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Winning The Lottery Without Losing At Life

Happiness Wealth Contentment

Source: “$900 Million Prize, 1 In 292 Million Odds — And A Few More Lottery Numbers” By Camila Domonoske, Updated January 10, 2016

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-01-13

Scripture: Proverbs 10:22

Author: Illustration Exchange
6

ILLUSTRATION

People are buying tickets in droves in the hopes of winning the now $1.5 billion and growing lottery jackpot, not only the largest ever jackpot in the United States, but in the world.

ABC reports, “The jackpot is so big that billboards in Texas and around the country have to advertise the price as $999 million because they're not built to show billions.”

The way the lottery is growing in America, they may need to build new billboards for future drawings. Camila Domonoske with NPR writes:

$70 billion — [is] the total amount Americans spent on the lottery in 2014, the most recent year for which data is available, according to the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries.

CNN Money calculates that's more than Americans spend on sports tickets, books, video games, movie theaters and recorded music, combined.

NASA's annual budget, for comparison, is around $17 billion. Total U.S. foreign aid for next year: just shy of $38 billion.

It’s clear that Americans are chasing a dream, and they are willing to spend a lot of money to catch it. But there’s a problem, and it’s not just the 1 in 292 million odds of ending up with the winning ticket. Recent history has taught us that just because someone becomes instantly rich doesn’t mean they'll end up with any greater sense of happiness.  

Domonoske explains:

Zero. That's the impact of a lottery win on net happiness, at least at first.

A famous 1978 study found that major lottery winners were no happier than ordinary folks, and actually got less joy from daily activities. A 2008 Dutch study found winning the lottery doesn't make a household happier.

Now, a caveat: Two studies out of England suggest that it is possible to win the lottery and be content — but only eventually.

"No researcher has ever found that people are happier in the first year after winning the lottery," one of the researchers told The New York Times

And the Times' social science reporter suggests that it might take longer and longer to find contentment the larger your win is.

 

APPLICATION

Despite the high expectations, winning the lottery doesn’t solve our interpersonal problems, but will probably make things worse as friends and relatives clamor for their piece of the prize. Neither will it result in a greater sense of happiness as we suddenly have so much more wealth to worry about protecting, investing, etc. 

Most will never have the chance to find out how they'd do with untold wealth, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lesson here for the rest of us. The reality is we all live with the same false hope as the lottery winner—the expectation that the next big promotion, the next good turn of fortune, will finally bring us the contentment and happiness that has eluded us so far.

Let the lesson of past lottery winners be a lesson to you. That transcendent, immune-to-life’s-assault happiness we all search for can’t be purchased or won, but is the byproduct of faith—the result of possessing spiritual riches.

“The blessing of the LORD brings wealth, without painful toil for it.” (Proverbs 10:22).

Gold Cache at the Federal Reserve

Riches Wealth Reward

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Fred Gates | Date Posted: 2015-12-08

Scripture: Matthew 6:19 ; Luke 12:17

Author: Fred Gates
12

ILLUSTRATION

At the Federal Reserve Bank in NYC, five stories below ground, 50 feet below sea level, and locked behind a 90 ton steel door, lies a maze of 122 vaults containing a stockpile of gold from the various nations of the world, deposited there for safekeeping. The weight of the vault and the gold inside is greater than the limits of almost any other foundation. A single compartment can house some 100,000 bricks of gold, each weighing approximately 30 lbs and valued in six figures each. As of October 2001, it held the largest gold repository in the world with approximately 7,700 short tons of gold bullion, more than Fort Knox.

According to the Federal Reserve Website:

The vault is able to support this weight because it rests on the bedrock of Manhattan Island ... Gold bars are transported by elevator from street level to the vault’s basement location. Once inside the vault the bars become the responsibility of a control group consisting of three representatives: two members of the New York Fed gold vault staff and one member from the New York Fed internal audit staff. These three individuals must be present whenever gold is moved or a compartment is opened in the vault—even to change a light bulb ...

Each compartment is secured by a padlock, two combination locks and an auditor’s seal. Compartments are numbered rather than named to maintain the confidentiality of the account holders.

APPLICATION

In Matthew 6:19-20 Jesus warned, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal."

The world's stockpile of riches seems pretty secure buried five stories beneath the Federal Reserve Bank. After all, what threat do moths and rust pose to gold?  And what are the odds of thieves breaking into the Federal Reserve?  We are far more sophisticated when it comes to securing our wealth than were the ancients.  

But Jesus' main point remains just as relevant today.  For although our treasures may not leave us, one day we will leave them. Remember the lesson to the man who built more barns to store his great wealth, only to die before he could enjoy it.

The only investments that are truly and eternally secure are those that are made by a believer and stored in heaven.  To be a wise investor, we must do as Jesus suggested, and send our riches--our spiritual riches-- ahead of us, where they will wait safely until we arrive.  

"He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’

“Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’

“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’" (Luke 12:17-20).

The Law of Diminishing Returns and Satisfaction

Covet Satisfaction Wealth

Source: THE MACARTHUR NEW TESTAMENT COMMENTARY by John MacArthur, Volume Hebrews, section 13:5-6

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-11-10

Scripture: Ecclesiastes 5:10

Author: John MacArthur / Illustration Exchange
5

ILLUSTRATION

John D. Rockefeller (1839 – 1937) was an American businessman who made his fortune founding the Standard Oil Company. He went on to become one of the wealthiest men of the early 20th century. 

John MacArthur relates the following story about Rockefeller:

When [he] was a young man, a friend reportedly asked him how much money he wanted. “A million dollars,” he replied. After he had earned a million dollars, the friend asked him again how much money he wanted. The answer this time was, “Another million.” 

[John MacArthur is the pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, as well as an author, conference speaker, president of The Master’s College and Seminary, and featured teacher with the Grace to You media ministry.]

APPLICATION

"Covetousness and greed follow a principle of increasing desire and decreasing satisfaction," says MacArthur, "a form of the law of diminishing returns."

“He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who love abundance with its income. This too is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 5:10).

The more you get the more you want. When we focus on material things, our having will never catch up with our wanting. It is one of God’s unbreakable laws.

Illustration Exchange

One Billion Dollars Make Ted Turner No Poorer

Wealth Giving Sacrifice

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-02-08

Scripture: Luke 21:1 ; 2 Samuel 24:24

Author: Illustration Exchange
6

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Playing Monopoly With Life

Authority Wealth Priorities

Contributed By: Mitchell Dillon | Date Posted: 2015-01-12

Scripture: Luke 16:10

Author: Mitchell Dillon
11

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Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous

Wealth Kingdom of God Seeker

Contributed By: Mitchell Dillon | Date Posted: 2015-01-06

Scripture: Matthew 7:7 ; Jeremiah 29:13

Author: Mitchell Dillon
2

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Make A Life, Not A Fortune

Wealth Compassion Giving

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-03-31

Scripture: 1 Timothy 6:17

Author: Stephen King
9

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The Redistribution of Spiritual Wealth

Wealth Significance Jesus' Sacrifice

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-10-08

Scripture: Philippians 2:6 ; 2 Corinthians 5:21

Author: Illustration Exchange
9

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The Richest Man In The Cemetery

Wealth Good Works Priorities

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2011-10-07

Scripture: Ephesians 2:8 ; Titus 3:5

Author: Illustration Exchange
9

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Uncertain Riches

Wealth Worldliness Devotion

Contributed By: Francis Balla | Date Posted: 2011-08-25

Scripture: Matthew 6:19

Author: francis Balla
9

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