Heartfelt Praise


“Out of the mouths of infants and nursing babies
   you have prepared praise for yourself?”

~Matthew 21:16, NRSV


Praise is–what wings are to a bird, fruit to a tree, what the rose is to the thorn bush: it is the beauty of the Christian life.

~Charles H. Spurgeon

What sets up today’s text is the event we call the TRIUMPHANT ENTRY. It is Jesus last trip to Jerusalem and the kickoff of what we term PASSION WEEK. Jesus entered Jerusalem, perhaps on Monday, riding on a donkey but hailed as KING. The crowd who was praising him with shouts of hosanna where his followers and those He had healed or touched in some way. This crowd was made up of common people: no kings, no magistrates, no religious leaders in this group. This crowd had no money to speak of and no political clout. There were the lowest of the low economically. My question is: did Jesus take delight in their exuberant praise? Keep in mind, Jesus is prepared to save them but there is no way this group can save Jesus. Yes, they could have stood with Him and supported Him but they could not save HIM. I want you to think about the contrast between Jesus, the PRINCE of Peace, the majestic holy One, and this lowly crowd of enthusiastic yet ignorant people. A group the world would term losers. These poor chaps thought Jesus was going to become Israel’s king; they had no clue that He was riding into town to die on a cross. So in Christ we have everything that is noble, good, just and majestic and in this crowd we have humble, poor, desperate sinners with no political power and not much hope.

We all know that children get excited easily and by the time Jesus got to the temple, there was a crowd of children shouting in unison, “Blessed is the Son of David.” This children’s choir got the Jewish religious leaders upset. “Just listen to them,” they complained to Jesus, “making all this noise in the Temple.” I love Jesus answer, “Don’t you fellows ever read your bible? If you would study the Psalms you would know that God has ordained praise from children and infants.” Back to the question: did Jesus take delight in all this human praise and fanfare! In their own weak and ignorant way, they were making a big deal about JESUS. Does the perfect One accept the praise of the imperfect? The answer is yes! What Psalm 8:2 actually says is—God ordains strength through praise. In other words, strong believers give praise to Jesus.

One other thing for you to ponder: what if an Angel landed on your shoulder and whispered in your ear: “God wants you to shut-up. He is unhappy with your praise of His Son. So do not utter the name of Jesus again, ever. No more singing and for heavens sake, don’t shout. The Holy One is putting a gag order on you…no more praise!” No good angel is going to tell you such a thing but one of the bad angels will. The devil hates it when we give praise to Jesus. If your praise comes from the heart; Jesus will take delight in it.

Hump day already: it is incredible how swiftly these weeks go by. LORD willing, we will be finishing up the Bible Study at Sardis Springs tonight. My weather woman is giving bad storms tonight. I am preparing for the best: may the LORD’s will be done.

We’ve had so much rain here at 1120 Iron Man that we have septic problems. These problems can become emergencies and we had to take time to deal with the yesterday but hopefully we have bought some time. What we need is a few days of sunshine. I do love rain but it has become a problem. I drove up Mooreville Road last night and the creek that runs beside the road is flooded. You could run a good size boat along side the road. Hopefully the rain today will be light. One more gully washer and we are going to have some major problems.

Thinking about booking a cruise? You might want to rethink it. I heard about a cruise ship under quarantine. Someone on board as the virus from China and they want allow anyone to get off the ship.

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