Living God's HeartLiving Gods Heart

12The next day the great crowd that had come for the Feast heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. 13They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting,


“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Blessed is the King of Israel!”

John 12:12-13 (NIV)


During our journey through 2013, we’re focusing on a different characteristic or quality of the heart each month. You can see all the blogs in the series here.) I’m pulling over to the side of the road this week and next to address the praise-filled heart. With Palm Sunday just two days ago and Easter (or Resurrection Sunday as it’s called at our church) just a few days away, the note I made in the margins of my sermon notebook was “radical praise – it’s a season of outrageous praise!”

I love description of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. It’s often called the triumphal entry because He was recognized as and given the reception of a King, even if only for a short time. People laid their coats on the ground before Him. And trust me, it wasn’t their spare jacket that they usually left hanging in the closet at home. It was most likely their only over-garment. That’s outrageous praise!

And they shouted “Hosannah! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” “Hosannah!” “Blessed is the King of Israel.”

Outrageous praise! To proclaim Jesus as the King of Israel. Yes, He had been doing miraculous works in their midst. Still no one had yet proclaimed Him a King.

In the midst of outrageous praise, the Israelites were reciting from a Psalm 118. Look at the phrase in context:

22The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone;
23the LORD has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.
24This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
25O LORD, save us; O LORD, grant us success.
26Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD. From the house of the LORD we bless you.
27The LORD is God, and he has made his light shine upon us. With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession up to the horns of the altar.
Psalm 118:22-27 (NIV)

Jesus is the stone the builders rejected. Let us rejoice and be glad. The word translated “rejoice” connotes a strong emotion. It’s not quiet joy. It’s outrageous joy. It’s loud, have-to-dance joy.

Some of the Phraisees weren’t all that happy about such an outrageous display of emotions. “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!” they said to Jesus (Luke 19:39, NIV).

“I tell you,” [Jesus] replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
Luke 19:40 (NIV)

Stones crying out – that’s outrageous praise!

What does outrageous praise look like in your life? Let me give you some characteristics of it:

  • It isn’t temporary. When you’ve praised God outrageously, it’s going to have an effect that doesn’t dissipate before you’ve finished your morning coffee.
  • It goes beyond peaceful. It may bring you peace, but outrageous peace isn’t accomplished with a serene smile on your face while you sit quietly. I truly want to allow for individual differences, but I honestly don’t know how anyone can outrageously praise God silently. (If you disagree, let me know. We can still be friends!)
  • It may make you a bit uncomfortable! If you’re not accustomed to outrageously praising God (and most of us aren’t), you’ll be uncomfortable at first.
  • It’s likely to make those around you uncomfortable. I’m not advocating that you offend your neighbor for the sake of offending them. But I am suggesting that you not allow others to dictate how you outrageously praise God.

I have a challenge for you today. Before the end of the day, spend at least three minutes outrageously praising God. If that’s not a challenge for you, make it five or ten minutes. If you’re new to outrageous praise, start with some of the verses in Psalm 118 and add your own commentary after them. You might begin with verse 14:

The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.
Psalm 118:14 (NIV)

Read the verse out loud with enthusiasm, then praise God out loud for being that for you. “Lord, you are my song when I have no song. You are my strength when I have no strength. Hallelujah! Thank You, Lord, for saving me. Thank you, Lord, for lifting me up when I couldn’t reach up on my own.”

15Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous: “The LORD’s right hand has done mighty things! 16The LORD’s right hand is lifted high; the LORD’s right hand has done mighty things!”
Psalm 118:15-16 (NIV)

“Hallelujah, Lord! You have done mighty things for me! You meet my every need! You provide for me every day! Because of You I live in freedom! Because of You I live in love! Because of You I will live for eternity!”

That’s the beginning of outrageous praise. It blesses God’s heart and it will bless your heart.

Share this post with a friend who needs to be blessed this week. And tell me how your outrageous praise session went!

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