November 23, 2017

Hebrews 13:15 ~ A Sacrifice of Praise

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{This final week of 2015 we will be re-visiting some of my personal favorite themes on which our wonderful writers have shared with us throughout this past year.  I hope that you (as I was, too!) will be encouraged and reminded of God’s faithfulness and loving care through their inspired words.}

Through Him, therefore, let us constantly and at all times
offer up to God a sacrifice of praise,
which is the fruit of lips that thankfully acknowledge
and confess and glorify His name.

Hebrews 13:15

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Oh, what encouragement I have received this week as I’ve read daily through the Seeking Him devotional!  (You, too?)  Ann, Ahmee, Clella, Cynda, and Tina have each written devotionals reminding me of the importance of offering my praise—a sacrifice of praise—to our wonderful Father God and drawing me closer to the One Who I do seek to praise and glorify!

In The Fruit Of Lips, Cynda took a good in-depth look at just what a ‘sacrifice of praise’ is and asked a really good question…along with a few answers she found.

“But why are we compelled (Hebrews 13:15) to do it ‘constantly and at all times’?  Here are just a few of the reasons I found:

  • it glorifies God and pleases Him
  • (because of) His enduring love and goodness
  • because Jesus did
  • it is our shared inheritance

But, I think my favorite reason for giving thanks is to tell others and remind myself of all He has done in my life.“

Then, Ann gave us some great reasons in Praise At All Times just WHY we praise God—

  • for what He has done (Psalm 9:11)
  • a four-fold reason— because we are “…a chosen people, a loyal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God….” (1 Peter 2:9)
  • and, as a commandment (Psalm 63:7)

She wrote, “So we are all to praise God; let us make a choice of doing so in the morning …in the afternoon …and in the evening time!”

Clella shared a wonderful translation of Hebrews 13:15 with us in Proclaim Allegiance To His Name.  She wrote,

“The New Living Translation says it this way:

Therefore, let us offer through Jesus
a continual sacrifice of praise to God,
proclaiming our allegiance to His Name.

The phase ‘proclaiming our allegiance to His Name’ popped out at me.  It sounded so different than the other translations that refer to ‘the fruit of lips that confess His Name.’  I just had to do a little research to understand what this verse is really saying.

– to “confess” God’s Name is to declare, state, acknowledge His Name
– to “proclaim allegiance” is to announce publicly, or to declare something one considers important with due emphasis, which in this case would be one’s loyalty or commitment of a subordinate to a superior.”

In Verbal Sacrifice, Ahmee brought us back to the central element in Hebrews 13:15 of ‘sacrifice.’  She reminded us of reasons we have to offer our sacrifice of praise.

“Those days when you don’t feel like giving praise are the days when praise is a sacrifice. When we praise God even in our less-than-favorable moments we are saying to Him — and those around us —

  • God is our God
  • we trust Him with our lives
  • we trust in Someone bigger than us
  • we have the Almighty on our side to fight for us”

And in Giving Thanks, Tina encouraged us to remember how abundantly blessed we are here in the USA.

“The Pilgrims were so grateful to have a land to call their own and the freedom to worship God. After such a hard crossing and a hard harvest, they decided to celebrate and praise God for what they had. Let us do the same. Continuous praise should be on our lips and in our thoughts.

The Sacrifice Of Praise

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Through Him, therefore, let us constantly and at all times
offer up to God a sacrifice of praise,
which is the fruit of lips
that thankfully acknowledge and confess and glorify His name.
Hebrews 13:15 AMP

Lord, I lift a song of worship
For Your glory and Your grace
Let my heart reveal all my words fail to say
Lord, receive this sacrifice of praise

On the mountain in the valley
As I wait in my secret place
I will trust trust in the name of the Lord
Now receive this sacrifice of praise
Now receive this sacrifice of praise

You’re my shield, You’re my shelter
From the storm and from the rain
Cover me beneath the shadow of Your wings
Lord, receive this sacrifice of praise

Hallelujah, hallelujah
Hallelujah to Your name
For all You’ve done
You are and evermore will be
Lord, receive this sacrifice of praise

 

Verbal Sacrifice

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Through Him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God,
that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge His name.
Hebrews 13:15 ESV

How often do we refer to the praises coming from our mouths as sacrifices? Praising the Lord’s name and giving Him praise is like a walk in the park—under the right circumstances.

What about when customers at work are being difficult, your co-workers aren’t any better, and your bosses seem to have drawn your number? What about when a friend stands you up? What about when things just won’t go right and everyone seems to be against you?   Or things couldn’t possibly get any worse?  What about those days that are just off?

This reminds me of when I was little and did something wrong.  Even though I was wrong, I didn’t want to say sorry.  I just didn’t want to…even though it was right thing to do.  It literally physically pained me to utter the words.

Those days when you don’t feel like giving praise are the days when praise is a sacrifice.  When we praise God even in our less-than-favorable moments we are saying to Him…and those around us —

  • God is our God
  • we trust Him with our lives
  • we trust in Someone bigger than us
  • we have the Almighty on our side to fight for us

Exodus 14:14 is one of my favorite verses. It says,

The Lord Himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.

Praising God takes our eyes off our circumstances and places them on Him.  If our eyes are on God—regardless of the situation—how could we not feel like praising Him?

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Thank You, Lord for being a trustworthy God.  Thank You for taking care of me, even when the odds seem against me.  Amen.

