November 28, 2014


THOUGHTS to get you THINKING about God, Jesus, Your Life, & Eternity!


“Thankfully, we have lots of Things to be Thankful for this Thanksgiving!”

Sacrifice of Thanksgiving Bible verses:  Leviticus 22:29 “When you offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the Lord, offer it of your own free will.”

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Happy Thanksgiving (remembering the goodness of God)
We’re a day away from celebrating Thanksgiving Day here in the United States of America!  But long before the Pilgrims and Indians celebrated our first Thanksgiving Day on the North American continent …

People all around the world for thousands of years have been offering thanksgiving to the Lord for the things He has given and His goodness to us.

sacrifice of thanksgiving bible verses
Some 3,500 years ago, God told the Jews in the Old Testament Law to give THANKS for their blessings and His goodness through a THANKSGIVING offering – a personal ‘sacrifice of thanksgiving’ offered willingly and voluntarily by them to God throughout the year:
sacrifice of thanksgiving bible verses

Leviticus 7:12 & Leviticus 22:29

“If he or she offers it for a THANKSGIVING, then they shall offer, with the SACRIFICE OF THANKSGIVING, unleavened cakes mixed with oil, unleavened wafers anointed with oil, or cakes of blended flour mixed with oil.  (v22:29)  And when you offer a SACRIFICE OF THANKSGIVING to the LORD, offer it of your own free will.”

sacrifice of thanksgiving bible verses
The ancient Jews also ‘officially celebrated’ Thanksgiving as a nation thousands of years ago, and God described one of these celebrations to us in the Bible in the book of Nehemiah.  Here’s the highlights of their thanksgiving:
sacrifice of thanksgiving bible verses

Nehemiah 11:17 & Nehemiah 12:8-46

“Mattaniah the son of Micha, the son of Zabdi, the son of Asaph, the leader who began the THANKSGIVING with prayer; Bakbukiah, the second among his brethren; and Abda the son of Shammua, the son of Galal, the son of Jeduthun.  (v12:8)  Moreover the Levites were Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, Judah, and Mattaniah who led the THANKSGIVING PSALMS, he and his brethren.  (v27-31)  Now at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought out the Levites in all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem to celebrate the dedication with gladness, both with THANKSGIVINGS and singing, with cymbals and stringed instruments and harps.  Then the priests and Levites purified themselves, and purified the people, the gates, and the wall.  So I (Nehemiah) brought the leaders of Judah up on the wall, and appointed TWO LARGE THANKSGIVING CHOIRS.  (v40-46)  So the two thanksgiving choirs stood in the house of God, likewise I and the half of the rulers with me; and the priests, Eliakim, Maaseiah, Minjamin, Michaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah, and Hananiah, with trumpets; also Maaseiah, Shemaiah, Eleazar, Uzzi, Jehohanan, Malchijah, Elam, and Ezer. The singers sang loudly with Jezrahiah the director.  Also that day they offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced, for God had made them rejoice with great joy; the women and the children also rejoiced, so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard afar off.  And at the same time some were appointed over the rooms of the storehouse for the offerings, the firstfruits, and the tithes, to gather into them from the fields of the cities the portions specified by the Law for the priests and Levites; for Judah rejoiced over the priests and Levites who ministered.  Both the singers and the gatekeepers kept the charge of their God and the charge of the purification, according to the command of David and Solomon his son.  For in the days of David and Asaph of old there were chiefs of the singers, and SONGS OF PRAISE and THANKSGIVING TO GOD.”

sacrifice of thanksgiving bible verses
How cool is that! You see, for thousands of years, people have been formally and personally celebrating thanksgiving and remembering the goodness of God.  Some 3,500 years later, we in the U.S. tend to use turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie instead of unleavened cakes mixed with oil to celebrate thanksgiving, yet still today, as back then, when we ‘celebrate’ and offer a ‘sacrifice of thanksgiving’ for the things we have been given by the Lord, we are to offer it of our own free will, with gladness, and rejoicing, and praise, and giving thanks.  Look at all these other Bible verses in the Old Testament book of Psalms that talk about THANKSGIVING and giving thanks to God for His goodness, and His salvation, and His love and care for us, and His responsiveness to us when we interact and pray and engage with Him and follow Him in His ways.
sacrifice of thanksgiving bible verses

Psalms 26:2-3,7-8,11-12

“Examine me, Lord, and prove me; try my mind and my heart.  For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes, and I have walked in Your truth.  (v6-8)  I will wash my hands in innocence, so I will go about Your altar, Lord, that I may proclaim with the VOICE OF THANKSGIVING and tell of all Your wondrous works.  Lord, I have loved the habitation of Your house and the place where Your glory dwells.  (v11-12)  As for me, I will walk in my integrity.  Redeem me and be merciful to me.  My foot stands in an even place.  In the congregations, I will bless the LORD.”

Psalms 50:1-2,14-15

“The Mighty One, God the Lord, has spoken and called the earth from the rising of the sun to its going down. Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God will shine forth.  (v14-15)  OFFER TO GOD THANSKGIVING and pay your vows to the Most High.  ‘Call upon Me in the day of trouble.  I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.  (v23)  Whoever offers praise glorifies Me, and to him who orders his conduct aright, I will show the salvation of God.'”

Psalms 69:13,16,29-32

“As for me, my prayer is to You in the acceptable time, O Lord.  In the multitude of Your mercy, God, hear me in the truth of Your salvation.  (v16)  Hear me for Your lovingkindness is good, O Lord.  Turn to me according to the multitude of Your tender mercies.  (v29-32)  For I am poor and sorrowful, so let Your salvation set me up on high, O God.  I will praise the name of God with a song and will magnify Him with THANKSGIVING.  This will please the Lord better than an ox or bull which has horns and hooves.  The humble shall see this and be glad, and you who seek God, your hearts shall live.”  

