So, when we receive a gift from a loved one, we can not only appreciate the love coming from them, but we can also look beyond it to feel divine love flowing through them. James is addressing the concern that some believers had while going through trials, wondering whether God was tempting them.
By no means, says James. God is the absolutely holy Creator of all that is good, with no hint of darkness or fickleness. He will always be characterized by his goodness, both with regard to his character and with regard to his relentless desire to give good gifts to his children.
How is 'every good and perfect gift from above'?
Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! In these verses, Jesus was specifically talking about God the Father sending the Holy Spirit to indwell believers after Jesus returned to heaven, but it also has a broader application.
Some humans give gifts with manipulative strings attached, with backhanded motives or with stingy reluctance, but God is not like that. He gives because it is his nature to do so. While God is indeed a giver of good gifts, James has strong words for those who ask God for things with the wrong motives.
How can I know? God cannot be anything other than good, and this perfect goodness in Him constantly works for our good.
All of Scripture resonates with this. As we look at the many gifts in our own lives, we can do several things to grow in our relationship with the Giver of these gifts.
Why did james need to tell christians this truth?
The Bible pulls no punches when humans are considering becoming prideful. For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you O Lord our God, all this abundance Realizing that everything we are able to do or to give back is because God has generously given to us cultivates humility in our hearts. As Christians, we are warned against idolatry—that is, worshipping anything other than God. The things we idolize are not always sinful in and of themselves.
In fact, they are often good things which have been given as gifts from God. The problem comes when we forget the Giver and instead worship the gift. When we expect a gift to function as our god rather than enjoying it with gratitude toward God, we twist its purpose and the good gift gains the power to enslave us Galatians The antidote to idolatry is gratitude.
It rightly orders our love, keeping God as a more important priority in our lives than the things he gives. Luke tells the story of Jesus healing ten lepers, and only one of them came back to say thank you.
Where are the other nine? We have been blessed to be a blessing Psalm As we seek to be generous, we can take comfort in the wonderful fact that we cannot out-give God. Instead, Scripture assures us that we will be continually resourced so that our generosity to others can continue:. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Intercultural Studies and writes on the Christian life and intercultural communication at lovingthestrangerblog.
This article is part of our larger resource library of popular Bible verse phrases and quotes. We want to provide easy to read articles that answer your questions about the meaning, origin, and history of specific verses within Scripture's context. It is our hope that these will help you better understand the meaning and purpose of God's Word in relation to your life today. Jessica Udall Contributing Writer 9 Nov.