Have you ever given someone that perfect gift, you know, one that you really felt good about? They are the only types of gifts that God gives to His children.
“Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.” James 1:17
Let’s look at what James previously said that led him to say what we just read. Life is more than receiving a good and perfect gift every time we pray to God.
If Christianity was built upon that, it wouldn’t amount to much. So, beyond the good things God gives us, we must also be ready to face troubles with joy.
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. James 1:2
James went on to say the troubles we face will test our faith. Which gives our endurance a chance to grow. Then he went on to say the following.
So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. James 1:4
I must admit that I am not even close to perfection or completeness. In other words, my endurance is still developing. Where do you stand with your endurance?
James lets us know how we can develop our endurance while receiving blessings from the Lord.
God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12
Endure Testing and Temptation
God’s blessing of the crown of life! That sounds like a good and perfect gift for every Christian. But that crown comes after we patiently endure testing and temptation.
What differentiates between those two? Tests and temptations come from two different directions. The Lord generates tests to help us grow, but temptations do not originate with Him.
And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. James 1:13
God never wants any of us to fail
Since God doesn’t want us to fail He doesn’t dangle temptations in front of us. It might surprise you to find out where temptations come from.
Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. James 1:14
You probably thought that they came from the devil, didn’t you? He knows what temptations will entice you. Then, he uses them because he knows the outcome if you go after one.
These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death. James 1:15
You may be wondering what this has to do with “every good and perfect gift” coming from God. James addresses that in the next section of this chapter.
So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. James 1:16
We’ve already learned that yielding to temptations leads to death. On the other hand, God wants us to grow in faith and endurance so we can enjoy life.
Each of us knows when we’ve chosen to do something wrong. We feel it in our stomach, or our conscience bothers us. The real sign comes when we have to reason it out in our minds.
Every choice we make like that has nothing to do with any good or perfect gift from God. Instead, those choices come solely to satisfy our flesh. What does pleasing the flesh get you?
Why Choose Sin Over Every Good and Perfect Gift?
Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. Romans 8:5
The Apostle Paul wrote those words to the Roman church about satisfying the flesh. He agreed with James. No gift, nothing good or perfect, comes to us every time we choose the flesh.
So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. Romans 8:6
It’s easy to read over things fast without digesting what you’ve just read. So, let’s summarize those last two verses to fully grasp what they just said.
- Our sinful nature thinks about sinful things.
- The mind controlled by the Holy Spirit thinks about the spiritual things.
- Allowing the sinful nature to control you leads to death.
- Letting the Spirit control you leads to life and peace.
I seldom like to use the words “always” and “never.” But when it comes to sin and our sinful nature, those words fit very well.
For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God. Romans 8:7-8
We are God’s Prize Possession
Why is every gift God has ever given and will give us always good and perfect? James’ concluding remarks on this subject give us a clear-cut answer.
He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession. James 1:18
Lord, bless us as we patiently endure testing and temptation. Keep us from temptation. And thank you for every gift you give us; We know they are always good and perfect.
Check out these related posts about gifts.
- Fan Into Flame The Gift Of God
- What Valuable Gift Will You Offer To The Lord?
- The Grace Of God, The Most Amazing Gift Ever
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