01 December 2016

THE CHRISTIAN’S LIFE [Pt1]


James 1:21-25

Charles Spurgeon once told of sitting in a nice restaurant. As he ate he kept noticing a rather angry looking man across the dining room who scowled at him every time he looked his way. Finally Spurgeon decided to go over and speak to the man to see what his problem was. However, as he stood he realized that what he had been seeing was his own reflection in mirrors that lined the walls across the room. We may not always like what we see in the mirror of God’s Word but what we see there is always the truth and always the best!” God’s word is a mirror that displays and shows in us what needs to change in our lives. God’s word is to help and guide us in His righteousness. The biblical truth is that when we are in right relationship with God the things of this world don’t seem to be so pleasing to our sight anymore. Why? Because Christ is precious to us. As J C Ryle said “Look to the cross, think of the cross, meditate on the cross, and then go and set your affections on the world if you can."

How does one come to that position in life and say “I’m completely satisfied in Christ” 
It comes through…… 
Reading and memorizing the Holy Scriptures.
Rightly dividing the word of truth from error and opinions.
The supernatural power of God’s sanctifying grace and having a teachable spirit.
The harvest of fruit that you bare as He grows you daily.

I think we can easily forget how powerful and relevant this book truly is in our generation? This isn’t some fairy-tale story about a fictitious needy God looking for His princess. This is a love letter in detail to how AWESOME GOD truly is, whether it’s through His creation, His redemptive plan or the glories of His majesty. This is a book is not filled with a bunch of maybe’s and hopeless promises; but a book that will transform your life….it will literally gut you from the inside out and make you a new creation. That’s why Paul said “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” 2 Cor 5:17.As we continue in this letter we are going to be challenged, stretched to examine his or hers life as it lines up with scripture

Again this letter can be called “Practical applications for the Christian life” or as the Company Nike says “Just do it!” James tells us in this passage and the passage that follows how we can grow in our Christian life. And it begins with this utmost important foundational and fundamental truth. (v21a) “put off” 
This phrase “put off” implies “a rupture from a former association” We are too literally “to put or take something away from its normal location and thus to put it out of the way (way out of the way!).” The Apostle Paul said “The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” Rom 13:12-14
  
“Putting off” is like getting ready for a physical activity by putting on the proper attire. It was used literally of runners who participated in the Olympic Games who stripped off and cast aside their clothes and then ran almost completely naked in the stadium. James saw the human heart as a garden; if left to itself……the soil only produces weeds.
What is James telling us to “put aside” or “pull out the weeds?” “all filthiness” means “depravity, any sort of moral defilement or dirty garments” This is a vivid word picture. James is saying take off your filthy attitudes and actions (moral defilement) just as you would soiled, smelly clothes! As a snake sheds its skin to make ready for the new one that is underneath the old skin. 2 Cor 7:1 says “Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.” One Writer explains this way...We all bring baggage from our old way of life over into the Christian life. Usually, we’re blind and  don’t realize that we’re displeasing God by our thoughts, words, or actions. As we begin to read God’s word, it convicts us of areas that we didn’t even know were sin. When this happens, the receptive heart cleans out the crud of sin and puts on the clean clothes of new life in Christ. If you don’t do this, the crud will prevent you from growing as a Christian.

What else are we to put off? “overflow [abundance] of wickedness” this is speaking of “evil desires or intent” Signifies: moral evil and it pertains to sin that is deliberate and determined. Albert Barnes in his commentary of this word said “the particular reference in these passages is to the reception of the truth; and the doctrine taught is, that a corrupt mind, a mind full of sensuality and wickedness, is not favorable to the reception of the truth. It is not fitted to see its beauty, to appreciate its value, to understand it’s just claims, or to welcome it to the soul.” All you’re left with is an unteachable spirit that is more interested in what they desire over what God desires. As the Apostle Paul said “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.” Eph 4:31. He also wrote in Gal 5:19-21 that “….those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Filthiness is a serious barrier to us. It hinders our ability to clearly hear and comprehend the Word of God. So we must put off the works of darkness and put off the works of the flesh!
  
Usually when you take off or remove something…you have to replace it with something else! This is where our foundation begins and continues. (v21b) “receive with meekness the implanted word” which is a teachable heart to act upon His word. A teachable spirit that will grow and take hold of through the truth of God’s word. See in order to receive……. you must be ready to receive the foundation which is God’s instruction as He carries you through His righteousness. Paul said in 1Thess 2:13 “And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.” It’s the same truth that Jeremiah said For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” Jer 31:33 “Receive with meekness the implanted word.” That’s what happened in (v18) “He brought us forth by the word of truth.”

