My lottery dream!

Are you dreaming of winning the lottery? Thousands of people share that dream, and there is even a slight chance that you could be the winner one day! Not long ago, on 22 August 2009, a lucky Italian scooped Europe’s biggest lottery so far, winning £ 128m.

Imagine if this were you? What would you spend your money on? A large house, a new car, an extended holiday, trendy clothes, or would you invest it in a humanitarian project? There is definitely a wide variety of things that can be bought with money. Yet there is an even more staggering list of things which cannot be bought, not even with £ 128m. Although these things cannot be bought, they are not less important. Actually, they are very precious and utterly essential:

For money will buy luxury, but it will not buy our basic needs such as love, friendship and trust. Money will buy life insurance, plastic surgery and wellness therapies, but it cannot buy good health or a long life. Money will buy advancement and popularity, but it will not buy the recognition of God. Money will buy temporary enjoyment, but it will not buy everlasting contentment and joy

A similar thought was written down nearly 2000 years ago, well before the days of modern capitalism:
Prosperity is as short-lived as a wildflower, so do not ever count on it. You know that as soon as the sun rises, pouring down its scorching heat, the flower withers. Its petals wilt and, before you know it, that beautiful face is a barren stem. Well, that is the picture of the «prosperous life.» At the very moment everyone is looking on in admiration, it fades away to nothing. (The Bible, James 1:10.11)

A real-life example

Elvis Presley, the King of Rock’n’Roll, owned three jets, two Cadillacs, a Rolls Royce, a Lincoln Continental, two station wagons, a jeep, a custom touring bus, and three motorcycles. His Cadillac limo top was covered with pearl-white Naugahyde, and its body was sprayed with 40 coats of specialpaint containing crushed diamonds. Nearly all the metal trim was plated in 18-carat gold and it was furnished with the most expensive equipment available, leaving no dreams unfulfilled.
We might think that the owner of such riches, beauty and glory should have been a happy and content man – yet when Elvis Presley came to the end of his life, he died lonely and unhappy. This is only one example, but you will find thousands of similar real-life stories that prove money can buy many things but not ANYTHING.

An incredible offer!

So what? If money does not make our life happy and worth living, what else will? I am glad that there is a way to lasting contentment, peace and joy. It cannot be found in wealth, nor in a lifestyle or in any religious activity. But it is found in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who gave himself up at the cross in order to fill our lives with «everlasting things» that are worth living for! The God of the Bible invites each one of us to be part of this lifefilling and joy-giving offer. Consider his passionate invitation:
Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labour on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live. (The Bible, Isaiah 55:1-3)

How to get these «everlasting things»

The greatest treasure – so great that it is in a category all by itself – cannot be bought. If the entire human race were to spend all of its resources in an effort to buy forgiveness of sin and eternal life with Jesus, it would be infinitely insufficient.
All the wealth of the whole world cannot purchase the supreme blessing of forgiveness and heaven.

But God in his goodness offers this treasure for free to all those who put him first. Forgiveness is the very thing that matters already now and all the more once our life comes to an end. What an offer! Our possessions will lose their value and be left behind; forgiveness will decide whether we will face a blissful eternal future with Jesus or an eternity within Satan’s dark and pain-filled kingdom.

Something to think about!

As someone who works in the banking industry, my whole life was focused on acquiring money and possessions. Strangely enough, these things never made me feel happy or content. No, the longer I went on and the more I accumulated, the emptier I felt. Luckily, there was a day in my life, when I was reminded that God, my Creator, had something far better in store for me. He invited me to come to him and exchange my emptiness for forgiveness, purpose and life eternal. I accepted his invitation. I came to him the way I was and laid down all my burdens at the cross of Jesus Christ. This was a truly special moment. To know my sins were forgiven and that I was loved by God, gave me a new perspective on life and a freedom I had never experienced before. The challenge to put Jesus first in my life has not always been easy. But he is faithful and will walk with me through this life until I get to the promised eternal home in heaven.

I can honestly say, Jesus has filled my life with treasures more precious than money. He has given me more peace, security and freedom than winning the lottery would. If you want to focus your life on things that will last – not just a few years but eternally, I recommend that you take the following steps:

  • Get hold of a Bible and start reading the gospel of John in the New Testament
  • Talk to God about the things you read and ask him to help you understand them
  • Act upon the things God reveals to you while reading the Bible

God bless you on your journey with Jesus!

Stefan Hostettler