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The Real First Thanksgiving
By Rick Warren

“Celebrate the Harvest Festival, to honor the LORD your God, by bringing him a freewill offering in proportion to the blessing he has given you.” Deuteronomy 16:10 (GNT)

The gathering most Americans think of as the first Thanksgiving happened 400 years ago.

But 3,000 years before that, God told the nation of Israel to establish a thanksgiving festival called the Feast of Weeks. They were to celebrate God's goodness and express their gratitude to him by bringing him a special, annual thanksgiving offering.

Deuteronomy 16:10-11 says, “Celebrate the Harvest Festival, to honor the LORD your God, by bringing him a freewill offering in proportion to the blessing he has given you . . . Do this at the one place of worship” (GNT).

On this original day of thanksgiving, the Israelites were to bring a gift of thanksgiving to the place of thanksgiving—the temples where they worshipped. This thanksgiving offering has been practiced by God's people for thousands of years and is mentioned many times in Scripture.

God says in Psalm 50:23, “Those people honor me who bring me offerings to show thanks. And I, God, will save those who do that” (NCV).

The Bible tells us many times what kind of offering we should give: We are to give God the first part of our income—not the leftovers. We should put God first in our finances.

Anytime you give an offering to God, it represents three kinds of gratitude: past, present, and future. Your offering shows gratitude for God's blessing in the past and his blessing today and faith in God's continued blessing in the future. God always honors faith with his blessing.

In the Bible, there are more promises attached to faithful giving and generosity than any other subject. Why? Because God wants his children to be like him. And he is a generous God!

Jesus says in Luke 6:38, “If you give, you will get! Your gift will return to you in full and overflowing measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use to give—large or small—will be used to measure what is given back to you” (TLB).

If you’ve trusted Jesus to forgive your sin and save your soul, then you can trust God to keep his promise to take care of you. Your thanksgiving offering shows God that you trust him for all things and at all times.

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Encourage a Graduate in Your Life

Graduation time is here, and chances are there’s a young person in your life who could use some encouragement, along with a little guidance.

Set them up for success with Pastor Rick’s The Purpose Driven Life: Selected Thoughts and Scriptures for the Graduate.

Filled with inspirational Scripture, biblical wisdom from Pastor Rick, and beautiful imagery, this unique, hardcover gift book provides a priceless reminder of the bountiful life God has planned for your graduate—and it will empower them to seek his unique plan and purpose for their life.

We’d love to send you a copy of this special resource as thanks for your gift today to help Daily Hope take the transforming power of Jesus into more lives around the world.

So request your copy below—and set a young graduate on the path to all God has for their life!

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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

You can listen to Rick Warren on OnePlace.com.