Everyone likes to get gifts, free stuff, huge discounts, or even win the lottery. But the thing we find with most such gifts is that they are short lived. Many gifts get put aside, free stuff is not all that useful, and many big lottery winners have found the money more of a curse than a blessing. The writer of the Book of James tells us that “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”(James 1:17) We often seek after toys and baubles in life ignoring the One from whom our true treasure comes. It is the Lord who is the source of life. It is He who has given us life in Jesus Christ. God shows us in His Word the path to the best life possible. It is He who loves us with an everlasting love that never changes. Everything else we have in this world can be seen as a gift of God, and received with thankfulness and praise. Sure, getting gifts is nice, but we live daily in the joy of having already received the greatest gift possible, a relationship with Almighty God through faith in Jesus Christ. Everything else flows from this.
Casinos are popping up everywhere. Many store in the community have some form of numbers or “scratch off” games. The lure of hitting the next big one is always there. This is true whether with the slot machines, the lottery at the local convenience store, the mega-million jackpot, becoming the next big time talent, or even buying that latest electronic gadget. “This will solve my problems. This will make life easier. This will make me happy. With this I’ll be set for life.” Unfortunately, even if a big one comes in, time proves that its promises were empty. And if it doesn’t come in, it only leave frustration and false hope for the “next time”. There is only one real source of peace, security, and fulfillment in this world. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” (John 14:27) What we seek can never be found at a gaming table, or lottery counter, but only in the One who is the source of life, and hope, Jesus, the Christ.