Bring a sacrifice of praise unto the Lord. What is a sacrifice of praise? A sacrifice is when you give something that it hurts to give. Praise is worship.
What I gather from this is that when you are hurting or things are not going the way that you think they should, you praise Him. When you hurting physically, emotionally, and every nerve is raw, you praise Him. When you don’t know where the next meal is coming from or how you are going to pay the rent, you praise Him.
Praise, true praise breaks down walls that nothing else can.
Look at Joshua. God told Him to send out the trumpets first, the worshippers first, and then the Ark of Covenant, and the rear guard. They marched around the city of Jericho and its walls once a day for six days. On the seventh day they marched around it seven times, and at the end gave a shout to the Lord, and what happened? The walls came tumbling down. That’s what! The walls came tumbling down, and Joshua and his people were able to overcome the town.
I always thought that it was so bloody and terrible when the Israelites went in and killed everyone and burned the city. All the valuable things like silver and gold were to go to the house of the Lord. The soldiers were not to keep anything for themselves.
When you conquered the enemy, they had to all be destroyed.
We have to look at it this way. If we have a sin in our lives, we have to get rid of every last shred of evidence that ties to that sin, or it will be able to come by in. Even a tiny little thought or deed must be taken captive, or it will grow into a problem again.
We have to be merciless to the things in our lives that try to destroy us. Satan does not need a wide open door. He only needs a tiny crack. When there is a crack, he can slide in a wedge and hammer away at it to make it bigger. As it gets bigger, he can put a foot in there, and then pretty soon, he can pry that door wide open. Boom!
Some of Satan’s greatest tools are guilt, shame, and condemnation. He leads us to believe that God cannot use us. Wrong!!! God uses the unloved and the unblessed all the time.
Satan uses lies to convince us that God cannot forgive us or that we are unredeemable. That is a lie from the pit of Hell!!
You see, Jesus came to Earth as a man, willingly, so that He could know what we think and feel. He willingly gave up His place in Heaven in order to give us a place in Heaven. When He got on that cross, He willingly did so. Yes, He was nailed to that cross, and He felt the horrific pain of the crucifixion, right down to the suffocation.
Do you know what really held Him on that cross? After all, He is the son of God, and all He had to do was holler to God, and God would have sent tons of angels to take Him away from the pain. Jesus didn’t holler out, and He didn’t come down off that cross. What really nailed Him to that cross was LOVE. The LOVE for you and me that Jesus had was what held Him there.
He knew that you and I would come along, and that we would need a Savior. That is what LOVE can do.
If we see others through the eyes and the love of Christ, God says that you are beautiful because you love with a pure love. God loves you because of that pure love. Through that pure love, you don’t see the color of skin, the social status, the economic standing, whether you are fat or skinny or tall or short. Through that LOVE, you don’t judge someone because they are a prostitute or a druggie, a lush or homeless. You see them as a beautiful creation of God, and you love them as Christ sees you, through the eyes of LOVE.
Friends, we were not put on this Earth to judge each other or to put each other down. We were put on this Earth to love each other and to lift each other up. We were put on this Earth to share the love of Christ.
So this Easter, remember that it is all about LOVE. The LOVE of God who sent His Son to be Our Savior so that we might have a relationship with HIM.
Happy Easter! He is Risen Indeed.
Jan Allbritton is a Diboll resident who teaches at St. Cyprian’s Episcopal School.