James 1:16 The Goodness of the Lord

Jul 19, 2020 | Messages, Sermon Videos

Give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good. For his mercy endures forever… Thats Psalm 107 Give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good.

 

Let’s pray together.

 

Our Father, we thank you for the opportunity this morning to come into your presence, we thank you Lord for  your goodness.

 

Sometimes, Lord, in the midst of our struggles here on earth, the challenges that we face, trials, tribulations, disappointments, we sometimes forget that, or maybe we choose to think otherwise, we pray that you’d forgive us for that, help us, O Lord, to be accurate and… Or understand it, help us, Lord, to be biblical in the way that we think.

 

We are reminded that the scripture tells us to not be conformed to this world, to be transformed by the renewing of our mind. We pray that the Word of God today would transform our minds, that You would help us, Lord, to think as we ought to think, we know that part of our fallen-ness is that our mind has been affected, our mind has been darkened.

 

We pray that You would be our source of light today, we pray that we would look to you as the light of life, we pray for everyone who’s here today and for those who are not, we pray for those that are away, we think of our pastor and his family, we ask that you would be with them and bless them in their time of vacation, help them to be refreshed in body and spirit, we pray for those who are away at family camp and those that are way in vacation. We ask you to bless them as well, bring them back safely to us, and we would pray for each person who’s here today in the service the Lord you would meet with us that as James says, that we would draw a nigh unto God that you might draw nigh to us, help us, Lord, to draw near with a true heart, certainly in contrition for our sins, but in true faith and repentance, we thank you for our Lord Jesus Christ who came to this sin-cursed world as the light of the world. We thank you that he came to bear our burdens, to carry our sorrows. We thank you that He bore our sins in His own body on the tree that we might live unto you, that we might know you. We thank you for the blessedness of Christ, for His wisdom, for his teaching, for his words, we pray that we would drink them in today, and so blessed by the… Meet with us, each one of us today. And they are worship. be pleasing and thy sight. We pray in Christ’s name. Amen.

 

I’m going to be preaching the next two weeks out of the Book of James. Would you turn to James chapter 1 with me, please?

 

James chapter one.

 

We’ll kind of introduce the book of James a little bit today, and then we’re going to be looking at this one section in James Chapter 1. next week, we will be in James, chapter 5. And James Chapter 1, just gonna look at verses one and 2, and then a skip down to verse 13.But I want you to see how he introduces the book, it says in James 1, 1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the 12 tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting, my brethren counted all joy when you fall into various… Or divers temptations. Please go down to Verse 13, Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God.

 

For God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempted any man, but every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived it bring forth sin, and sin when it is finished, brings forth death.

 

Do not err, my beloved. Rather, every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variable-ness. neither shadow of turning of his own will, he begot he us with the Word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of His creatures.

 

The Book of James is a favorite of mine.

 

And I suppose there are places we turn in the Bible where we sense that the author is… Well, he’s wired like us, things like us feels like us, and that’s the sense I get when I come to the Book of James, it’s an intensely practical book, someone has called it the Wisdom literature of the new Testament, which I don’t know that you can distinguish one book from another in that way, because of course, our Lord Jesus Christ was wisdom in carnet, but it certainly is a book that’s filled with practical wisdom. I remember as a teenager and I’ve shared my testimony with you as a church, and you know that I lived in darkness and sin for the first 17 years of my life, till the Lord saved me, til he called me out of my darkness into the glorious light of Christ that I didn’t know which way was up. When it came to live in the Christian life when I was 17, and after I was converted, of course, there’s been this great change in my life, and I needed to learn how to live the Christian life, I literally knew nothing about the Christian life.

 

And after my faith was confirmed by reading through First John and the gospel of John, it was actually in the book of James that I found solid footing for pursuing the righteousness, which I believe that my new calling demanded.

 

So for me, the book of James is a precious book, it brings back a lot of precious memories, some of the sayings in the book were among the first, I memorized, for example, draw nigh unto God and He will draw nigh unto you, I thought.

