(Jesus said) "Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life." John 5:24
A famous quote of questioned origins is this: "Nothing in life is certain other than death and taxes."
Maybe, but we will say more about that later.
The truth is many people seem to play the lottery, as if winning the jackpot were a sure thing. Now I'll admit there is some logic to the fact that somebody must eventually win that mega-million-dollar jackpot, and since somebody is going to win, everybody figures it might as well be them.
You know the logic: the odds in winning are 50-50. Either you win or you don't.
Now without speaking about the poor use of financial gifts the Lord has entrusted to us, let's look at the facts. To do so, I'd like you to consider the story of Bill Isles of Wichita. Not so long ago Isles bought three tickets for the Mega Millions lottery.
Naturally he did so hoping to be one of the winners in the record-breaking jackpot.
Hours after he bought those tickets, Isles, a storm spotter for the National Weather Service was struck by lightning. Now, he is pretty much okay. He wasn't burned and his heart, along with his memory, have done a bit of jumping around, but he'll be all right.
The point of Isles' story is this:
o the odds of him being hit by lightning are 1 in 835,000;
o the odds of him winning the Mega Millions jackpot were 1 in 175 million.
This leads me to conclude, if you don't think you're going to get struck by lightning, you really, really ought not to think you're going to win that lottery.
Or, as a pastor speaking from a completely practical point of view, your money can better be used in support of your Lord, your family and your church.
Indeed, I encourage you to use your cash for those purposes because, along with being sure about death and taxes, you can be sure of their love, too.
And if you're not sure of your family's love, you can be absolutely positive about the love of the Savior -- the Savior who gave His life so you might be forgiven and saved.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks for a Savior whose sure love has guaranteed me a place in heaven. Grant that everything I do may show my appreciation of His sacrifice. In His Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries