The Winning Ticket

BY PASTOR DUANE SAYLER | NEW LIFE BEULAH CAMPUS

Did you happen to watch the 145th running for the roses at the Kentucky derby on May 2? A horse named “Maximum Security” came across the finish line first. This horse had the best odds of winning at 4/1 and if you were to put some money down on this race, this was the best bet.  But, these odds are established by men who make educated guesses, with no crystal ball in their back pocket.

This time the odd makers got it right. “Maximum Security” did come across the finish line first, wait...hold on to your tickets a minute, there was an objection raised by another rider. It turns out “Maximum Security” broke some rules and interfered with another horses lane. “Maximum Security” was disqualified and a horse named “Country House” was named the winner, whose odds at 65 to 1 made him a long shot. If your ticket said “Country House” you had much to celebrate, you made a good choice. 

I usually don’t follow horse racing and personally have not walked up to a window and put money down on a horse. This particular day I did watch some of the coverage of this sporting event and what drew most of my interest were the hats. If you follow this at all you know people go all out in their attire and ladies hats are the main thing on display. I think this would be a great event to attend and just people watch. The styles are as numerous as people’s personalities, and I would suspect most of them have a ticket in their pocket hoping they hold the winning ticket.

What about in life— are you holding a winning ticket? Are you waiting to find out after you cross the finish line if you have won? Or might there be someone who would object because you broke some of the rules while running the race. Don’t you wish there was a way to stack the odds in your favor or have an inside scoop that could assure you that your ticket was the winning ticket? There is a book that has made a lot of predictions, and so far this book has been found to be completely accurate. The author of this book has never been wrong and offers a ticket to you for free.

Of course I’m talking about the Bible, the book that has yet to have made one wrong prediction. That makes for some amazing odds. And yet many people today place their bet on a horse named” Buddha,” or the horse named “Allah,” a very popular horse that people are betting on today is named “its all about me.” There is also one named “money,” and the ever popular “God is dead.”

No matter which horse you bet on, one thing is for sure, you will cross the finish line but a winning ticket is a must. I encourage you to pull your ticket out of your pocket and see who you are betting on. If your ticket says “Jesus” on it you have so much to celebrate. Actually most people wait to celebrate until after the race to see if they have won. But the Jesus ticket holders can start celebrating before the race is even over because the victory is assured. 

“Those who hope in Me will not be disappointed,” Isaiah 49:23.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit,” Romans 15:13.

“The Certainty of God’s Promise”

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When it comes to horse races the word “certainty” is never used. But in the Bible we see this word used frequently. And when it comes to this race called life we need someone we can rely on, who has a history of certainty, someone who cannot lie and will give us advice that is a sure thing.

“God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged,” Hebrew 6: 18.

In closing, let me give you a vivid picture of how accurate the Bible is when talking about betting odds. A class of mathematicians figured out the odds of this man named Jesus fulfilling just eight prophecies the bible hundreds of years before his birth. They discovered that it would be equivalent to filling the state of Texas with coins two feet deep and then marking just one coin. Then flying someone across the state of Texas in a helicopter until the person guessed at where to set the helicopter down and reach down and picked up the one marked coin. The odds are mind boggling…unless you have an inside scoop.

Jesus is a sure thing,  push all you chips into the middle of the table , go all in...then start rejoicing. What a joy to celebrate victory before the race is over, to have this assurance is what faith in Jesus brings. As the Bible says Rejoice and be glad, again I say rejoice (Philippians 4:4).

Pastor Duane