Giver of Good   

James 1: 17

Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow.

Every good gift comes from our Father who is in heaven.  Where do you suppose every bad gift comes from?  Not the Father of lights, for there is no darkness in Him, no hint even of a shadow.  Honestly this sounds like a very simple principle.  Well, I suppose it is, but people get confused about it all of the time.  John 10: 10 tells us that the devil comes only to steal, kill and destroy and this verse tells us that good gifts come from our Father.  Why is it, then, that so many people think that God sent them cancer or some other portion of the curse.  He is the Father of light, the author of the blessing.  The devil is the one trying to kill you.

In 2 Corinthians 12: 7 Paul tells us about his “thorn in the flesh.”  Now some folks will tell you that God gave Paul that thorn in the flesh.  I don’t know how they get there intellectually since the verse says plainly that it was a messenger of Satan.  Do we think that God sent a messenger of Satan to Paul?  Well, of course not.  That is silly.  So why do we think God sends us thorns in our flesh?  Well, the answer is that we have been deceived.  The devil is a liar and the Father of lies according to Jesus (John 8: 44).  We don’t have to believe his lies though.  And we must be diligent to know the Word of God so that the devil cannot deceive us any longer.

Long and Full

Exodus 23: 26     NLT

I will give you long, full lives.

I want to go back to Exodus today to tie this point in with the blessing and our choices. Let’s think, again, about what is going on here.

God has liberated the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. The people had a slave mentality, so the Father is having to teach them how to live with His presence and how to flourish. He is having to completely rebuild His nation, and this, really is, from the ground up. He has just taught them about the blessing of Abraham which is theirs by birth. He also warned them about the curse. Then He concluded by telling them that He has given them the choice between life and death but that, ultimately, it is their right to choose. This is of critical importance!

God very clearly articulates His will here. He wants to give us long, full lives. Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full,” (John 10: 10 NIV). In this we see the continuity between the Father and the Son. God sent Jesus to earth so that we might have abundant, full lives. Now, why is this so important? For health to continue to bloom in our lives we must begin with the understanding that God wants us to have long full lives. We must settle in our hearts that God isn’t trying to kill us. Remember the story of Job and how He struggled. Once He came to understand the truth, he was able to receive full restoration. As long as He thought God was tormenting Him, He was defeated. The same will be true for us. One cannot pray in faith for healing if he has the misconception that God created his sickness. You cannot believe in your heart that God has made you sick and that he is going to heal you. The two beliefs are inconsistent and will destroy your faith.

Go one step further, if we believe that God has caused us to be sick, then that is to say we believe God’s will is for us to be ill. Why, then, would we pray for healing? That would be to pray against God’s will. This is why it is so important that we begin by accepting God’s desire for us to live long and fruitful lives.

Understanding God’s will also impacts how we think about life and death. Many people think God holds the threads of our lives like the fates, toying with us like stringed puppets. That just is not Biblical as you will continue to see as we move forward. Yesterday’s Word of the Day was the beginning of that revelation. God said, “I have set before you life and death, . . . choose life in order that you many live,” (Deuteronomy 30: 19). God gave us the choice. His will is that we live long, abundant lives. So, this means that we have to get out of our minds and hearts two things; First, that God is pulling our life springs and two that He is responsible for taking our lives from us. We are so accustomed to saying, “Well, if it’s God’s timing . . .” but now we know it is not God’s timing. Say this aloud, “God isn’t killing me!” We’ve got to get that down in our hearts. He isn’t “taking people.” He is trying to save people. It’s what He does! We, however, don’t have to follow His leading. We make our own choices. That is point number one. Beyond that is the curse. In God’s perfect will there was no sickness to be had, but the earth fell into corruption and decay and now we must live with those consequences.

Here is the promise of God, “I will give you long, full lives.”  Meditate on that night and day until your spirit accepts it as truth. God isn’t taking life; He is the giver or life. Long, full and abundant life is His desire for you. Pray towards that reality.

Perfect Peace

John 16: 33           Amplified Bible

I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world, [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you].

You are not alone because Jesus is with you and because He is with you, you can have supreme confidence and assurance that the world has no power over you. Jesus has defeated the power of the world and taken away any and all power that it had over you. Jesus has overcome the power of the devil and His ability to harm you.

Jesus tells us that the world has trials, tribulation, etc. but that we are not to be discouraged by the problems of the world because he has already defeated them for us. We are not of the world (John 17: 14) so we don’t have to partake of the world’s trouble. We are of Jesus, so we partake in His perfect peace. He says, “Be of good cheer.” In other words, cheer up. “Don’t worry; be happy” like the song says.

Here is the long and short of it. The devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10: 10). He is going to try to spread strife, destruction, anguish and every other sort of torment. But the thing is, we do not have to participate in all that. Jesus defeated Satan and all his schemes for us. The people in the world just have to fight through all of that the best way they can. You do not. One truly great thing about being a Christian is that all that junk has already been conquered for us. I am not saying that Satan won’t try to get at you, but you don’t have to succumb to his shenanigans. You really don’t even have to fight him because he is already a defeated foe. You do, however, need to start understanding your victory in Jesus so that you don’t allow the devil to deceive you into thinking that you are fair game for him. You have been purchased by the blood of Jesus and have the victory over every scheme of the devil and all the suffering of this world. So, the next time the devil tries to attack you or the distress of this world starts to get to you, remind yourself that you are not of this world and its problems but rather that Jesus has purchased you out of the world and given you victory over all of its problems. Reach out with your heart to the comfort of Jesus.

Contemporary Historical View

Deuteronomy 5:33

You shall walk in all the way which the LORD your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you will possess.

Let’s go back and reread this verse. It is potent. Here is my takeaway, God’s commandments are meant to prolong our days and bless our way.

