Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “All that Glitters is Not Gold” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/24/08)
TITLE: Seed of Revival
By jodie banner
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I'm standing in line before the throne at the final judgment. My arms are filled with packages. It is a long line and I can't help but peek at the labels. One reads "Sang Solo at Christmas Service", another is "Singlehandedly organized VBS", "Spent Thanksgiving serving dinner to the poor" and on, and on. Everything I've ever done to serve at my local church, soup kitchens, and to help the sick and the poor is labeled on one of the packages. Considering the fact that I was raised in my local church and started in ministries before I was twelve, there are a lot of packages. Here is the funny part, as I get closer to the front of the line, I can see others who are being judged. Some of them possess thousands of packages. They even have little carts being pulled by goats to carry them all, and yet when they finally face the throne and lay their things before it, they are engulfed in flame. These people are left standing there naked before God, all of their packages are ashes.
I have spent every moment since childhood doing good for others, and I haven't begun to accumulate the number of packages as these other people. How could I possibly ever do enough? I had no idea what God was trying to tell me?
There is a "Bible Church" pretty close to my house. We've never really studied the Bible at our church. We live in an area filled with needy people so we've never had the time or resources for frivolous study groups. I needed answers, this dream was driving me nuts, so I started going to their Wednesday night Bible study.
After only two months I had learned more at the Bible study than I have in the last twenty years. According to the Bible, no matter how hard I work, I can't get to heaven. Ephesians 2:8,9 says <i>"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith- and this is not from yourselves, it is a gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast."</i>
Well, of course my next question was why do I need saving? I mean my whole life has been dedicated to others. Would you believe the Bible can answer that as well? Romans 3:23 states, <i>"for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God"</i> When I read that I thought I was going to have to think really hard to figure out what my sins were. Once I started listing them on paper though, it sure didn't take long to fill up the second page. Good thing we ran out of time or I might have finished a third page.
I was a little scared after writing all of that stuff down. If everything I've tried to do to be a good person can't make up for all of the bad stuff I've done, then I've got problems at the final judgment.
Guess what, the Bible talks about that. John 3:16 says, <i>"For God so loved the world He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."</i> I never knew that Jesus did that whole cross thing on purpose for me and everyone else on earth. After I found out about Jesus suffering and dying because I had sinned, I was on my knees. Right there in front of everyone. I begged God to forgive me and accepted His gift of forgiveness and life. I can't wait to tell our other friends in our Young Adult Sunday school class at church.
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