Here's a sure bet: I am not going to win the Mega Millions jackpot of $540 million dollars. Why am I so sure? Because I'm not playing, that's why! Here's a second sure bet: The winning numbers will not be 3-6-19-27-29 and bonus number 40.
Those were the numbers I used to play fairly regularly before I gave up any form of gambling. It's part of my vows as a Minister not to gamble... and quite frankly, I've come to believe it's just a good idea anyway. Spending even a dollar of the funds God has graciously blessed me with so I can win someone else's money doesn't seem like good stewardship to me. There is one guarantee in gambling: In order to win, several others have to lose. I just can't feed that animal.
Oh, I've come close though. A few years ago there was a CD set by one of my favorite preachers that I really wanted to buy. But since I didn't have the $45 for it, I began to ask God to provide. Sure enough, when I stopped in to get a coffee at the local convenience store, a stack of lottery tickets seemed to be staring back at me. "Here's your miracle," I heard. "Buy a ticket, you'll get the money." Sorry, but taking a chance that a ticket might be a winner isn't trusting in God for the answer. It's a way of trying to circumvent His promises to give us the desires of our hearts in accordance with His will. Jesus said that His sheep hear His voice, and won't listen to a stranger. Those talking tickets were NOT of God. So I walked away.
Later that week, someone handed me an unexpected check for the entire amount of the CD set.
Regarding this weekend's lottery, one man is quoted by the AP as saying, "If I win, the first thing I'm going to do is buy a (Tim) Tebow football shirt, and I'm going to do the Tebow pose. I'm with him in honoring a higher power."
Now. I'm not judging that man's faith by any means. I'm sure he means well. But I just think that honoring God means putting a little more trust in Him that if we live righteously and according to His word, if we return our tithes to the storehouse and give Him the glory, He'll pour out a blessing that we can't begin to contain. Shouldn't we have more trust in the inspired words written in red than six computer generated numbers on a ticket?
3, 6, 19, 27, 29. 40. When they don't show up on my television screen this weekend, I'll be glad I kept my dollar in my pocket.
I think I'll use it to plant some seed instead.