“Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.“
James 1:16-17 (NIV)
As I write this morning, I am thankful for the good gifts of God. As I walked to lunch yesterday, I passed several little flower gardens that had been planted in the concrete and asphalt jungle of the downtown city. To see a flowering kale doing its thing as it was tucked into a small patch of soil surrounded by sidewalk was a beautiful thing. While it took someone’s effort to put it there, for me it was a “good and perfect gift” from God. When quoting the above passage, it seems the leading verse that tells us not to be deceived often gets left off. I am thankful that I can see the gifts of God regardless of the source or who He used to deliver the gift.
As I am spending a few days specifically talking with people about the prayer ministry and the devotional books I have written, I am very deliberate in giving God the credit for the gifts He has given me to share. I am thankful that God’s gifts are not trickery or some sleight of hand, but He is constant in His intention and ability to do what is good and right. I am thankful that the good gifts God has given others have been used to instruct and equip me for a more faithful walk with Christ. I am thankful for the truth of God’s Word that guides me in right paths so I need not live as one who is deceived. I am thankful for pleasant surprises that only God could orchestrate.
I pray that you and I would live in such a way that we are not deceived. I pray that we would not only notice the good and perfect gifts which come from God, but that we would freely give Him the credit and glory for them. I pray that we would also be thankful for the people God may choose to use to deliver His good and perfect gifts. I pray that our paying attention to even the seemingly little things that come from God would lead us to be even more thankful each day.
May God be praised abundantly, both now and forevermore, for His very good and perfect gifts with the greatest of them being the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.