March 04, 2012

Formed for Praise

1 Peter 2:9-10

I formed [my people] for myself that they may proclaim my praise.
—Isaiah 43:21


“Why are we here?” The question is not limited to philosophers and theologians. And it’s not only “Why are we (humanity) here?” The question is more personal: “Why am I here?”

Through Isaiah and Peter, God gives the same answer. God says he formed his people for himself, that we may proclaim his praise, and we “are a chosen people … God’s special possession,” that we may “declare [his] praises.” The truth stands today for all God’s people. And each one who believes is a valued part of this people (1 Corinthians 12:12-27).

We have been formed for God’s praise, informed about Christ for his praise, and conformed to Christ for his praise. We are also being transformed by Christ for his praise. Anything that falls short of his praise must be labeled deformed or, at best, unformed or uninformed. There are no exceptions. Every thought, every action and attitude, every glance, every memory and desire, every plan and hope—all are to be for his praise and only for his praise.

And here is an amazing truth. Though our sin brings sorrow and detracts from praising God, it is forgiven so that we may give God praise. “In [Jesus] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins … for the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:7, 12).

Lent is a good time to live up to why we are here—each one of us.

Father, may our worship and our lives be filled with your praise. In Christ our hope, Amen.

About the author — Dale Vander Veen

Dale Vander Veen is a retired Christian Reformed pastor who with his wife, Edith, has ministered in California, Washington, and Michigan. They have three married children and six grandchildren. He currently writes a daily e-mail series of devotions.

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