Perfect Gift

James 1:13-18

13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created.

To err is human

Someone said that, “To err, misbehave, sin or go astray is human; but, to blame is more human!” Truly, blame game is subsequent product of human sinful nature.

Trivia: Who committed the first sin, Adam or Eve? Was it Adam or Eve? Well, Eve was first mankind to eat the forbidden fruit. Do you accept that Adam committed the very first sin of humanity and not Eve? What sin had Adam committed originally?

In the beginning, the Lord had instructed the first mankind (Adam) not to eat the forbidden fruit. Adam was observing when Eve ate the forbidden fruit; yet Adam was silent. He did nothing to stop Eve from eating the forbidden fruit; and, when Eve gave him some forbidden fruit, Adam ate them also. So, who sinned first?

It says in Romans 5:12-14, 12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—13 To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. 14Death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come.

It’s true! Eve was the one who was deceived by the ancient serpent. But, how did sin enter the world through Adam? How come? Eve was the first who ate the forbidden fruit, but Adam was the first to commit sin even before Eve ate the forbidden fruit.

If we know the good we should do and not do it, we sin. It says in James 4:17, 17If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.

It is called sin of omission. So, the first sin of Adam was sin of omission. Adam was given the command not to eat the forbidden fruit. He saw it before Eve disobeyed God’s command not to eat the forbidden fruit; but, Adam did nothing or said nothing to warn her. Being the husband, Adam was accountable doing nothing when Eve sinned.

In this generation of “minding your own business,” this sin of omission is often thoughtlessly committed. We hesitate to warn others about eternal punishment. Of course, we don’t just randomly warn others or talk about their eternal punishment.

Truly, when we sense that a person is easily offended or aggressive, we have to be cautious. How can we discern antagonistic, hostile or unfriendly attitude? Pray to be empowered by the Holy Spirit. Our manner and attitude of witnessing for Christ is also practical proof of the wonderful transformations that the Lord did in our life.

Furthermore, when surrounded by hostile personalities, temptation to respond aggressively is also there. Pray that the Holy Spirit produces kindness and self-control in us. Hostility entices evil desire to be aggressive, then conceives and gives birth to sin.

1.  Conceive

13When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

By, faith we believe that God is good; so, when we are hostile, we ignored him. God is perfect; so, when we are enticed to retaliate, it exposes that submission to God is partial. The judgment of God is righteous; so, when we are biased or prejudiced, we just disregard the presence of the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in us. God is perfect in his ways and activities; but, we avoid godly help when sinful instinct dictates mediocrity or inferior efforts in us. God never entertains impure ideas; he rejects evil desires.

Conversely, our instinct, tendency, thought and effort prefer otherwise.

Can you accept that God does not cause anyone to fall into sinfulness? He cannot be cheated by evil. God is worthy and excellent to trust him for our eternal and physical lifestyle. Well, can you believe that God also care for our lifestyle in this present world?

But, why would God allows struggles in this life? Life on earth is temporary; and, series of good and bad events, situations and circumstances are temporary. Unpleasant experiences are a glimpse of eternal punishment. Pleasant experiences are sample of heavenly life. And, God had designed eternal glorious adventure in heaven for believers.

God allows problems to test us, and for us to know if, we really have faith in him; and if we have active faith in Jesus Christ, we persevere amidst struggle. Perseverance produces spiritual maturity. Moreover, God allows challenges proportionate to the amount of faith in him. And, when you sense that your concern of life is too heavy to bear, remember Romans 10:17, 17Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.

The message is the gospel of Christ and faith in him is manifested in the practice of obedience to his instructions for godly lifestyle. God give commands according to the level of our faith; but, we ignore him, why? We cannot see the whole picture of his plan until we obey. Disobedience exposes a need for increase of faith, confidence in his plan.

Burnt Offering

We can identify with King Saul; his disobedience revealed his lack of faith in God.

When a multitude of Philistines was preparing to attack Israel, Prophet Samuel told King Saul to wait for him. But, King Saul was scared and his soldiers scattered; so he offered a burnt offering. It says in 1 Samuel 13:10-14, 10 Just as he finished making the offering, Samuel arrived, and Saul went out to greet him. 11 “What have you done?” asked Samuel. Saul replied, “When I saw that the men were scattering, and that you did not come at the set time, and that the Philistines were assembling at Mikmash,

 12I thought, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the Lord’s favor.’ So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering.”

13 “You have done a foolish thing,” Samuel said. “You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. 14 But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.”

Well, when we disregard a very simple godly instruction, do you accept that we also deprive ourselves and our family a great opportunity that God had prepared ahead?

See? For seemingly very simple disobedience of King Saul, his dynasty over Israel was lost. Saul did not expect that God was very serious in his simple instruction to wait.

Wait! Samuel said that it was foolish for Saul to offer burnt offering. Why? Saul was instructed to wait for Samuel; but, Saul cannot wait any longer for the arrival of Samuel because he was frightened. He was scared because the Philistines prepared to attack.

There are times when we are scared to testify or witness for Christ as if we are going to battle. Truly, witnessing for Christ is spiritual battle. We are instructed to wait for godly signal. And what is godly signal before witnessing? Empowerment of the Holy Spirit. When we are empowered, witnessing for Jesus Christ is spontaneous and joyful.

So, when you sense the urgency to witness for Christ, pray earnestly to be filled and empowered by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of wisdom and revelation will enable you to know what to say, when, where and how you witness for him.

