“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.” Hebrews 13:15 NASB The writer of the letter to the Hebrews provides a number of exhortations as he concludes his note. One of these gems is the necessity for us to live a life that is characterized in praise to our Creator. He frames that exhortation in the context of a sacrifice. Something that a fellow Hebrew would clearly understand given the times in which they lived. The writer is communicating via metaphor that “in Christ” we have a new way of living which entails praise to God. Speaking words to offer thanksgiving to His name.
Praise to the Lord is a practice that takes place “in season and out of season.” In other words, whether I feel like it or not. A practice that grows to become a greater part of my character, my life. A blessing God provides for those who learn to follow this path as Psalm 145 illuminates. This is the upside where I desire to live. The Bible, in both the Old and New Testament, delineate that there are consequences for me depending on my choice. The downside of neglecting to be a man who praises God does not fare well, Deuteronomy 28:47-48 and Romans 1:21-23.
Many years ago in the 1990’s, the California Milk Processor Board started an ad campaign entitled, “Got Milk?” to encourage consumers to drink more milk. It worked. One feature of their advertising was a picture of people posing with the “milk moustache.” Generally, accompanying that moustache was a beautiful smile. It was a commercial that conveyed a positive feeling and a positive outcome. All you need to do is drink milk.
Milk has never been high on my list of preferred drinks. I drank it growing up because that’s what my parents provided at breakfast, lunch and dinner. We had a cow named Star and she proved to be an abundant producer of this highly valued beverage. At least according to my parents……. and the dairy association. And I experienced a milk moustache on a regular basis during my early childhood long before the commercial made it famous. Drinking milk regularly each day was intended to improve my health. Imagine what a regular practice of praise might do?
It’s amazing how the simple everyday things can have an impact on our attitude, our viewpoint. How we see the world. What we value and what we emphasize. Along with the writer of Hebrews, we can start to practice on our own, within our family and within our community of believers. Along with the accompanying smile. Psalm 136:1 can be a good place to start. We and our children will learn about praise of our heavenly Father as we practice doing so. Doing so in faith, in hope, in love. Praise and gratitude are representative of the light of Christ within us. May yours shine brightly for Him.
"And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." Matthew 4:19
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