I was reading the “Our Daily Bread” devotional this morning and it stated that in the United States and Canada, 85 billion dollars was spent last year on lottery tickets. 85 billion dollars! I can't even imagine those kind of figures. Money spent with the hope that it will turn in to more money.
I never did real well with math when I was in school, but I wanted to take a shot at calculating what you could do with 85 billion dollars, if it was channelled in a different direction.
Just recently we had Jay Calder who represents Compassion of Canada speak to our congregation. For the price of a cup of coffee from Tim Horton's you can support a child, feed them, clothe them, educate them and guide them to God through a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Gospel for Asia supports national missionaries to minister in their own environments. It takes between $120 and $360 per month on average to support a national missionary. For our math, let's take the higher figure.
I am aware that I am coming at this money from my bias. Maybe you don't care about national pastors and children finding faith. But my point is this: that amount of money could change the world drastically for the better. I am pretty confident that 85 billion dollars can make a dent in a lot of major issues on our planet. It could resource food banks, homeless shelters, camps, drug rehab centres and on and on.
Jesus talked about it in Luke 12:48, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” For some reason God has allowed us in North America to have much. But because of that the demands on us are higher.
I don't think God is pleased when we flitter away the resources he has given to us on the vain attempt of “instant wealth”. I think God would be more pleased if we invested that money in what really matters, one dollar at a time.