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September 19, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.”—Hebrews 13:15 (ESV)
Nathaniel Hawthorne once said, “Words . . . how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.”
I think we can all agree with Hawthorne here. Words are immensely potent. They have the ability to build up or tear down, to affirm or annihilate, to console or corrupt. But you know what I’ve noticed? Sometimes the absence of words can be just as powerful.
I believe, that sometimes, the absence of words is just as hurtful as the presence of them. A husband and wife that don’t verbally express their love enough may begin to feel it’s lacking. A child may feel worthless when their parent never shares words of loving kindness and affection. A boss who doesn’t encourage his or her employees creates an environment of devaluation.
But strangely, for some, sharing words of love, encouragement, kindness, admiration, or gratitude is difficult. Maybe they just don’t realize how much those words mean to people or how much someone may need to hear them. Maybe they take people for granted. Maybe it makes them feel vulnerable . . . Whatever the reason, we often keep these words to ourselves when we should be offering them up freely. We even do this with the Lord!
The Bible tells us that our praise towards God is a sacrifice, one that He so richly and rightly deserves. Lest we forget, our God is the Creator of the universe; He is the Provider and Sustainer of all, He made us fearfully and wonderfully. He loves us and made a way for us—sinful and unworthy—to have eternal life in paradise with Him! He is worthy of all praise. As His children, we should be continually offering up praise. It should be the fruit of our lips produced by the seed of Christ and the watering of the Spirit within us.
When we withhold the praise of our hearts and lips from God, we are withholding what it rightfully His. We are denying Him what He deserves. In addition, I truly believe that the neglect of offering praises to the Lord shows a clear lack of growth in our relationship with Him, because if we are truly walking with Him, His work in us would be so evident and uncontainable, we wouldn’t be able to help ourselves from offering praise to Him.
So, ask yourself: Am I offering up my praises to God? If not, why?
DIG: What do words mean to you? How do they impact you?
DISCOVER: Do you regularly offer up praise to God for all He does and who He is? If not, have you taken stock of your personal growth in your relationship with Him? Are you stagnating? Are you spending time with Him?
DISPLAY: Take time today to offer praise to the Lord. Set aside 30 minutes to simply sing His praises and pray in thanksgiving for who He is and what He’s done. I know you may have done something similar yesterday on Thanksgiving, but that’s the point! Make a daily habit of it. Sacrifice time each day to praise the Lord. He is worthy of it—more worthy of your devotion and attention than that TV show or radio station.
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.