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Thanksgiving Bread – The Spirit and the Word #thanksgiving

BreadUnder the Old Testament law, many different types of offerings were to be presented to God.  Some were called Fellowship Offerings because they were given simply out of love for God.  An offering of thanksgiving was one of these Fellowship Offerings.

If he offers it as an expression of thankfulness, then along with this thank offering he is to offer cakes of bread made without yeast and mixed with oil, wafers made without yeast and spread with oil, and cakes of fine flour well-kneaded and mixed with oil.  Along with his fellowship offering of thanksgiving he is to present an offering with cakes of bread made with yeast.
Leviticus 7:12-13

There are four different kinds of bread that were associated with this offering.  The common elements in all of them are flour and oil.  I believe that they correspond to the word and the spirit.  This is central to thanksgiving since everything I receive from God is through the Word and by His Spirit.

The first bread is cakes of bread without yeast and mixed with oil.  The term “unleavened” comes from a root which means to greedily devour because it is sweet.  It was made with flour mixed with oil.  To make these today, we would use shortening or butter.  They would be more like shortbread or butter cookies.

Sometimes the word is sweet to me.  I devour it greedily.  It satisfies my inner longing and refreshes my spirit.  I’m thankful for the Word of God that lifts me up.

The next bread is the wafer – literally, a matzah.  This matzah cracker was to be anointed with oil.  The matzah is very dry and pierced at regular intervals throughout the cracker.

Sometimes the Word pierces me, like a sword.  It’s in times like this that God is doing surgery on me.  The Bible teaches that faithful are the wounds of a friend.  I need it because this is the place of the anointing.  I’m thankful for the Word of God that corrects me.

Another bread is made with fine flour and cooked in oil.  Fine flour is like our bakery flour.  When we cook something in oil, we call it deep fried – like fried dough or donuts.

This one is brought about in the heat of the spirit.  It takes the fire of the Holy Spirit, heating up the Word to produce change in my life.  A prophet said to God that Your Word is like a fire in my bones.  This fire pushes you to action.  Christ has said that He wants you either cold or hot.  Lukewarm just won’t cut it.  I’m thankful for the Word of God that fires me up to action for the Lord.

The last bread of the thanksgiving offering is made with yeast.  Yeast usually speaks of our imperfections.  It amazes me that God will entrust His divine Word to imperfect humans.  The Lord gives me a word to share with others.  If I were God…it would never happen.

But He knows best.  He gives us a word to share, even in our humanity.  This is something that my imperfect life can give to others.  I’m thankful that Christ lets us represent Him by His Spirit.

Thank God.

Question: What are you thankful to God for at this moment?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

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Posted by on November 27, 2013 in Encouragement, God's Provision, Word of God

 

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Are You Truly Thankful?

These thoughts on Thanksgiving come from reading Luke 17:11-19.  In this section of Scripture we see an interesting event in the life of Christ.  It caused me to ask myself if I am truly thankful for all God has done for me.

This story from the life of Christ surrounds ten lepers.  These were men who had an incurable skin disease.  They came to Jesus for a miracle and were not disappointed.

In these verses, we see everything needed for obtaining the blessing of God.  There’s faith, obedience, and expectancy.  Jesus’ response to them is simple.

When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.
Luke 17:14

There was no special religious display.  The Lord didn’t touch them or even pray over them.  He simply gave them a task to complete.

Then, something unexpected happened.  As they were on their way to the priests, their healing was completed.  By the time they got there, the leprosy was totally gone.

But that wasn’t the only unexpected occurrence that day.

One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice.
Luke 17:15

On the way to the priests, one of the men sees what’s happening to him.  As he experiences his healing, he turns around.   He begins to make his way back to Jesus.

As he does so, he starts yelling.  The literal Greek uses the words mega-phone.  This was not a quiet thankfulness of the heart.  His actions must have attracted attention.  And what’s more, he didn’t even care who heard him.  He wanted to praise God because of His blessing.

What this passage taught me is that thankful people live out loud for the Lord.  This is not just a church thing, but a lifestyle of praise to God.

That’s why I believe Thanksgiving is more than just “Turkey Day” or “Football Day.”  It’s about what God has done for us.  Even the disciples of Christ caught hold of this.

When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen…
Luke 19:37

This is a normal response to the hand of God at work.  It doesn’t mean you have to yell all the time.  What it does mean, is that God’s work should be abundantly evident in your life.

Question: What are you thankful to God for? Are you willing to let people know about it?

© Nick Zaccardi 2012

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2012 in Encouragement

 

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The Glory of the Dawn

Job 38:12-15
“Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place, that it might take the earth by the edges and shake the wicked out of it?  The earth takes shape like clay under a seal; its features stand out like those of a garment.  The wicked are denied their light, and their upraised arm is broken.”

Sunrise is a very special time of day.  It is then that the dark, gray, formless world suddenly bursts with color, shape, and sound.  I consider it a privilege to be able to wake up with the dawn.  Just to see the blazing colors of the rising sun, to smell the earthy fragrance of the fresh morning dew, and to hear the chatter of the forest creatures as they begin their work in the new day is an experience that cannot be duplicated anywhere else.

This should humble us as human beings.  Just to think that this ritual of nature has been repeating itself since creation, and yet we have absolutely no control over it.  The rising and the setting of the sun was set by God ages ago and is far outside the realm of our power and authority.

Don’t miss the opportunity to thank God for this new day. Each one is a blessing from Him.  It is a gift from His hand, and we never know what it will bring until we walk it out.  Start each new day with adoration, praise, and thanksgiving to the Lord.  In that way you will have established it on a firm foundation.  What you do at this critical time will set the direction and atmosphere for the rest of your day.  Make good use of each one.

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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All Good Things

2 Samuel 22:31-37
“As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless.  He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.  For who is God besides the LORD?  And who is the Rock except our God?  It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.  He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights.  He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze.  You give me your shield of victory; you stoop down to make me great.  You broaden the path beneath me, so that my ankles do not turn.”

It is God who blesses us with all good things.  It’s always the right day to give thanks for the beautiful sunrise, for that parking spot close to the door, and for the the large tax refund.  A prayer of thanksgiving is always appropriate when you see the night sky that seems to stretch on and on forever before you, taking your breath away.

Most people are so ungrateful to God.  Something big has got to happen to them in order for them to praise the Lord.  We need to learn to praise Him for all things, big and small.  We need to acknowledge that He is our victory in every problem and situation that arises.  It is the Lord who guides us forward down the clear, broad path at our feet.

All these things and more come from our heavenly Father.  Take the time today to thank Him for some things you don’t usually think of throughout the day.  It will make the day ahead that much more awesome.

 
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Posted by on July 7, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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Love and Forgiveness

Psalm 103:11-12
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

I love watching the sky in the evening.  When you go outside on a bright starry night and gaze at the heavens, it seems to go on forever.  Indeed, all the stars that you are able to see are light-years away.  They are unreachable at our present level of knowledge.

That is how much God loves us – to a level unattainable by human thought.  My finite brain cannot comprehend His love and compassion for me.  That He would pay the price for my forgiveness at a point when I didn’t even know Him is beyond my understanding.

But there is more to it.  If I were to travel in a direction – east or west – and continue on forever, I would still never come to my sin that was taken away.  He has permanently removed the sin, guilt, and punishment that should have been mine.  What an incredible thought.

These are basic truths that are known by most believers.  Yet, it is a good thing for us to take the time to review and meditate on them once in a while.  Spend some time in the stillness of your surroundings today, and allow these deep principles to work on your soul.  Let them revive and renew your appreciation for the Savior of your life.  Give Him thanks today for all He has done for you.

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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