The Sacrifice of Praise

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“Through[i] Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice[ii] of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.” (Heb. 13:15)

Through Him! Through Jesus, we offer up a sacrifice of praise to God. Jesus is the instrument of our praise; He is the reason that we can praise God at all! Jesus who, stripped of all glory, came to us in humble estate as a child and lived among us as a man, showed us the image and exact representation of God in the form of one of us.

We can understand God through Jesus because, in Jesus, God introduced Himself to us in our own form and language, with all of the pains, sufferings, joys, temptations, emotions and foibles that we experience as people. He walked with us, getting his feet dirty. He felt the ache of hard work and the need for sleep at the end of a long day. He entered into our world, and we will never be the same.

But more than that, He not only shed Himself of the glory of Creator, He lived, suffered and died for us! What love God shows in doing this…. for us!

The very least we can do is to thank God! To praise Him! He is worthy of our thanks and praise! We cannot thank or praise Him more than He deserves.

A person might say, “But, I want to be genuine. I don’t want to manufacture something I don’t feel.” And, that may have a ring of humility and transparency to it; but it is only a hallow ring.

We do not praise Him because we feel like praising Him. We praise Him because He is worthy of it! Very often in the difficulties of life our praise is nothing but a sacrifice. In those times, especially, it is a beautiful sacrifice to our God! It is fully a sacrifice, as we do not feel like singing, praising or thanking God; but we should!

When I was a young believer, after I was born again and knew Jesus died for me and saved me from my sins, I fell into deep sin many months later. When it caught up to me, I was devastated. On top of feeling like I lost my salvation (as if I could have), I was deeply convicted of sin. It was as if an empty chasm yawned before me and I was about to topple in.

God worked out the circumstances, leading me to the north woods, where I spent most of my time alone with a Bible and many, many days and weeks of silence. There I learned to sacrifice praise and thanksgiving to God. I praised Him not because I felt like it, not because I was joyful or thankful, not because I thought I stood right before Him: I praised Him only because God is worthy of praise.

Amazingly, as I offered the sacrifice of praise, which was not given in any way as an attempt to gain God’s favor, but only and purely because He is worthy of praise, God filled me up with the joy of salvation!

There is nothing we can do for God. We cannot offer Him anything that He needs.

We do not offer God a sacrifice of praise like the sacrifice of blood was offered for atonement of sin before Christ. We offer God a sacrifice of praise because, and simply because, He is worthy of praise. Jesus offered the sacrifice that paid the price, once for all time. There is no other sacrifice that is necessary for salvation. We praise God through Jesus who offered the only sacrifice that was necessary.

Thank You almighty God for Your incredible love, for Your grace and loving-kindness which endures to all generations! Your love endures forever! You alone are worthy of our praise! You alone are worthy of thanks! Thank You God! Thank You Jesus for your sacrifice!

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[i] 1223/dia (translated “through”) is a preposition that properly means across (to the other side) – back-and-forth (go through) “successfully cross” (thoroughly). In this instance, it is used in the genitive case conveying the idea of action extending forward (by an intervening agent or instrument) to the intended purpose.

[ii] 2378/thysia (translated “sacrifice”) properly means an offering (sacrifice); an official sacrifice prescribed by God – hence an offering the Lord accepts. Thysia is used to describe the various forms of OT blood sacrifices, which were “types” – foreshadowing and awaiting their fulfillment in Jesus Christ. (Heb. 10:5-12) In Jesus, is a sacrifice that is effective, once for all time. There is no sacrifice from us that is necessary. Jesus did it all on the cross.

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