Now Thank We All Our God

“Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” Heb. 13:15, 16

Our text gives us two directional outlets for gratitude.  Verse 15 speaks of praise and is God-ward.  Verse 16 speaks of performance, that is, service which is man-ward.

We are to praise God and share with others.

Note the reference to “the sacrifice of praise.”  This is one of the only gifts we can give God.  When it is difficult to praise Him, our praise is often best.  We have to sacrifice our feelings in order to praise. We sacrifice our ego and praise Him rather than seek praise for ourselves.  It is “the fruit of the lips.”  Praise on the lips is the fruit and gratitude in the heart, the root.

A German named Rinkart was the son of a poor coppersmith. He lived through the Thirty Years War which started in 1618.  His city was ravaged by plague and famine.  Yet, he wrote:

“Now thank we all our God
With heart and hands and voices,
Who mighty things hath done,
In whom His world rejoices.”

We are to offer the sacrifice of praise to God and render service to people with our voice, hands, and heart.

We are to “continually” offer praise to God not just when things are going good and we feel like it. It is not to be simply a feeling, but an expression of praise.

Praise that comes from our lips pleases God. It is likened to the fruit of a tree. It is spoken out unto the Lord. What comes from the lips is regarded as fruit. The fruit of a tree reveals the nature of the tree. Expressed praise reveals the heart of the one praising Him.

This is more than a cliche flippantly spoken when something good happens. It is a heartfelt expression of sincere gratitude. It is to be a sacrifice at times. Those are the times things aren’t good, but God is acknowledged to be good. Don’t confuse things with God. Things are not always good, but God is always good, always. To praise Him when things aren’t good is a testimony to His good nature and sufficiency.

We are to be thankful not only for the benefits of God, but for the God of all benefits.  Thank Him not only for what He gives, but who He is.

In a culture where our passionate desire for things is inflamed, contentment is hard to find.  When one comes to the realization that contentment is only in Jesus and not commodities, can it be had.