Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. 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. (James 1:16–18—NKJV)

The task of finding the “perfect” gift has always been difficult for me. There are certain standards to which the prospective gift must measure up. Based upon what I know are the interests of the recipient, I try to narrow potential ideas down to a general category, whether clothing, hobby, accessory, etc. Then the real search begins. At this point in the process, I find my chances at finding the perfect gift reduced by the myriad possibilities that abound in our blessed land of cheap and plenty.

There are many well-meaning vendors that are willing to help me out in my quest for the perfect gift. There are the websites that tout the latest electronic gizmo soon to be outdated by the next generation gizmo. There are companies that advertise giving gift certificates so that the burden of finding the perfect gift falls on the recipient’s shoulders. And then there are the gifts that keep on giving all year long. Ah, at last, here must be the hiding place of the “perfect” gift! Some of those suggested gifts are clever and practical, like a recharger with assorted batteries for homes with electron-hungry kids. Maybe a magazine subscription or a big-box-store membership is more to the liking of the recipient. Other gifts that keep giving all year long are “strictly for hunger.” In this category I place things like “Jam-of-the-Month Club,” or “Fruit-of-the-Month Club,” or worse yet, “Fruitcake-of-the-Month Club.” That ranks right up there with a one year family membership at the local zoo.

The real Master Gift-Giver is our Lord. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from Him. There is no doubt that the greatest gift our God has given to man is the Gift of His Son; He is all goodness and perfection. 2 Corinthians 9:15 reads, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” All earthly gifts pale in importance when you first catch sight of His Son.

The context of our verse makes a stark comparison between what we are heir to in the flesh and what we are graciously given from the hand of God. When we go through tough times, especially those brought on by our sinful human nature, we tend to ask “Where was God?” or “Why did God do this to me?” The reality is that God does not “tempt” any man, as verses 13–15 inform us. The sense of the text is that God is “unversed in evil” and does not entice any man to do wrong. Our evil is purely from within us. Anything evil, ugly, and sinful is all me while anything of any virtue is all God. All men—saved or unsaved, rich or poor, educated or no—are alike in need of God’s goodness to both survive and thrive.

Just as our sin has a process to its conception through birth, so there is a process to God’s gift-giving. Verse 17 speaks of every good gift—this is the “act of giving,” the gift in its conceptual stage. This is akin to our search for the perfect gift—the estimation of what would be a fitting gift and tailoring the particulars of the gift to the individual requisites of the recipient. This level of gifting-goodness requires a high level of personal investment. Every perfect gift is the “actual thing given” in all its glorious practicality, functionality, and durability. As “good gift” corresponds to tempting to sin, “perfect gift” corresponds to “brings forth death” (verses 14–15).

Our God is the Father of Lights. Christmas is particularly called “The Season of Lights,” and for good reason. This is the season that the most Perfect Gift is celebrated—the giving of the sinless Son of God to be our Savior. He is perfect in goodness and full of grace and truth. Through His sacrificial death on the cross we are granted the light of life, peace with God, and hope. God is the author of all light—the light-bearers in the skies, the light of mankind in true knowledge, the Light of the world, and the light of life. “Of His own will He brought us forth by the Word of Truth! (Psalm 119:105, 2 Corinthians 4:6, John 8:12, John 1:9, Ephesians 1:4–18—take note of the perfect gifts listed).

The greatest gift is the indescribable Gift—the gift of the Son through whom is gained the gift of eternal life (John 3:16, Romans 6:23). Do you know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you are ransomed by the sinless blood of Jesus Christ? Are you assured of your conversion by new life in Him? Trust and obey.