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As Christians, today we have better sacrifices to offer to God than the practices done and observed by the old testament people of God. One of these sacrifices is praise. Praise is a spiritual sacrifice designed to honour God. In fact it is one of the best sacrifices that God enjoy. In heaven, all of God's angels and His heavenly hosts praise Him always. At this moment, we are the spiritual house God is building. Jesus is the perfect foundation stone God has chosen for the house. Those who are in Christ are also living stones used to build the house. So we individually serve as both the priests and the spiritual sacrifices, as we live our lives in Christ, the house builder.

Reference: Hebrews 13:15 New American Standard Bible (NASB) 'Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.'

This verse contains practical aspect of praise sacrifice through Christ. We have been positioned in Christ to offer a sacrifice of praise continually. Specifically it mentioned that the sacrifice is one of praise, not animals or materials. Since Jesus' work on our behalf is completely finished (Hebrews 9:24–26), there is nothing we can add to it (Galatians 3:10-14). Instead, all we have to do is to cultivate an attitude of joyful praise. That means, a sacrifice of praise is a sacrifice done out of gratitude and reverence because of all that Christ has done for us. So our referenced Scripture expands the idea to remind us that any spiritual sacrifice we do today is not to help God to finish the work of salvation; its our expression of grateful heart from a joyous perspective. Simply put, an expected part of this grateful heart is praise.

1 Peter 2:5 (ESV) reads, 'you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ'. Daily we are being built into a spiritual house, a dwelling place for God. In this new temple- made out of the people of God- each one of us serves as a priest. Its a spiritual house and we are like living stones in Christ, set aside for a specific project - to offer the sacrifice of praise with our lips to God, not once but continually. We are stones that have voices and cry out praises to God with the fruit of our lips.

When Jesus and His disciples were approaching the descent from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of disciples began to praise God joyfully in a loud voice for all the miracles they had seen, singing: Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” But some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples!” And Jesus answered and said to them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the very stones will cry out" (see Luke 19:37-40). Notice that Jesus specifically mentioned stones for praise purposes.

Today, we are like living stones raised up by Christ to praise God. That's the reason our opening verse says, 'we must continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, through Christ.' With what? The fruit of lips that gives thanks to His name. The word 'fruit' tells you to make it pleasant because fruit is the sweet and fleshy product of a tree or other plant that can be eaten as food. Praise - the fruit of our lips is what our heavenly Father eats.

In the old testament, animal sacrifices were offered daily and continually in the temple. In our time, as Christians, we have our temples which are our bodies and we must offer continually sacrifice of praise regardless of whether we feel like it or not. Under the Old Testament Law, of course, the people would come to the temple where the priests would represent them to God. Now, God's people in Christ are the temple. We are also the priests. All of the barriers between God and us have been removed, such that we can offer Him spiritual sacrifices directly.

Psalm 69:30-31 (NIV) says, 'I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving. This will please the Lord more than an ox, more than a bull with its horns and hooves.' In other words, our sacrifice of praise is more superior to the animal sacrifice.

Don't wait for long till that miracle happens before you to start praising the Lord. When you water your expectations with praise, you fast-track your miracle. Therefore, if you haven't praised Him today, remember to do it. Its your duty and it should be done continually.

Scripture Reading - Psalm 49:14; Habakkuk 2:11; Psalm 63:3-4; Colossians 3:16.

Guided Prayer: Heavenly Father, I'm forever grateful that living a life of praise and thanksgiving enriches my life and turns my focus to every blessing in Christ Jesus. As a priest, I have a noble duty of offering sacrifice of praise continually. Thus songs of praise regularly finds expression through my mouth and the power of praise is constantly demonstrated through me to my world. Thank you for the incredible sacrifice of Christ on the cross so that I might enjoy peace and joy and fulfil your plan for my life, in Jesus' Name, Amen.


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