Josh WannerDevotions

Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters.  Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

James 1:16-17

I clearly remember the birthday my son turned four.  He opened a card from his grandparents containing crisp dollar bills.  Frowning, he said “Money!  What do I do with this?’’  I was mortified.  After that birthday, he was coached to have a few ideas in mind so that upon finding birthday cash he could proudly offer an idea of something he wanted to buy.

We’ve all heard the words, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).  Generally, those are words we have togrow into. With age, we experience the true joy of being the gift giver and seeing the pleasure a gift brings to our recipient. Our hearts skip a happy beat when we do an unexpected kind deed for another.  Volunteerism is alive and prosperous because of this very sentiment.

Our text from James encourages us that every good and perfect gift comes from our heavenly Father.  It may not be Jesus who unexpectedly places the fresh baked cookies on your office desk or cleans up your kitchen when you are personally too overwhelmed with life to do so.  Your co-worker, your friend, your sister was simply the messenger for Jesus living out his commands. 

For those who keep a gratitude journal, even in difficult, trying, grief-filled times, we find we have blessings to add.  Just for today, focus on five reasons you are grateful. Take special note of the way God cares for you, and recognize his good and perfect love.  The text assures us God’s love doesn’t waiver like shifting shadows.  His love is present today.  His love will be constant tomorrow.

PrayerLord, in this Christmas season where our world puts such an emphasis on gifts, teach me to be a grateful giver of my time, my encouragement and my earthly blessings.  Amen.

Contributed by June Huff