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

Posts tagged ‘worship’

And Then There Was Silence

Candle in the Dark

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

Less than fifty years after the Jews returned from the 70 year Babylonian exile to their homeland, the people were at it again. The last prophet of God recorded in the Old Testament, Malachi, brought a message of hope of the coming Savior, condemnation for the heartless, rote religion that was being practiced in Jerusalem and blessings for those who served God with all their hearts.

And then there was silence. Although God did not speak to humanity through prophets for about 400 years, He still was actively involved in shaping the course of history in preparation for the incarnate arrival of Jesus. To name just two things, the conquest of Alexander the Great brought oppression to the known world, but it also brought a common language that accommodated spreading the Gospel to the Mediterranean world after Jesus’ resurrection. God also preserved the hope of His people through the revolt of the Maccabees and the miracle of the candles which is still celebrated during Hanukkah.

There are times in our lives in which it seems that God is not speaking to us, but we can be assured that if we are faithful to Him, He is working behind the scenes to prepare our path for even greater events to come. With this in mind, go light a candle, read the book of Malachi (it’s only four chapters) and then rest in the knowledge that God is always with us and is working in our lives, even if we can’t hear His voice.

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. 

No Peace for the Wicked

Stonehenge

Stonehenge photo by Wallyg on Flickr.

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

“There is no peace,” says the LORD, “for the wicked.” (Isaiah 48:22 NKJV)

In case you are thinking about all the godless people in this world who run around proclaiming “peace” every chance they get, this verse was not referring to them. Taken in context with the book of Isaiah and the rest of chapter 48, God was talking to His own people, Israel, who had chosen to worship their neighbors’ gods of wood, stone and metal. God sent numerous prophets over the years to warn them about the consequences of their apostasy, but for the most part, the warnings fell on deaf ears.

Listen to the agony of Father God whose desire was for His children just to obey:

“Oh, that you had heeded My commandments!
Then your peace would have been like a river,
And your righteousness like the waves of the sea.
Your descendants would have been like the sand,
And your offspring of your body like grains of sand;
His name would not have been cut off
Nor destroyed from before Me.” (Is 48:18-19, NKJV)

Is there peace like a river in your life? Are you at rest in your Savior or is everyday life a struggle for you? Read Isaiah 48 and then take some time away from the fray for an internal spiritual assessment. Are you really living in obedience to God? Who is truly number one in your life? Do you seek His will on a daily basis; do you spend time in His Word so you know what it is you are supposed to obey? Or do you merely pay God lip service occasionally on Sundays? The behaviors of the people of Israel that God referred to as “wicked” lived this kind of life:

“Who swear by the name of the LORD and make mention of the God of Israel, but not in truth or in righteousness…” (v. 1).

True peace comes from living within God’s will and knowing that He is in control regardless of what is going on around us. If the prophet Isaiah’s definition of “wicked” just included you, it is not too late to seek God’s forgiveness and His peace in your life. We all need more peace of mind these days and God is the only One who can give it to us. Just like ancient Israel, the day will come when God will put an end to this world as we know it, but that day will be too late for repentance. Seek Him today while He can still be found!

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.

An Open Invitation to Worship

Hezekiah's Messenger_BiblePaintings

Illustration courtesy of Visual Bible Alive Resource Center.

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

Hezekiah became king at a time when Judah had already been overrun by Syrians and many of the people were carried off as captives. 2 Chronicles 28:5 makes it clear that this defeat was due to the unfaithful lifestyle of his predecessor, King Ahaz. This time, Israel defeated the Syrian army and eventually returned the captives to Judah. When Hezekiah ascended the throne, the first thing he did was open up the temple, repair the doors and summon the Levite priests to clean up and start doing their jobs again. Hezekiah understood that God’s blessings only came when the nation was obedient to His commandments.

Once the leadership had repented and were committed to worshipping God as He required, Hezekiah sent messengers with letters to all of Israel and Judah, inviting them to join in the Passover celebration. The letters begged the people to consider the consequences of their ancestors’ choices (many of the Israelis were captives in Assyria) and to come back to serving God, “that the fierceness of His wrath may turn away from you.” (2 Chronicles 30:8c, NKJV) The letters went on to assure that if the people in Israel repented and committed to serving God, those in captivity would “be treated with compassion by those who lead them captive, so that they may come back to this land; for the LORD your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn His face from you if you return to Him.” (2 Chronicles 30:9, NKJV)

What do you think was the response to this generous offer? Many of the people of Judah and some from a few of the tribes of Israel humbly came to the celebration, but most of them “laughed at them (the messengers) and mocked them.” (2 Chronicles 30:10b, NKJV) Sound familiar?

We have all been given a similar message to deliver to the world: turn away from practices and behaviors that cause pain and sorrow, repent and come serve the LORD God with all your heart. Those who accept God’s generous offer of salvation and eternal life can testify that there is no judgment in their new life. As messengers, we should not be discouraged by the jeers and laughter; we will all face the same God in the end. Ours is to make sure that the message is delivered humbly and with the complete love that only God can give.

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.

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: