(Col 3:15-17) A Grateful Cross Shaped Life.

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INTRODUCTION:
ILLUSTRATION:
When I was a kid, I loved croutons.
I hated salad, but I loved crutons. my mom would give m
I hated salad, but I loved croutons. (An irony there, right)
And so for years when we went out to eat I would ask my mom for her croutons.
So long had my mom given me her croutons … that I assumed she didn’t like croutons.
Until one day I am probably 10 years old … and were eating out and happen to say >>>> Mom, since you don’t like croutons can I have yours.
And my mom starts laughing … and she says I like croutons.
Of which I say - then why do you always give me your croutons.
Because you like them.
The consistency of my mom’s love in giving me her croutons dulled my senses to the gratitude that I should of had.
May I say on a grandeur scale,
The Consistency of God’s Love shed through the cross sometimes dulls our sense of gratitude for the cross.
(Adapted from Green, see above)
The very consistency of God blessing us through Christ in some ways dulls our gratitude for the cross.
(Adapted from Green, see above)
That is - we get so use to God’s grace and love … that we forget to be thankful.
The very consistency of God’s blessings sometimes seems to dull our gratitude.
It becomes routine and normal …
even though it came at a great price
and in no way do we deserve it.
As Christians,
Everyday we enjoy the peace, wisdom, and love that is found in God.
Because of God’s great love on the cross
We live according to the perfect wisdom of His word. (Colossians 3:15)
We live knowing that our guilt and shame is gone. ()
We live free from the bondage of sin and in the newness of life. ()
We know that God answers our prayers because Jesus is our advocate. ()
We know that God cares for us because we are his children. ()
And we don’t fear the present because God’s surpassing glory is coming. ()
But it is to easy for these blessings to become so normal and routine … that we forget to be grateful.
But may we be careful not to loose our gratitude for the cross.
The remembrance of that bleeding body hanging upon the cross is ever present to our faith. The nails and the spear, his griefs, the anguish of his soul, and his sweat of agony, make such tender touching appeals to our gratitude—these will prevent us always from ceasing our songs, and sometimes fire our hearts with rekindling rapture in praise of the man Christ Jesus. Yes, we will bless thee, dearest Lord; our souls are all on fire.
Peace
Wisdom
Steadfast love
CAVEAT:
As we begin to read this text, I want to note that I am fully aware that thankfulness is not a main point of the text.
That is >>>>>>>>> it is not the main idea.
Yet, I also acknowledge
But as we explore this text, you will find that although thankfulness is not the main idea … the main idea is always accompanied with thankfulness.
We as a body ought to live in gratitude for the cross.
So may I say it this way >>>> let’s read what thankful people do.
Colossians 3:15–17 ESV
15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Colossians 3:15-17
15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Did you notice how Paul emphasized thankfulness three different times.
According to our text
Based on this passage,

PROP: Everyday we ought to live thankful for the Cross.

TRANS: and this text gives us 4 Ways for how grateful people live.

According to our passage
Grateful people have lives that are:
First,

1) Ruled By Christ [Our Heart and Relationships]. ()

Consider this, let Christ be their King.
Look down at your text -
1) Ruled by Christ
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
Colossians 3:15 ESV
15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
What does Paul mean - that the peace of Christ rules in our hearts.
We might ask the question, who is king of your life?
And what kind of king is it?
Our natural way of living is to let sin rule us and be king in our life.
[Ex. sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, covetousness, idolatry (self-worship), anger, wrath, malice, slander, obscene talk, and lieing ()]
>>>These sins often control us.
In addition,
b) We often allow hopelessness to control us.
Fear, anxiety, worry.
And what kind of king are these sins?
What kind of king is fear, and anxiety, and worry?
And how do they destroy
EXHORTATION:
These are the kind of kings that suck the life out of us.
They leave us exhausted, tired, broken, alone, and oppressed.
Have you ever saw drug addict five years into their addiction?
John Stott - once
One famous preacher once said this about Alcohol.
Or an Alcoholic 5 years into their addiction.
And though we could say this about Alcohol … you really could fill in the blank with any of our sins or struggles.

King Alcohol is my shepherd,

I shall always want.

