TEXT is Hebrews 13:15, 16, “A sacrifice of praise and good deeds”
“Peace, peace, to him who is far off [both Jew and Gentile] and to him who is near! says the Lord; I create the FRUIT OF HIS LIPS, and I will heal him [make his lips blossom anew with speech in thankful praise]” (Isaiah 57:19 Amplified version).
THROUGH CHRIST WE SHOULD OFFER TO GOD CONTINUAL SACRIFICES
GOOD DEEDS–“kindness and good” (Hebrews 13:16)
“Kindness and good” is a general term for all kinds of practical ministry to others. The New International Version and the New American Standard versions of the bible use the word “sharing” (Greek=Koinonia). It means sharing the essentials of life with those who are lacking them; unable to work to obtain them. 2 Thessalonians 3:10 takes it one step further:
“For while we were yet with you, we gave you this rule and charge: If anyone will not work, neither let him eat.”
The Bible is clear, that religion that is only God-ward, does not extend in practical ways to others is PHONY!
“External religious worship [religion as it is expressed in outward acts] that is pure and unblemished in the sight of God the Father is this: to visit and help and care for orphans and widows in their affliction and need, and to keep oneself unspotted and uncontaminated from the world” (James 1:27).
And James goes on to say,
“If a brother or sister is poorly clad and lacks food for each day, And one of you says to him, Good-bye! Keep [yourself] warm and well fed, without giving him the necessities for the body, what good does that do?” (James 2:15, 16).
And then the thought is carried forth in the Gospel of John,
“Little children, let us not love [merely] in theory or in speech but in deed and in truth (in practice and in sincerity)” (1 John 3:16-18).
“SUCH SACRIFICES” ARE PLEASING TO GOD
A sacrifice is, “something given that comes with a cost”. If what ever you are doing at the time, doesn’t cost you something, then by definition it isn’t a sacrifice. Things might be real tough in your finances right now. But you are ‘blessed to be a blessing’ and it might cost you something. If it doesn’t, it’s not a sacrifice.
If we offer “such sacrifices” apart from Jesus, we then are sacrificing in vain; an offensive attempt to commend ourselves to God. When we offer them through Jesus Christ–“such sacrifices are pleasing to God” (Hebrews 13:16).
My aim in life while writing The WORD Detective blog is to please God out of love for Him. Do I receive a benefit from blogging? ABSOLUTELY! I am blessed through writing thoughts down and publishing them for all to read. The Apostle Paul prayed for the Colossians this way:
“That you may walk (live and conduct yourselves) in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him and desiring to please Him in all things, bearing fruit in every good work and steadily growing and increasing in and by the knowledge of God [with fuller, deeper, and clearer insight, acquaintance, and recognition]” (Colossians 1:10).
One day we will stand before Him; we should live so we will hear Him say to us,
“Well done, you upright (honorable, admirable) and faithful servant! You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little; I will put you in charge of much. Enter into and share the joy…” (Matthew 25:23).
If through Christ Jesus, we “constantly, continually and at ALL TIMES offer up to God a sacrifice of praise”, and not to “forget or neglect to do kindness and good, to be generous and distribute and contribute to the needy” of the church, as proof of fellowship–we will rejoice someday to hear those words repeated from His own lips. BUT IT WILL COST YOU SOMETHING! If it doesn’t, it’s NOT a sacrifice.
God created you for a purpose:
—Glorify Him by enjoying Him forever. How do I do that?
—By living in a manner pleasing to Him. How do I do that?
—By coming to faith in Jesus and His shed blood. It’s the only way to be reconciled or submitted to the holy God.
—Trusting in Jesus. You please God by daily offering your life to Him; as a living sacrifice of praise and good deeds.
Some practical ways:
1. Steep yourselves in the Psalms. Turn them into praises as you pray them back to God with your lips.
2. Sing Praise Songs and hymns of faith. If you don’t know the words or the tunes, get a CD and play them back. Even Jesus and the disciples sang after communion; the Passover Seder; the Last Supper as some know it.
“And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives” (Matthew 26:30).
3. Look for opportunities to serve, rather than expecting to be served.
“For even the Son of Man came not to have service rendered to Him, but to serve” (Mark 10:45).
4. As with George Muller, make it your first business of every day to find delight and joy in God. As the picture in today’s blog of Ziggy says, “Go God!!”. Your chief end is to glorify Him by enjoying His presence.