THEN: Di autou oun: (Heb 7:25;
John 10:9; 14:6; Ephesians 2:18; Colossians 3:17; 1 Peter 2:5)
Through Him - "through Jesus Christ"
for He is our new and living
Way (He 10:19, 20, 21-note,
cp 1Th 5:18-note "through
Spurgeon - Here we have
a description of the believer’s position before God. He has done
away with all earthly ordinances, and has no interest in the
ceremonies of the Mosaic law. As believers in Jesus, who is the
substance of all the outward types, we have, henceforth, nothing to
do with altars of gold or of stone: our worship is spiritual, and
our altar spiritual. What then? Are we to offer no sacrifice? Very
far from it. We are called upon to offer to God a continual
sacrifice. Instead of presenting in the morning and the evening a
sacrifice of lambs, and on certain holy days bringing bullocks and
sheep to be slain, we are to present to God continually the
sacrifice of praise. Having done with the outward, we now give
ourselves entirely to the inward and to the spiritual.
Hebrews 13:20-21 explains the way we
offer pleasing "sacrifices" "Now the God of peace, who
brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the
blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in
every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing
in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to Whom be the glory forever and
ever. Amen. (See notes
The glorious truth of the believers access to the Father through
the Son is repeatedly trumpeted in the New Testament.
All things are from Him, through Him and to Him. To
Him be the glory forever. Amen.
Consider the following simple study - observe and record the wonderful
truths that accrue through Him - this would make an edifying, easy to
prepare Sunday School lesson - then take some time to give thanks for
these great truths by offering up a sacrifice of praise...through Him.
[NIV reads "through Him"],
John 1:10, Jn 3:17, Jn 14:6, Acts 2:22,
3:16, Acts 7:25, Acts 10:43, Acts 13:38, 39, Ro 5:9
[note], Ro 11:36
1Co 8:6, Ep 2:18
[note], Php 4:13
1John 4:9 -
Would you like more study on the wonderful topic of through Him?
Study also the
NT uses of the parallel phrase through Jesus (or similar phrases -
"through Whom", "through our Lord", etc) - John 1:17, Acts 10:36, Ro
note; Ro 1:8-note,
1Cor 15:57, 2Cor 1:5, 3:4, 5:18, Gal 1:1, Eph 1:5-note,
LET US CONTINUALLY OFFER UP
SACRIFICE OF PRAISE TO GOD:
anapheromen (1PPAS) thusian aineseos dia pantos to theo, tout' estin
(3SPAI) karpon cheileon homologounton (PAPNPG) to onomati autou:
(Sacrifice Leviticus 7:12; 2Chronicles 7:6; 29:31; 33:16; Ezra
3:11; Nehemiah 12:40,43; Psalms 50:14,23; Psalms 69:30,31; 107:21,22;
116:17, 18, 19; 118:19; 136:1-26; 145:1-21; Isaiah 12:1,2; Ephesians
5:19,20; Colossians 1:12; 3:16; 1Peter 4:11; Revelation 4:8, 9, 10,
11; 5:9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14; Revelation 7:9, 10, 11, 12; 19:1, 2, 3,
4, 5, 6)
(Fruit - Genesis 4:3,4; Hosea 14:2; Romans 6:19; 12:1)
(Give thanks - Psalms 18:49; Matthew 11:25; Luke 10:21) (See
also Ps 50:23 Lv 7:12, Lv 22:29, Ps 50:14, 50:23,116:17)
Let us - 12 exhortations in Hebrews
Heb 4:1, 11, 14, 16; 6:1;
Heb 10:22-25; 12:1, 28; 13:13, 15;
Let us continually -
Spurgeon comments "That is to say, without ceasing. Let
us make an analogous precept to that which says, “pray continually”
(1Th 5:17), and say, “praise continually.” Not only in this place or
that place, but in every place, we are to praise the Lord our God.
Not only when we are in a happy frame of mind, but when we are cast
down and troubled. The perfumed smoke from the altar of incense is
to rise toward heaven both day and night, from the beginning of the
year to the year’s end."
