Saturday, October 09, 2010


Thanksgiving as a holiday may not be the most significant event on the calendar. It is a relatively recent creation and a junior holiday, if you will, compared to Christmas, Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday. Having said that, giving God praise and thanks is very serious business. It is good that we have a weekend to celebrate that fact.

Several years back, it dawned on me that worship is more about receiving from God than it is giving to God. Yes, we respond, but for our worship to be pleasing to God, we must first acknowledge him as the Source, the Giver of all - even the praise comes from him.

Tomorrow morning I am jumping ahead in my Hebrews series and preaching on one verse for the occasion of Thanksgiving Sunday, Hebrews 13:15:

Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.

We offer praise and thanksgiving, and that is a pleasing sacrifice to God. Our sacrifice only qualifies if it is "through him" - our Lord Jesus Christ. It is only because we can follow him into the Most Holy Place that we may worship God at all. In this worship, we again come to God to receive from him - we need mercy and grace on an ongoing basis. God is pleased when we are dependent upon him, all the time. "O to grace how great a debtor, daily I'm constrained to be."

Let me suggest an annual Thanksgiving weekend discipline for any believer: Read and reflect upon Psalm 50. God does not need anything that we could offer Him. To believe that He does is blasphemous, but God demands our sincere thanksgiving.

The benefactor gets the glory, and our God is a jealous God. Why is God so concerned that we focus on him? Because he is GOOD, in the absolute sense - there is no greater object for our appreciation, our wonder, our praise and thanksgiving. What God requires in this praise is what is the very best thing for us as well. Eternally.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving.


Jim said...

A convicting and crucial contrast of attitudes - Ps 50:7 ("Hear, O my people") and Ps 50:17 ("Cast my words behind you"). One attitude leads to thanksgiving, the other to arrogant self-sufficiency.

Trevor Peck said...

Great thoughts brother! I preached from Psalm 50 this past Thanksgiving.

Still holding you in prayer ~ SDG!