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Don’t Gamble, Do Invest

Nate was a heartbroken man. He was dreading going home and telling his dear wife that he was a failure and had lost his job as a surveyor.

But when he got home and told her his wife Sophia surprised him with a shout of joy. Triumphantly she said, “Now you can write your book!”

“Yes,” replied the man, with sagging confidence, “but what shall we live on while I am writing it?”

At that a big smile came over Sophia’s face!

Would you like to know why Sophia was smiling?

I will tell you toward the end of the message.

If you heard me tell that story Wednesday night, don’t tell your neighbor!

Today in Danville and PittCo several pastors are preaching a message on the topic of gambling.

Some Christians don’t think the Bible has much to say about gambling.

They are wrong!

When you study all that the Bible says about earning money and using it wisely, it clearly speaks against gambling.

Read I Timothy 6:6-10, 17-19     Don’t Gamble, Do Invest              Let’s Pray!

So let’s take a brief look at just a few of the Scriptures that give us clarity here.

The Do’s and Don’ts of the handling of money:

DO Work Diligently

Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways, and be wise, which having no captain, overseer or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest.                                 -Proverbs 6:6-8

Nor did we eat anyone’s bread free of charge, but worked with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you.   -2 Thess. 3:8

For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: if anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.                  -2 Thess 3:10

That goes right along with what I Timothy 6:6-8 teach us.

That godliness with contentment is great gain.

Having food, and clothing, with these we shall be content.

When we work diligently, we are able to do the next thing…

DO Provide Responsibly

She also rises while it is yet night, and provides food for her household.                                                                                                 -Prov. 31:15

And the Lord said, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season?                         -Luke 12:42

if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. -I Tim. 5:8

People are called to provide responsibly for their families!

When we do, there should be a sense of satisfaction in being able to provide for your family and beyond.

Do work diligently, do provide responsibly, and then the Bible teaches…

DO Save and Invest Wisely

I love how this is stated in I Timothy 6:17-18

Wealth appropriately gained leads us “Not to be haughty, nor to trust in those uncertain riches, but in the living God.

We have done things His way, and He blesses us –

Look at the end of verse 17 – He gives us all things richly to enjoy. We are able to do good to family and friends that need a hand up. We can be rich in good works!

We are ready to give because we are in a position to give, and we are willing to share instead of horde.

What a great feeling!

Scripture extols preparing for the hard things you will face in this life

Basic provision and care for your household   

Appropriate Rest and Recharging (Vacation)



A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.           -Proverbs 13:22

(What Grandmother did for me)

Do work, do provide, do save and invest, and…

DO Give proportionately, generously, sacrificially

Scripture views giving as investment in your eternal portfolio

Several times I have gone over the verses about tithing and giving.

Look again at verse 18 – storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

Remember that verse 7 said that we brought nothing into this world, and we can carry nothing out.

That’s why blow their money on gambling, saying things like “you only go around once!”

No, it’s appointed unto man once to die, and then the judgment – for our thoughts, words, deeds, money management, etc.

And scripture teaches God will reward what’ done in His name to advance the gospel and to help the poor and needy.   

He who has a generous eye will be blessed, for he gives of his bread to the poor.                              -Prov. 22:9

She extends her hand to the poor, yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.   -Prov. 31:20

You can’t take it with you but you can send it ahead!

Those are the do’s of handling money wisely – here are the Don’ts –

DON’T covet what others have

Coveting is wanting what others have that you have not worked for!

The call for us is to be content with what we have!

The tenth commandment is not to covet.

Look at verse 9 – those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.

The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

Such piercing words!

You can see many examples of how gambling’s love for money has created ruin on

Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away like an eagle toward heaven. -Prov. 23:5

A man with an evil eye hastens after riches, and does not consider that poverty comes upon him.                       -Proverbs 28:22   

Don’t covet like the Prodigal Son whose love for money and pleasure made him blow his inheritance and have to live off of the kindness of his father.

DON’T exploit the poor and elderly

Do not rob the poor because he is poor, nor oppress the afflicted at the gate. For the Lord will plead their cause, and plunder the soul of those who plunder them.                      -Prov. 22:22-23

There is a generation whose teeth are like swords, and whose fangs are like knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men.                        -Prov. 30:14  

He who oppresses the poor to increase his riches, and he who gives to the rich, will surely come to poverty.             -Prov. 22:16

Are you listening Danville!

Studies show regional casinos do not draw high dollar Gamblers – they still go to Vegas.

Regional casinos make their money from those within a ten mile radius of the casino, much of it from the poor and elderly.


An inheritance gained hastily at the beginning, will not be blessed at the end.                                -Proverbs 20:21

Put those do’s and don’t together and you have ample reasons to not only say no to gambling personally, but to vote no on a the casino for Danville.       

Gambling is a personal sin because it’s poor stewardship of what God has entrusted to you to manage responsibly; Gambling is a corporate sin because it relies on the exploitation of others, often those who can least afford to lose.

In the paper I was quoted as saying its wrong if for you to win someone else has to lose. Someone wrote a letter to the editor and objected that we don’t stop playing sports even though there are winners and losers.

But that is not a good comparison at all!

In sports if you do it right, everyone wins in life, even though there were winners and losers in the game. But everyone loses in the long run in gambling.

In sports you learn some of life’s best lessons when you lose, but in gambling when you win you often develop a false sense of victory and you will keep coming back, losing money, spending time away from your family responsibilities, etc…

The sin of gambling takes you further than you thought you’d go, keeps you longer than you thought you’d stay, and costs you more than you were willing to pay.

And money that could have helped you on a rainy day, or dug a well in India for a people group without water, or blessed your grandchildren’s education is not there.

And that brings us back to Nate and Sophia.

Do you want to know why she was smiling?

When Nate asked where the money was going to come from, Sophia opened a drawer and pulled out a substantial amount of money.

“Where on earth did you get that?” Nate exclaimed!

“I have known you were a man of genius,” she told him. “I knew that someday you would write a masterpiece. So every week, out of the money you gave me for housekeeping, I saved a bit. There is enough here to last an entire year.”

Sophia’s frugal spending and wise saving gave her husband encouragement and an opportunity that he otherwise would not have had.

Nate, full name Nathaniel Hawthorne, rewarded her investment by writing what some have called the best American novel ever written, The Scarlet Letter.

Don’t fritter your money away, folks, but spend and invest it wisely. Make a difference in this life like Sophia, but don’t forget to also invest for eternity!

Christmas offering items unveiled in the next 2 weeks.

If you live in Danville, say no to Casino, and yes to the right kind of future for Danville!

Let’s Pray!