Monday, 22 June 2020 Hebrews 13:10-21
“Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name. And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” -Hebrews 13:15-16
In our reading today two sacrifices are mentioned in successive verses- Hebrew 13:15-16. Both are of a different kind when we think of the Old Testament sacrifices- i) sacrifice of praise ii) sacrifice of sharing! In the context of sacrifice, it means “offering” that is brought to the Lord. Romans 12:1 speaks of offering our bodies as living sacrifice- a reasonable service to God. Thus in the New Testament light these are spiritual sacrifices!
Sacrifice of Praise: Most often people come to God with a list of “to do for me” and forget that there could equally be a list of “thanks for all that’s done for me”! Think of how much it would bless/warm the heart of a father whose child acknowledges the thoughtful deeds he does for him/her. On the other hand, think of a demanding child constantly wearing out the father with his tantrums and complaints! As children of God we are to constantly remember His goodness, mercy, faithfulness in our lives and acknowledge it in praise and thanksgiving! Psalm 103:2 [NLT] says: “Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me.”
The Lord told the children of Israel to think of how he had led them through from Egypt and brought them to their land of promise In Psalm 107 we see a constant refrain: “Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind…” when recounting God’s great work for them. We too are to think constantly of His greatness, His goodness, His grace and deeds of kindness and thank Him even in our difficult times, trusting Him with His promises!
Sacrifice of Sharing: Then comes the offering of giving, sharing, doing good! When God has bestowed His blessings in our lives, we are to think of others, especially in the family of God who are in need of the offering of not just our possessions, but of ourselves— in deeds and words of kindness, our time and talents that can bring glory to our Heavenly Father. Matthew 5:16 NLT: “In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” In a world of competition that we live today, we as God’s children are called to be people of compassion! Galatians 6:2 CEV says: “You obey the law of Christ when you offer each other a helping hand.”- that’s helping to carry another’s burden! When we help those brothers and sisters less privileged than us, we are doing it to the Lord! “One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the LORD, And He will repay him for his good deed.” (Proverbs 19:17)
Christ Jesus shared His life in living among us on this earth and partaking of our humanity but not of our sin! (Hebrews 2:14). He showed us by example what it is to seek, save and serve! He shared all of His life and laid it down finally to win us back to God! “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13 NLT) That was the greatest sacrifice anyone could offer— which if one accepts it by faith to be made right with God, becomes His child. Then only can we as believers offer those spiritual sacrifices mentioned at the beginning of our meditation today and it can become pleasing to God! If you have been blessed this way through Christ, may your life become a blessing to the Lord and to many!
Thought for the Day: We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. ~ Winston Churchill
Listen: ‘Two hands, one heart’