Saturday, February 6, 2010

The biggest betting day of the year

Here is the first definition of the word gamble at "to play at any game of chance for money or other stakes." In this sense of the word I consider gambling a violation of biblical teaching. No, there is no verse in the Bible that specifically says, "Thou shalt not gamble." But betting on games of chance is about placing one's faith in a jackpot rather than Jesus and he said that you cannot serve both God and money (Mat. 6:24).

This is why I have never bought a lottery ticket and I hope you never do. I have never gambled at one of the Sweepstakes places that are becoming as prevalent as grains of sand in our area. Super Bowl Sunday is upon us, the biggest betting day of the year, and I will not be putting any money on the game. Playing games of chance for money is a poor investment that can become addicting and the practice cuts against the grain of biblical teaching.

But there is another sense in which we are all gamblers. Here is definition number five of the word "gamble" at "to take a chance on; venture; risk." In this sense we all place our bets every day. We bet the moments of our lives on a way of living. On the verge of the biggest betting day of the year it is a good time to ponder where we are betting our lives because we are all placing that bet in every moment that we draw breath.

In Luke 5:11 we learn that the first disciples to follow Jesus "left everything and followed him" (TNIV). They bet it all on following Jesus. Is he worth that sort of gamble?

Yes, he is.

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