31 July 2012

THE GIVER OF GOOD IN ALL SITUATIONS



James 1:17-18

GOD IS ALWAYS GOOD AND THERE IS NO CHANGING HOW GOOD HE IS! despite what you see and hear on the news. Despite current events and the present struggle you are in ......GOD IS STILL GOOD. CAN YOU SAY THAT ABOUT YOUR LIFE TODAY? Maybe this will help you answer that question. LISTEN TO HOW GOOD GOD IS……..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 fleas.

We  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. The same rule of thumb applies to each and every one of today! WHY ARE WE NEVER TO BLAME GOD WHEN THINGS GO WRONG OR BAD IN OUR LIVES? Well! According to James, it’s our desires that lead us to take our eyes of the vertical relationship that we with Christ; our desires are led by deception……and when we are hooked by the deception it gives birth to disobedience which brings about death according to James as we talked about last week. 

James continues with the same train of thought by saying“do not be deceived” which gives the idea that no one is immune to the deceitfulness of sin. I always remind myself what Jeremiah wrote “the heart is desperately wicked……” What James is telling us is, that we're not to be deceived when it comes to the character of God. He is always good in every situation and circumstance of life.  We see this in (v17a) God's perfection and completeness is displayed  in His character.

"Every good gift...."   (means) 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). IT ALSO SAYS IN……….Ps 136:1-9 “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;…” We always need to remember that God is not some light……He is light itself, the Creator and all sustaining One…….nothing but good comes from God because Can’t do what is wrong or do what is evil. 

SO 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! And going back to last week GOD, HAS ABSOLUTELY NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR SIN! WHY? There is No Darkness or variation of shadow of turning in our sovereign Lord (v17b)
  • He is Changeless
  • He is Pure Light
  • He is Perfect
  • He is Sinless
  • He is Righteous
  • He is Just
  • He is Good
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. Because all sin is done in darkness and by us….NOT HIM! THE SCRIPTURES DECLARE WITHOUT A SHADE OF DOUBT......that GOD IS COMPLETELY PERFECT AND GOOD IN EVERYTHING HE IS AND DOES.

NOTHING CAN COMPARE TO HIS 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?”

IT’S 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!”

IT’S 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….”

IT’S PROVEN IN HIS WORD

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."

IT 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. 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 suffering. JAMES SAYS:
  • He is the Giver of good gifts.
  • He is the giver only 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 Satan’s bargains. 

Satan never gives any gift for free……because you will end up paying for them dearly somewhere down the road. Prime Example! 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 7:11 And in (v17) He 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

What was the outcome of his desire? Death! As we talked about last week.....sin always leads to death, nothing good comes form sin other than heartache and pain. Again "God’s gifts are always better than Satan’s bargains." “…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 7:26. It’s our sin that causes us the most pain! Not God. Israel was taught that victory is possible only where there are exact obedience and sincere dedication to God. We cannot cope with our adversaries [sin temptation], unless we live in unclouded fellowship with God. The tragic outcome is when our eyes are clouded we tend 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
  • His word of truth
  • The Gospel which is the word of truth, and truth itself
  • It contains nothing but truth
  • By this souls are begotten and born again
  • 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 "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. 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…your behaviour….and your joy as you face trials and tribulations. 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 YOU BEGIN TO QUESTION GOD WHY? Take a moment and remember the fleas of Ravensbruck; and thank God anyway. 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. Keep looking upwards and never take your eyes of the Light of grace found in Jesus Christ........... The Give of good.

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