To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. Ephesians 1:6
As a kid growing up, I did not have much interaction with my father because of the extended hours of work that he put in. After working 40 hours per week in the steel mill and also put in many hours painting houses as side work, there wasn’t much time for anything else. Needless to say, his absence from our lives was not without problems: that was until I recognized the price that he personally paid and the motive behind his work. I often wished that I had recognized this earlier. It was not until I was placed in the position of needing to sacrifice for my family, that I understood the measure of his love and sacrifice. It was then that I began to praise him for who he was and what he had done.
The work that God does for you and in your life is intended to bring you to the point of praising him. However, you will praise God only after you recognize what he has done in your life. In this passage, the idea is conveyed that God is praised for the grace work that he does in individuals which makes them acceptable in Christ. This pattern of God working, our recognizing it and then offering up praise to him is a pattern that should constantly be evident in our lives.
My first thoughts after reading this was, how much of what God is doing in my life am I missing and if I am missing something, I am also failing to praise him for it. What I reminded myself to do is to slow down in life and strive to recognize even the little things that God is doing. As you walk through your day, assess the people in your life and how God is using them. Question how your friends are being used by God to help you. Have you noticed the sky, flowers, birds and other aspects of nature? All of creation is intended to bring glory to God and you and I are the ones to speak those praises. When you recognize what he has done, you too will praise him.