Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Sacrifice of Praise (VA Tech Devotional)

Hebrews 13:15 (NLT) says “(Therefore), let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to His name.”

The skeptic would say, “Yeah? What’s the big deal? Isn’t a “sacrifice” supposed to be something that’s ‘hard’; something that ‘requires’ something of you? Just how tough of a ‘sacrifice’ is it to offer praise?

Well, just ask the students at Virginia Tech this “day after” the most horrific day in the history of the school - indeed in the history of education everywhere! Ask any mother or father who’s lost a child; a wife who’s lost a husband, a child who’s lost a parent…

But, praise Him, they must… indeed, we must. He is our “thank offering.” He is our hope of redemption and of new life. He is the “first born of the dead.” Because He lives, we shall live, too.

But before the “sacrifice of praise” we read in verses 12-14 “So also Jesus suffered and died outside the city gates to make his people holy by means of his own blood. So let us go out to him, outside the camp, and bear the disgrace he bore. For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.”

It is becoming more and more apparent that anyone who calls upon the name of Jesus is shunned and ostracized. The name of “God” is brandished around with great ease - because no one has to “explain” what they mean by “God”… It can mean anything (or nothing.) The Muslim says it, the Buddhist says it, the mystic says it, the Jew (orthodox or not) says it… even the nonbeliever says it…

But, one cannot say the Name of Jesus and remain neutral. There is nothing “neutral” about that Name.

How about you? Are you willing to offer the “sacrifice of praise” and claim the Name of Jesus, regardless of what it costs you…?



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