He maketh me to lie down in gutters;

He leadeth me beside troubled waters;

He destroyeth my soul,

He leadeth me in the paths of licentiousness for excitement’s sake;

Yea, though I walk through the valley of poverty and have d.t., I cannot cease;

For thou art with me;

Their eyes are sunken and their body is unnaturally thin and their mind is Gone. They are filled with anger, lonilness, and discontment.
Sin and hopelessness can leave us that way.
And though we could say this about Alcohol … you really could fill in the blank with any of our sins or struggles.
But even if sin and hopelessness doesn't leave us physically that way, that is exactly what a lifetime of living without Christ looks like on the inside.
And though we could say this about Alchol … you really could be any of our sins and struggles in that Psalm.
These sins are the worst kind of kings you could ever have.
Overt sin and hopelessness is the worst kind of king you could ever have.
Overt sin and hopelessness is the worst kind of king you could ever have.
But besides destroying us … these sins wreck havoc in our relationships.
The peace of Christ ruling in our lives is the idea of having transformed relationships.
- The verses before this section talk about loving one another.
- This verse ends with the call to the church being one body.
What is the connection?
Try having peace with someone consumed by: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, covetousness, idolatry (self-worship), anger, wrath, malice, slander, obscene talk, and lieing.
Our failure to let Christ rule in our hearts vertically … always has horizontal implications.
Our sin against God drives a wedge in relationships … even those closest to us.
>>> It pushes people away.
The peace of Christ ruling in our lives is the idea of having transformed relationships.
- The verses before this section talk about loving one another.
- This verse ends with the call to the church being one body.
What is the connection?
Our natural state is to let sin rule our hearts … and thus drive a wedge in our relationships.
So often we live with broken relationships because of sin.
But the cross promises us something different.
Jesus offers us a better way to live – a newness of life.
Jesus offers us a better way to live – a newness of life.
Verse 15 challenges us to let Christ be the ruler of our life,
.... and the kind of king that he is the kind of King that brings peace to our lives.
Look at your Bibles >
1) Ruled by Christ
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
Colossians 3:15 ESV
15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
Notice the connection of thankfulness to this.
In fact >>> we are commanded to be thankful
Because we have the peace of Christ ruling in our lives,
Because we have the peace of Christ ruling in our lives, we ought to also be grateful for the cross.
we ought to also be grateful for the cross.
Because we realize what Christ is bought us through the cross.
A Reign of peace from the issues of life.
The right to rule in our lives.
But also reigning a new era of peace … that
we ought to also be grateful for the cross.
I challenge you with this,
Those who are grateful for the cross … let the peace of Christ rule in your heart and your relationships
Because we know what Jesus bought with his blood …
and were thankful for it >>>>> we let the peace of Christ rule in us and around us.
Because we know what God had purchased the, and were thankful for it we let the peace of Christ rule in us.
I challenge you does your gratitude for the cross reflect a rule of Christ in your heart and your relationships
Because according to this verse … thankfulness for the cross should lead us to let the peace of Christ ruling over our lives.
2ndly, Grateful people have lives that are:
Secondly, Grateful people have lives that are:

2) Saturated With the Teachings of Christ. ()