 

How simple, how practical that is, if you feel yourself far away from God today, James has counsel to you is, draw nigh unto God and He will draw nigh under your… So like Proverbs, this is a book that’s full of wisdom, now, there is some difference of opinion about the author, but I’ve come to the settled conclusion that the author is almost certainly the same James who took a prome role in the Jerusalem Council in Acts Chapter 15.There we see a man of immense wisdom filled with the Holy Spirit, someone who had been well-schooled in the Old Testament scriptures, and of course, he was a man who had some leadership capacity there among the apostles.

 

Let’s turn back to Acts 15 and just look at what he says there to kinda give us a glimpse of the man himself, Acts Chapter 15 and Verse 13, if you’re not familiar with the context here, I’m not going to take the time, but remember the gospel had been being preached among the Gentiles first by Peter at the house of Cornelius, Caesarea by the sea or Caesarea of Maritima as it’s called sometimes, and directed by the Spirit of God, Peter preached the gospel, he, Nessus is saved, and the first gentiles are brought into the Church of Christ.

 

And then, of course, not very long after that, Paul and part of us are sent out by the church in Antioch, they go to Asia Minor, modern day Turkey, they preach the Gospel and their regional Galatia, the city of Pamphylia and Ephesus.

 

And in a whole, God is blessing the message and people are being saved, and what happened was some Christians from Judea came and said that these Gentiles needed to be… A need to be circumcised just as the Jews in order to be saved. And of course, Paul and Barnabas knew this was not true. And so there was this contention amongst its, and so they determined on an action, and that was to go back to Jerusalem to sit in council with the apostles and decide to matter, are we going to lay this yoke upon the Gentiles, and circumcised others, in order to be saved.

 

So First Peter gives his speech about what happened at corners, his house, Paul and Barnabas share what happened as they went on their missionary journey, and then the Bible tells us in first it is a tinted the… Now, verse 12, then all the multitude kept sons and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.

 

And after they had held their peace, James answered.

 

He said, Men and brethren harken to me, Simian or Simon Peter has declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles to take them out a people for his name. And to this agree the Words of the prophets, as it is a rite.

 

After this, I will return and build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down, and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up that the remainder… A residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, Who do with all these things.

 

So the first things James does is he says, Okay, we’ve heard the testimony of Simon, we’ve heard what Paul and Barnabas have to say.

 

When you think about it, he says, This Old Testament scriptures agree with this.

 

The Prophet Amos told us in his prophecy that the day would come when God would do a work and that he would call the Gentiles to himself just as he’s called us, and… Probably the most profound thing that James says is verse 18, known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world.

 

And of course, then he gave his judgement, and his judgment was that we write to them that they abstained from pollution of idols and from fornication, and from things strangled and from blood. For the simple reason that it would be offensive and it would be wrong in the matter of fornication, but it would be offensive to Jews, because He says in verse 21, For Moses of old has them in every city that preach Him… Being read in the synagogues every Sabbath Day. And of course, the saying pleased the apostles.

 

I am just so struck by several things… It’s not a very long speech. I think it’s 130 some words. I didn’t take the time to count them all, but I think I read that somewhere.

 

One of the things that we see there is, there’s a lot of similar vocabulary, I think there’s something like Nine different Greek words that in that short speech of 130 words appears also in James’s letters almost… I’m convinced in my mind that they’re the same individuals, but I’m struck with the wisdom, the judicious understanding of the scriptures, the fact that he’s spirit filled, the fact that he takes his own advice, he was slow to speak and Swift to hear -something he says in his own letter he waited for the others to speak, then he gives his sentence… Well, this is the man we’re talking about, he was the brother of our Lord Jesus Christ, the younger brother of our Lord Jesus Christ. Remember that after Mary bore Jesus, that she had other children, and James was the next.

 

So there are some important things to remember as we go through these lessons over the next two weeks, the one is that James did not originally believe in his older brother.

 

The Book of John tells us, John Chapter 7, and right after the feeding of the 5000, a great miracle which impressed so many people that his brothers said to Jesus privately, you need to go into Judea and do miracles because your disciples need to see this.

