Sacrifice of Praise!

Sacrifice of Praise!

“By him
therefore
let us offer
the sacrifice
of praise
to God
continually,
that is,
the fruit
of our lips
giving thanks
to his name.”
Hebrews 13:15

I recently read the verse written above.  Oh, I've read it many times before, but this particular day I REALLY read it.  I wrote it in my journal.  I meditated upon it.  I looked words up in my Bible dictionary.  It was like I was reading it for the very first time.  

And as I read it, I can tell you that I was under MAJOR conviction.  After reading and meditating upon this verse and allowing the Lord to do surgery on my mind, heart, soul and spirit, I felt like I needed to soak my tootsies in some Epsom salts because they were stepped on so hard!  

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But that's a good thing!  

Conviction is a very good thing.  

But it only becomes a GREAT thing if I act upon it and obey the prompting of the Holy Spirit.

“By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually”

PRAISE

What exactly is praise?  Well, we can assume what it is, but I looked it up in my Bible dictionary:

“To extol in words or song; to magnify; to glorify on account of perfections or excellent works.”

"To express thanks to or love and respect for."

The examples given:

"I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore."  Psalm 85:12

Praise ye the Lord. Praise ye the Lord from the heavens: praise him in the heights.”  Psalm 148:1

Pretty clear isn't it?

Okay, it’s a breeze to praise the Lord and give thanks to God when life is rolling along all "quiet, nice, neat and tidy."

Oh, how easy the praises roll off our tongues on those sunny, bright, care-free days!

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But just let something go a little haywire, and if you’re anything like me, those praises come to a halt in no time at all, and are quickly replaced with something called, "complaining, murmuring, pouting, or down right silence!” 

The verse doesn't say, “I will offer the sacrifice of praise to God except on the days when my chronic illness is wearing me down and I feel rotten and really don’t feel like giving the Lord any praise at all.”

The verse doesn't say, “Once these people at work get their act together and start pulling their own weight so that I can get a break, then maybe I will offer the sacrifice of praise to God.”

The verse doesn't say, “Once this husband of mine starts treating me with the respect I deserve and he starts going to church with me and the kids, then I will really offer the sacrifice of praise to God.”

The verse doesn't say, “But God, I read my Bible every day.  I pray for others every day.  I attend church every time the doors are open, and yet You allowed me to lose my job or my wife walked out on me or my kids are living far from You.  And yet You expect me to offer You a sacrifice of praise anyway?” 

So are you ready to take your turn soaking your “tootsies” in the Epsom salts???

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But, at the same time, I also don’t think that it means we are to walk around just flippantly saying, "Praise the Lord" all day long, unless it's REALLY coming from a heart that truly means it, otherwise it's just worthless noise to the Lord You may be impressing others, but the Lord surely is not impressed in the least little bit.

But do you know what? 

Did you notice that the verse says that we are to offer a “sacrifice of praise”? 

That reminds me that praising the Lord is NOT ALWAYS EASY!  

That's why it's called "offering a sacrifice of praise".  

If it's a sacrifice, that means it "costs" us something.

When the trials of life come, and we CHOOSE to keep our eyes on Christ and keep our trust and hope in Him and we CHOOSE to praise Him IN the trials, that's a sacrifice of praise and it pleases the Lord. 

That does NOT mean we jump up and down and shout, "Yippee, praise the Lord, my husband just got laid off from his job because they are downsizing the company" or "Woo Hoo, praise the Lord, my washing machine just broke, my children are throwing up from the stomach flu, the family dog ran away and my nice pot roast with all the trimmings is now laying in the sink in a heap of burning ash because I left it in the oven too long!"  

That would be downright foolish!

Praise does mean that we don't turn our back on the Lord during times like I just described, and even more difficult times.  

If anything, we run to Him.  

We trust He knows what He is doing and WILL bring good out of any situation.  

We trust, know and REST in the truth that He will ALWAYS be with us.

"for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee"  Hebrews 13:5

Is it always easy?  

Absolutely not.

