Sermon Illustrations


Several years ago, there was a song on Christian radio that said, "We bring a sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord." It had a happy, upbeat tune. Listening to it, I had the feeling that the singers were intrigued by the words but had not personally experienced the message.

A sacrifice hurts. The original readers of Hebrews 13:15, on which the song is based, were on the verge of shedding their own blood to remain faithful. They were suffering. Hebrews 13:12 refers to Jesus suffering outside the gate and shedding His blood. Hebrews 13:13 encourages the readers to share His reproach. Sometimes we hurt while praising God.

Messengers one after another told Job that his livestock, his crops, his riches were gone, that his servants and children were dead. Job replied, [read slowly] "The Lord gives... the Lord has taken away... Blessed be the name of the Lord."

When you've heard that before, you've probably heard it as I just read it, with a slow, thoughtful attitude. Can you imagine someone reading it with a happy, upbeat attitude? [read quickly] "The Lord gives, the Lord has taken away. WOO HOO! Blessed be the name of the Lord." You would think the person did not understand or, worse, did not care. Sometimes we hurt while praising God.

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