Written by: Tim Wood
Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. (Colossians 2:7 NLT)
We’re entering one of the best weeks of the year; Thanksgiving week! I think it’s the best because there are no gifts to exchange, no parking places to find, and no websites to scour trying to find that perfect gift. Thanksgiving is about getting together and eating. Who doesn’t like that? Thanksgiving has been celebrated as a holiday in the U.S. since 1863. But it wasn’t Abraham Lincoln who thought it up. God proclaimed thanksgiving thousands of years ago. He instructed his people to give thanks for an entire week (Deuteronomy 16). They were to thank him for his provision and protection. God knows what we should discover – thanksgiving is good for our soul. It’s healthy for our hearts. It renews our mind. It reinvigorates our emotions. Our focus verse says that we should overflow with thankfulness.
OVERFLOW. What a descriptive word. When I see that word I think of a river spilling water over its banks. Overflow means that thankfulness just comes out of us. You can’t have an overflow without a flow. An overflow of thankfulness assumes that thankfulness is already the standard operating procedure of my life.
Colossians 2:7 shows us three ways to live so that thankfulness becomes part of us and flow out of us. First, let the roots of your life grow down into Christ. Second, allow your life to built on Christ. Third, trust the truth of Christ over everything else. These are all passive participles; meaning they have already been accomplished because you have received Christ as Lord. You have been planted in Christ so that your life becomes like a deeply rooted tree. It holds. Even in the fiercest storm your life is held together by being deeply planted in Christ. You have been built up in Christ. You’re getting stronger in him. You are producing fruit for his glory. And you have been taught in the truth. The truth of Christ not only sets you free, it makes you stronger. The result of all this is your life overflows with thanks.Our lives overflow with thankfulness when the flow of our life is Christ and his grace and truth. Is that the testimony of your life?
Bible commentator Matthew Henry was robbed one day. After the incident he told his friends he was thankful for several things. First, he was grateful that he had never been robbed before. After many years of life this was the first time he had been robbed and for that he was grateful. Secondly, he said, "Though they took all my money, I am glad they did not get very much." That was something to be thankful for. Thirdly, he said, "Though they took my money, they did not take my life, and I am grateful for that." And finally, he suggested, "I am thankful that it was I who was robbed, and not I who robbed." There was a man who had learned how to be "overflowing with thankfulness!"
My prayer is that the overflow of our lives would be indicative of the flow our life – thankfulness to a great God.