James 1:13-18 “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. 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. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.”

This colorway was inspired by this famous box from Tiffany & Co as a representative of a “Good Gift”.

Tiffany box

Sometimes I find that though I understand scripture, the other people can explain what I am thinking in a much more concise way.  Therefore, I am turning to some commentaries to help me explain this passage.  Don’t miss out on my story of “my gift” too.

First, is “David Guzik’s Commentaries on the Bible “.

On verses 13-16: “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”: Temptation does not come from God. Though He allows it, He Himself does not entice us to evil, though God may test our faith without a solicitation to evil (nor does He Himself tempt anyone).  ames knew that most people have an evil tendency to blame God when they find themselves in trials. But by His very nature, God is unable to either be tempted (in the sense we are tempted, as James will explain), nor can He Himself tempt anyone.  Each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed: God doesn’t tempt us. Instead, temptation comes when we are drawn away by our own fleshly desires and enticed – with the world and the devil providing the enticement. Satan certainly tempts us. But the only reason temptation has a hook in us is because of our own fallen nature, which corrupts our God-given desires. We often give Satan too much credit for his tempting powers, and fail to recognize that we are drawn away by our own desires.  Satan’s great strategy in temptation is to convince us that the pursuit of our corrupt desires will somehow produce life and goodness for us. If we remembered that Satan only comes to steal, and to kill, and to destroy (John 10:10), then we would resist the deceptions of temptation more easily.”

Verse 17: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above: From our own fallen natures and from those who would entice us, we expect no true goodness. But every good and every perfect gift comes from God the Father in heaven.  With whom there is no variation or shadow of turning: God’s goodness is constant. There is no variation with Him. Instead of shadows, God is the Father of lights. In the ancient Greek grammar, James actually wrote “the Father of the lights.” The specific lights are the celestial bodies that light up the sky, both day and night. The sun, moon, and stars never “turn off,” even when we can’t see them. Even so, there is never a shadow with God.”

And from “Barnes’ Notes on the New Testament”, more on verse 17: “Every good gift and every perfect gift. The difference between good and perfect here, it is not easy to mark accurately. It may be that the former means that which is benevolent in its character and tendency; the latter that which is entire, where there is nothing even apparently wanting to complete it; where it can be regarded as good as a whole and in all its parts. The general sense is, that God is the author of all good. Everything that is good on the earth we are to trace to him; evil has another origin.”

And now for my personal take on the subject.  I’m not sure how many of you know my story into the “yarn business”.  But honestly, it was very sudden.  I was dyeing for fun for my daughter and everything was the way it had been.  Then we did one called “Morning Glory” (you can read more about it by searching for it here).  After naming it, and thinking about how it applied to God, bells began to go off in my head.  I began to wonder if it would be possible to name each one from the Bible.  And with that thought process came a new way of living.  It was as if instantly my vision had been changed.  All of the sudden, I saw colors I’d never seen before.  I could visualize things on yarn.  And I KNEW it was a gift from the Lord.  My special gift from Him.  My way to reach out to people and share with them about our awesome God, while doing something that I love.  I knew I had to honor him with my work.  Truly, I am so grateful for my gift that the Lord bestowed upon me.

And He has given me so many more. He gave me Himself, His Son and His Spirit.  He gave me a husband that has been so supportive of this endeavor.  He coordinated the forming of my partnerships with Lea and Colleen.  He has given me so many opportunities to touch other’s lives.  He has given me wonderful customers who have encouraged me in countless ways. And I am so thankful for it all.   I’m sure there will be bumps and hiccups along the way, yet as long as I am glorifying Christ in all that I do, I will be satisfied. And in knowing Him, I truly have the Best Gift!