“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
Colossians 3:16, ESV
We often times only begin to truly think about the attitude of thankfulness during this holiday season. Although it may not be the correct attitude, there is still something to be said about the day when all busy-ness stops and we sit down to gather and truly thank God for all he has given us.
Paul here, writing to the Colossian church, gives us something to ponder during this Thanksgiving holiday. It is something that is so simple anyone can do it, yet so profound that its well will never run dry. Read [again] verse 16 of Colossians 3 and look at the first phrase:
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…”
Paul is in the middle of giving the Colossian Christians the command to put on certain virtues while using the metaphor of putting on clothes. He using this metaphor to show how Christians should never “leave the house” without these virtues.
But in Colossae there were many heresies or false gospels infiltrating the culture and also permeating the church. One of the more influential heresies was one called Gnosticism. Gnosticism was the belief that all created matter was evil and the only good is the Spirit. Because of the infiltration of this heresy, the Colossian church had began to doubt the deity of Christ.
For this reason and others, it was crucial for Paul to pen verse 16. How could the Colossian Christians battle these heresies on the frontline? How could they begin to see the deity of Christ for what it really is? How can they continue to believe in His God-ness? By letting His Word dwell in them richly. It is then that they would be successful in conquering the heresies of their time.
The Attitude of Thankfulness
It is easy for us to become nostalgic this Thanksgiving season and thank God for the “blessings He’s given us.” It’s all too easy for us to say “Thank You” when we’re reminded. Paul was giving the Colossian church the formula to combat the heresies influencing them and he says it will result in “teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.” Do you see what letting the Word of Christ dwell in us richly does? When we allow it to encompass our entire being, it influences us to encourage, strengthen, and build up others. But it also stirs up an attitude of thankfulness. When we get into the Word so much that it dwells in us richly, it will result in a thankful heart on more than one day per year. The Word of God invokes us to have an attitude of thanksgiving year-round because of the glorious grace and salvation we have in Jesus Christ.
Let’s start now by letting Christ’s word, as one writer put it,
“..to have a large and liberal occupancy.”
When we allow Christ’s word to have it will affect us in such a way that we won’t just be thankful for a season, but everyday as we enjoy the blessings of the indwelling of the Spirit of God at all times.
God’s Word dwelling in us richly -> Encouraging, strengthening, and building up others -> Being thankful.
Blessings this Thanksgiving season to all.