What is True Thanksgiving?
“If he offer it for a thanksgiving, then he shall offer with the sacrifice of thanksgiving unleavened cakes mingled with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil, and cakes mingled with oil, of fine flour, fried.” (Leviticus 7:12)
The instruction begins with the word “IF.” In Leviticus 22:29, the Lord explains further. “And when ye will offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving unto the LORD, offer it at your own will.” (Leviticus 22:29)
In the Old Testament Law there were two types of sacrifices offered to the Lord.
One was the required offerings or tithes to the Lord, which in a sense were taxes. These offerings were for the priests who ministered to Israel. In other words it kept up their government which was a “theocracy” meaning a government under God. The Old Testament Law was their constitution and system of both spiritual and civil laws.
The other sacrifice was the was a thanksgiving offering, called a peace offering, freely given to the Lord. It was offered because the person making the sacrifice wanted to show that he was grateful to the Lord for God’s provision for him. It was a act of faith and showing that one understood that all he had came from God.
In true worship of the Lord there was always thanksgiving shown in the giving of a offering.
It helps us to understand this offering better if we understand the circumstances and reasons for this peace or thanksgiving offering.
The New Testament also gives the same principles about giving our offerings to the Lord.
“But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:6-8)
3. The thanksgiving offering was offered also when a vow that was made was fulfilled. This offering was also a free-will offering. The offerer would promise God something and when he had fulfilled the promise he thanked the Lord for being able to do so. It expressed being thankful to God that the person was able to keep his vow.
This votive offering was offered also as an expression of piety. Piety means having a reverence to God, and/or devotion to Him in living a godly life. The offering was accompanied with a godly life that honored the Lord. Words or offering not accompanied with righteous living does not honor the Lord.
4. It was given also as a spontaneous expression of gratitude to the Lord in given an offering devoted wholly to the Lord.
5. Offering to the Lord were always unspotted. They were not second hand, marred, used, always the best. A lamb was to be spotless and healthy. The offering were to be the first fruits. The first of the harvest which was the best. The first of the Spring lambs or cattle.
The significance of this offering was that it was freeing given and offered to God by the one who was grateful and thankful to God for his provision for them. God does not compel us or require that we show our gratitude to Him. He said in Leviticus.
Ezekiel 45:17 states the animals for this sacrifice in the Millennial temple would be furnished by the kings and it would be eaten by the assembled meetings in a common meal. In the later times the peace offering was presented in the Temple for all the people.
God’s grace to us makes a debtor to the Lord. He freely gives His grace and mercy and our response should be to be grateful and show our thankfulness to him for his beneficence to us.
A thanksgiving or peace offering is rooted in the truth that we are at peace with the Lord. We have experienced His mercy and grace and atonement.
It shows a believer’s right attitude toward the Lord. The offerer is not at odds with the Lord. It is a way to show the Lord that we love Him and are grateful to Him for His sacrifice for us. It shows we recognize that what we have comes from Him, thus we are showing thankfulness for His provision.
Here is a question that may seem foolish at first, but not after you think about it. “How many of us here created ourselves?” Of course NO ONE! Yet, you are here . . . the question is why?
As you consider that question think about this also. “Where does the food that sustains you come from? Where did the house you live in. The wood and metal that it is constructed from? Where did that come from?”
Most people work in businesses and factories. Where did they come from. Who provided you with a job to earn the money it takes to live. What about the power, the gas and electricity that keeps your home warm. Who grew the food you eat? How did the food grower grow the food and the soil it grew it in? Yet, most of the world does not consider where they or this world came from. The believers in evolution have gone to great lengths to deny that God is our Creator.
The man said, "Oh, you're one of those, are you? Well, I want you to know I never give thanks. I earn my money by the sweat of my brow and I don't have to give thanks to anybody when I eat. I just start right in!" Ironside said, "Yes, you're just like my dog. That's what he does too!"
The man who Dr. Ironside met in the restaurant was a fool. He made himself a fool by not recognizing how dependent we are on God and each other.
ILLUS: In the booklet “Our Daily Bread” there was the story of a man Edward Spencer. Warren Wiersby used this illustration in his commentary on Colossians. He told about a ministerial student in Evanston, Illinois, who was part of a life-saving squad. In 1860, a ship went aground on the shore of Lake Michigan near Evanston, and Edward Spencer waded again and again into the frigid waters to rescue 17 passengers. In the process, his health was permanently damaged. Some years later at his funeral, it was noted that not one of the people he rescued ever thanked him.
Giving these people the benefit of the doubt we can say they probably were so busy living their lives that they just forgot to take a few minutes to tell him they were grateful that he sacrificed so much to save them. Even a card would have been something. But these 17 people seemed to never give it a thought or acknowledge the wonderful thing they had received.
“It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High: To shew forth thy loving kindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night, Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound. For thou, LORD, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands. O LORD, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep. A brutish man knoweth not; neither doth a fool understand this” (Psa. 92:1-6).
I think many times we are so caught up in our busy lives we do not consider the part that being thankful should play in our lives. We do not recognize what others do for us. We might even think that it is not that important.
2. Giving thanks to God was an act of worship. Singing praises, even as we did this morning is an act of worship. The basis of truly worshiping the Lord is thanksgiving. There is no true worship without it.
3. Our hymns express the greatness of God and remind us of who God truly is least we forget. Most examples in the Bible of worship was an act of a congregation.
“O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy” (Psalm 107:1-2).
2. A true friend will share with others their good fortune. By telling others of Christ Jesus we honor and praise the Lord and it is a witness to others.
2. Lots of books written on "how to witness".
3. Yet, the most effective way and simplest way to just to tell folks what God has done for you.
4. Think for a moment. If we have an attitude of telling folks about the Lord....it will have the added effect of keeping us living as we should.
2. Not all receive the same, yet all receive something. Thus, all have a reason and much to be thankful for.
3. Only if nothing interferes.
4. Only if we feel like it or feel comfortable.
5. I thank all would agree...this is not giving of our first fruits.
2. God promises to those who show their thankfulness to God by giving...to make them prosper.
Your barns will be full and your presses shall burst out with new wine. (grape juice)
"And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed" (Joel 2:26).
1. The word "be careful" in the means do not be overly anxious and worry.
2. If we are anxious and no trusting in the Lord has a two fold ill effect.
b. On those around us who look to us for strength. We have a great responsibility to those around us.
Everyone will at times be worried. It is normal, but this is talking about one whose pattern of their life is to worry. B. The verse says with thanksgiving let your requests be know unto the Lord.
1. We need to be dependent on the Lord.
2. We do it in many ways. By asking, expressing our needs and desires.
"Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” (Psa. 37:4-5)
1. It just boils down to this: The best way to show God we are grateful is to live our lives as He wants us to.
Today sinful and misinformed men have distorted offering God our praise and thanksgiving. Many churches teach and practice that praising God is singing repetitious chouses, waving our hands into the air. Folks that does not impress God. What impresses God is a life lived in godliness. 2. To meet together and worship as a church family. To tell others of God's love and all He has done for us. To give our tithes and offerings and give our very best to the Lord. Material things and also in our service.
To live by faith. Trusting in the Lord, being dependent on him for all things.
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