March 25, 2021

Every Good and Perfect Gift... The Book of James Bible Series


Welcome back, friends!

We are continuing our study, digging into the Book of James, verse by verse! As always, if you are 'new' here, and you'd like to read our earlier posts in this series, you can catch up by reading them HERE! (--scroll through to the bottom of that post to find the List of Linked Posts in this Series!)

We are focusing on James 1:16-18 today and this is a very familiar portion of Scripture! So, just like last time, I invite you to say a quick prayer and ask God to highlight exactly what good and perfect gift He has to give you in today's reading! (Ya see what I did there?)

Our verses today are JAMES 1:16-18! 

We're starting off using The Passion Translation Bible:

"So my friends, don’t be fooled by your own desires! Every gift God freely gives us is good and perfect, streaming down from the Father of lights, who shines from the heavens with no hidden shadow or darkness and is never subject to change. God was delighted to give us birth by the truth of his infallible Word so that we would fulfill his chosen destiny for us and become the favorite ones out of all his creation!" (The Passion Translation)

Our portion of Scripture starts off with "So..." so... we should recap what was said just before this, right?  In short, in the verses before this, James told us to NOT lay blame on God whenever we are tempted or fall into sin! He explained what happens when we give in to temptation and how it turns into sin which over time leads to death! Then he goes on, "So, my friends, don't be fooled by your own desires!"

Like I said last time, It's us, guys! 
It's US, not Him! 

What IS Him... what we can accredit to Him are all the good and perfect gifts!  The actual translation of the word 'gift' can mean Legacy (--and Oh, what a legacy we have been grafted into!) and the word 'perfect' is an Aramaic word that means, “complete, wholesome, abundant, sufficient, enough, and perfect.”  

So anything --any gift-- that can fall into those categories... those come from Him!

Jesus calls us the Light of the World... but that is because we are now Children of the Father of Lights! The suggestion in verse 17 of no shadow of turning is that there is nothing wrong with God... no shadows in Him where He is hiding anything... no darkness or evil lurking within.

I love the contrast --the comparison from our last post where James shared how Evil gives birth to Sin that leads to death, and then here in these verses, he talks about how God was delighted to give us birth to bring him glory! 

God created us to have Life and Life Abundantly! 

I love how this translation says that we are His favorite ones! That reminds me of The Shack! But even before The Shack (book or movie), God had whispered that exact thing to my heart... I am His favorite! I am... and so are you! 

I remember hearing Lisa Bevere speak about how God corrected her when she was saying that God loves us all the same. He said, no! I love you all UNIQUELY! Not the same... but not more or less... but individually, personally, intimately.  We are ALL His Favorite ones! And He delights in us! 

Can you even imagine?


Next, let's look at the ever trusted NASB:

"Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers and sisters. Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. In the exercise of His will He gave us birth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures." (New American Standard Bible)

I appreciate the New American Standard Bible because I believe it is one of the most accurate translations and as much as I love the poetry and romance of other versions, I love the no-nonsense clarity of this one! Let's not overlook that first few words here... Do not be deceived... or misled... do not fall for the lies or half-truths that convince you to blame God.


Next, let's look at The Voice:

"My dearly loved brothers and sisters, don’t be misled. Every good gift bestowed, every perfect gift received comes to us from above, courtesy of the Father of lights. He is consistent. He won’t change His mind or play tricks in the shadows. We have a special role in His plan. He calls us to life by His message of truth so that we will show the rest of His creatures His goodness and love." (The Voice)

How much do we love the fact that our God is consistent? There is no dramatic change of heart or changing His opinion of you... He doesn't play mind games or manipulate and He won't play tricks or try to fool you. I mean...??? Come on!  We need to remember this! He is not a cruel taskmaster... He is a loving Father.  We really DO have a 'special role in His plan.' We are called to be a city on a Hill, light in the darkness... we are called to show the rest of the World His goodness and love!

Lord, help us to remember to Shine! 

Help us to show Your Goodness and Love

  to a world lost and dying in the dark!


