Sunday October 11 2015
By Pastor Austen Ukachi
“The people I made especially for myself, a people custom-made to praise me” (Isaiah 43:21 MSG).
“This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the Lord” (Psalm 102:18).
“Just as shorts fit tightly round the waist, so I intended all the people of Israel and Judah to hold tightly to me. I did this so that they would be my people and would bring praise and honor to my name; but they would not obey me” (Jeremiah 13:11 GNT).
“The dead do not praise the LORD, nor any who go down into silence. But we will bless the LORD from this time forth and forevermore. Praise the LORD!” (Psalm.115:17,18).
We have in our early articles on DESTINY defined destiny as what God planned and purposed for us to be and to do before we were born. From our texts above, Israel was called to testify the praise of God, but they failed in this regard. In Exodus 19:6, God declared that Israel was to be a kingdom of priests to him, but Jeremiah 13:11 reveals that they failed in that regard. So, Israel failed in this aspect of her destiny!
Peter, emphasizing on the same point about our calling, wrote that long before we were born, we were destined to be a community of God worshipers and praise givers. It is for the purpose of praise we were made to be kings and priests. “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, his own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy” (1 Peter 2:9,10).
God prepared us to be His worshipers and Praise givers through the following ways:
First, he chose us in Christ. “But you are a chosen generation.” Paul sheds more light on this in Ephesians 1:4 thus, “Just as he chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.” The word, chosen, connotes that we were deliberately favored by God for a given purpose.
Secondly, we are “a royal priesthood.” This defines our priestly and kingly status. We belong to a community of priests and kings. In the Old Covenant, the priesthood and royalty were separated. But now, as children of a high priest, we are chosen to regularly offer sacrifices of praise to the Almighty God. The Psalmist in Psalm 145:10-13 elaborates on this call to be worshipers and praise givers to God. “All your works shall praise you, O LORD, and your saints shall bless you. They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom, and talk of your power, to make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through out all generations.”
Third, we are “a holy nation.” We are a community of priests and kings called, saved, redeemed and made holy by Christ. We are drawn from every nation and made one in Christ.
We are also “a peculiar people.” Our uniqueness lies in what Christ has done in us and for us. God’s plan has always been to call forth a people from every background who will worship and sing his praise.
So we can humbly summarize our present status this way: we are chosen in Christ, we belong to a heavenly royalty, we have been made holy and peculiar by Christ so that we can testify his praise to the world. The story of the Ten Lepers in Luke 17, shows that gratitude and praise appeals to our God. We must always be thankful and grateful and be willing to give God praise for all things.
HOW DO WE PRAISE HIM AND FOR WHAT?
If we are destined to praise God, how then do you praise him? Half hearted or intentional? Robustly or mild? Psalm 145:3 says, “Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is UNSEARCHABLE.” Then the next question is, what do we praise him for? We are to praise him for his sacrifice for us on the cross of Calvary. We are to praise him for all his works, praise him for his sovereign power and greatness, praise him for all his benefits, praise him for his gifts, praise him for our salvation, we are to praise him for the hope he has given to us, praise him for what he is doing in all the nations of the world, praise him for the Church on earth. In reality, there is no end to what we can praise God for. This is just to mention a few of the reasons why we should praise him.
So, child of God, rise up to your God-ordained destiny and be a worshiper and praise giver to God. That is why you were created. Lest you forget, if you fail to take your place as a God worshiper and praise giver, God will raise up others to fill your place.