See, before this happened! We were dead. We had no place for the word of God in us. We did not desire it or love it. Example of this is when Jesus said of the leaders who were trying to kill him: “You seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you” John 8:37. As John Piper explained this passage “These leaders knew their Bibles better than anyone. But the word of God “found no place in them.” It was not implanted in them. Before we are born again, our hearts are full of other things that push out the word of God. We are like people who are so stuffed with candy between meals that when the feast is offered we are not hungry. In fact, our stomach turns at the thought of eating. This is how unregenerate people feel about the real meaning of God’s word. They feel no need for it. So it has no place. It’s not implanted in them.”
  
The word of truth was not implanted in them and in this fallen world, but for us it has been implanted. For the purpose of trusting in Him and baring fruit of His righteousness…… because He knows what’s best for His children! (v20) Without His implanted Word all we are doing are living for the flesh, doing things in our strength and exalting our self-righteousness. God’s implanting of the word in your life, is His desire for you and me. 
It’s a righteousness that God gives
It’s a righteousness that God requires
It’s a righteousness that God does
  
Matt 18:2-4 says “And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, "Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” We are to receive the word with joy; not with opposition and resistance. We are to receive the word as a privilege; not as an interruption into my day. We are to receive the word for wisdom; not to contradict and debate everything to fit my ideas. We are to receive the word as instruction; not to de-construct to fit our life-styles. We are to receive the word to grow to His likeness; not to stay in ours. When you receive something we are required to do something! And that is? Act upon it! God must be glorified and I must be sanctified and purified into the image of His Son.
  
Why are we to receive the word with meekness? It’s the only possible way for you to see the kingdom. (v21c) “which is able to save your soul” which simple means to “keep alive, rescue, deliver from bondage. The word of God is “implanted” in us, and “is at work” in us, and “abides” in us, and as James 1:21 says “saves us.” We cannot overstate how overwhelmingly powerful and important the word of God is for our lives. Think about it! If the word of God does not rank with your most cherished possessions, you need to do a reality check on your life. Nothing apart from God himself is more important and powerful than His word. It’s the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit through the written word that brings a person to foot of the Cross in repentance and faith. Our souls depend on the implanted word, and our souls depend on receiving the word. If you decide that you don’t need to receive the external word, you are like a person who decides he doesn’t need to breathe. The word of God is so powerful it has the power to save the vilest of sinners. YOU! That’s why you’re here today.

Expressing your love for saving you from yourself. As Heb 4:12-13 says “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” Just as the word brought salvation….the word will continue in your sanctification as you await glorification. Put off the works of the flesh and the devil and put on Christ and grow deeper in love with Him. The word of God is the greatest prevention against sin of the flesh. As one Scottish preacher said “sin will keep you the bible, or the bible will keep you from sin.” William Gurnall said "He that loves the Word and the purity of its precepts cannot turn traitor." My life should be evident to a life that has and is continuing to be transformed by the power of God’s word. When you put off self……you’re putting something far greater and more powerful that anything you could imagine…its ChristBut for that to take place, we must put off what is crippling our relationship with the Triune God. As Ps 137:7 says “Remember, O LORD, against the Edomites the day of Jerusalem, how they said, "Lay it bare, lay it bare, down to its foundations!" Lay aside everything that hinders my life from the intimate relationship that have with Christ Jesus. Strip it all away and leave nothing but the foundation so that I can be clothed in His righteousness. So that I can receive with joy the implanted word which will save you, keep you and glorify you in to the arms of Jesus Christ my Lord.

20 November 2016

THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK


James 1:19-20

Have you ever said these words to yourself? “Think before you speak” If so! When was the last time you stop yourself with that simple truth? Was it before or after the foot is inserts into the mouth? I can’t count the number of times that I’ve put myself into a situation where I insert my own foot!

Whether it’s with my wife.
Whether it’s with my children.
Whether it’s with friends or strangers.
Whether it’s with people I work with.
Whether it’s with people at church.

We, I myself, fail in this area of life from time to time….Reason being the natural man or woman wants to express what’s on their mind…. without thinking of others or the cost! As children of God we are to think before we speak at all times. For example: Col 4:5-6 says “Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” 

I Peter 3:15-16 it says “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.”

James said “If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless. (v26) This is only possible when we think before we speak! We have that same responsibility when it comes to handling the word of God. Why? Because it bares the fruit of righteousness found in Christ. James says in (v21) God’s word is “engrafted” which means “the implanted word” this is where we get the parable of the Sower!

Jesus described the:

Hard heart….Matt 13:18-19 “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path.”

Shallow heart……..Matt 13:20-21 “As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away.”

Crowded heart……Matt 13:22  “As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.”

Fruitful heart………..Matt 13:23 “As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty."

See one of the most important tests of true salvation is your fruit! [This means a changed life]. There is only one good soil! And it bares 100, another 60, and another 30. Continue growth by His grace through His written word by God grafting His word into our hearts. Ask yourself! Is my life different today than it was yesterday, last week, last month, or last year? J C Ryle said “The Christianity which is from above will always be known by its fruits. It will produce in the person who has it repentance, faith, hope, love, humility, spirituality, kindness, self-denial, unselfishness, forgiving spirit, moderation, truthfulness, hospitality, and patience. The degree in which these various graces appear may vary in different believers. The germ and seeds of them will be found in all who are the children of God. By their fruits they will be known. Is this your faith? If not, you should doubt whether it is authentic.”
Loved ones….examine your life as it lines up with scripture….the implanted word that sanctifies your soul for eternity. As Jeremiah said Jer 31:31 "…..For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” Jer 31:31-33

THINK ABOUT

A MARK OF GENUINE FRUIT WILL GROW IN HOLY LIVING.

Rom 6:22 “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.”
  
A MARK OF GENUINE FRUIT WILL BE BUILDING SPIRITUAL CHARACTER.

Gal 5:22-24 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”
  
ASK YOURSELF! How long would it take for you to look at an apple tree to see if it has bad fruit on it? How long would it take for you to look at an apple tree to see if it has good fruit on it? Answer: Instantly
  
Remember what Jesus said in the gospel of John 5:1-5

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser……..Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bares much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

A person can only bear fruit under the supervision of Christ which is found in the gospel and His salvation and sanctifying grace. The evidence of your salvation is that you continue to grow and walk in His righteousness! But understand! This is only possible through the seeds of God’s Word being planted in your life [into your heart]

HERE ARE THREE AREAS IN WHICH THE SEEDS OF GOD’S WORD HELP US GROW ACCORDING TO JAMES’S LETTER!
  
SWIFT TO HEAR

Basically James is saying is “Hurry up and Listen” This is a statement could basically summarize the foundation of the Christian faith! If the bible teaches that “faith comes by hearing” then this is a vital piece of information for the Christian to bear fruit. We are to humbly approach the Word, not coming with our defences up, which leads to anger and resistance to God and His word. As David Platt saidDon’t we often come to God’s Word talking and not listening?” Think about this! Don’t we at times come to God’s word looking to justify ourselves? We’re like people in an argument who are not listening to the other person, because we are too busy trying to think of what we are going to say next. Don’t we approach God’s word with the attitude thinking “Here what I want it to say?” We think we know what’s best for us and everyone around us and ignore what God says. Don’t we have a tendency to think the culture should dictate our homes, schools, businesses and the churches? For this reason! We have our fingers in our ears and we are a people who are not swift to hear. We should be “quick” [ready, excited, eager] to hear what God is telling us through the written word. Again I go back to (v18) “Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.” He brought us forth by the super-natural power of His will through the gospel and the Word.. James is emphasizing that the sovereign will of God is the source of this new life we live. As children of God we are to be quick to hear what God is saying to us……. like a mother who is always quick to hear her baby make the smallest cry. Think about the Berean’s in the book of Acts! Acts 17:11 said “Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” Not only did they have a discerning heart to test all things but they had a readiness, excitement to hear the word of God, so that they could grow deeper in love with Christ.

Warren Weirsbe gave a wonderful example of what it means to be swift to hear!

“King David was hiding from the Philistines who were in possession of Bethlehem, He yearned for a drink of cool water from the well in Bethlehem….a well he often visited in his boyhood and youth. He did not issue an order to his men; he simply said this to himself [2 Sam 23;15]. Three of his mighty men heard their kings sigh for the water, and they risked their lives to secure the water and bring it to him. They were “swift to hear

The same principle applies to you and me! James is telling us that we need to be ready [quick] to hear our Masters voice……even if that means giving up everything or losing our life for the sake of the gospel.
  
