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What Hurts the Heart of Jesus? Day 9

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Scripture: Hebrews 13:15-16 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise- the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.  And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

Devotional: Today’s passage seems like a simple one.  But what is a sacrifice of praise exactly? Praise that costs us something? That’s what we are to offer God continually through His Son Jesus Christ.  How does that work?

We can see in this passage that the sacrifice comes from having lips that openly profess the name of Jesus.  That’s an interesting place to start, and one that truly gives us insight, both in the first century in which it was written, and even today.  For lips that openly profess the name of Jesus dearly cost the early disciples.  They were at risk for ridicule at the very least - arrest, oppression and torturous death at the worst.  To proclaim the resurrection of Jesus Christ and His love and grace given through His sacrifice was not exactly a popular message.

Although that is not quite the case today in our Western culture, it is true at places around the world.  Many Christians are persecuted even unto death for proclaiming the name of Jesus. But right here where you live, what does it cost to you openly profess the name of Jesus?  Ridicule? Loss of friends or business opportunities? Reputation as someone who is radical or narrow minded?  

Or do you even know?  Perhaps you’ve not been willing to openly profess His name. Jesus. How many times does His name roll off your lips in a day? The answer to that question could be quite telling. 

Reflect:

  • Do you struggle at all with openly professing the name of Jesus?
  • How can your praise of God be more sacrificial?

What Hurts the Heart of Jesus? Day 8

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Scripture: Matthew 15:7-9 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain ...’”

Devotional: As we continue to consider those things that hurt the heart of God, this week our devotions will center around shallow worship. Worship is simply showing reverence and adoration for God, and giving deference to Him in every area of our lives. 

God is quite specific about our worship of Him. We are commanded to not have any other gods but Him, nor to worship or bow down to any image of any other gods but Him. (Exodus 20:2-6)  Seems simple enough doesn’t it?  Generally speaking, we don’t live in an idol worshipping culture. 


But humanity has a problem.  That is, we easily default to “what’s the least I can do to get by?”.  And we do this in our worship of God, who is in fact, worthy of ALL our praise and adoration.  He is worthy of us centering our lives completely around Him.  But often, that’s not  the case.

This is nothing new, for even when God established the worship practices of His chosen people, they struggled with giving God the adoration and worship He was due.  They were worshipping God in vain as they did so with their lips, but not with their whole selves.  They were being two-faced and hypocritical. 

This week we will reflect on our own tendencies toward being shallow in our worship of Almighty God.  Be open and prayerful as you consider your own practices. 

Reflect:

  • What do you think Jesus meant when He said, “people honor me with their lips but their hearts are far from me.”?
  • Do you see any of this behavior in your own life? How can you bring integration (integrity) in the things you say, speak or sing and the motivations of your heart?

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