Wednesday, July 4, 2007

The Roll Of The Dice

Do you gamble? According to the National Council On Problem Gambling (, nearly eighty percent of people aged twelve to seventeen have gambled with in the past year.

In the United States, teens involved in gambling now exceeds their use of cigarettes, hard liquor and marijuana.

The number of teenagers who have serious gambling problems has increased to fifty percent from ten to fifteen percent over the past ten years.

Forty percent preferred non-casino card games. Thirty-two percent enjoyed games of skill. Thirty-one percent gambled on sports games. And thirty percent trusted the lottery.

Any way you look at it, these activities fall into the trying to get rich quick category.

And do you know what God says about that?

In Proverbs 28:20 (NIV), God tells us, “A faithful man will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished.”

And two verses later, we learn that “A stingy man is eager to get rich and is unaware that poverty awaits him.”

Does this mean that God doesn’t want us to be rich? No!

In the Bible, what does God say about prosperity?

“Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant." (Psalm 35:27 KJV)

“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.” (II Corinthians 8:9)

“But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.” (Deuteronomy 8:18)

“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” (III John 2 KJV)

So then why does God say that the one who is eager to get rich will not go unpunished?

Because a person who is eager to get rich is making money their god instead of trusting God to supply their needs.

When your only goal is to make money, you will do whatever it takes to get it: cheating at cards, selling drugs, playing the lottery, gambling in Las Vegas.

In Mark 10:17, a man ran up to Jesus and knelt down in front of him. “Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?”

Jesus answered “You know the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour your father and mother.”

“Master, all these have I observed from my youth,” the man replied. You can almost hear the irritation in his voice.

Jesus looked at him, probably studying the man’s heart. “One thing you lack: go your way, sell whatsoever you have and give it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.”

The man sulked away because money was his god. He wanted his money more than he wanted eternal life.

Jesus was simply pointing out that he may have been following most of the commandments, but there was one that he missed: You shall have no other gods before God.

And when you gamble, you are putting money before God.

Do you have a gambling addiction? Here are some warning signs that indicate whether your innocent gambling has become something much more serious: ? Talking about betting all the time ? Always looking for ways to get money to gamble with ? Relying on others to get you out of debt ? Missing or being late for work or school ? Spending a lot of money ? Having unexplained money or new possessions ? Ignoring or being impatient with friends and family ? Selling possessions ? Behind in paying bills ? Stealing money to gamble with


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