Good Gifts That Come From The Father Of Lights
James 1:17 “Every best gift, and every perfect gift, every good gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no change, nor shadow of alteration.”
Everything Good Comes From God
Everything good in this world ultimately comes from God. If it’s good, God made it, he gave it, or he sent it. The words of what is known by many as the Doxology state this very plainly: “Praise God from whom all blessings flow.”
I wonder if we really believe that. Do we realize that “in him” (that is, God) “we live, and move, and and are” (Acts 17:28)? Do we understand that we are alive right now because God wants us alive? We breathe because he gives us air to breathe and lungs to take it in. If God withdrew his hand of blessing, not one of us would take another breath.
We ought to ponder Paul’s question in 1 Corinthians 4:7, “What hast thou that thou hast not received?” Do you boast of your accomplishments? Who gave you your talents, your strength, your health? Who gave you the blessings you take for granted?
The Gentle Rain From Heaven
James emphasizes this when he says that every good and perfect and best gift “comes down” from the Father of lights. William Shakespeare reminds us from the play The Merchant of Venice that “The quality of mercy is not strained. It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven.”
These famous lines are true in every way. Mercy always comes down. Goodness always comes down as well. It starts with God and moves to man, it begins in heaven and ends on earth. And once they come down, as the Psalmist says, they will follow you all the days of your life. You don’t bargain for goodness and mercy because to make a bargain you’ve got to have something worthy to offer. Think about it. What do you give a God who possesses within Himself every quality, ability, and supernatural command with never-ending measure. What can I offer He who's every attribute, or mighty and wonderful power, is His endlessly. God wants for nothing and lacks nothing; He is complete, and we have nothing to offer Him who is sufficient in himself.
Gods goodness, just like His mercy, is indeed like the gentle rain that softens the hard soil of the human heart.
What kind of God do we serve? He’s completely good. He’s constantly good. He’s unchangeably good. God will never not be good. God could never be less than good. Everything he does is good.
Growing up, I would be in churches where they do a call-and-response that goes like this:
The Preacher would say: God is good.
Then the Congregation would say: All the time.
And then the Preacher would say: And all the time.
And then the Congregation would end with. God is good.
Someone once said their church did that in a slightly different way. They said it in five parts, one for each finger on their right hand. It went like this:
God is good.
All the time.
In every situation.
No matter what.
God is good.
You should hold up your right hand and say that right now, touching each finger in turn. Once you do it, it will stick in your mind.
I've been told that in some churches in Nigeria, after saying “God is good, all the time, and all the time, God is good,” the congregation says in unison, “I am a witness.”
That’s really good because it brings the truth home. It’s one thing to say “God is good” as an abstract statement, almost like a theological cheer for the home team. It’s even better if you think about those other statements, “In every situation” and “No matter what.” But best of all is to make it personal by adding, “I am a witness.”
Sometimes it’s hard to say. Even when we think we know what will happen tomorrow, life can turn on a dime. No one knows what a day may bring forth. That’s a solemn fact. Life is not just one thing. It’s good and bad, sickness and health, weeping and rejoicing, life and death, war and peace, all mixed together.
That’s why we need a God with whom there is no change, nor shadow of alteration. He is the constant in our changing world. He is not good today and bad tomorrow. He does not change his mind and decide to be kind today and harsh tomorrow. He is not given to sudden and unaccountable changes of mood or behavior. We are the ones like that. God is not.
When you are tempted to give up, remember the goodness of God.
When you feel like giving in to temptation, remember the goodness of God.
When you want to resign from life, remember the goodness of God.
God is good.
All the time.
In every situation.
No matter what.
God is good....and all of us can say that we are a witness of his goodness.
"Every good gift, every perfect gift and every best gift, is from above,”
But then it goes on to say,
“coming down from the Father of lights,” James 1:17
Who is the Father of lights?
James 1:17 is the only place in the Bible that uses this phrase.
The Father of lights is indeed, God the Father. The Creator of all things! God created the light of our world and universe. Indeed, He Himself is light.
Revelation 21:23 speaks of the New Jerusalem, the heavenly city in God’s eternal kingdom, this way, “And the city hath no need of the sun, nor of the moon, to shine in it. For the glory of God hath enlightened it, and the Lamb is the lamp thereof. ”
I John 1:5 tells us, “And this is the declaration which we have heard from him, and declare unto you: That God is light, and in him there is no darkness.”
God is the creator of light; He Himself is light; He is the Father of lights.
John continues to say in 1 John 1:7 that we cannot have fellowship with God if we do not walk in the light. If we walk in the light, we certainly can't hide anything, for the light exposes everything. The man who walks in darkness is the one who has something to hide in his life. If we walk in the light, our life is an open book. We can then invite people to examine our private life, our account books and everything. There is nothing we want to hide. It doesn't mean that we're perfect. No, it only means that we are honest.
The first thing that God requires from all of us is honesty - absolute honesty. If we are willing to be honest first, many of our other problems will be solved very quickly. We will progress in leaps and bounds in our spiritual life if we live by this fundamental rule of honesty before God and men.
But you'll find that this is a battle. You may say, "I'm really going to take that exhortation seriously. I'm going to be honest from now on." But you'll find before the week is out that you're tempted to be an actor again, and to seek for the praise of men rather than the praise of God. So you have to determine to fight that battle and win.
It is a great grief to God that there are so many Christians today who have been baptized for twenty, thirty or forty years, but who haven't progressed spiritually because they have not learned this fundamental lesson of being honest. We can't progress if there is hypocrisy in our life. Our prayers will not be heard. We can pray every mystery of the rosary every day of the week; but we are wasting our time. Our prayers will not be heard if we do not get rid of hypocrisy first.
We must recognize that our true spiritual worth is what we are before God and nothing more than that. Our spiritual state is not determined by our knowledge of the Bible, nor by how much we pray, nor by how many masses we attend, nor by what the priest or others in the parish think of us. On the contrary, ask yourself, "What does God, who can see into every area of my life, think of me?" The answer to that is the real measure of how spiritual you are. We need to remind ourselves of this daily, or else we may find ourselves becoming actors again.
I love those words that Jesus said about Nathaniel, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no guile" (John 1:47). If Jesus could say that about you and me, that would be a greater commendation than almost anything else. Nathaniel was not perfect. He was imperfect. But he was honest about his imperfections. He didn't pretend to be something that he wasn't. That's where he was different from Ananias and Sapphira.
So remember, As God shines his searching light on our hearts and shows us areas that needs to be changed, be honest....agree with Him. and then allow him to give you a good gift a perfect gift, the best gift a gift of mercy, a gift of grace that will help you overcome that sin that you have in your time of need. “Every best gift, and every perfect gift, every good gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no change, nor shadow of alteration.”