Once again in November, Americans will be celebrating Thanksgiving. Everyone goes around saying, “Lord, we’re so thankful for all You have done for us.” There’s nothing wrong, of course, with being thankful for all God has given us. But we need to do more than just offer thanksgiving to God. We need to do some thanks-living for God.
How do we do that? The psalmist offers us a good first step:
“Oh that men would praise the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare His works with rejoicing” (Psalm 107:21-22, italics mine).
What are the “sacrifices of thanksgiving” we should offer to God? In God's Word there are five spiritual sacrifices you can offer all this month and the rest of your life as unto the Lord. You might want to make a little checklist, put it in your Bible, and ask, "Am I continually offering to the Lord the sacrifices of Thanksgiving?"
Here are five possible ways you can do this.
The Sacrifice of Your Person — Romans 12:1-2
Why should I give my body to Him? Because He gave His body for me. How small is my sacrifice when His was so great! We are to die to all our ways and offer every part of ourselves to Him.
There are three ways to present yourself as a living sacrifice to the Lord.
When the priests sacrificed animals to God in the Old Testament, they bound the animal to the altar with two flesh hooks because the freshly slaughtered meat would tend to slide off. And there are two flesh hooks that will keep us bound to the altar — devotion and discipline. Our love for Jesus and commitment to keep ourselves holy unto Him will keep us on the altar.
The Sacrifice of Your Praise — Hebrews 13:15
“I will bless the Lord at all times. His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” — Psalm 34:1
We are to offer praise continually. Praise to God doesn’t commence at a worship service in a church building; instead it continues there. Each day we should live in a continual attitude of praise.
The reason some of us do such a poor job of praising God corporately is that we have not been praising Him privately.
Nobody ought to have to beg us to sing praises to the King of kings. Psalm 119:108 says, “Accept, I beseech Thee, the free will offerings of my mouth.” Oh, that God would help us offer to Him the sacrifice of praise.
The Sacrifice of Your Prayer — Psalm 141:2
Throughout the Old Testament, we learn that the smoke coming from sacrifices was a “sweet savour unto the Lord.” These aromas emanated from a great altar of brass in the outer court of the Old Testament tabernacle.
Upon that altar burned a fire kindled from heaven which was a picture of the holy wrath of God against sin. The animals burned upon that altar were a prophetic picture of Jesus’ sacrificial death for our sins.
The deepest longings of our hearts are met in the Holy of holies with our Lord. But to enjoy this sweet communion we must first come to the brazen altar of sacrifice, then to the golden altar of prayer — prayer based on the sacrificial blood of Jesus Christ.
The Sacrifice of Your Possessions — Hebrews 3:16
“But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” — Hebrews 13:16
To communicate is more than just talking; it means giving back to God as a spiritual sacrifice the material possessions He has given us.
Does your giving show what you think of God? Proverbs 3:9 says, “Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase.”
God doesn’t want “a place” in your life. He doesn’t even want to be “a priority.” The Creator of the universe is so far beyond that! God is outside and above both these realms. God demands preeminence.
Will you sacrifice everything to Him today? Your Person? Praises? Prayers? Possessions? Purity? It’s really very simple. Every sacrifice you offer is simply giving back to God what He has already done for you. We give to Him because He first gave unto us.
The Sacrifice of Your Purity — Psalm 51:17
The Bible tells us over and over in the book of Romans that it is the goodness of God which leads us to repentance, not the badness of man. Oh, how we ought to bow down before our great God and say, “Oh God, in brokenness and humility, I offer tears of repentance and a sacrifice of thanksgiving. Lord, I confess every sin that has stained my purity. Wash me in Your blood.”