If You Have Not Won the Jackpot
The advertising makes it seem a sure thing. Buy enough tickets, and you are sure to win sometime. But in our state, the signs say your chances of winning "the big one" are one in 7.1 million. Who would invest in anything in which the chances of receiving a return were that small?
"But," some will say, "there are thousands of smaller prizes too; my chances of winning are much greater in them." That is true, but the percentage of lottery ticket buyers who ever make money--or that break even--is tiny. And if you buy more tickets, more often, your chances of winning the jackpot improve only minutely in comparison to your expense.
But I have found a sure thing. Let me tell you about it.
Think for a moment--why do people gamble? They want money. To spend. To enjoy. To make them happy.
But money will not do it. Money will not make you happy--even if you do win big. The only way you will ever be truly happy is through receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, and by living for Him.
Only He can give you "joy unspeakable and full of glory" (1 Peter 1:8). Only He can give you the peace that passeth all understanding (Philippians 4:7). Only He can fulfill your every need and satisfy the longing of your heart.
Happiness. Money cannot give it to you. Jesus Christ can. He has never failed to satisfy anyone who came to Him in sincerity. "Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out" (John 6:37). Would you put your trust in that which is sure? Then put your trust in Jesus.
If You Wonder About the Lottery
Many Christians have wondered whether they should buy lottery tickets. The Bible does not mention the lottery, but it does give some clear principles that show us God's will.
Gambling promotes getting rather than giving. Jesus said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35). The whole tenor of the Christian's life is to be loving and giving, even as Christ loved us and gave Himself for us.
Gambling both feeds on and breeds greediness. "He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house" (Proverbs 15:27). God would have us avoid all forms of greed. "He that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent. . . . He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye" (Proverbs 28:20, 22).
Gambling is a sign of a wrong focus. Jesus said, "A man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth" (Luke 12:15). Jesus promised, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, . . . and all these things [all your physical needs] shall be added unto you" (Matthew 6:33). When we focus on living wholly for Christ, God supplies all our needs.
Gambling promotes the something-for-nothing attitude. The whole idea that we should get something for nothing--take a shortcut to wealth--is contrary to New Testament teaching. "Let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good" (Ephesians 4:28). When some Christians quit working, the Apostle Paul had strong words for them: "If any would not work, neither should he eat. . . . We command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread" (2 Thessalonians 3:10, 12).
Gambling is poor stewardship. "Know ye not that . . . ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price" (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20). All we have, including our money, is God's. We are only stewards of it. God will hold us accountable for our use of it. Dare we as God's stewards throw away His money on a chance that it might make us rich? "They that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition" (1 Timothy 6:9).
RECEIVE GOD'S GIFT
Jesus is God's Gift to man.
"God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten SON" (John 3:16).
"He that hath the SON hath LIFE; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life" (1 John 5:12).
"He that spared not his own SON, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us ALL THINGS" (Romans 8:32).
CONDITIONS FOR RECEIVING GOD'S GIFT
Repent of your sins, believe on Christ, and confess Him openly.
"REPENT ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out" (Acts 3:19).
"He that BELIEVETH on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him" (John 3:36).
"If thou shalt CONFESS WITH THY MOUTH the Lord Jesus, and shalt BELIEVE IN THINE HEART that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved" (Romans 10:9).
AFTER RECEIVING THE GIFT
Rejoice in God's provision, and walk with Christ in a Bible-believing brotherhood.
"Your heart shall REJOICE, and your joy no man taketh from you" (John 16:22).
"My God shall supply ALL YOUR NEED according to his RICHES IN GLORY by Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19).
"If ye CONTINUE IN MY WORD, then are ye my disciples indeed" (John 8:31).
"Follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, WITH THEM that call on the Lord out of a pure heart" (2 Timothy 2:22).
© Copyright, Christian Light Publications
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