You see, Thankful people love their Bibles.
One of the most notable features of true belief in Christ … is that we are the people of the book.
The Bible is food for us and we love our food.
Look down at -
Colossians 3:16 ESV
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
We are told to let the word of Christ dwell in us richly.
a) When you hear the English word, dwelling, ... We automatically think of living inside the house.
>>>>>And that's exactly what this word means.
And that's exactly what this word means.
The words of Christ are literally to live inside us.
b) The text actually tells us is to let the Word dwell in us richly.
It's not just suppose to be inside us,
but it is to be flourishing in extravagance inside us.
Have you ever standing in front of a literal Throne.
ILLUSTRATION:
Have you ever walked in a literal … bonefide palace?
Perhaps you have been to England or France,
I haven’t, but I have been to Hawaii.
And I have visited really neat little place called Iolani Palace.
From 1795 to 1893 the Hawaiian islands were their own kingdom, and ruled by their own monarch ...
His personal residence was at Ilonia palace in what is now called Honolulu.
The Iloni Palace is furnished outside with wonderful gardens…
And inside with beautiful
tapestry,
carpentry,
and furniture.
As you walk through the front doors the palace host the world's largest koa wood stairs
Koa wood is a beautiful, rich native Hawaiian hardwood which just makes that stairway gorgeous.
It boasted of electricity before even the white house had electricity.
My pointThat is what it means that the Words of Christ dwell richly in us.
We are to extravagantly dress our hearts and our minds with the words of Christ.
We are to extravagantly dress our hearts and our minds with the words of Christ.
What do we mean by the words of Christ?
The Gospels certainly are the words of Christ … and yet in many ways our entire Bible is pointing towards Christ.
So the quick and short answer is the >>>> The Bible.
But this morning let’s chase down this idea a little bit more.
Since all of Scripture speak of
How is the word of God the words of Christ?
In many ways the Gospels are literally at the words of Christ.
In fact tell us about the responsibility of the church to teach the words of Christ.
In fact, tell us about the responsibility of the church to teach the words of Christ.
Matthew 28:19–20 ESV
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Literally part of making disciples is to help each one of us to learn and follow the words of Christ.
Literally part of making disciples is to help each one of us to learn and follow the words of Christ.
We as Christians should let the whole counsel of God's word dwell richly in us.
The epistles continue and in many ways clarify the words of Christ.
And yet, the Old Testament itself Jesus said spoke of him.
And yet, the Old Testament itself Jesus said spoke of him.
John 5:46 ESV
46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me.
So the words of Christ is the gospel first,
but ultimately the whole counsel of God.
The Bible.
The Bible.
We as Christians should let the whole counsel of God's word dwell richly in us.
And at the end of this verse, what is our attitude supposed to be?
And at the end of this verse, what is our attitude supposed to be about that?
Is it to be bored because I am forced to study God’s Word?
Is it out of guilt?
Is it so we can win debates?
Is it even so we can know God.
Our text says >>>>> with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
We (((as a body and as individuals))) in thankfulness should be letting the words of Christ dwell richly in us.
and as individuals in thankfulness should be letting the words of Christ dwell richly in us.
Understand the connection here.
If Jesus words are literally the words of living water that can satisfy my soul.
They reproof and correct and equip me unto every good work in Jesus Christ.
They describe the wonderful news that I am saved, not by works, but by the blood of Christ.
Then our Bibles contain the greatest words we can ever hear.
They are literally more precious than anything else in this world.
And because of the cross and because of their value…
I ought to be grateful for the words of God.
A person who is thankful for the cross… Loves the word of God.
The Christian l
The Bible is food for us.
Many people claim to be a Christian … but one question I have for us - Do you read your Bible with thankfulness?
Because
Because true Christians are grateful for God’s Word and love their Bibles.
Also, Grateful people have lives that are:

3) Helping Each Other Grow. ()

Understand, Thankful people help each other grow in the Gospel.
Colossians 3:16 ESV
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
ILLUSTRATION:
Have you ever had to keep a secret?
How hard was it?
Just this past week,
we had we had some great news that we wanted to share with our kids.
Their papa was going to come and visit for the weekend.
But we also wanted that great news to be a surprise.
Which means we had to keep a secret for about a week… And it took a lot of self-control.
Throughout the week it was like the news just wanted to burst out in the open
Throughout the week it was like the news just wanted to burst out in the open
Good news is hard to contain.
The Christian life ought to be like that.
Because were so thankful for what Christ has done,
were so thankful to have the very words of God,
>>>>>>>>>>>>>we should naturally want others to know the Gospel.
We should want each one of us know and experience
>>>>>>>>>> the wonderful words of Christ
>>>>>>>>>>and the wonderful power of the cross.
Col 3:16
Colossians 3:16 ESV
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
So out of thankfulness, we ought to be -
a) Teaching and Admonishing One Another
b) Singing Truth To One Another.
Just as our text calls us to.
Let me put it this way,
Let me put it this way,
If we are truly thankful for the cross… Then we will love being with God's people.
If we are truly thankful for the cross ... Then we will love to share the wonderful transforming word of Christ with each other.
And if we are truly thankful for the cross … Then we will love to sing to one another in praise of the wonderful savior.
And if we are truly thankful for the cross we will want to seem to one another in praise the wonderful truths of the cross.
- When I see a Christian who neglects gathering with each other… I see a Christian his forgot what it means to be thankful for the cross.
- When I see a Christian who only wants to learn God's word, but doesn't want to tell anybody else… I see a Christian is forgotten what it means to be thankful for the cross.
- And when I see a Christian who doesn't want to sing in whatever joyous noise he seems… I see a Christian who is forgotten what it is to be thankful for the cross.
After all - what does end with.
Colossians 3:16 ESV
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
Thankful Christians live in the community, helping each other grow in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
>>>>>The Christian life is not only about what we get out of it… but about each one of us, together, learning to live with Christ as the ruler of our hearts.
The Christian life is not only about what they get out of it… but about all of us learning to live with Christ as the ruler of our hearts.
After all - what does end with.
Colossians 3:16 ESV
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
And finally, Grateful people have lives that are:

