A statement has been on my mind for weeks now. Actually, two phrases. One is a heart of thanksgiving. The other is a thank offering.
These statements caused me to reflect on something that happened to me this past week.
One day last week I awoke with a toothache. It took me by surprise because I have not had any issues with my teeth. The first day I began to pray about it. After another day, with it getting worse, I took communion. By this time, my face began to swell and I couldn’t open my mouth. At the end of the second day, I called my dentist and he called me in a prescription – reminding me there was nothing he could do until we dealt with the swelling and infection. It was a rough few days waiting for the antibiotics to kick in. (I appreciate all the prayers)
One morning, I went about my normal routine and started to pray and ask God to heal this infection. To remove the pain and make me whole.
However, as I began to pray, I stopped. I literally felt as if the Holy Spirit put His hand over my mouth. I did not pray and ask God for anything.
Instead, I began to think of things I could thank Him for.
I began to thank Him that I was able to eat again. I thanked Him that Jesus bore my pain at the cross. The more I gave thanks, the more I thought of to thank Him for. By the time I was dressed and ready for my day, my heart was filled with thanksgiving. My heart, in this circumstance, had completely changed.
As the morning progressed, it took a while for me to notice that the pain was subsiding a little. That day I began to give thanks more and more.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, 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, frankly, it wasn’t easy that day. I was giving thanks despite the pain. Despite the infection. Knowing this is the very thing we must do in order to see God’s will accomplished in our lives.
Thanksgiving will cause us to move into higher realms of faith. Thanksgiving breaks the power of the enemy. I saw it do just that.
Whenever you give thanks to God, despite the most difficult circumstances, the enemy loses a battle in your life. When you give thanks during difficulty, you bring pleasure to God’s heart. He is looking for those who live in a realm of praise and thanksgiving. Satan is defeated when we have a thankful heart because thankfulness during difficulty, is a sacrifice that is well pleasing to God. A sweet smelling sacrifice.
Thanksgiving 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.
As I was meditating on the power of a thankful heart, the Lord began to speak to my heart. He told me to sow a seed of a thank offering to the Lord in thanks for all He has done for me this year.
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 thanks offering is OPTIONAL. It is not a commanded offering, it has never been a commanded offering.
You do not have to live a life of thankfulness, it is your choice. However, as you choose to be thankful, you are choosing life.
Additionally, you certainly do not have to give a thank offering, this too, is a choice. However, it is a choice that produces life.
A thanks offering is perceived by God as PRAISE. Praise stops the enemy!
I can think of no better way to praise God than to have a heart of thanksgiving. I can think of no better way to show that heart of thanksgiving than by giving a thank offering unto the Lord.
Recently, the Lord has been reminding me of the ministries that are a blessing in my life. I not only listen to them, or read their teachings, I also partner with them through my giving.
The Bible teaches us that we are to give back into the places where we receive spiritual food.
Galatians 6:6-10, Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches. Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to the flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit, will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.
1 Corinthians 9:14, Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the Gospel should live from the Gospel.
I was listening to a minister recently when he said, “Think back to the ministries God has connected you to and thank God for them, for you will begin to walk in what they walk in.”
I believe this to be true. I believe when I am in partnership with a ministry, if they are strong in faith for healing, I can receive that same strength. If they are strong in finances, I am in covenant with them, therefore, I too am sowing into strength in finances. I can receive that strength for finances.
Reading daily emails does not connect you to a ministry. Reading a book does not connect you to a ministry. Sowing precious seed into them does. It puts you in covenant with them. When you are in covenant, what they walk in, you are well-able to walk in as well. If you want the blessings and favor that is on a ministry who blesses you, covenant with them, sow into them and watch God’s favor come upon you as you do.
Have you been blessed today? Have you been blessed this year? If so, pray about giving a THANK offering today in praise to God. And remember…think back to those ministries God has connected you to and thank Him for them…
Meditate on this:
You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. 2 Corinthians 9:11