“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” Ephesians 1:3
A person whose identity is rooted and grounded in the grace of God is a person who lives with their eyes lifted up and focused on God.
Grace lifts up our eyes.
In today’s scripture, the word “praise” is where we get our English word “eulogy,” which means to exalt, to lift up, to say good words about. In the New Testament, this particular word for praise is only used to describe worship directed toward God the Father. It is a word of great reverence. Paul is saying and demonstrating for us that praise is the direct result of a life made holy by God’s grace.
We praise God because, in His magnanimous kindness, we have been given every spiritual blessing in Christ. We have been given new identities in God’s grace, and when we recognize this grace, it lifts up our eyes to the greatness of our God and the promise of His blessing in the heavenly places.
Just think how often we need to hear, “Lift up your eyes.” Consider how easily we are distracted by the things of this world. Something will happen this afternoon, tomorrow, or this week at work or school that will cause you to lower your eyes. We get so focused on what is right in front of us. We need to be reminded repeatedly to look up and remember who God is and what He has done.
The Word of God is saying to the people of God, “Lift up your eyes!” Doing so changes your perspective. Look up and see the grace of God! Look up and be reminded of every spiritual blessing you have in Christ! Look up and see the hope you have beyond the things of this world!
The psalmist says it this way:
“I lift my eyes up to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2
If you find yourself overwhelmed, distracted, or consumed by the stresses, anxieties, and activities in your daily life, take a moment to shift your perspective.
Lift up your eyes.
Consider the blessings you have received in Christ. And declare a word of praise to God the Father, who is worthy of all our worship.
Taken from a sermon by George Wright, Senior Pastor, Shades Mountain Baptist Church, Birmingham, Alabama