Hebrews – Chapter Thirteen XXV

by Ed Urzi

“Therefore by Him 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).

We can often tell if someone is living a Christ-oriented life by examining the fruit of their words and actions. Just as we can tell the differences between fruit trees by the type of fruit they produce, we can often discern much about others by considering the “fruit” their words and/or deeds produce in their lives and the lives of others.

For instance, a person who seeks to honor God is someone who should be thankful for His daily blessings, for a thankful attitude is one that bears good fruit. Unlike those who seemingly look for areas of criticism or complaint, we should instead look to God in thankfulness for the blessings He extends to us each day.

This is not to say that the problems we experience are not real. Nor can we say that it is wrong to grieve at the tragedies and painful experiences we endure. However, we should note that praise to God is something that often represents a sacrifice, just as we read here in Hebrews 13:15. Thus, we offer “the sacrifice of praise to God,” even in the adversities, misfortunes, frustrations, and annoyances of daily life.

In such circumstances, we do not praise God because we feel like it. We praise God because He is worthy of it. Consider the following commentary on King David’s sinful experience with Bathsheba…

“After David sinned with Bathsheba and was confronted with his sin and repented, he prayed, ‘You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart’ (Ps. 51 :16, 17). God is interested in our praise, but He wants it to be from the heart. This is why our praise for God is a sacrifice.

Often I don’t feel like praising God. Oh, there are certainly times when praise for God just overflows from my life, and I can hardly contain it. But there are other times when praise is difficult. It is especially important that I praise God in those times, from the heart. You see, He doesn’t need anything from us. But praise is something that He wants from us. What an incredible privilege to be able to give something to God that He really wants! The sacrifices of praise.” (1)

(1) Chuck Smith, The Word For Today Bible, study note on Hebrews 13:15, pg. 1629