“Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise–the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.” Hebrews 13:15
I got to thinking about this yesterday. What it would mean to really offer up a sacrifice of praise. Why it’s a sacrifice.
I got to thinking about how my favorite times are times with eyes closed and hands heldd high and songs lifted alongside the corporate body of believers. I got to thinking about how I put that worship music on and sing my heart out while I’m doing dishes or baking bread. Sweet incense swirling around His throne.
Doesn’t feel much like a sacrifice of praise. Feels like a gift He’s given me.
But that little song stayed on my mind….”We bring a sacrifice of praise…into the house of the Lord…”
And maybe yes, the singing, the songs, the music, the eyes closed and hands lifted high, the dancing across the kitchen…that’s a gift. It lifts my head and my heart, yes, it is a good gift.
But what about the others ways we praise?
When we give our money…not knowing how we’ll cover bills and groceries, but we give the way Jesus taught us to give. Giving sacrificially and joyfully. That hurts sometimes. It’s a sacrifice of praise.
When we offer forgiveness to someone who isn’t even sorry…to someone who has broken our heart…when we do that…that’s a sacrifice of praise and it hurts. It costs.
When we whisper our broken thanks…when we worship even though everything is a mess…when we are thankful and content in the midst of circumstances…that hurts and it costs and it is hard. It’s a sacrifice of praise.
When we do what’s right even though it is decidedly NOT what we want to do. It costs. A piece of us dies and it hurts. But we do it as a sacrifice of praise.
We bring these sacrifices to the altar. In Old Testament times, they brought lambs and doves and had to slaughter them for a sacrifice. I am grateful we don’t have to do that and I’m sure it wasn’t fun…but did it cost like these sacrifices?
These sacrifices are gifts from our deepest selves. We give them wholly…when we’re doing well. We hold them back when we’re not. The good news…there isn’t a time limit.
God is always waiting for us to bring our sacrifice. Even at the eleventh hour. Even after weeks, months or years of holding it back.
He is patient.
Bring a sacrifice to Him today. A sacrifice of generosity, of obedience, of gratitude.