SLOW TO SPEAK

There is a good reason why God gave us two ears and only one mouth! Because that one mouth gets us into enough trouble as it is. The two ears attached to the side our head should give us a clue to the fact that God desires us to hear more than we are to speak. A prime example of this is Martha and Mary.....Martha was quick to express her displeasure for her sister’s lack of participation. When Mary chose to listen, rather than go overboard preparing like her sister. See, listening is a vital part of growing! From the time you’re toddler, until the time you’re elderly and frail. The bible says in….. Prov 13:3 “Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.” Prov 18:13 “If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.” Prov 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.”

When it comes to the word of God we must be silent on the inside, just as we are to be on the outside. Basically talk little, not hurried, acting with reflection, thinking before you speak. We must reflect on the word first and go to the Lord with or troubles.

SLOW TO WRATH [OR ANGER]
  
This is where we [all] need to precede with caution! Anger is a natural emotion that usually ends in an instant response when triggered! Examples: Jonah when God removed his shade as he wanted God to pour His wrath on the Ninevites. (Jonah 4). David when he was raged by the refusal of food from Nabal because his pride was hurt. (1 Sam 25). Peter impulsiveness when he cut the ear off of the servant that came to arrest Jesus in the garden. (Matt 26). Wrath (means) hot anger, passion, a violent passion of the mind, is the display of an enraged sinful nature. We are forbidden to bad anger to display itself in our lives; we must flee from all types of wrathful passions and desires. But as Paul said! “Let love be genuine. Abhor (detest) what is evil; hold fast to what is good.” Rom 12:9. The anger that James is talking about…..keeping in the context of this letter is a anger towards God’s truth when it confronts our sin or conflicts. This anger is referring to a hostile person to scriptural truth when it does not correspond or agree to one’s own convictions. As John MacArthur explains itPeople desired to have their own opinions confirmed, their own ways approved, their own likes and dislikes accepted by others.” This was happening in the church today! Especially with the health and wealth camps, the Narcissistic emotional driven, to the Emerging / seeker Sensitive so-churches.

I call them Me monster

We have seen this in the life of King David in 2 Sam 12:2-6 A man named Nathan came to speak to David and told him a story about two men. The rich man had very many flocks and herds, but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought. And he brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children. It used to eat of his morsel and drink from his cup and lie in his arms, and it was like a daughter to him. Now there came a traveler to the rich man, and he was unwilling to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the guest who had come to him, but he took the poor man's lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him." Then David's anger was greatly kindled against the man, and he said to Nathan, "As the LORD lives, the man who has done this deserves to die,.”

David missed the point because as Nathan said to David "You are the man! (v6). Choosing not listen and quick to answer which leads to destruction. Many approach the word of God the same way. Paul warned Timothy of this in his last letter“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” 2 Tim 4:3-4. James said it was happening among the believers here in this letter “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?” James 4:1

Thomas Jefferson was a prime example of someone who was angry with God’s word. Why? Because the bible didn’t co-inside with what he held to be true…meaning the word according to Thomas Jefferson. The word of God is everything to us…….for without it we would be lost like so many people around the globe today. The word of God is our life, our communication with the Creator of the Universe. Is this so in your life? I pray and hope so!
  
To help! Let’s do a personal inventory how we approach the Word of God

Does this book you hold in your hands bring you Joy?
Is it your desire and passion to know Him more intimately?
Does His word bring you encouragement in your darkest hour, as you face the trials of today?
Do you persistently go to Him and wait on Him before you act?
Does anger get the victory, or do you display self-control and give your trials and victories to the Lord?

I ask this because Solomon said this “the way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but He loves Him who pursues righteousness” Prov 15:9. We need to pursue the Word of God and walk in the truth of His word. We need to be hunting His righteousness. And it needs to be done with open ears…..quiet mouths… and gentle obedience. Gospel saturated, born again children must pursue righteousness, which is well pleasing in the sight of God, because it will always produce fruit of Christ righteousness. May this never be said of us that “We are not quick to hear and slow to speak but loathe to listen and anxious to be heard.” This book you possess makes the Christian excited, mindful and humble as He leads us home into His glory and His glorious presence. God’s word deeply rooted produces listening ears, a tamed tongue and a gentle heart of God’s righteousness.

13 November 2016

THE GIVER OF GOOD IN ALL SITUATIONS

James 1:17-18

So what do we do during trials and temptations?

