Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. (James 4:8)

Posts tagged ‘eternal’

You Are Going to Die!

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Photo by Elsie esq. on Flickr.

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

This news does not set well with most people, but King Hezekiah’s response was especially passionate. “Then Hezekiah turned his face toward the (Western) wall and prayed to the LORD, and said, ‘Remember now, O LORD, I pray, how I have walked before you in truth and with a loyal heart, and have done what is good in Your sight.’ And Hezekiah wept bitterly.” (Isaiah 38:2-3, NKJV) Not only did God hear his prayer and heal the King, He told him that Hezekiah would live fifteen more years. God even gave Hezekiah a miraculous sign of His promise by turning back time ten degrees on the sundial of Ahaz. I don’t know how much time ten degrees on the sundial of Ahaz was, but it must have been substantial.

I suspect that many people have prayed similar prayers when given that bad news, but God is sovereign and He can do whatever He wants, including healing or choosing not to heal the terminally ill and raising the dead. This does not mean that those who have been healed don’t die at some point in the future; nobody gets out of this life alive.

Had he died when Isaiah first told him he would die, Hezekiah would have passed peacefully, leaving his kingdom intact. As it was, over the period of the next 15 years, Hezekiah’s head swelled and he made the foolish decision to show the entire treasury to a group of visiting Babylonian emissaries. God rebuked Hezekiah and told him that everything he had shown to the Babylonians would be carried off to Babylon, along with some of his family members. (2 Kings 20:12-18)

Hezekiah also fathered Manasseh during that 15 year remission. Manasseh ascended the throne at the age of 12 after Hezekiah’s death and was recorded as the most evil king of Judah, committing atrocities beyond those practiced by the people who had lived in Canaan before the Children of Israel settled there!

We can never know what might have happened had the story ended differently, but what we do need to grasp is the concept that we are eternal beings who, if we are saved by the precious blood of Jesus, will live forever in heaven. Our eternal life is already upon us; all that separates us from eternity are these earthly bodies that are one step closer to death each day. Rather than being obsessed with cheating death and extraordinarily extending our lives here, we need to focus on the task that Jesus gave us to do and then when our time is up, take that last step into the arms of our loving Savior.

Lisa Nordell-Detres is a mother of four, grandma to two boys with a third on the way (!), a pastor’s wife and has worked in the garment and customer service industries in southern California. Besides writing, Lisa enjoys cooking, sewing, organic gardening, hiking, skiing and doing most anything outside.

Lisa was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, studied Christian Apologetics at Simon Greenleaf University, holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Fashion Design from Woodbury University and an MBA from California State University at Northridge. Lisa, her husband and their youngest child now live in central Oregon.

In His Hands

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Photo by JJ Verhoef on Flickr.com

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

Over two hundred fifty years ago, Jonathan Edwards (the preacher, not the politician) preached what became a famous sermon entitled “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” If ever there was a hellfire and brimstone sermon, this is it. I cannot argue with the premise of this sermon, because according to the Bible, all who have not believed in Jesus Christ and confessed that God raised Him from the dead (Romans 10:9) are in fact, doomed to the horrific eternal punishment that Edwards so eloquently described in his sermon.

What really resonated with me about the sermon is that Edwards wasn’t just talking to the people who were outside of God’s will and knew it, but he also addressed those who went to church, behaved properly and were Christians from all outward appearances, but did not have the faith and belief in Jesus in their hearts.

I thought of “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” while reading I Chronicles 21. King David did something that made God really angry. David confessed his sin and God made David choose from three different consequences: three years of famine in Israel, three months of being overrun by Israel’s enemies or three days of a deadly plague at the hand of God.

David threw himself at the mercy of God, “I am in great distress. Please let me fall into the hand of the Lord, for His mercies are very great; but do not let me fall into the hand of man.” David belonged to God and understood that the best place for an imperfect person who belongs to God is in the hands of a merciful God.

Either way, we are always at the mercy of the all-powerful God; wise people will trust in Him and live under His mercy. Otherwise, we are indeed “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” The choice is yours to make today.

Lisa Nordell-Detres is a mother of four, grandma to two boys, a pastor’s wife and has worked in the garment and customer service industries in southern California. Besides writing, Lisa enjoys cooking, sewing, organic gardening, hiking, skiing and doing most anything outside.

Lisa was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Fashion Design from Woodbury University and an MBA from California State University at Northridge. Lisa, her husband and their youngest child now live in central Oregon.

When Disaster Strikes

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(Photo from Military Friends Foundation in news.yahoo.com)

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

No rational person wants bad things to happen, but if there is one thing to be sure of in this fallen world, catastrophes do occur. What do we do then? Do we get angry, do we fall apart, do we start pointing fingers before the smoke even clears? If you happen to find yourself in the middle of the event, hopefully you are one of the courageous people who drops everything to help those in need.

Those of us who witness the tragedy from afar may have a wider range of choices of how to respond to the news. In the closing chapters of I Samuel, David experienced a devastating trial and his response is worth studying. He and his exiled army were based with their families in the city of Ziklag. Upon returning from a mission, they found that their city had been sacked and burned and all their loved ones had been taken captive. The first response was to grieve. I Samuel 30:4 says that David and his men “lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep. (NKJV)” So much for the stoic, burly he-man image; visualize an army of 600 warriors crying until there were no more tears to shed.

The next response was not unusual; the men turned on David and talked about killing him. David’s grief quickly turned to despair, but verse 6 says that “David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.” Here is where reading the Bible chronologically is so great. In Psalm 18, David records his prayer that strengthened him in the face of this adversity. David’s next reaction was to seek God’s guidance on the approach to be taken; go after the captors or not? God’s answer was clear: pursue them and you will get every person and everything back. David then went to the angry mob and rallied them to a more appropriate course of action.

I can hear you thinking, “Good for David, but I have asked God for guidance before and I never hear anything from Him.” True, we may not hear the voice of God clearly telling us what to do. Here is the key: as we develop a closer relationship with God by reading His word the Bible, as we spend time in prayer with Him every day, as we seek Him in all things, our path will become clearer every step of the way. It may not happen overnight, but remember that your journey with God is a lifelong one that stretches into eternity. Patience and faithfulness are required to develop a deeper trust in God; He will give you the wisdom to do the right thing in every situation you encounter in life.

For now, we can follow David’s example: grieve, strengthen yourself in the Lord, seek God’s guidance and then act accordingly.

Lisa Nordell-Detres is a mother of four, grandma to two boys, a pastor’s wife and has worked in the garment and customer service industries in southern California. Besides writing, Lisa enjoys cooking, sewing, organic gardening, hiking, skiing and doing most anything outside.

Lisa was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Fashion Design from Woodbury University and an MBA from California State University at Northridge. Lisa, her husband and their youngest child now live in central Oregon.

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