ABOUNDING IN THANKSGIVING
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 IN THE MIDST of the Colossian epistle, the apostle Paul writes, "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with [in] thanksgiving" (Colossians 2:6,7). Paul, in his first Roman imprisonment, had been visited by Epaphras (preacher from Colosse). He told Paul about the conversion of the Colossians and about possible problems that confronted these new converts. The problems involved false teaching. Paul, being the apostle to the Gentile world, saw it fitting to write to them. This was to encourage them and to fortify them against false teaching. The word "thanks" and "thanksgiving" stand out in this epistle, being found in every chapter (Colossians 1:3, 12; 2:7; 3:15,17; 4:2). Here in chapter 2:7 he presents thanksgiving as a bulwark against false teaching. He lays out before the Colossians the richness of the religion into which they have entered, as he earnestly prays for them. It is his desire "that their hearts might be comforted [encouraged], being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Colossians 2:2,3). He goes on to say of Christ, "For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power" (Colossians 2:9,10). There was nothing lacking in the relationship they had entered as Christians. In Christ are "hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge"ówhy even be tempted to look elsewhere? How amazing! Christ was God incarnate! And the Colossians were complete in Christówhy look elsewhere? Their salvation could not be improved upon. All of their spiritual needs were met. The grass was not greener, nor could it be greener, on the other side of the fence. They were to fully understand this. And in understanding, they would be moved to abound in thanksgiving for what a good thing they had in Christ. A thankful Christian is not a "candidate" for apostasy. With that being said, Paul goes on to say, "Beware lest any man spoil [corrupt, plunder] you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiment of the world, and not after Christ" (Colossians 2:8). A lack of being thankful initially is what had plunged the Gentile world into idolatry and the depraved sins that followed (Romans 1:21-32).
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 There is a problem of lack of thankfulness and thanksgiving in our modern world. Great men who were unashamedly influenced by the Bible, and who had deep respect for Christianity, founded this country (USA). Laws that governed this land were brought into being through men holding such views and were incorporated into the very fabric of our society. With a sense of justice and equality, having its roots in religion, this country moved in the direction of prominence and even greatness. But today, Christianity, that played such a prominent role, is being pushed aside by the secular humanists as irrelevant. All traces of God must be removed. How strange that the Ten Commandments cannot be tolerated publicly by the government any more (at least, by certain radical judges), saying that they would be offensive to some (a small number), and at the same time the issuance of marriage licenses to people of the same sex is being allowed (which is offensive to a far greater number, and most of all to God). How unthinkable, strange and weird! A generation that has been brainwashed by humanism, and at the same time no longer knows the Bible, voices little opposition. They little know, and care, that the orderly foundation and function of society is being destroyed. They need to know the part that religion has played in bringing this country to where it is now, and be thankful.
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 If you are in a church that seeks to be identified as the nondenominational church of the New Testament, and that alone, be thankful. The church taught in the Bible is not a denomination, just simply the spiritual body of Christ (Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 4:4-6; 1 Corinthians 1:12,13; 3:4). (Paul plainly taught, "Ye are called in one body [not into a denomination division]; and be ye thankful," Colossians 3:15; 1 Corinthians 12:13). If you are in a church that deeply respects the Word of God, you need to be "abounding in thanksgiving." Some believe that the preaching of Godís Word will drive people away. They compromise, hoping to bring in numbers. Others get bored by much Bible preaching. They want entertainment and play programs (and they seek out such "churches" to satisfy their fleshly appetites). But, beloved, if we donít love Godís Word (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12), nor appreciate it, we are a sitting duck for the devil. We are not just a "candidate" for apostasy, we are well on the way there. Be thankful.
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 The apostle Paul admonished Timothy: "I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick [living] and the dead at his appearing and kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure [put up with] sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all thingsÖ" (2 Timothy 4:1-5b).
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 Beloved, God has given us His eternal truth. Let us be a thankful people, "abounding therein in thanksgiving" (Colossians 2:7) and "always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord" (1 Corinthians 15:58). Error will find no place with us. 
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