James – Thursday, March 12
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.