By Topic

Gambling

Friday

October 24, 2014

Pushing the chips to the center

Read

“I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other!  But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!” Revelation 3:15-16

Think

What do milk, coffee, a bath and steak all have in common? They are unpleasant when they are lukewarm. In fact, they are downright gross. Think about it; we want hot coffee, a steaming bath, a steak right off the grill or ice cold milk (preferably with a cookie fresh from the oven).

In the verse above we see that God feels the same way about us and our faith.  God does not “do” tepid – He loathes it.  God wants us to be “all in” for Him – in our relationship, in our finances, in everything  we do.  He doesn’t want us to casually throw chips at Him, He wants us to push our chips to the center of the table and go “all in” for Him.

Are you living an “all in” life or are you lukewarm? Have you pushed your chips to the middle of the table and bet on God or are you casually tossing them in?

Pray

Thank God that you can trust Him will all that you have.  Ask Him to show you areas in which you are lukewarm in your faith and ask for direction on how to go “all in.”

Act

Write down the areas God reveals to you and make a change in those areas today! Stay accountable to someone you trust.

 

Tuesday

October 21, 2014

Making an “All In” Move

Read

“When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, ‘Brothers, what shall we do?’” Acts 2:37

Think

God wants us to go “all in” for Him, because He has gone all in for us. But going “all in” for God isn’t something we can just think about. We can’t hear the call to action, and not make a move. Going “all in” for God requires just that…a move. We must take action when we go all in for God. Just as the Jews in today’s verse, we just ask the question, “What shall we do?” And then we must do it.

Maybe you need to pick up the phone and call someone to ask for forgiveness. Maybe you need to step out and invite your neighbor to church. Maybe you need to humble yourself before a friend and admit that you’ve done them wrong. Maybe you need to begin to obey God in the area of your finances. Or maybe you need to make the first move to go all in and admit to God that you are a sinner and are in need of His saving grace.

Whatever move you need to make, don’t sit by and let the game go on without you. Instead, do the work to go “all in” for God today.

Pray

Ask God right now for clarity in whatever move you need to make. Then, ask for the courage to actually make that move.

Act

Think of one area you need to make an “all in” move for God. Write that step down on a piece of paper. Commit to making that move today. After you’ve made the move, tear that paper up, throw it away, and look forward to making another “all in” move tomorrow.

 

Monday

October 20, 2014

Going “All In”

Read

“But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15

Think

In gambling, the biggest bet anyone can make is going “all in”. It’s when they put all the chips on the table, putting everything they have on the line. But “all in” isn’t just something that happens in Las Vegas or Atlantic City. “All in” is how God wants us to live our lives.

Our God is an “all in” God. He put everything on the line when He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to live perfectly, die sacrificially, and rise bodily for you and me. And because He is all in, He wants us to be all in for Him. Have you made that “all in” decision? Have you put the totality of who you are and what you do into following God, into the life He has for you?

Pray

Thank God for going “all in” for you. Pray for the courage you need to make those "all in" decisions in your life so that others can see what a sure bet looks like.

Act

Remind yourself (or discover for the first time) exactly what God’s “All In” move looks like, what it means, and how it impacts your life today.

 

Friday

October 17, 2014

Hitting the jackpot

Read

“The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the LORD is pleased with us, He will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us.” Numbers 14:7-10

Think

Everyone who gambles wants to hit the jackpot. Americans spend billions of dollars every year in casinos, hoping they’ll hit the bigtime. The reality is that most never do. But in God’s economy, when we gamble FOR Him we will always hit the jackpot!

That doesn’t mean we’ll hit it right away. It doesn’t mean we’ll all get rich. The jackpot for our lives may be a life of peace, security for our families, influence to change our cities, or any number of other blessings. What it does mean, though, is that when we hit the jackpot, we’ll discover exactly what God has in store for us. When we gamble for God we can’t lose. So don’t go for the safe bet and hope you hit the jackpot in life. Instead, play the sure bet and gamble FOR God!

Pray

Thank God for the ultimate jackpot. Pray for the courage to take risks for Him that will result in a payoff beyond anything you’ve ever imagined.

Act

Don’t be afraid to risk rejection as you extend invitations for people to join you at church with you this weekend.