4) Christ Honoring. ()

How do people who are thankful for the cross live?
Colossians 3:17 ESV
17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Some have contended,
that Jesus loves us just the way we are.
While that may be true >>>>> Jesus loves us in grace and mercy,
Should a person who is loved by God with unconditional mercy live anyway they want?
Should a person who is loved by God with unconditional mercy live anyway they want?
ILLUSTRATION:
Let's take marriage for example.
- Is anybody getting married with the full expectation that their spouse will cheat on them?
- And will any spouse be okay with their spouse cheating on them?
- And will any spouse be okay with their spouse cheating on them?
And the answer -Of course not.
And of course not.
Even the unsaved world recognizes that we ought to be faithful to our spouse.
But then let's consider God now.
says that sin is idolatry.
Colossians 3:5 ESV
5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
In other words,
every time we sin, we are cheating on God.
We are showing that we love our sin more then God.
We are saying ... I would rather worship myself and my sin then give worship to the true God.
Just like in marriage we expect our spouses to be faithful,
God expects us to be faithful in our worship.
And This isn't only my idea for an illustration.
>>>> Paul uses the idea of marriage in to describe how we relate to God as the bride of Christ.
Paul uses the idea of marriage in to describe how we relate to God as the bride of Christ.
[[[[[If we can expect purity in our marriage>>>> we certainly ought to live in a way that honors God.]]]]]
But even further,
what does a good wife do for her husband?
The good wife seeks to protect his reputation, and help his name
>>>>because she loves him.
And in the same way,
- because we are thankful for the cross,
- and we love God because of his work on the cross,
- then we also should want to bring honor to his name.
And again … observe the connection to thankfulness.
Colossians 3:17 ESV
17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Faithful people want to live in a way that honors the name of Jesus Christ.
If you can live a life filled with sin or apathy… A life which dishonors the name of Christ;
then I caution you that you have forgotten what it is to be thankful for the cross.
Because we are thankful for what Jesus did for us >>> we should want to honor Jesus in everything that we do.
The small and the great.
In some sense,
instead of asking what would Jesus do (WWJD)?
We should ask,
what brings honor to the name of Christ.
Does your life bring honor and glory to our Lord and Savior?
CONCLUSION:
This thanksgiving, as you gather at your thanksgiving table,
I hope you thank God for the material blessings of your life.
But I also hope you show thankfulness for the cross.
That is what really matters … the most important blessing any of us have received from God.
But I hope you will not only remember to be thankful this thanksgiving,
But that you will live a life of thankfulness.
This passage teaches us -
PROP: Everyday we ought to live thankful for the Cross.
TRANS: and this text gives us 4 Ways for how grateful people live.
Grateful people live lives that are:
1) Ruled by Christ [Our Heart and Relationships]. ()
2) Saturated with the Teachings of Christ. ()
3) Helping Each Other Grow. ()
4) Christ Honoring. ()
Truly thankful people live this way.
As we live out the Gospel, may I caution us that -
May I say on a grandeur scale,
The Consistency of God’s Love shed through the cross sometimes dulls our sense of gratitude for the cross.
(Adapted from Green, see above)
That is we forget to be thankful.
That is - we get so use to God’s grace and love … that we forget to be thankful.
even though it came at a great price
and in no way do we deserve it.
As we leave here,
I hope each of you have a wonderful thanksgiving.
- That your remember to count your many blessings.
- And your remember to live a life thankful for the cross.
Let’s leave hear remembering this worSpurgeon said this about being thankful for the cross:
The remembrance of that bleeding body hanging upon the cross is ever present to our faith. The nails and the spear, his griefs, the anguish of his soul, and his sweat of agony, make such tender touching appeals to our gratitude—these will prevent us always from ceasing our songs, and sometimes fire our hearts with rekindling rapture in praise of the man Christ Jesus. (Charles Spurgeon)
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