1 Thessalonians 5:18, In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Romans 15:4, For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.
First reference in the Bible to giving thanks or thanks-giving is Lev. 7:11-14
Leviticus 7:11 ‘This is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings which he shall (or “may offer”) offer to the Lord:
(NIV- “‘These are the regulations for the fellowship offering anyone may present to the LORD:)
12 If he offers it for a thanksgiving, then he shall offer, with the sacrifice of thanksgiving, unleavened cakes mixed with oil, unleavened wafers anointed with oil, or cakes of blended flour mixed with oil. 13 Besides the cakes, as his offering he shall offer leavened bread with the sacrifice of thanksgiving of his peace offering. 14 And from it he shall offer one cake from each offering as a heave offering to the Lord. It shall belong to the priest who sprinkles the blood of the peace offering.
This first mention of giving thanks was connected with a special offering called “the peace offering” also called the “fellowship offering.”
The peace offering was different that other offerings which were mandated for reasons of sins committed, dedication, or ritual purposes. The peace offering could be a spontaneous offering connected to nothing more than wanting to thank the Lord for his goodness!
When we think of the OT, we think about the law, regulations, mandates, and consequences for disobedience. However, grace was present in the OT because God is always a God of grace for people who can see it and receive it.
Because many believers operate in either indifference or legalism, they miss the joy of worshipping, giving, and serving simply out of love for God - without a sense of obligation! As important as it is to give tithes and offerings, we don’t do it out of obligation, we do it out of love and appreciation for God, for His church, and all the things of God.
Worship as an offering was one of the promised benefits of the New Covenant. For New Covenant believers, every offering should be a peace offering!
Hebrews 13:15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.