Water for the Thirsty
Weekly Devotional

Water for the Thirsty

Being Thankful

Weekly Devotional

‘As the deer pants for streams of water so my soul pants for you, O God’. (Psalm 42:1)
‘…Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink”…’ (John 7:37)

A husband gave his wife a beautiful skunk coat for her birthday. When his wife opened it up she said,

“I can’t see how such a nice coat can come from such a foul smelling little beast.”

To which her husband said, “Look I don’t ask for any thanks but you could at least show me some respect!”

Well we could show God some respect by thanking Him for whom He is and what He does.

At the beginning of his letter to the Colossians Paul shows us that we need to show gratitude to God:

We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints—the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel that has come to you… (Colossians 1:3-6)

Paul says here that he and Timothy thank God for the Colossians’ faith, love, and hope.

Now, you might think Paul would thank the Colossians for these qualities but he doesn’t – he gives thanks to God for these virtues in the Colossians’ lives. In other words he is saying thank God that He is God; Thank God that He is willing to give us these qualities. Thank God that He is willing to work in our lives.

Why should we thank God for God?

Here are Paul’s three reasons:

1. Thank God for God Because He Has Given Us Faith

1 Corinthians 12:9 includes faith as a spiritual gift from God.

Ephesians 2:8 informs us that faith along with grace are gifts from God. Paul thanked God for the Colossians faith because he realized that if it were not for God we would not have faith.

Who do we have faith in? – God. Who gives us that faith? – God.

We thank God because He has given us faith to believe in Him and the work He has done on our behalf. We cannot take credit for our faith because we simply have believed what God has revealed to us. God has taken the initiative in our salvation and we simply are willing participants.

2. Thank God for God Because He Has Given Us Love

1 John 4:19 says, “We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). Again God has taken the initiative. We, in and by ourselves, do not know how to love. God had to love us first so that we would understand and could love Him back.

Who does Paul thank for the love the Colossians were showing to all the saints? It wasn’t the Colossians. It was thanksgiving to God for He is the agent of love. The Colossians were simply returning the love God had first shown to them.

Napoleon said at the end of his life,

“Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I founded empires. But on what did we rest the creations of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ alone founded his empire upon love. And at this hour millions of men would die for him.”

Our love for each other is in relation to, and a reaction to, the love God has shown us through Jesus Christ.

3. Thank God for God because He has given us hope

Paul says in Colossians 1:5 that the faith and love that Christians have “spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven”. Our faith and love are the expressions of the hope that is within us.

Where does this hope come from? Paul says it is “stored up for us in heaven”. In other words it comes from God.

In Colossians 1:27 he tells us that the mystery made known to us is “Christ in you, the hope of glory”. The hope that God has given us in not an uncertain hope – it is based upon our relationship with Jesus Christ. If we have given our lives to Christ than we have a certain hope that we will be with Him in glory, and from this hope springs the qualities of love and faith in our lives.

Thank God for God: He has given us faith; love; and a certain future.

Have a good week,

Pastor Barry

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