Quick Recap! Many times we succumb to temptation! We are sometimes prone to fix our eyes on our circumstances and we miss what God has in store for us. What are we to do when we are prone to carried away or enticed by the desires that are at the core of our lives? Well…..I hope by the end of this message you will be able to say with me “God is good, and God is always good.” Even in the midst of trials and our failures. See! God is so good there is no changing how good He is! Can you say that about your sanctification today? Maybe this will help answer that….

In the barracks where Corrie Ten Boom and her sister Betsy were kept in the Nazi concentration camp Ravensbruck were terribly overcrowded and flea-infested. They miraculously had been able to smuggle a Bible into the camp, and in that Bible they read that in all things they were to give thanks, and that God can use anything for good. Corrie's sister Betsy decided this meant thanking God for the fleas. This was too much for Corrie, who said she could do no such thing. Betsy insisted, so Corrie gave in and prayed to God, thanking Him even for the fleas. During the next several months, a wonderful, but curious, thing happened. They found that the guards never entered their barracks. This meant the women were not assaulted. It also meant they were able to do the unthinkable, which was to hold open Bible studies and prayer meetings in the heart of a Nazi concentration camp. Through this, countless numbers of women came to faith in Christ.

Only at the end did they discover why the guards had left them alone and would not enter their barracks. It was because of the fleasWe hear that story and say “how terrible “and yes rightfully so….but behind the fleas and suffering we see God’s goodness and providence in their lives to receive grace and for salvation to those who do not know the Saviour.. The same principles Betsy applied to her life and her sister through the written Word can easily be applied to each and every one us today!

We are never to blame God for our situations! We are to give thanks in the midst of them. Why are we not to blame God when things go wrong or bad in our lives? According to James it’s our desires that lead us to take our eyes of the vertical relationship that we with Christ. When we give into temptation it gives birth to sin in our lives. When our desires are led by deception……when we are hooked by the deception it gives birth to disobedience which brings about death according to James. And James says “do not be deceived” which gives idea that no one is immune to the deceitfulness of sin and you are the one accountable, not God! James is telling us that we are not to be deceived when it comes to the character of God.

God's perfection and completeness is displayed in what James says in (v17a) "Every good gift....” means the act of giving……And "every perfect gift..." means the object given “Comes from the Father of Lights" The very same Creator of Light and the Creator of the sun, moon, and stars………As it says in (Gen 1:14-19). Psalm 136:1-9 also speaks of this wonderful truth! “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who alone does great wonders, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who by understanding made the heavens, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who spread out the earth above the waters, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who made the great lights, for his steadfast love endures forever; the sun to rule over the day, for his steadfast love endures forever; the moon and stars to rule over the night, for his steadfast love endures forever;…” God is not some light……He is light itself…the Creator and all sustaining One…….nothing evil comes from God, because God can’t do what is wrong or do what is evil. (v17) “Father of light”
  
WHAT JAMES IS SAYING IS? God cannot change for the worse because He is holy! God cannot change for the better because He is perfect! GOD HAS ABSOLUTELY NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR SIN! WHY? There is “No Darkness or variation of shadow of turning” in our sovereign Lord (v17b) which means….

He is Changeless
He is Pure Light
He is Perfect
He is Sinless
He is Righteous
He is Just, He only does what is right or perfect.

There is no darkness in anything God does, because pure Light is where Holiness and His glory is displayed, and it’s also the Light that reveals our sin that is hidden in darkness. Because all sin is done in darkness and by us….NOT HIM! In your trials or temptations, don’t believe the lies. Remember that God is good, very good. And He wants that which is good for you. So we are to trust in Him through our trials and turn to Him in your temptations. Why? He is the source of every good. See! The scriptures declare that He is without a shade of doubt, God is completely perfect in everything He is and does and to be trusted despite your circumstance.

NO ONE OR ANYTHING CAN COMPARE TO GOD’S PERFECT HOLINESS.

Ex 15:11 "Who is like you, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?”

GOD’S PERFECTION IS DEMONSTRATED IN HIS CHARACTER.

Isa 6:3 “And one called to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”

GOD'S PERFECTION IS SHOWN IN HIS NAME.

Isa 57:15 “For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy….”

GOD'S PERFECTION PROVES THAT HIS WORD IS SUFFICENT.

2 Tim 3:16-17 “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
  
GOD'S PERFECT JUSTICE WAS DISPLAYED ON THE CROSS.

