Today's Daily Devotional

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL SATURDAY AUGUST 27, 2016 (Psalm 118:8)

***WHETHER YOU REALIZE IT OR NOT, YOU ARE AND HAVE BEEN FOR AS LONG AS YOU HAVE BEEN PART OF LIVEPRAYER, A WITNESS TO A REAL MIRACLE OF GOD AND A TESTIMONY TO HIS BLESSINGS ON A WORK DEDICATED TO BRINGING THE TRUTH OF GOD’S WORD AND THE GOSPEL TO THE LOST AND HURTING OUTSIDE OF THE FOUR WALLS OF THE CHURCH!!!

***AUGUST FINANCIAL UPDATE: Thank you for those who have stepped up to help me during this difficult time as we press ahead by sheer faith in His strength and grace!!!! As you know, due to needing the entire month of July to clear up our June shortfall, we went into August needing to cover our entire July TV and internet budget of $65,000, along with our August budget.

Currently $38,000 of our July shortfall has come in, leaving us needing to cover the $27,000 balance plus the $65,000 we require for our August internet and TV operations. That is $92,000 by the end of the month! OUR GOD IS ABLE!!

My friend, I am doing all I can to keep Liveprayer alive, but we are hanging on by sheer faith. I desperately need several of our friends to help me today. We are at a very critical place today and after 17 yrs and all of the ministry we have provided to 10s of millions worldwide faithfully 24/7, I refuse to accept that God is done with His work here over just $92,000!!!

*******I desperately need ONE of our friends God has blessed who prays and seeks the Lord’s guidance and in honor of a spouse, parent, child, or other loved one, who can get $62,000 of the $92,000 we require into our account ASAP!!!

It is CRITICAL that I have $62,000 in our account ASAP in order to take care of critical expenses by the end business today! ONE who God has blessed can step up as many in the past years have done to help me at this time!!! I am literally at the mercy of those who supply the services we require for our daily ministry, begging then daily to hold on, but once they start to cancel those services we are not going to be able operate.

PRAY AND ASK THE LORD IF IT IS YOU HE IS TALKING TO ABOUT THIS!!! I HAVE BEEN IN PRAYER FOR 2 MONTHS FOR ONE PERSON TO HELP ME GET OUR FINANCIAL CHALLENGES CAUGHT UP AND CURRENT SO WE CAN PROCEED WITHOUT THIS BURDEN UPON US EACH DAY!!!

If you are able to the extra mile and wire the funds to our Wells Fargo account or drop by a branch in your area and deposit them into our account TODAY, it would help me a great deal. Of course you can overnight a check today to our office or put the gift on your credit card or Paypal. Feel free to email me for any information you may need to help me at: bkeller@liveprayer.com

Over the years, God has raised up many different friends of His work here who at critical times made a special sacrifice of $20,000, $50,000, in one case $80,000, and several times $100,000. I am standing in faith that as everyone prays and those who are able give according to your ability to give, we can bring in the $27,000 balance from July as well as the $65,000 required for our operations in August.

OBVIOUSLY WHATEVER YOU CAN GIVE AT THIS TIME IS GREATLY APPRECIATED AND DESPITE THE AMOUNT NO GIFT IS GREATER IN THE EYES OF GOD THAN ANOTHER, SINCE IT IS OUR OBEDIENCE GOD SEES, JUST LIKE THE OBEDIENCE OF THE WOMAN AT THE WELL!

***TO GOD BE THE GLORY!!! LIVEPRAYER BY HIS GRACE, MERCY, AND YOUR LOVE, PRAYERS, AND GENEROUS SACRIFICES, CELEBRATES 17 YRS OF FAITHFUL MINISTRY THIS MONTH!!! Please pray about sending a special anniversary gift off $17, $170, $1700, $17,000 as we rejoice in all the Lord has done thru His work here at Liveprayer!!!

TO GIVE A GIFT TO LIVEPRAYER, you can use your major credit card on our secure server at: www.liveprayer.com under the "Donation" link, you can give using your PayPal account using my email address: bkeller@liveprayer.com , or you can mail your gift to: Liveprayer, 6660 46th Ave. North, St. Petersburg, FL 33709. All gifts to Liveprayer are 100% tax deductible. *

***DAILY PERSONAL PRAYER FOR YOU: Dear Lord, give me your strength to stand for your Truth no matter what the cost. It is easy to call myself a follower of Jesus, but when confronted, when challenged, when faced with persecution, will I still say I am a follower of Jesus? I love you Lord and ask for your strength so no matter what I have to endure for my faith, I will stand firm. In the name of Jesus I pray...AMEN!

Football and gambling. The new college and pro-football seasons will soon be underway this coming weeks. All across this nation, it is football season. It is a time for fans of the game to root their favorite team on to victory (go Ohio State Buckeyes!). Sadly however, it is also a time for millions of people to gamble on this great sport. From now until the Super Bowl next February, BILLIONS will be wagered legally and illegally on pro and college-football games. Over the next 5 months, lives will be destroyed by people who are in bondage to gambling on football games.

