Lectio – Read today’s passage through once. Then spend some time praying and asking God to show you what you need to pay attention to in the text. Read it again. Now ask God to help you see what this text, and the part that has stood out, may mean for you. Don’t expect to get a clear word every time but always be ready to really hear from God through His Word.
For more help use this Bible Study method
Sacrifice of Praise
by Pastor Jeff Morlock
Those who trust in Jesus know something about sacrifice. The Old Testament is filled with animal sacrifices being offered for all kinds of reasons, but especially to atone for the sins of the people. Yet each sacrifice pointed forward to Christ, who would give his life on a cross to take away the sin of the world (Hebrews 10:4). Though animal sacrifice atoned for sin under the Old Covenant, those living under the New Covenant offer sacrifices of praise, not in order to receive anything from God, but because we have already received everything through Christ!
But what exactly is a sacrifice of praise? It’s giving God glory, which we can’t do apart from Jesus. Without Christ’s righteousness, my desire would be to exalt myself rather than the Lord. I need Jesus to enable me to praise God for who he is when I don’t feel like it. I need Jesus to give me grace to lift my heart, soul, mind, and voice to God when everything seems to be going wrong in my life and in the world around me. I need Jesus to remind me that God is good… all the time. To praise God, not just for circumstances that are going my way, but in spite of circumstances when life is hard, is, well… a sacrifice of sorts, isn’t it? By the way, the word “praise” in verse 15 translates to way more than standing in a sanctuary singing heavenward with eyes closed and arms raised. Though it could certainly include that. The greatest gift you can give God is yourself; your time, your loving concern, your prayerful support, your listening ear, and your helping hand toward those he loves. Such acts of praise are sacrificial because they cost you something in terms of inconvenience, and sometimes discomfort. To go out of our way to ungrudgingly tell or show others the grace and truth that are in Jesus gives God utmost pleasure and glory, for through it we love both him and our neighbor in need.
Spend some time praising God for who he is. Ponder: In what way have you offered a sacrifice of praise outside of dedicated daily and weekly worship times this past week? Ask God to give you eyes to see where he is at work in the lives of the people around you today. Then join him there, for his glory and the upbuilding of his kingdom.