It’s that time of year…the stores have all decided to ignore Thanksgiving, and move right onto Christmas. It’s the “Gift-giving” season! If you are like me, you are starting to think about who all you need to get gifts for, and what to get them. There are some gifts that I don’t stress too much about…white elephant party? Easy! Gift for my husband? Not so easy!
As we continue in James, he’s just finished telling us about all sorts of temptations we are going to encounter in our walk with Christ. In James 1:16-18, he writes, “16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 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.”
We learn from this that we do not receive anything on our own merit. Everything is a gift from God. Take a moment to think about what that truly means.
We don’t have to perform perfectly. We don’t have to have all the answers. We don’t have to do our quiet times perfectly, or have the perfect marriage. Let’s be honest – we are all a mess in some area, even if we try our best to hide it. God has given us lots, and James points out from Acts 26:7, that our God is the Father of Heavenly lights, meaning both day and night. Just like the sun and moon, our God does not change His Pattern; His character remains the same.
If you are a true follower of Christ, you have been given a gift. You were gifted with new life; you are part of His harvest.
Today, I would encourage you to:
- Take some time to thank God for the gift of salvation, but also for the many other gifts He has given to you. Take the time to name them specifically.
- Ask God to show you where you might be trying to perform, and confess if He convicts you.
Have more time? Want to go deeper?
- Think about your transformation when you became a believer. Take some time to remember all God has done since then, and what He is working on with you now.
- Use your concordance to go deeper into what it means to be the “first fruits”.
- Spend some time praying through your prayer list for the people where you live, work and play.