Let’s look at a verse from the book of Proverbs that points to the importance of what we say with our mouths:
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit. (Proverbs 18:21)
Two things come from the use of the tongue: death and life. If we grumble, or if we are negative or self-centered, our tongues will bring forth death. But if we are liberated from all of that negativity and are walking in the praise and worship of God, our tongues will bring forth life. Additionally, whatever fruit our tongues bring forth, whether sweet or bitter, we are going to eat of it.
Let’s go back to our pattern verse for this week. I’d like to bring out one more important point from it. The writer said,
Through Him [Jesus] then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God. (Hebrews 13:15 nasb)
One very significant word in this verse is “sacrifice.” Praise is a sacrifice. According to the principles of Scripture, a sacrifice requires a death. In the Old Testament sacrifices, nothing was ever offered to God that had not passed through death. So, we see that the sacrifice of praise requires a death—the death of the old man. The old man cannot praise God as He deserves to be praised. There has to be a death.
Again, we know that a sacrifice costs us something; thus, praise is costly. Let me put it this way: we need to praise God most when we least feel like it. Praise cannot depend on our feelings. It is a sacrifice of our spirits.