Praise At All Times

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Through Jesus, therefore
let us continually offer to God
a sacrifice of praise–the fruit of lips that confess His name.
Hebrews 13:15

A believer who is in fellowship with God has to be full of praise…for that’s the calling we have.  Believers who cannot praise and worship the Lord are not true disciples of Jesus.  When you are in good fellowship with Christ, you are always mesmerized with the Lord’s deeds and naturally a spirit of praising comes from your heart and your mouth lets it out.

Why do we praise God?

For what He has done:   In everything we have to praise the Lord and the Lord is always pleased with our praises.

Sing praises to the Lord enthroned in Zion,
proclaim among the nations what He has done.
Psalm 9:11

The Lord does a lot in our lives—His protection, providing, shepherding, etc.  We need to thank God for all of those!  Whether we face adversity—or even challenges that make us wonder whether God is seeing us—we have to praise God for we are commanded to praise the Lord at all times.

Fourfold Reason:

But you are a chosen people, a loyal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people belonging to God that you may declare the praises of Him
Who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.
1 Peter 2:9

And we need to celebrate this fact that He took us out of darkness, what a wonderful God that He is so mindful of man. He is indeed good and compassionate. We have to praise God for all this.

As a commandment:   Perpetually we are to praise the Lord and universally do so (as Psalm 63:7 stipulates),

May the peoples praise You, O God, may all peoples praise You.

Let them give glory to the Lord and proclaim His praise in the islands.
Isaiah 42:12

So we are all to praise God; let us make a choice of doing so in the morning…in the afternoon…and in the evening time!  As children at Sunday School we used to sing this song (many times, repeatedly, we would sing this).

Praise Him
Praise Him
Praise Him in the morning
Praise Him in the noon time
Praise Him
Praise Him
Praise Him when the sun goes down
Halleluia!!!

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Lord, we thank You for who You are, what You have done and what You are yet to do in our lives.  We praise You for this unfailing love and the good deeds we testify about day in and out.  May Your name be praised at all times.  Help us, Lord, to praise You more and more as this pleases You the most.  Let the praises come from deep within our heart.  In Jesus’ name, we pray.  Amen!

Thank You

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Just a little while longer I wanna pray
Can’t get You off my mind so I came to say
Thank You, Lord, just for loving me
Many times I do forget
Every need that You have met
Oh thank You, Lord, I know You’re showing me

You are there when I am down and out, You’re holding me
Your love is so amazing, oh it changed me

Here I am with all I have
Raise my hands to worship You
I wanna say thank You, oh thank You
For everything, for who You are
You cover me and touch my heart
I wanna say thank You

I could have died in my sin but You saved me
Didn’t have any hope at all
You gave me peace divine, strength to carry on, alright
I should have been the one to pay
But instead You took my place
Amazing grace, it’s more than just a song

Even though I don’t deserve Your love for me
You look beyond my fault and You showed me mercy

Here I am with all I have
Raise my hands to worship You
I wanna say thank You, oh thank You
For everything, for who You are
You cover me and touch my heart
I wanna say thank You

I wanna say thank You for the sun
Lord, we thank You for the rain

Oh Lord, I love You
Thank You that’s all that I can say
Thank You for the love You gave

 Singer/Songwriters: Joe Katina, John Katina, Sam Katina and Todd Collins

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There is no doubt about God’s love…we are fully aware that there is oh-so-very-much we have received from our Father God for which the only response is a wholehearted ‘thank You!’  Sometimes do you find yourself, like me, saying, “Oh Lord, I love You…thank You…that’s all that I can say!

All that we have received and will receive from Almighty God is due to His love. Because of His unconditional, faithful, steadfast love

  • we have eternal life

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son,
that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16

  • nothing can separate us from His love

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers,
nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth,
nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:37-39

  • we have been saved

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us,
even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ
— by grace you have been saved….
Ephesians 2:4-5

  • Christ died for us

But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8

  • His love brings us peace and quietness

The LORD your God is in your midst, a Mighty One who will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love;
He will exult over you with loud singing.
Zephaniah 3:17

  • He cares for you

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time
He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.
1 Peter 5:6 and 7

  • His love is steadfast and faithful

But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger,
and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
Psalm 86:15

  • we have the ability to love because of His love

We love because He first loved us.
1 John 4:19 

Wow!  Quite an array of wonderful blessings are ours simply because God loves us! So, what should be our response to this awesome love? What do we have to give that could even begin to show how the gratitude that fills our hearts and how thankful we are? The Katina brothers offer a good suggestion in the chorus of this song…

Here I am with all I have, Raise my hands to worship You, I wanna say thank You

Yes…worship and offering of thanks by praising God!  Throughout the Scriptures, other men (such as David and Paul) who loved God also expressed their thankfulness for His incredible love through praise.

By Him <Jesus> 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 will praise the LORD according to His righteousness:
and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High.
Psalm 7:17

I will give thanks to You, Lord, with all my heart;
I will tell of all Your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and rejoice in You;
I will sing the praises of Your name, O Most High.
Psalm 9:2

♪ ♬ ♪  Oh Lord, I love You  ♪ ♬ ♪
Thank You that’s all that I can say
♪ ♬ ♪  Thank You for the love You gave  ♪ ♬ ♪

As David prayed and worshipped along with the Israelites thanking Almighty God for His provision, may our prayer of gratitude and praise be the same:

Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty
and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is Yours.
Yours, Lord, is the kingdom; You are exalted as Head over all.
Wealth and honor come from You; You are the Ruler of all things.
In Your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all.
Now, our God, we give You thanks, and praise Your glorious name.
2 Chronicles 29:11-13