If you could have one wish granted, what would it be?  Think carefully about it, because it’s important.  Anything at all; what would you wish for; riches, long life, happiness, fame, possessions, true love?  With the Christmas season coming up, many people are out shopping for presents for their family and friends.  What do you suppose those you are considering gifts for are wishing they could receive this Christmas?

Is it possible to find a gift for everyone on your list that they won’t want to return for a refund or exchange?  I remember receiving a necktie one year that I re-gifted to someone else because I didn’t want it.  And most likely that necktie never found a happy home to this day, and most likely ended up in the city dump.  Oh, the person who bought it for me had all good intentions, but it wasn’t exactly on my most wanted list, and I’m sure we have all received gifts like that. They say it’s not the cost, but the thought that counts, which brings me to why I’m writing this in the first place.

We all like to receive nice gifts, and it’s part of who we are.  We like nice gifts because we are worth something, right?  Now, I realize there are some out there who feel they have little or no worth, so therefore, their expectations of ever receiving anything really nice are not high.  But the truth of the matter is, God created us in His own image, male and female, and if I read my Bible correctly, God is rich beyond any possible description.  He created the entire universe by His Words, out of the vastness of His power and riches, which cannot be fathomed, neither when He created it all, nor at any time in the future.  Imagine this; you were created by an Almighty, unlimited God, to exist as an extension of His very own being, the object of His affection, so adored by Him that it is impossible to even describe the length, breadth, height and depth of  His love.  He created mankind as His most prized creation.  And you think you have little worth to Him?  Surely you jest.

God put Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, an absolute paradise, being the most beautiful place on earth and even showed them where the gold was, and that was before there was ever a Wal-Mart for Eve to spend it at.  Now, if Adam and Eve were of little value to God, wouldn’t He have put them in the desert and told them to get by any way they could?  Think about it for a moment; if someone you value highly came to visit you, would you tell them to go sleep out in the yard, or would you offer them your very best accommodations?  God put them up in the best place on earth, because they were the apple of His eye.

Well, we all know how that fell out.  God had given them dominion over the whole earth, except for one little tree in the midst of the Garden, and told them to leave it alone. And of course you know, if you tell one of your children they can play with anything in your whole house EXCEPT (you fill in the blank), yeah, that’s what they will be into as soon as you turn your back.  And Adam and Eve couldn’t leave that tree alone, could they?  That resulted in their being expelled from the Garden of Eden, and I bet their first wish was, “Gee, I wish we hadn’t done that…”

Thankfully, God was thinking way ahead of them.  Maybe He was thinking of giving them the greatest gift anyone ever thought of….eternal life.  But at that time He could not allow them to live forever, so He cut off their access to the Tree of Life that was also in the garden.  Up to the time of their disobedience, they had full access to the tree, to freely eat of it anytime they wanted to.  But now, in their fallen and sinful condition He could not allow them further access to the Tree of Life, and He placed an angel in the Garden to guard the tree and keep them away from it for the rest of their lives.  And eventually they died, all because they sinned against God.

But was it God’s original desire that mankind not live forever?  No, God created mankind to be an eternal being in the beginning, to live forever just as He lived, so He could forever have fellowship with the objects of His love.  Sin destroyed “plan A”, but fortunately, God was not out of plans.  At this point God reveals His most valuable gift of all, His only begotten Son, Christ Jesus, who would come in due time to pay the price for man’s disobedience, one sacrifice for all sin, past, present, and future, for every man or woman who would ever live.  Here’s the kicker, just like the Christmas present we think we didn’t want, so we gave it away or discarded it, not discerning the treasure it really was.  You might say, “Who would throw away eternal life????”

Well, maybe YOU have so far, not realizing how costly a gift your heavenly Father has provided for you.  You may be thinking, “Ah, Jesus’ gift is not that big a deal.” REALLY NOW?  You know you have absolutely no hope whatsoever of eternal life without that gift that Christ Jesus gave on that cross.  You may be pursuing riches or fame or happiness or possessions right  now, thinking they are the most important things on your list of “most wanted”, and overlooking the greatest gift ever offered anyone.  Your eyes may be so fixed on the here and now that you’re overlooking the “hereafter”, because you’re here after all you can get out of this life.  Adam and Eve made that same misnake, I mean, mistake.  They listened to the Serpent in the Garden of Eden and threw it all away,  eternal life, riches, happiness, true love, when they could have not only had it all, but they could have KEPT it all, just by obeying the LORD.

What’s on the top of YOUR wish list this Christmas?  If having God first and foremost in your life is at the top of your list, then you’ve truly chosen wisely, because when God becomes the center of your life, all He has He brings with Him.  That means He brings to you  eternal life,  and you’ll never lack for any good thing, long life, health, or True Love, the truest kind of love there is, that being His eternal love for you.  So, if God is not at the top of your wish list, there’s still time to put Him on top. They say if you care enough to send your very best, you will send a Hallmark card.  Well, God did one better, He sent His Son to give you HIS very best.  And THAT’S what I wish for you to receive this Christmas. I promise this is one gift you will NOT want to return or exchange.   May this be your best Christmas ever!