Cross Words: The day after Thanksgiving


By Isaiah Pauley



Another Thanksgiving has come and gone. By now, dinner is reduced to a plateful of leftovers. Christmas decorations escape the attic. Black Friday deals cause us to lose our minds. (It always amazes me how we’re thankful for what we have and rush down Walmart aisles for what we don’t have on the same day). But for those who follow Christ, Thanksgiving is more than a yearly holiday. It’s a way of life.

The apostle Paul writes, “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” (Col. 2:6-7 ESV).

On this day after Thanksgiving, I want to study these two verses. May God open our eyes to His Word and stir our affections for Him.

Paul writes the book of Colossians to the church in Colossae. He encourages the church to stand firm for Christ amidst a deceiving culture. The dangers of Colossae can be understood by Paul’s warning in verses 4, 5, and 8.

Verses 4 and 5 read, “I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ” (ESV).

Verse 8 reads, “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ” (ESV).

In-between these verses, we find the two verses on which we focus today. But the context of Paul’s letter suggests that we should consider Colossians 2:6-7 in light of a world deceived by sin. Keep that in mind as we ponder verses 6 and 7 together.

“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord …” (v. 6 ESV). That looks like a great place to start. May we never forget the beauty of that statement. After all, we have received Christ Jesus the Lord. We didn’t earn Christ. We received Him as a gift.

The Bible says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8 ESV).

On this day after Thanksgiving, may we thank God for giving us the most beautiful of gifts.

Paul continues, “… so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught …” (v. 6-7 ESV).

But receiving Christ is only the start of a beautiful journey. The apostle Paul instructs the Colossians to walk in their Savior. He instructs them to grow closer to Jesus. He instructs them to become more and more aware of His work in their hearts.

Consider what Paul writes to the church in Corinth: “But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready” (1 Cor. 3:1-2 ESV).

As followers of Christ, we’re called to become more and more like Him. Rather than becoming stagnant, we’re called to be “established in the faith.” Upon receiving Christ as Lord, we should seek His face continually.

Paul concludes verse 7 by writing, “… abounding in thanksgiving” (ESV). When we consider the gift of Christ, we should abound in thanksgiving. And as we grow closer and closer to Him each day, we should abound in thanksgiving all the more.

The beauty of our Savior is worth remembering on the day after Thanksgiving. And every day thereafter.

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By Isaiah Pauley

Isaiah Pauley is the Minister of Worship for Faith Baptist Church in Mason, W.Va. Find more at www.isaiahpauley.com

Isaiah Pauley is the Minister of Worship for Faith Baptist Church in Mason, W.Va. Find more at www.isaiahpauley.com