Beloved Brisbane Congregation,

Is our life characterised by thankfulness?

Colossians 3:15 says – “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.” So many other things tend to “rule” in our hearts: our wants and desires, the trials and afflictions of daily life, vain attempts to control the direction of our lives, etc. But our Saviour says there is to be one thing that rules in our hearts: the peace of God. That all-encompassing “peace of God” means the wonder of being made right with God by grace, through faith in Jesus Christ and His work. Our iniquity is washed away, and we have the righteousness of God. It also means the beauty that God is working perfectly in every event: as His children, we rest contented in all things. But we are also “called” to that peace, and that “in one body.” This peace is also a dedicated and diligent activity, which we can only exercise as one body – the church. We are to live more and more in the truth and gospel of Christ, in one communion with one another, because we are united to Christ and therefore to each other.

This can only result in thankfulness. The full import of what Paul says here is “Be ye continually becoming more and more thankful.” If we have the peace of God ruling in our hearts, if we are heeding the calling to exercise the practical application of that peace earnestly and diligently, then our hearts and minds will become more and more thankful each day. We will be more and more glad and grateful for the abundance of grace and rich blessings bestowed upon us, the undeserving, as we give ourselves in the exercise of peace.

What of us? We should ask and enquire of our souls: Am I being ruled by peace, exercising peace with my brethren, and becoming every day more filled with joyful thankfulness? Or am I plagued with anxiety, discontentment, striving against God’s work or my brethren, and hence am resentful rather than thankful?

All of us need to pray: “Our Shepherd, open our eyes to the glory of what we have received in you, and what we are receiving every day, and help us to be exercising this peace as a body, so we together will be full of praise and thanks, to your glory, and the vitality of your church.”

Ephesians 5:20 – “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

In Christ and His love,