Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise–the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. Hebrews 13:15
Every day people are willing to sacrifice many different things for something else that they like more. People will sacrifice family, hobbies, sleep or more just to watch sports. Others will sacrifice the same things and more for other things that they love even more.
Sometimes the sacrifices are for something good, while many times it is for something that is harmful or destructive in the long run.
As the author concludes the book, he tells people to continually offer a sacrifice of praise to God as they profess His name.
One of the difficult things for people to do is praise God not just in the good times, but during difficult and trying times. It is when things are going bad and it looks as if God is against one, that praising God becomes a sacrifice. It is putting aside self, this world and putting God first.
The greatest advantage of praising God is that it takes one’s eyes off of self and the problems of this world and puts the focus back on God. It recognizes that although there are many difficulties in life, God is still in control and loves the person.
Praising God in this way is a sacrifice, because it is putting aside self and selfish desires and putting God at the forefront. It has to be a conscience effort to praise God in this way.
As one is sacrificing his own life to give praise to God, it will be a witness to the world as to who the person is serving and trusting. It will also empower God to be able to do more in his life because of the sacrifice of praise.
Every day you will be busy and have many challenges and trials. Rather than look at the challenges and be overwhelmed by them, turn your focus towards God and offer Him praise.
Think of all the good things God has already done for you and give God praise for each of those things. Offer a sacrifice of praise to God for how He is going to bring you through every difficult situation in your life.
Be willing to sacrifice everything to praise God. As you do that you will see God work great and mighty things in your life.
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will praise God for who He is; that you will praise God for what He is doing; that you will praise God for what He will do; and that you will sacrifice all to praise God first.
Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. Hebrews 9:27-28
Every person on the earth knows that their time on earth is limited and that there is coming a day when they will die. For most people this brings about fear. They do not know what to expect after death.
In not knowing what to expect, they live in fear of death and the future.
The author of Hebrews points out how everyone is destined to die, but points to a future hope that some will have. Anyone who is waiting for Christ’s return, is looking forward to the salvation He will bring.
Although believers will die, just like every other person on the earth, they can have a completely different view of death then every one else. The believer who understands the forgiveness and grace of Jesus, will have a hope that no one else can understand or know.
Their hope is in knowing the purpose Jesus forgave them of all of their sins. That very purpose is to save them and bring them into heaven to live eternally with God.
In order to gain that salvation, one must believe and be waiting for His return. There are some in the church who claim to believe, but are working to earn their salvation, not trusting Jesus. Others are living a double life, going to church on Sunday, but living like the world the rest of the week. These are people who are not waiting and looking for His return.
Everyone who is not waiting for Jesus, will miss Him when He does return.
When Jesus died and rose again, He did that so that you may know His love, forgiveness and receive the salvation He will provide. It was not just for everyone else, but you also are included.
As you live your temporary life here on this earth, do not forget to keep watch and waiting for His return. Know that as you trust and wait for Him, He will return some day to complete the salvation that He started in you.
You have the hope of eternal life in you, don’t quit waiting for its completion.
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know the forgiveness Jesus provides; that you will know the hope of salvation Jesus will bring; that you will patiently wait for His return; and that you will live in hope of eternal life with God some day.