July 17, 2021
Scripture: 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. James 1:17 ESV
Observation: James, the half-brother of Jesus, is writing to fellow Jews who have become his brother’s followers. Even though he starts his letter with an exhortation to persevere suffering, scholars place this letter in a window of time before the Roman oppression when there was relative peace in Israel. Thus, the trials his audience was facing were spurred by ungodly conduct within the church or from persecution from fellow citizens of the nation—not unlike today’s challenges in our western culture. In the above verse, James reminds fellow believers who were struggling while under stress from doubt that their “Father of lights” gives only good, perfected gifts (echoing his brother’s words, Matthew 7:11).
Takeaway: So what can we understand about the Father of lights? In him, there is no darkness, no evil, no sin. His light is generated from within his character, not from a distant sun that produces shadows. And unlike our world that is constantly experiencing changes in climate and environment, God is unchangeable. He is always good, gracious, loving, caring, merciful, and just. And because he is who he is, he has given us his best and perfected gift in his Son.
Prayer: Thank you, “Father of lights,” for the precious gift of your Son. Help us when we struggle with doubts to remember who we are and what you have done for us. Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling