Faith

Saturday Devotions

Three Practical Steps to Walk in the Light of God’s Glory

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Hello, friends!

My name is Stephanie Richmond, but you can call me Steph. I am fairly new to the Creating for Christ Admin Team and so grateful to get to be a part of a community of creatives who are running after Jesus. This space is such a blessing, and it’s because of all of the amazing members in it.

And it brings me so much joy that we are gathering together weekly through the sharing of Saturday Devotions. The beauty of devotionals is that they stir up within us to be more devoted to Jesus. That is my daily hope for us that we would be a community fully devoted to the person and teachings of Christ no matter the state of our circumstances.

In the Creating for Christ Bible Study Group, we are walking through the Letter of James. So today, I want to share with you the verse from the book of James that we are memorizing as a group. It is one that highlights the wonder and awe of our heavenly Father.

James 1:17 (ESV) says:

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”

Isn’t this verse amazing? I repeat it over and over several times a day, and I stand in awe of who God is and what He does for us—His beloved children. Let’s take a moment to unpack this verse and hold fast to what God teaches us through it. Anytime I’m studying a text, I like to ask a minimum of three questions:

  1. What does this verse or passage teach me about God?
  2. What does this teach me about mankind or myself?
  3. If I believe God’s Word to be true, how can I live differently because of what I have just read?

As we unpack James 1:17 and learn more about who God is and who He says we are, let’s ask ourselves this, “What are some practical ways we can live out His truth as faithful followers of Christ?”

Living as salt and light means being saturated in the teachings of Christ, radiating His love, and pointing others to Him.

—Stephanie Richmond

Unpacking James 1:17

The Giver of Good and Perfect Gifts

Firstly, James reminds us that every good gift and every perfect gift comes from above. This is such a beautiful reminder that all the blessings in our lives are gifts from God. We are abundantly blessed by the Giver of good and perfect gifts. So, how are we recognizing and thanking God for His gifts especially in the midst of hardships? Often, we might focus on what we lack or the challenges we face. If we must focus on what we lack, let us ask ourselves if it is prayer that we are lacking. Charles Spurgeon once said this, “Nothing brings such leanness into a man’s soul as lack of prayer.” I would add with that let us not lack spending time with God in His Word.

Here’s one of the reasons why. . .

Temptation is near where good gifts are present so let us not be deceived. Every joy, every success, every blessing, big and small—these are all from our loving Father. However, good gifts can be deadly gifts if they don’t draw us closer to Jesus—He is our perfect gift. It is by Him and through His Word that we can discern truth from deception; we can discern what is drawing us away from Him. So, let us pray and let us be saturated in His Word.

James was saturated in the teachings of Jesus so much so that his letter sounds like Jesus. And through his letter, James encourages us to shift our perspective.

With that heartbeat, I want to encourage you to look beyond the challenges you’re facing right now and reflect on the blessings in your life. It might be your family, your health, your friends, or even the small daily moments of awe that renew your sense of wonder, like a beautiful sunrise or a kind word from a stranger. It might be that flower that freshly bloomed in your garden today. I’ve received many unexpected handmade cards from the Creating for Christ group that have blessed me in ways the sender may not realize. I recognize these as gifts from God, gifts of His love and care for His children in His good and perfect timing. Every good gift and every perfect gift, such as these unexpected gifts, are the kind of gifts that draw you nearer to King Jesus.

The Father of Lights

 

Secondly, James describes God as the “Father of lights.” This title is filled with so much meaning. 1 John 1:5 tells us, “This is the message we have heard from Him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.” This bears repeating: God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. Now take a look at Psalm 36:7-9. “How precious is Your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of Your wings. They feast on the abundance of Your house, and You give them drink from the river of Your delights. For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light do we see light.” This also bears repeating: In Your light do we see light.

What is the light, and what do we see in God’s light? If Thomas Edison were sitting here right now, we could discuss the complexities of the lightbulb. Think about it for a moment. What is the purpose of a lightbulb? What does a lightbulb radiate? Light. It lights up the darkness and radiates light and warmth. Far more is true of God’s divine light. Look at Revelation 21:23. “And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.” The light of God is the radiance of His glory. The light of God radiates His perfection. By calling God the “Father of lights,” James emphasizes that God is the source of all that is good and true. He doesn’t merely light up a space in a room, nor is He tethered to an on or off switch; He is the One who lights our path and dispels darkness. And because of Him, we have the light of life—we get to walk with the light of life! Jesus says, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

The Unchanging Nature of God

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, James tells us that with God, “there is no variation or shadow due to change.” We live in a fallen world where everything seems to be in a constant state of change. But God’s nature does not change. The Giver of good and perfect gifts, the Father of lights—He is the same today as He was yesterday and as He will be tomorrow. His love, mercy, and goodness are constant. The same God that led the Israelites out of the hand of Pharaoh is the same God that parts the Red Sea of fear and worry and doubt and fill-in-the-blank in each of our lives. We can depend on Him completely.

