Devotional

“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

Many people today don’t want to be held down by religion. They would prefer to be autonomous; to have unsupervised fun and happiness. Those people envision God as a grimacing judge with a gavel, readily pointing out faults and stifling any sense of joy we have. When faced with setbacks, God can seem like a cosmic killjoy.

But then we read a verse that changes that perspective. James tells us in James 1:17 that God literally, actively, perpetually, and generously gives good and perfect gifts to His children. “Every good gift and every perfect present comes from heaven; it comes down from God, the Creator of the heavenly lights, who does not change or cause darkness by turning.” (James 1:17 GNT) His love for you is so great that He looks for every opportunity to give you a gift. He wants abundant joy and peace for you. Think of the best gift you ever got for your birthday or at Christmas and then think about gifts that are infinitely better and not restricted to holidays and birthdays.

Deuteronomy 26:11 tells us to “… go and celebrate because of all the good things the Lord your God has given to you and your household.” What God gives is perfect and lasting—no gift receipt necessary. We don’t need to worry that His gifts will be ill fitting or that He will second-guess His generosity. Each of us is imperfect yet we receive perfect gifts that are perfect for us. These gifts are intentional. They are personal.

Gifts that we receive from others can come with strings attached. But God is not like that. He is the giver of good gifts and He never changes. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. His love is not fickle or conditional: He gives the gift of His presence because He knows you need the peace that only He can bring. He gives you the gift of friendship because He knows you aren’t made to do life alone. He provides your finances because He cares about everything you need and desires to use you to bless others. 

Whatever gift you need from God today, His word promises in 1 John 5:15, “And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.” 

Spend some time today reflecting on the amazing gifts He has given you. And open your heart to receive all the gifts your heavenly Father longs to give you today.

 Discussion Questions:

  1. Take a minute to reflect on all the good gifts you’ve been given by God.
  2. Thank God for everything you’ve been given. Thank him for your friends, family, job, church, etc.