Thanksgiving Day is right around the corner and the whole country almost stops to give thanks. There will be lively parades, lavish feasts, and hours of football for everyone to enjoy. It will be a fun day and we all should take advantage of the opportunity that we have to give thanks. But, as Christians let us make a big deal about Who we are thanking. We believe in the God of Scripture. So, to Him let us give our thanks. To our God who made us, who loves us, who takes care of us, and who blesses us greatly. He has saved us from His wrath against sin through the life, death, and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ. Again, let us make a big deal about Who we are thanking and why we are thanking Him. That will help us to keep the parades, the feasts, and the football games in their proper places. We can still enjoy those things, but we will be reminded of the better things that we wait for as children of the Most High God.
Colossians 4:5, “Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.” Wise conduct is taught to us by the Holy Spirit through the Scriptures. And God grants to us opportunities to glorify Him through our wise conduct in this world toward outsiders (those outside the Church). He gives us grace to live out our daily lives in such a way that outsiders might see that Jesus is the Son of God and the Savior of those who repent and believe.
Colossians 4:6, “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” We also glorify God with our speech. It should always be gracious. Stephen, the first Christian martyr, set the tone for us after the example of Christ Himself. As he was being stoned to death in Acts 7, “he cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.'” One who stood by and actually gave his approval of this execution was Saul. Saul heard Stephen’s gracious speech and as we know was soon thereafter converted to Christ. Paul, previously called Saul, knows the power of gracious speech and so will those who hear us as God opens their ears to the call of the gospel.
Through the prophet Malachi God promised His people three things (Malachi 3:10-12). And these three promises were connected to a command. The command was this, “bring the full tithes into the storehouse.” God’s people had been neglecting their tithes and thus were charged with “robbing God.” And yet, if they would repent God promised to “open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.” God encourages them to put Him to the test and see if He will not provide abundantly for them as they are obedeint in the giving of tithes for the ministry. He also promises to protect what He provides for them. Their resources came from the field and so God promises to keep away the insects and diseases that often devour the crops. And lastly, as they were faithful in bringing in the tithes they provided a witness of their dependance upon God and the nations all around them would see how their God blessed them. They were thus causing the nations to see the glory and the goodness and the love of the God of Israel for His people.
And just as these promises were true for the nation of Israel, they are true today for the Church. Therefore, let us be faithful in the giving of His tithes and our offerings to the ministry of the Gospel through the work and the worship of the Church of Jesus Christ.