How to Turn Thanksgiving into Thanks-living
- Saturday, November 03, 2007
Have you ever picked up a piece of freshly killed meat? It's slippery, it's slippery, and so there were two flesh hooks and those flesh hooks would bind that sacrifice to the altar. Have you ever made a commitment to the Lord and then tend to slide off the altar? Have you? I have many times. I mean, I've told the Lord, I have bowed and declared and said, "Lord, that's the last time I'll ever do that," or I've said, "Lord, from now on I'm going to do this everyday. God, you can count on me," and I just kind of slide off the altar. Do you ever slide off the altar? You see, look, we need to be bound to the altar if we're going to have a living sacrifice.
The priest had two flesh hooks. Let me mention two flesh hooks that will keep you bound to the altar. Number one is devotion, your love for Jesus, and number two is discipline. Those are the two flesh hooks that will keep you on the altar, devotion and discipline, devotion and discipline. One is not a substitute for the other, but together they'll keep you bound to that altar so that you will stay locked in place, a living sacrifice, by devotion and discipline, staying there giving yourself to the Lord. Offer yourself this Thanksgiving to the LORD and say, "Lord, before I give you anything else I give you myself completely."
You know, a lot of us don't want to be bound to the altar. I'll guarantee you we don't. That's the reason some men don't get married. They don't want to get bound down to marriage, huh? Sure, they want to stay free, they want to be loose. That's the reason why some folks won't join a church.
Did you know we have folks here this morning when they ought to come and join this church? Do you know why they won't join the church? They love to drop in and visit but they don't want the responsibility of church membership.
That's the reason why some people won't teach a class. Some of you have the gift of teaching but you say, "You know pastor, we've a cottage over thus and such a place, we don't want to get bound down." You know, that's the reason why some folks won't make a pledge to the building program.
They say, "Well now kook, I just don't believe in making commitment. Hahaha, they're married, they've got a mortgage on the house, a mortgage on the car, they don't believe in making commitments. What they mean is they believe in making commitments to everybody else except for Jesus.
They just don't want to make a commitment to the most important thing. You know, I'll give as the spirit moves but I just don't want to be bound down, huh? Hey, I think it's pretty good to be bound down. I think it's pretty good to get devotion and discipline and say I am giving myself and I am making a commitment.
Alright now, let me mention another kind of a sacrifice. Remember we're talking about the sacrifices of thanksgiving. First of all, your person. Now, right behind that should come the sacrifice of your praise.
Turn with me to Hebrews chapter 13, Hebrews chapter 13 and look if you will in verse 15. "By him therefore" and the him refers to Jesus, "By him therefore let us offer up the sacrifice of praise." Underscore it, "the sacrifice of praise." Have you ever thought of your praise as being a sacrifice?
The sacrifice of praise to God continually. That is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks unto His name. This is a wonderful, wonderful sacrifice.
Folks, when you offer the sacrifice of praise, I'm going to tell you something that may amaze you. God had rather have your praise than your money. Your praise is of more value to God than whatever you put in the offering plate this morning, that is, if it is genuine praise.
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