The “perfect gift” of God’s love and grace is “from ABOVE,” as well as every good gift of His providence.
James 1:17 KJV
Every good gift
and every perfect gift is from above,
and cometh down from the Father of lights,
with whom is no variableness,
neither shadow of turning.
There are two facts for us to look at here;
▪︎ The first fact, that this world and all that is in it are full of change;
▪︎ the second fact, that God who made us, and from whom comes every good gift, is unchanging.
The face of the earth and the history of its people are always changing.
If we turn from the world of nature and look at ourselves, we shall see change everywhere.
Have you ever known what it is to revisit your home after an absence of many years? All changed.
The place, once so familiar, looks strange and unnatural now.
Yes, the tree lives yet, but the hand that planted it is gone.
Seeing these constant changes in the world, in ourselves, in our friends, it becomes a tremendous thought that God is just the same as ever.
- The same as the God of the new-made universe,
- the same as the God of Abraham, of Moses;
- the same who took our flesh and was made man;
- the same who rose again and ascended into heaven,
- the Christ of the Gospels, ever the same.
One great reason why our lives are so full of change is that we may learn that this is not our rest.
That we may look up from changing earth, to a changeless God, and on eternity, where a thousand years are but as yesterday.
The gift of faith in believing, the gift of hope, and of life eternal; these things change not.
The gifts of the world, the greatness of the world, pass away, God and His gifts alone remain unchanging.
- First of all, God’s justice is unchanging.
- Again, the lovingkindness of God is unchanging.
- Again, the tender care of God for us is unchangeable.
- Lastly, the forgiveness of God is unchangeable. God will forgive us our sins on the same conditions as of old, and on no other.
To God, our Father, we owe all that we have.
And we received more from Him than we deserve,
and we have all that we hope for.
The breath of life was given us by Him, and is dependent upon His pleasure.
The stores from which we draw our subsistence are only ours by His permission.
It is in His power to withdraw them from us, or us from them, at any moment.
We have cause to be thankful that He has so long allowed us the benefit of His mercies.
By the “good and perfect gift which is from above,” he means more especially the Divine grace by which all other spiritual blessings are rendered attainable.
Aptly, indeed, may the preventing and assisting influence of God’s Holy Spirit be denominated a “good and perfect gift,” since without it we could not make a beginning, much less any progress, in Christian goodness and perfection.
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