Thursday, December 30, 1999

Hebrews 13:15-17

"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.
But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you."
Hebrews 13:15-17

This is an interesting scripture about sacrifice. And at first glance, none of it really seems like a huge sacrifice, but maybe it is. The first verse talks about the sacrifice of praise. :) And perhaps it is; it is sometimes hard to recognize God's hand in our lives and give him the praise and credit, when we would like it so much for ourselves... or actually getting on our knees and telling him how cool he is... hard to get that intimate sometimes. I think we could probably apply it to others as well. :) Sometimes it is hard to tell other people how amazing they are, and how much they matter to you... but it is a good sacrifice to make. The second verse talks about the sacrifices of doing good and communicating. And both of these are really hard at times too. Hard to get out of our comfort zones and get some positive action going. It is a lot easier to just stay home, or do whatever we are used to doing... hard to fit those "extra" things into our schedules. And communication… that is a huge sacrifice sometimes. It requires some risk, some vulnerability, some breaking down of walls. Whether it is between you and God, or just you and a friend... it can be awfully difficult. And it's hard to say what we really mean, or what we really want, or to even know those things sometimes. Communication is a remarkable sacrifice. And then, obedience. I almost left this verse off; I think it is one of my personal weaknesses. I have such a hard time obeying people. And "submit!" ... very scary word. But this is a good sacrifice as well. Obedience and submission to God, to religious and Political leaders... hard to trust, even God, sometimes, to seriously watch for your soul, and more so with religious leaders and much more so with political leaders. But if we seriously try, and work within the system, and pray for our leaders instead of criticizing them... maybe it is better, eh? Anyway, they are all remarkable sacrifices, whether they seem difficult to us on the surface or not... and I think God recognizes the difficulty, and acknowledges the inner obstacles that we have to accomplishing these things, and blesses us accordingly.

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