Daily Devotional for Sunday February 6, 2011

Today is the Super Bowl between the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

> (Psalms 118:8) > > Today is the Super Bowl between the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh > Steelers. Hundreds of millions around the world will tune in to watch the > game. Billions will be wagered on the outcome. This is the perfect day to > talk to you about the Biblical case against gambling. I am often asked > whether it is a sin 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 stumblingblock 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, > especially those who have been caught up in the bondage of this addiction > to gambling. 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 like all sin, Christ died on the cross to wash our > sins away and give us victory! > > > In His love and service, > Your friend and brother in Christ, > Bill Keller > >