Wednesday, January 13, 2010

~~Sacrifice of praise~~

Bible and worshipping songs mention a lot of sacrifice, be it in term of offering of animal, plant, human life or some material possession to the Lord. Likewise, praise is also mentioned throughout the scriptures, be it praises to men or the Lord. Little do I give much thought to the combination of these two words - sacrifice of praise. I never expect give praise to the Lord is also considered a form of sacrifice. The two bible references below shed some light on the significant of giving praise to the Lord. (Father, I pray that You in Your gracious mercy will reveal the real meaning of these phrase to us as we explore and mediate on the verses below. Help us oh Lord, help us to have the full grasp of its meaning and in turn praise You all the more knowing what it means and how much it means to You. Father, I hereby present to You our sacrifice of praise.)

Psalm 54:6
6 I will sacrifice a freewill offering to you;

I will praise your name, O LORD, for it is good.

Every sacrifice made should stem from pure heart, good conscience and sincere faith. It is freewill offering from us to the Lord to praise Him solely for who He is and what He had done for us. His sacrifice on the Calvary alone is sufficient, perfect and complete to redeem all our transgressions and sins. Because He is righteous, we righteous; because He is holy, we are holy; because He is blameless, we are blameless. Wouldn't this reason more than enough for us to rejoice, give thanks and offer our praises to Him?

Hebrews 13:15
15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—

the fruit of lips that confess his name.

Even when I feel like my world is shaking, I will give praise.
Even when thing does not go according to my way, I will give praise.
Even when reality is the exact opposite of what I want, I will give praise.
Even when I feel like my heart is breaking, I will give praise.
Even when I was persecuted, I will give praise.
Even when I lost my beloved one, I will give praise.
Even when I lost my means of living, I will give praise.
Even when I lost my health, I will give praise.
Even when I lost my courage to live, I will give praise.
Even when I can never bear a child, I will give praise.
Even when I will remain single, I will give praise.
Even when I was disfigured, I will give praise.
Even when I lost my sight, I will give praise.
Even when I lost my voice, I will give praise.
Even when I lost my legs and hands, I will give praise.
Even when I was born with disability, I will give praise.
Even when I was tempted and tortured beyond what I can bear, I will give praise.
Even when I was to live in exile, I will give praise.
Even when it costs my life, I will give praise.

(Philippians 3:8 I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ. Father, I pray that You will grant me the same measure of confident and love that You have lavished in Paul's life. May You will be done today and tomorrow)

It reflects the state of our hearts that lean fully on Him and Him alone. Regardless of the circumstances, we continue to place our full trust in Him - knowing that He is always in charge. In other words, when life has a head-on collision with life storms we continue to give Him praise. We refuse to constraint our praises to God in good times but in bad times we continue to praise Him all the more. We continue to guard our minds, protect our souls and watch over our bodies with the serenity from God. We choose to humble ourselves and exalt our mighty God for His sovereignty in our lives. It is a delibrate and conscious decision that we make in hearts no matter what happens now and tomorrow. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we refuse even the slightest hint of bitterness from taking root, we reject disappointment from flourishing in heart and we do not allow heart breaking from mushrooming all over our thinking. We acknowledge the fact that God gives and God takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord.

Whispering to Abba, Father:

Lord, I know it is easier said than done to praise You especially in bad season of life. Though my body is weak and broken, it is my desire to continue offer my sacrifice of praise to You all of my days. I pray that God will continue grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference. Help me to see above and beyond the cruel reality of life and ground firmly in Your living words. Help me to fix Your words in my heart and mind; tie them as symbols on my hands and bind them on my forehead. Help me to fix my eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. Father, I pray that You continue grant me the peace of mind knowing that I am fixing my eyes on Jesus, the rock, the strong refuge, the author and perfecter of our faith. Amen

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