Going Deeper in "Overflowing with Thankfulness"
2 I want you to know how much I have agonized for you and for the church at Laodicea, and for many other believers who have never met me personally. 2 I want them to be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love. I want them to have complete confidence that they understand God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ himself. 3 In him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
4 I am telling you this so no one will deceive you with well-crafted arguments. 5 For though I am far away from you, my heart is with you. And I rejoice that you are living as you should and that your faith in Christ is strong.
Freedom from Rules and New Life in Christ
6 And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. 7 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.
Read the following a few times:
Paul wants us to be rooted in Christ and him alone for then our faith will grow strong, and we will overflow with thankfulness.
Reflect on the following:
1. Do you believe happiness, the sheer joy of being alive, is within your reach; that all you need to experience happiness is an attitude of gratitude? What gets in the way?
2. Do you believe it is impossible to experience the positive feelings of thankfulness and negative emotions such as anger, bitterness, or fear at the same time?
3. Young children are joy-filled creatures, eager to embrace life in all its mystery and majesty. Why do you think adults stop seeing everything as new and exciting and instead become jaded, crusty, and hard hearted?
4. If gratitude is like a flashlight helping you to see in the dark what’s always been there, what are you thankful for today?
5. To receive Jesus as “Lord” is to acknowledge him as the supreme authority in one’s life. What other authorities might we be tempted to express allegiance?
6. Consider (vv. 4–7): What are practical ways we can avoid being deceived about spiritual truth? What are some basic elements that make up the roots of the Christian faith?
7. How does the idea behind circumcision point to Jesus and the gospel? How is baptism a picture of salvation in Christ?
8. How do modern day deceivers lead well-meaning Christians astray? Why are some so easily manipulated?
9. God says use things, love people, and worship God. How and why do we get these three simple things all mixed up?
Respond in one of the following ways:
1. Keep a simple thankfulness journal this week. Each day right down something you feel good about, something you experienced, people who touched your life, gifts you received, and how God used you to touch someone’s life.