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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


I was having that dream again. At first it was once or twice a month. Then it was nightly.

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 "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."

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, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" 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, "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 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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This article has been read 507 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Llewelyn Stevenson 01/31/08
A very important lesson to learn. A worthwhile read.
Jan Ackerson 02/01/08
Wonderful testimony! I suspect that there are a lot of people who need to hear this.
Marlene Austin02/01/08
Questions that many have asked. Can only hope that each one finds the answer as in this piece. :)
Laury Hubrich 02/02/08
This is a very good acount of a dream. I can't imagine going to a church that doesn't preach and teach from the Bible. How awful! You have very good thoughts here and I like the way it is conversational. Good job!
william price02/04/08
I'm usually not greatly impressed with dream stories, but you really pulled this off. A great message. Super work. God bless.
Catrina Bradley 02/04/08
Wonderful devotion on basic salvation. Very clear message - the dream of the packages was a nice visual. The transition from the dream to the lesson was a little bumpy, but the topic illustration is spot on. Very nice!
Dee Yoder 02/05/08
I think God can use a dream to alert someone to a deeper message and to encourage them to find something more. Good illustration with the packages!
Sara Harricharan 02/06/08
This is interesting. The reocurring dream makes it an opening that most of us can relate to, this is pretty good and straightforward. Nice job. ^_^
Holly Westefeld02/06/08
Very creative. It is most difficult, in my experience, to share the need for Christ with "good" people.
Joy Faire Stewart02/06/08
An excellent piece that could be used in Bible class. You make some very good points and I enjoyed it.
Joanne Sher 02/06/08
The dream part of this story is absolutely PERFECT - I love the voice of it especially. The rest is very good too - some of it seemed a touch unnatural, though. I also caught a punctuation issue here or there, but otherwise, this is VERY strong. Great job, Jodie!
Verna Cole Mitchell 02/06/08
This would be a great devotional for a Bible study group.
Loren T. Lowery02/06/08
You present this in a fresh, easy to read and understand way. I took it as a devotional and thank-you for sharing. Keep up the good work.