WHEN YOU'RE ON A SURE THING.
In the Bible (1 Timothy 6:17) we are told not to trust in "uncertain riches" or as another translation puts it: "do not put your hope in the uncertain chances of wealth". That is, we should not GAMBLE with our future.
The Encyclopedia Britannica defines GAMBLING as:
"The betting or staking of something of value, with consciousness of risk and hope of gain on the outcome of a game, a contest, or an uncertain event, the result of which may be determined by chance or accident or have an unexpected result by reason of the bettor's miscalculation."
Psychologists tell us that the real attraction of gambling lies in the thrills and tensions of uncertainty, the daring involved in taking chances, the challenge of testing one's skill or luck, the satisfaction of beating an opponent (or perhaps the system or the bookies?) and the dreams of sudden good fortune and wealth.
For whatever reason, millions of people get involved with a variety of different forms of gambling. In many cases they become addicted, often with tragic results. (The emperor Nero was addicted on an early form of backgammon!)
Over the years, gambling has produced some rather interesting stories:
Several employees of the Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas were suspended in 1980 when administrators discovered they were making bets on how long patients would take to die!
Squire John bet $10 he could eat a more expensive breakfast than a friend. To win the bet he placed a $100 note between two pieces of cake and ate it!
In 1981, a poker player was shot dead when a fifth ace fell from under a card table during a game with a pot of $27.
A poker hand consisting of two black aces, two black 8's and the queen of hearts is known to professional poker players as a "Dead Man's Hand". The hand got its name after the murder of the US frontier marshal Wild Bill Hickok. Hickok was holding the cards when he was shot dead in the back during a poker game in August 1876. His killer was an old enemy who the previous day had lost $500 playing poker to Wild Bill.
On the other hand, what about the Texan oil well man who went to the dentist for a check-up. After examining his mouth, the dentist said he could find nothing. The Texan said: "I feel it's my lucky day, so go ahead and drill anyway!"
Bridge expert, Charles Goran, had one word of advice about gambling..."DON'T"
Well, the same verse that we started with tells us how to eliminate the risk and gamble in our life. It says, "trust in the living God".
In doing so we have.....
WE ARE WINNERS.....WE ARE ON A SURE THING!
Pastor Darryl Williams