Wednesday, October 3, 2018

James 1:17-18 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.


In Old Testament days the firstfruits of crops or the firstborn of the family were the special property of God, His special possession. According to James, this is now our position before God. Think of it! No longer are we lost and condemned sinners, but believers are "a kind of firstfruits of His creatures."

And how does that new status come about? No one has ever earned it. Rather: "Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth...." Through the Word of God connected with the water in Holy Baptism, sinners are born again and made God's own special possession. Thereafter their spiritual life develops and grows through the same word of truth.

The Bible says in another place, "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God" (Romans 10:17). So the child of God hungers to hear the Word of God regularly, knowing his spiritual life depends on that Word as much as his physical life depends on food and drink.

Speaking of the gospel, the prophet Isaiah invites, "Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price" (55:1). Imagine that--it's free! God's Word of truth which tells of the greatest deliverance sinners could hope for is preached in our churches every Sunday.

Why not invite your spiritually hungry family members, friends and/or neighbors, to accompany you to the spiritual feast served again next Sunday at your church?

Word of the ever-living God,
Will of His glorious Son;
Without thee, how could earth be trod
Or heaven itself be won?

Lord, grant us all aright to learn
The wisdom it imparts
And to its heavenly teaching turn
With simple, childlike hearts.
(The Lutheran Hymnal, 291:4-5)