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Every morning as I drive to school I pass a large billboard on the side of the road. The messages change frequently; some are pretty bland, some are downright bizarre.

Currently, the sign reads: Today could be the day.

It’s an advertisement for the Blue Chip Casino in Chicago, where there’s a huge amount of gambling on the riverboats. Some of our neighbors have gone there to try their luck, but I don’t know anyone who has “struck it rich” as the message on the billboard is implying.

Today could be the day…for what? For being really lucky and winning a bunch of money? For becoming deliriously happy because I am suddenly wealthy? For being instantly popular and powerful because I now can buy all kinds of things?

Gambling

I suppose that’s what many people think when they go gambling. But consider the reality: the odds of winning are NOT in your favor! It’s more likely that you will come away with less money than you had when you started. If that wasn’t true, the casinos would eventually be out of business.

Think about the underlying assumptions a person often has when s/he wants to gamble: I’m not satisfied with the amount of money I have. More money will make me happier. More money will make my life easier or better. I’m just going to test my luck today. If I win, I won’t have to work to earn this money.

None of these ideas come from God. In fact, they are opposed to the messages we read in scripture: Be satisfied with what God has given you. In every circumstance, give thanks to God. Happiness is a result of living by God’s guidelines and serving others. Working for a living is a valuable and noble thing (Philippians 4:11, 1 Thessalonians 5:18, Matthew 5:3-12, 1 Thessalonians 4:11).

Yes, “Today could be the day…” that you choose to praise God for faithfully providing for your needs. Today could be the day that you help someone in need, or smile and offer a kind word. Today could be the day that you forgive someone who hasn’t even asked for it, or generously give an anonymous gift. Today could be the day… 

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By Brenda Forbes Dickerson. Copyright © 2012 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.


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