February 25, 2016
By The Seewalds
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"Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change." - James 1:16-17
Every good and perfect gift is from God. Here are some quick thoughts:
1) Gifts are given freely, and not earned.
If you earn something by your actions, it is your wages--your just and due compensation. If you aren't paid something you've earned it is considered an injustice. Now God created us for Himself and He therefore owns us as Creator (Col. 1:16). As a result, we owe God our very life breath, and He owes us nothing (except for wrath and damnation because of our sin, but that's another Devo). This fact should cause us to realize just how much we have been gifted by God and live in perpetual gratitude to Him.
2) This completely eliminates all grounds for boasting. Superstar athletes, for example, are often referred to as "highly gifted individuals".Too many times stars, celebrities, highly skilled professionals, politicians and other well knowns can be prideful and boastful. Even people who feel like they are less gifted often take great pride in how hard they work. Let this be clear, humanity may boast in itself, but there are no valid grounds for it. The glory all belongs to God, "in whom we live, and move, and have our being" (Acts 17:28). Your eyes couldn't see these words if God hadn't given you sight; Your brain couldn't make sense of these words if God didn't give you sanity; And the athlete couldn't have scored the touchdown, or made the game winning three-pointer if God hadn't freely given the ability.
3) The greatest gift God has given us is salvation through Jesus. "For God so loved the world, that HE GAVE His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16 [emphasis added]). This gift was costly--so costly that we will never know the extent of it. But The God-Man Jesus sacrificed Himself to free all who believe in Him, from the punishment we deserved. He stood in our place as our substitute, taking on himself our infinite sin debt, and He gives believers His infinite Holiness that He earned while living on this earth. This is the "gift of God" as Ephesians 2:8-9 tell us, "not a result of works, so that no one may boast."
So remember, all the glory to God for every good and perfect gift, especially His Good and Perfect Son, offered as the ultimate gift to save those who believe on Him!