The Sacrifice of Praise
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light 1 Peter 2:9
Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that confess his name Hebrew 13:15
Old Testament saints understood that sacrifice was central to worship. Because Jesus made the one, final sacrifice for our sins, never to be repeated, we can wrongly assume Christian worship involves no further sacrifice. It’s true that sin no longer requires a continuing sacrifice. But the Old Testament priests offered different kinds of sacrifices, including voluntary sacrifices to express their thanks to God.
You and I have been made priests before God. Through the effective victory of Christ’s death for us, we can boldly enter God’s presence. There we stand as priests before Almighty God; but there to do more than just stand; there to offer ‘spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ’ (1 Peter 2:5).
God had told Israel, “No one is to appear before me empty- handed” (Exodus 23:5). Through each of Israel’s set feast periods, all the people were to bring a sacrifice. As we come before God as New Testament priests, we must likewise bring a sacrifice – our ‘sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that confess his name’ (Hebrews 13:15)
The great Bible teacher, Warren Wiersbe, wisely said “I’m deathly afraid of personal spiritual deterioration, of having a name that I’m alive when I’m really dead. We are always facing a spiritual crisis but no crisis will be solved by Christians who get their food and weapons secondhand. It will be solved by people who walk with God, who feed on his word, who have strength for the battle, and who know how to use the sword of the Spirit. We need a return to the old fashioned spiritual disciplines of life.”
Worship is an ‘old fashioned spiritual discipline of life’ but one I don’t ever want to let go of. You don’t need a worship service to begin to praise and worship your God. You are a New Testament priest. You stand in God’s presence. Now offer Him your sacrifice of praise.
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