So, earlier today, I did something I haven’t done in ten or more years. I bought a lottery ticket. I’ve written before about the pros and cons (almost all cons) of playing the lottery and gambling in general, so I’m not planning to make this a regular practice. Also, I promised a hundred friends and acquaintances that if I won, I would give them each $20,000 as well. Now, promising to give away money that you haven’t won yet is fairly easy, and it may give some people a glimmer of hope, no matter how unlikely, as the odds are not good (like 1 in 292 million). But in the remote chance those numbers are picked, I do intend to keep my word. It turns out the numbers I was given today were not the winning numbers for the $1.2 billion Powerball lottery, but it also turns out the clerk entered me in the wrong lottery. I was given a ticket for the $119 million Megamillions being held this Friday, so everyone got a kind of second chance, I suppose. What would you do differently in your life if someone gave you 80 million dollars?
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21
Out of curiosity, how many people do you think prayed for their lottery ticket to be the winning one? I”m thinking it may be in the thousands. If ever an example for unanswered prayers, this may be a good one. Instead of playing the lottery, they were praying the lottery. Is it wrong to ask God to help you out with your finances? Winning the lottery may not be the most likely way to answer that, but I’ve seen prayers answered in other ways when people were in need. Maybe we should be praying to be better stewards of what we have been given, instead of just to be given more. When I see how others and even myself use the resources we have been given, it makes me both sad and hopeful at the same time. Hopefully we can learn from learn from our mistakes and grow to be better stewards as we grow older, and more mature.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
So, where is our hope? Is it in what we can acquire and store up for ourselves in our short time here on this planet? Is it in living life to the fullest, or to selfishly seek out pleasures and whatever seems to make us happy from one minute to the next? What about storing up treasures in Heaven, what does that look like? What things can we do that make a difference for the Heavenly Kingdom more than our earthly kingdoms? What riches that only God can provide are we chasing after more than earthly riches? I should ask myself those questions every day and maybe I would be doing more of those things. I prefer to give things to people and organizations that will make a difference in the lives of others, but I don’t always know if that is certain to happen. I have to trust that the Lord will use it, or even part of it, to further His Kingdom. I have to pay attention to the results of what I do and to adjust accordingly to where the Lord leads me. I know Someone who has more riches than I can gain in this lifetime, and who is willing to share with me generously, and so do you. We just need to ask Him to show us where those things are and to lead us in ways to share generously with others as well.
As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life. 1 Timothy 6:17-19
Yours in Christ,