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THANKS-GIVING - The Extended Hand - Paul M Hanssen

THANKSGIVING – Paul M Hanssen


Thanksgiving is a compound word made up of two words – thanks and give. The Hebrew word for thanksgiving is to-daw. Like most words, to-daw has multiple meanings. One of the meanings of to-daw is to extend the hand and to hold out the hand. The hand is extended for the purpose of giving. In other words, without extending or holding out of the hand it is not possible to “give” thanks. One of the main ways of expressing thanks is to extend the hand and to give.


Under the law of Moses, the thanksgiving offering was a freewill offering.


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



There is no rule book available to man that gives guidance as to what or how to offer thanksgiving. There are no scales in existence that are able to weigh a thanksgiving offering in order to measure whether or not it is acceptable. The thanksgiving offering was to be an expression of the feelings and the emotions of the heart. When the heart overflows with thanks, the result will be an extended hand filled with something to give. The content within the extended hand will only be as great or as small as the thanks that is felt within. The extended hand and the offering within the hand reveal and express the secret feelings of thanks from within the heart.


Thanksgiving was not just a free will offering, it was also to be a sacrifice.


And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing. (Psalm 107:22)


A sacrifice is something that costs the giver. Sacrificing is an act of giving something of value. The giving of a sacrifice is the surrendering up of a possession that is considered dear and of great worth. The sacrifices of thanksgiving go beyond merely giving an offering. It is possible to give an offering without the offering being a sacrifice. In contrast, it is not possible to give a sacrifice without the sacrifice being an offering. A thanksgiving sacrifice gives where it hurts and causes a surrender without hesitation or restraint. The sacrifices of thanksgiving are freely offered within the extended hand without regret or pause. The combined freewill offering and the sacrifice of thanksgiving produce a package of glorious expression of gratitude to God who is the giver of all good things.


Naturally, thanksgiving is first and foremost an offering and a sacrifice unto God. However, thanksgiving can also be expressed by extending a hand to the fatherless, the widow, the poor, the maimed and those in need of relief or a blessing. We all have so much to be thankful for. Therefore, we also all have so much to give.


As we enter into the most glorious season called THANKSGIVING, may we truly express the real meaning of the season and extend our hands filled with an offering of expressing thanks to God!! Find someone to extend your hand to this year. May the thanks that is felt within the secret places of your heart be seen by the expression of your extended hand.


Happy Thanksgiving to you all from Sis Gwen and myself. You are loved and appreciated more than you know. We GIVE THANKS for you!


Pastor Paul M Hanssen





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