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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

November 23, 2023

The Bible Edge

Thank You Lord

Leviticus 22:29

And when ye will offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving unto the LORD, offer it at your own will.

The sacrifice spoken of in today’s verse was a sacrifice of an animal of some sort for this was the way in the Old Testament. Today the sacrifice of thanksgiving is much more convenient. It is the sacrifice of praise from our lips and in our lives, but the foundational principle is the same which is, sacrifices to God are to be offered at one’s own will. It is from a willing heart that the lips utter the sacrifices of praise.

The pastor cannot make a person be thankful, though they preach and teach on it for a thousand years. No parent can cause their child to have a thankful heart or mouth. If true thanksgiving is to be offered to the Lord, it will come from the will of a person.

In today’s “do what I say” environment in which we live, in the pressure to conform to the group think of our day, with all the “influencers,” social media craze, and peer pressure poured out through many means and medias; the will of a person is mostly overlooked. Think about the last great invitation in the Bible, Revelation 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. Whosoever will. Coming to the Lord Jesus for that water of life is purely a matter of one’s own personal will. Likewise, offering to God the sacrifice of praise continually is a matter of the will.

One truth that has been ingrained in my mind over 20 years in business and 25 years as a pastor is this. Whatever a person wills (wants) to do they will find a way to do it. Good or bad, wise or unwise, holy or perverse, it doesn’t matter. Nowhere is this more evident than in the matter of giving thanks to God. A person with a will to thank Him will thank Him. There is no law, regulation or constraint that will stop the willing offering of thanksgiving to the Lord. That is an individual’s prerogative that cannot be stopped. For it comes from the heart which is influenced by the soul.

Attending church, singing the songs of thanksgiving, humbling oneself at an altar thanking the Lord for His many benefits, calling on Him in prayer in the hidden chambers of the heart and mind throughout the day, and so many other ways ones will to give thanks will be satisfied. If the will be otherwise minded, tilted toward not giving thanks, that too will be placated.

Nonetheless, thanksgiving unto the Lord is a personal matter of the will. It was in the Old Testament, and it is in the New Testament too.

William T. Howe, Ph.D.

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