A Sacrifice of Thanksgiving


I will offer you a sacrifice of thanksgiving
     and call on the name of the LORD.

Psalm 116 celebrates God’s goodness. The psalmist has experienced God’s
grace in manifold expressions. God has heard his prayers (116:1). God
delivered him from death (116:3-6), guided his steps (116:8-9), and
freed him from chains (116:16). Therefore, the psalmist loves the Lord
and offers him praise (116:1, 19). Moreover, he proclaims to God: “I
will offer you a sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the
Lord” (116:17).

the sacrifices of the Old Testament were offerings that were given when
people wanted to thank God in a special way. These “thank offerings”
were among the “peace offerings” that were presented to the Lord and
then eaten by the people in celebration (Lev. 7:15). The writer of
Psalm 116 may very well have had such an offering in mind when he spoke
of offering “a sacrifice of thanksgiving” to the Lord (116:17).

we don’t offer the kind of thank offerings specified in the Old
Testament law. Sometimes we do make special gifts to our church or a
Christian ministry as a way of saying “thank you” to God. But our
“sacrifice of thanksgiving” tends to be more in words and songs as we
lift up our voices to express our gratitude to God.

Yet, the
more we grow in our experience of God’s grace, the more we discover
that thanksgiving isn’t simply something we say to God, but a way of
living each day. Our “thank offerings” take the form of faithfulness as
we seek to honor the Lord in all that we do. We learn to savor the
goodness of each day, offering ourselves as living sacrifices, living
“thank offerings” to our gracious God.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: How do you offer thanks to God? What might it mean for you to live thankfully each day?

O Lord, you have been so good to me. Too often I take your grace for
granted. But today I’m reminded by Psalm 116 of the manifold ways you
have blessed me. Indeed, you have heard my prayers. You have delivered
me from “deathly” living, guided my steps, and freed me from the chains
of my sin. Therefore, today I offer you a “sacrifice of thanksgiving”
as I call upon your name. Thank you, dear Lord, for all the ways you
have blessed me.

May I live today with a persistent sense of
gratitude. May I be open to your gifts, your presence. May I see your
goodness and give you the credit you deserve. May I thank you, not only
in words, but in how I live all day long.

All praise and thanks be to you, O God. Hallelujah! Amen.


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This devotional comes from The High Calling of Our Daily Work (www.thehighcalling.org), a wonderful website about work and God. You can read my Daily Reflections there, or sign up to have them sent to your email inbox each day. This website contains lots of encouragement for people who are trying to live out their faith in the workplace.

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