Thanksgiving. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you read or hear that word? Is it a day, a family meal, or perhaps a specific menu of foods? Is it an attitude that comes and goes based on how you feel? Or is it a way of life which flows from you regardless of your circumstances? These devotions I will be sharing this month were originally written throughout November 2019 and then edited/updated during the summer of 2020 for a 31 day devotional journal, “The Heart of Thanksgiving: Living a Life of Thankfulness”. I will be re-sharing them here this month to encourage each of us to pursue a greater spirit of thankfulness in all we do.
Here is day four with an important reminder that living with a heart of thanksgiving should cause us to be thankful for the kingdom of light we belong to.
Thankful for a Kingdom of Light
“Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves.”
Colossians 1:12-13 (NIV)
After photographing them every chance I get over a period of many years now, I never get tired of seeing a brand new sunrise or sunset. In fact, I get rather disappointed when I have the availability of time at the beginning or end of a day and the clouds keep me from seeing the sun coming or going in its usual splendor. I find the darkness of dimly lit days or even rooms with subdued lighting to be depressing. I suppose that is part of the reason I am so thankful that I serve a God who has called me into His glorious light.
In Jesus Christ, we are rescued from the power and authority of the darkness of this world so that we may share in the kingdom of light with those who, through faith, have already obtained that inheritance. One of the problems of light, though, is that it exposes the things that can be hidden by darkness. Things which often show us to be less than what others want or expect. Yet I am thankful it is not those things either hidden by darkness or exposed by light that determines my eternal destination. No, it is God who qualifies me through the blood of His Son, Jesus, to walk in His light both now and forevermore.
Do you prefer living in darkness or light? Why? How thankful are you when God’s light shines into your life? Why? How does your recognition of the darkness you have been called out of influence the level of gratitude you have for God’s kingdom of light? Have you ever been somewhere and wasn’t sure within yourself that you belonged? What does knowing that the one in charge qualified you to be present do for your confidence? Is that confidence then placed in yourself or in the one who qualified you? How is the confidence you have in a God who has qualified you for His kingdom of light expressed by you to Him? Does your gratitude help the people around you know that they too can be qualified by God to belong in His kingdom? How?
It is my prayer that I would never forget who has brought me into this kingdom of light and His desire for all to dwell within it. I pray that my thankfulness to God for His work in qualifying me for this kingdom would extend to being thankful to Him for qualifying you also. May each one of us not only know that we have been qualified by God for His kingdom, but may we also answer that call by stepping out of whatever darkness that we have become comfortable in. And may we give thanks to God for those who have lived, and currently live, as examples of faithfulness within the kingdom of light.