In case you haven’t heard the news around the water cooler the past couple of days, the jackpot for the Mega Million Lottery has risen to a record $1.6 billion and the drawing is tonight.
Despite the daunting 1-in-302-million odds of winning, people will be queueing up at their favorite lottery outlet today to buy a ticket. Afterwards, they’ll be kibitzing enthusiastically with their friends, family, co-workers, and even total strangers about all of the things they are going to do and buy with that $1.6 billion (actually only $904 million after Uncle Sam takes his share).
I have a few thoughts:
- Jesus Christ offers eternal life and fellowship with God to all those who repent of their sin and accept Him as their Savior by faith alone. There’s no comparison between eternal life in Christ and $904 million dollars. So why do people line up for a microscopic chance at winning the lottery, but reject Jesus Christ who offers so much more? Unlike the lottery’s microscopic odds, every single person who accepts Christ is sure of a place at God’s table.
- Researchers report that 70% of big ticket lottery winners declare bankruptcy within five years. Why is that? They’re not able to discipline their spending habits after the sudden, huge windfall and they’re not able to say no to their suddenly-huge circle of family and “friends.” Also, many lottery winners end up with costly addictions such as drugs or gambling. Rather than solving all of their problems, the vast majority of lottery winners find that the prize money creates bigger problems for them than they ever had.
- The Bible says it’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get to Heaven. What is meant by that? Wealthy people become self-reliant and confident in themselves. With all of that “success,” it’s very difficult for them to see themselves as lowly, desperate sinners in need of the Savior.
I won’t be joining the line to buy a Mega ticket today. Don’t want one. Don’t need one. I’m not rich according to the standards of this world, but I have a Father who owns every hill and every valley. Thank you, Jesus!
“Two things I ask of you; deny them not to me before I die: Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.” – Proverbs 30:7-9