Jeremy and Justin were two sweet boys, that I loved dearly. I was close friends with their aunt and was able to spend a lot of time with them.
Jeremy was close to five years old and he loved cars, so one Christmas I bought him a remote-control monster truck. Justin was still just a little boy and I thought he would enjoy something fun so got him two $2 plastic water pistols.
I don’t know who had greater anticipation come Christmas morning, Jeremy or me. He tore open his gift and was overjoyed to find the monster truck. In the meantime, Justin had opened his gift and was happily playing with each of the water pistols.
All was well until Jeremy realized that he had one gift, but Justin had two. Jeremey couldn’t understand the value of his one gift. He cried and cried and would not be consoled, while Justin blissfully and almost obliviously enjoyed his plastic water pistols.
The next day, the truck was returned to the store and exchanged for two water pistols just like his brother’s. Jeremy and Justin played happily together with those inexpensive plastic water pistols.
Years later, I wonder about the spiritual concept of quality vs. quantity – heavenly vs. earthly.
I thought Jeremy would have been completely happy with that monster truck, but it was only one and his brother had two things. The devil loves to surround us with things, and lots of them. Things that are loud and fast, bright and pleasing, but they don’t last. You see, like those two plastic water pistols and all the fun that Jeremy and Justin had playing with them, it wasn’t long before they were broken and useless. Neither of them understood the value of the rejected gift. The devil’s temptation is always to want more.
Jesus offers us one thing – salvation. That one gift involves many other things – love, peace, forgiveness, mercy, grace, power and ultimately heaven. Just one thing, but oh, the quality of it.
We can choose to be mesmerized by the quantity of things the devil offers and blissfully, almost obliviously, live day to day blinded to the lack of quality in these things. Or, we can choose the one gift, the gift that is ours simply for the taking; the greatest gift that heaven could give.
The devil’s way is easier, luring the unsuspecting with its hollow glitter and charm, while the path to heaven sometimes just seems too hard. However, the rewards are everlasting.
“All heaven appreciates the struggles of those who are fighting for the crown of everlasting life, that they may be partakers with Christ in the city of God. … God wants you there, Christ wants you there, the heavenly host wants you there.” Our High Calling, 368.
“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. … The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil; He shall preserve thy soul” (Psalm 121:1, 2, 7).
“The pure, heavenly graces are received and flourish in mind, heart, and character only as man becomes a partaker of the divine nature. … Heaven must begin on earth for every soul who will enter the heavenly mansions above.” Our High Calling, 368.
“Every provision has been made that we may attain a height of stature in Christ Jesus that will meet the divine standard.” The Review and Herald, December 16, 1884.
Dear Lord, there is nothing this world can offer of greater value or quality than what You have done for us and are preparing for those who love You. Help us to always look to You and not the world. Amen.