“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.”
In the previous verses, we’ve been looking at a number of things that Paul prayed for and desired to see in the lives of the Colossian believers. Today’s verse brings us to the end of that prayer as Paul is “giving thanks to the Father.”
As I sit here to write this, we just came through the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. It’s a time that is supposed to be set aside to thank God for the many gifts He has blessed us with. Unfortunately, fewer and fewer people recognize God’s hand in their life even on a national day of thanksgiving. As a child of God, a spirit of thanksgiving should define us! Paul said in his letter to the Thessalonians, that it is God’s will for us to give thanks in everything. (1 Thes 5:18) In Colossians 3:17, he says that whatever we do should be done in Jesus’ name and with thanks to God and the Father by him. In EVERYTHING and WHATEVER we’re doing, we should be acknowledging and giving thanks to God. In Romans 1:21 we read, “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” Paul continued there in the rest of that chapter describing where that attitude leads – and it isn’t pretty! Having this heart of gratefulness towards God is a serious thing!
In our verse today, we are specifically told to give thanks to the Father which hath made us meet to partake of the inheritance of the saints in light. This literally means, “give thanks to the Father who has ‘made us able to have a share in the lot’ of the saints in light.”
To explain the depths of what Paul is saying here, let’s go back in time and talk about the inheritance of the children of Israel. God promised Abraham that he would make of him a great nation and that He would give the land of Canaan to his seed. For many, many years, his descendants weren’t able to see the fulfillment of that promise due to their sin and rebellion against God. Time and again, they would take their eyes off God and either murmer and complain about their lot or go out and try to conquer in their own strength. Finally, under the leadership of Joshua and through faith in God, they subdued the land and were ready to claim their inheritance.
A few of the tribes settled right away, but in Joshua 18, we read about seven tribes that had not yet possessed the land the Lord had made available to them. Joshua had each tribe send out a few men that were to go describe the land in seven parts. Once they came back with the descriptions, he would then cast lots before the Lord to determine how to divide the land. In the end, each tribe, and family within the tribe, was given their part in the inheritance promised them as children of Abraham. Note that they only received the inheritance because they were of their father Abraham. Not because they were strong enough to conquer the land on their own or because they were good people that had managed to keep the law. It was simply because of who their father was and the faith they had to claim the promise.
This is a perfect picture of what was to come in Christ. Just as the descendants of Abraham received the inheritance God gave to them, so can we receive the inheritance the Father promised in the Son! The Father has delivered us from the power of darkness and translated us into His Son’s kingdom! Ephesians 2:4-6 says that God, in his great mercy and love, quickened us together with Christ and has raised us up together; and made us sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Also, in verse 21-22 here in Colossians 1 we read, “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight.”
If not for our position in Christ before the Father, we wouldn’t be meet to have a part in the inheritance of the saints! It’s His blood that makes us worthy and acceptable to stand before the Father as heirs. I tell you, there is no way you can meditate on this and not give thanks to the Father!
I want to challenge each of us to meditate on these amazing things the Father has done for us with grateful hearts and give Him all the glory, praise, and honor due His name!