Think about how much changes around us—seasons, circumstances, even our own emotions. I often don’t know how I will feel from one day to the next due to autoimmune issues. But God remains the same. We can trust Him fully because of who He is and what we know to be true about Him through His Word. When there is a heavy shadow hovering over you, remember the pillar of cloud by day and fire by night that God used to lead the Israelites out of the wilderness. When life feels chaotic, remember that God is your constant—He is your anchor. His promises are sure, and His love for you is unwavering.

Nothing brings such leanness into a man’s soul as lack of prayer.

—Charles Spurgeon

Insights from James 1:17

Practical Steps to Walk in the Light of God’s Glory

So, how can we respond to this truth? And how does our response help us walk in the light of God’s Glory?  Here are a few practical steps:

1. Cultivate Gratitude: Cultivating a heart of thankfulness is important for recognizing and walking in the light of God’s glory. By making it a habit to thank God daily for the good gifts He gives us, His presence becomes more evident in our life. Keeping a gratitude journal can be a life-giving tool for this purpose, helping us reflect on God’s blessings, both big and small.

One practice I love participating in is a popcorn prayer of adoration, especially in a group setting. It involves spontaneously voicing prayers of adoration and calling out God’s attributes. For example, “Lord, You are good. You are kind.” It’s beautiful to hear different voices echoing from across the room, acknowledging and thanking God for who He is.

Additionally, writing down “God’s gifts” each day helps us acknowledge the often-overlooked blessings and gives glory to God, who deserves far more than we can ever give. Each day, I simply write “God’s gifts” at the top of a piece of paper and list all the blessings from that day. Sometimes, it’s “the laughter of my children,” other times, it’s “a pain-free day.” Recognizing these gifts leads to a deeper appreciation and worship of God, shining His presence and glory in our everyday life.

2. Trust God: Trusting in God’s unchanging nature is foundational to reflecting His glory. In times of uncertainty, reminding ourselves of God’s steadfastness and recalling His promises helps anchor our faith.

By leaning on God’s Word and His unchanging nature, we can navigate everyday life with confidence, knowing that He is always in control for our good and His glory. The faith and trust we have in King Jesus are what He uses to transform our perspective, enabling us to see beyond momentary afflictions and focus on the eternal light of God’s presence.

When we read God’s Word, He writes it on our hearts and helps us recall His truths. Engaging with His Word regularly deepens our knowledge, understanding, love, and trust in Him. Memorizing Scripture about God’s trustworthiness reinforces our trust in Jesus. Find a verse in the Bible to memorize about God’s trust. He is so trustworthy!

3. Be Salt + Light: Shining the light of God’s love to others is a direct response to experiencing His glory. As recipients of God’s grace and perfect gifts, we are called to reflect His goodness and generosity to those around us. By living out the gospel and proclaiming the hope of Christ’s return, we bring the light of God into the lives of others. Sharing God’s love through our words and actions helps spread His glory, creating a ripple effect of faith, hope and love.

Living as salt and light means being saturated in the teachings of Christ, radiating His love, and pointing others to Him. Being active participants in God’s mandate allows us to experience and extend the light of God’s glory in huge ways.

Anticipating Christ’s Return and Living in the Light of His Glory

By cultivating gratitude, trusting God, and being salt and light to the world, we walk in the light of God’s glory. These steps not only draw us closer to Jesus but they help us to reflect His light to those around us. We get to be a part of what He’s doing in the world!

I love this so much because I am homesick for Heaven and long for the return of Christ, and when all have heard, He will return. My favorite verse in the Bible is Revelation 22:20, “He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!” Let us radiate the gift of who Jesus is and proclaim His return in our conversations with others.

Let’s Pray Together:

Heavenly Father, thank You for being the source of every good and perfect gift in our lives. You are so gracious and so kind. Help us to recognize Your blessings and cultivate hearts of gratitude. Remind us of Your unchanging nature when we face uncertainties, and create within us a sense of radical boldness to reflect Your love to those around us. Help us to be salt and light to everyone we encounter. May your love move forward through us and reach every tongue, tribe, and nation. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Thank you, friends, for allowing me to unpack James 1:17 with you. Remember, you are deeply loved by the Father of lights who never changes and who delights in giving you every good gift and every perfect gift.

1 thought on “Three Practical Steps to Walk in the Light of God’s Glory”

  1. Melinda Russell

    Steph,
    Thank you for doing this beautiful study!!! I enjoy your Saturday devotional time you take with us ~
    ~ Melinda

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