 

Tuesday

October 14, 2014

Who says what

Read

“But the men who had gone up with him said, ‘We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.’ And they spread among the Israelites a bad report….” Numbers 13:31-32

Think

We’ve learned that life is a gamble. Everything we do is a gamble. It’s true relationally. It’s true financially. It’s even true spiritually. When it comes to a spiritual gamble, we can either gamble with God, or we can gamble for God. When we gamble with God, we play a dangerous game. It’s the game that ten of the twelve spies played, and it wound up costing them their lives.

When we gamble with God, we listen to people above God rather than listening to God above people. We find ourselves caught up in what “they” said rather than what He says. Don’t live your life based on the opinion of others. Instead, trust in God’s Word and listen to His voice!

Pray

Thank God for the fact that He has spoken into your life through His Word. Pray for the discipline you need in order to trust that Word more than people’s opinions.

Act

Read the account of Joshua, Caleb, and the twelve spies in Numbers 13:30-14:2. And look for the differences in how Joshua and Caleb responded to the gamble that was before them as opposed to how the other spies responded.

Monday

October 13, 2014

Taking a righteous risk

Read

“Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, ‘We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.’” Numbers 13:30

Think

To gamble is to take a risky action in the hope of a desired outcome. Life is all about gambling; it’s something we do every day. From the moment we wake up, we are gambling. We gamble when we go to work. We gamble when we drive down the road. We gamble all the time. The question is, what – and more importantly – who are we gambling on?

God wants us to gamble. But He doesn’t want us to gamble on the wrong things. He wants us to take risks for Him. Because when we gamble FOR God, like Caleb in today’s verse, we discover a life of purpose and direction. It’s a life of risk, yes. But the reward on the other end is beyond anything we could ever imagine! Are you gambling for God? Or are you taking risks that lead to nowhere?

Pray

Thank God for giving us the desire to gamble for Him. Pray for courage as you step out and take risks for Him.

Act

One of the biggest gambles we face is with our finances. How will we manage what God has blessed us with? Roll the dice and manage your finances God’s way. Take the 90-Day Challenge, and discover the amazing rewards of risking obedience to God!

 

Thursday

October 9, 2014

Risk Being Real in Front of Others

Read

“Then Moses and Aaron fell face downward on the ground before the people of Israel. Two of the spies, Joshua (the son of Nun), and Caleb (the son of Jephunneh), ripped their clothing and said to all the people, ‘It is a wonderful country ahead, and the Lord loves us. He will bring us safely into the land and give it to us.’” Numbers 14:5-8

Think

We’ve all heard the phrase, “Just keep it real.” Or as Pastor Ed Young puts it, “You be you.” When you gamble for God, you risk being real in front of others. For many of us, it’s time to take off the mask and begin living a life of reality.

What does living this authentic, Christian life look like? It’s confession and vulnerability. From these two things, we have accountability to others.

In the above passage, Joshua and Caleb fell down before the people of Israel. They took a risk on the reaction of the people and were vulnerable in order to see God work in their lives.

How can you “keep it real” today?

Pray

Open up to God about the places in your life that you have been holding back in. Ask Him to help you become more vulnerable, remove the mask you may be wearing, and be authentic before others in these areas.

Act

Where do you need to risk being real? Be vulnerable today and take the next step in a life of authenticity!

Monday

October 6, 2014

Roll the Dice

Read

"All the Israelites did just what the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron. And on that very day the LORD brought the Israelites out of Egypt by their divisions." Exodus 12: 50-51

Think

Life is all about risks. We participate in risky behavior everyday. Playing any type of sport, driving a car in traffic, going to work; these activities put us at some sort of risk. But have you ever risked something so big God had to show up?

The Bible is full of risk takers. Moses was a man of God chosen to lead the nation of Israel out of captivity. He rolled the dice and went to the Pharaoh of Egypt and demanded his people be released. God was on his side and eventually Pharaoh let them go. However, this was just the beginning of the Israelites' journey. What journey are you on that requires you to take some risks?

Pray

Thank God that He created us to be risk takers. Ask Him to show you the areas in your life where you need to take a risk.

Act

Write down any risks that you have taken lately How have the results of these risks affected your life?