The Christian’s sacrifice of praise is to be
offered continually. It is not to be a fair-weather offering, but an
offering in every circumstance. 1Th 5:18
(note), Ep 5:18-note,
Ep 5:19,20-note. How is it
possible to give thanks to God in all circumstances ? See Ro 8:28,29
and keep a proper perspective of His hand of loving discipline in
Heb 12:5, 6-note,
Heb 12:7, 8, 9, 10-note,
A rabbinical tradition teaches that all the
Mosaic sacrifices would have an end except the thank offering, and all
prayers would cease except the prayer of thanksgiving
Offer up a sacrifice - Matthew Henry comments "Now what
are the sacrifices which we must bring and offer on this altar, even
Christ? Not any expiatory sacrifices; there is no need of them. Christ
has offered the great sacrifice of atonement, ours are only the
sacrifices of acknowledgment... we must speak forth the praises of God
from unfeigned lips; and this must be offered only to God, not to
angels, nor saints, nor any creature, but to the name of God alone;
and it must be by Christ, in a dependence upon His meritorious
satisfaction and intercession.
Offer up (399)
from ana = up,
again, back + phero = bear, carry) literally means to carry,
bring or bear up and so to to cause to move from a lower position to a
higher position. It serves as a technical term for offering sacrifices
offer up (to an altar). The
calls for this
offering up to be the believers continual practice (not just on
Sundays beloved. Praise is a great antidote for the slings and arrows
that pierce our soul each day.)
Anaphero - 10x in NT -
Matt. 17:1; Mk. 9:2; Lk. 24:51; Heb. 7:27; 9:28; 13:15; Jas. 2:21; 1
Pet. 2:5, 24. NAS renders anaphero bear(1), bore(1), brought up(2),
offer up(3), offered up(2).
It is notable
that anaphero is used 25 times in the Septuagint translation of
Leviticus regarding offerings! For example, Moses records that...
Aaron's sons shall offer it up
(anaphero = bear, carry) in smoke on the altar on the burnt
offering, which is on the wood that is on the fire; it is an offering
by fire of a soothing aroma to the LORD. (Lev
3:5) (See also Gen. 8:20; 22:2, 13; 31:39; 40:10; Exod.
18:19, 22, 26; 19:8; 24:5; 29:18, 25; 30:9, 20; Lev. 2:16; 3:5, 11,
14, 16; 4:10, 19, 26, 31; 6:15, 26; 7:5, 31; 8:16, 20f, 27f; 9:10, 20;
14:20; 16:25; 17:5f; 23:11; Num. 5:26; 14:33; 18:17; 23:2, 30; Deut.
1:17; 12:13f, 27; 14:24; 27:6; Jdg. 6:26, 28; 11:31; 13:16, 19; 15:13;
16:8, 18; 20:26, 38; 21:4; 1 Sam. 2:19; 6:14f; 7:9f; 10:8; 13:9f, 12;
15:12; 18:27; 20:13; 2 Sam. 1:24; 6:17; 21:13; 24:22, 24f; 1 Ki. 2:35;
3:4; 5:13; 8:1; 9:15; 10:5; 12:27; 17:19; 2 Ki. 3:27; 4:21; 1 Chr.
15:3, 12, 14; 16:2, 40; 21:24, 26; 23:31; 29:21; 2 Chr. 1:4, 6; 2:4;
4:16; 5:2, 5; 8:12f; 9:4, 16; 23:18; 24:14; 29:21, 27, 29, 31f; 35:14;
Ezr. 3:2, 6; Neh. 10:38; 12:31; Job 7:13; Ps. 51:19; 66:15; Prov. 8:6;
Isa. 18:7; 53:11f; 57:6; 60:7; 66:3; Jer. 32:35; Ezek. 36:15; 43:18,
24; Dan. 6:23)
Jesus, as our
Great High Priest , offered up the sacrifice of Himself
by bringing His body up to the Cross. Anaphero is
used in Hebrews which records that Jesus
does not need daily, like those
(Jewish) high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for
His own sins, and then for the sins of the people, because this He did
once for all when He offered up Himself. (He 7:27-note)
discusses the parallel role of the OT high priests recording that
Aaron shall take away (to lift, to
carry) the iniquity of the holy things which the sons of Israel
consecrate, with regard to all their holy gifts; and (the turban)
shall always be on his forehead, that they may be accepted before the
Lord. (Ex 28:38)
This picture in
Exodus 28 was but a shadow of which Jesus was the Substance.
his famous prophecy of the suffering Servant (the Messiah) records
Surely our griefs
bore, and our sorrows He
carried. Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and
afflicted. But He
was pierced through for our transgressions,
was crushed for our iniquities. The chastening for our well-being fell
and by His
scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, each
of us has turned to his own way, but the Lord has caused the iniquity
of us all to fall on Him.
