Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving - the most widely celebrated holiday in America.
92% of people polled - planning special family gathering.

Why? Giving thanks is natural, inherent to all peoples, cultures, religions. It seems right and proper. Even non-believers recognize the need to give thanks.

So..... should we just follow our feelings, instinct, intuition (on thanks)?
Answer: As Christians we have more specific guidelines. (Scripture) Shouldn't leave it simply to our feelings, instincts, intuition.

We find in the Old Testament:
1. Giving thanks was part of the Old Testament Sacrificial System. (as prescribed by God).
Lev. 7:11-12 (a). God wrote it into formal worship. "Thank offering" - formally brought to the temple and presented to the Lord.

2. The offering was voluntary but also was expected! Because you would be grateful in heart to God for His blessings.

3. It was always appropriate but especially when God had done something extraordinarily special. (protection, deliverance, Christian blessing) - Ps. 107:19-22

4. The offering recognized God as the source of the blessing. Ps. 50:23 (a) - "honors Me"

5. Thanksgiving became a central part of Old Testament worship.
Ps. 100 (sub-title) Ps. 105:1, 106:1, 107:1-2 (a)

6. Thanksgiving because a central part of the public worship.
As an individual in public worship. Ps. 35:18
Also, as a group (nation) in public worship.
Example: feasts - gathered as a group
ie: individually thanking Him As part of an intentionally gathered group!!

#1. We ought to give thanks. This is more than "be thankful" - only mentioned 4 times in the New Testament. Give thanks is in there many times.

#2. We ought to give thanks to God. (recognizing Him)

#3. We ought to give thanks in a way that honors Him.
Lev. 22:29 Note: not every offering honors God.

There is a time for.........
A. private thanksgiving - between you and God
B. Informal thanksgiving - "beautiful morning. Thank you, Jesus"
C. Public thanksgiving - ie: in the midst of others
D. Corporate thanksgiving - offered as a church/as a community!!
E. Formal thanksgiving. Model: Thank offering. private thanks...... publicly presented..... formally offered........ when especially blessed......

John 1:16

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