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The True Sacrifice of Praise

June 27, 2019
By Martin Luther

Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High.

PSALM 50:14

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The True Sacrifice of Praise

The sacrifice of praise must be given to God alone. For He has indeed reserved praise and glory to Himself, something that the devil and man have stolen from Him. . .. Then is God rightly worshiped when we completely disparage ourselves and ascribe all praise and glory and whatever is in us to Him. For when we attribute to God what belongs to Him and keep for ourselves what is ours, then we keep nothing, and that very nothing is ours, but everything is God's, from whom we receive it. Therefore such a confession out of a true heart is itself the sacrifice of praise, namely, to confess that everything, whatever we are, is owed to God, and there is absolutely nothing left for ourselves. . .. For if God wished to charge us with what is in us outside of His gifts, then we would be sinners. But we are saved through this, that He does not charge us with our very nothingness, at least not when we acknowledge it. . . This, then is the true sacrifice of praise, that a person acknowledges his own total abyss and ascribes and confesses as belonging to the goodness of God everything that he is, has, and can do.

From First Lectures on the Psalms, from Psalm 50 (Luther's Works 10:232-34)

June 27

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