What is a sacrifice? isn't it "giving up something highly valued for the sake of one considered to have a greater value or claim" ? (see http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=sacrifice)
Would you believe that the Bible refers to praising God as a sacrifice? Here it is:
Ps 107:22 "Offer thanksgiving sacrifices, tell the world what he's done - sing it out!" (from THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language © 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. All rights reserved.)
Heb 13:15 "Let's take our place outside with Jesus, no longer pouring out the sacrificial blood of animals but pouring out sacrificial praises from our lips to God in Jesus' name." (from THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language © 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. All rights reserved.)
How can praising God be a sacrifice?
When you are feeling down and depressed, you don't feel like praising God. You generally prefer to let yourself simmer in self pity and wander around in your mind concerning the events leading to your misgivings. However, if you say to yourself: "I will stand up for what I believe and praise the Lord even though I am in misery. I believe in my deliverance through the blood of the Lamb!", then something awesome happens. You feel yourself lifted up in heaven's realm. You feel yourself being filled with joy. All of a sudden your problem doesn't look that big any more, because you are no longer looking at it from an earthly perspective, but you are looking down on it from heaven's realm. You see your problem from God's perspective, instead of your own perspective. In fact, your problems seem quite small and you wonder why you even worried about them at all! Wow! And all this because you are offering a praise sacrifice to God!
This week I had a tough time at work. As I was driving back home, simmering in my thoughts over all my stressful moments at work, these texts mentioned above popped up in my mind. "But Lord. I don't feel like praising," I argued. "Try it and you won't regret it!" was God's reply to me. So I popped in the last praise CD from Carman in my car's CD player and joined Carman praising God. It wasn't one minute later that the heavy burdens that was distressing me was lifted from my shoulders! All of a sudden my problems seemed quite small, and instead of stress, peace filled my heart. I ended up with a terrific evening. All of this because of one sacrifice I did not want to offer, but did it anyway: the praise sacrifice. It was a sacrifice well worth it!
The praise sacrifice is a sacrifice that God receives. Praise is most precious when you don't feel like it. We don't praise God for everything, but in everything. A huge blessing is bestowed on us when we offer these praising sacrifices.
Try it. It works! Why does it work? Because God is faithful! His Word never comes back void! Hallelujah! Thank you Jesus. Heb 10:23 "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful." NIV
In His love,
Answers2Prayer Ministries, www.Answers2Prayer.org