Tell me about this glass.How would you describe it?
Tell me about this glass.How would you describe it?
There are three parts to what is being said in this verse …
Here’s the reason you ought to ensure that you live in Christ’s peace, with the effect that you live your life with peace at the core of it …It is a rational reason.It is a motivating reason.But it sits and rests on logical, reasoned argument.In Christ we become one body … you have a new Heavenly Father, adopted into the family of God and that’s not just an entity it is an organism … not just a body of OPINION, but arms and legs that DO stuff.Not just a body, an organism that does stuff but an organism that as a particular calling.It is a body that is called to serve the Prince of Peace, taking forward in a lost, fallen and broken world the message and the embodiment of the Gospel of Peace.What is the message of the Gospel about?It is about Christ dying on the Cross in our place, to pay the price of our sins, too bring about PEACE between God and those who are saved by it.You were CALLED to this peace.So now we see the duty and the obligation of practising peace as being the obligation of the Gospel.That might make us want to do peace.But that doesn’t help us to actually DO peace.It’s another of those doctrinal sermons that stir the aspirations but don’t motivate or move or equip the heart with any practical tips of the ‘how to’ variety, is it?No it isn’t.The practice of peace arises from culturing personal contentment … and that springs directly out of the discipline of …?
So once again in this letter emphasis gets laid on thanksgiving.1:3 “We always thank God,(A) the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you …”1:12 “we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy(U) of the Lord and may please him(V) in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,(W)11 being strengthened with all power(X) according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience,(Y) and joyfully 12 giving thanks to the Father,(Z) who has qualified you[d] to share in the inheritance(AA) of the saints in the kingdom of light.”2:7 “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord,(K) continue to live in him, 7 rooted(L) and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught,(M) and overflowing with thankfulness.”3:17 “whatever you do,(AO) whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks(AP) to God the Father through him.”4:2 “Devote yourselves to prayer,(B) being watchful and thankful. 3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door(C) for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery(D) of Christ, for which I am in chains …”Paul is regularly found in this epistle emphasising the importance of this issue.Thankfulness is a crucial safeguard against spiritual shipwreck, as our sinful flesh drags us into downward spirals of discontent with our circumstances.Fascinating, this.It’s all about the sort of person that we choose to become and to be …καὶ εὐχάριστοι γίνεσθεThis is a participle … a plural participle so, ‘all of you become those who are thankful’.Here’s the key to the contentment that stops us being characterised by turmoil and trouble and grief … it’s that thankfulness for certain things that breeds contentment of spirit and enables us to deal in a level-headed way with the rubbish which also crops up in our lives in a peaceful and tranquil sort of way.Now there is PLENTY in life to be dissatisfied at.Plenty of REAL stuff that is realistically out there.The Colossian believers had plenty going on in their lives, their economy, their families and their fractured churches to make them feel as miserable as it gets.They could have chosen to major in their prayers on themes of affliction.They could have chosen in fact to dwell a great deal on their lot, their absent family members, their relative poverty compared to the people up the road in Laodicea or elsewhere along the road down that Lycus valley … or in the big city their road (had) led to down in Ephesus.καὶ εὐχάριστοι γίνεσθε, says Paul.Become thankful ones!That is a discipline to be PRACTISED.It is something to set about becoming, quite intentionally.And you might feel that it is becoming an afflicted one, or a miserable one, or a poor old such and such of a one that will get you attention and help and a bit of support or encouragement.But it’s not.There is sadly a tendency to take comfort in distraction with and dwelling upon one’s misfortunes.I sometimes see people wandering off into sad thoughts as if they are your teddy bear – they off for a comforting cuddle with these things, dwelling on their misfortunes for comfort.Now, I listened to a TED talk from Cambridge (Massachusetts) on my Android phone while I was painting a door in an odd hour last Friday.It was by a chap called Matt Killingsworth and his title was: ‘Want to be happier? Stay in the moment.’ He was presenting research that showed three main things:A person’s life circumstances are not a big influence on their happiness levelsPeople spend a LOT of time distracted from what they are doing, from the task in hand … we call it ‘mind wandering’ … it’s at about 47% of the time that our minds are wandering. No matter what you are doing, your mind is wandering about 30% of the time.This distracted thinking, this ‘mind wandering’, though, is actually THE CAUSE of those same people’s unhappiness.When our minds wander we often think about the things we are worrying about.My conclusion is that you need to take hold of your thoughts in a disciplined sort of way.Paul seems to think so too!Be thankful.Become those who are the thankful ones.Get hold of your thoughts and do ‘thank you’s with them, in a disciplined, focussed sort of way … because of the impact of the gospel of peace on your heart and the direction in which that’s taken your life.Be thankful.But it’s not just the peace perspective …
The Word and worship perspective of your life should also make you a growing into being grateful one.Now, given the heresy tat’s been gripping at the throat of the church in Colossae, you can imagine that the Biblical discussions have been … vigorous!Nothing makes Christian people more miserable than division in their church … with the possible exception of immorality in the church (especially, I guess, in its leadership).And we all know of people who are at least outwardly very ‘big on’ the Word, but not very big on the joy of the Lord?Well, something’s wrong there in Paul’s book!Here’s what he’s saying about how we go on in church …
Yes … the word comes first in our gatherings for worship
That worship is to involve teaching which is also to be characterised by a certain mutuality …
There’s GOT to be song too, all sorts of eclectic musical styles, but the key to it all (whatever the musical style and this is saying soak it ALL up) is that it needs to be inspired by the Spirit.So it is Word centred, mutually admonishing and educating, musically eclectic … spirit inspired worship!
And here’s the killer punch.That word centred, mutually educative and corrective, eclectically musical … Spirit-inspired worship needs to be an outpouring of disciplinedly grateful hearts.We sing here from gratitude.Not because welike it.Not because we like the way that we do it.Not because we’ve got this really professional music team and they’re really COOL and they make you feel like you are …Now that we know the peace of Christ and have learned such amazing things from the Word of Christ that have so undeservedly become real in our experience of Christ we SING … but we don’t sing because we like it or because we are good at it or because it makes people LOOK at us …We sing with gratitude, such gratitude in our hearts towards God.Often dynamic outpourings of the Spirit or widespread renewing works of God are characterised by singing.But the day the gratitude goes, oh so often, the singing turns into an idol.The plain, clear, life giving antidote to all that is for each of us individually to practise the discipline of gratitude as we sing out all this multi-faceted worship to God.Paul has more …
Paul’s covered two characteristic things that Christians by definition do … and now as we saw last time comes the ‘catch-all’.We do the deeds of Christ (Paul says) giving thanks to God the Father through Him.I’m about to say that I’d like to spend some church money on getting a nice Christmas card invitation produced for us for Christmas (not too flashy, just nice) and get it out around the doors in the cold, dark and wet in Llandeilo and around the houses around each of our homes for this Christmas.Could we do that thankfully?Yes, of COURSE we can!Are you sure?I reckon it only SOUNDS to be terribly straightforward …I’m about to say I’d rather we took the time to make hand made ones ourselves … but there’s so much else we really ought to be doing to get ready for Christmas!We REALLY wouldn’t be able to do THAT very thankfully!I’m going to say that between the 24th and 25th November the Llandeilo Festival of the Senses take over the Civic Hall for a Craft and Therapy centre … no, I’d better stop there because there would be SUCH lot of work involved in getting a stall in there for two days and we are small and busy and …See?What Paul is asking for here is ACTUALLY QUITE A LOT …Because we might well want to take on doing the works of Jesus … a Christmas tea for the elderly or whatever … but it is SUCH a lot of work and it falls on a few and it gets very difficult to do it at all in the spirit Paul is describing here: ‘giving thanks to God the Father through Him’.Whatever you do, WHATEVER!Paul is going to make it horribly clear to us now and spell out a bit of ‘whatever’ … words or deeds … do everything in the Name of the Lord Jesus (as we saw last time doing the deeds He would do, reaching the lost primarily but serving the needy too)Do it all in the Name of the Lord Jesus … His servant/ slave, His steward … not sparingly, not grudgingly, but GIVING THANKS TO GOD THE FATHER THROUGH HIM!Why?Because this is for your spiritual benefit and spiritual resilience in the hard times you Colossians are going through.IN those times.IN them.
