A sacrifice isn’t a sacrifice if it costs nothing. That’s why Hebrews 13:15 took me by surprise, “continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God.”
Praising God for what He has done is easy, and it’s His due. From the expanse of the universe to the complexities of the eye, everything God created should fill the human heart with awe and the tongue with praise. His creation should be a constant reminder of how great He is. Look at what He’s done. How can anything be impossible for Him?
We can find reasons to praise Him for the rest of our natural lives and beyond, but is that praise a sacrifice? Well, maybe to some it is; maybe to those who can look at the creation and not see His hand involved, admitting God is the mastermind would be a sacrifice. For those who know Him and love Him, this praise is our joy.
But what if it’s something we’ve created, something we’ve done that gains the accolades?
When we praise God for “our own” creation, we sacrifice credit, the opportunity to be recognized by our peers and the associated elevation in status. We admit that we can do nothing without Him. We sacrifice pride, we’ve humbled ourselves before Him, we’ve acknowledged our need for Him.
And in doing so, we become more Christ-like, which is the goal of every Christian. Even in sacrifice, we gain.
There is no out-giving God. Whatever token we have to offer Him, great or small, He gives back so much more–pressed down, shaken together, running over. When we step away from pride, from our need to be recognized as a success in whatever field we treasure, and give the glory to God, our sacrifice is received with open arms and repaid beyond measure.
This is the nature of the wonderful God we serve. This is what makes even the sacrifice of praise seem too easy. But even so, I echo the words of Andre Crouch: “and if I gain any praise, let it go to Calvary” (To God be the Glory, 1971).