CONSIDER JESUS OUR GREAT HIGH PRIEST
Click chart to enlarge
Charts from Jensen's Survey of the NT - used by permission
Hebrews - Swindoll
Amplified: 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. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
KJV: By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.
NLT: With Jesus' help, let us continually offer our sacrifice of praise to God by proclaiming the glory of his name. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: Our constant sacrifice to God should be the praise of lips that give thanks to his name. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Young's Literal: through him, then, we may offer up a sacrifice of praise always to God, that is, the fruit of lips, giving thanks to His name;
THROUGH HIM THEN: Di autou oun:
- Heb 7:25; John 10:9; 14:6; Ephesians 2:18; Colossians 3:17; 1 Peter 2:5
Spurgeon - Here we have a description of the believer’s position before God. He has done away with all earthly ordinances, and has no interest in the ceremonies of the Mosaic law. As believers in Jesus, who is the substance of all the outward types, we have, henceforth, nothing to do with altars of gold or of stone: our worship is spiritual, and our altar spiritual. What then? Are we to offer no sacrifice? Very far from it. We are called upon to offer to God a continual sacrifice. Instead of presenting in the morning and the evening a sacrifice of lambs, and on certain holy days bringing bullocks and sheep to be slain, we are to present to God continually the sacrifice of praise. Having done with the outward, we now give ourselves entirely to the inward and to the spiritual.
Hebrews 13:20-21 explains the way we offer pleasing "sacrifices" "Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to Whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. (See notes Hebrews 13:20; 13:21)
The glorious truth of the believers access to the Father through the Son is repeatedly trumpeted in the New Testament.
All things are from Him, through Him and to Him. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.
Consider the following simple study - observe and record the wonderful truths that accrue through Him - this would make an edifying, easy to prepare Sunday School lesson - then take some time to give thanks for these great truths by offering up a sacrifice of praise… through Him. Jn 1:3 [NIV reads "through Him"], Jn 1:7, John 1:10, Jn 3:17, Jn 14:6, Acts 2:22, 3:16, Acts 7:25, Acts 10:43, Acts 13:38, 39, Ro 5:9 [note], Ro 8:37 [note], Ro 11:36 [note]; 1Co 8:6, Ep 2:18 [note], Php 4:13 [note], Col 1:20 [note], Col 2:15 [note], Col 3:17 [note], Heb 7:25 [note], Heb 13:15 [note], 1Pe 1:21[note], 1John 4:9 - Would you like more study on the wonderful topic of through Him? Study also the NT uses of the parallel phrase through Jesus (or similar phrases - "through Whom", "through our Lord", etc) - John 1:17, Acts 10:36, Ro 1:4, 5- note; Ro 1:8-note, Ro 2:16-note, Ro 5:1-note; Ro 5:2-note Ro 5:11-note, Ro 5:21-note, Ro 7:25-note, Ro 16:27-note, 1Cor 15:57, 2Cor 1:5, 3:4, 5:18, Gal 1:1, Eph 1:5-note, Php 1:11-note, 1Th 5:9-note; Titus 3:6-note, He 1:2-note; He 2:10-note, Heb 13:21-note, 1Pe 2:5-note, 1Pe 4:11-note, Jude 1:25)
LET US CONTINUALLY OFFER UP A SACRIFICE OF PRAISE TO GOD: anapheromen (1PPAS) thusian aineseos dia pantos to theo, tout' estin (3SPAI) karpon cheileon homologounton (PAPNPG) to onomati autou:
- Sacrifice Leviticus 7:12; 2Chronicles 7:6; 29:31; 33:16; Ezra 3:11; Nehemiah 12:40,43; Psalms 50:14,23; Psalms 69:30,31; 107:21,22; 116:17, 18, 19; 118:19; 136:1-26; 145:1-21; Isaiah 12:1,2; Ephesians 5:19,20; Colossians 1:12; 3:16; 1Peter 4:11; Revelation 4:8, 9, 10, 11; 5:9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14; Revelation 7:9, 10, 11, 12; 19:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
- Fruit - Genesis 4:3,4; Hosea 14:2; Romans 6:19; 12:1)
- Give thanks - Psalms 18:49; Matthew 11:25; Luke 10:21) (See also Ps 50:23 Lv 7:12, Lv 22:29, Ps 50:14, 50:23,116:17)
A SACRIFICE OF PRAISE
Let us - 12 exhortations in Hebrews - Heb 4:1, 11, 14, 16; 6:1; Heb 10:22-25; 12:1, 28; 13:13, 15;
Let us continually - Spurgeon comments "That is to say, without ceasing. Let us make an analogous precept to that which says, “pray continually” (1Th 5:17), and say, “praise continually.” Not only in this place or that place, but in every place, we are to praise the Lord our God. Not only when we are in a happy frame of mind, but when we are cast down and troubled. The perfumed smoke from the altar of incense is to rise toward heaven both day and night, from the beginning of the year to the year’s end."
The Christian’s sacrifice of praise is to be offered continually. It is not to be a fair-weather offering, but an offering in every circumstance. 1Th 5:18 (note), Ep 5:18-note, Ep 5:19,20-note. How is it possible to give thanks to God in all circumstances ? See Ro 8:28,29 and keep a proper perspective of His hand of loving discipline in Heb 12:5, 6-note, Heb 12:7, 8, 9, 10-note, Heb 12:11-note.
A rabbinical tradition teaches that all the Mosaic sacrifices would have an end except the thank offering, and all prayers would cease except the prayer of thanksgiving
Offer up a sacrifice - Matthew Henry comments "Now what are the sacrifices which we must bring and offer on this altar, even Christ? Not any expiatory sacrifices; there is no need of them. Christ has offered the great sacrifice of atonement, ours are only the sacrifices of acknowledgment… we must speak forth the praises of God from unfeigned lips; and this must be offered only to God, not to angels, nor saints, nor any creature, but to the name of God alone; and it must be by Christ, in a dependence upon His meritorious satisfaction and intercession.
Play the old Maranatha chorus We Bring the Sacrifice of Praise (and praise Him while you listen or sing).
Offer up (399) (anaphero from ana = up, again, back + phero = bear, carry) literally means to carry, bring or bear up and so to to cause to move from a lower position to a higher position. It serves as a technical term for offering sacrifices offer up (to an altar). The present tense calls for this offering up to be the believers continual practice (not just on Sundays beloved. Praise is a great antidote for the slings and arrows that pierce our soul each day.)
Anaphero - 10x in NT - Matt. 17:1; Mk. 9:2; Lk. 24:51; Heb. 7:27; 9:28; 13:15; Jas. 2:21; 1 Pet. 2:5, 24. NAS renders anaphero bear(1), bore(1), brought up(2), offer up(3), offered up(2).
It is notable that anaphero is used 25 times in the Septuagint translation of Leviticus regarding offerings! For example, Moses records that…
Aaron's sons shall offer it up (anaphero = bear, carry) in smoke on the altar on the burnt offering, which is on the wood that is on the fire; it is an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to the LORD. (Lev 3:5) (See also Gen. 8:20; 22:2, 13; 31:39; 40:10; Exod. 18:19, 22, 26; 19:8; 24:5; 29:18, 25; 30:9, 20; Lev. 2:16; 3:5, 11, 14, 16; 4:10, 19, 26, 31; 6:15, 26; 7:5, 31; 8:16, 20f, 27f; 9:10, 20; 14:20; 16:25; 17:5f; 23:11; Num. 5:26; 14:33; 18:17; 23:2, 30; Deut. 1:17; 12:13f, 27; 14:24; 27:6; Jdg. 6:26, 28; 11:31; 13:16, 19; 15:13; 16:8, 18; 20:26, 38; 21:4; 1 Sam. 2:19; 6:14f; 7:9f; 10:8; 13:9f, 12; 15:12; 18:27; 20:13; 2 Sam. 1:24; 6:17; 21:13; 24:22, 24f; 1 Ki. 2:35; 3:4; 5:13; 8:1; 9:15; 10:5; 12:27; 17:19; 2 Ki. 3:27; 4:21; 1 Chr. 15:3, 12, 14; 16:2, 40; 21:24, 26; 23:31; 29:21; 2 Chr. 1:4, 6; 2:4; 4:16; 5:2, 5; 8:12f; 9:4, 16; 23:18; 24:14; 29:21, 27, 29, 31f; 35:14; Ezr. 3:2, 6; Neh. 10:38; 12:31; Job 7:13; Ps. 51:19; 66:15; Prov. 8:6; Isa. 18:7; 53:11f; 57:6; 60:7; 66:3; Jer. 32:35; Ezek. 36:15; 43:18, 24; Dan. 6:23)
Jesus, as our Great High Priest , offered up the sacrifice of Himself by bringing His body up to the Cross. Anaphero is used in Hebrews which records that Jesus
does not need daily, like those (Jewish) high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins, and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. (He 7:27-note)
Exodus discusses the parallel role of the OT high priests recording that
Aaron shall take away (to lift, to carry) the iniquity of the holy things which the sons of Israel consecrate, with regard to all their holy gifts; and (the turban) shall always be on his forehead, that they may be accepted before the Lord. (Ex 28:38)
This picture in Exodus 28 was but a shadow of which Jesus was the Substance.
Isaiah in his famous prophecy of the suffering Servant (the Messiah) records that
Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried. Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities. The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way, but the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him. (Isa 53:4, 5, 6)
Isaiah adds that
As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, as He will bear (LXX uses anaphero) their iniquities. Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, and He will divide the booty with the strong, because He poured out Himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors. Yet He Himself bore (LXX uses anaphero) the sin of many, and interceded for the transgressors. (Isa 53:11, 12)
When John the Baptist saw Jesus coming to him he declared the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy (and all the OT Messianic prophecies for that matter) saying
Behold, the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world! (Jn 1:29)
It is interesting to note that the Jewish people did not crucify criminals. They stoned them to death. But if the victim was especially evil, his dead body was hung on a tree until evening, as a mark of shame (Dt 21:23). Jesus died on a tree—a cross—and bore the curse of the Law (Gal 3:13). The force of ana = up, appears in the fact of the altar was in fact elevated.
