Perhaps, you’re from another planet, but in the event you are from planet Earth and live in the United States – you know what’s about to happen tonight. The reason you know is because you’ve had to stand in long lines at your local convenience store, as people purchase their ticket to happiness. People who never buy tickets are lining up to get their golden ticket. Then there are those who have made the lottery their “financial plan” who are purchasing as many as 100 or more tickets. Some can’t afford a lottery ticket but they are searching their couches and car seats for loose change and bringing it in to have their shot at becoming a Billionaire.
I don’t want to be the wet blanket on your parade to the bank as you deposit your billions. But let me confuse you with the facts. The odds of being the winner tonight are 1 in 292.2 million. Raw numbers like that need windows to help us see and understand what they mean. So here’s what your odds look like tonight:
- Print the name of every man, woman, and child living in the Continental United States on individual slips of paper and placed them in a giant bowl. Then have someone reach into that bowl and pull out your next door neighbor’s name. That’s the same chance you have of winning tonight.
- You are 246 times more likely to be struck by lightning than you are of winning tonight.
- You are 23,376 times more likely to make a hole in one than winning tonight.
But taking chances to win money doesn’t seem to bother us. The statistics tell us we love taking a chance on money. In 2014 Americans spent $70.15 billion on lottery tickets. That’s about $630 for every household in America. Those households represent the homes of widows, single-moms, those in poverty, and those receiving welfare. By the way, that $630 spent on lottery tickets, represents over a month of part time work making minimum wage. We spend more on lottery tickets in this nation than we do on all sports tickets purchased, video games, movies and music, combined. But hey, you have to take a chance at being rich right?
If you win the Power Ball tonight it can change your life. Just ask previous winners how their life has changed. If you win tonight you too can experience: taking on too much debt, gambling addictions, drug addictions, broken family relationships, divorce, lawsuits, tax evasion, and bankruptcy. I’m sorry, I forgot who I was talking to – you’re the exception to the rule.
Now I’m not really trying to lecture you on the virtue of playing the lottery. Here’s my point – It amazes me how willing we are to take a chance on money and how unwilling we are to take a chance on Jesus. When people are asked to trust Jesus with their lives – they consider it – too risky:
- “I don’t know if I can trust Jesus to do the right thing in my life.”
- “I don’t know what Jesus will want me to do.”
Here’s what Jesus is offering you today, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
Jesus is asking you to take a chance on him. Now what are the odds of being able to trust Jesus? Can you say 100%? You and I should like those odds. So maybe tonight we should lay down our lottery tickets and take Jesus up on his word!