The following is in the form of a soliloquy between me“Lord, I’ve just been reading the scriptures, as if I needed to tell You that. I usually have the confidence of Your presence throughout the day, but especially so when reading Your word. Did You make those words jump out and ‘bite me’ this morning?
and the Lord Jesus.
and the Lord Jesus.
What was written certainly has some teeth when it grabbed hold of my mind. ‘Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise-the fruit of lips that confess His Name.’ (Hebrews 13:15)
To sacrifice means it is costing something, right?’ Well, that’s the teeth that sank into my mind. I’ve enjoyed giving you praise in the church scene, especially when things have gone my way. Those wonderful times when You’ve provided our needs, answered our prayers gave rise to thanksgiving. BUT! Have I ever let my lips offer a sacrifice of praise? This is rather embarrassing and humbling. I’m beginning to feel as though I’ve merely offered You the left overs of my emotional and spiritual highs. Those ‘teeth’ are really starting to chew my soul.
What could I possibly offer up to You that is costing me something. Surely this must go beyond the monetary, though that would be included. Lord, what praise can I render unto You that would be deemed as an expression of acceptable sacrifice? Well, here goes. If some were to read this they’d think it flippant. I’m not intending to be. It’s an effort to say some of these things Lord, but then I suppose that’s what makes things a sacrifice.
I praise Your name for those people who are like thorns in my hide, stones in my shoes. It’s difficult, impossible, to love them but You call me to do just that, with Your strength.
My lips form the words of praise that in my aging You walk with me. It isn’t much fun losing keenness of sight and swiftness of hands and feet. Still, even with my arthritis worship and service are open to me. Computers do make things a bite easier also for keeping in contact when what fingers write is really a scrawl. I’m finding it a good way to share my faith also, wisely I trust.
Being a writer I think you are challenging me to praise your name for that rejection slip too. Now that is hard. I’ve spent a lot of time on that manuscript. It seemed topical and relevant, at least to me so I’m feeling a trifle, no hugely, deflated. Worse, there was no reason given. I’ve read where things work out for the best so I’m hoping my reviewing it gets that tick.
Unanswered prayers are a bit of a battle which I have to overcome. To honestly praise You for Your silence is costing me emotionally at the moment. Help me to trust Your wisdom and leading in this. My heart needs to release my lips to praise You for the promise about hearing my prayers. I guess the test of my sacrifice of praise is dependent upon believing You know best.
I need help as I approach this altar of praise.Amen!"
Writer of 31 Day themed devotionals.