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People prohibit praise

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People Prohibit Praise

Baby Keep Praising!

Matthew 21:12-16

          In order to get a good understand of what praise is there is some groundwork that has to be laid. There is a term that must be defined, and that term is praise. What is praise? Praise is one of the many ways we respond to how God has revealed himself in our lives.  Praise comes from the Latin word meaning “worth or value. When we praise God we are proclaiming or expressing his worth or value toward us. By using terms like “glory, blessing, honor and thanksgiving we are trying to let God know how much we value him. We sometimes may even shout hallelujah; for this is the highest form of praise we can give God with our lips.

          Just as we use a variety or many different kind of words to praise the Lord, there are many ways to praise the Lord. David tells us in the 150th division of Psalms to praise with the sound of trumpet, praise with the psaltery or guitar and the harp. Praise him with the tremble and praise him with the dance. Yea praise him on the high sounding cymbals. What every way that is holy and right, let every thing that has breath praise the Lord!!!!!!!!!!!

          And just in case you need a reason to praise him, David went on to say praise him for his mighty acts. In other words David was saying praise him for what he has done, praise him for what he is doing and praise him in advance for what he is going to do. In case you don’t know what God has done children, here is the short version of a long list of blessing. From the time God formed you in your mother’s belly, he kept you. When you walk out the door to go to school in the morning, kept you as you went from class to class, lunch recess, it was God that kept you.

Somebody say ok that was good, but what is he doing right now. As you sit here now with your mind on going home, it is God that is allowing your mind to think that thoughts that you are now thinking. It is God that is allowing you to daydream as his word is pounding on the door of your heart. Yes it is God that is blessing you right now, and for that you ought to praise him.  And just as there are many words of praise, just as there are many ways to praise God, the best way to praise God is how you live your life each and every day. So let your words be for praise and not cursing, let your walk be for God’s glory and not so that many will see you and say way to go kid.  Live a life of praise and you will never be at a lost for words of praise.

Now praise can take place anywhere. But God has set aside a special place for whosoever will to come and praise him. In Psalms 150, David said to praise him in the sanctuary. The sanctuary is the place where God meets his collective people. The place where we come to worship God with our collective praises. The bible says that God inhibits the praises of his people. But on the other hand Satan will try to use the very person next to you to try and prohibit or hinder your praise. But I want to tell you that no matter who Satan tries to use, no matter what he does.  Baby keep praising!!!!

The text says, “Out of the mouth of babes and suckling God has ordained perfected praise.” When we says babes here we are not just talking about a new born baby, we are not just talking about the little ones we see running around here in the church. We are not just talking about those that are simple in understanding, but all those that hunger and thirst after righteousness, those that will acknowledge that they still need to be fed. And it does not matter what age you are, you may have been serving the Lord for 20,30 40 years, but we are all babes because we all need to be constantly feed the sincere milk of God’s word. So what every your age today, remember we are all children in the sight of God, babes in time, so the Lord says to all of us that will praise him, Baby keep praising.

Verse 12-13:  In the gospel of St. John 2:13-25, Jesus begins his ministry by cleaning the temple and driving out those that sold things in the temple. Now three years later at the end of his ministry we find our Lord reminding them and us that it is not our house but it’s God’s house and it should be a house of prayer. It should be a place where the lame and the blind can come and receive the healing touch of God. A place where continual praise is going up like incense to the alter of God, a place where people can see and hear the praises of God and not the cackles of laughter as though we are in the common market place.  God’s house should be a place where a stranger can come in off the street and feel the presence of God. A place where even the rankest of sinners can come and be in awe of the power of God thought his people.

Now body here may be saying what is there to praise God for when this mouthpiece of the Lord is getting on our case. We can praise God for the fact that he does not let us do what every we want to without chastening us and then giving us time to repent. To often today we turn God’s house into our house where we laugh and joke and play games. We turn God’s house into a den of thieves and robbers. 

