- The Command of Thanksgiving
- The Place of Thanksgiving
- The How of Thanksgiving
“Offer unto God thanksgiving…” (Psalm 50:14a)
The first mention of an offering of “thanksgiving” is found in Leviticus 7:12. Moses called it, “the sacrifice of thanksgiving.”
This had reference to verse 11, which speaks of the sacrifice of peace offering. Verse 12 says,
“If he offer it (the peace offering) 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.”
All of this points to Christ, who made Peace on the Cross in His Atonement for sin (Ephesians 2:13). The Sacrifice of Thanksgiving was offered with items that pointed to the purity of Christ (He was without sin), and to His Anointing of the Spirit without measure.
Therefore, there is no Thanksgiving without Christ and the completion of His Office Works as Sacrifice for sin, Substitute for the sinner, and Savior of the sinner, in His Atonement on the Cross; whereby the sinner is Reconciled, Redeemed, and Justified (or declared Righteous).
Then Thanksgiving is ‘the expression of joy Godward’ by the regenerated sinner, confessing he is a son of God, and is therefore bearing the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22).
All believers in Jesus Christ are to abound with thanksgiving:
“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.” (Colossians 2:6-7)
Then, because of your position in Christ, you are “abounding therein with thanksgiving.” Because of the knowledge of this fact, the writer of Hebrews says:
“By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” (Hebrews 13:15)
That is, “continually” giving thanks to His Name.
The Psalmist in Psalm 50:14 gives this as a command, “Offer unto God thanksgiving.” Then he continues, “…and (or even) pay thy vows unto the most High” (Psalms 50:14b). The offering of thanksgiving unto God with our lips continually is really our duty; to pay our vows (or to offer thanksgiving).
Yet in Leviticus 22:29, 31, Moses said:
“And when ye will offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving unto the LORD, offer it at your own will.” (Leviticus 22:29)
That is, when you do it (and the New Testament says do it “continually”), do it with a willing heart. Do it because it is your will to do it. Do it with joy, with heartfelt gratitude to the Savior, acknowledging that Salvation is of the Lord; by Him alone, and not by any merit of man.
“But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD.” (Jonah 2:9)
Therefore, the Sacrifice of Thanksgiving is not an option with the Child of Grace. It is his duty. It should flow from a heart of thanks, a heart full of joy and praise, that God’s Salvation includes him. Thankful that God sought him out and performed the Miracle of Regeneration in him. Thus, giving him an understanding that he is a son of God (Romans 8:14-16); and a praise for all the benefits that come to one who is a son of God.
There are too many benefits to list here, but some of these benefits are as follows:
1) Peace: Peace with God in Christ’s Atonement.
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 5:1-2)
He is our Peace; this is our Position in Christ, the Peace of God.
“For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;” (Ephesians 2:14)
“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)
That is, the Joy of God living in us; having fellowship with Christ.
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” (Philippians 4:6)
2) Prayer: The avenue of supply; not through man, but through the God/Man, Christ, our Great High Priest.
“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)
3) Power: Power to be an overcomer in all circumstances; to walk in His Love, His Holiness, His Perfection, His Victory.
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13)
“For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” (1 John 5:4)
4) Protection: God supplies all of our need (physically and spiritually).
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
This devotion concludes with a Sacrifice of Thanksgiving – not because I am made to do so, but because I have been given the Love of God in my heart; also because His benefits to me are innumerable.
“Dear Jesus, I have but one life to live. Thank You Jesus for giving me Eternal Life (or Christ, living in me). Thank You Jesus for revealing Truth to me, which has made me free. Thank You Jesus for being my Hope, my Light, my Peace, my Power, my Protection, yes, even my All in All; which has brought me rest and security.
Finally, Jesus thank You for working in me that which is wellpleasing in Your Sight, as You have given me Your Life to live in my life.
In Your Blessed Name, Amen!”
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