What IS The Sacrifice of Praise?
Oh That We Praised God More!
Nov 4, 2012 AM
Pastor Craig Ledbetter
I. Introduction (Psalm 107:8)
A. Oh how we NEED to praise God!
1. Today, it almost has no meaning
2. But David repeats himself 4 times in Psalm 107, “Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!”
3. For His goodness, and for all His wonderful works that he does to the children of men!
4. Yes there will be trials, and afflictions, wrongs in life, in government, in the economy
5. But it is more important to praise God than complain
6. There is something marvellous that happens to every Christian when they live a life of praise towards God!
B. But it is hard! It is HARD to constantly have a praising attitude (a worshipful attitude) about things in life
1. We have been conditioned to think “all is wrong” – about ourselves, about our mates, about our jobs, about our economy
2. We are FAULT-FINDERS today!
3. To most people, including believers, life just stinks!
4. We have experienced so many wrongs in our lives, and disasters and even abuses that it is just plain HARD to generally have a good attitude… to go out of our way, and praise God and be thankful for the things in our lives, like we should
5. But oh how we need to praise God anyway!
C. What does it mean to Praise God?
1. To applaud God
2. To get excited about God, to rejoice in what He is doing
3. It is honouring, magnifying the goodness and accomplishments of God
a. Like when you praise your children for their efforts or accomplishments
b. Like when you praise your husband for his hard work and faithfulness
c. Like when you praise your wife for her virtue and hard work for your family
4. Praise is when we give recognition to God for what he has done
5. It is when we express warm approval or admiration of God – just like a rousing applause
a. When we stand and applaud the performance of some musician …
b. When we bolt out of our seats at a stadium because of the success of some athlete…
c. When we shout with excitement at the graduation of our son or daughter
d. We are PRASING them!
e. Well… Do we ever applaud God? We should!
D. This month, we will focus our attention on learning how to praise God more than we do, and learn how to do it better than we currently do!
E. Believe me, praise won’t be easy! That’s why it is called “the sacrifice of praise”`
II. Message – What IS the Sacrifice of Praise? (Hebrews 13:15)
A. Praise is Our Gift to God (Psalm 54:6)
1. It is not a sacrifice for sins (that was Jesus), but a sacrifice of praise!
2. Praise is Because of Him - Jesus
3. It is a Free-Will GIFT to God, just because of who He is
4. God cannot command us to sacrifice our praise, or else it wouldn’t be praise
5. This is OUR chance to give back to God something of great value… our applause, by our own choice!
a. Some TV shows used to have live audiences
b. And there was a man in the front facing the audience, telling them when to laugh, or applaud
c. But there is no one telling us to praise God – it must come from ourselves! As a gift
6. It is our gift back to God for some very good reasons!
7. Why should we praise God?
a. Because He Saved us (Ps 118:21) “I will praise thee: for thou art become my salvation.”
b. Because He is OUR God (Ps 118:28) “Thou art my God, and I will praise thee”
c. Because He made you and me – with no mistakes (Ps 139:14) “fearfully, wonderfully”
d. Because He is all wise – He knows what He is doing (Romans 16:27) “God only wise”
e. Because of His Promises that He written down, and that He cannot break (Ps 56:4) “In God I will praise his word…; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me”
He only does amazing things (Isa 25:1; Ps 72:18) – He cannot do less than
be the LORD God, the God of
8. It will be often be a sacrifice to praise God. But if you do it of your own free-will, it is of priceless value to Him!
B. Praise is a Sacrifice by a Believer! A Very Costly Effort – That’s why it is called a “sacrifice”
1. There are three kinds of sacrifices in the Bible:
a. Sacrifices for Sins against God
1) In the Old Testament, it was the continuous giving of the life of an innocent lamb in the place of a sinner
2) In the New Testament, it was the one time and final giving of the perfect life of Jesus Christ
b. Sacrifices for Commitment to God – like Rom 12:1
1) Referred to as Burnt Offerings
2) An ongoing sacrifice – based on the level of commitment of a believer
c. Sacrifices of Praise and Thanksgiving to God
1) Wave offering
2) You were supposed to take your best gifts, your best animals and give them to God as a gift to Him because he has been so good to you!
3) And wave that gift before God and said God, I love you and thank you for all you have done! Here is something that means a lot to me, that I give BACK to you!
4) Your best attitude ought to be given as a sacrificial gift to God
5) Your best thoughts ought to be given as a sacrificial gift to God
6) Your best joys, and thrills! (Psa 27:6)
2. But here is the reality…
a. These three were not easy to give. They were sacrifices - they cost people to give such things to God
b. They were all necessary as part of the worship of God. Without these sacrifices, without it costing us there could be no worship!
c. David said “neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing.” (2Sam 24:24)
3. You see, Praise will rarely be easy to do
a. IT is so much easier to find fault, to complain, and to murmur and begrudge
b. We will easily give people a piece of our mind
c. We will even find ourselves easily giving out to God and withholding praise that He deserves
4. It takes a whole lot more effort to find a way to praise God when we don’t know why something is happening to us!
C. Praise is Empowered by God (Hebrews 13:15)
1. We make a sacrifice “By Him”
2. It is offered NOT by our own strength, or by our own abilities
3. But, by using HIS strength, according to HIS sacrifice, in His way
a. All the sacrifices of the Old Testament were shadows of the perfect sacrifice that the Lamb of God would make one day. Every OT sacrifice was valid only because oif the final sacrifice of Jesus Christ! They were only I.O.U.’s until Jesus came and paid them all off at His death!
b. In the same way, all our sacrifices that we can make, are empowered by His life!
4. So, using Jesus Christ, in his name, like Jesus offered Himself, by His power, let us offer our gift of praise to God
5. Not praising like anyone else! But, praising God like He did!
D. The Sacrifice of Praise is Something We SAY – OUT-LOUD! More about this next week!
1. We are to use WORDS to praise God – that is where we begin
2. Not just thinking it, but SAYING it (Ps 109:30)!
3. Saying, “Praise the Lord! Thank you Lord! I applaud you Father! I am grateful to you!”
4. Praise is “the fruit of our lips”
5. And NOT just the “words” of our lips, but the RESULTS, the fruit of what we say
6. Do the results of what you say bless God?
a. Murmuring and complaining doesn’t bless God – as a matter of fact, it greatly angers God! It frustrates God to no end when we gripe and complain!
b. Arguing, and fighting doesn’t bless the Lord! “the servant of the Lord must not strive” Do not debate about words and things that do not profit the hearer (2Tim 2:14)
E. Something Must Die in the Process of this Sacrifice
1. We need to first dump what naturally comes out of our mouths!
a. Why? Because there is something wrong with our mouths (Rom 3:10-14)!
b. Does that describe YOUR mouth and your way of talking?
c. People worry about their diets (which is good) and the ingredients of the food that goes INTO their mouths…
d. But so rarely do we worry about what comes OUT!
2. We have to get rid of the old way of talking, FIRST! Crucify our old speaking habits
a. 1Peter 3:10 “For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile”
1) That means no more flippant use of the words, “God” and “Holy BLANK”
2) That means, no more lying or hypocrisies
b. James 1:26 “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.”
1) If your MOUTH and your TONGUE is not being transformed by your relationship with Jesus Christ…
2) Then your Christianity is worthless!
c. Ephesians 4:29 “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”
1) Corrupt means like a corrupt politician – let nothing that would ruin or hurt someone else come out of your mouth!
2) Let NOTHING corrupt, rotten, evil, sinful, obscene, filthy come out of your mouth – EVER!
d. Ephesians 5:4 “Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.”
1) Evidently that includes…
2) Foolish talking – talking like an unsaved person
3) Jesting – making light of sober and serious things – like heaven, hell, Armageddon, the Second Coming, staying clean and pure until marriage, drunkenness, and so on!
3. With God’s help, learn to TAME/BIND your tongue, and especially your HEART so that you CAN offer praise continuously – lay it on an altar of sacrifice… (James 3:7-9)
a. With the same mouth people try and BLESS, PRAISE God, and then turn around and use the same tongue to curse, destroy people!!!
b. YOU CAN’T BELIEVE THAT YOU ARE ACTUALLY PRAISING GOD IF YOU ARE BLAIMING, CURSING, DENEGRADING, BAD-MOUTHING PEOPLE!
c. If you are a born again child of God, this should not happen (James 3:10)
d. It doesn’t happen in nature (James 3:11,12)
e. And it ought not happen in us (Jas 3:13)
f. It all comes from evil hearts (James 3:14)
4. That’s why we Bible believers study to be quiet – work hard to refrain, hold back our tongues when we feel like saying something that we ought not!
a. We don’t go shooting off pur mouth about things
b. We don’t gossip
c. We don’t tear people down
d. Instead, We thank God
e. We edify and bless and build up, and help people
F. Praise is a Continuous Gift – It Means ALL THE TIME!
1. It is really no good if it is spotty. Hebrews 13:15 says, “continually”
a. Not just on Sundays for a small while, or when you “feel” like it – which is rare enough
b. Too easy to do something for just a little while, and then forget about it
2. David said in Ps 34:1 “I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.”
3. So, when should praise be in our mouth? In the good times, bad times, hard times, rough times, day times, night seasons, alone times, great times… fill in the rest!
