Love the Person, Not the Gifts

Daily Devotion: Day 230

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17, NKJV).

 The above Scripture contains two important elements. These are, gift and GiverThe emphasis of the statement is on the Giver, not the gift. The of all good things is the Father of lights. The Bible further states that there is no variation or shadow of turning in the Father. This means He is ever dependable. Indeed, He is the Rock of our salvation. He delights in bestowing good gifts upon us. John tells us, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God” (1 John 3:1).

That said, God does not want us to focus on His gifts to us. He wants us to focus on Him, the Giver. What do you want more, the source of the gifts or the gifts themselves? This sounds like a simple question, but many people tend to focus on what they can get from people. They seek you for your gifts, for what you can provide. Your value, to them, is based on what you bring to the table. If you are not ‘useful,’ you are not worth their time. They don’t seek you for your own sake, for who you are per se.

Such a relationship is mainly utilitarian in character. It is the relationship one has, for example, with Santa Claus. If Santa Claus didn’t dish out gifts, who would want him? People bring this utilitarian, consumerist mindset – consciously or unconsciously – into nearly all relationships. They bring it into marriages, into the workplace, into friendships, and even into churches and their relationship with God. So long as you have something which interests them, they’ll stay close to you. Lose what you have, and they lose interest in you. Christians need to change this climate.

And it starts with rethinking our relationship with the Father in heaven.

Yes, our Father is happy to bless us and provide for us. He created us without our asking. He sent His Son to die for our sins without our asking. And Paul says, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32). The Father gave us Jesus freely. There is nothing we can ask of Him which will be surpass the giving of His Son. Yet, what God wants above all things is a Father-child fellowship. He does not want us to seek gifts and in the process neglect the priority of eternal life.

It is possible to receive a lot of good gifts from the Father and still not make it to heaven. Why is that, you may say? Well, remember, God is so good that “He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45). He provides for all creation and all people, regardless of their belief (or lack therefore) in Him. This is proof that you can receive ‘good things’ from God without necessarily being a friend of God or being saved.

That is why it’s important to focus first on your relationship with the Father. You can receive gifts without receiving the Giver. But, if you receive the Giver, you have – in essence – received the gifts, because every good and perfect gift is in the Giver.

Seek the Father today. Get to know Him. Love Him with all your heart. He will give you perfect gifts beyond what you could ever ask or imagine.

Be blessed, you and your household! Amen.

For further study: Luke 12:22-34

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