Sacrifice (2378) (thusia from thuo = to sacrifice or kill a sacrificial victim) means that which is offered as a sacrifice. Webster's defines it as act of offering to a deity something precious! Here thusia is used metaphorically to describe their volitional offering of their words.
Thusia - 28x in the NT - Matt. 9:13; 12:7; Mk. 12:33; Lk. 2:24; 13:1; Acts 7:41f; Rom. 12:1; 1 Co. 10:18; Eph. 5:2; Phil. 2:17; 4:18; He 5:1; 7:27; 8:3; 9:9, 23, 26; 10:1, 5, 8, 11, 12, 26; 11:4; 13:15, 16; 1Pe 2:5
Hosea describes Israel’s confession to God and the appropriate response to His marvelous mercy and grace which forgives sins..
Take words with you and return to the LORD. Say to Him, "Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously, that we may present the fruit (praise) of our lips. (Hosea 14:2)
Asaph records God's desire…
He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me and to him who orders his way aright I shall show the salvation of God. (Ps 50:23-note)
Spurgeon commenting on this Psalm penned the following words…
Whoever offers praise glorifies Me. Praise is the best sacrifice; true, hearty, gracious thanksgiving from a renewed mind. Not the lowing of bullocks bound to the altar, but the songs of redeemed men are the music which the ear of Jehovah delights in. Sacrifice your loving gratitude, and God is honoured thereby.
And to him that orders his conversation aright will I show the salvation of God. Holy living is a choice evidence of salvation. He who submits his whole way to divine guidance, and is careful to honour God in his life, brings an offering which the Lord accepts through His dear Son; and such a one shall be more and more instructed, and made experimentally to know the Lord's salvation. He needs salvation, for the best ordering of the life cannot save us, but that salvation he shall have. Not to ceremonies, not to unpurified lips, is the blessing promised, but to grateful hearts and holy lives.
O Lord, give us to stand in the judgment with those who have worshipped Thee aright and have seen Thy salvation. (Spurgeon's note)
Defender's Study Bible adds that "We no longer sacrifice the blood of animals to cover our sins, for Christ has "offered one sacrifice for sins forever" (He 10:12 -note). Instead, we offer praises, the "calves of our lips" (Ps 50:23; Ho 14:2). These are not to be offered only once each week, in a so-called worship service, or praise service, but continually. "In every thing give thanks" (1Th 5:18-note). )(Hebrews 13 Commentary Notes - Defender's Study Bible)
THAT IS THE FRUIT OF LIPS THAT GIVE THANKS TO HIS NAME: tout estin (3SPAI) karpon cheileon homologounton (PAPNPG) to onomati autou:
Spurgeon - If you are believers in Christ, you are God’s priests, and this is the sacrifice that you are continually to offer—the fruit of your lips, giving thanks to God’s name.
Figuratively as in this verse, karpos speaks of the consequence or result of physical, mental, and/or spiritual action. In the NT the figurative (metaphorical) uses of karpos predominate and this is particularly true in the Gospels, where human actions and words are viewed as fruit growing out of a person's essential being or character.
THOUGHT - Our lips can bring forth pleasing, spiritually "fragrant" fruit (cp Pr 16:24, 25:11, 27:9) or "foul-smelling", rotten (unwholesome) "fruit" (cp Ep 4:29-note). Beloved, what kind of fruit did your lips produce this week?
Karpos - 67x in NT - Matt. 3:8, 10; 7:16ff; 12:33; 13:8, 26; 21:19, 34, 41, 43; Mk. 4:7f, 29; 11:14; 12:2; Lk. 1:42; 3:8f; 6:43f; 8:8; 12:17; 13:6f, 9; 20:10; Jn. 4:36; 12:24; 15:2, 4f, 8, 16; Acts 2:30; Rom. 1:13; 6:21f; 15:28; 1 Co. 9:7; Gal. 5:22; Eph. 5:9; Phil. 1:11, 22; 4:17; 2 Tim. 2:6; 4:13; Heb. 12:11; 13:15; Jas. 3:17f; 5:7, 18; Rev. 22:2. NAS renders karpos benefit(2), crop(5), crops(2), descendants(1), fruit(43), fruitful(1),fruits(4), grain(1), harvest(1), proceeds(1), produce(4), profit(1).
Karpos refers to that which originates or comes from something producing an effect, result, benefit, advantage or profit.
