17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
In this reading James clearly states that temptation is never sent by God [v.13], so what does God send into our lives? James reveals for us that because God is absolutely reliable in everything He does, we can be sure that whatever He sends into our lives will be an expression of his grace and will be completely beneficial to us. [read v.16-18]
James wants his readers to be sure of God’s unchanging love no matter how hard their circumstances might be. James writes that “every good and perfect gift” comes down from our unchanging Father, so he wants us to look away from those circumstances and look up and receive God’s perfect gifts – salvation in Christ Jesus, the Father’s forgiveness, His enabling Holy Spirit living within us – to highlight a few of His many gifts which flow from Him daily.
James writes about two more life principles which involve listening and doing [v.19-25]. In conversations always be a good listener first so that your contribution will be meaningful; and because of this you will be doing exactly what God desires.
Listening to God’s word can be challenging, encouraging, inspiring and/or convicting, but James points out if there is no active response to it then it is the same as a person who looks in a mirror and then disregards what needs to done. On the other hand, when we do make a life-changing response a blessing is assured.
Thank you Lord for the practical insights which James gives us. Thank you too for the power of your spoken word which is able to cause life-changing responses from us. We praise you for the continual flow of gifts which come from you every day. We give you all honour and glory!
Written by Keith Bennett