Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Why is Thanksgiving a Sacrifice?

Meditation for the week of August 22, 2010

Psalm 116:17 I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, And will call upon the name of the LORD.

A sacrifice is costly.  We give up something precious when we sacrifice.  Why would God consider thanksgiving to be a sacrifice?  Perhaps it is because it is one thing to say we are thankful and it is another thing to act as though we are thankful so that what we say is not hypocritical.  Perhaps another reason thanksgiving is a sacrifice is because most of us aren’t really thankful.  It is easy to start thinking that everything and everyone is against us and that everyone else has a better life than we do.  We forget to count our blessings and to thank God and our family and our friends for the blessing that they have been in our lives.

August 22, 2010 is a special day for me.  My wife and I will have been married for forty years.  She came along at a juncture in my life when I was greatly disappointed in people who had been close to me and I was greatly disappointed in people that I knew who claimed to be Christians but. in my mind, did not act like Christians.  When Geneva came into my life, I found out that the Lord who had died to save me would not leave me alone.  He introduced me to a man who would later become my father-in-law who became a true friend and father to me.  He not only was a Christian but he acted like one.

Because of Geneva, I have had a faithful devoted wife for forty years. I believe that she loves me and I know I love her.   She has sacrificially devoted herself to me and my children for these forty years.  She has taken care of things at home when I am gone preaching.   I have four children who I believe love me.  I know I love them.  One of the reasons I believe that they love me is because they never seem to be ashamed to be seen with me when they are with their friends.  They don’t treat me differently depending on who they are around.  That means a lot to me.  In addition, from time to time they give me things that I could not afford to give myself.  Presents are always nice.

Do they know that I am thankful for them?  I hope so.  I am sure that my family is more likely to know when I am displeased with something than when I am pleased.  They likely remember the criticisms rather than the praise.  I taught them to say “thank you” but  did I learn to say it myself?

When I was going to college, my dream was to be a successful C.P.A. with a house or cabin on a lake with a nice boat.  I don’t have the cabin or the house on the lake or the boat nor did I ever become a successful anything.  But I am thankful that life turned out the way it did and that the Lord has given me friends with houses on the lake.  He has allowed me to preach the Gospel full-time for over 28 years and part-time for years before that.  He has been faithful to His promise to provide for my family’s needs and I haven’t had to merchandise a free Gospel to do that.  I do thank the Lord for the way life turned out.  My original plans were not sinful and  would have been nice for the few years that I could have enjoyed earthly success, but the Lord’s plans have eternal benefits.

I am extremely thankful that I was born in a family that feared God and read the Bible.  I thank God for the day President Kennedy was assassinated.  I don’t thank God for the assassination, but for making me realize that I needed to settle the issue of my eternal salvation, and I needed to settle it now.  That weekend, I searched for God’s salvation and was finally able to trust in the truth that when Christ died on Calvary, he paid the penalty that my sins deserved.  I am thankful that God says in the Bible that I am saved.

Whoever wrote this Psalm understood how hard it is to say, Thank you!”  He understood how much it means to God when we thank Him.  Obviously, it means a lot to family and friends when we thank them and act like we mean it.

Thank you my dear wife and family and friends.

Thank you, Lord, for saving my soul, Thank you, Lord, for making me whole;
Thank you, Lord, for giving to me, Thy great salvation so rich and free.

Bruce Collins

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>