The Refusal of Love

“Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.”  James 1:17 NASB

This verse presents a wonderful statement of reality. Our Father has a deep, loving interest in each of His sons and daughters. We behold this interest in the blessings that come our way day by day. These gifts are the tokens of an immeasurable love which is as vast as eternity. The daily progression of nature unfolds new wonders about our Father. His tender care is seen in the minute as well as the colossal things of His Creation.

Have you ever imagined a day without light or a meadow without flowers? There would be an immense loss to our daily experience of existence. The tokens of love abound around us in extravagant display. Only eyes, draped in a sable tapestry, can fail to see them.

Going from nature to divine revelation given in the Word, we have our Father’s message to us. This is truly a perfect gift because it reveals Jesus, our Elder Brother in such simple, clear words. It was when the Word became flesh and dwelt among us that the supreme manifestation of love was given. A gift only has meaning if the giver bestows it in love. Without love a gift is only a thing. Things may hold value, but their value will soon be forgotten in the annals of time.

Forgotten and lost is a condition of tragedy. How sad it is that such a gift of infinite cost should be refused by those who need it the most! There can be no greater poverty than to refuse the gift of a living experience with Jesus. Man who can boast of his wonders can never substitute the nothingness of nothing for the meaningfulness of loving; this is the saddest condition of man.

The seasons may change on a continual basis, but our Father never does. His love is ever constant. Calling to us in the strands of melody, He offers us the invitation to come to His house. His house is now ours if we have accepted His gift of love. Our Father wants us each to possess that experience. He wants our communion, our love, and our selves without reservation. If He gave all of Himself in Jesus, can we withhold one iota from Him? The answer must be “No, No!”

G.D. Williams has worked in Adventist higher education for 30+ years and is happily counting down to retirement. His other pursuits include photography, genealogy, collecting antique books, and working on his old farmhouse. This essay was originally published in 1977 in Southern Accent, the student newspaper of Southern Missionary College (now Southern Adventist University), and is reprinted here with permission from the author.

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