When we fail to treat God’s house with the honor it is due we rob our brothers and sisters of the ability to focus while they pray, we rob our children of church discipline. We rob God of the honor and praise that is rightly due to him and him alone. We may not be selling doves and ox or exchanging money. But we are selling people a lie. How preacher? We tell them that we go come to church to worship and praise God, but from the moment they walk in all they hear is laughter as thought they are still in the club.  When we fail to honor this house as God’s house we rob the sinful soul of deliverance we rob the sick of healing and we rob our children of their praise.

From the moment our car pull into the parking lot we are on holy ground, and we ought to come into the sanctuary pray, for Jesus said that his house should be a house of prayer, he didn’t mean wait until the clock strike 11:00, he didn’t say wait until the choir sings your song, or the minister have alter call. You may not have come here in need of anything, but somebody did. And that person may not know how to pray, but if you are watching and praying God will give you the spirit of discernment to help you shift your prayer off of you and on to them.

What they were doing in the temple was lawful, according to the customs of that time, exchanging the money of travels that wanted to worship for things that were expectable in the temple. But there was a lot of cheating going on, a lot of underhanded dealing taking place. And it is good for us to gather and laugh and greet one another, but there is a time and a place for that. There is a way to greet old friends in the sanctuary that will not rob others of their prayer and of their praise. While we are busy laughing and joking the enemy has snuck in unaware. And he is leading our children away one by one. Not in groves but one by one.  I knew you wouldn’t believe me, so the Lord sent proof along for you. Think back a few years to all the young people that use to come here. Picture each one that you know or have seen. Now where are they? We have been to busy laughing and having a good time to even notice that one by one our children are missing.  And those that are still here have so many burden that they need lifted but we can’t see them because we are to busy having exchanging stories and swapping…..If our babies are to have perfected praise, we must first return God’s house a house of prayer.

Verse 14: They were using the court of the Gentiles to do their trading; when they should have been doing missionary work they were doing mercenary work. When they should have been praying, they were prying.  If people are to praise god they have to first be able to get to God. Notice the text says, and the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them. .”  Another writer puts it this way, “Then the blind and the lame came to him in the temple and he healed them.”

How could they praise God if they could not get to the place where he was? How can the drug addicts that want to be delivered get off drugs if we are prohibiting them from getting to God? How can the adultery, the liar or the alcoholic get what they need from God if we got the door blocked with all of our mess? You see if people are to praise God they got to be able to get to him. And we might be the only Jesus that they every see. If people have no hope then they have no reason to praise. When peter and john healed the man at the temple gate by the power of the Holy Spirit, the bible says they people that saw it praised God. But if there is no hope of deliverance, if there is no hope of healing then there will be no praise. Little hope, little praise. But no matter what you see other people do and no matter how they try to block you, baby you keep on praising God.

Verse 15-16:  This letter from the Lord is universal, for it extends from the back door to the pulpit. The chief priest and scribes were angered by what Jesus had done and by the praise that the children showered on him as the Son of the Living God. When they saw what Jesus had did and the heard the children praising him, they became angry, they became furious, no they didn’t like it at all.  But the children were only repeated what the grown up had said. If you look back to verses 8 & 9, you will notice that the crowd was shouting hallelujah, and Hosanna in the highest. And if momma and daddy were out there in the street laying down their garments, and palms, shouting glory to God why shouldn’t the children.  We should encourage our children to join us in prayer and in praise. Our worship toward God would not be complete or perfected if not for the praise of the children.

No they may not have as strong a voice as some of us, no they may not know how to quote scripture like some of us. But out of the mouth of babes and suckling will come forth perfected praise. You see when great things are brought about from weak and unlikely instruments; God is honored for his strength. Even though we may think our children weak, God’s strength is made perfect in their weakness. So babies what ever you do don’t stop praising God.

What they see us do in the street or even in the church for that matter they think it’s ok, after all they look up to us. And that is a lesson for us as parents and leader in the church and the home. If our children see us practicing prayer and praise, they to will learn to pray and praise. And the opposite is also true. They hear us curse and swear, that to will they learn. They wanted Jesus to make them go away, but I read just the other day where Jesus said, “Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not.” He went on to say to you and I unless we become as children we couldn’t enter the kingdom of God.

