Published on Jul 6th, 2016 by Pastor Ed Hlad | 0


I am trying to grasp the fullness of the truth found in James 1:17, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” There is some discussion as to how to translate the second half of the verse but it means what it seems to mean. God, the creator of the sun and moon, does not change like the shifting shadows. It is the first half of the verse that I am trying to fully grasp. Every good and perfect gift is from God. I don’t think we need to get hung up on James using two descriptions here. I think that as he was writing he was moved to be reminded that every good gift that God gives is also a perfect gift. What has struck my heart recently is how extensive this truth is and how I often forget to be ever grateful for the good gifts that God has given.

I was listening to a message recently that reminded me of the provision of God. Naomi and Ruth returned to Bethlehem because God had visited the land. He caused the famine to end and the earth to give food. Food is a good gift. How often do I forget that God provides all. I say thanks at every meal but it is often so habitual that I do not often think about what I am saying. If I do think about what I am saying I am thanking God for all things and then tacking on being thankful for the food. I don’t think many of us have any idea what it looks like to be dependent upon the land and the land being so barren that no food comes. We simply go to the store and get more. There is always food at the store. We lose the concept of the provision of God for that food. We never look to the sky in desperation begging for rain so that we can eat during the winter. We lose that dependence upon God and that heart of gratitude when rain comes. Food is a good gift from God.

But the good gifts from God are far more varied than him amply providing food. Kindness. Kindness is a good gift. We would not know true kindness if it was not for God sending Jesus to come and show us great kindness. We would have shallow, self centered kindness that withered away when the pressures of life came upon us. We are able to know and show true kindness because God gave us the gift of his Son. The same is true of love, forgiveness, grace, and mercy. We know these great gifts because God chose to demonstrate them to us. Left to our sinful selves we would never know such amazing gifts.

When you stop and think about anything good in your life you begin to realize that all good things really do come down from above. I sit at my desk and look out my window to the blue sky, the mighty oak tree, and the birds finding a home in the tree. Each is a good gift from God. As I sit and meditate I am reminded of yet another gift. Peace. Only God can give real peace in our lives. Without the work of the Spirit of God applying the truths of the work of Jesus in our lives we would still be enemies of God. Living under his wrath. We would know no peace. Because of the gift of reconciliation that God has brought into my life I can sit here and experience real peace. My future is secure in him. My present is in his hands. Peace is a good gift from God.

Having taken some time to meditate on these things there is nothing I would rather do now than to spend some time in giving thanks for the good and perfect gifts that have come from above. Which reminds me of a song…another good gift from God…a new song in my heart…He is so amazingly gracious.

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