 

And John gives the reason For neither did His brethren believe on him, in other words, like most Jews, James saw a sign, he wanted to see a sign to prove that he was who he was, even though he grew up with him, he saw the Christ’s gentleness and obedience, no doubt.

 

His righteousness before his own eyes, yet James wasn’t on belief.

 

We also know that from Galatians Chapter 1, that he was often in the company of the apostles, even though he himself was not one of the 12. Paul tells us that after his conversion, he came to Jerusalem, that he did not appear to any of the apostles, except Simon Peter and James, the brother of our Lord.

 

In other words, it’s almost like James was part of the Apostolic group, but of course he wasn’t one of the 12 that Jesus had chosen.

 

We also know that from 1 Christians chapter 15, that he was among those whom Christ individually appeared to after his resurrection.

 

Paul tells us specifically, I think it’s in verse 7, that Christ appeared to James also, it was probably on that occasion that James himself was converted when he saw his elder brother raised from the dead, and he believed that he was the Son of God.

 

He identifies himself and the first verse of this book as a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, he doesn’t claim any filial relationship with Christ and not like, Well, this is… Christ was my LORD. He says, I’m a servant, God, I just like you. I’m a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

There’s a lot set about this man in church history, outside of the Bible, he was known as a man of intense devotion.

 

It was said that when they prepared his body for burial after he had passed away, that they noticed that his knees were caused probably from the time he had spent in devotion on his knees praying while he was yet alive. And so you kinda got a name a nickname. Old Camel Knees, they called him.

 

That’s a pretty good thing to have a… Have you ever been accused of being so devoted that you could see it in your countenance or in your body?

 

You often addressed the people to whom he wrote as brothers, and remember he said, he identified the group he’s writing to as the 12 tribes that are scattered abroad, remember there had been a persecution, so he identified himself with the people to whom he was writing.

 

He was a Jew, he was writing to Jews, Jews who had been converted, he felt a closeness, a warmth of relationship with these people, not only because they were his countrymen, but also because they were kinsman and the LORDs brothers and sisters, quite often in the source… I should say in the course of reading this letter, you’ll come across an expression like brethren or beloved brother, he speaks as a pastor… He was the pastor at the church in Jerusalem.

 

And he speaks as a pastor, he writes as a pastor, there is a lot of correction in the letter, a lot of things that are being corrected, mindsets attitudes, behavior patterns, and quite often when he does that, he takes the tone, listen, beloved, brother, and that’s what we have here in today’s text, look at Verse 16, Do not err in beloved here or there, this is a warning, a warning that James gives us in a specific area, which is really the subject of our morning message, and what he is writing about when he says Do not err or do not be deceived, or do not be a mistaken… Whatever your translation says, like I’m using the King James, it says, do not err my beloved brethren.

 

But there is a specific area that he has in mind here, he’s not just talking about in general, he’s not giving a general thing, he’s not saying out, we need to think not like the world, but we need to think… He’s not saying that there was a specific thing he has in mind. And the specific area has in mind are the character and works of God, the character and it works of God.

 

This is where we find verse 16, it is found between verse 13, which says, Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God, And Verse 17, which says, Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variable-ness. Neither shadow of turning.

 

In other words, verse 16 is not a general exhortation, but specifically refers to being careful not to misunderstand or mis-apprehend the person of God and the works of God.

 

Now, the great difficulty, of course, is that we live in the world, and as such, we have an advisor in that adversary of sin, and Satan is constantly misconstruing God in His ways in order to lead men to sin. It is oldest, the garden, he was a lie from the beginning. Jesus said, when it came to see, and his great lie in the garden was to Eve, God wanted to withhold something good from you.

 

God knows that in the day that you eat thereof, your eyes will be opened and you’ll be like him, knowing good and evil.

 

In other words, the adversary in order to entice us to sin has to in some way cast some doubt on the goodness of God, and of course, we are fallen creatures now, that was in man’s innocence in the garden, but now you and I are fallen.

 

And as a result of that, were prone to believe the line, verse 17, however, points out in the Psalms, especially the Psalm I quoted earlier, Psalm 107 Verse One, often remind us that God is good, that He only gives good gifts.

