Sacrifices of Thanksgiving
How often do you hear people talk about sacrifice around the Thanksgiving dinner table? I would venture to say almost never. But, yet the Bible clearly teaches that if we want to turn thanksgiving into "thanksliving," that we are to offer the sacrifices of thanksgiving.
The Sacrifice of Person
Romans 12:1-2 says, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
The best way you can show God that you love Him is to give your body to the Lord as a living sacrifice. Because Jesus voluntarily gave His body for us; it is only reasonable that we would voluntarily give our bodies back to Him (see 1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
The Sacrifice of Praise
Hebrews 13:15 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." Your praise is more valuable to God than any offering you make, any tithe you give, any gift you offer back to Him.
It breaks my heart as a pastor to look out on a congregation and see people singing with no expression of praise on their face. Before you open your hymnbook to sing next time, ask yourself, "Why did Jesus die for me?"
The Sacrifice of Prayer
Psalm 141:2 says, "Let my prayer be set forth before Thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice." Your prayers and the lifting of your hands to God are sacrifices like incense that goes up to the Lord.
If you had been able to enter the tabernacle, you would have first passed the altar where the sacrifice was made. Then, you would have seen a candelabra. Both represented Christ as our sacrifice. The priest would approach God by way of Christ and there he would burn incense that would ascend as a sweet savor to God — the sacrifice of prayer.
When you come to the Lord to praise Him, you must come on the basis of the blood. There is only one way to pray, and it is through the blood of Jesus Christ.
The Sacrifice of Possessions
Hebrews 13:16 says, "But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased." The word "communicate" in this text is an old English word that actually means to give to those in need.
What you do not willingly give, God neither needs nor wants. 2 Corinthians 9:7 says, "Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver."
Are you giving your leftovers to God, or are you giving Him the first fruits of your labors?
The Sacrifice of Purity
Psalm 51:17 says, "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise."
Isaiah 66:1-2 says, "Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word." Do the things that break the heart of Jesus break your heart? Oh God, may that be true about me. Oh God, may that be true about Your people.
Will you come in repentance and faith today? Will you make this your prayer this Thanksgiving?
Lord, I take my hands off of this body I have. I give it to You. I recognize it as a temple of the Holy Spirit. I purpose in my heart to offer to You the sacrifice of praise out of my heart and from my lips. May this prayer be like incense that rises up to Your throne. I yield everything I have to You. It is all Yours for Your glory and Your praise. Lord, forgive my haughtiness, my self will. I offer to You a broken spirit. In the name of Jesus, Amen.
When we come to Him in repentance and faith, we are empowered-and expected-to live the Christian life not by trying, but by trusting. Faith is not only how we receive salvation, it is how we walk, day by day, in grace. Only by faith can we extend forgiveness to others, share God's truth, and leave a godly legacy. As the tapestry of your life unfolds, may you begin to see the wonders of living each day, moment by moment, a life of faith and forgiveness.