Blaise Pascal (famous french mathematician in the 1600's) was asked by a friend to do some calculations on gambling... which he did. However, this got Pascal thinking about the ultimate gamble of life itself in the light of eternity. He came up with, what was later to be called Pascal's Wager. Here's basically how it went:
whereas if you correctly believe in God, you gain everything (eternal bliss).
But if you correctly disbelieve in God, you gain nothing (death ends all),
whereas if you erroneously disbelieve in God, you lose everything (eternal damnation).
There have been thousands of volumes discussing this wager... so I won't go in to the issues that people smarter than I have with it. However, it effectively forces a person come to grips with the "what if" questions that matter. What if Christ was, indeed, crucified, dead, buried and resurrected? Or, even more simply, what if Christianity is true?
Pascal was more concerned with the eternal consequences of faith in God (eternal bliss) but I'd like to add another component to this wager... and that's the "here and now" benefits. The Christian life (on this planet) is hard. Let's face it. Following Jesus, when our society and even our own desires would pull us the other way, isn't natural. We are instructed to forgive those who hurt us. Turn the other cheek. Give away our money. Serve others and put them first. To love our enemies. To avoid giving in to our natural desires. Who came up with this crazy system anyway? If I was inventing a religion I sure wouldn't include stuff like this! And it would suck.
It turns out that following Jesus in this life actually is beneficial for this life... and the next. All these crazy instructions that God gives us actually,generally speaking, lead to life better led. Less enemies. Less bitterness and resentment. Less reliance on wealth for happiness. Less sickness and pain.
So... here's what I'd add to Pascal's wager:
Last Sunday's Service:Audio of the sermon
Audio of the rest of the service
Audio of Country Church
Video of the service
Video of Country Church
~ "I am always going into the far country and returning as a prodigal and thou art always bringing forth the best robe." - Puritan prayer
~ "Parties who want milk should not sit in a field waiting for a cow to back up to them."
Proverb of the Week:
16:3 Put God in charge of your work, then what you've planned will take place.
Wonderful animation of a real recording of a wee girl telling the story of Lazarus from the 1960's.
Take a look inside a $300 million yacht
Sing along with Adele... 2 year old style
More great ISS images!
Airplane crashes have a 96% survival rate! In the U.S, from 1983 to 2000, 51,207 out of 53,487 people survived airplane crashes.
Meet The ComBappers:
Nothing to see here... move along. :)
Reminders:View the bulletin from Sunday
- Wednesday - 7:30 p.m. - Ladies' Care Group
- Thursday - 9:30 a.m. - Coffee at the Bus Depot
- Thursday - 12:00 noon - Lenten Service & Lunch at Grace United Church
- Thursday - 6:00 p.m. - Alpha Marriage Preparation Class
- Thursday - 7:00 p.m. - Karie G.'s CARE Group at Terry & Penny G.'s home
- Saturday - 7:00 p.m. - Steve D.'s CARE Group (Ask Lyle K. about location.)
- Sunday - Adult Sunday School at 9:45 a.m., Pre-Service Prayer at 10:15 a.m., Coffee Fellowship at 10:30 a.m., Sunday Morning Service & Sunday School (age 3 to grade 5) & Toddlers and Two's Program at 10:45 a.m.
- Sunday - 12:15 p.m. - Spaghetti Lunch, hosted by the Youth (SERVE Fundraiser)
- Monday - 7:00 p.m. - Prayer Meeting
- Tuesday - 9:30 a.m. - Coffee at Humpty's
- Tuesday - 7:00 p.m. - Louise S.'s CARE Group
- Wednesday - 9:30 a.m. - Pastor Joell's CARE Group
- Movie Night - "Apostle Peter & The Last Supper" - Tuesday, April 3 at 7:00 p.m.
- ALIVE Tour Concert - Friday, April 13 at 7:00 p.m.
The famous Olympic skier Picabo Street (pronounced Pee-Ka-Boo) is not just an athlete. She is now a nurse currently working in an Intensive Care Unit at a large metropolitan hospital. She is not permitted to answer the hospital telephones any longer. It caused too much confusion when she would answer the phone and say, "Picabo I.C.U."
A good clean joke is hard to find these days. (Admit it ... you're smiling!) Thanks, Brenda S.!
A kindergarten teacher handed out a coloring page to her class. On it was a picture of a duck holding an umbrella.
The teacher told her class to color the duck in yellow and the umbrella green. But little Johnny, who always does things HIS way, colored the duck a bright fire.
After seeing this, the teacher asked him: "Johnny, how many times have you seen a red duck?"
Young Johnny replied with "The same number of times I've seen a duck holding an umbrella."
We need people to deliver and post a bunch of posters around town (comedy show).
We still need billets for TWO Teen Challenge students on Saturday, April 28. Please contact the church office as soon as possible if you could billet them.
Children's workers are needed for the Good Friday Service. Please contact the church office if you could help with this.
If you would be willing to clean an oven at the church, contact Marilyn H. or the church office.
One-seventh of your life is spent on Mondays.
Devotional:"My son, do not despise the LORD's discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in." (Proverbs 3:11-12)
Here's a hard idea: God disciplines His kids. That includes you and me. Listen close, though -- God does not punish His kids for their sin. Jesus has already been punished for our sin. The punishment for sin is death and hell. God has zeroed out that debt for those who have trusted in Christ for their salvation.
But God does discipline His kids -- and, yes, that is a huge difference. His discipline seems to involve allowing enough pain to come our way to get our hearts back in line with Him, to get our feet back on the path He has called us to.
Not all kids take being disciplined very well. Some get angry and resentful. Others rebel even more. Some get discouraged and want to give up at the very thought that they aren't perfect, after all.
Faith that works says, "I was wrong. God loves me and is right to correct me or discipline me. I will accept that and move closer to Him by obeying Him."
Think: How do you receive being corrected, rebuked, or disciplined? Why is it so hard to take it well? How is correction and discipline evidence of God's love for you?
Pray: Ask God to help you not to resent His discipline or correction, but to received it well because you know He loves you.
Do: Read more about God's discipline in Hebrews 12:1-13.
Get More Daily Devotionals at PlanetWisdom.com.