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From the Pastor's Pen


June 28, 2018

Sacrifice of Praise

I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live. The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came over me; I was overcome by distress and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the Lord: “Lord, save me!” For you, Lord, have delivered me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before the Lord in the land of the living. I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the Lord. I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people, in the courts of the house of the Lord—in your midst, Jerusalem. Praise the Lord. Psalm 116:1-4,8,17-19 NIV

An old song says, “All You Need is Love” (is the tune now rolling around in your head?). Others have also said that love is more than a feeling. In reality, love is more like a sacrificial choice than a feeling. Love is desiring God’s best for someone else. Putting another’s wants and needs above your own is a sacrificial choice. Likewise, I believe praising God is a choice…a sacrificial choice.

There are many Bible verses that speak of our profound need to praise God. The writers of the Psalms often chose to pour out their hearts in praise to God even when their circumstances were anything but praiseworthy. King David praised God in the middle of life and death situations. It was in those moments that he chose to offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving to God. When he did, he was reminded that God is faithful and can be trusted even in the darkest moments of life.

I’m sure the last thing David felt like doing was praising God, and I’m guessing most of you have experienced the same thing. When the dark clouds of despair are so thick about you that you cannot even imagine feeling joy or peace again, that is when God invites you to choose life… to choose love… to take our eyes off yourself and find rest for our weary soul through a sacrifice of praise.

Sacrifice means giving something that costs you dearly. I believe that something is self. When we offer a sacrifice of praise to God we offer Him our self-pity, our self-centeredness, our self-confidence, our self-indulgence, our self-reliance, and our self-righteousness. We sacrifice our self when we make the choice to praise God.

When you find yourself overwhelmed by the cares of life, lift up a sacrifice of praise to God. Let Jesus Christ be your joy, your center, your pleasure, your confidence, and your righteousness. Lift up a sacrifice of praise and experience the flood of God’s love reviving your soul!

Onward and upward in Christ.


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