 

David said in Psalm 119-68, thou art good and doeth good.

 

We need to remind ourselves of that.

 

I had a professor in college who I was particularly fond of.

 

I had him for history as a freshman, and then he taught in my senior year, ancient and medieval philosopher. He was a brilliant man, Dr. Edward pain, and he was the chairman of the History department there at BU. Brilliant guy.

 

Well read, not only did he know church history, he taught a course in church history, which I wish I’d have been able to take, but I never did that… Not only was he an expert in that field, but he also was just a document, and I remember as a freshman sitting around talking to a dorm, like guys do, and one fellow said to another fellow, you know if the only thing I want to class for to hear doctor Pronosium pray at the beginning of the class, that would be enough. His prayers are amazing. And that’s true. They were, they were so full.

 

But I, I remember one time that Dr. pension was lecturing, and he said, You know, one of the most proud, profound things that I ever learned and that you probably have ever learned, you learned as a child, and that was when you were taught…

 

God is great, God is good.

 

Let us thank you for his food.

 

God is great and God is good.

 

And we need to remind ourselves constantly that God is good for the adversary constantly wants to put us before us, the doubt of God’s goodness.

 

We must come to grips with the fact the nature have a liability to error in this particular area, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil has yielded some bitter fruit, and that bit of fruit is our minds have been darkened.

 

Remember what Ephesians chapter 4, verse 18 says, verses 17 and 18, this I say therefore and testify in the Lord that you henceforth walk not as the Gentiles walk in the vanity of their mind. Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart.

 

No, if you’re unconverted today, if you never been saved, this describes you, you may not think so, but it describes you, your mind has been darkened, your understanding is not what it ought to be, and we as believers, those of us who have experienced the new birth, need to remember, that’s where we’ve come from, and that nature is yet with us and will be with us until the day that we pass in to return to the air in the presence of Christ.

 

So we need to remember what we’ve been saved from and what we’re dealing with, we have a fallen  nature, and the truth is that our minds seek gratification, but it’s not necessarily particular about how it gets it or what it is, sometimes our mind set gratification in areas that it should not. Paul even refers to this as the lust of the mind, there is such a thing as the lust of the mind, just as there are lust of the flesh, things that we crave, which we ought not to create in our mind, the truth is that in our fallen nature, we see more likely to embrace falsehood, then the truth, we are more prone by nature to embrace what is untrue rather than what is true, as a matter of fact, we find it more agreeable to our nature.

 

It doesn’t offend us, It doesn’t rub us the wrong way, and so we need to be very careful, our minds are not just limited because we’re human beings, in other words, we have a finite mind… No, that’s not what we’re talking about.

 

We’re talking about something all together different, our minds have actually defected as a result of the fall, they’re rally dark.

 

We seize upon error, usually our first instinct is to go the wrong way, unless our mind has been renewed by the holy scriptures and the Spirit of God, we have a bent towards evil.

 

And so when James says, do not err my beloved brother, he is talking about the specific area of Don’t believe a lie when it comes to the person and the behavior or ways or at… This is why James speaks the way he does.

 

It is helpful to me, and I think it would be helpful to you to remember that the nature of the Word of God, and particularly the Epistles, is corrective.

 

Think about how often in the Epistles Paul, the apostle- Peter, the Apostle- James the Apostle, as He’s called, even though he wasn’t one of the 12, speak in corrective tones, it’s because we tend to err… And we may err in this particular area.

 

The good news is, of course, that when we are saved, the Spirit of God takes up residency in our heart, were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, and a process begins, the process that we described earlier, the renewing of our mind as we drink in the scriptures as we meditate upon what is true and good and right and holy and just, a lot of that filth is replaced with what is good and what is right, and that is true, that’s the importance of your private time with the Lord by the way.

 

We need that.

 

This world is a filthy place, you know that, and if you live in the world and you never spend time meditating upon what is true and what is right, it can have tremendous damage in your life, and the danger that we’re talking about here is not a trivial matter is it? to misconstrue God or misread God and His ways is fraught with evil and even with paral, there are people that go to Hell, I’m convinced, believing a lie about God, it Imperials our salvation. That in the case of a believer, it also robs us of peace.

