Changed: Don’t Be Polite

“. . . giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.” (Colossians 1:12)

Here’s the last bullet point from Paul’s short list of “what God wants from a growing Christian.” He wants us to say thanks. Strike that. He wants us to “give thanks.”

changed_350No, the God of all creation is NOT a glorified Miss Manners. He doesn’t care which fork you use for the salad. This isn’t about being polite. I think a lot of us skip giving thanks because we think of it as nothing more than saying “excuse me” after a good belch. It’s not really “doing” anything, is it?

Apparently, judging by how often it comes up in the Bible, giving thanks is doing something truly significant in God’s eyes. To Him, thanks is a gift bestowed on the one who does something truly great for us like, say, qualifying us “to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.”

Think: How often do you give thanks to God? What do you thank Him for most often? Do you think you sometimes skip it because it doesn’t seem like it should matter to Him?

Pray: Take this verse and turn it into a prayer of thanksgiving to the Father.

Do: Make a quick list of 1,000 things you could thank God for today. Okay, just start with 10.

Changed: Father Rescuer

“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:13-14)

Do you notice any difference here between the way Paul describes our relationship with God — and the bleary-eyed, bored way we often trudge through our “Christianity” on a Sunday morning?

changed_350You and I were stranded in the kingdom of darkness, lost and alone. It’s where we belonged (because of our sin), but the place is a nightmare come to life and a land of endless death.

The Father would not leave us there. He planned and executed a brilliant rescue by sending His Son over the border to live our worst dreams and die our final death. Then He brought us back — redeemed, forgiven, brand new citizens of the kingdom of light.

Think: How does it change your understanding of God to think of Him as your rescuer? How does it change your understanding of you to think of yourself as rescued?

Pray: Thank your Father for rescuing you from the kingdom of darkness and bringing you back to Jesus’ kingdom of light.

Do: Memorize this verse, then go sit in a totally dark room and roll it around in your head for a few minutes. Notice how bright the light is when you come out.