Father of Lights

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.

James 1:17 ESV

God is the Father of lights. Again, another phrase and verse I’ve loved for years and I cannot tell you why. There is, of course, something poetic about the concept. Our God is the Father of lights. He does not shift or change or cast shadows. From him, we receive every good and perfect gift. Wow.

We know that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all (1 Jn. 1:5). We know that upon coming into saving faith, we were brought out of darkness and into the marvelous light (1 Pet. 2:9). We know that we are to walk in the light as he is in the light, so that we may have fellowship with one another (1 Jn. 1:7). If we love our brother we abide or live in light (1 Jn. 2:10).

Aviator glasses on the ground in a shadowy light and surrounded by a string of lights.
Photo by Brendan Church on Unsplash.

What then, is our fixation with dark things? Gossip, scandal, bad reports on others, crime and mystery, suspense and filling in the holes or blanks with stained details. Doubt, unbelief, cycles of worry and anxiety. I have been a person who wallows in dark things; there was a comfortable place among them where I was not held accountable. Instead, I was encouraged to think on the dark things and drop anchor. I know people today who are like this… almost obsessed with the dark. We know disciples and sons of God who consort with dark things.

Yet our God is the Father of lights. This is amazing to me, that He remains unchanging in his light and hope. He places beacons of light in our lives — people who’ve committed to a life in light — and they become a standard for us, a marker of where to return if we drift too far in darkness. Years ago, my pastor was teaching about the believer’s witness as a light to others. He emphasized the Christian distinctive and standard — the plumbline — and how we should not move the line for our comfort. People in darkness need to be able to mark their paths back to the light and back to the Father.

I am coming more to appreciate the long-suffering of God. We sometimes act all kinds of ways. Like we need him. Like we can live without him. Like we love him. Like we hate him. Like we are burdened by his call. Like we want to trade our gifts in for what we like better. Like obedience is boring. Like darkness is exciting. Like light is for losers. Yet there He is, no variation, no turning or shifting shadows. Just light.

I hope this truth sparks in us a new fire and adds more fuel to the fires already burning in our souls. God is the Father of lights. We are children of the light (Eph. 5:8). He just is, and because of Him, we just are. Stick with him and we just are… light. Light in our eyes, smiles, voices, carriage, and countenance. To those of us who find temptation in the darkness, let’s do what we know to do — prayer, bible study, worship, praise, and meditation — renewing our minds for light. And shine on! Selah, and love to all.

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The Bereans' Commentary with Shaunta D. Scroggins, Ed.D.

Studying the Bible for love and with integrity.

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