Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Sacrifice of Thanksgiving - Lev. 7:11-15

(Here is a timely article by Pastor David Reagan of Antioch Baptist Church in Knoxville, TN, as he reviews the first mention of thanksgiving in the Bible. Here are the notes from his message, but if you click the link above, you will find an audio link to hear his complete message.)

Introduction: The first reference to thanksgiving in the Bible is in the description of the thanksgiving offering. This offering is not just an ancient ceremony. It shows us the true value and of a thankful heart. Through it, we learn how God's expects us to practice thankfulness.

I. Thanksgiving is a Key Ingredient of Peace
A. It is part of "the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings" (Leviticus 7:11)
B. It is necessary for the peace of God to rule in our hearts (Colossians 3:15)
II. Thanksgiving Must be Made For All Things
A. The thanksgiving offering was a multiple offering with many different items offered together (Leviticus 7:12-13)
B. We are to "give thanks always for all things unto God" (Ephesians 5:20).
III. Thanksgiving Must be Made for the Worst Things
A. The thanksgiving offering included an offering of "leavened bread" (Leviticus 7:13)
i. Leaven (yeast) is used in the Bible for negative things like sin, false doctrine, evil events
ii. To include leavened bread in the thanksgiving offering means we are to be thankful for even the bad things in our life
B. We are to be thankful for even the worst things that happen to us
i. We are to "glory in tribulations" (Romans 5:3)
ii. We are to "take pleasure in infirmities" (2Corinthians 12:10)
C. This kind of thankfulness separates the believer from the lost
i. Even the lost are thankful for those things they perceive to be good
ii. It takes true faith to be thankful for things in which we see no good
IV. Thanksgiving Must be an Offering unto the Lord
A. Part of the offering was to be "an heave offering unto the Lord" (Leviticus 7:14) - the priest would take the offering in his hands and stretch his hands toward heaven as a sign of presenting this sacrifice unto God.
B. True thanksgiving is that which we direct unto God
C. God will accept the sacrifice of thanksgiving as a special offering; it pleases Him (Hebrews 13:15-16)
V. Thanksgiving Must be Offered on the Basis of the Blood
A. The thanksgiving offering was offered with the sprinkling of the blood (Leviticus 7:14)
B. The sprinkling of the blood was a type of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross (1Peter 1:2)
C. The shed blood of Christ is the foundation of all the thanksgiving of a Christian (2Corinthians 9:15)
VI. Thanksgiving is the Basis of Christian Fellowship
A. The sacrifice of the Peace Offering was enjoyed as a fellowship meal with priest and people joining in together (Leviticus 7:15)
B. Thanksgiving draws us closer to God and to other saints (Psalm 35:18)
VII. Thanksgiving Must be Offered Fresh Every Day
A. The sacrifice of the thanksgiving offering must be eaten the day it is offered; none may be left for another day.
B. The act of thanksgiving must be a present practice. Yesterday's thanksgiving will not suffice for today and today's cannot be held over for tomorrow. We must be thankful each day. (Psalm 118:24)

Conclusion: Do you practice thanksgiving in your daily life? Is it an integral part of your relationship with God? Do you need to confess your unthankful spirit? Will you do so today?


Blogger Sean Carter said...

Its thanksgiving and there is fun and frolic all over but in all these merrymaking let us not forget the real purpose of the occasion. Lets all kneel and thank God for all that He has showered on us and for this beautiful life that he has graced us with. On this note I'd request you to visit my Thanksgiving Blog sometime and spread the spirit and joy of Thanksgiving.

1:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank God for Thanksgiving Day...but every day should be Thanksgiving Day!! We have so much to be thankful that how could we not thank our Great God for all He has done and all He is to us? It was GREAT seeing y'all this past week. Y'all are a blessing to us and we thank God for each of you!!

1:49 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Sister Julie,

As usual, we had a great time last week at Faith Baptist Camp. It is always good to see such dear friends as you and your family. Thanks for being a great friend to Rachel and Courtney!!!

7:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are so under thankful. We don't scratch the surface of being as thankful as we ought.

11:36 AM  

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