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God-Pleasing Sacrifices

God-Pleasing Sacrifices

13 December 2011

Reading: Hebrews 12-13; Jude

Scripture:

15 With Jesus’ help, let us continually offer our sacrifice of praise to God by proclaiming the glory of his name. 16 Don’t forget to do good and to share what you have with those in need, for such sacrifices are very pleasing to God. (Hebrews 13:15-16 NLT)

Previously in Hebrews, living by the law of Moses is contrasted with the life of faith. The Old Covenant with its rules of the law is contrasted with the New Covenant and its grace through the Spirit. Here, in these two verses, the God-pleasing sacrifices of the New Covenant are contrasted with the God-pleasing sacrifices of the Old Covenant. The sacrifices of the Old Covenant: the fruit of the harvest and the blood of animals offered daily. The sacrifices of the New Covenant: Praise to God, Good Deeds to others, and Generous Giving to those in need.

God is pleased when we praise him. God always deserves our praise, but praising him can seem a real sacrifice when we are suffering, facing challenges that stretch us beyond our ability, or when we’re discouraged. God is pleased when we give him the praise he deserves. But we need Jesus’ help to praise from the heart and not merely from our circumstances!

God is pleased when we do good to others, even when they seem unappreciative, or when we’re just maxed out and don’t feel we have the time or energy for one more “good deed.” It’s a sacrifice and God is pleased. But we need Jesus’ help to do good when our doing good is hard or when it’s not properly appreciated!

God is pleased when we share what we have with others in need, even when it seems we scarcely have enough for ourselves. It’s a sacrifice to do without something we want or need so that we can give to bless others. It’s a sacrifice and God is pleased. But we need Jesus’ help to keep giving when it’s hard and when it hurts!

Prayer:

Father, I praise you for you are worthy of praise. It’s something I purpose to do better and to do with consistency – even when it’s a sacrifice, even when I don’t feel “praisey.” I’m going to do better at doing good to others and at sharing what I have with people in need. I want you to be pleased with my sacrifices. Thanks for being a God and Father who is pleaseable even by me. By the way, I really need Jesus’ help to actually do the things I’m purposing to do! Thanks for your help, Lord Jesus! Amen.

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