 

I mentioned the college that I attended, BJU, the founder of the college was an evangelist in the early 19 century, Bob Jones was his name, he was really nationally known evangelist, but more so in the south, I think, than elsewhere, but he had these sayings… He had pithy sayings… And every classroom would have a saying, something he said in a chapel message or something that he wrote in a book, and I remember one of them that has stuck with me through time, and it is…

 

No doubt. The problem is with you. No doubt the problem is with you… Think about that saying for a minute, when you have a conflict with your spouse or with somebody at work, how often have in moments of sobriety and reflection, you come to the illusion as… How was it wrong?

 

How often have you had hard thoughts or bitter thoughts toward God and aboard come to yourself like the prodigal and the pig pen and said, Oh God, I’m sorry.

 

I was wrong. I don’t know why I thought that about you.

 

You are a good… You do good.

 

So not only is it dangerous because in the case of unbelief, it can lead to hell, but for a child of God, for a Christian, it robs us of that sense of peace, that sense that things are right with our Father in Heaven.

 

Verse 13, declares something very important about God, it declares His purity, His holiness, his goodness, Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God.

 

He is absolutely removed from evil in himself, and in his actions, he leads no one to it, he has no ulterior motive, has no evil design for your life, he didn’t put you in that situation in order to make you uncomfortable… No, he exists in perfect moral goodness, and He wills it for his creation.

 

You know, we need to be reminded of that.

 

When I was first saved, I was a teenager in high school. And I was working at Burger King.

 

I’ve been working there before I was converted, and after I was converted, I began to share my faith with my coworkers, my friends, and of course, I was made fun of quite a bit, because they knew that I was part of the party and crowd… I’d parted with some of them, you know, and uh, they would sneer at me sometimes and so forth, but occasionally they would come to me privately and say, Would you pray for me? Or pray for so and so who got in a car wreck and on a wood… Of course, well, after my conversion, there was a bit of a change in the personnel late at night, there was a black man who was hired to be the janitor, now usually I was closing the store at that point, in other words, I would be there at 12 or 10 o’clock, whenever we close, and I would be responsible for cleaning the fryer and cleaning the milkshake machine, and he would be responsible for the boiler and or the… We would talk and uh, somebody had told him, I don’t know who… Somebody had told him that I was a born again Christian, and so he came up to me and he said, I hear you that you’re a born again Christian. I said, Yes, yes, here I am. He says A, I am too. I said, Oh really is. I made a profession of faith in prison.

 

Well, there was a lot of reason to doubt that for one thing, he was actively involved in a homosexual lifestyle, but when he said that to me, I said, Well, how did it happen? He explained at a chaplain in common, he made a profession of faith after his service, but he said, You know, sometimes I would sit there in jail with my… With my head in my hands and I say, Oh God, why did you do this to me?

 

I, I thought to myself, Wait a second, now I’m a stupid teenager, okay. But I… At the time it… , I’m saying I was a stupid teenager. Okay, so don’t be offended teenagers, so I…

 

I’m painting with a broad brush here. Okay. Yeah, but I said to myself, There’s something wrong with that statement, God didn’t do that to him, he did that he himself.

 

He’s the one that broke the law, he’s the one that was suffering the consequences of his actions, but you know that’s human nature… That is human nature. That’s what James is talking about, their inverse, the team.

 

Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God.

 

If you find yourself in a situation where you have done wrong, the exact wrong thing to do, but it is nonetheless our default modice.

 

And that is to blame God to say, God, why did you do this to me?

 

No doubt. The problem is with you.

 

So that’s the first thing that James corrects. The second thing he corrects is the goodness of God in Verse 17.

 

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variable-ness. Neither shadow of turning.

 

He reminds us that God is good. God is wise, God is unchanging in His goodness.

 

He’s not one way toward us one day, and then another way toward us, another day, God is always good, and he’s good all the time.

