Pleasing Sacrifice

Read: Hebrews 13:15-16

Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have. (v. 16)

Respectful. Responsible. Kind. The school my children attended used these three words to help students think about their behavior. There were rules for classroom behavior and how to stay safe on the playground and for many other situations, but they all fell under these three words. Students could trust that if they were being respectful, responsible, and kind, they were probably on track with their behavior.

The author of Hebrews provides a similar filter. He encourages us to do two things: praise God with our mouths and do good (v. 16). Both of these activities are like sacrifices that are pleasing to God. Praising God with our mouths means more than just singing in a worship service or confessing that we believe in Jesus. We have an opportunity to bring glory to God with everything that we say. If we’re gossiping about our neighbor, our mouths are not praising God. If we’re offering encouraging words to others, God is pleased with our lips. Likewise, doing good means more than giving to our church. Would God be pleased by the way I treat other people? Am I grateful to God for the things that I have or do I complain about the things I don’t have?

We can think of all sorts of rules to help us follow Jesus. But if we are praising God with our mouths and with our actions, we can be pretty sure we’re on the right track.

As you pray, ask God to use the things you say and do for his glory.

About the Author

Jennifer Petersen is an ordained minister in the Reformed Church in America.

This entry is part 16 of 16 in the series Hebrews: Living in Faith