Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
You don’t have to go far in the Apostle Paul’s letters before you get to thanksgiving. Of all his epistles only 2 Corinthians, Galatians, and Titus lack an address of thanks in the first chapter. But what made Paul so thankful? He’d been shipwrecked, beaten, stoned, robbed, hated by both Jews and Gentiles, hungry, cold — and some of his letters were even written in prison! So what did the apostle have to be so thankful for? Paul remembered something we so easily forget.
Not health, money, success, results, comfort, good works, or blessing. He remembered the gospel. That’s it.
The gospel is not something we can be to other people. The gospel is not something to be lived out. The gospel is not simply what you believe to get into Heaven. The gospel is more than that! The gospel is an announcement — a proclamation of something that’s happened already. It’s good news, not good advice. Jesus died for us. He set us free from sin and death, and made us alive to obedience and joy! When we were unable to save ourselves, someone else saved us and made us co-heirs to all the riches of God — that’s the good news!
Paul remembered this, and in his letter to the church at Colossae (written while imprisoned) he encouraged them to remember it too. Evoking imagery of trees and buildings—things that need strong foundations—Paul exhorts them not to forget their foundation. And the result? Abounding in thanksgiving!
Christians should overflow with thanksgiving. When we forget about Jesus, we forget to be thankful. This Christmas, remember the foundation of your faith—Christ Jesus the Lord. Just as you received him, so walk in him. You received him humbly and without any doing of your own. This Christmas season walk in him the same way—humbly and thankfully!
Catch up Days 1-11 of our Christmas Devotional here.