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The Real First Thanksgiving - Daily Hope with Rick Warren - November 22, 2023

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The Real First Thanksgiving
By Rick Warren

“Celebrate the Harvest Festival, to honor the LORD your God, by bringing him a freewill offering in proportion to the blessing he has given you.” Deuteronomy 16:10 (GNT)

The gathering most Americans think of as the first Thanksgiving happened 400 years ago.

But 3,000 years before that, God told the nation of Israel to establish a thanksgiving festival called the Feast of Weeks. They were to celebrate God's goodness and express their gratitude to him by bringing him a special, annual thanksgiving offering.

Deuteronomy 16:10-11 says, “Celebrate the Harvest Festival, to honor the LORD your God, by bringing him a freewill offering in proportion to the blessing he has given you . . . Do this at the one place of worship” (GNT).

On this original day of thanksgiving, the Israelites were to bring a gift of thanksgiving to the place of thanksgiving—the temples where they worshipped. This thanksgiving offering has been practiced by God's people for thousands of years and is mentioned many times in Scripture.

God says in Psalm 50:23, “Those people honor me who bring me offerings to show thanks. And I, God, will save those who do that” (NCV).

The Bible tells us many times what kind of offering we should give: We are to give God the first part of our income—not the leftovers. We should put God first in our finances.

Anytime you give an offering to God, it represents three kinds of gratitude: past, present, and future. Your offering shows gratitude for God's blessing in the past and his blessing today and faith in God's continued blessing in the future. God always honors faith with his blessing.

In the Bible, there are more promises attached to faithful giving and generosity than any other subject. Why? Because God wants his children to be like him. And he is a generous God!

Jesus says in Luke 6:38, “If you give, you will get! Your gift will return to you in full and overflowing measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use to give—large or small—will be used to measure what is given back to you” (TLB).

If you’ve trusted Jesus to forgive your sin and save your soul, then you can trust God to keep his promise to take care of you. Your thanksgiving offering shows God that you trust him for all things and at all times.

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Stand Firm in the Fight Against Temptation!

Every morning, we awake to a spiritual war against temptation. But the great news is God provides powerful defenses so we can fight and win this critical battle.

Pastor Rick wants to help you defend against Satan’s tactics with his dynamic Bible study called, The Invisible War: Winning the Battle of Temptation. This 7-session video* plus workbook study will equip you to win the battle between good and evil!

Request your study today as thanks for your gift below to help take the life-changing Word of God to people around the world through Daily Hope. Thank you!

*Video available in DVD or streaming formats

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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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