Who Is This God?
James 1:17 (NIV)
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 has been talking about having the proper attitude and mindset when it comes to trials and temptations, and he finishes that discourse with a critical fact: God is only capable of giving good things. He does not tempt you to evil. He does not manipulate you into sin. He does not allow trials for your undoing, but for your growth. Do you really understand God’s goodness? Do you really know His character?
John Wesley’s commentary on this verse points out the two types of gifts mentioned. The “good gift” tends to holiness and the “perfect gift” tends to glory. Applying that understanding allows us to give the Father all the credit He deserves while not attributing to Him that which is of our flesh, the world, or the devil. That is why this section of James is so important! When you truly know the God of the bible…when you truly know His character and His attributes…you are empowered to live the Christian life to the fullest extent possible.
Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27). Intimacy is the key to walking with Christ because it allows you to know His character. Once you know His character, it’s a lot easier to follow Him in obedience because you know that you can trust him completely, regardless of the situation you find yourself in. There is no substitute for spending time in His Word and in prayer, but if I had to add another resource, it would be J.I. Packer’s Knowing God.
So…who is this God? He is the origin of every good and perfect gift. Do you know Him?
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