Joyful Thank Offerings

by Pastor Ricky Kurth

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These days it seems most Christians aren’t satisfied with “just” being saved. Many also covet the health and wealth promised to Israel if they were good. But grace believers who have carefully studied all that we have in Christ never cease “giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light” (Col. 1:12). This is because, as Pastor Stam has well said in his comments on Romans 8:32, salvation is “the gift that includes all others.”

Under the Law, a man could simply say he was thankful, but if he was really thankful, he also brought a costly thank offering (Lev. 7:11-15). Today, while God is no longer interested in animal sacrifices, a truly thankful believer will present his body to God as a living sacrifice. This kind of sacrifice costs us our time, our labor and our money, but it is only “reasonable” that we afford Him this service (Rom. 12:1) in light of all that He has done for us in Christ.

Psalm 69:30’s reference to thanksgiving is especially significant since this is a psalm about Calvary (v. 21 cf. John 19:29,30). Because of this, we believe Verse 30 is a prediction of the thanksgiving the Lord gave in the very shadow of the Cross (Luke 22:19). We conclude from this that the Lord was actually thankful for the opportunity to serve His Father by giving His life a sacrifice for our sins. How thankful was He? Psalm 69:30 predicted He would be thankful “with a song,” something confirmed by Mark 14:26. This suggests we should similarly present our bodies as living sacrifices to God with joy and singing, and not with grumbling and complaining!

Thanksgiving is a great way to edify other believers, but only if they can understand it (I Cor. 14:16,17). While God once gave the gift of tongues to help with this, that gift has been withdrawn. But thankfully, like the universal languages of math and music, every believer can understand and be edified when they see us walking a walk that is “worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing” in grateful appreciation for all He has done for us (Col. 1:10).

In closing, it should be pointed out that the thank offering was a “free will” offering (Lev. 22:29). Even under the Law, God did not require His people to be thankful. He has always rather longed that thank offerings would be the spontaneous response of our hearts to His goodness.

To the Reader:

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