(Isa 53:4, 5, 6)
Isaiah adds that
As a result of the anguish of
will see it and be satisfied; By
knowledge the Righteous
will justify the many, as
will bear (LXX
their iniquities. Therefore,
a portion with the great, and
will divide the booty with the strong, because
poured out Himself
to death, and was numbered with the transgressors. Yet
the sin of many, and interceded for the transgressors.
(Isa 53:11, 12)
When John the Baptist saw
coming to him he declared the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy
(and all the OT Messianic prophecies for that matter) saying
of God Who takes away the sin of the world! (Jn 1:29)
interesting to note that the Jewish people did not crucify criminals.
They stoned them to death. But if the victim was especially evil, his
dead body was hung on a tree until evening, as a mark of shame (Dt
21:23). Jesus died on a tree—a cross—and bore the curse of the Law
(Gal 3:13). The force of ana = up, appears in the fact of
the altar was in fact elevated.
from thuo = to sacrifice
or kill a sacrificial victim) means that which is offered as a sacrifice. Webster's defines it as
act of offering to a deity something precious! Here thusia
is used metaphorically to describe their volitional offering of their
Thusia - 28x in the NT -
Matt. 9:13; 12:7; Mk. 12:33; Lk. 2:24; 13:1; Acts 7:41f; Rom. 12:1; 1
Co. 10:18; Eph. 5:2; Phil. 2:17; 4:18; He 5:1; 7:27; 8:3; 9:9, 23,
26; 10:1, 5, 8, 11, 12, 26; 11:4; 13:15, 16; 1Pe 2:5
Hosea describes Israel’s confession to
God and the appropriate response to His marvelous mercy and grace
which forgives sins..
words with you and return to the LORD. Say to Him, "Take away all
iniquity, and receive us graciously, that we may present the fruit
(praise) of our lips. (Hosea 14:2)
Asaph records God's
He who offers a sacrifice of
thanksgiving honors Me and to him who orders his way aright I shall
show the salvation of God. (Ps 50:23-note)
Spurgeon commenting on this
Psalm penned the following words...
Whoever offers praise glorifies
Me. Praise is the best sacrifice; true, hearty, gracious
thanksgiving from a renewed mind. Not the lowing of bullocks bound to
the altar, but the songs of redeemed men are the music which the ear
of Jehovah delights in. Sacrifice your loving gratitude, and God is
And to him that orders his
conversation aright will I show the salvation of God. Holy living
is a choice evidence of salvation. He who submits his whole way to
divine guidance, and is careful to honour God in his life, brings an
offering which the Lord accepts through His dear Son; and such a one
shall be more and more instructed, and made experimentally to know the
Lord's salvation. He needs salvation, for the best ordering of the
life cannot save us, but that salvation he shall have. Not to
ceremonies, not to unpurified lips, is the blessing promised, but to
grateful hearts and holy lives.
O Lord, give us to stand in the judgment with those who have
worshipped Thee aright and have seen Thy salvation. (Spurgeon's
Defender's Study Bible
adds that "We no longer sacrifice the blood of
animals to cover our sins, for Christ has "offered one sacrifice for
sins forever" (He 10:12 -note).
Instead, we offer praises, the "calves of our lips" (Ps 50:23;
Ho 14:2). These are not to be offered only once each week, in a
so-called worship service, or praise service, but continually. "In
every thing give thanks" (1Th 5:18-note).
)(Hebrews 13 Commentary Notes -
Defender's Study Bible)
IS THE FRUIT OF LIPS
THAT GIVE THANKS TO HIS NAME:
tout estin (3SPAI) karpon cheileon
homologounton (PAPNPG) to onomati autou:
resources on fruit:
Holman Bible Dictionary;
Thompson's Chain References
Baker's Evangelical Dictionary)
Spurgeon - If you are
believers in Christ, you are God’s priests, and this is the
sacrifice that you are continually to offer—the fruit of your lips,
giving thanks to God’s name.
literal refers to fruit, produce or
offspring, describing that which is produced by the inherent energy of
a living organism. Karpos is what something naturally produces.
