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11/24/13 Priorities of a Thankful Heart!

Posted by Pastor Steve Siegrist on Tuesday, November 26, 2013 Under: Sermon
Text: Colossians 3:15-17 (NKJV)

15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Illustration: Truly Thankful, Two men were walking through a field one day when they spotted an enraged bull. Instantly they darted toward the nearest fence. The storming bull followed in hot pursuit, and it was soon apparent they wouldn't make it. Terrified, the one shouted to the other, "Put up a prayer, John. We're in for it!" John answered, "I can't. I've never made a public prayer in my life." "But you must!" implored his companion. "The bull is catching up to us." "All right," panted John, "I'll say the only prayer I know, the one my father used to repeat at the table: 'O Lord, for what we are about to receive, make us truly thankful.'" Source Unknown.

Intro: Thankfulness ought to be a major ingredient in all our relationships. During the Thanksgiving holiday, we focus on our blessings and express our gratitude to God for them. But thanks should be on our lips every day. We can never say thank you enough to parents, friends, leaders, and especially to God. When thanksgiving becomes an integral part of your life, you will find that your attitude toward life will change. You will become more positive, gracious, loving, and humble.

There are three priorities that should mark the lifestyle of a thankful Christian. These should be outer garments that cover all the others. The thankful heart should be concerned with the peace of Christ, the word of Christ, and the name of Christ.

Application: A Thankful Heart Knows Christ.

1. The Peace of Christ: vs. 15

"And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful."

Illustration: Cowboys and Indians. Do you remember the old westerns where the cowboys and Indians were at war with each other? It seemed that what they really wanted was peace. This peace was in the form of a treaty, or bond. Man has always equated peace with an attitude of rest or security. The Christian’s objective is to be at peace or rest in the security of Jesus Christ. “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1 The war between the believer and God is over, and the treaty was paid for by the blood of Christ. Because of that, believers are at rest, and secure. I believe we are reminded: “of the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” God gives us peace we just got to decide if we really want it or not! “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Let the peace of God rule in your hearts. The word rule here is a very important part of really experiencing peace. In sporting events the umpire plays a crucial part of the event, his decision was often a very important part of the outcome of an athletic contest. The peace of Christ guides believers in making decisions. When the peace of God rules in your heart, thankfulness and peace are on the same side. There is a oneness. Believers were called to live in peace in one body. Individuals who have peace with Christ and in their own hearts will live in unity and harmony with each other. To maintain a peaceful heart one has to be thankful. A Priority of a thankful heart is a person who is at peace with themselves and others.

The Word of Christ: vs. 16

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

The word of Christ refers to the revelation He brought into the world, which is Scripture. Peace and thankfulness, as well as unity, love, and all the required virtues, flow from a mind controlled by Scripture.

“Let the word of Christ Dwell” means to live in, or be at home. Paul calls upon believers to let the Word take up residence and be at home in their lives.

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)

A priority of a thankful heart will be the Christian who lets the Word of God be the glue that keeps them together. “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”

The truths of Scripture should invade, take over every aspect of the believer’s life and govern every thought, word, and deed. To be filled with the Spirit is to be controlled by His Word. To have the Word dwelling richly is to be controlled by His Spirit. Since the Holy Spirit is the author and the power of the Word, the expressions are interchangeable.

When the Word of Christ dwells in you there will be wisdom with all teaching and you will admonish (caution) one another. There is a negative and a positive thought with this Word of Christ from this verse: Teaching the accuracy of the scriptures is the positive truth. Admonishing is the negative side of teaching. It means to warn people of the consequences of their behavior. Both are the result of a life overflowing with the Word of Christ. The latter part of this verse just reminds us of the importance of thanking God for the grace that has been given. Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. The heartbeat of a thankful Christian is the Word of Christ.

3. The Name of Christ: vs. 17

And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. (NLT) And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.

The simplest, most basic rule of thumb for living the Christian life is to do everything, whether word or deed, in the name of the Lord Jesus. To do everything in the name of Jesus is to act consistently with who He is and what He wants. Paul expressed the same thought in 1 Corinthians 10:31: “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

The priorities of a thankful heart put on Christ. That is the obligation of every believer: “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lust.” Romans 13:14.

The goal of the Christian life is Christlikeness. Believers should so clothe themselves with Jesus Christ that when people look at them, they see Christ.

Conclusion: It amazes’ me how often someone will tell me it is just another birthday or another Anniversary; another year has come and gone… “Another Moment!” Do we really appreciate the moments that God allows us to experience?

Daily Bread, August 26, 1989

Scottish minister Alexander Whyte was known for his uplifting prayers in the pulpit. He always found something for which to be grateful. One Sunday morning the weather was so gloomy that one church member thought to himself, "Certainly the preacher won't think of anything for which to thank the Lord on a wretched day like this." Much to his surprise, however, Whyte began by praying, "We thank Thee, O God, that it is not always like this."

Are you one of those who is quick to find the worst in situations or do you take the time to find a reason to be thankful? Do you have a thankful heart! What are or where are your priorities? When you understand your priorities - you will remember what God has done, you will tell others about it, you will show God’s glory to others and offer the gifts of self, time, and resources. If you are truly thankful, your life will show it.

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