Friday, April 14, 2023

Devotionals for the Heart: God wants to give you a good and perfect gift

God’s Good and Perfect Gift
A devotional by Karen Marstaller

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”—James 1:17 (ESV)

On the Friday before Easter, we remember the gift of salvation which God gave to us long ago.

His good and perfect gift was His Son—on a cross. His reason to give this lavish gift was simple: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 ESV).

God’s gift wasn’t wrapped in pretty paper with a frilly bow on top. Instead, His present was covered in innocent blood with “Paid in Full” pounded into the palms of His hands with heavy iron spikes.

Yet, God says His gifts are good and perfect. He says they come straight from our Heavenly Father. He says that every one of His gifts have their source in the light of God’s presence. And if we look closely, we will see His perfect radiance in the gift of His Son, His perfect sacrifice for our sins.

One of our granddaughters wanted a watch for her birthday, so we ordered it for her. Delivery was delayed and she didn’t receive it when she expected it. She waited for many weeks, and when it finally arrived, she opened the box with a lot of pent-up excitement and anticipation. After charging and synching it to her phone, she eagerly showed us all the new capabilities she has with her new watch.

In a similar way, the promised Messiah came to us kind of like our granddaughter’s watch did. God pre-ordered the mission of Jesus numerous times in the Old Testament, but it was a long time for God’s people to wait. Then the New Testament begins with the illumination of a great star at Messiah’s birth (Matthew 2:2). After that momentous occasion, the gospel writers record the truth of the mission of Jesus—to bring salvation to people of all nations. How excited they must have been as the followers of Jesus went everywhere with Him to share the good news of God’s perfect gift.

But then Jesus was crucified.

Shock. Horror. Fear. Despair. It must have seemed impossible to accept that their Rabbi, their Master, was dead. They had believed He was from God and they had followed Him for three years. And now He was gone, and they feared for their lives.

But God wasn’t finished with His perfect gift. From the utter darkness that covered the earth at the death of Jesus on that Friday afternoon, to the early morning Light of God’s resurrection of His Son, the followers of Jesus were terrified and confused. But when Jesus rose again on that glorious Sunday morning, God’s good and perfect gift was revealed. Jesus Christ, God’s promised Messiah, conquered death, rose from the dead, and He is Alive!

Gone were the clouds of sorrow and hopelessness. The followers of Jesus discovered how to walk in the strength of their risen Lord. Fearlessly, they shared the glorious news of God’s gift. Their faith became rock-solid because now they knew Jesus was the Promised One, the precious gift from the “Father of lights.” They were able to boldly declare that the Lord God Almighty, the Giver of all good gifts, proclaims salvation for all who believe in His Son, and He is faithful to His promises.

So, we celebrate a despised and horrific cross because it leads us to an empty tomb. Our resurrected Lord Jesus Christ is our perfect gift for every day of our lives, both on earth today, and then in Heaven for all eternity. Hallelujah! Thank You, Lord!

Let’s Pray: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your good and perfect gift of Your Son, Jesus. Thank You for the Life and Light He brings to our lives, for His payment for our sins on His cross, and for Your promise of everlasting life to believers in Him. It’s all because of Your incredible gift of Your perfect Son, Jesus Christ. It’s in His name that we pray. Amen.

Song of Reflection: “Forever” by Kari Jobe. Listen it here.

Author Bio:

Karen Marstaller is a retired high school teacher who spent most of her career challenging creative students to write. Her heart is for her readers. 

She writes to encourage them, to make them laugh, to show them that life is a beautiful journey, and regardless of their past, to show them that there is joy ahead if they will just keep looking.

Karen and her husband live in central Texas in a sweet little home that they completely remodeled. They enjoy spending time with their family, which includes seven precious grandchildren.

Most of all, Karen writes in obedience to the command to love your neighbor, to offer a cup of water to those who are dying of thirst, and to comfort others with the comfort she has received.

You can reach Karen by emailing her at this address:

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