Sermon for Saturday

And when ye will offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving unto the Lord, offer it at your own will. Leviticus 22:29

Do you know the main difference between a slave and a robot, other than the fact that a slave is a person and a robot is a machine? A slave must do as he is told, whether he wants to or not, while a robot must do as it is told, and has no ability to want to or not. In other words, a slave has desires, but no means of fulfilling them, but a robot lacks the ability to have desires. You and I could watch robots carry out their duties, and feel no remorse if those duties happened to be unpleasant or dangerous. But if we were to watch a slave being forced to complete unpleasant or dangerous duties, we would feel sorry for that slave. In days when slaves were legal to own, enough right-thinking people developed enough compassion and sympathy to correct that terrible wrong. But the slavery of sin is still holding many people captive, as it once held us. We were never robots, but we were slaves. Now we are free, and can freely give thanks.

Our text speaks of a sacrifice of thanksgiving. This sacrifice flows from the heart of every true believer every day. And it flows from the midst of a true Assembly of God every week. A robot has no awareness of gratitude nor a reason to be grateful. A slave would be capable of gratitude, but would have no reason to be grateful. But when the Lord’s people worship, their thankfulness flows from the hearts of a people who were never robots but who were once slaves. We who were once held in the power of darkness have been translated into the kingdom of God’s dear Son. And so we worship, offering the sacrifice of thanksgiving. And, like the Israelite of old, our offering is not one of compulsion but of our free will. Although God’s salvation is the most thankworthy possession we could ever have, God does not demand thankfulness; He desires that we freely express it.

Angels praise God, and worship him, acknowledging Him with deepest reverence. But theirs is not a worship of thankfulness; they have not been redeemed. No member of the animal kingdom knows anything about God, and their brute instincts cannot feel gratitude to Him for anything. Demons fear God and tremble, but they do not worship Him, and have no desire for His presence. Unsaved sinners are incapable of worshipping and thanking God, and prefer to curse Him. Only those who are saved by His grace have the capacity to be truly thankful and have reason to do so.

Of our own free will we bow in humble thanksgiving. So much to thank God for, it will take eternity to express it. – Jim MacIntosh

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