Friday, June 30, 2017


"Through Him then,
let us continually offer up
a sacrifice of praise to God,
that is, the fruit of lips that give
thanks to His name."

Nothing gets by God,
not even praise to His name:
it must pass through Him or by Him.
In other words, anything, praise even, is
God breathed.
God created.
God inspired.

It's in the mystery of the holy, holy, holy, the angels sing in Isaiah 6.
In other words, to be in the presence of God, praise springs forth. 
It cannot be helped.  It is like breathing God in, and exhaling praise.

But we are not in heaven yet, so in our human frailty we must be reminded to praise Him.  In the Old Testament, there would be a blood sacrifice for that.  But now because of Christ's sacrifice, no more blood.  God wants a sacrifice of praise, the fruit of the lips, that gives thanks from a grateful heart.  He desires it to be continually offered up.  Somehow I'm beginning to think that it has to do with "out of the heart, the mouth speaks."  It's a heart thing. 

Rant: You can tell a lot about a person by what comes out of their mouth.  It is sad to see how conversation in public, on fb, on Pinterest even, on television, in entertainment, in schools, foul, filthy, and blasphemous words are considered acceptable.  Has our conversation sunk so low?  Sadly, yes.  I used to tell my kids, and still do, that someone who resorts to that has a very limited vocabulary; if they must resort to such language, pity their smallness since they are unable to express themselves otherwise.  Know what I mean?  Sadly, that kind of coarse language is imprinted down into old age.  Potty mouth adults are disgusting!  Better to have never used it than to have it leap from your lips because it's a frequent flyer taking off from your tongue.

James says, "But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison.  With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing.  My brethren, these things ought not to be."  (James 3:8-12)  In other words, without  going through Him, we have a forked tongue.  Thanks be to God, He can give us a new heart, so that our lips are cleansed by the burning coal from the altar allowing us to have a fountain fed by the springs of living water  that only sends out fresh, not bitter water. (James 3:11)

Oh how our Lord desires that  the fruit of our lips to be luscious! Delicious.  Ripe with delight!  How much better is it to let fly with offerings of praise and thanks.  Have you ever had that experience in nature where your words attempt to, but cannot begin to describe the beauty surrounding you?  Imperfect as it is, God accepts it and relishes it.

As I've told you before, when Jay was young he came in sighing as he said, "I love you guys, even more than goldfish!"  We'll take whatever we can get, even if we are compared to the swim today- gone tomorrow kind of floaty things on the top of the fishbowl that get flushed down the toilet.  We too might have imperfect praise, but our Father who art in heaven still desires it.

"Take words with you and return to the Lord.
Say to Him, 'Take away all iniquity
and receive us graciously,
That we may present the fruit of our lips.'"
(Hosea 14:2)

Adam Clarke quotes from ancient Rabbi who say, "'In the time of Messiah
 all sacrifice shall cease, except the sacrifice of praise.'  In the version of the Septuagint, which in the Hebrews text is, 'the heifers of our lips' that the calves of their lips were the sacrifices
which they had promised."

Ha!  How are those calves on your lips?  Have you ever seen happy heifers kicking up their heels with joy over dandelions in the green grass?  Yeah, kind of like that.

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