The resolution of their spiritual difficulties for these Colossians, their dissatisfaction at their lot in a time of recession and the social and economic dislocation it created, and their resulting vulnerability to faithlessness and error … the resolution for these spiritual problems is not to try harder.The solution is to be infinitely more thankful.Practising the peace of Christ, living in the Word of Christ and doing the deeds of Christ … the three essential components of Christian life which actually build the resilience of your relationship with Him … these three areas cover the matrix of the interactions of the Christian life.He’s listed everything we do as Christians that matters.But the key to it lies slightly off centre …It’s the way you’re to do this that matters.He says, ‘with it – be thankful or grateful’ (you can chose which!)Now let me tell you something here now straight away … you won’t want to.Being miserable or in trouble gets you FAR more attention.Being busy and overloaded makes you look FAR more important.But what you need to do for YOUR benefit and for YOUR spiritual resilience in hard times is to practise DOING (mebbe not feeling to start with in your circumstances) this gratitude and giving of thanks to God – and doing it all over everything!All the core functions of the Christian.All the core functions of church.Giving thanks to God the Father through Him.HOW?!For the Colossians the answer is to do this.To be thankful.It’s a discipline.It’s a practise.It’s essential.
Colossians 3:15-17 … THANKFULNESS!• Introduction• Peace perspective, v. 15“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts,since as members of one body you were calledto peace. And be thankful.”καὶ εὐχάριςτοι γίνεςθε
Colossians 3:15-17 … THANKFULNESS!• Introduction• Peace perspective, v. 15 – “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts,
Colossians 3:15-17 … THANKFULNESS!• Introduction• Peace perspective, v. 15 – “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, – since as members of one body you were called to peace
Colossians 3:15-17 … THANKFULNESS!• Introduction• Peace perspective, v. 15 – “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, – since as members of one body you were called to peace – since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” καὶ εὐχάριςτοι γίνεςθε
Colossians 3:15-17 … THANKFULNESS!• Introduction• Peace perspective, v. 15• Word perspective, v. 16“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly asyou teach and admonish one another with allwisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns andspiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts toGod.”χάριτι ᾄδοντεσ ἐν ταῖσ καρδίαισ ὑμῶν τῷ θεῷ
Colossians 3:15-17 … THANKFULNESS!• Introduction• Peace perspective, v. 15• Word perspective, v. 16 – “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly …
Colossians 3:15-17 … THANKFULNESS!• Introduction• Peace perspective, v. 15• Word perspective, v. 16 – “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly … – as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom
Colossians 3:15-17 … THANKFULNESS!• Introduction• Peace perspective, v. 15• Word perspective, v. 16 – “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly … – as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom – and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs
Colossians 3:15-17 … THANKFULNESS!• Introduction• Peace perspective, v. 15• Word perspective, v. 16 – “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly … – as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom – and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs – with gratitude in your hearts to God.
Colossians 3:15-17 … THANKFULNESS!• Introduction• Peace perspective, v. 15• Word perspective, v. 16• Deeds perspective, v. 17“And whatever you do, whether in word ordeed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus,giving thanks to God the Father through him.”εὐχαριςτοῦντεσ τῷ θεῷ πατρὶ δι’ αὐτοῦ
Colossians 3:15-17 … THANKFULNESS!• Introduction• Peace perspective, v. 15• Word perspective, v. 16• Deeds perspective, v. 17• Conclusion