Jump Start # 2230
Colossians 3:15 “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.”
Note: With the Thanksgiving holiday, there will be no Jump Starts on Thursday or Friday this week.
Our verse today ends with the simple reminder, “and be thankful.” We get that reminder a lot around this time of year. Our preachers preach on thankfulness. Articles in the bulletin remind us to be thankful. Paul’s words weren’t a reminder because of a certain season or a national holiday. I tend to doubt the Romans had a national day of thanks and if they did, it would be to some pagan god that the Greeks had invented.
And be thankful, is simply a reminder of what we already know. It’s like your mom telling you to be nice when you were going over to a friend’s house. Being nice wasn’t a new concept or a change in your character, it was simply a reminder to be what you are, nice. And be thankful, is like that. It’s not the start of something new, but simply a reminder of what we are, thankful.
And be thankful, is a spirit and an attitude that we carry with us. It’s easy to see all that is wrong and all that needs fixing these days. Fires, shootings, political turmoil, crazy stock market, gloom and doom and too much of that and we forget to “ be thankful.” The thankful heart sees through all the wrong and still finds blessings, hope and good things. Being thankful is not ignoring problems, however, it’s not allowing the problems to set the course of our life, our attitudes or our moods.
I preached a funeral the other day. I found an expression that I really like and I used it over and over in that funeral. The quote says, “Do not cry because it’s over, be thankful for what you had.” The thankful heart has a way of looking back and seeing wonderful blessings, opportunities and precious memories.
Think about all the places you have been in your life. Some have traveled far away. But for those who haven’t, still think about all the things you have seen and all the places you have been. And, be thankful.
Think about all the people that you have met in your life. Many pass through and we barely remember them. But there are others, teachers, coaches, friends, brethren—they left something in our hearts and we remember them. They took time. They went out of their way. They opened doors for us to have a chance. And, be thankful.
Think about all those incredible sermons you have heard in your life. Our times have produced some of the finest preachers. They made Heaven seem so real. They taught us, reminded us, warned us and helped us so much. To this day, there are certain parts of those sermons that we still remember. And, be thankful.
Think about those early days when you went to visit your grandparents. Now, some of us didn’t have that blessing, but others did. I can still hear my grandma humming to a song on the radio as she went about her work in the kitchen. She’s been gone for a long time, but what fond memories of someone who loved the Lord and loved us. And, be thankful.
Think about those fun times with your family when you were small. Family trips. Fishing. Playing in the backyard. Sitting around the table on Thanksgiving day. Wonderful times. And, be thankful.
Think about how far you have come spiritually. You wouldn’t be reading this Jump Start if you didn’t have some love of the Lord running in you. The Lord has used you to help others. You may have taught Bible classes. You may have helped out during the VBS. Maybe you’ve had families over to your home. Who would have thought that you would be doing any of those things, but here you are. And, be thankful.
Think about your family that you love so much. Certainly there are things that you would like to get them to do, or see, but you love them. And, as they grow and start having their own families, you see this transition taking place. They are moving on their own. You like what you see. And, be thankful.
Think about you and the Lord. What a journey this has been. For some, it may have been up and down and in and out. You may have gone to the far country, the wilderness and every other place that you didn’t belong, but here you are. The Lord has been patient with you. The Lord has forgiven you. The Lord has blessed you. And, now, looking back, you see how the Lord has shaped your heart, and molded you into the person that you are today. You are much more compassionate today than you used to be. You listen more than you used to. You hold your tongue more and pray more. You offer to help out. That’s something you never did before. You stick around and talk to all kinds of people. You enjoy that. You find yourself not being so angry and not judging as you once did. You’ve changed and it’s because of the Lord. And, be thankful.
And, with this list of thankfulness, I add you our readers. If no one was reading these, I wouldn’t be writing these Jump Starts. But you are. You let me know that. Something special has happened. The Lord has blessed me to write and put me with a group of brethren that believe in these things which allows us to send these out and you are kind enough to read these. And, through this wonderful combination, good is being done. The right time, the right people, the right elements, and the good Lord and wonderful things have happened. And, be thankful.
I hope you each have a wonderful day today as well as tomorrow. And remember, be thankful.