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How Is Thanksgiving A Sacrifice?

Psalm 116:17 NLT, “I will offer you a sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the LORD” (Psalm 116:17 NLT).

The truth is that I have not being attending Sunday Services for the past few Sundays for all my expectations have not been coming, yet. I became tired and burned out. I would like to end and call it off.

This is being put into writing and fast. Or, else, I may be charged of a copy cat to that old actor Aga Muhlach partnered with Bea Alonzo in the TFC trailer now a movie I Love You.

How many times have I read the stories of pastors and men of God who reached their finish lines outside of God’s design. They cheated life with disobedience. And they were more than a ten in numbers since only last year.

Are they now with the Lord? Shall they be joining Him in the mansions of gold? Are there answers for those contemplating suicide and those affected by it?

Once, I immediately did my best to reach out to a pastor who suddenly stopped posting to the social media sharing the goodness of the Lord and his doctrinal beliefs. I even tried to connect to the wife and his friend. All of a sudden after my no avail effort, he called and said everything was okay. So, the presumption of no problem was there. Until I saw his posting of a list of pastors who committed suicides with his ending exclamation saying something like, I was there or I almost did.

How could we say the thanksgiving when we are in a difficult situation?

If you know me, you should know that in a Church service, I really dance in a way to every jolly praise and worship and I sing audible worshipping the Lord. Should one fake himself and pretend to be happy when you really are sad?

We often misunderstand the meaning of giving thanks to the Lord. God says in Psalm 50:9-11, 14″But I do not need the bulls from your barns or the goats from your pens, for all the animals of the forest are mine.” “…Make your thankfulness your sacrifice to God, and keep the vows you made to the Most High.”

The first account of sacrifice in the Bible were exemplified in Abel and Cain’s offering. When Cain and Abel, the first two sons of Adam and Eve, presented their sacrifices before the Lord, Abel’s sacrifice was accepted while Cain’s was rejected (Genesis 4:3-4, 5a)

Why? Genesis 4:5b answers the question why, “And Cain was very angry and his countenance fell.”                                                                                                           Bear in mind, God is All Knowing. He knows for He is the past present and the future. Even before Cain and Abel came to offer He already knew.

Bible commentators have given different views as to why was Cain’s offering rejected. I go to the heart attitude of Cain which was sinful that led him to bringing an inferior offering. Cain did not offer his best to the Lord. The Bible says, the offering of the wicked is an abomination (Proverbs 21:27). What was Cain’s best? Cain may have brought the very best that he had, but he did so with entirely the wrong attitude. This would be comparable to somebody giving a large sum of money to the church with a grudging or boasting attitude.

The original Thanksgiving took place in 1621 as the Pilgrims, along with a number of the local Native American Indians who brought deer and other food, held a three-day harvest celebration. Following is an excerpt of that first Thanksgiving, written by Edward Winslow in Mourt’s Relation: A Journal of the Pilgrims at Plymouth:

At which time, amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain and other. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of GOD, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.”

Thanksgiving is a Sacrifice when we first start with the “Creator’s message about the gospel that starts with the bad news” (ICR).

The Bad News: Mankind’s history includes the bad news that the first man Adam, rebelled against God’s command, separating us from God and bringing death and suffering into the world. Adam’s descendants (all of us) are sinful from conception (Psalm 51:5), and we have entered into Adam’s rebellion, sin. So, we can’t live with a holy God but are separated from Him. The Bible says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), so all are subject to “eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His might” (2 Thessalonians 1:9).

The Good News: But the good news is that God has done something about the problem. “For God so loved the world that He gave His Only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).                       Jesus Christ the Creator, though totally sinless, suffered sin’s penalty on our behalf. He suffered death and separation from God, His Father, to satisfy the righteous demands of God’s holiness and justice. Jesus was the perfect sacrifice: He died on a cross. But on the third day, He rose again, conquering death, so that all who repent of their sin and trust Him rather than their own merit can come back to God and live with Him for eternity.                                                    Therefore, “Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already” (John 3:18). What a wonderful salvation in Christ. our Creator and our Savior.

Do you find the Good News something wonderful to give thanks to? Thanksgiving with Sacrifice is not that of paying what Christ has done for us. “It is Finished” We could never pay what was already paid in the Calvary. All we need to do is simply to obey, conquering our own self, becoming one that is more than a conqueror. It is not I, you or we but Him. It is All About Him.

The sacrifice has already been done and it is finished. We do not have the authority to question God for in all things, He alone is Gracious and is God.

In the prayer of John the beloved 3 John 1, “I pray that you will be blessed in all 1. things, even your 2. health and the 3. prosperity of your soul.”

Hence, we should be saying thank you Lord for the blessings of all of these things. All of these things which we seek and also by the gentiles in Matthew 6:31-32. Glory for God reveals the only formula and that is by “Seek first the kingdom of God and His Righteousness (Matthew 6:33) and all of these things shall be added unto you (us).” It is up to you if you would not accept it but “all of these things” refer to material and physical and all of the of the other things that benefits man as God’s creation. Dwelling place, whether it is a cave or a house, work, business, opportunities, adversities and trials overcome, success, etcetera.  Things is a reason for us to be on our knees and be grateful. I thank you God.

Health and strength are among life’s most precious gifts. To be able bodied, and in use of our physique is a matter of great thankfulness. Lord, heal my back aches and knee pains. Help me get out of these bad habits and vices. What a wonderful life and another reason to give thanks that we are on our feet at all. An overcomer. A more than conqueror in His Name.

The prosperity of our soul is salvation that gave reason for Mary the mother of Jesus to rejoice. Luke 1:47, “I rejoice to God My Savior.” Colossians 1:12-13 kjv, “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the Kingdom of His dear Son.”

Do give time to count your blessings? Or the danger of you owning the success that God has given you as of your own merit or you start to think highly of yourself. Lucifer did that.

Now is always the best time to be thankful and rejoice.

Philippians 4:4-8 kjv, “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.

Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

 

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Ricardo V. Avelino

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