Spontaneous and joyful witnessing practically reveals empowerment of the Holy Spirit; in contrast, frustration and disappointment expose human initiatives and efforts.

Empowerment of the Holy Spirit before witnessing has not been changed ever.

2.  Change

16Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 

God is good; and, everything he does is good. God is perfect; and, everything he gives as free gift is perfectly good. Eternal life is free, perfect and good gift of God; and, God does not take it back after he has given the Holy Spirit as assurance of eternal life. Once we receive the gift of eternal life, we still commit sin from time to time; it is a learning process of spiritual growth until we can persevere and grow mature spiritually.

So don’t be deceived; when in doubt, it means that you still need to grow in faith.

Remember what it says in Philippians 1:6, 6Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

God never abandons us during spiritual battles. Pray that Christ comes sooner.

As we wait for the return of our Lord Jesus, we still have time to grow mature in our spiritual life. Our goal of spiritual maturity is to reach humility and obedience like our Lord Jesus Christ; he perfectly obeyed God the Father even unto his death on the cross; he experienced problems common to mankind; he was tempted, humiliated, tortured and killed; and, God exalted him to the highest place of glory and honor.

The Lord Jesus Christ exemplified the kind of obedience that God would accept. And if we consider ourselves as his disciples, we undergo similar discipline that he had.

Apostle Paul advised 2 Timothy 2:3-6, 3Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. 5Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules. 6The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops.  


There’s legend about a servant who rise to prominence because of his kindness. The king heard of his kindness and assigned him to lead his soldiers and attacked their enemies with the promise that the servant will be promoted to high position in the military if he was victorious. Without any experience of war, he obliged; but, he became arrogant and did not want to listen to the advice of battle-tested soldiers.

And when the war started, he did not have any idea what to do when their enemy surrounded them. So, he surrendered to their enemies.

Believers, we are servants of the King of kings; and, we need to seek guidance of our commander, Jesus Christ the Lord of lords, to win spiritual battles. We’re instructed to wait and be empowered by his Holy Spirit to be assured of reward he prepared for obedience. God graciously rewards obedience to his instructions.

Hardworking farmers wait expectantly to their harvest, the fruit of their labor.

Likewise, we obey our Lord Jesus Christ and expect to share in his glory.

But of course, make sure that you have received the free gift of eternal life. If the Holy Spirit of Christ assured your spiritual birth, you are transformed into new creation; your old lifestyle is gone, a new lifestyle is created in your inner being.

3.  Create

18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created. 

At the moment when by faith, we personally believed and accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are born spiritually; he is the word of God, the word of truth.

And, God had considered us to be the first fruits of all that he had created.

God created all things; but, believers are chosen as precious possession of God.

It says in 1 Peter 2:9-10, 9But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Among the Israelites, the Lord had chosen priests to serve him in the temple; and, the Lord allocated the best part of burnt offerings of the Israelites to the priests.

So, what does that biblical reality mean to us believers?

The Lord had chosen believers as royal priesthood to reign with him; and he has already set aside rewards appropriate to our obedience to him. Rewards for obedience to the Lord include eternal reward to be awarded in heaven and also practical things that we can cherish in this temporary world. Can you believe that? There are rewards prepared for eternal enjoyment and rewards intended for temporal life on earth! Really?


Did you know that the Lord appreciates and rewards righteous lifestyle? God is watching everyone to identify believers who follow godly and righteous lifestyle. Really? The Lord stated in Job 1:8, 8Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.

Job chose a righteous lifestyle but his children lived carelessly. The Lord allowed Satan to torment and torture Job. All material wealth of Job was destroyed, his children were killed, he had skin disease, his wife mocked him and told him to curse God and die as if physical and emotional troubles were not enough. Then, his friends came. Instead of sympathy, they pestered Job with their insensitive assumption about his lifestyle.

The faith of Job in God was tested to be genuine; he persevered. And, the Lord rewarded Job more than what he had lost previously. It says in Job 42:10-12, 10After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before. 11All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the Lord had brought on him, and each one gave him a piece of silver and a gold ring. 12The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part. 

Not everyone will be glad with your success; other wish for your failure. Anyhow, anyway, reward, compensation, recognition and appreciation are essential elements to motivation and aspiration for better performances. Why should employees work hard? They expect raise of salary or promotion. Why should student study hard? They expect higher grades or scholarship grants. And, God desires a lifestyle of godly righteousness from us. God is perfectly good far better than all goodness of mankind combined.

After testing of faith has reach a level of perseverance that God had designed for each of us, he will surely reward us also even with practical things that we can cherish and appreciate in this temporary world, as he determines.

Could it be raise of salary, promotion or fulfillment of dream? I don’t know; but, the Lord knows what reward is appropriate for everyone who faithfully obeys him.

Are you tired of struggles and challenges that you have been going through?

Are you disturbed of the uncertain effect of pandemic to our society?

Are you scared by international disturbances that had been dominating the media?

It says in 2 Chronicles 16:9, 9For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.

The Lord knows that even the most faithful Christian can be shaken and disturbed by unprecedented or unexpected situation.

So, when you sense some kind of struggle that may bother you emotionally or mentally because of unavoidable situations, God is waiting for you to seek his help.

God is always ready to help anyone who comes to him for help.

Our loving and gracious God has prepared a perfect gift that commensurate to your confidence in his merciful and loving grace.

><((‘> .. ><((‘> … ><(((“> tmec\2022  <“)))>< … <‘))>< .. <‘))><



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