The sacrifice of Thanksgiving offers peace

This is not your typical post from me.
It is a short collection of thoughts and scripture from my Study Bible about the sacrifice of thanksgiving and peace. In this season, I believe we need to act more on giving of ourselves to the Lord. This is a way of giving thanks.

What is the biblical history of sacrificial thanksgiving? The Lord gave Moses some standards and rules for the Israelite people, God’s chosen (aren’t we God’s elect as well?), to live by. His purpose for these customs had deep roots in obedience, understanding and symbolism.

“With the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving, he shall present his offering with cakes of leavened bread.”
Leviticus 7:13
Your sacrifice needed to include the leavened bread cakes – a symbol of looking back to the past which brings you to the present, as old leaven continued to expand in new dough.

  • In Leviticus 3:3-5 regarding the burnt offering, everything was placed in the fire on the altar; but with the peace offering, it was only the inner parts placed on the altar because peace is found internally, not externally.
  • With the peace offering, all the fat was consumed on the altar.
    Leviticus 3:16, “…all the fat is the Lord’s.” The blood represents life (Leviticus 17:11), and the fat represents the richness and very best of one’s life.)

“Now as for the flesh of the sacrifice of his thanksgiving peace offerings, it shall be eaten on the day of his offering; he shall not leave any of it over until morning.”
Leviticus 7:15
Remember to give thanks immediately. Don’t wait and leave it for another day – the taste of what was done won’t be the same – it will be stale.

“When a man offers a sacrifice of peace offerings to the LORD to fulfill a special vow or for a freewill offering, of the herd or of the flock, it must be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no defect in it.”
Leviticus 22:21

Do not give to God what is average, but give Him your best in all things: of your heart, thoughts, actions and ultimately the best of your life. He deserves nothing less.

“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought nearby the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace…”
Ephesians 2:13-15

The two groups were Jewish and Gentile believers, both now with a new identity as the “church”. We are his new humanity, and we all as believers have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

“For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—”
Colossians 1:19-22

THIS is the #1 reason we should offer thanks to God! We have been reconciled because of what Jesus did for us! Hallelujah! He has risen!
We now are considered holy, righteous children of God.

By the way, peace offerings were actively done with the Israelites partaking in a fellowship type of meal together. Sounds like a precursor to communion….. could it be that God foreordained this millennia ago for our benefit today? Absolutely!

There are times when we will not feel like giving thanks for certain things, but these are the most important moments to recognize that in spite of what we see and know, God sees and knows far more. His heart determines to urge us in our growth in faith, so He will allow hard times. In everything, give thanks, for this is right: herein lies the sacrificial part. It will hurt sometimes, it will cause tears; yet, remembering that the Lord is omniscient as well as personal down to the minute detail of how many hairs are on our head, we can trust that sacrificially worshipping by thanking God will bring Him honor, glory and blessings, which often come back right to us.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! The Lord has granted us freedom to worship Him in this difficult time, so let us take advantage of it and give Him thanks for everything, and I do mean everything.

Food for thought: To offer any sacrifice to the Lord God, it needs to be our best: pure, perfect, honest, true, total and from our heart. It needs to make a dent in our life because it is a sacrifice. If your sacrifice of thanksgiving is words, recognition and honor given to God, then it is an offering of your heart, and oftentimes tears. If it is an offering of your time or money, then it is an offering of what He has already given you that you are giving back to Him.
Everything we have has come from the Lord God anyway!

Fun facts: 1. The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621 over a three day harvest festival, and turkey wasn’t part of the menu.
2. Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday on October 3, 1863.

Photo by: Kari Wiseman – Fall fire

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