“What would I do with all of that money?” This was the question being discussed earlier this week as the Mega Millions jackpot swelled to over a billion dollars. Even those who didn’t play the lottery and had no intention of getting a ticket, had a bit of fun daydreaming out loud about what they would do with such an enormous amount of money.
Of course, money is not the answer to all of life’s problems, but let’s face reality; a sum of money like that could render many of life’s stresses innate. Certainly, there might be a few stresses that such a jackpot might create, but if one acts wisely and does not lose their head, I have a feeling those stresses would be manageable. At the very least, you would most likely move to the position of your family’s favorite relative!
I also found myself daydreaming about what I would do if I had been blessed with this overflow of money. No doubt, some of you would expect that my ideas should be nothing but charitable seeing that I am a pastor. (That begs the question why it should be any different for you if you are a disciple of Christ regardless of your calling within the family of God?) Of course, some of my thoughts drifted to the church I pastor which struggles financially. I also thought of many missionaries and relief organizations whom I would love to surprise with a huge gift… and if it could be done anonymously, all the better! A wise warning that I once heard given to preachers who find themselves being blessed with grand amounts of money was, “Give it away!” The admonition was not meant to say that a minister cannot be blessed financially, but that holding on to too much money can make one lose sight of the people one needs to reach and corrupt one’s mind to think more of the material than the eternal.
However, while I certainly had thoughts of things beyond myself, I also daydreamed of being able to give my wife the lifestyle I believe she deserves. You see, I truly view my wife as royalty. I very much wish I could grant her the life where she could wear gorgeous gowns and eat at fine restaurants every day. It made me smile to imagine being able to give her the life of a queen so that others could see her as I do. As I write this, however, it occurs to me that it may never be my place to exalt her to such splendor before others, but it will, one day, be the gift that her Heavenly Father bestows upon her when He glorifies all of His children.
That thought brings me to the real point of this post and the subject I wish to leave you contemplating. So, make sure you have a full cup of coffee in hand and consider this question the Lord Jesus Christ asked in Mark 8:36, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” What if you did win that entire jackpot? That money, if you were not foolish, would last you an entire lifetime… but it would only last your lifetime – however long or short it may be. Perhaps you could live the lifestyle of royalty in this life, but the billions will mean nothing in the eternal kingdom of God where it is the Lord alone who exalts His people to glory.
Consider this, one person walked away with the winnings of the Mega Millions while the rest of us were left in the same place we were before the jackpot became so large. Those were the odds. However, there is a 100% guarantee that every one of us will come to the end of this life. Our number, as it were, will eventually be called and we will draw our final breath in this mortal and temporary world. At that point, rich or poor or somewhere in between, our economic status will hold no more value than our self-assessment that we are good people. All that will matter at that moment is whether or not you, before departing your mortal life, have accepted the atonement of Jesus Christ for your sins and lived thereafter for Him. Money, or lack thereof, will not hold any amount of significance or influence before the throne of Him who made all things.
This is the contemplation to consider as you hold your coffee today; that God, being just and righteous, must judge sin and that no amount of good works that we do can make up for that sin. However, because of His love for us, God sent His own Son to pay the penalty for our sin so that, if we desire to accept His payment, God can justly forgive us our sin. He did this for you and for me because He truly does love us. That, my friends, is far better than any lottery winnings one could acquire (or more likely miss out on) in this life.
Until next week, may your coffee and contemplations be rich and fulfilling.