The Real Sacrifice of Praise

A long time ago, there was a popular praise song that we always used to sing; the lyrics in-part were “we bring a sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD.” This is a reference to Hebrews 13:15, saying that we should continually offer such a sacrifice to God. This phrasing has always puzzled me. Because in my human mind, the word “sacrifice” always implied cost, or some kind of a victim. Often times we hear preachers say that in order for our praise and worship to mean anything to God, it has to “cost us something”, and this left me even more confused because it really wasn’t costing me anything to praise God – as a matter-of-fact I enjoyed praising Him! So did this then mean that my praise was worthless?

I struggled with this thought for many years, and it led me into a performance-driven, merit-centered mentality where I was trying to give something of value back to God, which I naturally assumed was my own works and efforts; my performance and law-keeping. However, this idea is not actually supported in scripture. In-fact the Bible is very descriptive regarding what the real sacrifice of praise is which we are to offer, and this is precisely what we will be studying today.

See Jesus and Never Walk in Darkness

There is much confusion and differing ideas regarding what it means to “walk” from a Christian standpoint. It is often said that we are to “walk worthy of our high calling in Christ”, and this is generally thought of to mean that we should guard against sinful acts in order to prove our worthiness. But is this what the Bible actually means when it speaks of our walk in Christ? Are we really supposed to prove our worthiness by our performance or behavior?

In this study today, we will be examining this question in the light of the finished work of Jesus Christ, because there is no other light by which things can be clearly seen. Everything will either stand or fall by Jesus Christ. 1st Corinthians 3:11-13 makes it clear that anything built on Christ will stand firm, but anything built on another foundation will be burned-up. So we will see if this idea of proving our worthiness by our performance stands up by Jesus.

The Ministry of Grace and Peace

Did you know that you have a ministry? Whether you are an ordained minister or not, regardless of your age, education, ethnicity or background, a ministry has been given to you, and for you. It is a ministry first and foremost for you to receive personally in your own life, and then it is a ministry to share with others. Many people do not realize that this ministry is for them, assuming that it is only for the super-spiritual or special holy men, but the Bible makes it clear that this ministry is for everyone.

Today in this study, we are going to be examining this ministry; what it is, how we receive it, and then how we are to share it, because even though the Bible says that it is ours, if we do not know that we have it or what it is, it doesn’t do us any good.

Keep Yourself in the Love of Christ

We live in a world that is constantly tearing us down and attacking us from every angle. News broadcasts tend to attack our hope by displaying the very worst of the day, while songs on the radio tend to sing about depression, loneliness and hatred. Movies and television shows usually sensationalize godlessness and sex… and we accept it in the name of “entertainment”.

So after all of this tearing down and attacking every day, it’s no surprise that people are looking for satisfaction, for love, and usually turning to less than perfect sources that can be found in the world; settling for whatever they can get. Yet it may surprise you to learn that the Bible has a simple and effective, method for receiving more of the love of God into our lives, and strengthening us against the attacks of the world and the enemy (yes the love of God connected with strengthening). This is what we will be studying today.