“Worship, verb: 1. to treat (someone or something) with the reverence and adoration appropriate to a deity.”
“Sacrifice, noun: 1. an act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy.”
The phrase “sacrifice of praise” has been stuck in my head this week. Along with it, the concept of worship and its significance to sacrifice. One does not sacrifice for something unless it is found to be worthy. Therefore, worship and sacrifice go hand in hand. If I worship something, I am willing to sacrifice for it because it becomes more important than whatever is being sacrificed. So if worship and sacrifice go hand in hand, what does praise have to do with that? If I am bringing a sacrifice, that means that I am worshiping – ascribing worth to The Almighty. But what does it mean to bring a sacrifice of praise before the Most High?
“Praise, verb 1. To express one’s respect and gratitude toward (a deity), especially in a song.”
But does it have to be a song? Can I only worship with “a sacrifice on praise” on Sunday morning in church? That’s not particularly a sacrifice, for me.
“Praise, noun 2. The expression of respect and gratitude as an act of worship.”
Ah. “expression” There it is.
So, to bring a sacrifice of praise is to express reverence and adoration for the Lord through giving up something valued for the sake of regarding Him as more important.
To bring a sacrifice of praise is to express (act) reverence and adoration (worship/attitudes) for the Lord (worthy) through giving up something valued (sacrifice/less worthy) for the sake of regarding Him as more important due to His nature and past faithfulness (praise).
Which translates into:
To bring a sacrifice of praise, I will choose (express) to be gentle (attitude) with my child who refuses to nap, bearing with her in patience (attitude) although it means that I do not get to accomplish my goals for the day (sacrifice) because the Lord (worthy) has been gentle with me and so I long to reflect that in my life (praise).
And so, folding the towels in my child’s bedroom while she plays on the floor instead of naps at 4:30 in the afternoon becomes an act of worship.
And so, being at peace with the knowledge that my husband has worked a 14-hour day and will be too exhausted to handle Tiny on his own for me to go out for the evening is a sacrifice of praise.
And so all those little things, the tiny decisions; to act gently and with compassion, to give up your own desires to do good to others, to acknowledge God’s goodness to you and express that in your life, to labor out of love rather than duty, are an act of worship and a sacrifice of praise.
“Through Him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, acknowledging His name. And do not neglect to do good and share what you have, for God is pleased with such sacrifices.”
“Therefore I exhort you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a sacrifice – alive, holy, pleasing to God – which is your reasonable service”