisper, which incites us to despair and to distrust what God has said. It also protects us from pride, eradicating from our vocabulary phrases like “I deserve more than this” or “I don’t deserve this.” And it allows us to rest in the knowledge that God works out His loving purpose not only in pleasant and encouraging experiences but also in unsettling and painful ones. It is only by grace that we learn to “give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5:18, emphasis added).

The antidote to thanklessness is found only in union with Christ. Do you see in yourself any lingering ingratitude over what God has chosen not to give you? Bring it to the foot of the cross, seek Christ’s forgiveness, and ask for His help to see all that you have been freely given in His gospel. Set aside a time each day to write down and recount to yourself the blessings from God you have received. Then you will truly overflow with thankfulness.

• How is God calling me to think differently?

• How is God reordering my heart’s affections—what I love?

• What is God calling me to do as I go about my day today?


Team Wade loves you and is praying for you ❤️👊

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