DAY 23

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Day 23: Every Gift

James 1:17-18
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.”

Devotional
Sometimes it would be helpful if the Bible had important words in ALL CAPS for emphasis, right? When reading, the intended meaning can often be achieved more easily if the right words are emphasized and heard in the spirit they were intended. For instance, this scripture could read EVERY good and perfect gift is from above… and immediately you hear that all important first word differently and with the weight it deserves.

Every single solitary good thing and person in our lives is from God. It’s all a gift. It’s all perfect. This doesn’t just apply to the monumental blessings of our lives, but the small and seemingly inconsequential ones as well. We don’t usually struggle to recognize God’s goodness and blessing in the things hard fought for in prayer. When we’ve longed for and desired something or someone and God chooses to give it/them to us, we surely recognize his hand and are grateful.  

But what about the things we didn’t hope for, pray for, or look for, and instead, God just lavished them on us out of his great love? There’s so much we’re prone to take for granted like clean water, the sunrise, and the availability of food whenever we’re hungry. Or perhaps we’ve stopped viewing the people in our lives as good and perfect gifts because of our familiarity with them? At some point, our familiarity with people makes it easier to view them through the lens of their weakness rather than the beauty of them as a gift from God to us.

James reminds us that even though we shift and change and grow lazy in how we view the people and things around us, God never does. He does not change and we never need to worry that he’ll view us as anything other than his beloved. After all, he chose to give us birth through the word of truth and because of that, we have received every good and perfect gift from him. May our eyes be opened to see our blessings, big and small, with fresh eyes of gratitude today.

Prayer
Father, your word says you freely give us all things and you delight in giving good gifts to your children. Give us a renewed spirit of gratitude for both the big and seemingly small blessings of our lives and help us remember you as the Source of every good and perfect gift.