4. Psa 145:2 Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever.
5. Psa 146:2 While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.
G. Praise, When it is a Sacrifice, is a Worship Gift
1. We are not worshipping, if we do not praise God
b. When we worship God, we need to do it with applause, thankfulness, for just who He is – we forget that!
2. So many come to church, but never even try and praise God
a. I’mnot talkig about coming and swaying and raising hands either!
b. They come and sit, but are bitter, and frustrated, and cold, and hard
c. And NOTHING will warm them, until they decide to go ahead and praise the Lord whom they say they worship
3. If you really want to worship God, dump what you feel like saying, and offer to God the praises that OUGHT to be said
4. Job taught us how to truly worship, when it is hard (Job 1:20,21)
5. Praise is so beautiful to God! So pleasing to God! (Psalm 33:1) Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright.
H. Next Week, I will explain better, HOW to Praise God
A. Oh how we NEED to praise God!
1. David cries out in Psalm 107, “Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!”
2. For His goodness, and for all His wonderful works that he does to the children of men!
3. There is something marvellous that every Christian misses when they do not live a life of praise towards God!
B. What the Sacrifice of Praise Is
1. Praise is a Free-Will Gift to God (Psalm 54:6)
a. This is OUR chance to give back to God something of great value… our applause, by our own choice!
b. It will be a sacrifice to do it. But if you do it of your own free-will, it has priceless value!
2. It is a Sacrifice by a believer! A Very Costly Effort – That’s why it is called a “sacrifice”
a. We are supposed to take our best gifts, our best animals and give them to God as a gift to Him because He has been so good to you!
b. It will rarely be easy
c. It takes a whole lot more effort to find a way to praise God than to complain! To bless the Lord when we don’t know why something is happening to us!
3. It is Empowered by God. Using Jesus Christ, like Jesus offered Himself, let us offer our gift of praise to God
4. The Sacrifice of Praise is Something We SAY – more about this next week!
a. Like, “Praise the Lord! Thank you Lord! I applaud you Father! I am grateful to you!”
b. Do the results of what you say bless God?
c. Murmuring and complaining doesn’t bless God – as a matter of fact, it greatly angers God! It frustrates God to no end when we gripe and complain!
d. Arguing, and fighting doesn’t bless the Lord! “the servant of the Lord must not strive” Do not debate about words and things that do not profit the hearer (2Tim 2:14)
5. Something Must Die in the Process of this Sacrifice
a. Specifically, we need to crucify what naturally comes out of our mouth!
b. We have to dump the old way of talking FIRST! Crucify our old speaking habits
1) No more flippant use of the words, “God” and “Holy BLANK”
2) No more lying or hypocrisies
c. With God’s help, learn to TAME/BIND your tongue, and especially your HEART so that you CAN offer praise continuously – lay it on an altar of sacrifice… (Jam 3:7-9)
d. Study to be quiet – work hard to refrain, hold back our tongues when we feel like saying something that we ought not!
e. So that we can thank God
f. So that we can edify and bless and build up, and help people
6. The Sacrifice of Praise is a Continuous Gift
a. Not just in bits and pieces, on a Sunday, or when you feel like it!
b. Continually means ALL THE TIME!
c. David said in Ps 34:1 “I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.”
d. In the good times, bad times, hard times, rough times, night times, day times
e. Psa 145:2 Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever.
f. Psa 146:2 While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.
7. Praise, When It is a Sacrifice, is a Worship Gift
C. I don’t think we are doing a great job at praising God… do you?
D. Let’s we agree to learn to truly worship God!
E. It begins with a soft, broken heart, about our own sinfulness
F. Is there anyone who would readily admit they are away from God, hardened by the deceitfulness of sin
G. Maybe someone needs to admit they have never been born again, the Bible way – not talking about being “baptized” or being a good person, or doing some great works…
H. But what the Bible calls, repenting, being extremely sorry for your own sinfulness, and praying and finally asking God Almighty, to have mercy on you and forgive you completely, because of Jesus Christ alone taking your place!