30 Days of Thanks & Praise - Day #8 - Sacrifice of Praise (Hebrews 13:14-16)
Hebrews 13:14–16, “For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. 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. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.”
What could you give to God that would express your gratitude and convey honor to Him? Hebrews 13 suggests the “sacrifice of praise”. All throughout Scripture we see people offer this sacrifice to God. Job worshipped God when he had nothing (Job 1:20–21). The book of Psalms chronicles David’s praise in both the good times and the bad. Mary expressed praise when she learned she was to be the mother of Christ (Luke 1:46–55). And one man from the group of ten lepers Jesus healed offered thanks and praise (Luke 17:15–16). From these testimonies, we see that our sacrifice of praise should be continual—not contingent on our mood or current circumstances. “Sacrifice” here is used symbolically to represent an offering to God. Our very lives should be “as living sacrifices, holy, acceptable and well pleasing to God” (Romans 12:2; Philippians 4:18). That is the only sacrifice God now requires of his people. This sacrifice is not just songs of worship or other verbal expressions of praise offered up to God during a worship service in church. While that is a good thing, in truth this setting is where people are gathered specifically for that very reason. The place where praise and worship truly become a sacrifice is outside of the church, where Christians must show their devotion to God and live in a way that truly brings honor and praise to God in all they say and do.
A. W. Tozer said, “Gratitude is an offering precious in the sight of God, and it is one that the poorest of us can make and be not poorer but richer for having made it.” Even in times when we do not have as much as others in the way of material blessings, we still have so much for which to be thankful. And when we purposefully give thanks to God, that sacrifice of our heart is pleasing to Him. Finding something to be thankful for in everything is certainly a step above having only random grateful thoughts. But there is still plenty of room for developing a deeply thankful heart. Here’s what you’re going for: graduate school thankfulness. Ephesians 5:20, “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
No matter what’s happening, no matter how dark the moment, God is in control. He can be explicitly trusted. He’s working out a purpose beyond what you can imagine. Some of it you’ll see in this life; some of it you’ll see in the life to come. Give thanks to God— always for all things! Thank Him for the hardest part of your life. Just say, “Thank You, God, even for this”, and trust in His steadfast love which endures forever. Sometimes people have a tendency to feel sorry for themselves and think that things are not going well for them. When we focus on our circumstances and lose sight of God's promises, then we are setting ourselves up for discouragement and disappointment. As Christians, we have been blessed beyond measure and we have so much to be thankful for in Jesus. We need to analyze what we have in Jesus and realize that the world has nothing that can compare and it never will. When I think of all that God has done for me, the privilege of serving Him and the great family and friends that I have, I consider myself a rich man indeed. Never allow the standards of this world to be the guide by which you gauge things. They do not have any equipment that can accurately assess life beyond this world, but we do in the Word of God.
Take a close look and consider the real blessings of the Lord! Be thankful for all the things He has given you. Praise Him for your health, your family, your financial blessings, your church, and so on. Never take them for granted. But learn to be more thankful for those things which you can never lose! Learn to be thankful for those things that cannot change! When all the physical blessings have faded and when you can find no reason for praise in them, thank the Lord that there are some things that will never change! In these things, you have an unchanging reason for eternal thanksgiving! Come before Him right now and just thank Him for Who He is and for what He has given you!
Prayer, When I say “Thank You,” Lord, help me pause long enough to really mean what I’m saying. Help the attitude that should trigger those words be a more constant part of my character. Show me where I’m most lacking in gratitude, and give me strength to give You authentic thanks for those trying places. Please guide me into a continual practice of thanksgiving, Lord. And I will be forever grateful, in Jesus’ name, amen.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship with Christ.