Scripture catalogs 3 general kinds of spiritual fruit…
3) New converts - Ro 16:5-note
Larry Richards summarizes the Biblical concept of spiritual fruit writing that "Fruitfulness is a consistent concept in the OT and the NT. The fruit God seeks in human beings is expressed in righteous and loving acts that bring peace and harmony to the individual and to society. But that fruit is foreign to sinful human nature. Energized by sinful passions, fallen humanity acts in ways that harm and bring dissension. God's solution is found in a personal relationship with Jesus and in the supernatural working of God's Spirit within the believer. As we live in intimate, obedient relationship with Jesus, God's Spirit energizes us as we produce the peaceable fruits of a righteousness that can come only from the Lord. (Richards, L O: Expository Dictionary of Bible Words: Regency)
The point of this phrase may be that fruit is something borne out of cultivation, fertilization and time and spiritual fruit acceptable to our Holy God is produced by His Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-note, Ga 5:23-note). It follows that this fruit is not borne by simply coming into the service on Sunday , "praising" God, and then going out Monday, living like the world, deceptively thinking one can return the following Sunday and bear fruit from his mouth that is acceptable and honoring to God.
Spiritual fruit is holy fruit and must be borne by the Holy Spirit in a saint surrendered to His will and enabled by His grace.
Our hearts are like a "field" which need constant attention and cultivation that we might be ready at any moment to offer the sacrifice of praise. Like good farmers believers must watch over their hearts with all diligence (Pr 4:23-note) because out of their mouths on Sunday will proceed the "fruit" that has been cultivated during the week. If we have loved the world (Jas 4:4, 2Co 6:14,16), we will be corrupted by the world's (Ep 2:2-note, Ep 2:3-note) lusts of deceit (2Pe 1:4-note,Titus 3:3-note,1Jn 2:16,17) and the result is that our hearts and our lips may yield "rotten" fruit (Mt 12:34,35,15:19) for sees our hearts (Jas 4:8,see 1Sa 16:7) and tests our motives (1Co 4:5). Thankfully, even if we have become defiled by the filth of the world, His mercies are new every morning and we can still enter through the blood of Jesus, honestly confessing our sins and resolving to turn from them (1Jn 1:9).
Dave Guzik comments that…
Because we do have an altar (the cross) and we do have a High Priest (Jesus), we should always offer sacrifices. But they are not the bloody sacrifices of the old covenant, but the sacrifice of praise, the fruit of our lips.
The writer to the Hebrews spells out several essentials for proper praise.
Praise that pleases God is offered by Him, that is, by Jesus Christ, on the ground of His righteousness and pleasing God.
Praise that pleases God is offered continually, so that we are always praising Him.
Praise that pleases God is a sacrifice of praise, in that it may be costly or inconvenient.
Give thanks (3670) (homologeo) basically means to say the same thing as and can convey several connotations including binding the speaker to his or her word (Mt 14:7), confessing or admitting to something as true (thus agreeing with it) (He 11:13-note), indicating a binding statement in a judicial matter (Ac 24:14), making a public acknowledgement of allegiance (Ro 10:9, 10-note), or as in this verse acknowledging that which is rightly due to God.
Spurgeon - Bless the Lord at all times. Not alone in your secret chamber, which is pungent with the perfume of your communion with God, but yonder in the field and there in the street. In the hurry and noise of the Exchange, offer the sacrifice of praise to God. You cannot always be speaking His praise, but you can always be living His praise. The heart once set on praising God will, like the stream that leaps down the mountain’s side, continue still to flow in its chosen course. A soul saturated with divine gratitude will continue, almost unconsciously, to give forth the sacred odor of praise, which will permeate the atmosphere of every place and make itself known to all who have a spiritual nostril with which to discern sweetness.
- ISBE Article;
- Torrey's Topic;
- Holman Bible Dictionary;
- Thompson's Chain References Fruit, sinful Fruit, spiritual Fruitfulness-unfruitfulness Fruitfulness;
- Baker's Evangelical Dictionary)
ANSWER - In the natural world, fruit is the result of a healthy plant producing what it was designed to produce (Genesis 1:11–12). In the Bible, the word fruit is often used to describe a person’s outward actions that result from the condition of the heart.
Good fruit is that which is produced by the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 gives us a starting place: the fruit of His Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The more we allow the Holy Spirit free rein in our lives, the more this fruit is evident (Galatians 5:16, 25). Jesus told His followers, “I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last” (John 15:16). Righteous fruit has eternal benefit.
Jesus told us clearly what we must do to bear good fruit. He said, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:4–5). A branch must stay firmly attached to the trunk to stay alive. As disciples of Christ, we must stay firmly connected to Him to remain spiritually productive. A branch draws strength, nourishment, protection, and energy from the vine. If it is broken off, it quickly dies and becomes unfruitful. When we neglect our spiritual life, ignore the Word of God, skimp on prayer, and withhold areas of our lives from the scrutiny of the Holy Spirit, we are like a branch broken off the vine. Our lives become fruitless. We need daily surrender, daily communication, and daily—sometimes hourly—repentance and connection with the Holy Spirit in order to “walk in the Spirit and not fulfill the lusts of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16). Staying intimately connected to the True Vine is the only way to “bear fruit in old age” (Psalm 92:14), to “run and not grow weary” (Isaiah 40:31), and to not “grow weary in well-doing” (Galatians 6:9).
