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Words of Faith 4-14-2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2020

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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            James 1:16-17

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.


         We are a culture of gift-givers.  Christmas is full of this obsession, but don't forget birthdays, weddings, and graduations!    Some gifts are from Wal-Mart, while others made by hand.  Some gifts are quickly returned, while others will be cherished.  Some people will spend hour upon hour searching for the "perfect gift" in stores and catalogs.  But James has a warning.

        Here is the warning:  Do not be deceived.  It is so easy to be deceived and miss the perfect gifts altogether.  I wonder if James, the brother of Jesus, came to visit, would he be a bit confused by one of our typical Christmas celebrations honoring the birthday of Jesus? 

       I wonder if James would be puzzled by our frantic searching and last-minute rushing.  He might find even more curious our common post-Christmas, "let down.”  The feeling we often have after Christmas that we missed something. 

         You see, for James, the perfect gifts are so obvious.  They do not come from human hands.  They are never sullied by the mark up of the merchant.  They are not trendy.  The perfect gifts do not change like shifting shadows. The perfect gifts come down from the Father of the heavenly lights.  They are the gift of life.  They are the gifts of faith, hope, and love.  The gift of salvation.  The gift of comfort and strength from God's Holy Spirit.  Perfect gifts may also include the wonder of family and special times together or the unique moments of care and discovery together in the Body of Christ.

        Looking for the perfect gift?  Look next to you.  Stretch out your hand. Look inside your heart at the presence of Jesus, the Holy One of God.  The good gifts, the perfect gifts, come from God.  All the rest is imitation joy, kind expressions, but never more than a vague reflection of the real thing. 


         Lord, let me see the things today that are really important.  Thank you for the perfect gifts you have carefully prepared for my family and me.  Give me the grace to open those gifts with joy and thanksgiving, In Jesus' Name.  Amen.

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, and our website, and our church app, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.  

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