Choose Joy: The Sacrificial Choice of Praise

2020… what else do I need to say? It’s been a year. Pandemic, losses of friends and family, losses of jobs, riots, Politics, new job opportunities, loss of habits, … and it just keeps on going.
We all want more joy, but we have learned that we have to choose Joy.
Purity guilty and happy
Our purpose is joy
Our theme verse has been from Paul where he said…
2 Corinthians 6:10 NIV
10 sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.
Whenever you start your day with prayer - joy will follow
Whenever you choose purity or to obey God, you will have joy…
Isaiah 61:3 NKJV
3 To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
Look at what gets rid of the spirit of darkness… the garment of praise

Get Your Praise on

Isaiah 61:3 NKJV
3 To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
If you wonder why we start off with a fast song and then go to a slow song… It’s biblical.
Psalm 95:1–2 NLT
1 Come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. 2 Let us come to him with thanksgiving. Let us sing psalms of praise to him.
Then we move into slower worship songs...
Psalm 95:6–7 NLT
6 Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the Lord our maker, 7 for he is our God. We are the people he watches over, the flock under his care. If only you would listen to his voice today!

We praise God for What He has done

None of these are about me, but about Him...

We worship God for who He is

Praise is Horizontal

We sing that to each other… This is you and us...
I can worship without you, but I can not praise without you

Worship is vertical

Worship is response

Praise is a choice

Worship is something that we naturally want to do… Praise is a choice.
Here is why it works…

Praise focuses on God, not me

Praise is about God and what he has done. When we sing about the greatness of our God, that’s praise and we choose to do it.
Psalm 50:23 NLT
23 But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me. If you keep to my path, I will reveal to you the salvation of God.”

Praise reminds me of the eternal not the temporary

Praise gets our minds off of the fight we had coming to church and onto how good God is…
We have to choose to do that. We choose to stop looking at the temporal and look at the eternal. We have to think about God’s reality … not ours.
You have to learn that what’s not working out now… will work out.
Our parents and grandparents songs were really better than todays…
When we all get to heaven what a wonderful day that will be
God cares about your needs and hurts… Look at what Paul said.
2 Corinthians 4:8–9 NLT
8 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9 We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.
How did he get to this point?
2 Corinthians 4:17–18 NLT
17 For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! 18 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.
Praise is optimistic. God never lets us down...

Praise is outward, not inward

It’s expressive … on the outside. some of ya’ll need to get the joy joy joy… from deep down in your heart to your hands and mouth…
Hebrews 13:15 NIV
15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.
It’s a sacrificial choice to praise him even when things are going wrong.
foot to sway to the step to hands to hold the baby to touchdown … all of hell and some of earth will come at you… they will make fun of you…

The Sacrificial Choice

Before Jesus rose from the grave, Jesus went through Palm Sunday…
Luke 19:37–40 The Message
37 Right at the crest, where Mount Olives begins its descent, the whole crowd of disciples burst into enthusiastic praise over all the mighty works they had witnessed: 38 Blessed is he who comes, the king in God’s name! All’s well in heaven! Glory in the high places! 39 Some Pharisees from the crowd told him, “Teacher, get your disciples under control!” 40 But he said, “If they kept quiet, the stones would do it for them, shouting praise.”
Pharisees - get your disciples under control and the devil wants you under control. This is the reaction of people who have been impacted by God in a real way.
We are going to look at several words in Hebrew and Greek. Greek language has many more words than english… Love - eros, Pheleo, Agape, … Hebrew is even more...
In English we get the word PRAISE. 7 different Hebrew Words

1. Halel: To rave, boast, celebrate to be clamorously foolish

Hallelujah - sounds like Superdome…
Psalm 35:18 NLT
18 Then I will thank you in front of the great assembly. I will praise you before all the people.

2. Yadah: To acknowledge in public

Some people say, I have God down in my heart, but God says you need to praise him in public. It would be like me leaving the house without my wedding ring on and then putting it back on when I get home…
Psalm 138:1 NIV
1 I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; before the “gods” I will sing your praise.

3. Barak: To bless by kneeling or bowing

Could be physically or spiritually. It’s expecting God to give you joy as you praise
Psalm 103:1 NLT
1 Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.

4. Zamar: Making music to God with strings

Psalm 92:1 NLT
1 It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to the Most High.
Coem on Steve… and Ronnie
Psalm 150:3–5 NLT
3 Praise him with a blast of the ram’s horn; praise him with the lyre and harp! 4 Praise him with the tambourine and dancing; praise him with strings and flutes! 5 Praise him with a clash of cymbals; praise him with loud clanging cymbals.
At the Praise protest, they had a shofar… etc...
if you don’t like praise, you may not like heaven…

5. Shabach: To address in a loud tone or to shout

That’s why when your team wins you shout… greeting a loved one coming back from a trip… Why is this normal everywhere but in the church.
Psalm 63:3–4 NLT
3 Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you! 4 I will praise you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer.

6. Towdah: To lift hands in adoration

Psalm 50:23 NKJV
23 Whoever offers praise glorifies Me; And to him who orders his conduct aright I will show the salvation of God.”
He like it… that’s enough reason to lift our hands...

7. Tehilah: Exuberant singing

Not Tekilah....
Psalm 34:1 NIV
1 I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.
This is who we are… we praise him. If you will choose to pray, there is more joy. If you will choose purity, there is more joy. If you choose to praise him, there is more joy.
You have to choose joy… Why,

The only part of life that we can control is our reaction

Choose Joy

Rebuke the spirit of heaviness… depression...
Salvation Choice - When you choose to give Jesus control, you get forgiveness, salvation, power… peace, joy
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