 

He’s father-like, he never changes in his posture toward his children, he always has the tender mercies of a father toward you, regardless of what your circumstances might be, regardless of what sickness you might face, or what disappointed relationship you might have, or what happened at work, the previous week, God still loves you with an everlasting love.

 

He does not change. There is no variable. This neither shadow of turning.

 

You see the importance of dwelling on truth like this, you see the importance of allowing that to shape your thinking instead of your circumstances or others, this is the importance of dwelling on the scriptures. And you notice that it says, Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above.

 

Everything good that we receive in this life is a result of the mercy and goodness of God, and of course, the greatest gift of all is comprehended in verse 18, isn’t it?  of his own will, begot he us

with the word of truth. Why are you saved today?

 

You are saved today because it was the will of God, of His own will, He cause you to be begotten. No child brings itself into the world, the mother bears the child into the world, and how are we born again? How are we begotten? of His own will he begot us with the word of truth.

 

We’re reminded of the words in Titus Chapter Three, not by works of righteousness, which we have done, but according to His mercy, He saved us by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ, our savior.

 

So there we have the expectation, do not err, my beloved brethren, do not err when it comes to the goodness of God, do not think hard thoughts toward God when you find yourself in a jam, going through trials, temptations and so forth.

 

I wanna end today by making several applications, okay.

 

I want to apply this message to each one of us in our lives, in other words, so I’m going to be a little more pointed here, and the first is… The first area I want to address is this.

 

Let us be very careful not to misjudge God Let us be very careful not to mis-judge God, appearances are deceiving.

 

Okay, there are reasons why cults have many followers, I… And the reason why is because they believe wrongly about God, they misjudged God, do not succumb to the temptation of having hard thoughts of him, when you face difficulties in life, when you face temptations in life, when you face disappointments in life… But that’s our tendency. We have to admit it.

 

Maybe you need to confess that toward God in your private time today, Lord, I’m sorry for the heart thoughts that I’ve had towards you. You didn’t deserve that.

 

I’m sorry.

 

We must resist that temptation.

 

He’s not the austere miserly Lord that we find. Mention in the parable of the talents. You remember that story?

 

You remember that there were several individuals who are given different numbers of talents, and you remember the last fella was only given one talent, and when the Lord came to him and call them into account for how he had used that town… This is what he said.

 

Then he which had received the one talent, came and said, Lord, I knew that you were a  hard man, reaping where thou has not sewn.

 

Gathering where he has not strawn, and I was afraid and went and hid myself, hid my talent in the earth.

 

Well, there thou has that is in his Lord answered and said, Thou wicked and slothful servant, the knewest that I reaped where I had not sewn, therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming, I should have received my own with interest.

 

Do the words, the Lord judged him out of his own mouth.

 

That man’s conclusion about the nature of his Lord became the basis of his own judgment.

 

You’re a hard man. Not gracious, not kind. You’re a hard man. You’re all Steel.

 

Be very careful when it comes to mis-judging God, it wrongs him. And it profits you nothing. It robs you of peace of mind and a piece of heart… It is frankly sin.

 

This is one of those areas where we send much more than we realize, we tend to reduce our sins to over-tax or singular acts, but think about how often in our hearts we don’t have good thoughts toward God or unworthy thoughts.

 

Thou are good and doest good.

 

So that’s the first area that I want to apply.

 

If you’ve had hard thoughts toward God, then I would encourage you to confess at the Lord, He will graciously receive you again and forgive you, but be careful to resist that temptation secondly, we must also learn in our Thanksgiving to always connect God with the gift himself, always gonna go with the if himself, my daughter did something this week to kind of impressed me… My mother and father, both still living, they have a lot of grandchildren and a lot of a great granchildren… Okay, the mother is extremely good about remembering birthdays and my daughter’s birthday with July 15th and as always, my mother sent her a card with the check inside.

 

And of course, when you’re young, what is the child? One, they take the card, pitch the card aside, take the money and go spend it on candy or whatever, but my daughter on Friday, asked me for a stamp and I said, Sure, and I said, Well, we need for… She said, Well, I’m right to thank you note to grandma, and my wife told me later, she refused to cash that check until she had written a thank you note to grandma.

