At the beginning of this month, I was seeking the Lord about our monthly partner letter that goes out to our ministry partners. As I prayed about what to send out, one statement continually came to mind: a heart of thanksgiving. Of course! After all it is the month of Thanksgiving!
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
It is not always easy to give thanks. Sometimes we have to give thanks in spite of pain or disappointment. Thanksgiving will cause us to move into higher realms of faith. Thanksgiving breaks the power of the enemy. I have seen this on truth over and again in my personal life.
Whenever you give thanks to God, despite the most difficult circumstances, the enemy loses a the battle in your life. When you give thanks in the midst of difficulty, you bring pleasure to God’s heart. He is looking for those who live in a realm of praise and thanksgiving where the enemy no longer has an ability to hold or manipulate that person. Satan is defeated when we have a thankful heart because thankfulness during difficulty is a sacrifice that is well pleasing to God.
How about you? Are you thankful? Are you thankful in your present circumstances?
Thankfulness is a key to your life and life more abundantly. Being continually thankful may very well be the key that turns your situation around. Why? Because it changes you, your perception, and your attitude. It’s a heart change. There is power in a thankful heart.
While I was meditating on this earlier, the Lord spoke some instruction to my heart. He told me to be a blessing to those I am thankful for. He went on to say, “bless them all you can this month.” It’s funny that even while I was hearing those words, I was sitting at my sewing machine making a quilt for someone I appreciate.
Every single one of you reading this letter today has been blessed by someone. Someone has sown eternal seeds into your life – someone has lifted you up when you felt down. In a world where most people are concerned with themselves and if their needs are met, there are still those who desire to be a blessing to others. You are one of those. If you weren’t, you wouldn’t even be reading this.
More times than I can count I have been encouraged, uplifted, and set back on the right path to press forward simply by reading an article or listening to an anointed word. Or by a friend or ministry partner sending me an encouraging card. They mean the world to me. Many of them are on the wall of my office today.
As I thought on all this, God reminded me of something in the Old Testament – the thank offering…
What is a Thank Offering?
We read about the thank offering in Lev. 7:12. Let me share some insights I found on the thank offering:
The thank offering or sacrifice of thanksgiving was an optional offering. This is also termed the “thanksgiving offering.”
If he offers it for a thanksgiving, then he shall offer with the sacrifice of thanksgiving unleavened cakes mingled with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil, and cakes mingled with oil, of fine flour, fried. (Lev. 7:12)
The Hebrew noun todah meaning, “thanksgiving” is derived from the Hiphil of the verb yadah “to praise.”
First let me point out; a thanksgiving offering is OPTIONAL. You do not have to live a life of thankfulness, it is your choice, but as you choose to be thankful, you are choosing life. And you certainly do not have to give a thank offering; that too, is a choice.
And… a thanksgiving offering is perceived by God as PRAISE. I can think of no better way to praise God than to have a heart of thanksgiving and I can think of no better way to show that heart of thanksgiving than by giving a thank offering unto the Lord.
Today, I want to encourage you to look back over 2022 – has someone blessed you tremendously? Perhaps it is an individual person, or a family member, or a ministry. Perhaps you have grown in God this year because of something you have read or heard. If so, pray about giving a thanks offering today. The Bible tells us that it is God’s will for each of us to be thankful in all things – let’s show that thankfulness today by giving back. In this season of Thanksgiving, let’s give a tangible offering to God – one of thankfulness for all He has done, even if it is through one of His people. Let’s be a blessing to others, as much as we can. Let’s PRAISE God with our offering of thanksgiving today.