I have been “chewing” on the verse, “continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise”. The passage refers to the fact we no longer need to offer before God a blood sacrifice. Jesus has provided this for us past, present and future. Yet, the Holy Spirit kept drawing me back to the words “Sacrifice of Praise”. Obviously God had something more for me to understand.
Sacrifice – an act of offering to a deity something precious; especially: the killing of a victim on an altar; destruction or surrender of something for the sake of something else; something given up or lost, are all definitions for the word sacrifice provided by Merriam Webster.
The first question which came to mind, “What precious item do I possess which God would find acceptable?” – Wrong question! Correct question, “What do I have to offer – precious to God?” – The answer – me. It does not matter whether or not I see me as precious; what matters … God does! So much so He sent His Son to die on my behalf. God’s asking me to offer “me” as a sacrifice of praise; my life, all that makes up me in word, thought and deed. He’s asking me to surrender my plans, my motives and my day-to-day living to Him; holding nothing back. It is an act of spiritual killing, not literal killing. Sometimes the things I surrender are not really sacrifices… they are still an act of worship to my Lord, but they didn’t really cost me much or anything at all. By its very definition Sacrifice means there’s a cost.
Praise – “to glorify (a god or saint) especially by the attribution of perfections.” Glorify – to bestow honor, admiration. When we commend someone we are saying they’re worthy of our confidence; they’re worthy of our notice. God is worthy of our Praise!
Entrusting God with “me” is a true sacrifice of praise; perhaps the best praise I can offer. I cannot offer this lightly – it is 100% trust and 100% surrender (and may I add very challenging for me). For me surrendering all fear daily – in every situation and thought where fear arises (and fear raises its ugly head a lot) choosing to completely trust God for the outcome would be a sacrifice of praise. In your life it might look different. For you it may mean surrendering your marriage daily, or your children, your job, your plans, your dreams, etc. It might be one or all of these at different times.
A sacrifice of praise offers up something precious; counts the cost and says you are worthy God. I have complete confidence and trust in you!
I am reminded of a hymn written by Frances R. Havergal, which seems to fit.
Take My Life and Let it Be
Take my life and let it be Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take my moments and my days – Let them flow in ceaseless praise,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands and let them move At the impulse of Thy love;
Take my feet and let them be Swift and beautiful for thee,
Swift and beautiful for Thee.
Take my voice and let me sing Always only, for my King;
Take my lips, and let them be filled with messages from Thee,
Filled with messages from Thee.
Take my silver and my gold – Not mite would I with old;
Take my intellect and use Every power as Thou shall choose,
Every power as Thou shalt choose.
Take my will and make it Thine – it shall be no longer mine;
Take my heart – it is Thine own, It shall be thy royal throne,
It shall be thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord, I pour at Thy feet its treasure store;
Take myself – and I will be Ever only, all for Thee,
Ever, only, all for Thee.
Until next time,
“”Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise….” Hebrews 13:15