Reflection: James now turns to the gifts that come from above to say that we can revel in the knowledge that the Christian life is based not on our imperfect attempts at obedience but on God’s gift, character and word.
According to James our spiritual birth as God’s children is a gift from on high. This new birth includes the gift of the knowledge of how-to live-in God’s world. We are given new life to walk in the ways of God. The encouragement here is yes, to strive to live up to the privilege of being welcomed into God’s family, but at the same time to rest in that reality. As Mark R. McMinn writes, “God knows every darkened corner of our existence, every rebellious thought, every distorted passion, every insecurity … and still God chooses to reach out with forgiveness and grace.” That is something worth celebrating.
Question: Some believers find it difficult to relax and enjoy the free gift of God’s grace. They live with guilt and a lurking fear that God is not pleased with them. What are some possible reasons for these feelings and what, if anything, can be done to remedy the situation?
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for your graciousness and kindness towards me—new birth through your word and leading me in the path of wisdom. Teach me to trust you more and to live for your honour in all things. Amen.