Offering Thanksgiving to the Lord
By David Jachim
As we draw near the Thanksgiving holiday, let us turn our attention to God, the Maker of Heaven and Earth, and His Holy Word - looking for His wisdom about how and for what we should be thankful. The Bible teaches that we are to offer thanksgiving to the Lord God Omnipotent. “And when ye will offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving unto the LORD, offer it at your own will.” (Psalm 50:14, KJV). The Hebrew word that is most often translated “thanksgiving” throughout the Old Testament is “toda”. The meaning of this word involves an extending of the hand and usually signifies adoration. Based on this meaning, our thanksgiving to the Lord should be filled with praise and adoration. This Thanksgiving, let us all be truly giving thanks to the Name that is above all names by honoring and glorifying Him for Who He is and what He has done. Consider the following specific issues for which we can all be thankful as children of the King:
- God’s gift of salvation - Our salvation in Christ is nothing that any one of us have earned or deserve. Our sin nature and our specific acts of rebellion toward God’s Law deserve hellfire and eternal damnation. The very idea that God allows us to have ANY means of escaping this just judgment is nothing short of amazing grace - and how sweet is its sound. Give thanks that “he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.” (Psalm 103:10, NIV)
- God’s perfect and inerrant Word - The Bible is an incredible gift that God has given to us for teaching, doctrine, reproof, and instruction in righteousness for the purpose of thoroughly equipping us for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16,17). Praise the Lord that you can read, study, meditate upon, memorize, and apply God’s Holy Word. Scripture is sufficient for every area of faith and practice. It will be a light to our path giving us clear direction if we will diligently and rightfully use it.
- God’s Holy Spirit - What an amazing truth that not only has God given us the gift of His Word, but He has sent His Holy Spirit to dwell within us to help us properly understand, interpret, apply, and recall the truth communicated by the Lord. Show gratitude to the Lord for graciously giving the Counselor that lovingly guides His children into God’s perfect truth. “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” (Romans 5:5, KJV)
- God’s sovereignty - Praise the Lord that our God reigns! He is in control of all things and He is working out His plan and purpose here on this earth as well as in heaven. Our hearts should be filled with gratefulness that our God is King of kings and Lord of lords both now and forever. “The LORD shall reign for ever, even thy God, O Zion, unto all generations. Praise ye the LORD.” (Psalm 146:10, KJV)
- God’s love - God IS love and provides us with the capacity to love. While God’s love is perfect, our love is imperfect because we are sinful human creatures. Nevertheless, we should be ever grateful that He has given us the incredible gift of being able to see His love and has given to us the ability to love. God demonstrates His love for us in many different ways, including the gift of life on this earth, the blessings that He provides while on this planet, and the glorious hope that we have of the life to come. “I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39, KJV)
- God’s faithfulness - The God that we serve is faithful to His covenant. Thank the Lord that He is just and shows His faithfulness whether we are breaking His covenant or are walking consistent with it. He will bless us when we are upholding His Law and will discipline us when we are in rebellion against that Law. “Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations” (Deuteronomy 7:9, KJV)
- God’s holiness - God is perfect in character and His perfection is prominently shown in His holiness. He has nothing in Him that would mar this perfect holiness. In the book of Revelation, He is praised around His throne by the four living creatures as they never stop saying: “Holy, holy, holy, LORD God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.” (Revelation 4:8, KJV) God’s holiness should cause us to praise His Name and give thanks to Him for being beyond description.
- God’s purpose - God is working in this world according to His purpose and He allows us to be a part of His purpose by preparing us to accomplish good works. “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10, NIV) What a gift we have been given to be a part of His plan that He has determined in advance. Offer your thanksgiving for the privilege that you have of being a part of the purpose of the Almighty!
The above list is in no way meant to be comprehensive, but details only some of the many good works and divine attributes of the One True God. All of God’s perfect character qualities, all He has already done, everything that He is presently accomplishing, and everything that He promises for the future should cause us to be giving thanks. This Thanksgiving, take the time to reflect upon the Lord God and may our Heavenly Father be pleased as you joyfully present Him with your offering of thanksgiving!