Lastly, we will read Eugene Petersons' take in The Message Bible:

"So, my very dear friends, don’t get thrown off course. Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle. He brought us to life using the true Word, showing us off as the crown of all his creatures." (The Message)

I love how James calls his readers his 'very dear friends'... As I mentioned before, there are some hard truths coming soon and James isn't one to sugar coat things so it is important for them (and us!) to remember that he is for them and not against them! He truly wants them (and us!) to get it... to grab hold of Truth and Jesus and to not let go... not turn back... not be swayed! 

I love the visual of gifts like rivers of light cascading down as if we are standing under a waterfall and getting drenched in blessings! And again, I love the reassurance that our God is not deceitful or two-faced... and that He shows us off as the crown of all his creatures! 

We are called to Shine... to represent --to RE-present-- Him! We were created for Him and by Him and all those Good and Perfect Gifts? The only thing we have to do is receive them, friends! Like those cascading waters, simply position yourself to stand under the flow! 


Let's close in prayer:

Father God, 

We like to start out our prayer time here simply giving You thanks!  You are so good to us! So loving and patient and kind.  Thank You for the Word that reminds us of this Truth and for the Word that helps guide us to live the Life you paid for us to live!  Holy Spirit, we ask for help... Help us to not be fooled by our own desires... to not be lured off course or into darkness or rebellion by lies or temptation or twisting the truth so it is more convenient! Help us instead to choose to walk in the way You lead us... walk on the path that leads us closer to Jesus.  Enable and empower us to see Light and to be Light. 

Thank You, Father, for every good and perfect gift that You pour out from heaven to drench us in blessings, favor, wisdom, grace, love, and power. We ask Holy Spirit for your guidance in positioning us to stand under that flow of cascading rivers of Light!

Lord, we are mindful of Your steadfast love... of your consistency and stability and the fact that You don't change... You are the Same Yesterday, Today, and Forever.  There is no shadow of turning, no darkness or hidden things in You! You are transparent Light and only Goodness is in You!  You alone are both Living and Unchanging! Every other Living Thing requires growth and change and yet You ARE alive and yet remain the same through the ages! Thank You that even if/when everything around us or even within us feels like shifting sand and like nothing is certain --YOU ALWAYS ARE! You are always for us and with us and in us and You are our solid foundation, unchangeable, loving, and True. You are delighted in us and You have a chosen destiny for each of us! Help us to walk in the Light and to live the Life You paid for... Help us to live like we are well aware that we are Your Favorite Ones! (Not better than anyone else... but fully and uniquely and intimately known and loved!)  Let that Love be contagious and remind us to Shine On and Speak Life and to Be Love wherever we go!

In Jesus' Name! Amen!


How are you enjoying this study so far?  

Do you do this in your own quiet time --this digging in and reading the same thing in different translations? I find it really helps me to digest the full meaning of the Scripture verse(s) and wanted to give a little shout-out to Bible Gateway!  If you are not familiar with this website --well, I highly encourage you to pick a verse of your own and head on over and read it in several translations... it makes deeper study so easy, without the old school pile of books and commentaries stacked up around you!

Again, we'll be back in about two weeks to dig into the next few verses together!

Until then, let's remember to:

Lastly, we will be linking each post in this series over on the Series Landing Page. This way if you are coming in late to the game, or simply missed a post for some reason, you can still play catch up by clicking HERE
You can also fill in the Subscribe Here bar at the top and you will be subscribed to a weekly email that will send each post to you there, as well as a monthly newsletter that comes out around the first of each month!

What stands out to you so far? What is your favorite part or your favorite Translation? What are your thoughts on the verses we covered today? Comment here or head over to our Facebook Page and Comment or Message me there! I'd really love to know!


  1. God is such an amazingly good Father! God has been breaking down my desire to people please, and reminding me of His all encompassing love. I also love using Bible Gateway to see all the different translations of a verse I am studying. I hope you have a lovely weekend!

    1. BibleGateway is such a blessing! (As are you, my friend!)
      Happy Easter!


Thanks so much for stopping by! I always love to hear your thoughts! Remember to: Speak Life - Be Love - Shine On!

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