And offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven, and proclaim and publish the free offerings:… (Amos 4:5 KJV)
Thanksgiving is our expected response to the grace of God. In fact, one of the meanings of the Greek word charis used for grace is thanksgiving. The grace of God prompts an unforced and spontaneous thankful response from us. But why is an attitude of thanksgiving so critical for you as a believer?
The verse above reminds us that in the Old Testament, there was a sacrifice of thanksgiving. It was a material sacrifice made of flour, cakes and oil. When Christ, the High Priest showed up, worship of God made the transition from the shadow to the real. God has commanded us extensively in the New Testament to be thankful. It should be evident to you He is not referring to offering sacrifices of flour, cakes or oil as in the Old Testament. The Prophet Jonah sums the real spiritual offering of thanksgiving prophetically in the verse “ But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving” (Jon. 2:9 KJV). The highest form of thanksgiving is a heart filled with the Holy Spirit offering up words of appreciation and gratitude to God. This is the sacrifice of thanksgiving. It is the true worship, the real thing of which the sacrifice of the Old Testament was symbolizing. This verse in the book of Hebrews puts everything in perspective :
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 (Heb. 13:15 KJV)
Did you notice “the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His Name”? That is the sacrifice of Thanksgiving. There is no amount of end of year financial gift, seed, money, material offering that can match up the wonders of a born again spirit, filled with the Holy Spirit expressing heartfelt words of thanksgiving to God. Just as a friendly reminder, though you know it so well, God does not use money in heaven, no does He eat cakes, flour or oil ( Ps. 50:3). The real thanksgiving is not what you have in your hand but what comes out of your mouth from your heart.
Why is thanksgiving called a sacrifice? See Heb. 8:1-3.
APPLY THE WORD
Do you want to touch God’s heart? Offer unto Him the sacrifice of thanksgiving. A grateful heart and a thankful spirit are treasures to Him. Having a big Thanksgiving party or bringing a substantial financial gift as an end of year offering with a heart that is full of ingratitude, bitterness or even strife is a spiritual disaster and a waste of your time and resources. God does not want what you have in your hand. He wants what comes from your heart through the mouth. A material gift may sometimes accompany that thankful response but not always required.
Can you open your mouth right now and give God an offering of thanksgiving as you remember His goodness in your life.