Summary: If you think little of what God has done for you, you will do very little for Him. But if you have a great vision of His great mercy for you, you will be extremely grateful to God.
I love our country as you do. I believe we live in the greatest country in the world despite recent events. We have the world's largest economy. We have the world's strongest military. We have the world's most advanced technology. And we are the world's richest country. Those are just a few of the things we lead the world in. Before we get the big head there is another first-place trophy that we hold. We are the most wasteful country in the world. Literally, we produce more garbage than anyone else in the world. Even though we have just four percent of the world's population we produce twelve percent of the world's waste and garbage. The average American is responsible for 1,700 pounds of garbage a year and that’s not just trash talk either.
And, the richest country in the world wastes the most money. The average American wastes $18,000 a year buying things they don’t even need. Yet, I believe there is even a greater waste going on, not just in America, but around the world that breaks the heart of God more than any other type of waste and that is a wasted life. Although you waste food, you can buy more food. Even though you waste money, you can make more money. But when you waste your life, you only have one life and it is too precious to waste. This morning, I want to share with you how to make sure that you not only don’t waste your life but you make the most of your life.
Please keep your Bibles open to the book of Ephesians with me (page 1159 in the pew Bible).
To make the most of my life: I need to bless God and the Bible tells me that He wants to bless me.
This morning, I simply want to unpack verse 3 only: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places…” (Ephesians 1:3).
You cannot tell it from your English version but verses 3-14 are really one long sentence in the original language of the New Testament. Now, no English translation attempts to make it just 1 sentence because the sentence is so complicated. The version we are looking at together makes it five sentences. This is not only the longest sentence in your New Testament but it’s also the longest sentence that’s been discovered in the Greek language. So the first people to read it would have been surprised by it as well. It’s really a burst of praise and an act of worship - Paul didn’t even pause for a breath. There is a richness to this sentence.
There’s so much here that we’ll work on this one sentence for the next several Sundays. To make the most of this life, I need to bless God and He blesses us.
1. Blessing God
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places…” (Ephesians 1:3).
When we speak of someone as blessed, many people think of it as kind of the church word for “lucky.” Sometimes when we say “bless their heart,” it’s more of a wish – we wish them well. Yet, the word “blessed” in verse 3 literally means to speak well of someone.
We get our word eulogy from this word “blessed” in verse 3. When you deliver the eulogy for someone at their funeral, you are speaking well of them.
The Bible is teaching us to praise God. We are to bless God for He has blessed us with every conceivable blessing.
1.1 Jewish Practice
Paul is really doing something that was done by Jewish people in his day. The Jewish people would bless God. In fact, there was even a prescribed set of prayers for all Jews to pray every morning, evening, and afternoon called The Eighteen Benedictions, each of which contains the expression, “Blessed are you, Lord.” What isn’t Jewish is when Paul blesses God as the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places…” (Ephesians 1:3).
Again, when I bless someone I speak well of them. So the Bible is teaching us to speak well of God. Straighten up in your seat for a moment and give me your undivided attention so I can ask you a personal question for a moment: Have you ever blessed God even once in your life? Have you blessed God today? In an OMG world, why should you speak well of God?
1.2 God is the Source of Blessing
The first reason you should bless God is because the very fact that God alone is blessed. It’s not that we wish God to be blessed or that we are hoping He’s blessed. The fact is … God is blessed. The Bible is telling us a fact. God is blessed – this is a matter of fact.