An important lesson from my days doing jail ministry:
We had just finished singing about bringing the “sacrifice of praise to the Lord,” when a 16-year-old incarcerated youth asked a question.
“I don’t get it. Why would singing praises to God be a sacrifice?”
“Good question, Jack! Let me ask you this: When God does something really wonderful in our lives is it natural to want to thank Him and even praise Him?”
“What if things are not going well? Sometimes it’s not easy to thank God or to praise Him. Yet this is the very thing He wants us to do—even when we don’t feel like it. When we obey God in this way, it shows we are trusting Him. Trusting God is what the Christian life is all about.
“When we praise Him and thank Him, He blesses us with His peace. That amazing peace which is beyond our understanding actually protects our minds and hearts. So initially, it may seem like a sacrifice because it’s something we don’t feel like doing. But whenever we obey God, He rewards us.”
Jack said, “I get it! When I was first locked up, I was mad at everyone, even God. But then I started coming to Bible study and I learned about Jesus’ love and how He wanted to forgive my sins. Once I gave Him my life, He gave me His peace — for the first time in my life. So yes, I can see how praising God may be a sacrifice, but it also blesses us.”
- Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. Hebrews 13:15
- Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-8
- AT THE FEET OF JESUS – Lyrics by Liana Wendy Howarth; music by Kathleen
This life is temporary. This life is short. When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever. Where will the “real you” live? Will you live for all eternity separated from God? Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven? Learn more so you can make your most important decision: http://www.godlife.com/gospel/
[To leave a comment or prayer request, simply click on the TITLE of this post and scroll to the bottom.]