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It's Personal (Part 3)

Palm Sunday - Your Praise is Personal 

Praise is personal.

No one can praise Him like you.
· He designed you uniquely.
· You praise Him out of your own volitions, your own circumstances and struggles. The Psalmist said, “I will sacrifice a praise to Him.”
· No one can take your place in praise because it’s personal.
1. Let me illustrate it this way. You can leave this church today and never come back.
Maybe you’ve come for years. You stand in your same spot and sing and lift your hands. But for some reason, you decide this is it. No more! No mas!
2. Somebody else will move into that spot. Someone else will fill that seat. Someone else will sing the songs. They may even sing on pitch and their singing sounds better to us than yours did.
But hear me, they didn’t take your place. No one filled your void. It’s not the same.
No one takes your place. God created you to praise Him in your own way, in your own uniqueness, out of your own weaknesses – and nobody can do it like you do it!
It’s personal!
· Jesus said, “If these people don’t praise me, the rocks will.”
“No one can take their place but something’s got to praise me around here!”

Praise is personal. It belongs to you. It is yours to give or to hold onto.
Nothing can stop you from praising Him – no one or no thing.
1. Intimidation can’t stop you.
· The devil will attempt to keep you from praising. He’ll try to silence your praise.
· “Make them be quiet,” he and his legions say.
· “I’ll strike fear in their hearts. I’ll threaten them with terror and terrorists.”
· “I’ll tell them church is their problem. Religion is for the ignorant masses.”
· You look silly with your little hand up and looking up and staring as if to be looking at someone - that’s right – looking up as though we’re looking at someone!
· I tell you, if they’re struggling they won’t praise God. If they’re sick they won’t praise Him. If I steal their joy they’ll quit their singing.
Yes, the devil says, “If I create enough stress in their life, they’ll give up. I’ll bring on the pressure and I’ll kill their praise.”

But then along comes the words of the Psalmist in Psalm 30:9-12 (NLT):
“What will you gain if I die, if I sink into the grave? Can my dust praise you? Can it tell of your faithfulness? 10Hear me,Lord, and have mercy on me. Help me, OLord.” 11You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, 12that I might sing praises to you and not be silent.OLordmy God, I will give you thanks forever!

Oh no, we’re not going to let some defeated clown like the devil take away our praise because it’s way too personal to let go of it over his foolish tactics.

This may be a surprise to you – maybe a revelation to you. But I believe not only is it intimidation that tries to take away our praise of God, but incrimination does as well.

Self-incrimination can’t stop you.

A. You don’t have to be perfect to praise.
B. You don’t have to have every hair in place or your head shined – whatever the case may be – you don’t have to have all your bills paid – a house – a spouse – two kids - 2 cars and skateboard – in order to have something to praise God for.
C. We need to lose the garbage we tell ourselves – “Well, I’m not as good as them. I’m not together like they are.”
Are you kidding me? Together? It would be the most hilarious video ever shown if we could show clips of all of us getting ready to come here today.
· Trying to find something to wear. Changing 2 or 3 times.
· Can’t get our hair just right.
· Kids running wild – demanding “whatever.”
· Being a short-order cook – cleaning up messes, creating messes, leaving a mess – together?
· Getting everyone in the car – like herding kittens.
· Babies spitting up and pooping out.
· Mom and dad stressed, exchanging words and looks – O Lord, the looks. Together?
· We roll in here at “late thirty” and blow in here like a pile of leaves hit by a gust of wind. Together?
· And if you saw our week, or looked at our bank balance, or the pile of laundry, or the stack of bills, or the emails I have to answer, or the pressure to perform, and the calls to make, and the sales goals I have to reach. Together?
· Folks, ain’t nobody got it all together.

And you’re missing the whole point today if you don’t get that God wouldn’t have it any other way.
The purest praise – the highest praise isn’t:
Praise God I have the most gorgeous spouse, the perfect/polite honor roll, well-behaved, perfectly dressed children. I left an immaculate house – paid for – drove here in a new car – clean as it can be – and walked in here hand-in-hand with my perfect family singing, “Kum ba yah, my Lord.”

No. No. No. Ain’t nobody got time for that!
God wants you to praise Him out of your stuff.
God wants your praise in spite of your circumstances.
God wants you to praise Him in your darkest night – your greatest longings – your broken hearts and shattered dreams.

It’s personal to God. Nobody can praise Him like you.
· And can you imagine what happens when you praise Him out of your stuff?

The Psalmist said in 71:10-16 (NLT):
For my enemies are whispering against me. They are plotting together to kill me. 11They say, “God has abandoned him. Let’s go and get him, for no one will help him now.” 12O God, don’t stay away. My God, please hurry to help me. 13Bring disgrace and destruction on my accusers. Humiliate and shame those who want to harm me. 14But I will keep on hoping for your help; I will praise you more and more. 15I will tell everyone about your righteousness. All day long I will proclaim your saving power, though I am not skilled with words. 16I will praise your mighty deeds, O SovereignLord. I will tell everyone that you alone are just.

Job 13:15 KJV
Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.

Habakkuk 3:17-19 NLT 
Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, 18yet I will rejoice in theLord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! 19The SovereignLordis my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights.
Can you only imagine how God feels when life hits you hard and out of the ashes and pain, you fill your spot over there and sing anyway and raise your hand anyway and offer your praise anyway, because there’s nobody that can praise Him like you praise Him.