Sacrifice of Praise

David associates the altar in the Tabernacle of God—symbolic of sacrifice—with the voice of thanksgiving. This indicates that wholehearted thanksgiving calls for sacrifice. (Ps. 27:6) Nothing short of this should be considered an adequate response to the Lord in return for all that he has done for us. The Apostle Paul expresses this thought, saying, “By him [Jesus] therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” (Heb. 13:15) Here, Paul may have had in mind the statement of Hosea 14:2, where the prophet speaks of rendering to God the “calves of our lips.” In any case, the thought is that true Christian thanksgiving involves sacrifice, as foreshadowed by the typical sacrifices of the Tabernacle.

There are various ways by which we can offer the sacrifice of praise to God. We can sing hymns of praise which, without doubt, is pleasing to him. We should also express our thanks to God by means of prayer. It is a blessed privilege to pour out our hearts to him in praise and adoration, telling him how much we love and appreciate him. (Ps. 22:25; 34:1; 109:1) Such incense of praise is a sweet-smelling savor to our Heavenly Father. It is this form of praise that is pictured more particularly by the offering of incense at the Golden Altar in the Holy of the Tabernacle.—Exod. 30:1-8,34-38

Although prayers, adorations and praises might be considered the most direct offerings of incense to the Lord, he has so arranged matters that we cannot offer these sincerely and acceptably except as we have his spirit. That Christ might be formed within you—his mind and principles—you are to “live according to God in the spirit.” (I Pet. 4:6) If we have his spirit, while we offer incense on the Golden Altar, we will also be offering upon the Brazen Altar in the court good works. “As we have therefore opportunity,” we will seek to “do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”—Gal. 6:10

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