I was thinking about a different verse which says, He will lead us in the way we should go (Isaiah 48:17) when I had a nudge to go look through a document I have and Eureka! here was this verse. It was meant for us and is better than the one I was thinking of because it is more complex.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what we will say about ourselves during this coronavirus lockdown when we look back on it. What will be our historical view of now? Will we remember how stressed we were and maybe how negative our language became? Will the time be characterized by a shrinking of life or an expansion? I have talked and corresponded with quite a few people who have found ways to grow their lives during this time and that is the very soul of God who has promised that in all things, He will cause us to prosper. He said He would make all things, even bad things, work for our good because we love Him and are called to Him (Romans 8: 28).

Today’s verse is important, so important! It tells us that God’s will is that we may live and that it may be well with us. Isn’t that key language for our current situation? God doesn’t just mean that we shall survive, though. He means that we might have an abundant life and life in abundance (John 10: 10).

So, what is happening in your world right now? Are you expanding? Is your life expanding? Are you setting and accomplishing new goals? Are you finding blessing amidst this challenged time? God is speaking to you. What He tells you will lead you to possessing the land of promise. This is a great time in history to expand your outreach to God and to other people. Life has slowed down for many of us so that we have more time to spend with God and that is some great news because He has a word for you, a word that will lead you into greater life.

Right now, Yahweh God is speaking and showing all of us the way. If we walk in the way our Lord is commanding us, even in these stressful times we will find the fruit of life. This is exciting news. In the midst of battle, God is showing us a way to fullness of life.

When you look back at this time, what will be your judgment? Did your prayer life expand? Did you start an exercise routine? Maybe you read a lot, started a Bible study group or just cleaned your house and yard. As we begin to relax our stay at home restrictions, think about what you have gained that you don’t want to lose. Think about what you want your new normal to look like. I hope you have gained a new measure of life with God that you will guard jealously. It is also not too late to stake out some new ground for yourself. Make this a time you can remember with some good memories too.


Acts 2: 26

Therefore my heart was glad and my tongue exulted; moreover my flesh also will abide in hope.

It is a horrible thing to live without hope, and yet there are many people who are doing just that. But you don’t have to be without hope any longer. Jesus brought hope into the world. Now you can be free of dejection, depression and sorrow.

When Jesus went to the cross, died and rose again, he accomplished more than salvation for your eternal soul. He brought hope into a dying world. He became hope. He died that we might live. He told us in John 10: 10 that he came to give us abundant life. Jesus conquered hell and the grave that we might live in joy and victory, his victory, the victory that he won for us. When we couldn’t overcome, he overcame for us. When we were downtrodden, he arose, lifting us up with him.

You see there is no reason for you to be overcome with the anguish of this world any longer. Although we know that the world dishes out pain and suffering, Jesus said for us to take heart because he has overcome the world (John 16: 33). You do not have to despair any longer. Jesus has made a way for you to be comforted and enjoy the good fruit of his victory.

Outlandish Favor

Exodus 11: 3

And the Lord gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Furthermore, the man Moses himself was greatly esteemed in the land of Egypt, both in the sight of Pharaoh’s servants and in the sight of the people.

If you know the story about Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt, you know that neither Moses nor the Israelites had favor in the sight of the Egyptians in the natural. They were hated and despised. Pharaoh was more than fed up with Moses and Aaron. At one point Pharaoh told Moses that if he saw Moses’ face again, Moses would surely die.

None the less, when it came down to it, God was victorious. Not only did Pharaoh release the captives, but the Israelites carried out of Egypt much gold and silver. They left 400 years of slavery in immense wealth. God gave them such favor that the Egyptians just gave over their wealth to the Israelites. That is God for you.

We know that through Jesus all of the blessings of the Israelites have come upon all people; all who call God their Lord. How much more should His favor operate effectively in this country and in our lives than against such high odds as the Israelites faced in Egypt? After all, the Israelites were slaves when they were in Egypt. None the less, when they left Egypt, they left with the Egyptians’ wealth. The Israelites didn’t earn that bounty. It was the favor of God on their lives that moved the wealth out of the hands of the Egyptians and into the hands of the Israelites. That same kind of profound favor is available in your life too.

God sent His son to the cross for you so that you could enjoy all the blessings of God. We must accept in our hearts that God is a good God and that He has good intentions towards us. Then with our faith we reach out to Him with the expectation that He will be a good partner in our lives. He will lead us by His Spirit into the land of favor and abundant life. That is what Jesus came here to do (John 10: 10).

Know Love

1 John 4:16

We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

So, here is my question, have we come to know and do we believe the love God has for us? When I hear some of the things that come out of Christians’ mouths, I think we have not come to know the love God has for us. Have you ever heard a Christian say that God gave them, or a loved one, cancer in order to make them stronger? I have and it makes my head feel like it is going to explode. Remember this verse, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7: 11)? Would you give your child cancer? Of course not! There are much better ways to teach and strengthen than cancer. Cancer is a destroyer! Would you agree? Then consider this verse, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy,” (John 10: 10). Only the thief comes to destroy; not Jesus, not the Spirit and certainly not our Father. Jesus said he came to give life more abundantly. Intuitively I think we know these two truths but somehow the wires in our brains get crossed and we begin to think, or mimic, some crazy thoughts.

Today’s verse should be one of great comfort. It is the promise of love and the constant companionship of God. Beyond that, is a statement of faith; faith that God cares for us and will always be our advocate. We have only to come to believe in the love. Love acts in a predictable way and we should have confidence in that love. Love is saving grace and it defines every action and word of our Father. Come to know and believe in that love in a way that leaves no room for doubt. Call upon God knowing that He will always answer you.