“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” (Hebrews 13:15-16).
Pleasing God should be the objective of all Christians. It should be a natural outpouring and desire. And we learn here from the Evangelist that there are two ways in which we can please God. First as is so poetically phrased, “the fruit of our lips” or what we say and how we speak of God and the Lord Jesus Christ. Secondly, “to do good and to communicate”.
“The fruit of our lips”, Do we praise God often? Do we speak God as an everyday language or do we just reserve these conversations for Church and Sunday school? What is in the heart comes out of the lips. If God is rarely seen, felt or heard in daily life then he is probably rarely spoken of. Speak of God and praise him constantly.
Prayer is the cornerstone of our relationship with God. It is a display of our trust and faith in him. Prayer is the releasing of heart and soul to God and becomes the fruit of our lips.
It is interesting to observe that the phrase, “the fruit of our lips” is a loose translation from Hosea 14:2: “Take with you words, and turn to the Lord: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips”.
Either way is fine for both (plant and animals) were offered in sacrifices to God. But there is a great nearness in spelling of the Hebrew words, “calves” and “fruit” and some believe that it got changed in the Greek Septuagint.
Or the phrase, “fruit of our lips” could have been borrowed from God himself!
“I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the Lord; and I will heal him” (Isaiah 57:19).
“Do good and to communicate”. To communicate means fellowship, to share which one has in anything, to participate in the lives of other people. Part of being in God is to be in the lives of the people around us. “Love thy neighbor” is more than a feeling or sentiment. It is an act and responsibility. We are to give of the abundance that we have and even give of the little if that happens to be our portion.
“Praise, prayer, and thanksgiving to God, with works of charity and mercy to man, are the sacrifices which every genuine follower of Christ must offer: and they are the proofs that a man belongs to Christ; and he who does not bear these fruits gives full evidence, whatever his creed may be, that he is no Christian” (Adam Clarke).
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