Hebrews 13: 15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us constantly offer to God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name. 16 And do not forget to do good and share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. (EHV)
You know what I am thankful for? I am thankful that I do not have to offer God sacrifices to atone for my sins. That’s all been done in Christ, and nothing is left for me to do at all. Which is not to say that we will not do something. What we do is “offer to God sacrifices of praise” by confessing his name. We don’t just tell God that we are thankful to him. We tell our neighbors that we are thankful to God.
Another way we offer sacrifices of thanksgiving to God is by helping our neighbors and sharing our blessings with them. I don’t know about you, but I live in a neighborhood where I don’t know of anyone who has a deep need. Oh, I can bag the leaves with my neighbor or blow out someone’s driveway, but there are no hungry people around me. But there are hungry people in the world. There are homeless people. If nothing else, I can find a reliable agency that works with refugees in another country.
Here’s s suggestion for you this week. First, when you are gathered for your Thanksgiving gathering, keep your ears open for complaints around the table. (The weather?) Counter that complaint with saying how thankful you are for something related. (I am thankful that God gives me a warm home this winter!) Maybe you can start a habit of doing that regularly. God loves the fruit of lips that confess his name!
Second, have a discussion with your family about who the poor and needy are in our world and how we can help them. I am thankful that I live in a time and place where the needy are hard to find! I have been in countries where there are truly needy people on every street corner. Remember, with such sacrifices God is pleased! Prayer: Lord Jesus, my sinful nature longs to be accepted by the world. Remind me that I do not belong to the world. I belong to you, my Savior and Redeemer, and with those who worship at your cross. I ask this in your name. Amen.