1. Hello, listening friends.
2. We are delighted that you tuned in to listen to this broadcast “together on the road.”
3. If you are joining this broadcast for the first time,
4. we are in the middle of a series called Empowered by Praise.
5. I personally have experienced the power of praise during a time of trial in my life.
6. During that time, the Lord taught me one of the most important lessons in my Christian life.
7. So, I prepared these messages to help you develop that power too.
8. In the past few messages, I have begun to share these lessons with you.
9. Last time, we talked about the ultimate connection to power in God’s kingdom.
10. The ultimate connection is developing a life of praise.
11. And developing a life of praise will change you for good.
12. You cannot praise the Lord deeply and persistently without the Holy Spirit destroying all bitterness in your life.
13. The Holy Spirit replaces your bitterness with the mercy of a merciful God.
14. Many Christians have experienced this - the power of mercy.
15. As you begin to honor God for who He is and what He has done,
16. Your eyes will move toward the Lord’s provision.
17. As you begin to thank God for His mercy and grace toward you,
18. you will find that your eyes move toward the Lord’s graciousness.
19. You will find healing for discouragement.
20. You will find uplifting for your despondency.
21. You will find a cure for your grief.
22. Now I’m going to tell you a secret about the two passages of the Scripture that I mentioned in the last broadcast.
23. I told you to read both Isaiah 61 and Luke 4.
24. Those of you who have read those passages, you already have discovered they are one and the same.
25. They were written seven hundred years apart.
26. But they are one and the same passage.
27. Let’s look at verse 1 of Isaiah 61.
28. It is a prophecy about the Lord Jesus Christ.
29. So what does the Lord Jesus do in Luke 4 beginning verse 18?
30. He goes into the synagogue and he picks up the scroll, which is the Old Testament,
31. and he begins to read it.
32. After he reads it, he says, “This has been fulfilled in your ears.”
33. In other words, he is saying,
34. “Now this prophecy seven hundred years earlier has been fulfilled in me.”
35. verse 1 of chapter 61 of the book of Isaiah reads,
36. “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
37. because he anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted,
38. to bind up the broken hearted,
39. to proclaim liberty to the captives,
40. to open the prison door for those who are bound,
41. to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God.”
42. Look at the end of verse 2 and the beginning of verse 3.
43. “To comfort all who mourn and provide for those who mourn in Zion. To bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes and oil of gladness instead of sadness.”
44. Listen to this one.
45. “... and a garment of praise instead of the spirit of despair.”
46. I want you to remember these words are very important.
47. Garment of praise.
48. I’m going to contrast for you the garment of praise and the spirit of despair.
49. But I want to tell you a couple things about garments that you already know.
50. You were not born with garments.
51. Garments are things that you yourself put on.
52. They may be given to you, but you have to put them on.
53. If I come to you and hand you a jacket that cost me a thousand dollars,
54. You may look at it and smile,
55. You are being polite, but you actually hate the jacket.
56. So, you take it and what do you do with it?
57. You put it on a coat hanger and you put it in your closet,
58. or you fold it and put it in a drawer.
59. But garments are not made to be folded and put in a drawer.
60. Garments are not made to just hang in a closet.
61. A garment is something that you must put on.
62. A garment is something you wear on a regular basis.
63. What about the garment of praise that the Lord is talking about here?
64. It is given to you.
65. It is part of your heritage as a Christian.
66. It is offered to you by the Lord.
67. It is part of your salvation.
68. It is part of the package, if you like.
69. It belongs to you.
70. It is available to you.
71. It is at your beck and call, if you like.
72. But you are the one who has to wear it.
73. You have to put it on.
74. Nobody can put it on for you.
75. Nobody can force it on you.
76. You have to choose to put it on.
77. The garment of praise works out the same way.
78. You see, nobody can do praising for you.
79. You are performing to God.
80. He is the one who is watching you.
81. So, you must choose to be a praising person.
82. You have to make that decision yourself.
83. Nobody can make it for you.
84. You see praise is like a river that flows from your heart.
85. And what feeds that river is your gratitude of what God has done for you.
86. It is your gratitude to God for his greatness, goodness and mercy that He has shown you in Christ.
87. Please hear me right on this one.
88. The Lord gives us a million reasons to praise him.
89. And then the Lord gives us a desire to praise him.
90. And then the Lord responds to our praise with more blessings and more rewards.
91. What more do you want?
92. But you are the one who has to do the praising.
93. You have to move your lips,
94. because remember, earlier we learned,
95. it is out of the abundance of the heart, Jesus said, the lips move.
96. You are the one who must stay wrapped up in God’s garment of joy.
97. You are the one who must keep on keeping on the garment of praise.
98. Does this mean that you’ll never be tempted?
99. Or you’ll never get discouraged?
1. No, no, no. I don’t mean that at all.
2. But just put on the garment of praise daily, regularly, moment by moment,
3. and every time the enemy comes in and he offers you the garment of despair, you’ll be able to refuse it.
4. You will be able to say to him, “No way, Satan, I have a better garment.”
5. Every time you are tempted to put on the garment of discouragement, you’ll be able to refuse it,
6. because you already have the better garment of praise.
7. Tell the enemy, when you get used to silk, “who wants hessian?”
8. And he will run from you because the Scripture said he will.
9. The second thing I want you to know is this,
10. the Lord contrasts the garment of praise with the spirit of despair.
11. In Old Testament times,
12. the spirit of despair led a person to tear their clothes.
13. They literally ripped the fabric of the garment as a sign of deep sorrow.
14. It was a sign of a broken spirit.
15. It was a sign of being emotionally undone by intense sadness.
16. Let me give you some examples.
17. In 2 Samuel chapter 13,
18. Tamar, the daughter of King David, was raped by her half-brother.
19. The Bible said that she tore her ornamented robe in despair.
20. In Job chapter 2 verse 12,
21. Job’s friends tore their garments.
22. Please listen to me very carefully as I conclude.
23. When Jesus sat in the synagogue in Luke chapter 4 reciting Isaiah 61,
24. here’s what he was saying,
25. “This prophecy has now been fulfilled in me.”
26. He is saying that “In me you can exchange your torn garments of sadness for the garment of praise.”
27. Jesus is saying that, “In my name, you now can replace the garment of despair with the garment of praise.”
28. Jesus is saying, “In me you can throw away the garment of sorrow,
29. “and you can be clothed with the garment of power, healing and forgiveness that I have for you.’
30. That’s what Jesus is saying in Luke chapter 4.
31. “In me you can cover the nakedness of discouragement and despair with my beautiful garment of praise.”
32. People come to God in prayer asking for all kinds of things.
33. “Give me this, God. Do this, God. Give me this, God.”
34. Just think of someone coming to my house and walking straight into my kitchen,
35. and he opens the refrigerator and says, “Michael, I’m really famished.
36. Do you have anything good to eat?”
37. Now you say, “Wait a minute. When somebody does that, that’s rude.”
38. But how many of us come running into the presence of God asking for this and asking for that?
39. Without coming to him first in praise and adoration.
40. Has the Holy Spirit spoken to you and brought you under conviction that you need to develop a life of praise?
41. Please accept his conviction.
42. God deserves to be adored, glorified, magnified and praised.
43. Not just in a few seconds or a few minutes, but a whole life of praise.
44. As you develop the life of praise, I hope you’ll write to us and tell us how God has changed your life.