By Dimitris Pelidis

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.
(James 1:17)


One can plainly see that not just some but absolutely all good and perfect gifts issue from God; they are all gifts of his grace. God never changes, not even in the slightest. He was, and is, and forever will be the all-bountiful Giver.

There was a time when people had to depend on the sun for light. At night it was the moon, the twinkling stars or the flickering candle which shone in the darkness. Today it is electricity that provides the light, but that too is prone to cuts and blackouts. But with God, there is “no variableness or shadow of turning.” We can always rely on him for true, radiant light. The very first gift God gave was Light to a dark world.

Genesis 1:3, 4a:
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
4 And God saw the light, that it was good....

It is a wonderful revelation that God, at the very outset of his creation, gave light, pointing to Jesus, the Light of the world!

John 8:12:
Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

God’s Word came to man with a blessing, to be evidenced by great fruitfulness. In Genesis 1:29, God said, “Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.” How encouraging it is to realize that God had already made provision for man’s food on the third day, before he actually created man on the sixth day. God always provides what we need long before we actually need or ask for it.

But God’s Word to man did not only come with a blessing. It also came with a commandment and a warning. Tragically, man broke God’s commandment and shamefully ignored his warning. Everything that God had blessed was now cursed. Man, woman, beast, earth, everything was lost and as Romans 8:20 says, “The creature was made subject to vanity [futility].”

So how did God respond to such treacherous apostasy? Did he leave man in his wretched state, and simply put behind him the ugliness of the whole thing? No, God cannot deny his own loving, giving nature. He set about to recreate fallen man, and did so with the same agent which he employed in Genesis, namely his Word, but this time, in a different form. As John 1:14 says, “The Word was made flesh.”

“God so loved the world, that he gave” says John 3:16. Loving is giving. God gave his Word in the flesh of his only begotten Son. He sacrificially gave what he valued the most. God gave his Son, who in turn gave himself to save fallen man. Just as the Word of God gave life to man in the beginning, so did Christ, the Incarnate Word, give life to man with his perfect sacrifice. He is God’s perfect gift to mankind. He is our Life. “I am the living bread which came down from heaven,” said Jesus. “If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world” (Jn. 6:51).

God provided food before man ever came onto the scene. Likewise, in his divine providence, God supplied the living bread, Jesus Christ, long before we realized how much we needed him.

Jesus is the living bread, and also the Rock from which the living water springs. “If any man thirst,” said Jesus, “let him come unto me, and drink” (Jn. 7:37).

Jesus laid down his life for us. He emptied himself so we could be filled with his divine nature, and have all things that pertain to life and godliness. It was the perfect sacrifice of the sinless lamb and his precious blood that opened the way to heaven, even to the throne of Grace. How do we respond to such amazing grace? Let us come to the banquet table of the Lamb, to eat and drink what he has freely supplied!

The Israelites were sustained for forty years in the wilderness with manna from heaven. They needed to set out early in the morning in search of the manna to collect it, eat it and live. Likewise we need to set out daily in search of Jesus, the living bread, to find him, feed on him and truly live.

Jesus has prepared the best daily nourishment for each and everyone of us. The vital question is, how often do we visit his table? Sadly, too many of us are plagued by the ever-increasing cares of this world which sidetrack us from the true source of life. We are entangled in the affairs of this world while we starve and thirst and die in the wilderness.

Only Jesus can satisfy the hungry and thirsty soul. Dear brother and sister, come to the banquet table of the lamb and eat and drink to your soul’s satisfaction. Like Mary, the sister of Martha, make Christ your portion. Sit down at his feet. Receive the word of his mouth, feed on it and live.

Now, as you have freely received Christ, so freely give the same. As Abel sacrificed a lamb to the Lord, as Abraham gave his only begotten son Isaac to God, and as God gave his only begotten Son to us, so let us give the same back to God and others. We have been given all in Christ, so let us give our all to him. Offer yourself to him by daily crucifying the old man, and living in the new, which is Christ. Determine like the apostle Paul that for you to live is Christ. Receive him, feed on him, abide in him, preach him and give him to others. Just as he was broken bread for you, so you become broken bread for others who need him so. Then your gift will be well pleasing to God and eternally appreciated by men.



From the May 2006 issue of The Vine & Branches