What’s one of the best gifts you ever received?
Yesterday we talked about how life can be full of trials and hard things. But it’s important to remember that life is also full of many, many wonderful things. God has filled this world with all kinds of beautiful and amazing things. Can you name some things that God made that you love?
James knows that when life is bad we often forget that God is good. And so right after talking about trials, James reminds his readers that God is good. Listen to how he describes God in these verses:
James 1:16-18. 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 17 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.18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
In these three verses James reminds us of five important things that we must always remember, especially when times are hard.
1. God is good.
James calls God the Father of lights. God is our good dad who always does what is right and best for us.
2. God is always good.
James says that there is no variation of shadow due to change with God. That means that God is always the same and that he is always good. God never changes. God never does anything bad.
3. God only gives good.
James says every good gift…is from the Father. This means that God only gives us what is good. If it’s from God, it’s good. If it’s bad, it’s not from God. Yes, God might allow something bad to happen, but he is powerful enough to always turn the bad things into good. God only allows what is best for us to happen. Why? Because he is always good.
4. Everything good is from God.
Do you remember your list of good things? If it’s good, then it comes from God.God wants us to enjoy life and enjoy him while we enjoy his gifts. Have you ever given someone a birthday gift and you couldn’t wait for them to open it and see it and play with it? That’s exactly how God is with us and all of his creation and all of life.
5. Jesus is God’s best gift.
Everything good is from God, but the best thing God gave us is himself. God gave us his son, Jesus, the word of truth. And Jesus is the greatest gift ever.
And here’s what we have to understand: only when we see Jesus as the best gift ever can we really enjoy all of God’s other gifts to us. Jesus has to be the greatest gift we receive or else the other good things from God can become idols that we put ahead of God. But when we love Jesus most, then we are free to love and enjoy everything else God has given us. What will you enjoy today?
Because of Jesus we have the best gift ever – God himself.
With Jesus we can enjoy all of God’s good gifts.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Make a family list of the good things God has given you. Talk about how important it is to enjoy God by enjoying his good gifts.
Spend some time outside enjoying creation.
Give each other a gift (Christmas in June?). Or plan to give a gift to someone else. Be excited about their excitement.
Consider packing a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child.
You’re the best gift ever. Thank you for all the awesome things you give me, but help me to love you the most.
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