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Written by Bill Bradford
I was sitting in a shopping centre having a coffee consulting with one of our men who assists in pastoral work in the church and I observed something I had not noticed before in just that way. I was facing the local newsagent and saw a long line of elderly people at the counter. It gradually occurred to me that they were in line waiting to buy a lotto ticket. I found out later that the jackpot was astronomical on this particular Golden Casket lotto draw. This was a Thursday and the pension cheques had come in. Vans unloaded the seniors, some with walking sticks, some with walkers, but all showing a determination to make the counter to buy their lotto ticket.
I felt very sad to see this happening. Here was once vibrant and hardworking people, now experiencing one of their highlights in life - buying their lotto ticket and waiting for the draw. Some of the elderly sat at a table next to us, fingering their lotto ticket, probably pondering the numbers they had selected.
Is this what life for these people had come to - Lotto and the dream of winning something big? I was saddened for those who were spending not just money, but what hope they had on a lotto ticket. You will also find similar things going on at the RSL where some of their government pension goes to the slot machines (“pokies”).
There is no gamble with God. God doesn’t gamble. He has a plan and the outcome of that plan is certain. In fact, He makes it a promise. Many people, even some biblical scholars, see the works of God as random, spontaneous, reactive and without plan or purpose. But God does not gamble, and those who trust in Him are not gambling either.
God has to carry out what he says He will do, otherwise He isn’t God. Everything God does or says, and what He has inspired to be written as His testimony, has purpose. Everything is related to His great plan of salvation for the human race. There is purpose in not just some of the things He does, but everything He does. His methods should be understood.
In your relationship with God, it is important to know the sure outcome of your faith. You can’t wait until the end of your life to decide to have faith in Him. You have to begin when you are young and live your life in a way that shows that you believe Him.
There is no gamble with God. It is a sure thing. As we were leaving the food court area where my friend and I were having coffee, there was one more poor soul with hope in her heart pushing her walker toward the end of the Golden Casket line. There is no misspent money with God, no wasted effort, no lost hope - there is no gamble with God.
Is this life all there is, or is there something more? If there is something more, how should awareness of that something impact your life? Why are we here? Is there a purpose for our lives? What is our destiny, and is that destiny inextricably linked with the existence of God? We can find the answers to these questions.
A Christian's walk is challenging, and trials can be overwhelming at times. But through the birth, perfect life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we have hope in the ability to overcome life's challenges. Find out how we are saved by His life.
The United States is deeply divided—to the point that many Americans expect violence and perhaps even another civil war. What are the roots of these irreconcilable differences? Where will they take the nation? Perhaps not surprisingly, the answers are found in the pages of your Bible. And what it means for the entire world—and your life and the lives of your loved ones—is sobering. What can and should you do? Be sure to read this issue of Beyond Today.