One counterfeit to bearing good fruit is pretense. We can become experts at the routines, the lingo, and “acting Christian,” while experiencing no real power and bearing no eternal fruit. Our hearts remain self-centered, angry, and joyless even while we go through the motions of serving God. We can easily slip into the sin of the Pharisees of Jesus’ day in judging ourselves by how we think we appear to others and neglecting that secret place of the heart where all good fruit germinates. When we love, desire, pursue, and fear the same things that the rest of the world does, we are not abiding in Christ, even though our lives may be filled with church-related activity. And, often, we don’t realize that we are living fruitless lives (1 John 2:15–17).
Our works will be tested by fire. Using a different metaphor than fruit, 1 Corinthians 3:12–14 says, “If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.”
God is the judge of even our thoughts and motivations. All will be brought to the light when we stand before Him (Hebrews 4:12–13). A poor widow in a one-room hut can bear as much fruit as a televangelist leading giant crusades if she is surrendered to God in everything and using all He has given her for His glory. As fruit is unique to each tree, our fruit is unique to us. God knows what He has entrusted to each of us and what He expects us to do with it (Luke 12:48). Our responsibility before God is to be “faithful with little” so that He can trust us with much (Matthew 25:21).GotQuestions.org
- What did Jesus mean when He said, “I am the True Vine” (John 15:1)? | GotQuestions.org
- Does the vine and branches passage in John 15 mean that salvation can be lost? | GotQuestions.org
- What does it mean to abide in Christ? | GotQuestions.org
- What is the fruit of righteousness in Philippians 1:11? | GotQuestions.org
- What are some Bible verses about fruit? | GotQuestions.org
- What does it mean that you will know them by their fruit in Matthew 7:16? | GotQuestions.org
- The Fruit of the Holy Spirit – What is love? | GotQuestions.org
- The Fruit of the Holy Spirit – What is joy? | GotQuestions.org
- The Fruit of the Holy Spirit – What is peace? | GotQuestions.org
- The Fruit of the Holy Spirit – What is patience? | GotQuestions.org
- The Fruit of the Holy Spirit – What is kindness? | GotQuestions.org
- The Fruit of the Holy Spirit – What is goodness? | GotQuestions.org
- The Fruit of the Holy Spirit – What is faithfulness? | GotQuestions.org
- The Fruit of the Holy Spirit – What is gentleness? | GotQuestions.org
- The Fruit of the Holy Spirit – What is self-control? | GotQuestions.org
F B Meyer - THE SACRIFICE OF PRAISE
Serve the Lord with gladness: Come before His presence with singing.-- Ps 100:2.
THE HUNDREDTH Psalm is rightly entitled "A Psalm of Thanksgiving" (R.V.). The Psalmist calls for a "joyful noise," i.e. an audible expression of worship. Do not be content with a thankful heart, but express it! It is good to let God have "the fruit of our lips." As a bird will awaken the whole choir of a woodland glade, so the soul really aglow with loving adoration will spread its own contagion of song. How often Christian people hinder the progress of Christianity by their dullness, gloominess, and depression. His service is perfect freedom, and if we delight ourselves in the Lord, we should serve Him with gladness!
It is very important to maintain the habit of regular church-going because of its opportunity for worship. Let us "enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise!" By meditation and prayer let us ask that we may be accounted worthy to stand in His Presence, and offer praise and adoration to the Most High God (El Elyon: Most High God - Sovereign Over All), mingled with the fragrance of our Saviour's Name (Rev 8:3-note, Re 8:4-note).
"'The Lord is good!" There are many mysteries, and much pain and sorrow in the world. We must dare to believe and affirm the goodness of God beneath all the distressing elements of modem life. With His goodness are combined His mercy and His truth. Let men do their worst, "His truth endureth to all generations." It is an impregnable Rock, on which the waves of sin can make no sensible impression. What comfort there is in knowing that equally His mercy is everlasting. We need so much patience, forbearance, and longsuffering, that if God's mercy were anything less we should despair, but it is extended to every generation till Time shall be no more!
PRAYER - Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits. AMEN (Our Daily Walk)
F B Meyer - THE BLESSING OF THANKFULNESS
Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."-- Ep 5:20-note.
SOME PEOPLE seem born with a sullen and feverish temper, and it is very difficult for them to brighten into smiles and songs. But whatever our natural disposition may be, if we belong to Christ it is our bounden duty to cultivate a thankful heart. A melancholy person has a bad effect upon others. It is miserable to have to work with or under a confirmed pessimist. Nothing is right, nothing pleases, there is no word of praise or encouragement. Once, when I was at Aden, I watched a gang of Lascars trans-shipping the mails. It was a pleasure to see them, one after another, carrying the bags cheerily because their leader kept them all the time singing as they did their work. If, instead of finding fault with our employees or servants we would look out for things for which we could commend and thank them, we should probably find a miraculous change in their attitude.
The advantage of joy and gladness is that it is a source of strength to the individual soul, and to all others who come within its range, and commends our Christianity! Sidney Smith says: "I once gave a lady two and twenty recipes against melancholy; one was a bright fire; another, to remember all the pleasant things said to her; another, to keep a box of sugar-plums on the chimney-piece, and a kettle simmering on the hob. I thought this mere trifling at the moment, but have in after life discovered how true it is, that these little pleasures often banish melancholy better than more exalted objects." We may interpret the advice of this humorist and essayist by turning into joyous praise all the incidents of our daily life, arising with gratitude and thankfulness from every good and perfect gift to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. The world is sad, and has to pay her jesters and entertainers; it is a mystery to her that the face of the Christian should be bright and smiling, although the fig-tree does not blossom, and there is no fruit in the vine. Let us count up our treasures and blessings, and we shall find that even in the saddest and loneliest life there is something to turn our sorrow into singing (2Co 6:10).
PRAYER - Help us, O Lord, to rejoice always; to pray without ceasing, and in everything to give thanks. AMEN. (Our Daily Walk)
Be Filled With Thankfulness - 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.
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-note, 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.
Which condition describes you? —Joanie Yoder (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
A grumbling mood of discontent
Gives way to thankfulness
When we consider all God's gifts
And all that we possess. —Sper
Gratitude is a God-honoring attitude.
SAY SO - Mel Trotter was a drunken barber whose salvation not only turned his own life around but also changed thousands of others. He was saved in 1897 in Chicago at the Pacific Garden Mission, and not long afterward was named director of the City Rescue Mission in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Thirty-five years later, at a meeting at the mission, Mel Trotter was conducting “Say-So” time. He asked people in the crowd to testify how Jesus had saved them. That night, a 14-year-old boy stood up and said simply, “I’m glad Jesus saved me. Amen.” Trotter remarked, “That’s the finest testimony I ever heard.” Encouraged by those words from such an important leader, that teenager, Mel Johnson, went on to become a Christian leader in his own right.
Young Mel was encouraged to say so, and he did. Six little words, followed by an encouraging comment. A testimony and an affirmation led to a life of service for God.
Let’s look for opportunities to offer “the fruit of our lips,” to tell others that Jesus is Lord and that He saved us. Tell your own salvation story, and ask others to share theirs as well—as a “sacrifice of praise to God” (Hebrews 13:15). Whether we are children, teens, or adults, we who belong to Jesus Christ need to stand up and “say so.”— by Dave Branon (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Tell me the story of Jesus,
Write on my heart every word;
Tell me the story most precious,
Sweetest that ever was heard!
The more you love Jesus,
the more you'll talk about Him.
Sacrifices That Please God - Read: 1Pe 2:1-10 - You… are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God. --1Peter 2:5-note
A man touring a rural area of the Far East saw a boy pulling a crude plow while an old man held the handles and guided it through the rice paddy. The visitor commented, "I suppose they are poor."
"Yes," said his guide. "When their church was built, they wanted to give something to help but they had no money. So they sold their only ox. This spring they are pulling the plow themselves." The tourist was deeply challenged by their sacrificial gift.
Under Old Testament law, God required animal sacrifices, which pointed to Christ dying for our sins. His death brought them to an end, but the Lord still desires to receive spiritual sacrifices from His people.
God puts no merit in any attempts to earn His favor or call attention to oneself. But He delights in deeds that spring from faith that works through love (Ga 5:6). They are spiritual sacrifices that come from giving ourselves completely to Him (Ro 12:1-note, Ro 12:2-note). He is pleased when we continually give thanks in Jesus' name, do good, and share with others (He 13:15, 16).
Some spiritual sacrifices will be costly. But what is gained--His praise--is always greater than what is given up. --D J De Haan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
The gifts that we may give,
The deeds that we may do
Most truly honor Christ
When self is given too. --DJD
When Christ's love fills your heart,
the more you give, the more you gain.
Amplified: Do not forget or neglect to do kindness and good, to be generous and distribute and contribute to the needy [of the church as embodiment and proof of fellowship], for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
KJV: But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
NLT: Don't forget to do good and to share what you have with those in need, for such sacrifices are very pleasing to God. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: Yet we should not forget to do good and to share our good things with others, for these too are the sort of sacrifices God will accept. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Young's Literal: and of doing good, and of fellowship, be not forgetful, for with such sacrifices God is well-pleased.
AND DO NOT NEGLECT DOING GOOD AND SHARING: tes de eupoiias kai koinonias me epilanthanesthe (2PPMM):
- Do not neglect doing good - Php 1:5, 1Jn 3:17,18, He 13:1,2; Ps 37:3; Mt 25:35, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40; Lk 6:35,36; Ac 9:36; 10:38; Ga 6:10; 1Th 5:15; 2Th 3:13; 3Jn 1:11
- Sharing - Lk 18:22; Ro 12:13; 2Co 9:12,13; Ga 6:6; Ep 4:28; Php 4:14; 1Ti 6:18; Philemon 1:6
Wuest - The believer-priests of the New Testament are to offer, not animal sacrifices as did the Aaronic priests, but the sacrifices of praise. The Rabbins had a saying, “in the future time all sacrifices shall cease; but praises shall not cease.” Philo says: “They offer the best sacrifice who glorify with hymns the Saviour and benefactor, God.” But the recipients are cautioned that their obligations as priests are not exhausted with praise. Good deeds must also be included. The Greek word translated “communicate,” koinoneo, in this context means “to make one’s self a sharer or partner” with someone else in his poverty or need. That is, the saints are exhorted to share what they have of earthly goods with their fellow-saints who, undergoing persecution, have been brought to a state of poverty by reason of the fact that their persecutors have confiscated their goods (Heb10:34). (Hebrews - Wuest's word studies from the Greek New Testament)
Do not neglect (KJV - forget not - He 13:16KJV) (1950) (epilanthanomai from epí = in + lantháno = lie hidden) means not just forgetting or neglecting but completely forgetting. Do not neglect - A negative with the present imperative means to stop a practice that is already going on (i.e., they are neglecting to do good). See note on present imperative with a negative see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey
Praise of God in word and deed are inseparable. Lip service must be accompanied by life service. James concludes a section in which he exhorts us to be doers and not merely hearers of the word, writing that…
This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father, to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. (Jas 1:27-note)
Sharing (2842) (koinonia from koinos = that which is in common, belonging to several or of which several are partakers) describes the experience (in contrast to koinonia as an act) of having something in common and/or of sharing things in common with others. It describes a close association involving mutual interests and sharing. The idea of koinonia is frequently referred to as fellowship (the state of sharing mutual interests, experiences, activities, etc.; a relation in which parties hold something in common; see excellent article on Fellowship). Believers have fellowship with the Triune God through His Son Christ Jesus and this also leads naturally (supernaturally) to sharing with other believers.
Koinonia - 19x in the NT - Ac 2:42; Ro 15:26; 1Co 1:9; 10:16; 2Co 6:14; 8:4; 9:13; 13:13; Ga 2:9; Php 1:5; 2:1; 3:10; Philemon 1:6; He 13:16; 1Jn 1:3, 6, 7. The NAS renders koinonia contribution(2), fellowship(12), participation(2), sharing(3).
Matthew Henry comments that "We must, according to our power, communicate (sharing) to the necessities of the souls and bodies of men; not contenting ourselves to offer the sacrifice of our lips, mere words, but the sacrifice of good deeds; and these we must lay down upon this altar, not depending upon the merit of our good deeds, but of our Great High Priest; and with such sacrifices as these, adoration and alms thus offered up, God is well pleased; He will accept the offering with pleasure, and will accept and bless the offers through Christ.
Spurgeon - I long to see Christian friends everywhere who will not wait to be asked, but will make the Lord’s business their business, and take in hand some branch of work in the church, or among the poor, or for the spread of the gospel. Let your gift be an outburst of a free and gracious spirit, which takes a delight in showing that it does not praise God in word only, but in deed and in truth. In this church let us excel in generous gifts. See that everything is provided in the house of the Lord, and that there is no lack in any quarter. This practical praising of the Lord is the life-office of every true believer.
FOR WITH SUCH SACRIFICES GOD IS PLEASED: toiautais gar thusiais euaresteitai (3SPPI) o theos:
- Hebrews 6:10; Psalms 51:19; Micah 6:7,8; Philippians 4:18)
Then You will delight in righteous sacrifices, In burnt offering and whole burnt offering; Then young bulls will be offered on Your altar.
Spurgeon - We are to do good to others, to communicate of our own good things to those who need them, and to do this at some sacrifice to ourselves. Christian people should be always doing good. As God is ever doing good, so we can never say we have done all we ought to do, and will do no more.
For - term of explanation
Sacrifices (2378) (thusia from thuo = to sacrifice or kill a sacrificial victim) (He 5:1; 7:27; 8:3; 9:9, 23, 26; 10:1, 5, 8, 11, 12, 26; 11:4; 13:15, 16) means that which is offered as a sacrifice. Webster's = act of offering to a deity something precious! Ponder that thought! Here thusia is used metaphorically to describe their volitional offering of following up their words (sacrifice of praise) with appropriate actions.
Comment: The Septuagint of Leviticus uses doron more than 40x's referring to offerings.
Thusia was also used to describe the offering box for placing one's gifts or offerings Lu 21:4 - tradition taught there were 13 offering boxes in Temple and receptacles leading down to the boxes were made in the form of trumpets, so that sound of coins falling into boxes was conspicuous.
The OT priest had one special function, to offer sacrifice for the sins of the people. In the New Covenant because of the once for all sacrifice for sin by our Great High Priest, believers now have the incredible privilege of serving as a royal priesthood (1Pe 2:9-note) who can offer sacrifices to the Most High God! Are you taking advantage of your high position and awesome privilege in Christ Jesus? Take a moment and offer up a sacrifice of praise to the God Who offered up His best for you.
Well pleased (2100) (euaresteo [word study] from eu = good, well + arestos = pleasing, desirable, proper, fit, agreeable from aresko = to please or be pleasing/acceptable to) means to please, to behave in a manner that is pleasing to another. To take pleasure in. To cause someone to be well-disposed toward another.
Praise that pleases God is the fruit of our lips, not just our thoughts, and is spoken unto the Lord, either in prose or in song. The writer of Hebrews explained to his Jewish readers that worship which truly pleases God centers not on ritual but on relationship (with and through Jesus) (cp Ps 51:16, 17). Genuine worship is authenticated not just by beautiful words but by beautiful deeds. This is proper God pleasing worship, pleasing God.
Euaresteo - 3x in the NT - Heb. 11:5, 6; 13:16
In summary, the believers' sacrifices are praise, doing good, and sharing
The Puritan writer Guthrie writes that…
What proceeds from the lips is regarded as fruit, which reveals the character of its source, as the fruit of a tree reveals the nature of the tree.
GIVE THANKS AND REMEMBER - One of today's most popular syndicated newspaper columns is "Dear Abby." Started in 1956 by Abigail Van Buren, the advice column is written today by her daughter Jeanne Phillips. In a recent edition, she included this Thanksgiving Prayer written many years before by her mother:
O Heavenly Father:
We thank Thee for food
and remember the hungry.
We thank Thee for health
and remember the sick.
We thank Thee for friends
and remember the friendless.
We thank Thee for freedom
and remember the enslaved.
May these remembrances
stir us to service.
That Thy gifts to us may be used
for others. Amen.
The words of this prayer echo the clear teaching of Scripture. Our thanksgiving to God should always be accompanied by thinking of those in need. "Therefore," said the writer to the Hebrews, "by [Jesus] let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name" (He 13:15).
But there is more to it than thankfulness. We are to put actions behind our gratitude. "Do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased" (He 13:16).
Be thankful for God's many blessings, but be sure to remember those who have less.—David C. McCasland (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Serving others is a way of thanking God.
A YOUNG boy from the ghetto area of a large city wandered into a church one morning, heard the news that God loved him, and accepted Christ as his Savior. Not long after-ward, someone tried to shake his newfound faith by asking him this: "If God really loves you, why doesn't someone take better care of you? Why doesn't He tell somebody to send you a new pair of shoes?" The boy thought for a moment. Then, with tears filling his eyes, he gave this wise answer: "I guess He does tell somebody, but somebody forgets!"
While it's true that believers are to preach the Gospel and witness, we are not to use that task as an excuse for not doing the other things Scripture commands. None of us has an excuse for forgetting to "do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith" (Ga 6:10). If people who don't even know the Lord are concerned about the poor, how much more should we, who have experienced the love of God personally, be eager to relieve the suffering and lift the burdens of those unable to take care of themselves?
When God tells us to do something for someone, may that per-son never have to make an excuse for us by saying, "I guess they forgot."—R W De Haan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
DON'T FORGET - Some mornings as I leave for work, my wife says to me, “Don’t forget to … ” Later in the day, she’ll phone me and ask, “Did you forget?”
We all have a tendency to forget. I think that may be why God repeats important truths to us. Twice in Deuteronomy 24, the Lord reminded the Israelites that they were slaves in Egypt but they had been rescued and redeemed by Him (Dt 24:18,22). Through Moses, He told them, “You shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you from there” (Dt 24:18).
Because they had been redeemed, the Israelites had certain responsibilities that the Lord wanted them to remember. Moses said, “I command you to do this thing” (Dt 24:18). What was “this thing”? They were told to care for “the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow” (Dt 24:19). If part of the harvest was left in the fields, they were to leave it for these needy people. He reminds them of the people in Dt 24:20, 21 also.
We are redeemed people through Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection. We too are told numerous times to be willing to share with those in need. Hebrews 13:16 says, “Do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” — by Albert Lee (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
For Further Study - Read the following Scriptures and determine how you might apply them to your life: Romans 12:1-13; 1 Corinthians 12:1-11; 2 Corinthians 9:6-8; Titus 3:14.
but sharing satisfies.
WHEN SOMEONE FORGETS - The story is told of a young boy living in a poverty-stricken section of a big city who found his way into a gospel meeting and was converted. Not long afterward, someone tried to shake his faith by asking him several puzzling questions: “If God really loves you, why doesn’t someone take better care of you? Why doesn’t He tell somebody to send you a new pair of shoes?” The boy thought for a moment and then said, as the tears filled his eyes, “I guess He does tell somebody, but somebody forgets!”
While it’s true that the believer’s primary obligation is to lead people to Christ, we sometimes use that as an excuse to escape our responsibility to also “do good and to share” (Heb. 13:16). We need to keep our spiritual balance and not forget to “do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Gal. 6:10). If unbelievers who don’t even know the Lord are conscious of the needs of other people, how much more should we, who have experienced the love of God personally, seek to relieve the suffering and lift the burdens of those who are less fortunate.
If God gives you a burden for someone in need, may it never be said of you that “somebody forgot!”— by Richard De Haan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
If you once had a heavy load
That drove you to despair,
Then have a heart for those who bend
Beneath their load of care.
The more Christ’s love grows in us,
the more His love flows from us.