Gospel News · January - April 2015

y him therefore let us offer the
sacrifice of praise to God continually,
that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to
his name” (Hebrews 13:15). Since the begin-
ning of time man has had a desire to sacrifice
something to his Creator. Cain brought “of
the fruit of the ground” as an offering to the
Lord. Abel brought “of the firstlings of his
flock and of the fat thereof” for a sacrifice
to God. Upon emerging safely from the ark,
Noah took of every clean beast, and of every
clean fowl and offered burnt offering to God.
Even today, people in many parts of the
world bring sacrifices or gifts to God. The
desire is there and the sacrifice is made.
What should we offer to God? Indeed, He
deserves great things. The prophet Micah
grappled with this question (Micah 6:6-8). He
tells us that God does not desire burnt
offerings of calves a year old nor thousands
of rams, nor ten thousand
rivers of oil and especially
not our own offspring.
Perhaps God wants us to be
more diligent in attending
ecclesia, or maybe that
what He needs is more
dollars (naira) from our bank
accounts, or more of our
time in acts of service? Yes,
God deserves great things.
But these great things in
themselves do not please
Him. What does please God
is a proper attitude, a right
spirit. Micah said: “He hath
showed thee, O man, what
is good and what doth the
Lord require of thee but to
do justly, and to be contrite
before him.” He does not simply want us to
give some of our things to Him; He requires
that we yield ourselves to Him completely.
Romans 12:1 calls us to present our bodies as
a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God,
continually yielding our total selves to God
including a life of praise and adoration to
Him. Hebrews 13:15 says that it is by him
(Jesus) that we can offer the sacrifice of
praise to the Father. This is the kind of
sacrifice that God wants today. He does not
require that we offer turtle doves or lambs or
calves or bulls on literal altars. He does
request a life that honours Him. And He loves
hearts that well up in singing, i.e. one way in
which we offer the sacrifice of praise collec-
tively when we sing with other brethren /
sisters in a worship service. We bring the
sacrifice of praise individually when our
hearts burst forth in song as we go about our
daily duties.
The nature of a tree is revealed by the fruit
it bears; in the same way the nature of a
person is revealed by what comes out of him.
A brother or sister who has a heart filled with
praise for God will spontaneously and freely
bring to Him a sacrifice of praise with their
lips. The sacrifice of praise
should be careful and
earnest. God requires our
best. The Old Testament
speaks of bringing the first
fruits of the land into the
house of God. It speaks of
bringing animals that are
without spot for burnt offer-
ings unto the Lord. In the
same way, now in the New
Testament era, we give our
best as a sacrifice of praise
to our Maker, but singing
carelessly and half-heartedly
is not bringing our best in
sacrifice. The sacrifice of
praise need not be some-
thing that is difficult for us
to give. In fact it should be
something we love to give to our Lord. We
bring it joyfully: we bring it cheerfully. “God
loves a cheerful giver” applies to bringing
the sacrifice of praise, as well as giving in
other ways. The greatest sacrifice of praise is
a life that matches our profession, for then
others will see our good works and glorify our
Father which is in heaven.
A Sacrifice of Praise
| Bro Uka Egwu (Ohafia, Nigeria)