Dear Friends in Christ,
Here we are in the month of November, and soon we will be celebrating Thanksgiving Day. A time where we say “Lord, we’re so thankful for all You have done for us.” There’s nothing wrong, of course, with being thankful for all God has given us. But we need to do more than just offer thanksgiving to God. We need to do some thanks-living for God. One of the most meaningful things we will ever do as a Christian is to offer up to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving. What does that mean exactly to offer up to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving?
What we give is an offering to God. We know that much of the Old Testament is filled with the ceremonies of sacrifices and offerings. Remember, Moses did not design these ceremonies; God did. Therefore each and every one of them was sacred for they were designed first and foremost to honor God. Those who offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors God. Perhaps our giving of thanks will mean much more to God if it means much more to us. Rather than throwing our offering out as just one of our duties, we should pause and consider the goodness of God and give praise for all that God has done.
What we give is also sacrifice. Though not all the sacrifices of the Old Testament involved the slaying of an animal, all sacrifices required the offering up of something to the Lord. David said, “I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God that cost me nothing.” (2 Sam 24:24 NRSV) There are times when we can give thanks without any real cost to us. However, some of the deepest and most meaningful times of thanksgiving come with a price tag. It’s one thing to thank God during a time of blessing, but something else to give thanks during hard times. Thanks-living…
What we give is also a thanks-giving. The Psalmist did not say, “He who offers a sacrifice begrudgingly honors God.” Instead he said, “Those who bring thanksgiving as their sacrifice honor me; to those who go the right way I will show the salvation of God.” (Psalm 50:23)
I’m sure that Psalm 50:23 means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. The Psalmist’s words can help us in our Thanks-living. For rather than lamenting over what we don’t have, we should be grateful for what we do have. So I pray, Lord help us to offer up to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving. Help us to live a life of thanksgiving by living thankfully.
With my gratitude for all that you are and for all that you do, I am Your servant in Christ.