- First Give Thanks
First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.
Before we do anything else, we should pave the road ahead of us with thanksgiving. In almost every letter Paul writes to the churches, he begins with thanks to God for them. All of his letters, except the one to the Philippians were written to correct problems they were having bringing grief, pain and anxiety to Paul. He was in prison. He had no access to mobile phones, fax machines, email, or any other kind of instant communication. There was not even a mail service. He had to rely on his own fellow workers to bring news of the churches and then he would write the letter, send it back by their hand and then wait again for news as to how they received it. There were no jets, trains, cars or fast transport either. They only had the slow options of walking, or sailing or riding donkeys and horses, thus the turnaround for communications to distant lands could easily be months, even years. How anxious would you be, not knowing how your congregations were doing, in the light of the problems you had become aware of? Paul kept himself in faith, first, thanking God for all of them, believing that all would be well.
He thanked God for them before He began writing to them because this created the atmosphere in which all his other words would be couched. Giving thanks forces us to pinpoint the positive things about the people we are talking to. Even if we may have grief over some areas of their life we should not make that the first mention. Start with gratitude. It is the antidote to any prejudice or negative things you’ve heard about them and any presumptions you may have entertained. First, give thanks.
Begin your days with thanksgiving. Begin your conversations, your letters, your phone calls, your communications with how much you appreciate the people you are talking with. Begin prayer with thanks to God. Make this one of your ‘first’ practices from today.
For more information on C3 Church or Ps. Phil Pringle visit our website at philpringle.com