Home > Bible Study, Devotional, James Devotional, Wisdom > James – Thursday, March 12

James – Thursday, March 12

father-of-lightsJAMES 1:16-18

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. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.

When the Bible makes the statement, “Don’t be deceived,” it’s obvious that it’s very possible for us (brothers and sisters, i.e., true believers) to be deceived.

According to the context, we are in danger of being deceived about the origin of temptations. In other words, we must not conclude that God is the One tempting us. That’s simply not the case. We are tempted from within (from our own desires) and from without (by the devil or tempter). Like Adam in the Garden of Eden after the fall, we are in danger of blaming God for these solicitations toward evil (Genesis 3:12).

In reality, God only gives good and perfect gifts, including the gift of the new birth—new life in Christ. God has given the true believer the gift of being very special to Him!

He is our Father, the Father of the heavenly lights. In Him there is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5). It would be impossible for God to give us something less than perfect, because He Himself is perfect. And, He never changes. He always acts exactly like Himself. After all, He’s the One who sent His Son to die for our sins. Certainly that proves His deep love for us.

Daily Devotional Book • James Application Questions

1.  How has this passage changed the way you view God?

2.  Have you ever blamed God for a temptation that has come to you? Have you allowed that blame to develop into bitterness? If so, confess that wrong to God, who will not only forgive you, but cleanse you from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

3.  Take some time right now and list the perfect gifts of God in your life, and then thank and praise Him for each one.

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  1. Amy Lindsay
    March 12, 2009 at 9:13 am

    Greetings beloved of the Lord-

    Oh how I feel the need to write this and yet my flesh so desires that I erase it all. So by faith I continue.

    For the last 2 months the Lord in His ever loving way has been bringing me in from my wanderings. His love leads us to repentance and from that very spot is where I write. This blog and the questions have been hitting areas that my flesh would rather it not. Praise be to God that they are and that the Holy Spirit is ministering to me in amazing and profound ways.

    I was thinking of this very topic yesterday (amazing how the Lord prepares our hearts). I was reading the account of Gideon in Judges 6 and 7 and I would like to share the sweet ways He spoke to my heart.

    The children of Israel had CHOSEN to follow the ways of those around them verses following the One who had delived them from Egypt (the world) and from bondage (sin). Just as I CHOSE to walk in my flesh and give way to sin in my life. Whether it be through discouragement (trials) of not finding a church right away, or living in the past remembering all that I left behind (friends & fruit of the land). What ever it was I chose to walk in my own way. Even though I never forgot the words He spoke to me/hubby about leaving and how He made the way for us to actually leave (because trust me we could have never done it without His provision and protection).

    First I must say that although I have many issues in my life and walk that He so graciously is working out for His good (and removing many). It has not ever crossed my mind that He tempts me but I will tell you the thoughts that do cross my mind.

    “Why would you allow me to be tempted?”
    “You are an all powerful God, why could You not keep this from me?”
    “Could you please shield me from all temptation?”

    I know now why I love to journal and write, because penning or typing it down gives so much perspective to me and it litterally makes me want to laugh and cry at how silly I truly can be sometimes.

    So on to Gideon…
    When the Angel of the Lord approached Gideon and said, “The LORD is with you, you mighty man of valor!” tears flowed like a river (after all Gideon was hiding in the barn threshing wheat so that the Midianites could not see Him, the Angel of the Lord found him hiding and spoke those words!). He is for us and not against us!!! How I long for the day to stand before Him and hear those words, “Well done good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the LORD!”

    It was in the words of Gideon that conviction came like a wave. Gideon said…

    “O my lord, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the LORD has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.” 6:13

    here are my words…
    “O my God, if You are with me, then why has all this happened to me? And why am I not seeing and experiencing all those miracles as those in the past? But now you have left me alone and delivered me into the hands of my own sin.”

    But just as I started this out in the beginning it was about my CHOICES and not His. For I truly believe that He NEVER desires for me to live like that. And that through walking in my own ways and my flesh I did not have the spiritual eyes to see His work continuing to go on around me.

