Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Sacrifice Of Praise - 8 Things

Hebrews 13:15 gives us 8 key statements on the sacrifice of Praise. This is the only time in the New testament that the Greek word for "praise" (ainesis) is used - this is a very special verse:

Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God,
That is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name
Hebrews 13:15 (NKJV)

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 (Amplified)

1. Our praises begin in the Lord.

2. Our praises need to come from us at all times - continually. There is nothing worthy of stopping the flow of praise in our lives.

3. Our praises must be directed towards God. There is nothing else in heaven or earth more worthy of praise than Him.

4. Our praises are an expression of our sacrifice - it is easy to praise the Lord when everything is going well in our lives. Sometimes, however, it is hard work to minister love and gratitude to Him. By definition, a sacrifice requires death. In our case there is a dying to self that must accompany our praises. Always remember - for most sacrifices in the Old Testament, the lamb was required to die for the shepherd. However, our Shepherd became a lamb and died for the sheep. This makes our death to self an act of imitation... all-the-while we must know that the power and sting of death has been broken.

5. Our praises must come from our lips. Some people insist that they praise God silently and don't need to sing or praise God out loud. Not according to this verse! It is very possible to use all of our being to minister praise to the this passage, however, we are called upon to use our lips. It is good to do so. Sing, shout, whisper, pray, praise!

6. Our praises are like fruit - there is a definite purpose in praise: like fruit praise nourishes others; like fruit, praise will grow; like fruit, praise is capable of reproducing itself. Notice that this fruit is not a result of anything we do - rather it is a result of growth in our lives. If you are not growing and maturing, you will have little to offer to the Lord in praise. Only living things can produce fruit.

7. Our praises involve giving thanks and glory to God. If you have trouble knowing what to say to the Lord - just begin here. Thanksgiving will move you closer to Him - then you will see His glory and become enthralled!

8. Our praises will be filled and preoccupied with His name. His name is not like any other name. His character and deeds are found in His name. Speak His name today and meditate on who He is and what He has done. Maybe you can begin here:

Gen. 17:1-2 He is Jehovah-El Sahddai - our Eternal Supplier
Gen. 22:14 He is Jehovah-Jireh - our Eternal Provider
Ex. 15:22-26 He is Jehovah-Rapha - our Eternal Healer
Ex. 17:15-16 He is Jehovah-Nissi - our Eternal Banner of victory
Ex, 31:13 He is Jehovah-M'Kadesh - our Eternal Sanctifier
Jud. 6:23-24 He is Jehovah-Shalom - our eternal Peace
Jer. 23:5-6 He is Jehovah-Tsidkenu - our Eternal Righteousness
Ps. 23 He is Jehovah Rohi - our Eternal Shepherd
Ez. 48:35 He is Jehovah Shammah - our Eternal God who is there and present with us