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

Posts tagged ‘Gospel’

Ezekiel’s Burden

Ezekiel_Tapestry2x

Ezekiel prophet’s wall photo by Peter2010 on Flickr.

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

Think of the least popular political figure you can imagine. Now imagine that you are picked up by alien-like creatures and brought to this leader who proceeds to tell you that you now have a new job working for him and here are the details of the job:

• You will be the spokesperson for this unpopular ruler
• You have to literally eat his words in the form of a honey-flavored scroll
• The people will not listen to you
• The people will tie you up and you will be so thirsty that your tongue will stick to the roof of your mouth, but when He tells you to speak, you will speak.
• Despite the mistreatment of the people, you must not be afraid of them
• If you don’t speak up to the people when your boss tells you, you will be responsible for their very lives. If they die, you will be personally responsible for their lost souls.
• You will make a model of a city under siege and then lay on your left side next to it for 390 days
• During that time, you will not be able to move off your side
• You will bake you bread over a fire fueled by human waste
• After the 390 days have passed, you will lay on your right side for another 40 days
• Then you will shave your head and burn part of the hair for all to see, throw part of it into the air and slice it up with a sword and tie some of the hair onto your clothes. For all to see.

Mind-blowing; those are the words that come to mind when I read the opening chapters of the book of Ezekiel. If this had been me, I would already have been looking for someone to take my place, or perhaps a place to hide (although he probably knew what happened when Jonah tried that).

God will never tell us to do anything for which He has not equipped us, but will require us to faithfully obey; not knowing everything there is to know about our assignment. Ezekiel was a devout Jewish priest who was taken out of Israel during the Babylonian captivity. His only objection to the terms of his service was about using human waste to bake his bread. On this, God allowed him to use cattle dung instead. Now, that’s commitment!

Do we feel any kind of personal responsibility for the lost souls with whom we come into contact each day? God told Ezekiel to share God’s message even if the people would not listen and the same is true today. Our job is to tell people about Jesus; it is the work of His Holy Spirit that does the saving. Understanding our part of the work should give us the freedom to share the Gospel much more freely.

Lisa Nordell-Detres is a mother of four, grandma to three 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 is a member of the Central Oregon Writers Guild.

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. 

Yes, He Did!

Image

-By Lisa Nordell-Detres

For nearly two thousand years, Christians have been celebrating Good Friday and Easter. One event, the execution of an innocent man, happens all too often while the other event only happened once. Two thousand years later, Jesus Christ is still the topic of much discussion and misunderstanding. Regardless of your personal opinion about Jesus, this man has some serious staying power!

“Who do men say that I am?” Jesus asked His followers. People still entertain that question today. For those who think that Jesus was a great teacher, you are right. Jesus taught the law of love, He taught the golden rule. Jesus also taught that He was one with God the Father and that He (Jesus) was the only way to get to God. Yes, He taught that. Some people think that Jesus was a prophet. They are also right; He prophesied that He would be crucified and then rise from the dead three days later. All of His prophesies came true with the exception of those that referred to the end of the world. Yes, Jesus accurately prophesied his own death, burial and resurrection.

Many people can’t believe that Jesus came back from the dead, but there is more than enough evidence to support this fact. There were hostile witnesses, the Roman Guards who were bribed to make up a story about what happened to Jesus’ body (Matthew 28:11-15). There were hundreds of eye witnesses to the risen Jesus (I Corinthians 15:3-8); even one of His own followers, Thomas, could not believe until he had seen Jesus alive (John 20:24-29).

Jesus changed peoples’ lives. Billions of lives, starting with His own followers, who cowered in an upper room after His death but then a few weeks later for the rest of their lives, boldly preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ. All but one were martyred for their faith in Christ. Despite the forces that have stood to exterminate Christians from early Rome until the worldwide persecution that millions of Christians face today, the Church continues to grow because Jesus is still changing lives. Yes, He does! If you let Him in, He will gently and lovingly change your life. Yes, He will!

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.

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: