Sacrifice of Praise
When we Praise God with a cost
(A message through Pastor Joel Detalo during the Morning Service of City Cross Link)
Hebrews 13:15-16 New International Version (NIV)
15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. 16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
From the Hebrew name יְהוּדָה (Yehudah), probably derived from יָדָה (yadah) meaning "praise". In the Old Testament Judah is the fourth of the twelve sons of Jacob by Leah, and the ancestor of the tribe of Judah. ... His tribe eventually formed the Kingdom of Judah in the south of Israel.
It is easy to praise God when things are well; when we receive good report; when prayers are answered; when blessings are overflowing. It does not take so much faith when praise is done in ease and comfort. But how about when things go sour: prayer unanswered, or things do not go the way we expect them to be; when we are hurt; when unexpected circumstances come? These kind of situation are challenging times for our faith and praise. Yet we go to the Scriptures and we are taught to 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 New International Version (NIV) 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
A. Praise is most meaningful when done in faith.
Faith is the only currency that we transact in God’s Kingdom.
This is the only language that God understand when we talk with Him. The Bible says in Hebrews 11:6 “without faith it is impossible to please God.” But faith is not of relevant when things go our way. We start to realize our lack and weakness when needs pop up. But on easy time, we simply need Rocking Chair.
1. Jehoshapat sending a praise and worship team infront of the army at the war zone. 2 Chrinicles 20:21-22
Our flesh will tell us the opposite: if God will intervene then I will praise God. Faith says, Praise Him first then God will intervene.
2. Joshua and Jericho. Jericho was a strategic and meaningful location. It was the last city for them to conquer, then they can formally enter the promise land. But the city was well defended with fortress impossible to penetrate. Its walls were so thick that chariots can run through its thickness. It was easy for the people to tell God, “Ok Lord, here’s a wall impossible for us to conquer. Please let your super power missiles destroy then we will give you shout of praise. But God commanded them the opposite, march around the city seven times. On the seventh just give your loudest shout of praise and you will see the deliverance that comes from the Lord.
B. Praise is most meaningful when done from the pit.
Pit represents circumstances that put us down.
1. Joseph revealed a dream to family and they did not take it positively. They took offence and made him an object for bully. There are people who will hate you not because you are bad or you did wrong but simply they cannot take the dream that God planted in your heart. In fact there are people who will hate you and will put you down with no other reason but simply because you are good. Your goodness will become so annoying for them that you will become an object of bully and criticism. People will let you down and will discourage you. In the case of Joseph he was literally thrown into the pit by his brothers. But never in the record of Joseph’s story where you will see him whine or blamed God. In his misfortune he kept his faith intact. Then, God intervened. It was by the opinion of Judah that the brothers took him out of the pit and sold him to the Ismaelites. Is it not interesting that when you are at the pit just activate the praise and God will certainly show up. He said He inhabits the praises of His People. When you are down at the pit and you call the praise, God will certainly dispatch his strongest angels to deal with you case.
2. Job was unjustly accused of his friends. He lost all his businesses, went flat in his career, and yes even his family were all gone. He was left alone in the pit. Yet notice his attitude in the bitterness of his spirit: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb and naked I will depart. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. May the name of the Lord be praised.” Job 1:21
C. Praise is most meaningful when done in sacrifice
Mother Theresa once said: “Give until it hurts.” When we give in our abundance it does not necessarily hurt us. But when we give when we barely have enough, this is the sacrifice of praise that God is talking about.
1. The widow who gave her last two pennies. Jesus said, she gave more than all the rest of the people’s offering combined. Everyone else gave out of there abundance, but she out of her poverty she gave everything she has.
2. The Zarephath widow. I Kings 17:7-16. She gave and obeyed at the risk of her and her child’s life. Unknowingly that her sacrificed of praise is the act that will cause God to reveal and show up. Since that day, there was no more lack. For every time they need God miraculously cause the supply to overflow while everywhere else was in lack.
Sacrifice of Praise is when we praise God even when we are at the pit of our situation. Good times, praise Him. Bad times, praise Him more. Our praise should not be dependent in our outside circumstances. Let it come out from a heart that goes beyond the limits of our mood and our flesh; beyond the popular majority; beyond the reasons of good time. When we learn to praise God in spite of, you can be certain that this is God favourite venue of intervention. He shows up in unexpected and unusual way. So put your praise on in your darkest hour, in your giants, in your insurmountable walls, and expect Him to fight the battle in your behalf.