The topic for this week's Thankful Thursday is sacrifice. Laurie, at Women Taking a Stand, wrote a beautiful post on this subject. I recommend going to her blog and drinking her words in.
As we focus this week on the sacrifice Christ made for us, we must also ask the question, "How do I show my gratitude for His sacrifice?"
Thankfulness! Our lives need to reflect genuine thankfulness for what He has done for us. All of us that participate in Thankful Thursday are doing just that, but it's more than just a once a week thing. We need to daily give Him glory and praise for all His blessings.
Upon reflecting on the word sacrifice, I feel the Holy Spirit reminded me of these scriptures:
Hebrews 13:15 "Through Jesus, therefore, let us
continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name. 16And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased"
A sacrifice of praise, to me, means praising even when you don't feel thankful. Looking for blessings in the midst of trial.
I had a plan for my life. I was going to be a stay-at-home mom, serving my family as the ultimate homemaker. I didn't ask for riches, but I did want a comfortable life, with a nice home and enough money to pay all my bills with enough left over to bless my family with little treats and luxuries. I wanted to be so organized at home that I had plenty of time to volunteer and help others.
You probably know where I'm going with this: my life's plan didn't happen. It looks like it may never happen unless the Lord works some miracles.
Yet, I feel the Lord is blessed by my abundant praise for the blessings in my life, especially since things didn't go my way. It's really not that hard to find all kinds of things to give Him praise!
When we have a bad day, and get to church, and the worship leader wants you to raise your hands and praise Him -- go ahead and do it anyway. It's so little when you consider how He gave so much!
And you know what is a bonus? Psalm 22:3 tells us that the Lord inhabits the praises of His people. When we are thankful, I think we experience God's presence in a more powerful way.
I also don't want to forget verse 16 of that same passage in Hebrews 13. The sacrifice of doing the right thing and giving to others blesses the Lord.
After all that He has done for us, that's the least we could do for Him!