“Let them also offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of His works with joyful singing.” — Psalm 107:22
Nothing would please the Lord more than for every home in which this devotional is read to decide that this coming week will be a week of praise and thankfulness.
There may be no greater sin than the sin of ungratefulness. Shakespeare said, “How sharper than a serpents tooth it is, to have a thankless child.”
And I fear that God has some ungrateful and thankless children. Psalm 107:22 says, “Let them also offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of His works with joyful singing.”
No matter what our political persuasion, educational level or financial situation, God has been good to us. Psalm 107:2 says, “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, who He has redeemed from the hand of the adversary.”
As we come to this season of Thanksgiving, you can turn it into a season of Thanks-living. Psalm 107:22 reminds us, “Let them also offer sacrifices of thanksgiving....”
God often links our relationship to Him through how or what we sacrifice. And both the Old Testament and the New Testament teach that we are to offer spiritual sacrifices. As 1 Peter 2:5 says, “… You also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
First, give yourself. Romans 12:1 says, “I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.”
Have you truly given yourself to the Lord?
We used to sing a hymn, “But drops of grief can ne’er repay, the debt of love I owe. Dear Lord, I give myself away, Tis all that I can do.”
I have to be reminded of that from time to time. Because unconsciously, I begin to take back things I had given over to the Lord. My heart gets cool and covered with a lack of love and devotion to Jesus.
And suddenly the Holy Spirit breaks through and reminds me there are things I have taken back. And I have to talk with the Lord very seriously and prayerfully and ask Him to take me completely.
What was a sacrifice? A sacrifice was something that was slain. Yet we are to be a living sacrifice. How? Through how we live, how we deny self, how we put Jesus and His desires first.
The Lord is not my partner. He is my Master. He is Lord. I am to be a living sacrifice. Holy. Acceptable to God.
Secondly, my praise should be a sacrifice. Hebrews 13:15 says, “Let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.”
Folks, your praise is more valuable to God than the gifts that you place in the offering plate. David said in Psalm 69:30-31, “I will praise the name of God with song and magnify Him with thanksgiving. And it will please the Lord better than an ox or a young bull with horns and hoofs.”
That does not mean that your praise is a substitute for your giving. Your praise is empty and vain if you are unwilling to give generously also.
But having given your gifts, your praise means more to God. Psalm 107:22 says, “Let them also offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of His works with joyful singing.”
You want to offer thanks to God? Let it be your praise — and not just in a church service.
Then, let your prayers be a sacrifice to the Lord. Psalm 142 1:2 says, “May my prayer be counted as incense before You; the lifting up of my hands as the evening offering.”
In the Old Testament the priests would burn incense on the altar in the morning and in the evening. And as that incense ascended up out of the tabernacle it would be a sweet smelling savor, a sacrifice to God, the sacrifice of prayer.
Would you like to bless God this Thanksgiving season? And for the rest of your life? First there has to be the sacrifice of our body — a living sacrifice. “Here Lord, I give myself away....”
Then there has to be a sacrifice of your praise; you must continually praise the Lord. “God, you are so great. Lord, I love you.”
Then there’s the incense of prayer: Morning and evening that sweet incense rising up to our Lord.
Will you offer that to God this Thanksgiving season?
Emmett Murphy is a retired Christian church pastor.