Rom 3:21-26 “But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction:  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

He is completely trustworthy and unchangeable. The greatest gift came down from heaven to save sinners like us! This is why James is so concerned for his family “beloved brothers” this is a term of endearment. (v16). He’s displaying his love for the church and his desires for the church to stay strong and focused on the goodness of Christ even in midst of their suffering.

JAMES IS REMINDING ALL OF US THAT:

He is the Giver of good gifts.
He is the giver only of good gifts.
He is the giver who constantly gives.
He is the giver who will never change

REMEMBER! God’s gifts are always better than what Satan and his fallen angels bargains to give you. REMEMBER! Satan never gives any gift for free……because you will end up paying for them dearly somewhere down the road.

Prime Example of this!

The book of Joshua where we see the outcome of a man named Achan. God is angry because “Israel has sinned; they have transgressed my covenant that I commanded them; they have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen and lied and put them among their own belongings.” Joshua 7:10-11. The whole nation was associated and shared in the sin of Achan…..and in (v17 of Joshua 7) God tells Joshua to deal with the sin problem…..“Then Joshua said to Achan, "My son, give glory to the LORD God of Israel and give praise to him. And tell me now what you have done; do not hide it from me." And Achan answered Joshua, "Truly I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and this is what I did: when I saw among the spoil a beautiful cloak from Shinar, and 200 shekels of silver, and a bar of gold weighing 50 shekels, then I coveted them and took them. And see, they are hidden in the earth inside my tent, with the silver underneath." Joshua 7:19-21. “And Joshua said, "Why did you bring trouble on us? The LORD brings trouble on you today." And all Israel stoned him with stones. They burned them with fire and stoned them with stones. And they raised over him a great heap of stones that remains to this day. Then the LORD turned from his burning anger. Therefore, to this day the name of that place is called the Valley of Achor.” [Which means: The Valley of Trouble] Joshua 7:25-26. What am I trying to say? It’s our sin that causes us the most pain! Not God. Israel was taught that victory is possible only where there are careful obedience to His Covenant and sincere dedication to the promises of God. We cannot cope with our adversaries [sin temptation], unless we live in unclouded fellowship with God and trust Him to see us through (whatever it is). The tragic outcome when our eyes are clouded is that it causes us to take our eyes of the prize [Jesus Christ] the one who gives us everything we need…..not what we want. The giver of good not only does this because He can He does it so the world can see an example of His love and for you see Him through the suffering.

Look at what it says in (v18) “..... He brought (He begat, to bring forth) us forth by the word of truth" 
His scripture (love letter)
His word of truth (unchangeable truth)
The Gospel which is the word of truth, and truth itself.
It contains nothing but truth
By this our souls are begotten and born again (firstfruits)
He has given us His word (His promise) to see us through each and every trial which is the gift from above.

REMEMBER WHAT JAMES SAID “let the testing of your patience have its perfect work!” (v4) We are to be a "firstfruits" of creation. In the Old Testament this referred to the first and best harvest crops, which God expected as an offering

Deut 26:1-2 clearly says "When you come into the land that the LORD your God is giving you for an inheritance and have taken possession of it and live in it,  you shall take some of the first of all the fruit of the ground, which you harvest from your land that the LORD your God is giving you, and you shall put it in a basket, and you shall go to the place that the LORD your God will choose, to make his name to dwell there. Giving God that initial crop was an act of faith and obedience that He would fulfill His promise of a full harvest. This goes for the same today. We are the evidence of God's new creation that is to come. Paul said this in Rom 8:18-19 “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.” The world will see Christ by your decisions…behaviour….and your joy as you face trials and tribulations through His amazing grace. The world will see who reflect God’s character and the coming hope of eternal things. Because! Nothing on the earth can separate that love…..that bond we have with the Giver of good gifts found in the GOSPEL. When you feel that challenge and feel like succumbing to temptation and doubt our sovereign God! Take a moment and remember the fleas of Ravensbruck; and thank God anyway. Thank Him because He is looking out for you’re to grow and bear fruit of His righteousness and amazing care. Why? He is your Father of light and sovereign over the universe.
  
As A W Pink said “Divine sovereignty is not the sovereignty of a oppressive Tyrant, but the exercised pleasure of One who is infinitely wise and good! Because God is infinitely wise He cannot err, and because He is infinitely righteous He will not do wrong.”
  
His providential love is being made perfect through your weaknesses and tribulation. So, keep looking upwards and never take your eyes of the Light of grace found in Jesus Christ.