Figuratively as in this verse, karpos speaks of the consequence
or result of physical, mental, and/or spiritual action. In the NT the
figurative (metaphorical) uses of karpos predominate and this is
particularly true in the Gospels, where human actions and words are
viewed as fruit growing out of a person's essential being or
Our lips can bring forth pleasing,
spiritually "fragrant" fruit (cp Pr 16:24, 25:11, 27:9) or
"foul-smelling", rotten (unwholesome) "fruit" (cp Ep 4:29-note).
Beloved, what kind of fruit did your lips produce this week?
Karpos - 67x in NT - Matt. 3:8,
10; 7:16ff; 12:33; 13:8, 26; 21:19, 34, 41, 43; Mk. 4:7f, 29; 11:14;
12:2; Lk. 1:42; 3:8f; 6:43f; 8:8; 12:17; 13:6f, 9; 20:10; Jn. 4:36;
12:24; 15:2, 4f, 8, 16; Acts 2:30; Rom. 1:13; 6:21f; 15:28; 1 Co. 9:7;
Gal. 5:22; Eph. 5:9; Phil. 1:11, 22; 4:17; 2 Tim. 2:6; 4:13; Heb.
12:11; 13:15; Jas. 3:17f; 5:7, 18; Rev. 22:2. NAS renders
karpos benefit(2), crop(5), crops(2), descendants(1),
fruit(43), fruitful(1),fruits(4), grain(1), harvest(1), proceeds(1),
Karpos refers to that which originates or comes from something
producing an effect, result, benefit, advantage or profit.
Scripture catalogs 3 general kinds of spiritual fruit...
1) Spiritual attitudes that
characterize a Spirit-led believer - Galatians 5:22-note,
2) Righteous actions - Ro
Php 4:16, 17-notes;
3) New converts - Ro
Larry Richards summarizes the Biblical concept of spiritual
fruit writing that "Fruitfulness is a consistent
concept in the OT and the NT. The fruit God seeks in human
beings is expressed in righteous and loving acts that bring peace and
harmony to the individual and to society. But that fruit is
foreign to sinful human nature. Energized by sinful passions, fallen
humanity acts in ways that harm and bring dissension. God's solution
is found in a personal relationship with Jesus and in the supernatural
working of God's Spirit within the believer. As we live in intimate,
obedient relationship with Jesus, God's Spirit energizes us as we
produce the peaceable fruits of a righteousness that can come
only from the Lord. (Richards,
L O: Expository Dictionary of Bible Words: Regency)
The point of this phrase may be
that fruit is
something borne out of cultivation, fertilization and time and
spiritual fruit acceptable to our Holy God is produced by His Holy
Spirit (Galatians 5:22-note,
Ga 5:23-note). It follows that this fruit is not
borne by simply coming into the service on
Sunday , "praising" God, and then going out Monday, living like the
world, deceptively thinking one can return the following Sunday and
bear fruit from his mouth that is acceptable and honoring to God.
Spiritual fruit is holy fruit
and must be borne by the Holy Spirit in a saint surrendered to His
will and enabled by His grace.
Our hearts are like a "field" which need constant attention
cultivation that we might be ready at any moment to offer the
sacrifice of praise. Like good farmers believers must watch over their hearts
with all diligence (Pr 4:23-note) because out of their mouths on Sunday
will proceed the "fruit" that has been cultivated during the
week. If we have loved the world (Jas 4:4, 2Co 6:14,16), we will be
corrupted by the world's (Ep 2:2-note,
Ep 2:3-note) lusts of deceit
3:3-note,1Jn 2:16,17) and the result is that our hearts
lips may yield "rotten" fruit (Mt 12:34,35,15:19) for sees
our hearts (Jas 4:8,see 1Sa 16:7) and tests
our motives (1Co 4:5). Thankfully, even if we have become
defiled by the filth of the world, His mercies are new every morning
and we can still enter through the blood of Jesus, honestly confessing
our sins and resolving to turn from them (1Jn 1:9).
Dave Guzik comments that...
we do have an altar (the cross) and we do have a High Priest (Jesus),
we should always offer sacrifices. But they are not the bloody
sacrifices of the old covenant, but the sacrifice of praise, the fruit
of our lips.
The writer to the Hebrews spells out several essentials for proper
Praise that pleases God is offered by Him, that is, by Jesus Christ,
on the ground of His righteousness and pleasing God.
Praise that pleases God is offered continually, so that we are always
Praise that pleases God is a sacrifice of praise, in that it may be
costly or inconvenient.
