I’m a very competitive person and I’ve always loved taking chances and risks. The idea of investing a little in order to obtain big returns has always fascinated me.
I’m good at sports and games, but even when I was growing up, if there wasn’t a wager or reward involved in a tennis or ping-pong match or a game of Parcheesi, I lacked the incentive to play my best and enjoy the competition. As an adult, I loved the weekend poker games with friends that would sometimes go on and on until the morning hours.
Later, I had a great and unexpected change. Jesus entered my life and His words began to reach deep inside me, gradually transforming my perspectives, goals, values, and priorities. I began to understand that real rewards were heavenly, not earthly, and that I could possess the most valuable thing one could ever have—eternal life. It was that same precious pearl as in the parable Jesus told, where a man was willing to sell all his possessions in order to buy it.1
I knew it was a sure bet because it had the best guarantees—eternal rewards based on God’s promises: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”2
Since my decision to follow Jesus and invest in eternal things, my desire to gamble in other material ways disappeared. I still enjoy games and sports, but I no longer feel the urge to bet on them. This has been the fulfillment of another wonderful promise: “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”3
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How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights. For with you is the fountain of life.—Psalm 36:7–9 NIV
I am fallen, flawed, and imperfect. Yet drenched in the grace and mercy that is found in Jesus Christ, there is strength.―Adam Young (b. 1986), American songwriter