By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. (Hebrews 13:15)
The "thanksgiving" part of this end-of-year holiday season has slipped a bit from its early intent. Although many American families will prepare a "traditional" Thanksgiving dinner, and many will pause long enough to express "thanks"--to someone or something, perhaps even to God--there is no doubt that the public consciousness has drifted far from a clear worship of the Creator.
"The God worshipped--and thanked--by millions of people bears little or no resemblance to the God of the Bible. As a matter of fact, conversation about the holiday is likely to reveal that many people have no transcendent referent in mind at all.
"… [I]t may be that a good many individuals think of giving thanks as some form of self-therapy, with gratitude identified more in attitudinal than theological terms.
"The secular vision of thanksgiving feels empty and false. If there is no Creator and the universe is a cosmic accident, whom do we thank? At best, all we can do is be happy--at least in some sense--that this accident has not turned out worse. If there is no divine intelligence or benevolence behind world events, public and personal, it certainly seems like our Thanksgiving is just an exercise in considering ourselves comparatively lucky. How can fate be thanked?"
R. Albert Mohler, Jr., President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Quoted by “On Faith,” an interactive conversation on religion moderated by Newsweek Editor Jon Meacham and Sally Quinn of The Washington Post, November 24, 2006.
Permit me to focus you with some of my own "sacrifices of praise" to the Heavenly Father.
- I am forgiven and made holy, Heavenly Father, through the sacrifice of Your Son, the Lord Jesus. "Thank you" seems far too weak an expression for such an inestimable gift, but it is all I can really offer.
- I love You, Lord Jesus, for Your perfect human life, Your willing substitution on the cross of Calvary for my sin, Your joyous victory over death, and the unfathomable promise of eternal life in Your presence. Please accept my heartfelt thanks until You return--then my anticipated service throughout eternity.
- I am most grateful, Holy Spirit, that You have revealed the Father's will to me for my work and ministry. The "peace that passes all understanding" surrounds me and I acknowledge Your indwelling presence. For that peace, Your presence, and Your daily direction in my life, I thank You.
- I love Your written Word, Lord God, and joyfully embrace its authority in my life. Thank You for inspiring its human authors, for preserving its integrity over the centuries, and for enabling me to "hear" and "hide" its treasures in my heart.
- I long for Your kingdom to come, Lord of Lords, and praise You for granting me insight into eternal matters, that I might please You in this life. Knowing that "every knee" will bow in knowledge one day and "every tongue" confess Your Lordship, gives me, this day, assurance and hope for the future. For this confidence, I thank You.
- And for daily blessings, El Shaddai, I thank You. For family and friends, for my church and pastor, for health and prosperity, for home and comforts, for work and purpose--for these and much more, I give You my thanks, my love, and my service. May the Courts of Heaven ring this day with the praises of Your saints around the earth.
* Dr. Henry M. Morris III is the CEO of the Institute for Creation Research.
Cite this article: Morris III, H. 2007. Thanksgiving Sacrifice. Acts & Facts. 36 (11): 17.