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serving jesus christ the king

September’s Verse

“Every good and perfect gift is from above” – James 1:17

Some people might have the impression that Christianity is about being miserable—after all you can’t do this and you can’t do that. But stop for a moment and think it through:

God is not a dictatorial despot who ruthlessly rules his subjects, making endless demands. God is a Father, a heavenly Father who loves, cares for and understands every need. God is not in the stealing business. He isn’t out to steal our joy. He does not want to rob you of anything. Instead God is a giver. Christ came to give, not to get (Matt. 20:28). The call of Christ is “come and receive,” not “come and give up.”

Rather, God is so much for our joy that he wants us to stop chasing short-term pleasures that end up stealing our happiness and instead to live for long-term delight.

God has given us many signposts of his ability to thrill and delight. All you have to do is enjoy the multi-faceted flavours of an Indian meal, or marvel at the complexity of a snowflake, or savour the vibrant colours of spring flowers or autumn leaves, or thrill at the miracle of a new born baby, to catch the idea that God is not a God of misery.

Everything in the world that is good, beautiful and right comes from God.

As one writer says, “The devil never made a snowflake. He never made a baby smile or a nightingale sing. He never placed a golden sun in a western sky or filled the night with stars. Why? Because these things were not his to give. God is the creator and the possessor of them all and he lovingly shares these things with us.”

Of course, the question we need to ask is “Why did he give them?”

For enjoyment—yes! But also to create in us a longing for more—for more beauty, for more delight. Over every good moment or event in this life hangs the spectre of it ending and then of life itself ending. The best in this life is only meant to be a shop window to draw us in to find greater treasures. The greatest treasure of all is found, not simply in knowing the gifts, but in knowing the giver. And that can only happen through his greatest gift – the life and death of his Son, Jesus Christ.

Mark Loughridge is the minister of Milford Reformed Presbyterian Church. He can be contacted on 074 9123961 or You can read more or listen online at