Consider this verse in James:
Jas 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
When you think of good, and perfect, what comes to your mind.
Everything that is good, blesses, encourages, brings joy, life, health, pleasure, peace, growth and vitality. The word perfect brings with it the emphasis that with this goodness, there is no sorrow with it.
Pro 10:22 The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.
God's greatest, and best gifts have nothing to do with money. Good health, a sound mind, peace of mind. These are priceless, many who have gone through serious illness and regained their health knows the value of it, and now cherishes it. And watching those who are squandering theirs with drugs, alcohol, and other abuses saddens them; knowing what they will face some day.
God is faithful, He can be trusted, He doesn't lie.
Rom 3:4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.
When Adam and Eve were created without sin, and walked in the garden God made for them, all that was there was for their pleasure. They were perfect, without sin, glorious in the majesty that God intended for them. There was not death, no decay, everything in the garden was intended to live forever. They wanted for nothing.
The only thing they were told not to do was eat the fruit from one tree, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
This one act of disobedience in giving in to the temptation of the serpent, satan, represents the heart of every man and woman to this day.
It also represents all that the one act encompasses:
Disatisfaction with the gifts and provision of God
Unbelief in what God had spoken
No one knows how long Adam and Eve lived in the garden before this happened, how long they may have enjoyed the perfection they lived in. I wonder at times if idleness had a part to play in Eve's decision to give in to the serpents enticement. Whatever the circumstances, the cost has been a world of sorrow and death ever since.
Jumping ahead to the story Jesus told of the prodigal son in Luke ch. 15, we see a depiction of a father who had two sons. The father represents God. Here the two sons have a good life, safe in the father's care, security, complete provision, freedoms and privileges of their place as sons, they want for nothing.
But the younger son wants his freedom to do as he wishes. He demands his rights, and his inheritance. Lust for pleasures and riotous living burns in his heart, and he wants to be free from the constraints of his father's house. None of the joys, safety, beauty, good food, security, is enough for him. All he can think of is the pleasures he thinks will fulfill him that the world has to offer.
This is us, every one of us- "Don't tell me what to do".
This is where I differ from many bible teachers, I believe there is a place in God's plan for suffering, it's not always the devil that allows hardship. We are responsible for our own decisions, our own mistakes, and God uses everything in our lives to achieve one goal; getting us to turn back to Him. At times it is only hardship and suffering that will turn someone around, and get them headed back to God.
It was only when the son found himself in the pigpen, eating the husks given to the pigs that he came to himself, and realized what he had squandered, what he had lost.
When he came to himself, and turned back to his father, humbled, and admitting his errors; we find God not only waiting for his son, but running down the road to meet him and embracing him, full of love, forgiveness and joy. Then he gives him a party. Why wouldn't anyone want to love and serve a Father such as this?
When I contemplate these truths, and look around at those lost in the world today, my heart is heavy with sadness. I watch as people of every race and kindred follow the same path as Eve, and this younger son. I have no judgment, for the first 25 years of my life I was the same. I was just as blind, and lost. I was a prodigal coming back to the Lord, a day in March 1978, realizing I had come to the end of myself, and calling out to Jesus, to save me, and asking His forgiveness for the life I had squandered. When I did, He was there, ready, and waiting.
When we are weak, when we fall, when we fail, Jesus remains the same, he remains faithful. He is the God of all comfort, of all forgiveness, of all mercy. When we turn back, admit our wrongs, and go back to Him, he never refuses us, he never runs out of mercy. He remains the same, always.
Halloween is coming up soon. For those planning to celebrate it, my question is, why. Why do you choose to celebrate a holiday that represents everything that is dark, and evil. The Satanists throughout the world will celebrate this time by sacrificing people, including babies to honor their god Satan. This not just an innocent holiday to enjoy with parties and trick or treating with kids in the community.
Jesus describes the devil well:
Joh 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
Think of the responsibility of what you are teaching and influencing kids with. Think of Halloween, and then this verse:
Eph 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.