The sacrifice of thanksgiving is mentioned several times in the Old Testament. It is first mentioned in Leviticus 7:11-15. These verses seem to indicate that the sacrifice of thanksgiving is actually a peace offering that is motivated by appreciation to God. This type of offering included an animal sacrifice as well as various cereal or bread offerings.
Like all peace offerings, it was voluntary, offered by the worshiper on those occasions when he was motivated to express thanksgiving to God. Secondly, it was shared into three portions, to the Lord, the priest, and the worshiper.
This contrasted with other types of offerings, which were either entirely burnt (except for the skin) on the altar as an offering to the Lord, or partly burned on the altar and partly consumed by the priest. But for a peace offering offered as a sacrifice of thanksgiving, the protocol was different. After the Lord and the priest had received their portions, the worshiper who brought the sacrifice would take the remaining portions of the meat and the bread to prepare a feast in which family and friends who were ritually pure could share. Any of the meat not consumed on the day the sacrifice was offered had to be destroyed by burning.
While the Old Testament system of animal sacrifice is now obsolete due to the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, there are some principles here that continue to speak to us today. Though thanksgiving honours God, He does not coerce us into it. Such expressions of gratitude must flow freely from the depths of the heart to God who is the ultimate Source of all blessings in our lives. We can show gratitude to God practically by sharing His benevolence with others: paying the school fees of the underprivileged, hospital bills for the sick, rent for the homeless and sharing food items with them: God is honoured most when others benefit more from us.
May the grace of giving be multiplied to you, to the praise and glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.