(3670) (homologeo) basically means to say the same thing as
and can convey several connotations including binding the speaker to
his or her word (Mt 14:7), confessing or admitting to something as
true (thus agreeing with it) (He 11:13-note), indicating a binding
statement in a judicial matter (Ac 24:14), making a public
acknowledgement of allegiance (Ro 10:9, 10-note), or as in this verse
acknowledging that which is rightly due to God.
Spurgeon - Bless the Lord at all times. Not alone in your
secret chamber, which is pungent with the perfume of your communion
with God, but yonder in the field and there in the street. In the
hurry and noise of the Exchange, offer the sacrifice of praise to
God. You cannot always be speaking His praise, but you can always be
living His praise. The heart once set on praising God will, like the
stream that leaps down the mountain’s side, continue still to flow
in its chosen course. A soul saturated with divine gratitude will
continue, almost unconsciously, to give forth the sacred odor of
praise, which will permeate the atmosphere of every place and make
itself known to all who have a spiritual nostril with which to
><> ><> ><>
F B Meyer - THE
SACRIFICE OF PRAISE
Serve the Lord with gladness:
Come before His presence with singing.-- Ps 100:2.
THE HUNDREDTH Psalm is rightly
entitled "A Psalm of Thanksgiving" (R.V.). The Psalmist calls for a
"joyful noise," i.e. an audible expression of worship. Do not be
content with a thankful heart, but express it! It is good to let God
have "the fruit of our lips." As a bird will awaken the whole choir of
a woodland glade, so the soul really aglow with loving adoration will
spread its own contagion of song. How often Christian people hinder
the progress of Christianity by their dullness, gloominess, and
depression. His service is perfect freedom, and if we delight
ourselves in the Lord, we should serve Him with gladness!
It is very important to maintain
the habit of regular church-going because of its opportunity for
worship. Let us "enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His
courts with praise!" By meditation and prayer let us ask that we may
be accounted worthy to stand in His Presence, and offer praise and
adoration to the Most High God (El
Elyon: Most High God - Sovereign Over All), mingled with the fragrance of our
Saviour's Name (Rev 8:3-note,
"'The Lord is good!" There are
many mysteries, and much pain and sorrow in the world. We must dare to
believe and affirm the goodness of God beneath all the distressing
elements of modem life. With His goodness are combined His mercy and
His truth. Let men do their worst, "His truth endureth to all
generations." It is an impregnable Rock, on which the waves of sin can
make no sensible impression. What comfort there is in knowing that
equally His mercy is everlasting. We need so much patience,
forbearance, and longsuffering, that if God's mercy were anything less
we should despair, but it is extended to every generation till Time
shall be no more!
Bless the Lord, O my soul, And
forget not all His benefits. AMEN (Our Daily Walk)
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F B Meyer
BLESSING OF THANKFULNESS
Giving thanks always for all
things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus
Christ."-- Ep 5:20-note.
SOME PEOPLE seem born with a
sullen and feverish temper, and it is very difficult for them to
brighten into smiles and songs. But whatever our natural disposition
may be, if we belong to Christ it is our bounden duty to cultivate a
thankful heart. A melancholy person has a bad effect upon others. It
is miserable to have to work with or under a confirmed pessimist.
Nothing is right, nothing pleases, there is no word of praise or
encouragement. Once, when I was at Aden, I watched a gang of Lascars
trans-shipping the mails. It was a pleasure to see them, one after
another, carrying the bags cheerily because their leader kept them all
the time singing as they did their work. If, instead of finding fault
with our employees or servants we would look out for things for which
we could commend and thank them, we should probably find a miraculous
change in their attitude.
The advantage of joy and
gladness is that it is a source of strength to the individual soul,
and to all others who come within its range, and commends our
Christianity! Sidney Smith says: "I once gave a lady two and twenty
recipes against melancholy; one was a bright fire; another, to
remember all the pleasant things said to her; another, to keep a box
of sugar-plums on the chimney-piece, and a kettle simmering on the
hob. I thought this mere trifling at the moment, but have in after
life discovered how true it is, that these little pleasures often
banish melancholy better than more exalted objects." We may interpret
the advice of this humorist and essayist by turning into joyous praise
all the incidents of our daily life, arising with gratitude and
thankfulness from every good and perfect gift to the Father of our
Lord Jesus Christ. The world is sad, and has to pay her jesters and
entertainers; it is a mystery to her that the face of the Christian
should be bright and smiling, although the fig-tree does not blossom,
and there is no fruit in the vine. Let us count up our treasures and
blessings, and we shall find that even in the saddest and loneliest
life there is something to turn our sorrow into singing (2Co 6:10).
