Today, God commands that we should:
- Offer sacrifice of praise to Him through Jesus Christ (Heb. 13:15);
- Rejoice and celebrate His goodness and mercies (Ps.118:1);
- Praise and glorify Him (Ps.50:23).
- We praise God because He is the Alpha and Omega.
Before we look at the theme of the Cantata (Sacrifice of Praise), let us examine the two texts for today. In them we will see the need to offer Sacrifice of Praise to God continually.
1st Lesson (Proverbs 13:12-25).
Whoever despises, hates or rejects the word and counsel [of God] brings destruction upon himself, but he who fears and respects the commandment [of God] is rewarded. (vv13; 18; 25).
Jesus is the Word of God. Whoever rejects Him is condemned already (John 3:16-18).
2nd Lesson (Revelation 3:1:13)
Jesus reveals Himself to the three churches:
- Sardis: He is the eye of God who sees everything and uncovers them (v1).
- Philadelphia: The holy and trustworthy one. He has the key of David that opens and closes doors and no one can reverse it (v7).
- Laodicea: He is “Amen”, through Him alone are all requests and promises of God fulfilled (v14).
This is Jesus. Do you really know Him? If you do, you will praise Him.
But Jesus knows you and your works, deeds and thoughts. He concludes that we are not perfect before God (vv 2-3).
If we repent, He has these great promises for us:-
- We will walk with Him and be clothed in white because we are worthy (v5).
- He will make us over-comers and keep us from temptations (v10).
- He will make us pillars in the temple of God and write our names in the book of life (v12).
Sacrifice of Praises (Hebrew 13:15)
- Sacrifice means offering something at great cost or value to God (possession, money, time, talent, etc.) Col.3:23-24.
- Praise means to exalt and magnify God above all (Ps. 34:1-4). Praise does not cost us anything.
Though sacrifice and praise may seem opposite, in the spiritual realm they are interlinked.
- When God has blessed us, helped us and protected us we feel generous towards Him. We sing, shout, worship and talk about His goodness and mercies (praise).
- When trouble comes and God seem far away, praise is the last thing in our hearts. We often scream that He has forgotten us (Is.49:14).
- To praise God in those times of trouble requires personal sacrifice because we trust Him (Ps. 135:1-3; Nahum 1:7).
- Sacrifice of praise comes from a humble heart and a spirit that has chosen to honour God despite of the pain that life is causing. (Ps 51:15-17).
CCC Hymn 312: I shall glorify Jesus.
Song of Praise
There is a woman in the scripture, the favourite of her husband. But she was barren because God shut her womb and her adversary provoked her continually (I Sam. 1:5-6).
Eventually, she prayed through to an answer by making a vow. She promised that if God gives her a son, she would loan the son back to God (sacrifice). Then God heard her prayer and she conceived and bore a son.
It was when Hannah was giving her son Samuel to the Lord that she sang the beautiful song of praise (I Sam. 2:1-10).
She praised God for His:
- Holiness ( v2).
- Knowledge (v3).
- Power (vv6-8).
- Justice (vv9-10).
Important lessons to learn here are as follows:
- Sacrifice of praise brings down the glory of God, because He inhabits the praises of His people (Ps. 22:3)
- Real praise continues regardless of the circumstances because no one is like God and He is worthy (Ex. 15:11; Rev. 4:11).
- If God delays in answering your prayers, delay is not denial. God only wants to increase you and multiply the sorrows of your enemies.
- For the loan of her only child, God blessed Hannah with 3 sons and 2 daughters (I Sam. 2: 21).
Finally, Hannah’s song is not just poetic but also prophetic. The Horn (symbol of authority) she exalts is the Lord Jesus Christ who brought salvation (vv1&10). Whenever you praise God, you are also prophesying into your life.