So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Col. 2:6-7
Lord Jesus, [Thursday is] the day we call, Thanksgiving—the beginning of a weekend during which many of us will joyfully consume large quantities of food, with family and friends; begin retrieving Christmas decorations from the attic and start playing the music of Advent; do some strategic planning for Black Friday shopping; and resume eating more large quantities of food… again, joyfully.
But whether we eat turkey or toast; with a crowd or all alone; in a season of comfort or in one of great stress… before, above and beyond everything we do this weekend, we want to give you worthy thanks for our priceless redemption. If anybody has a right and reason… even a responsibility to overflow with gratitude, it is us, Jesus. These two verses from the heart and pen of Paul are the launching pad for the praise and thanks we bring before you today. How could we ever, when we will we ever give you the adoration and affection of which you alone are worthy?
At the very nanosecond we were given faith to receive you, we were fully and firmly rooted in your righteousness and love—planted forever is eternal wonder. Now, completely forgiven, we have no need for any other righteousness than yours. And just as we can’t add one iota to your righteousness, we can’t diminish the love you have for us by one degree. You have already set us free from the penalty of sin (Hallelujah, many times over); you are continually setting us free from the power of sin (O, the freedom and hope this brings), and one Day you will totally set us free from the very presence of sin (We believe, help our unbelief).
Jesus, much more fully, we want to live in you, marinating in the riches of the gospel—for life can’t be found anywhere else but in you. We want to be built up in you, maturing by the same grace that saved us, being liberated for the race that you’ve set before us. We want to be strengthened in you, forgiving others as you have forgiven us, forbearing with others as you forbear with us, accepting others as you accept us. Make us great lovers to your glory. Nothing else really matters in this life…
So rise up in us, O living water, unto eternal life. Artesian springs of grace, come forth with such compelling and propelling force that our thanks will overflow the banks of our hearts—like a tsunami of worship and redemption. So very Amen we pray, in your generous and faithful name.