Summary: God is the great giver & He is the giver of every good thing. He meets our legitimate needs & desires with good & perfect gifts. As a matter of fact, every good gift we have ever received came from Him.
THE SOURCE OF EVERY GOOD THING
People have needs and desires but instead of being mislead into thinking they can be met by the lure and trap of temptations we need to realize that there is another source that we can receive from, if we would but seek Him. God is the great giver and He is the giver of every good thing. He meets our legitimate needs and desires with good and perfect gifts. As a matter of fact, every good gift we have ever received came from Him.
We are warning not to be deceived into thinking that good blessings come from any other source but God. Good and perfect gifts do not come from the world, from people or even from ourselves, they come from God. All human good comes from the perfect Father of the Universe.
I. DEADLY DECEPTION, 16.
II. THE SOURCE OF ALL GOOD, 17.
III. THE GREAT GIFT, 18.
I. DEADLY DECEPTION (16)
Verse 16 calls us to become aware of and stop our self-deception. My beloved brothers, you must stop being deceived.
The warning references what immediately precedes and what
immediately follows. First with reference to temptation the deception is understood as a warning against not recognizing our sin and trying to excuse ourselves from responsibility for sin. We blame others, satan and even God for our sin, but the real culprit is not from any external source. Sin has its roots within ourselves, and we bear full responsibility for our deeds and must stop deceiving ourselves into thinking others or other things are responsible. "Persons and objects act on the corrupt heart, stir up its propensities, fan the flame of passion, present all kinds of opportunities for and enticements to sinful indulgence. But they put nothing into us, they only bring out what was in us all along" (John Adam; Exposition of James 73).
You must stop being deceived, also points forward to verses 17 &18. In this context they are understood to be a warning against prideful belief that good comes from us instead of God.
So often we are TEMPTED INTO THINKING we are important and then try to deceive our self and others into thinking we are. A newly promoted army colonel had moved into a makeshift office during the Gulf War. He was just starting to get unpacked when out of the corner of his eye, he noticed a corporal coming his way with a toolbox.
Wanting to seem important, he grabbed the phone and said; "Yes, General Schwarzkopt, I think that is an excellent plan." He continued, "You’ve got my support on it. Thanks for checking with me. Let’s touch base again soon, Norm. Goodbye."
Turning to the waiting corporal he asked; "Now what can I do for you?"
"Ahhh, I’m just here to hook up your phone sir," came the rather sheepish reply.
We must stop deceiving ourselves into thinking that we can find what we want through temptation. God is the only one that can give us what our inner being truly needs. What He gives will not deceive us if we will just stop deceiving ourselves. God is the only source of good and He is the source of all that is good. Be not mistaken: God, not temptation, supplies all that is good.
Having asked that we stop deceiving or leading ourselves astray by thinking good things come from temptation’s enticements, James turns us to whom and where good things come from in verse17.
II. THE SOURCE OF ALL GOOD, (17).
Having learned that God is not responsible for our sin in verse 17 we see that God is the source of all that is good. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the Lights from whom there is no change or shade of variation.
Satan will try to get us to doubt either God’s goodness or the fact that all good things come from Him. Stop being deceived. God is the source of all good things. The thought in the first part of verse 17 is all kinds and all degrees of good are from God. Everything good in this world comes from God. If it does not come from God, it is not good. If it comes from God it must be good, even if it does not seem good, like Paul’s thorn in the flesh that buffed him. He came to realize that God was perfecting his strength in weakness (2 Cor. 12:1-10). If it is from God it ends up being a tremendous blessing. Now we may receive good things from other sources but God is the original giver, the original source of every good and perfect gift.
Every good thing and every perfect gift is from above and keeps coming down. Coming down is a present participle, which indicates that these gifts flow upon us in a continuing stream. God is constantly giving to us whether it be in the air we breath or the transmission of sight or other loving acts of His goodness. God gives us constantly the good blessings of life yet far too often He receives no thanks.