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Offering of Thanksgiving

Offering of Thanksgiving

Here in the USA, we’re going to be celebrating our Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow.  Many people are spending today in preparation for it.  I want to take this post to give some inspiration as we look forward to it.

Leviticus 7:11-15 talks about the Jewish Law concerning the sacrifice of thanksgiving.  It was one of the voluntary fellowship offerings that they could bring to the Temple.  You may want to read that passage before continuing with this post.

It turns out that the Thanksgiving offering was a meal shared with the priests.  They brought their sacrifice; it was cooked, and then eaten at the Temple.

So in a way, their Thanksgiving was just like ours.  Did you know that a meal can be worship?

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

1 Corinthians 10:31

Eating together is a sign of fellowship.  When the Lord is involved, it’s a part of our worship.

This is something that we need to get back to in our present day.  I encourage you to make this a part of your celebration.  Make a point to mention this at your dinner table, “This meal is an act of worship.”

Why is that so important?  Eating involves fellowship.  In the Old Testament reference from Leviticus, the root of “fellowship” is the Hebrew word, Shalom.  It’s what we normally translate as peace.

However, it’s much more than that.  Shalom speaks of fullness of life, wholeness, prosperity, safety, and peace with God.  What we need to realize is that Thanksgiving is the celebration of God’s gift to us of shalom.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

John 10:10

That’s why Jesus came – so that we could enter into a covenant with Him.  The result is Shalom – fullness of life.  The Thanksgiving meal should celebrate what God has done for you.

Another aspect of the Thanksgiving Offering in the Old Testament was that this offering was not to provide union with God.  It was not used as a guilt offering.

This one simply acknowledged God’s presence.  We need to remember that Thanksgiving is joyfully sharing in God’s presence.

For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”

Matthew 18:20

It should celebrate the gift of joy and fellowship because we’re in the family of God.  The Thanksgiving holiday should be all the more joyful because God is with us.

It’s interesting to note that this sacrifice was always listed last in the Scripture.  Rabbis referred to it as the “concluding sacrifice.”  It’s usually the same with us.  We look back and say God has been faithful.

However, that’s not all there is.

He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God.”

Psalm 50:23

Thanksgiving is not only the final part of a blessing.  It’s also the first part of the next blessing. Make your Thanksgiving meal an act of worship this year.  Not by religious show, but with the attitude of worship.  This is a meal celebrating shalom…in God’s presence…finalizing God’s blessing…and preparing for the next.

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 
 

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Thanksgiving Victory

Today in the USA, it’s the eve of the Thanksgiving holiday.  So, I’m writing this post to talk about thankfulness.  In my next post, I’ll continue talking about our spiritual armor.

As believers, we need to live a life of thankfulness to God.  What most people don’t realize is that walking in thankfulness actually places you in a position of spiritual power.

…always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 5:20

This is actually a poor translation of what the Apostle was saying.  Paul literally said we should be always giving thanks…OVER everything.  We need to understand that in the name of Christ we are over the situation.

This verse tells me that giving thanks raises me over any situation that I happen to be in right now.  We see the problems and they look so big.

It’s just like the Israelites who spied out the land.  Most of the spies only saw that there were giants living there.  They announced to Israel, “We were grasshoppers in our eyes.”

But Joshua and Caleb, on the other hand, were looking through eyes of thankfulness.  They were thanking God for giving them the land.  Their attitude was, “Thanks be to God!  He gives us the victory.”

It doesn’t matter how big the mountain is.  Thankfulness puts you over it.  How does that work?

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Philippians 4:6

You’re told not to worry about the situation you see before you.  Listen to the response of God’s will.  We are to go before God’s presence, then we bare our hearts before Him, and finally, we lay our needs at His feet.

Look at the outcome that’s promised to us.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:7

When you offer up thanksgiving in a worrisome situation, then the peace of God will begin its work in you.  This verse says that it transcends your understanding.  Do you know what that means?

The actual Greek word is Huperecho.  It literally means to hold oneself above.  So, when you present these challenging situations to God, with thanksgiving, God’s peace will hold you above all your human understanding.

This same peace of God will also be a guard, like sentries, around you.  We need to see that it’s the peace OF GOD that will hold you above the circumstance.

But it’s the giving of thanks which results in the peace of God.  Then, that peace is activated to hold you above the circumstance.

This holiday season, allow the peace of God to work in you.  Yes, thank God for all that He’s done in your life.  But don’t stop there.  If there’s anything that you’re facing that’s challenging or causing you to worry, thank God for the victory over it.

In faith, take the high ground this Thanksgiving.

Question: What future victories do you need to thank God for right now?

© 2019 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2019 in Encouragement, Faith, Prayer, Spiritual Walk

 

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Are You Thankful?

ThanksgivingHow thankful are you for all that God has done? Luke 17:11-19 has some interesting insights to help us answer that question.

In that portion of Scripture, a group of ten lepers went to Jesus for healing. He told them to go and show themselves to the priests. As they obeyed His command, they found they were healed along the way.

One former leper had a great response.

One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice.
Luke 17:15

The first thing he does is to come back to Jesus, yelling praises on the top of his lungs. He must have attracted a lot of attention, but he didn’t care. He wanted to praise God for what happened to him. That’s the first thing we see…

Thankful people live loud for the Lord. We must learn to have a lifestyle of praise. It’s time that God’s people come “out of the closet” with their thankfulness.

That’s because this is a normal response to the hand of God at work. It doesn’t mean that you have to yell all the time. But I am saying that God’s work should be abundantly evident in your life. But there was more…

He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him – and he was a Samaritan.
Luke 17:16

Next thing we see is this man throwing himself at Jesus’ feet. This is the position of worship.

Thankful people live a life of worship. Because we’re thankful – we worship. Worship acknowledges God for who He is. We’re simply grateful because He allows us to come before Him anytime we want, clothed in His righteousness.

But that verse also said that he thanked Jesus.

…always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 5:20

Are we to thank God for everything? The actual Greek says over everything. I need to thank God over everything I receive. (I don’t receive sickness, etc.)

Thankful people thank God over everything. We know the source of life and blessing. Of all people, we should be the ones who are constantly thanking God for the good things we see in our lives.

But there’s one more aspect of thankfulness that we need to look at. It comes from Jesus’ reaction to the healed man.

Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?”
Luke 17:17-18

This question gives us insight into the heart of God. We all want to be loved and appreciated. Where do you think that comes from? I’ll tell you – we were created in the image of God.

Thankful people are sought out by God. Thank offerings were not required by the Law of Moses. God wanted the hearts of the people to prompt them to be thankful. When we’re thankful it opens the door for a richer walk with the Lord.

This Thanksgiving, in spite of all the other activities you may be involved in, take the time to be truly thankful before God.

Question: What are some of the biggest things you are grateful for?

© Nick Zaccardi 2016

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2016 in Prayer, Spiritual Walk, Worship

 

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