Help us, O Lord, to rejoice
always; to pray without ceasing, and in everything to give thanks.
AMEN. (Our Daily Walk)
><> ><> ><>
Be Filled With Thankfulness
- Throughout history, many
cultures have set aside a time for expressing their thankfulness. In
the US, Thanksgiving Day originated with the pilgrims. In the midst of
extreme hardship, loss of loved ones, and meager supplies, they still
believed they were blessed. They chose to celebrate God's blessings by
sharing a meal with Native Americans who had helped them survive.
We know we've lost the spirit of that original celebration when we
catch ourselves complaining that our Thanksgiving Day has been
"spoiled" by bad weather, disappointing food, or a bad cold. It's we
who are spoiled—spoiled by the very blessings that should make every
day a day of thanksgiving, whatever our circumstances.
Billy Graham wrote,
Ingratitude is a sin, just as surely as is lying
or stealing or immorality or any other sin condemned by the Bible.
then quoted Romans 1:21-note, one of the Bible's indictments against
rebellious humanity. Then Dr. Graham added,
Nothing turns us into bitter, selfish, dissatisfied people more
quickly than an ungrateful heart. And nothing will do more to restore
joy of our salvation than a true spirit of thankfulness.
Which condition describes you? —Joanie Yoder (Our
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
A grumbling mood of discontent
Gives way to thankfulness
When we consider all God's gifts
And all that we possess. —Sper
Gratitude is a God-honoring attitude.
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SAY SO - Mel Trotter was a drunken barber whose
salvation not only turned his own life around but also changed
thousands of others. He was saved in 1897 in Chicago at the Pacific
Garden Mission, and not long afterward was named director of the City
Rescue Mission in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Thirty-five years later, at a meeting at the mission, Mel Trotter was
conducting “Say-So” time. He asked people in the crowd to testify how
Jesus had saved them. That night, a 14-year-old boy stood up and said
simply, “I’m glad Jesus saved me. Amen.” Trotter remarked, “That’s the
finest testimony I ever heard.” Encouraged by those words from such an
important leader, that teenager, Mel Johnson, went on to become a
Christian leader in his own right.
Young Mel was encouraged to say so, and he did. Six little words,
followed by an encouraging comment. A testimony and an affirmation led
to a life of service for God.
Let’s look for opportunities to offer “the fruit of our lips,” to tell
others that Jesus is Lord and that He saved us. Tell your own
salvation story, and ask others to share theirs as well—as a
“sacrifice of praise to God” (Hebrews 13:15). Whether we are children,
teens, or adults, we who belong to Jesus Christ need to stand up and
“say so.”— by Dave Branon (Our
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
me the story of Jesus,
Write on my heart every word;
Tell me the story most precious,
Sweetest that ever was heard!
The more you love Jesus,
the more you'll talk about Him.
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Sacrifices That Please God - Read: 1Pe 2:1-10 -
You...are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to
offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God. --1Peter 2:5-note
A man touring a rural area of the Far East saw a boy pulling a crude
plow while an old man held the handles and guided it through the rice
paddy. The visitor commented, "I suppose they are poor."
"Yes," said his guide. "When their church was built, they wanted to
give something to help but they had no money. So they sold their only
ox. This spring they are pulling the plow themselves." The tourist was
deeply challenged by their sacrificial gift.
Under Old Testament law, God required animal sacrifices, which pointed
to Christ dying for our sins. His death brought them to an end, but
the Lord still desires to receive spiritual sacrifices from His
God puts no merit in any attempts to earn His favor or call attention
to oneself. But He delights in deeds that spring from faith that works
through love (Ga 5:6). They are spiritual sacrifices that come from
giving ourselves completely to Him (Ro 12:1-note,
Ro 12:2-note). He is pleased when we
continually give thanks in Jesus' name, do good, and share with others
(He 13:15, 16).
Some spiritual sacrifices will be costly. But what is gained--His
praise--is always greater than what is given up. --D J De Haan (Our
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
The gifts that we may give,
The deeds that we may do
Most truly honor Christ
When self is given too. --DJD
When Christ's love fills your heart,
the more you give, the more you gain.