That's why it's called a SACRIFICE OF PRAISE!  

If in the midst of whatever you are facing, if all you can say is, "Lord, I don't understand, but You do, and I choose to trust You."  That's a sacrifice of praise and it brings honor and glory to the Lord.

If at times all you can manage to get out of our mouth, as the tears are overtaking you, is, "I love You, Lord."  That is a sacrifice of praise and is well pleasing to the Lord. 

The day when I really read this verse, at first I wanted to shut my Bible and just forget it!  I really didn't want to deal with it.  I’m just being transparent.  This is a huge struggle for me at times.  But remember in a recent post, I wrote that I am still "under construction!"  The Lord's still working on me!  

I can make all kinds of excuses for not praising the Lord.  Like, I live with an ever-changing chronic illness that totally affects my daily life, so I should be exempt from praising the Lord and giving thanks to Him.  But, NO, instead, that chronic illness gives me every opportunity to offer to Him a “sacrifice of praise”, and that is well pleasing to the Lord! 

Praise has NOTHING to do with our emotions, our circumstances, if we feel like praising the Lord or if we don't feel like praising the Lord. 

Praise has EVERYTHING to do with the Lord and His GREATNESS and His GLORY and His MAJESTY and His LOVE and His GRACE and ...

"Praise ye the LORD.
Praise God
in his sanctuary:
praise him
in the firmament
of his power.
Praise him
for his
mighty acts:
praise him
according to his
excellent greatness.
Praise him
with the sound
of the trumpet:
praise him
with the psaltery
and harp.
Praise him
with the timbrel
and dance:
praise him
with stringed instruments
and organs.
Praise him
upon the
loud cymbals:
praise him
upon the
high sounding cymbals.
Let every thing
that hath breath
praise the LORD.
Praise ye the LORD."
Psalm 150

"Father, as believers in Jesus Christ, we have more than enough to keep us busy praising You every moment of every day, and that would just be for the fact that You saved us!  Lord, please forgive me when I allow my focus to drift far away from You and settle upon the trials of this life.  Thank You, Lord, that even in those hard times, when I choose to praise You, it is a sacrifice of praise and well pleasing to You.  Father, oh, how I long to praise You more and more with each moment because You are more than worthy!  In Jesus' Precious Name. Amen."

 HE IS MORE
THAN WORTHY
OF OUR PRAISE!
AS THE SONG SAYS,
I WILL PRAISE HIM! 


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May God Bless You,

Barb

4 Comments

  • Linda

    February 18, 2016 at 2:42 am Reply

    Oooh, Barb, I think this post will resonate with many readers. The Lord is so utterly trustworthy, so worthy of our praise - yet how easily we can forget that! Abundant blessings, my friend.
    Love and hugs from over the seas!

  • Barb

    February 18, 2016 at 1:35 pm Reply

    Hi to my wonderful friend and Barnabas from across the seas!
    You are soooooo right that HE most definitely is worthy of ALL of our praise but we ALL fall so short.
    Thank you so much for your words of encouragement.
    You are a blessing to me ♡♡♡
    Lots of love from your friend across the seas ♡♡♡♡

  • Will

    February 22, 2016 at 9:50 pm Reply

    Well said. That's why I like the song "Blessed be the Lord". I remember last summer shortly before my Dad died, in addition to my Dad's decline, there was a lot of unnecessary drama. I swear that there was some version of "It is Well With my Soul" sung every week in church. I remember forcing myself to sing it with tears streaming down. I knew the words to be true, but my feelings weren't on board. The first time it was sung after his death, it was an entirely different experience. Again, well put.

  • Barb

    February 22, 2016 at 10:41 pm Reply

    Will,
    Oh how I know that very same feeling of knowing that "it is well with my soul" or at least it's suppose to be well with my soul, but having it just being words to a hymn. Just going through the motion of singing it!
    But what a JOY when it can be sung from a heart that TRULY knows that it IS well with my soul!
    Thank you for sharing and thanks for your words of encouragement
    Your friend in Christ, Barb

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