Summary: Ephesians 1:3 says we have already been given every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms, yet we do not seem to have them. Could it be because we do not know how to reach out and take them?
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."
The Good News Bible translates that statement of Jesus as,
"I have come in order that you might have life ---- life in all its fullness."
That’s what our faith is all about; God made us, and Jesus saves us, so that we can have fullness of life, spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, and physically.
Jesus spoke of life as like a vine that either bears no fruit, some fruit, or much fruit.
JOHN 15: 1-5
"I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does not bear fruit he prunes so that it will even be more fruitful."
It’s possible to live our life without God’s blessing, or to get only a little bit of it, even though most of us would say we would like to have His blessing in abundance. We need to remove all of the obstacles in our lives that keep God at a distance, so we can let God love us. After all, it’s His desire to give us His gifts of good things, “pressed down, shaken together and running over.”
In PSALM 84:11 we are promised,
"no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly."
God wants to bless us, and an amazing thing about our heavenly Father is His math often doesn’t add up the way our math does. Would you like to receive God’s abundant blessings, definite blessings, increased blessings, multiplied blessings? Let’s look at His spiritual arithmetic.
In 1 PETER 2:1
"Therefore rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind."
Rid yourself of it, lay it aside, or SUBTRACT it from our lives. Subtract wrong attitudes, ill will, insincerity, pretense, jealousy, and anything else in hidden in your heart that is not 100 percent in line with the loving, perfect will of God. These negative things completely spoil your life. When you make a sincere effort to live for God, when you try to eliminate whatever you know is wrong, in your actions and deeds, when you align your thoughts with His Word, you’re readying your life for His multiplied blessings.
When you read the Old Testament, you find it is full of "don’ts," but the New Testament puts the emphasis on "DO," and shows us that God wants us to add certain things to our faith. Faith is the beginning of every good thing, but for multiplied blessings, your faith needs to grow.
The people in the Old Testament did not have a Savior yet, so they were ruled by God’s laws. In the New Testament we find Jesus, Our Savior, finally came, so with the advent of Jesus, we are ruled by faith.
So what do we need to Add?
2 PETER 1:5 says
"… for this very reason, make every effort to ADD to your faith goodness and to goodness, knowledge, and to knowledge, self-control, and to self-control, perseverance, and perseverance, godliness, and to godliness, brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness, love."
He said to add virtue to our faith. Virtue means excellence or simple goodness. He wants us to excel, and be good at whatever we do, to achieve excellence.
In ACTS 10:38 it says Jesus "went about doing good."
In MATTHEW 5:16, He commands us to "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven."
Simple goodness leads to a better, happier life. After goodness, ADD knowledge. God’s blessings are multiplied in our lives "through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord."
How do you get to know someone? By spending time with him, learning what he thinks, how he reacts to different circumstances, and it’s the same with getting to know the Lord. Take time for Him, learn from experience how wonderful He is, and your blessings will be multiplied.
After knowledge, we must ADD temperance or self-control. We can easily be controlled by an impulse, bad habits, or our emotions, or even by another person. Without self-control these things hold us prisoners, but Jesus came to set us free. When he is our Lord and Master, He helps us get control of ourselves.
Perseverance, or, patient endurance, means refusing to quit. In the game of life, if we drop the ball along the way, we just need to pick it up again, and keep on playing. Jesus promised, “He who endures to the end will be saved.”