You see children don’t know anything about having on the right suit, or the right hair do before they will praise the Lord. Children don’t know anything about waiting until the preacher quote their favorite scripture before they say amen. Children don’t know that it’s not church edicate to say praise the Lord until the church is full of people. They are babes in understanding, and everything they are learning, they are learning from us.

But sometimes people prohibit the praise of our children, when we really should be taking a lesson from them. During the week of the revival I came into the sanctuary a little early and there were a few children gathered by the drums. I walked over to them and said, “Praise the Lord.” They gave me a weak response, so I told them to say it like they meant it and they did. One young brother was sitting there at the drums and I walked over to him and said the same thing, again I got a weak response. I told him to say it like he meant it. Well Rev. Levine was passing by and so the young brother said, “Uncle Lawrence can I yell in here.  And if Rev. Levine had responded in any other way then he did I would have been disappointed in him. Rev. Levine told him, “You yell everywhere else.”

But I said that to show how we have prohibited our children from praising God. If the children come in saying praise the Lord while momma and daddy are talking, they are told to be quiet.  We want to get at the children for running around and playing in the sanctuary, again they are just imitating us. If we treat the church like a market place, Wal-Mart or meijers, why shouldn’t they treat it like it’s a playground?  Then after we have finished our conversation then we want to try and tell them to hush.

And I can just see the confusion on the face of our children. You done talked and got your laugh on now that you finish you want to tell me not to do the same? So the child becomes confused and don’t really know how they are suppose to act in the sanctuary. But here in the text it was the it was the priest that tried to shut the children up. It was the preacher that tried to stop the children from praising God.  They said it was not proper for children to have anything to do with religious matters. They don’t know what they are doing; they are giving honor and glory to the wrong one.

But the truth of the matter is, it is good for our children to praise God. It is good for our children to love and obey God before evil thoughts and evil desires take hold of their mind. Before the world tries to draw them away. The point is, our children have just as much right to praise God as you and I do. But we sometimes want to prohibit the praise of children. Could it be because when we look at children and we see them praising God that we don’t see any form of pretense in it? Could it be that when we look at children as they praise God we see the glory of God about them and it angers us like it did the scribes and the high priest? What every the reason if you are not going to encourage them to praise, don’t prohibit their praise.

Earlier in the text we saw that Jesus preferred the blind and lame before the buyers and sellers. Here we see the Lord favoring the children over the scribes and the priest. That tells me that no matter how much money you have or what position you hold in life. If you are trying to keep people and especially children from praising the Lord, God is against you in every thing you do. Earlier in this same gospel Jesus said, “Except ye be converted and become as little children ye shall not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever there fore shall humble himself as this child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receives me.”

I have been told by many visitors to our church that watching our children praising God while the choir is singing excites them. Believe it or not there are many people who sit in the congregation watching our children praising God and are moved to tears. While at the same time being convicted for not having genuine praises themselves.

Because the high priest of that day and time spoke Greek, Jesus quoted from the Greek translation of Psalms 8:2, which reads “Praise,” rather than the Hebrew which means “Strength.” And if God can strength and perfected praise from the mouth of infants and babes, how much more can he do with you and I who claim to be mature in the faith.

But in order for praise to be perfected, we have to come into the Presence of God with reverence and honor. We have to come into the house of prayer and treat it like it’s God’s house and not our own. If folks are to every be saved, delivered and set free, it is only through the prayers of the righteous that God will perform it.

But you need to know that if you come in praising, somebody is not going to like it. If you come in praising somebody is going to try and block you. If you come in praising somebody may tell you to shut up. But baby keep on praising the Lord any way. You may not have the best voice, but keep on praising him. You may not know all the moves to the praise dances, but baby you keep on praising any way.

Praise God from whom all blessing flow. Praise him for his mighty acts.






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