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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Outbreak (04/07/11)

TITLE: Outbreak
By Kristi Huseby


I looked up the word outbreak in the dictionary. It said that it was “a sudden or violent increase in activity”. And it reminded me of a verse in Hebrews 10:24, “Let us think of ways to encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds.”

I wonder what it would like if we as Christians put this verse into practice. I wonder how I would be if I continuously looked for ways to encourage my sisters and brothers in Christ to love and good works. I wonder how different our churches would be. What would happen if we had an “outbreak” of love and good deeds?

What do you think of when you hear the word “outbreak”? I think of something incredibly contagious and difficult to contain.

In the verse right above, it gives us the reason for why we should encourage one another to love and good deeds. Hebrews 10:23 says, “Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted.” What does it mean to live with an unwavering hope?

In the movie Jacob the Liar (played by Robin Williams), hope plays an important role. The setting is a Jewish Ghetto in Poland during World War II. The Jews have lost all hope of ever being saved and many of them have resorted to killing themselves. Through some crazy circumstances one Jew, Jacob, ends up outside the ghetto and hears a radio broadcast. When he returns he shares what he has learned about the allies with some of his friends and the news travels like wild fire through the quarter. After hearing the news, Jacob begins to see a visible change in people because of a renewed sense of hope and so embarks on a plan to keep hope alive in the ghetto . . .

When I saw this movie, I was struck by the power of hope. Most of us in America have no idea what it is like to live without hope and so it’s easy for us to take for granted the hope we have in Christ.

We forget that we are living in similar circumstances in our spiritual lives as Jacob was. People all around us are living and dying with no hope! We have the hope that will not only give them purpose in this life but will save them for all of eternity!

I wonder what would happen if we had an outbreak of love and good deeds. Would people see the hope we have in Christ? Would they be “infected” with our love for God and good deeds for others? What if we couldn’t contain this pandemic? Remember, it just takes one!

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This article has been read 314 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Grace Merkey04/14/11
I agree. outbreaks don't have to be of something bad.
Joanne Sher 04/14/11
I love the idea of an "outbreak" of hope - caused by an outpouring of good deeds - and Good News.

Enjoy your writing style :) Will send you some specific suggestions some time in the next couple days (and I was wrong about that roman numeral! LOL)
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/16/11
This is a really nice devotion. I like how you showed an example of something-that many people would know.

Just be careful when writing for the challenge about using the topic word too much, when you give the definition of it it changes the tone from a devotion to more of an essay.

You did a really nice job of giving concise examples and I like the scripture verse you quoted. (make sure you noted what version of the Bible you use) All in all you did a great job. Keep writing.
Kathleen Langridge04/16/11
I thought your illustration from the film was excellent and the verses you chose built layers into the topic. Well done and with some editing and less focus on 'out break' it would be very well done. I thought it more a message than a devotional. What was your goal?
Helen Curtis04/16/11
I really enjoyed this piece, especially the reference to the movie (I feel like watching it now!). It was so simple and easy to read and the message is conveyed in a humble and encouraging way. Well done.
Carol Penhorwood 04/17/11
I too loved the example you gave in the movie. It really brought your point home. Great verses.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/26/11
Congratulations for placing 9th in level one!