Hebrews 13:15-17—By him, therefore, let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
The great sacrifice that was pleasing to God has already been offered, but we can still bring a sacrifice of praise. It is not a sacrifice for us unless it comes from difficulty. A difficulty is common in Christian life, but praise should be just as common. The difficulties refine us and prepare us for eternity. We can always praise God in the difficulty because He is our sufficiency. He meets every need and sees us through every trial. Each one should strengthen us. Sometimes, praise alone is enough to lift our hearts to victory. Another sacrifice that the writer encourages is doing good to others. It usually costs us something to do good and share. When we do it as unto the Lord, it is a sweet smelling sacrifice to Him. Do you want to do something to put a smile on God’s face? Bring a sacrifice of praise or of doing good and sharing. Verse 17 is rarely uttered by a humble leader to his own flock, but by a shepherd to another fold such as the case here. Your pastor most likely will not tell you to stop making His work such a pain or to submit to your God-appointed authority, but let us hear it from the writer of Hebrews. It is not good for either of you when you are a burden by constant criticism or insistence on your personal preferences. Be a joy, not a pain! Meditation: Your praise, good deeds, and sharing can be a sacrifice to God. Be a joy to your elders, not a pain.