Psalms 95:2-3,6-8a

Let us come before His presence with THANKSGIVING; let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.  For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. (v6-8a)  Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.  For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand.  Today, if you will hear His voice: ‘Do not harden your hearts.'”

Psalms 100:1-5

“Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!  Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing.  Know that the Lord, He is God.  It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves.  We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.  Enter into His gates with THANKSGIVING and into His courts with praise.  Be thankful to Him and bless His name.  For the Lord is good.  His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.”

Psalms 107:1,7-8,21-22,43

Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.  (v8-9)  Oh, that men would GIVE THANKS TO THE LORD FOR HIS GOODNESS and for His wonderful works to the children of men!  For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness.  (v21-22)  Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and for His wonderful works to the children of men!  Let them sacrifice the SACRIFICES OF THANKSGIVING, and declare His works with rejoicing.  (v43)  Whoever is wise will observe these things, and they will understand the lovingkindness of the Lord.”

Psalm 116:1-2,5-7,12-14,17

“I love the LORD, because He has heard my voice and my supplications.  Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live.  (v5-7)  Gracious is the Lord, and righteous.  Yes, our God is merciful.  The Lord preserves the simple.  I was brought low, and He saved me.  Return to your rest, O my soul, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.  (v12-14)  What shall I render to the Lord For all His benefits toward me?  I will take up the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord.  I will pay my vows to the Lord now in the presence of all His people.  (v17)  I will offer to You the SACRIFICE OF THANKSGIVING and will call upon the name of the Lord.”

Psalms 147:1,3-9,11

“Praise the Lord!  For it is good to sing praises to our God, for it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful.  (v3-9)  He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.  He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name.  Great is our Lord, and mighty in power.  His understanding is infinite. The Lord lifts up the humble; He casts the wicked down to the ground.  SING TO THE LORD WITH THANKSGIVING.  Sing praises on the harp to our God, Who covers the heavens with clouds, Who prepares rain for the earth, Who makes grass to grow on the mountains.  He gives to the beast its food, and to the young ravens that cry.  (v11)  The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who hope in His mercy.”

sacrifice of thanksgiving bible verses

Are you starting to see all the things we have to be thankful for this Thanksgiving?

sacrifice of thanksgiving bible verses
Truly, God is good to us.

His works and His ways are wonderful toward us.

His lovingkindness.

His mercy.

His truth.

His salvation.

His rescue of us when we get ourselves into a mess.

His hope.

His eternal favor on us when we follow Him.
sacrifice of thanksgiving bible verses

Give thanks to the Lord!

sacrifice of thanksgiving bible verses
This thanksgiving,

What things are you thankful for?

What has God done for you?

How do you plan on celebrating and remembering the goodness of God?

What have you done for God?

What ‘sacrifice of thanksgiving’ will you offer to the Lord this year?

How are you going to celebrate THANKSGIVING more passionately and willingly than you ever have before?

sacrifice of thanksgiving bible verses

sacrifice of thanksgiving bible verses

“What does EVERYTHING and NOTHING have in common?”

Thankful in everything Anxious for nothing Bible verse:

Philippians 4:6 “Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”

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EVERYTHING and NOTHING pretty much covers anything, right?

Anything we could possibly experience in life is covered by the words ‘everything’ and ‘nothing’.

thankful in everything anxious for nothing bible verse
So, what do they have in common?

Funny enough, these two words find themselves together in one Bible verse that talks about thanksgiving.
Philippians 4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with THANKSGIVING, let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Wow, let’s let that marinate in our heart and mind:

  • “Be anxious for nothing”
  • “In everything by prayer and supplication”
  • “With thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God”
  • “And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your heart and mind”
  • “Through Jesus Christ!”

Verse Picture - Philippians 4.6
thankful in everything anxious for nothing bible verse

Is it really possible to be anxious for nothing and thankful in everything?

thankful in everything anxious for nothing bible verse
God says it is.  God says IT IS POSSIBLE to be ‘anxious for nothing’ and ‘thankful in everything’ if we have a few things in common in our life.  Look again at Philippians 4:6-7 for those commonalities:

1)  Prayer & Supplication!

Actively talk and interact with God.  Ask God for your needs – emotional, spiritual, physical, social, relational, financial needs, etc.

Make your requests [plural] known to God.

2)  Stay Thankful!

Notice it says ‘in everything’ NOT ‘for everything’.  In other words, stay thankful ‘IN’ things even when they are difficult or not going well.  Certainly, we may not always be thankful FOR everything that happens in life, but we can stay thankful IN everything that happens in life.

3)  Christ Jesus!

Don’t expect to have peace in your heart and mind, if you’re not living in and through Jesus Christ.  With Christ, you have everything you need to be thankful and peaceful.  Without Christ, you’ll struggle to find peace, and consequently, you’ll struggle to be thankful.

thankful in everything anxious for nothing bible verse
Another Bible verse says it this way. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything gives thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”  See those 3 commonalities again:

1) Prayer

2) Stay Thankful

3) Christ Jesus

thankful in everything anxious for nothing bible verse

According to the Bible, that’s what ‘everything’ and ‘nothing’ have in common!

thankful in everything anxious for nothing bible verse
If you and I wish to be anxious for nothing and thankful in everything, if we want to experience ‘peace in our hearts/minds’ and ‘rejoicing in our everyday life’, you and I must pray, stay thankful, and above all, live in and through Jesus Christ.  May you have a Happy, Prayerful, Grateful, Rejoiceful, Peaceful Thanksgiving in Christ Jesus!

thankful in everything anxious for nothing bible verse
Verse Picture - 1 Thessalonians 5.18

thankful in everything anxious for nothing bible verse