Gift

the Father of lights

James 1.17

Two different Greek words for “gift” emphasize the perfection and inclusiveness of God’s graciousness.  The first denotes the act of giving, and the second is the object given.  Everything related to divine giving is adequate, complete, and beneficial.

“Father of lights” is an ancient Jewish expression for God as the Creator, with “lights” referring to the sun, moon, and stars.

No variation or shadow of turning.  From man’s perspective, the celestial bodies have different phases of movement and rotation, change from day to night, and vary in intensity and shadow.  But God does not follow that pattern-He is changeless.

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for James 1:17.

 

It Is Finished

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Nothing else is required to pay for our salvation.  It has been completed by Jesus.

To be saved, all we must do is believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for our sins.

If you have questions, there is more about Jesus and our salvation here

Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, May 18, 2020.

Supreme Significance

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It is important for us as believers to understand what happened on the cross, and that it was of supreme significance.  Jesus’ crucifixion on a tree is far more than simply the site of a Jewish man’s execution-this was the solution to mankind’s biggest problem: sin and the resulting alienation from God.  The crucifixion of Jesus is the divine transaction that saves us.  Only the blood of Christ can cleanse us from sin and reconcile us to the Father.

Although the Jews and the Romans viewed the crucifixion as the execution of a criminal, God saw the death of His Son as the perfect atoning sacrifice, which allowed for the justification of sinful mankind.

Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, May 18, 2020.

Freedom: Proper Perspective

Galatians 5;13

The freedom Christians have is not a base from which they can sin freely and without consequence.  Christian freedom is not for selfish fulfillment, but for serving others.

This does not mean God has abrogated His moral law (Romans 3:21).  We are indeed under grace (Romans 6:14), but the Lord also guides and teaches us in the behavior He expects, by giving us His words and Spirit as that guide.

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Galatians 5:13, Romans 6:14.

God’s Peace-Another Gift

Luke 2;14

This is not to be taken as a universal declaration of peace toward all humanity.  Rather, peace with God is a corollary of justification.  A better rendering here might be “peace toward men on whom God’s sovereign pleasure rests.”   God’s peace is not a reward for those who have good will, but a gracious gift to those who are objects of His good will.

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Luke 2:14