”Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord”
John recently brought out a timely study on this scripture, where God calls us to multiply.
As pointed out in the study, in Strong’s Concordance, both the Greek (G4129) and Hebrew (7235), return the same meaning of ‘increase’.
God means us to increase as we go through life. All nature does it, so why shouldn’t we do it spiritually?
As with the good servants in the parable of the talents, we, likewise, are to be found multiplying what the Lord has given us.
For instance, in this verse, we are called to increase knowledge, which should in turn multiply grace and peace unto us and others that hear us. The increased knowledge of God should create in us these benefits as we get to understand him more, how he works and what he desires, and then add them to our practices in life.
When we look at the servant who did not increase anything, we can see he didn’t read, take notes, nor do any bible study. He may have sat in the congregation and listened, but did not hear.
Luke 11:28 states, “…blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it”
If we don’t ‘hear’ the Word and keep it, which means to retain it, apply it, and pass it on, we haven’t multiplied it; we haven’t invested in it; we haven’t reaped anything from it so we can feed the spiritually poor and needy, or even our families, with the graceful information they can then use and pass on.
I Tim 5:8, “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”
We know this comment was made to challenge men’s physical laziness in failing to bring in provisions for the family, however, the principle still applies to the head of the family in the spiritual.
It’s not only our choice to hear the Word, but God’s command.
In life, most of us are passing on information of some sort. Sometimes it’s not Godly, sometimes it’s negative, sometimes judgemental, and sometimes it is without full knowledge of a situation, but we still feel free to have our say. We think we are justified.
When we speak from the knowledge of God, we see our words are worth hearing.
Prov 25:11, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver”
Fitly spoken, means it fits the scenario like it should. We firstly think of the best words which fit the time, place and issue; words covered in God’s golden judgement — well-thought out and crafted according to God’s nature; as the gold that covered the timber in the tabernacle, covering all human thought and instinct.
Then we deliver them to the hearer. We frame those words in redemption silver, thinking always of the profit (increase) of the hearer, redeeming any prospective loss that could have happened had we simply spoken without thinking.
This how we might multiply with words.
Knowledge with Pride
As was pointed out in the study, if we are not alert, along with knowledge comes pride.
Pride is devious. It seems to hide behind knowledge, making its way into our hearts when the door is opened for the knowledge to enter. Then, like a pretender queen, it arrogantly takes its place beside knowledge. A type of false wife of knowledge.
We have seen many a good Christian damage and even kill off their own high callings from God due to pride through knowledge.
Knowledge is simply a tool given freely by God and others, yet, we can boast about it like we have discovered it ourselves. We might try to look humble, but in reality, we can’t wait to show off our knowledge.
We need to apply ourselves to obtain knowledge, however, like creation, the information is already there, and God is simply showing us. Newton and Edison understood this principle, so why do we find it so difficult?
Pride through knowledge is lunacy when we look at it.
Whilst building knowledge, we should not forget its true wife, ‘humility’, the real Queen, and let her in only, shutting the door on pride.
Also, with the new knowledge we have obtained, Discretion should be the vehicle we select to pass it on to others.
Prov 2:10-11, “When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; Discretion shall preserve thee (and thy ministry), understanding shall keep thee (and thy ministry):”
This way, others are blessed by our knowledge and understanding, as it secures itself in the hearts and minds of the hearers.
The Lord provides gifts and talents, like Bezaleel’s, for the development of his church as a body and the individual growth of its members. The end result being, that we grow (multiply) in knowledge and understanding, harmony with the spirit of God, and in unity with other members, knowing that without it, we can never build the church God desires and for which he has planned these many years.
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
Besides the five-fold ministers of the gospel of Christ, many followers are given gifts and talents. Whether you are called into one of the ministries above, or have been given other gifts or talents, they still need to grow to be useful. This is the benefit of a disciplined spiritual life.
Humankind has been designed to multiply. For instance, when we hear good news, we can’t wait to tell someone. It’s in our nature. We, therefore, multiply its profit by letting others also be joyful about it.
When we get given too much of something, most of us immediately ask a friend or neighbour if they would like some. Giving is in our makeup.
Acts 20:35 quotes Jesus, when it stated, “…It is more blessed to give than to receive”.
Truly, this is the case. All of us, even the greedy at times, feels blessed to give something of value away to someone in need.
However, whilst it is a good feeling passing stuff along to friends when we don’t need it anymore, it is not what the Lord is talking about when he calls us to multiply.
A loud call or a silent feeling?
Most times with the giving of talents, God does not have the town crier shouting around the suburbs that he has placed them on someone. He doesn’t shout it from the hilltops. We get a sense within us, like we are drawn to a particular path in life, and find ourselves following it.
If it is truly of the lord, our job is then to seek from God the best gifts that complement that calling. If it is from God, he will be faithful and give you the required gifts as you diligently seek them; yet, not all people are faithful to their calling.
All too often we see those ‘called’ ignoring the calling, and seeking worldly callings or being lazy and leaving the work up to the Leader’s, thus, multiplying little of value in their lives.
When we value the word of the Lord as being more precious than Gold, and food that we cannot do without under any circumstances, we will also see the need to multiply as more important than our trappings in this life, and take on some of the nature of the Lord.
1 Peter 5:8 states, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”
The devil is also seeking to devour our callings and multiplication effect, turning us into average individuals bound for hell instead of overcomer’s. If he can do this, he has snuffed out our calling and the vineyard growth from that.
Which means, those people whom the Lord separated to be fed by our calling, do not get fed. He has to search for someone else to feed them.
We now see the need the understand and appreciate our callings, and to diligently grow them as hard-working servants, and not to leave it laying in the dust.