Participating in poker with God

When playing poker, it's best to maintain your opponents guessing until it is time to turn over your cards. Poker players often enjoy misdirecting one other players as to the strength of the hand while using intent of manipulating their decisions. Poker is unquestionably a favorite game because no person really knows who holds the best cards before the very end when everyone's hand is revealed. When looking at betting about how far better to please God and ourselves, life's choices can seem to be like playing poker.
Traditional Christians are betting that believing in Jesus his or her Lord and Savior is a lot like holding the best wild card that trumps all the others. For Muslims, believing in the five pillars of Islam might be analogous to holding the 5 best cards inside deck. The Hindus' belief in reincarnation could be seen as using an unlimited level of poker hands and money to experience until we succeed. Buddhists might understand the highest goal as every player at the table holding cards that end up with a balanced draw for everybody.
It is straightforward to see in utilizing this poker analogy that everyone is playing from the same rules and may also believe anyone not following their rules isn't playing with a complete deck. But then the good question arises, 'Are we playing poker and competing with the other or, are we playing poker with/against God'? That may seem like a strange and also inappropriate question though the answer is worth exploring.
Most religions agree that God is all-powerful and all-knowing. Playing poker with God clearly eliminates any bluffing strategies. Realizing God can stack occasions in a order He likes however them are shuffled and cut means the outcome has already been assured before the overall game begins. It really all depends upon what we believe God's goal was in creating us within the first place.
Many Christians feel God's fascination with us is conditional and our salvation is merely achieved by seeking the winning wildcard (salvation through Jesus) even a moment before we die. Others still think that we earn our salvation through our choices and deeds done on God's behalf. The Bible informs us that God is unwilling for almost any repentant soul to perish, so an area their faith in God's wish to stack the deck of life in our favor to ensure that all His youngsters are eventually saved despite having provided us with free will. So, the same as with poker, there are many of bets shared of life but no person knows the answer until all the cards are revealed and that we cash inside our chips. But think on this'
If God truly is love, is all-knowing and all-powerful, and is the most wonderful parent we could ever imagine, do we really think you will find any cards He is holding that He won't give us? Do we feel He would create even one soul that wont eventually be saved at the time with their choosing in lieu of irreversibly condemned? Do we presume God can't or unwilling to avoid wasting all His children but deciding we should have free will? If so, then we are coming up with the wrong God in your own less-than-perfect image instead of doing all we are able to to compare well and 'Be ye therefore perfect' here as Jesus taught and showed us.
The only sure bet we now have in everyday life is the fact that God has stacked when within our favor. We can remain losers for as long as we wish, for we all have free will, but our separation from Him isn't will individuals loving Father. The approach to actually win is to learn by His rules of unconditional love following Golden Rule and the perfect role model shown to us through the life of Jesus. Once perform, then life is not a game of ups-and-downs, but instead an endless experience of love and joy in God's abundant universe.
As always, I welcome your queries and comments at jschroeder@unityphx.org.

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