all good things
Read James 1:16-18. How many of life’s good gifts does God give? Who are His “prized possession[s]”?
Make a list of the good things God has given you. How do these gifts evoke your gratitude? How do these gifts evidence God’s presence?
Recently, I toured Bassett Hall, the home that John D. Rockefeller Jr. and his wife Abby purchased in Williamsburg, Virginia, in the 1930s. Upon the death of the famous philanthropist, the home was bequeathed to the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation—the foundation the Rockefellers had created for the purpose of restoring the many historical sites in the village.
The home was simply a final gesture from a man who spent his life giving away money. While Rockefeller’s father became the wealthiest man in the US (primarily through his Standard Oil empire), his son wanted to spend his life dispersing much of the family fortune. The tour guide told us that Rockefeller donated more than 1.1 billion dollars over the years to tackle causes like ending global poverty and curing yellow fever. To his final days, Rockefeller loved giving.
Scripture tells us that God loves giving. The psalmist David enumerates the wealth of gifts God provided. The great Provider had given him his home, the “pleasant land” (Psalm 16:6). God had given him a “refuge” (Psalm 16:1), a place where (in spite of the many enemies arrayed against him) he could say that his “body rest[ed] in safety” (Psalm 16:9).
God’s best gifts, however, were not the material provisions He offered, but rather Himself. “Lord, You alone are my inheritance,” said David. God was his “cup of blessing” (Psalm 16:5). God gave the “joy of [His] presence,” and the psalm exudes gratitude for the “pleasure of living with [Him] forever” (Psalm 16:11).
There’s a seamless thread in these words, thankfulness weaving back and forth between God’s many provisions and the gift of God’s own presence. In many respects, Scripture sees these as one and the same. When God is our ultimate blessing, then every gift He gives is another way that He gives us Himself.
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: John 13:1-20
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