Commitment to Christ leads to Worship and Service
14 For we do not have an enduring city here; instead, we seek the one to come. 15 Therefore, through him let us continually offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name. 16 Don’t neglect to do what is good and to share, for God is pleased with such sacrifices. (Hebrews 13:14-16)
Closing this section on how believers should respond to God, in verse 14, the author reminds the believers that the earth is not their permanent residence: “For we do not have an enduring city here; instead, we seek the one to come.” Believers should look forward to the reward that is coming ahead, residing in heaven forever with Jesus Christ. Not only that, but this commitment to Christ towards the future should be done together with other believers, as seen with the word “we.” Believers should encourage and support one another as they go through this life together, pursuing to be more and more like Christ every day.
In verse 15, in light of the future reward promised to them by the Savior, believers are challenged to constantly live a life of worship, “continually offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruits of lips that confess His name.” As we have established from previous weeks, when God commanded the use of animal sacrifices, He was looking at the heart of the individual. In the same manner, believers can give praise to God with their lips, but to also have a humble heart, as seen in Psalm 51:15-17:
15 Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 You do not want a sacrifice, or I would give it;
you are not pleased with a burnt offering.
17 The sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit.
You will not despise a broken and humbled heart, God.
As well as Psalm 19:14, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.”
Believers are to be committed to Christ, to lift Him up in praise, and final, “to do what is good and to share, for God is pleased with such sacrifices.” Because of the relationship with God vertically, now, believers are challenged to put that into action and share the love of God to those around them through acts of giving and service. As Thomas Lea writes, “We are to be on the lookout for occasions where we can give spontaneous help. Christians respond to Christ’s atoning death with good deeds and praise, not with animals. God finds great pleasure in these responses.”
May we respond to the Lord’s gift of salvation by being fully committed to Him, encouraging one another as we look to the future. May we praise God with our lips and with our hearts continually. May we serve and give to those in need, as God blesses us to be blessings to others.
Isaac De Guzman