“Let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God…the fruit of lips that give thanks.” Hebrews 13:15
Why is praise called a “sacrifice”? I believe it is because true praise given in the less-than-ideal situations of life indicates that I sacrifice my right to grumble about people, circumstances and God; I willingly forsake action which ‘comes naturally,’ is ‘only human’ and which ‘everyone’ indulges in.
Too often the creed of commerce demands that I look out for Number One, make sure that my accomplishments are noted and rewarded, fight for what the world says I deserve. It is right and good to expect proper remuneration for work well done, but we have a higher calling. As one man put it, in every place of employment the Christian works to lovingly ‘establish a beachhead for the Kingdom of God.’
With that higher goal in mind, I will be called upon to give up some of my rights, perhaps see my rights go up in flames and know that I have willingly placed them upon blazing altar rocks. This is not accomplished without careful thought and pain, yet the sweet aroma coming from the fire brings an indescribable contentment to the soul and honor to the Father.
Help me, Father, to see the glow and smell the aroma of the sacrifice; train my eyes toward the beauty and away from the ashes. Help me understand that you never require sacrifice without uncountable blessing.
“…we are able to hold our heads high no matter what happens and know that all is well, for we know how dearly God loves us, and we feel this warm love everywhere within us because God has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love” Romans 5:5
For years I had often spoken on the subject of love – the greatest privilege and power known to man. But, as in the case of most sermons on love, something was missing.
Then many years ago, in an early hour of the morning, I was awakened from a deep sleep. I knew that God had something to say to me. I felt impressed to get up, open my Bible and kneel to read and pray.
What I discovered during the next two hours has since enriched my life and the lives of tens of thousands of others. I learned how to love. With this discovery, God gave me the command to share this wonderful truth with Christians around the world.
There are five things every person needs to know about love.
1: God loves us with an unconditional love. The love that God has for us is without measure and will continue forever.
2: we are commanded to love. “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment,” (Matthew 22:37,38). We are commanded to love our neighbors as ourselves and we are even to love our enemies.
3: we cannot love in our own strength.
4: we can love with God’s love. It was God’s love that brought us to Christ.
5: we love by faith. Everything about the Christian life is based on faith. We love by faith just as we received Christ by faith, just as we are filled with the Holy Spirit by faith and just as we walk by faith.
In 1 John 5:14,15, we read: “And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us: And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him” (KJV)
Bible Reading: Romans 8:14-17
Thought: I will make a list of everyone I do not like. Then, on the basis of God’s command to love all men, I will claim the promise of 1 John 5:14,15 and begin to love others by faith as a way of life.
Question: Which of the five “love truths” that Dr. Bright mentioned resonated most strongly with you?