 

I thought, you know what, that’s a good thing, because she has connected the gift with the person who gave it, she knew that it came from her grandmother’s love for her.

 

We need to do the same when it comes to God. Every good gift, every perfect gift cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variable-ness, neither shadow of turning. How do we perceive the goodness of God, how do we understand God’s goodness by the gift he gives and we should interpret him that way.

 

John understood this, he said, Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of God. Have you thought about that? Have you thought about what… An unworldly gift, that gift is to be called a son of God, therefore the world… Now, if that’s not because I knew him not, verse 16 says here, by perceived we the love of God, because He laid down his life for us, and we obsolete on our lives for the rather, consider often the sacrifice that was made on your behalf at Calvary, consider often, the gift of the Father in giving the Son to be our redeemer, and all that Christ endured in order to become your redeemer, think about that often, and praise and thanks will surely follow because you’ve connected… The gift with the giver, don’t disconnect the gift from the giver, and then finally… Let us look to God as the Father of lights.

 

I love that name that James gives him here, the Father of lights with whom is no variable-ness, neither shadow of turning. Do you feel darkness?

 

Do you feel the darkness of the world… This is a word that I’m hearing a lot these days with all of the political nonsense, with all of the covid-19 nonsense, a word that I hear Christians saying and using a lot is darkness, there’s a great deal of darkness in the world today.

 

Sometimes we feel it ourselves, Sometimes darkness descends on our own mind, and we don’t know which way is up, we’re like Daniel who said, Lord to you belongs righteousness, goodness, but to us, confusion at that same face it this… Do you ever feel that way?

 

You’re not alone… You’re not alone if you do many Christians fields at just because where Christians doesn’t mean we have all the answers and that we have it all together. That’s not what it means.

 

What it means is, we’ve admitted to God, we don’t know all the answers, we don’t have it all together, and we need a savior.

 

The point is that James uses this name because he says in effect, that if you feel the darkness of your sin, if you feel your moral darkness, if you feel your own mental darkness, that you have somebody that has especially fitted for your situation, he’s called the Father of lights, with him is no variable-neither shadow of turning, he’s especially suited for you in those moments of darkness, in those moments of confusion, in those moments like we’re experiencing now as a church, where we say, Well, what do we do in the world?

 

You know, we see evil engulfing our culture and we’re like, what do we do?

 

Well, I got news for you.

 

James said, Known unto God are all His works from the beginning. None of this took God by surprise.

 

That’d be the first thing James would tell us. If he was standing here -none of this took God by surprise.

 

And so find your refuge in Him, He’s a Mighty Tower, the righteous flee, and they find safety, he’s the Father of lights with whom is no variable-ness need or shadow of turning. That means you can always find a place of rest there, a place of comfort there, you may not have all the answers, you may feel yourself full of darkness and Oh, I’m especially addressing someone today who’s feeling the darkness of their sins… There’s a reason why Jesus said, I am the light of the world.

 

He came for you to deliver you out of your darkness and to bring you into his marvelous life. Let us pray.

 

Father, we thank you for your work in today and for the precious truths of… And how we thank you that we have such a Savior who came from your heart of love. We pray that today as we think about these things. You would help us, Lord, to love you better. To have a better attitude.

 

Forgive us, Lord, for those times we’ve had harsh thoughts, unkind thoughts towards you, our best friend, our best friend in the world. And yet sometimes Lord, we are unfaithful.

 

Fickle in our understanding- superficial in the way we look at things. Forgive us for that.

 

And Lord, I’m not in any way minimizing the struggle, because it is a real struggle for some of us, it’s a battle, we pray that you’d give us grace.

 

Lord, we do believe that we will be saved even as others, by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and so we ask that you take this message and use it in the hearts of your children and Father, if there is a precious soul here without Christ, may you bring them to yourself in love and grace that they might find forgiveness and hope and peace for we pray in Christ name, Amen…

Redeemer Baptist Church . 607 Mafred DriveNorwalk, IA 50211 515.943.4197