Over the past decade, by far the fastest growing form of sports gambling, especially on professional football, has been "fantasy football." The latest are the websites who offer daily action. In fantasy football, a predetermined group of people get together, make up fantasy teams from the existing pool of players, and are rewarded when the players they select have productive statistics in the games they play. It sounds like fun and can be. However, in most fantasy leagues there is an "entry fee" and a financial reward for those who do well, which also means a financial loss for those who do poorly. You can call it whatever you want, but if you are playing fantasy football and there is money to be won or lost, YOU ARE GAMBLING!

The appalling thing to me is the hypocrisy of the National Football League in regard to fantasy football. While the league takes a zero tolerance position regarding gambling on its games, they fully endorse and support fantasy football. They have taken this position for two reasons. First, they view it as an entertaining way for more people to watch and be involved in their product. They are 100% right since not many people would be worrying about the number of yards a running back on a bad team gained in a meaningless game late in the seasons, unless that player was on your fantasy team. Second, they claim to only endorse fantasy leagues where no money changes hand, knowing full well that 99% of fantasy leagues have entry fees anywhere from $10 to $100,000.

The reality is, the NFL as well as the NCAA that oversees the college game, fully understands and tacitly accept the fact that billions are wagered every season on their games. Pick up ANY newspaper during the season and in the back of the sports page are the Vegas lines. My friend, there is only ONE reason they are printed...for GAMBLING. The explosion of interest in college and pro football has been primarily driven by gambling. People can wager in Vegas, with the local bookie, with their friend, or at offshore bookmakers online, and then sit back and watch the game they have bet on.

Football and television are a match made in gambling heaven. The "line" is broadcasted and openly talked about in regard to EVERY game without any hesitation by the announcers. Programs geared to people who gamble are all over TV and radio during football season. You can now sit at home and watch virtually every college and pro game that is played. I can assure you, the ONLY reason someone is up at 2 a.m. on a Sunday morning watching Hawaii play TCU, other than those who went to Hawaii and TCU, are people betting on the game. The ONLY reason someone is watching two pro teams with 2-9 records on a Sunday afternoon, other than the fans of those teams, is because they have a bet on the game. Gambling has driven the TV ratings, which in turn has put millions in the pockets of the NFL and NCAA schools, which is why they say they are against gambling with a wink and a nod.

I am often asked whether it is a sin to bet on a football game or to buy a Lottery ticket. I am going to tell you up front that there is no verse in the Bible that says, "thou shalt not gamble." However, let me give you a Biblical basis why gambling is a sin. Gambling involves an element of risk. Ultimately, you are putting your faith in something other than God for the outcome. Therein lies the foundation of why gambling is a sin. Instead of trusting God, instead of putting your faith in God, you have chosen to put your faith in luck. You are hoping to beat the odds and it is putting your hope and faith in something other than God that makes gambling a sin. Let me outline for you three additional reasons why gambling is a sin.

First, it can cause you to lose sight of your priorities. Never forget, anytime something is more important than the Lord in your life, it is a sin. We are to love the Lord our God with all of our heart and He MUST be our first priority at all times. Second, it can be a poor use of God's resources that He has entrusted to you. Many people I have counseled are in financial difficulties, not because they have not been blessed by God, but because they have misused and mishandled their blessing. Lastly, it can be a stumbling block to your brother or sister. Many people have a compulsive nature, could end up in total bondage to gambling. So while it may not be a problem in your life, your involvement may cause someone else to have a problem with gambling.

Let me make an important point. When I talk about gambling, I am referring to the lottery, sports gambling, casino games, private card games, but I am also talking about the financial markets. Having been involved heavily in the financial markets in the 80's, I can tell you that many people use the word investing, when in fact they are literally gambling. When you are taking a financial position in the outcome of something that is unknown, that is gambling no matter what words you want to use. You have as much control over the stock price of a particular company as you do over the performance of your favorite football team.

***This is NOT an indictment against having stocks and bonds. Prudent, reasoned, well strategized investment plans are encouraged in God's Word. I am talking about those who are simply rolling the dice hoping to get lucky in the stock market.

The Bible teaches us to be wise stewards with the resources God has entrusted to us. I am a strong advocate of investing a portion of our resources in well researched, fundamentally sound opportunities that have the real potential of giving us a reasonable return. That is wise use of God's money. God encourages this type of prudent investing. The line is crossed into gambling when you are just "hoping to be right," or entering into a situation with greed as your motive. No prayer, no research, simply taking a chance you might win. For the above-outlined reasons, that is a sin my friend.

I love you and care about you so much. I will be praying for you today, praying for those who have been caught up in the bondage of this addiction to gambling, especially those caught up in gambling on football games. If you, or someone you know is addicted to gambling, know that I will be praying today for those who are in this bondage. God is a God of deliverance and He can deliver someone from the bondage of gambling. Never forget that there is hope in Christ, and no matter how bad someone has destroyed their life, God can help them put the pieces together if they are ready to surrender to Him.

Gambling is a sin, since inherent in the nature of gambling there is a reliance on chance instead of faith in God. But never forget that Christ died on the cross to wash our sins away and give us victory. If you are in bondage to gambling on football, it is no accident you are reading this message today. God is speaking to your heart about STOPPING. Don't spend another season without sleep, worrying about an 18-year-old student at a school you can't even pronounce making a 53-yard field goal to cover the spread or watching a meaningless Monday night game trying to get out of the hole from your losses on Sunday!

In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller