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Topic: Rich (04/26/12)
TITLE: Biggest Losers
By Sharon Eastman
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People fly from all over the world to seek their fortunes in Las Vegas, the ultimate playground for gamblers. “Oh, there’s lots to do in Vegas even if you don’t gamble,” a comeback for those, who defend gambling activity. The whir of the roulette wheel covers the sobbing of big time losers.
Ask most Americans how would they obtain riches, and they would say “When I win the lottery.” You’ll hardly ever hear any replies about trusting the Lord’s provision or working hard.
“When will you start tithing?”
“When I win the lottery.” Now that’s an oxymoron! It’s the million dollar answer these days – winning the lottery.
Evening quiet breaks through when the lottery numbers are posted each night on TV. People check their numbers against the screen most intently. Curses are heard as the losers count their losses. Winners shriek for joy while visions of vacation, cars, and houses race through their minds. Now they can run with the big leagues. (But, will they tithe?)
Once they’ve won their riches, will they be happy? Not some. This fortune can be lost in a relatively short time. Willie Hurt from Michigan won 3.5 million dollars in 1989. He left a legacy of debts and a murder charge. His winnings were wasted on crack cocaine and a divorce.
Another person I know personally became a lottery victim. She was in dire financial straits and needed the money desperately. (But, she had enough to play the lottery.) The TV was set to the lottery show, and she and her boyfriend concentrated on each number. She let out a shriek; her numbers came in! Oh, what a lucky day!
After collecting the money (1.3 million dollars), which was reduced by one third after taxes, she got busy. She called upon a financial advisor to help protect her fortune. She invested in a new house and added a garage, landscaping, and cement work. But, relatives, friends, and those who crawled out of the woodwork cast their burdens upon her. Sadly, she relented to their pleas. Within three years of her lottery win she was broke, out of a job, and out of a car. She has never recouped her fortune to this day.
Although most lottery winnings are spent on drugs and other foolish items, some “lucky” winners bow to friends and relatives schemes. Truly, there is no pot of gold at the end of this rainbow.
The Bible tells the account of Job, who was one of the richest men in history. Satan tempted, ruined, Job and throughout his trials and tragedies Job kept his faith in God. When the testing was complete, God restored Job’s wealth, family, and long life to him. Our trust in God for everything should be impregnable. He cares about all our needs. We don’t need earthly riches to survive; we need God. Job 1-42 (KJV)
Instead of shaking smug fingers at gamblers and lottery players, I must emphasize the truth about wealth. Riches from the living God are the best, most wonderful riches. They begin with repentance, forgiveness, love, comfort, peace. The most precious is a relationship with Jesus Christ, which lasts forever. And, lottery tickets are not necessary to acquire these blessings, only a hungry, repentant heart.
Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? James 2:5 (KJV)
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