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With Passionate Thanks

Gratitude matters.

As he sits down to dictate this letter to his Christian brothers and sisters at the Church in Colossi, you can almost see the Apostle Paul scanning through the Rolodex of his mind at the faces of his friends who worship in this Church… and the gratitude he has for them. In a moment of profound gratitude, he recalls how they have helped, supported, and furthered the call and cause of Christ. Maybe he remembers the family who hosted him on his last visit and their radical hospitality. Perhaps he remembered the young man whose inquisitive questions assured him the gospel would have a life after him. Maybe he remembered the elderly lady who faithfully prayed for him each day. Perhaps he remembered the Church comedian whose funny turns of a phrase caused him to laugh deeply?

He probably recalls personal stories of generosity, kindness, encouragement, courage, honesty, victory, transformation, and bold faith. If he were to list all the personal stories, it would have looked more like an epic novel than a letter.

So, with eyes welled with tears and a heart that rests in humble gratitude, he tries his best to summarize what he is thankful for in the people he has partnered with in what remains the greatest pursuit we can give ourselves to.

“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because... of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints— the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth.” Colossians 1:3&5

Paraphrasing, he says -

- “I’m grateful for your faith… time and time again how you have chosen to trust Christ!”
- “I am so thankful for your love that springs up and expresses itself in such rich ways!”
- “My heart is full of gratitude for the hope of heaven that you hold before those in your fellowship!”

Pause and say thank you for the people that God has put around you whose faith inspires, whose love encourages, and whose hope lifts you.

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