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A Sacrifice of Praise
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"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." Hebrews 13:15
We spend an awful lot of time focusing on the praise and worship portion in our services. Some of us try desperately to "pump" the audience up to a level of excitement by any means possible. We rely on generalities concerning God's goodness which can play on the emotions of believers at times. This is not to say that our praise does not contain a degree of emotion but true praise is based on who God is and not necessarily how we feel at the time. True praise is done in knowledge; personal knowledge of the Father and His goodness.
There was a time when I praised God because of the many things He had done for others. But there is a difference in my praise now that I am older and I have my own experience with the Lord. The praise I give has more meaning and understanding behind it.
Isaiah 57:19 states, "I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to his that is near, saith the LORD; and I will heal him."
There is no real praise unless God gives it and is the center of it. The word "create" in the Isaiah means to initiate or to form, out of nothing. The same Hebrew word is used in Genesis 1:1 when describing how the God created the heavens and the earth out of nothingness.
From the emptiness our hearts the Lord initiates or forms a root of praise. He allows us the experience we have and gives us testimony. Through the Word we gain the wisdom and understanding required to offer sacrifices of praise that are acceptable to Him.
The trials we have overcome and the forgiveness of our past should cause praise to fill our hearts. We should willingly offer the fruit thereof to our Lord and King.
The Word of the Lord is proven to us and through us. God's promises are made manifest daily. The Word is planted in the heart of man, watered by the storms of life and fertilized by faith that it would yield the fruit of our lips in praise. We must offer back to Him this sacrifice.
Fruit is born of a plant or tree. Trees and plants have roots and without the root there is no tree and therefore no fruit. If there is no knowledge of who God is, there is no acceptable fruit that our lips can bear. God is the root of all praise.
Why a sacrifice? Because there will be days when the emotion isn't there but God is still worthy of praise. There are days when everything seems wrong and we may not see a way out but praise is still required. God never changes but our perspective does. Do we withhold the Lord's praise because of our faults? We must offer God our sacrifice by Christ Jesus.
Baruch Ha Shem! Bless and praise the name of God. Praise shouldn't have to be coaxed but should always be in the heart of the believer. We carry praise with us everywhere we go.
There is nothing that I could ever do to add to God's greatness. He is self sustaining and all powerful. There is no one name that would do Him justice. He is "I AM"
But I can bless His holy name with the fruit of my lips. I can live each day for Him and be the praise to His glory. I can send up offerings that are acceptable and pleasing unto Him.
I will not be counted as those spoken of in Malachi who offered lame and sickly sacrifices. I will give God my best in all things. I will bless the Lord at all times and His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
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