Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Fruit of my lips


Hebrews 13:15 (AMP) Through Him, therefore, let us constantly and at all times offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, which is the fruit of lips that thankfully acknowledge and confess and glorify His name.

(CEV) Our sacrifice is to keep offering praise to God in the name of Jesus.

(ESV) Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.

(MSG) Let's take our place outside with Jesus, no longer pouring out the sacrificial blood of animals but pouring out sacrificial praises from our lips to God in Jesus' name.


Since these Jewish Christians, because of their witness to the Messiah, no longer worshiped with other Jews, they should consider praise and acts of service their sacrifices—ones they could offer anywhere, anytime. This must have reminded them of the prophet Hosea's words, "Forgive all our sins and graciously receive us, so that we may offer you our praises" (Hos_14:2). A "sacrifice of praise" today would include thanking Christ for his sacrifice on the cross and telling others about it. Acts of kindness and sharing are particularly pleasing to God, even when they go unnoticed by others.

Our lips should confess God's name in praise. Yet, in your typical day, how many times do you hear God's name used profanely? Christians should turn their frequency toward praise! Praise God early in the day before the rush, then again in the hurried middle, and at the end as business winds down. Offer Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise.


I have determined today to count my blessings and give God thanks. I am afraid that "thanksgiving" has become a lost art. Being unthankful is one of the signs of the time. In other words, a sign that Jesus is preparing to come back to this earth. God's Word tells us that "perilous times" would come, and part of those troubling times would be how arrogantly unthankful this world would become. My prayer is that we all slow down TODAY, and give God thanks for His blessings.

Throughout history, many cultures have set aside a time for expressing their thankfulness. In the US, Thanksgiving Day originated with the pilgrims. In the midst of extreme hardship, loss of loved ones, and meager supplies, they still believed they were blessed. They chose to celebrate God's blessings by sharing a meal with Native Americans who had helped them survive.

We know we've lost the spirit of that original celebration when we catch ourselves complaining that our Thanksgiving Day has been "spoiled" by bad weather, disappointing food, or a bad cold. It's we who are spoiled—spoiled by the very blessings that should make every day a day of thanksgiving, whatever our circumstances.

Let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. —Hebrews 13:15

Billy Graham wrote, "Ingratitude is a sin, just as surely as is lying or stealing or immorality or any other sin condemned by the Bible." He then quoted Romans 1:21, one of the Bible's indictments against rebellious humanity. Then Dr. Graham added, "Nothing turns us into bitter, selfish, dissatisfied people more quickly than an ungrateful heart. And nothing will do more to restore contentment and the joy of our salvation than a true spirit of thankfulness."

We can read much about thanksgiving in the book of Colossians. The apostle Paul had never been to the church in Colosse, but he had heard all about it from Epaphras. He knew it was a church under attack by false teachers, so he prayed fervently for this congregation (Colossians 1:9-14; 2:4-7).

Among his requests, Paul asked that they would give joyful thanks to the Father because He had rescued them, moving them from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of His Son (1:12-13). Then he told them to make sure and: Let the peace of God rule in your hearts, . . . and be thankful. —Colossians 3:15. We too need to be thankful for what Christ has done for us.

Thankfulness seems to be a lost art today. Warren Wiersbe illustrated this problem in his commentary on Colossians. He told about a ministerial student in Evanston, Illinois, who was part of a life-saving squad. In 1860, a ship went aground on the shore of Lake Michigan near Evanston, and Edward Spencer waded again and again into the frigid waters to rescue 17 passengers. In the process, his health was permanently damaged. Some years later at his funeral, it was noted that not one of the people he rescued ever thanked him.

Let's take time often to recall how God has rescued us from eternal death and has given us eternal life through His Son. May we "continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name." Let's make certain that we never allow thanking the Father to become a lost art.


"Lord, thank you for the many blessings that You give me daily. You truly give me my 'daily bread.' Forgive me for the times I have taken those blessings for granted. I choose today to give thanks continually for the things that I often take for granted. In Jesus name, amen!"