Whatever you are thankful for in your life multiplies.
I remember one day, I was very discouraged and realized I was discouraged because I was focusing on negative things and wasn't thankful. As soon as I began to thank God for the blessings in my life, I immediately received strength.
The Bible teaches us to live with an attitude of thanksgiving to God (read 1 Thess. 5:16-18).
Deuteronomy 26:1-10 is a passage that combines five aspects connected to being thankful to God: our salvation and our purpose, our financial giving, the place where we connect, recounting God's faithfulness by giving testimony and continually living in a place of obedience to God so that we stay in His blessings.
1. The Land of Our Inheritance
The land symbolizes our salvation and certain places we come into regarding our purpose (Deut. 26:1). We all go through different stages in our lives, starting with our salvation. Then, we move from one phase of His calling to the next that releases the glory of God (read John 8:31)
We need to stop and be thankful for the land of our salvation. More than anything else, this is the most important gift we have from Christ (read Luke 10:20).
Serving people is one of the great ways we show our thankfulness to God (Matthew 22:37-40—loving your neighbor is another way of loving God).
2. The Giving of Our Tithe
Another way we show our thanksgiving to God is through giving our tithes. The first thing we should do when arriving at a God-given place in our lives is to remember to give God our tithes (Deut. 26:2).
The giving of finances to God is one of the most biblical ways we demonstrate our thanksgiving and gratitude to God (read Prov. 3:8-10).
The Bible says when we worship the Lord, we are not to appear before Him empty-handed (Deut. 16:16-17).
Giving the tithe seals our new place in the land because it shows we are investing in it. Those who don't tithe are not invested enough in their purpose and not as stable as those who are tithers. For example, when you don't pay for something, you don't treat it with as much care and respect.
3. The Place Where We Connect in Community (Deut. 12:13-15)
The person brought their tithe to the place that the Lord has chosen to dwell, to present it to the priest (Deut. 26:2).
People would have to go on a long journey to arrive at the one central place the Lord instructed them to bring the tithe—whether it was Jerusalem, Shiloh or at the gate of their city. Thus, involved in worshipping God was the investment of time to travel with their offering to the Lord. It wasn't just throwing money in the basket; doing this often included a full day of travel for worship to be with their faith community. For us, this is the local church.
The tithe doesn't go just anyplace. When we are thanking God, we bring it to the place and the leader God is using to lead the community of faith as a witness to the city of what God is doing on the earth (Matt. 5:13-16).
The priest then puts the tithe before the altar of the Lord. Thus, we don't tithe to a church but to the Lord (Deut. 26:4).
So even giving God thanks is not a private thing but a corporate thing each community of faith does together.
4. The Testimony/Recounting of God's Goodness
The person worshipping and thanking God then made a confession of how God delivered them from the slavery of the world and brought them into the land of His inheritance (Deut. 26:3-10). There is more power when we are thankful together as a body than if we are worshippers who are unchurched and alone.
We need to constantly rehearse God's goodness and benefits towards us (read Ps. 103:2).
Thus, our offerings to God are connected to how much we value our salvation and our personal testimony of conversion.
5. The cycle and rhythm of blessing continues with thanksgiving.
The result is that God favors us and promotes us above all people by showering us with His blessings (Deut. 26:8-9).
We must continually give our testimonies, not only of our salvation but of His daily blessings to us. Doing this overcomes negativity and satanic deception in our minds (read Rev. 12:11).
By this life of thankfulness, we continue the cycle of receiving God's blessings and favor.
In summary, let us live a life of thankfulness to God by:
Coming to the land of our inheritance (our salvific purpose).
Practicing tithing as a lifestyle.
Continually rehearsing our testimony and God's goodness toward us.
Using the favor and placement of God in our lives as a testament to others of God's goodness and offer of salvation to the world.
Dr. Joseph Mattera is an internationally known author, interpreter of culture and activist/theologian whose mission is to influence leaders who influence nations. He is renowned for addressing current events through the lense of Scripture by applying biblical truths and offering cogent defenses to today's postmodern culture. He leads several organizations, including The United Coalition of Apostolic Leaders (uscal.us). He also has a blog on Charisma News called "The Pulse." To order one of his books or to subscribe to his weekly newsletter go to josephmattera.org.
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