    So I continued to read, praise the LORD!! Gideon sent out messengers and thousands came. I think of all the gear and equipment that I have gathered for the battle to come in my own life and yet the Lord said “it is too much!” He rightly deserves all the glory and if all my gear, equipment and training had won any sort of battle my flesh would have a festival.

    So when the Lord finally got it down to 300, He said it is time. 300 against those who were “without number, as the sand by the seashore in multitude.” (7:12) Wow!!

    It was His weapons of choice which blew me away and the picture He formed in my mind. They each had a trumpet, a clay jar & a torch. No armor, no shield, no helmet….

    So as I sat and meditated upon the whole scene those three words kept coming to mind. They were praise (trumpet), Holy Spirit (torch) and us as the earthen vessels (clay pots). How they placed the clay pots over the torches and as they blew their trumpets they broke the clay pots and they were left standing with only praise (trumpet) and the Holy Spirit (torch) while they themselves were broken (clay pots)! They had not done a single thing but obey.

    What happened to the mulititude? Well they paniced, turned on each other and fled. this whole scene gives me the most beautiful picture of the New Covenant. Not by will or might but by His Spirit!

    “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
    A broken and contrite heart-
    These, O GOD, You will not despise.”
    Psalm 51:17

    Here is my prayer for me:
    Create in me a clean heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me!! (ps 51:10)
    and that He would fill me with His truth so that I may know His wisdom! (Ps 51:6)

  2. Peggy
    March 12, 2009 at 10:31 am

    I’m led to pour forth with my answer to question one for today’s devotional:
    “How has this passage changed the way you view God?”

    This passage of Scripture seems to bring to my spirit not just a renewal but also a newness regarding my utter reliance on our heavenly Father: triune God the Father, the Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit of God.

    Why? Because it underlines how much I need Him. If I am prone to deception, and I am, I must rely on Him. In all things. I need the perfect and unchanging Father; and what a perfect gift He is, and continues to be.

    Verse 18 is so incredible: “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” (KJV)

    I am really meditating and seeking His wisdom in this particular verse this day. I see here that God, the creator of the universe, God who is King of Kings and Lord of Lords forever and ever, CHOSE to allow my existence for Him. There is no happenstance in any of our lives.

    If it be possible that my love for Father God to have grown some this day, as He reveals Himself and I receive that which He is and reveals, then it is so, I love Him more today than yesterday because I sense more of His very special love for each of us, myself included.

    I’m off on a study of “firstfruits” as it applies to the context of this particular passage, and I know that as I delve more deeply in to His Word, that I will be edified and may He be glorified; always.

    I am so very thankful for fellowship with God, with my husband, and the saints of the Body of Christ Jesus our Lord. Hallelujah.

  3. Peggy
    March 12, 2009 at 10:35 am

    Precious Sister Amy:

    Such a ministering to my soul are your Spirit given words this day.

    I am thankful to God for you, Amy.

    In the love of the Father,

    Peggy

  4. Jane
    March 13, 2009 at 5:15 am

    Have you ever blamed God for a temptation?

    I am not inclined to blame God for temptations that come to me but I am prone to blame those around me or situations. My self-talk goes something like this: “Look at the stresses and revolving-door of unjust circumstances that befall me, is it any wonder I am weakened and unable to resist temptation”? But, in fact, isn’t that a backdoor way of accusing God? (As well as justifying and rationalizing my behavior?) Gideon’s words brought good and Godly conviction to ME, also! And the defensive weapons of choice caused me to almost jump out of my chair with Holy Spirit joy! (Thank you, Amy, for NOT erasing!)

    In keeping with that continual quest for more understanding, I eagerly await Peggy’s report on her study of first fruits. I wanted very much to ask for help in understanding that phrase/verse in this passage.

    One of the most helpful aspects of this study has been the consistent way in which contributors wield the mighty Sword of The Spirit, The Word of God. He promises His “Word will not return unto Him void, without accomplishing what He desires and without succeeding in the matter for which He sent it.” I am believing Him for that.

    Thanks to all who are allowing Jesus to use them as channels through which He is speaking. Do any one of us have any idea just how deeply this may influence thoughts, affect desires, alter choices, determine action and transform lives……….?

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