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 (literally “shadow of turning”). In
the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we
might be, as it were, the first fruits among His creatures. James 1:17,
On Monday of this week, Brian Perkins forwarded me a story sent to him by one of his Iraqi interpreters who served with him. My immediate thought was how much our world has shrunk since my family and I were in West Africa (1970-74). Then the best we could do was send an aerogram (an air mail letter of one sheet limited to a page and a quarter of writing). If someone in our group was going to the airport (80 miles away, over 4 hours of driving time one way), the letter would reach the USA in three weeks. If the recipient replied immediately, we could hear from the USA recipient in 6 weeks. There were two telephones in our population area of 50,000 people. However, we would not dare call—the connection (routed through Europe) broke too often.
Now with a hand-carried computer and an e-mail address, one can be in contact anywhere in the world (with color pictures and sound as well as dialogue) in a matter of seconds. What a change in much less than 50 years!
Things can be communicated so fast today that it is a challenge for most older people to cope, and a challenge for most young people to imagine how things were. That which is “current” is out-of-date in a finger’s snap. Most everything that “was” has been made ancient by what “is.” Often the challenge is to know what changed this week!
God does not change! The more we try to outdate His values, the bigger the mess we make of individual existence, human relationships, and the value of human life. For examples, depression constantly grows, commitment in marriage dwindles, and people are destructively used to satisfy someone’s sense of convenience. Perhaps the biggest shock of all is found in the fact that many people do not understand why such things happen.
James focused on three things: (1) God is the source of good; (2) God does not change (He does not need to change); and (3) God wants to bless us. Consider three questions: (1) Do you understand God will work with you to make life meaningful? (2) Do you understand God does not change His values? (3) Is your hope in God?
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