Steve Ellison: Giving Thanks

Wednesday, November 25, 2020 - by Steve Ellison

The Year of Our Lord 2020 has been a stressful one, filled with challenges, tests, trials, and temptations. My countrymen have largely lived sheltered lives.  For whatever reasons, compared to almost everyone else around the world in every age, we have lived in ease, comfort, and safety. Perhaps, God will use Thanksgiving to bring us to our senses.  We have not been grateful for the manifold blessings of God.  We have not been thankful for the magnificent health, wealth, and peace we have enjoyed for many decades.

These material temporal gifts are a part of the bountiful blessings of God. 

The best blessings of God benefit us in this life and the next.  God created us and did not immediately destroy us when we rebelled. God has partially purged the earth of the awful consequences of our sin repeatedly throughout history.  God gave us natural revelation of Himself in the created order around us. Furthermore, in the special revelation of the Bible, God gave us picture after picture and prophecy after prophecy so that we would be able to recognize the Promised Messiah.  This Christ made a way for sinful man to be reconciled to Holy God.  This Jesus is now mediating the New Covenant for us, interceding for us, and preparing a place for us in heaven.  The Holy Spirit brought about the new birth in us, indwells us, and fills us. 

Please do not overlook the fact that God adopted you into His family, transferred you from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light, added you to the Church. The Church is one of the greatest privileges bestowed on Christians. The benefits are for this life and the next. Colossians 1:1-2 states,  Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,  To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father. (NASU)  Christians are not saints because of their behavior but because of their cleansing by Christ and the declaration of God.  Christians have been placed into the Church with other members who are brothers and sisters.  We rightly wish grace and peace on each other.

Verses 3-6 record Paul’s thankfulness the Church. We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,  since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have for all the saints;  because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel which has come to you, just as in all the world also it is constantly bearing fruit and increasing, even as it has been doing in you also since the day you heard of it and understood the grace of God in truth. (NASU)  Faith in Christ will always lead to love for the other members of the Church. The hope laid up for us in heaven will cause us to increasing levels of making disciples and exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit.  

Verses 7-8 point out the love and aid of one member of the Church to the rest of the Body of Christ. Just as you learned it from Epaphras, our beloved fellow bond-servant, who is a faithful servant of Christ on our behalf, and he also informed us of your love in the Spirit. (NASU) Epaphras taught the grace of God in truth to the Church at Colossae.  Also, Epaphras told Paul about the godly love of the members of the Colossian Church.  The Church is one of the great blessings of God ever given to man. Please do not let other things crowd it to the fringes of your life or out of it altogether.


Bob Tamasy:The Challenge Of Shining The Light Of Kindness In An Unkind World

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For nearly a year now, we’ve heard more than we ever wanted to hear about the pandemic – the coronavirus, COVID-19, whatever you want to call it. We all wish it would just go away, never to return. ... (click for more)

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If we believe the Creation account, we would have to conclude that along with the physical things God created, He also created the laws and principles by which our world and the entire universe ... (click for more)



Church

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For nearly a year now, we’ve heard more than we ever wanted to hear about the pandemic – the coronavirus, COVID-19, whatever you want to call it. We all wish it would just go away, never to return. But there’s another “pandemic” that’s besieging our society, one that in some ways is even more virulent and destructive than the virus that has changed our lives in so many ways. ... (click for more)

Activate Your Faith Series Continues At Metro Tab Church Sunday

Metropolitan Tabernacle Church Senior Pastor Dr. Steve Ball will speak on the subject "Activate Your Faith...Fearless Authentic Immovable Trust In Him" Sunday at 10:30 a.m. The worship will be led by Pastor's Adam and Olivia Aziz and Metro Praise and Band. Children's Pastor's Brian and Brittni have a great experience in store for Metro Kidz Church. The nursery will be open. ... (click for more)

Breaking News

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Hamilton County reported 177 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, with 108 patients hospitalized, the lowest number since Nov. 16, 2020, and 24 in Intensive Care Units, the lowest number since Dec. 6, 2020. Five others were in the hospital with suspected COVID. Of those hospitalized, 45 are county residents, also the lowest number since Nov. 9, 2020. The new total of cases in ... (click for more)

UCF's Josh Heupel Is New Tennessee Football Coach

University of Central Florida's Josh Heupel, the Oklahoma quarterback who led his team to the national title, and who as an assistant coach and head coach captured conference championships at Oklahoma and UCF, has been named Tennessee's 27th head football coach, Vice Chancellor/Director of Athletics Danny White announced on Wednesday. "We looked at a number of potential candidates," ... (click for more)

Opinion

Smooth Operations Getting My COVID Vaccine

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Roy Exum: "White Allyship"

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, a-swirl in social justice reform yet sorely lacking in common sense, may be on the brink of alienating itself from the very community that supports it. Today the university will host a lecture and celebration focusing on ‘White Allies and Accountability’ when it is my view that such a distasteful folly will reversely reverberate within ... (click for more)