What would you do if YOU hit a lottery payout so big that even the signs advertising it weren’t big enough to show the whole number? The real answer, based upon past winners, will shock you.
If I’d known that I’d personally experience what I wrote about in my daily devotional yesterday morning, I think I would have chosen the topic “Winning the Lottery” instead of “My Foot Is Slipping.” But after posting yesterday’s message that began with the words “Slipping and falling is a VERY big deal!” I went outside and proved it. While standing near the top of a ladder, I tried to use a sledge hammer to drive a wooden post into the ground. The ladder was shaky, the post was shaky and apparently my judgment was worse. One of my swings missed the post and the momentum of the swing tossed me off the ladder. I landed on the ground with a bruised back and a broken ego. Then I spent the rest of the day in bed, which is where I’m going right after I finish recording this.
One of my sons has a saying that he shared with me. It says, “Play Stupid Games – Win Stupid Prizes.” Ha ha – I win !!
Let me get back to the lottery illustration. First of all, I actually have no chance of winning a lottery, since I do not play. Second, as it turns out, winning a massive lottery could be a lot worse for you and me than making a swan dive off a ladder. Studies show that instead of getting people out of financial trouble, winning the lottery typically gets people into more trouble. Bankruptcy rates soar for lottery winners three to five years after winning. And going bankrupt is the good part. Many winners struggle with suicide, depression and divorce. Hitting the lotto often rips apart families and destroys friendships. I told you the real answer about what happens when most people win the lottery would shock you.
But there IS a massive gift you can accept that is so amazing it defies description.
Today’s verse says NOW THANKS BE TO GOD FOR HIS UNSPEAKABLE GIFT.
In this instance, “unspeakable” is trying to communicate the concept of something being indescribable, inexpressible and too wonderful for mere words. It is the gift we get when we accept the invitation Jesus gives and decide to follow Him. Of course we get total forgiveness of all our sin, but that isn’t the gift the bible is referring to here. We get adopted into His family and filled with His Spirit; but those aren’t the gifts this verse has in view either. The gift that is so marvelous as to defy description is just this – being called to help give away what God has given you so freely.
Jesus Christ invites you and I to help Him reach the world with the message of His life, death and resurrection – the message that Jesus is alive and well. He still works miracles, answers prayer, changes lives and circumstances. Of course you’d expect Him to be doing that. He’s God Himself come in the flesh. The amazing and indescribable part is that He chooses you and me to participate! And then He provides everything we need to do just that. He makes all grace abound to you and me, so that in all things, at all times, having all that we need, we can abound in every good work. He enriches us in every way so we can be generous on every occasion, so that our giving of time, talent and treasure will produce thanksgiving to God. It’s better than hitting the lottery.
God gives us Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith and the ransom we needed.
God gives us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
God gives us His Spirit to lead, guide and direct us.
God give us every good gift and every perfect gift from above. He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things?
God leads us in a triumphal procession and gives us the victory through Jesus Christ.
People seeing you and me loving Jesus and living out our faith. Those people learning to love Him more and more because of it. His gifts accumulating rewards in heaven for us because we were faithful to use them. And when we get there, His reward will leave us speechless.
NOW THANKS BE TO GOD FOR HIS UNSPEAKABLE GIFT.