Tuesday in the Second Week of Ordinary Time

James 1:16-18

Every Good and Perfect Gift

Having discussed where temptation and sin come from, James now turns to whence every good and perfect gift comes—and that is from the “Father of Lights.”  In short, man may take credit for all the sin and evil in the world; God takes credit for all that is good and perfect.  This has been the way it is from the beginning and is the way it is now and ever shall be.  Sin is ever man’s fault, and even his best works and intentions are tainted with sin as they come from a heart yet burdened with a sinful nature (Isaiah 64:6). 

But not so with God.  The pagans (Mesopotamians, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, et. al) worshiped gods who were no gods at all but demons masquerading as such (1 Corinthians 10:18-22).  And they proved it.  Read the sordid myths (then again, don’t) men made up about these “gods” and see how men’s idols stack up against the true God of the Bible.  Our God does us good not evil, and though He chasten us from time to time, it is only for our holiness (Hebrews 12:7-11).  So, do you have a roof over your head?  Bless God.  Do you have enough of everything you need and even more?  Bless God.  Do you have a family?  Do you enjoy health?  Bless God.  Most of all, have you received Christ as Lord and Savior?  Bless God.  And have you learned to praise God in any and all circumstances, even though you may lack some of the things I mentioned just above, even though you bear heartache, physical or emotional scars, unable to account for why things in your life have turned out the way they have, or worse maybe you can account, and the fault lies with yourself or others you trusted?

Every good and perfect gift is from above.  And you may trust Him because, despite your challenges, He never changes and His love for you never varies.  He birthed you again of His Spirit by the word of truth, that is, the preaching of the gospel.  Sinner though you were, God has transferred you from the kingdom of darkness to that of His dear Son (Colossians 1:13).  And though you still struggle with sin and doubt, He remains faithful and refuses to let you go because He cannot change (2 Timothy 2:11-13).

And we who are called unto Him are a “firstfruits of His creatures.”  “Firstfruits” here does not mean those first saved but those chosen of God to be His firstfruits, His harvest, those whom He purchased and sanctified out of those who would choose their sin instead.  So, you are very precious to Him—and always will be.  Now let that knowledge purify your soul (1 John 3:2-3).

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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