July 30, 2018 at 11:13PM

Colossians 4:2-6
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Prayer is key to life, because it’s one of the key methods of interaction between us and our captain, saviour, supporter, and truest friend. However, in addition to actually saying or thinking the words, we can also let an attitude of prayer inform how we see the world. My translation (ESV) of this passage says to be “watchful in [prayer] with thanksgiving.” Let us see our world with eyes that want to take in God’s beauty, and a mouth to praise, thank, and tell others what we see. In amongst the good and bad, happy and sad, extraordinary and mundane, we can see the hand of God, and He’s always within earshot to hear about what you saw today.
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Thanks to Scott Meadows on Facebook for suggesting this passage. If you’ve got a passage you’d like to see me reflect on, comment below or send me a message
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Follow for fully-inked reflections on my daily readings as I practice my art and my worship.
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#colossians4 #beauty #prayer #connection #listening #goggles #see #truth #vision #hope #artistsoninstagram #jesusart #illustratedfaith

Monday, July 29, 2018

1 Samuel 16:1, with 1 Samuel 15:22-31, 34-35 for context

Can you imagine what it’s like to be Samuel in this passage? Trusting God, he put all his support behind Saul, the man who was supposed to be not only the king, but the first human king that Israel has ever had. Now, that king has been cast off by God because of disobedience, and the world has fallen out from under Samuel’s feet. He’s in mourning, not because Saul is dead, but because he’s lost, and yet God tells him to fill his horn with oil and move on to the next person. Maybe you can imagine what Samuel feels like; maybe you have felt like your whole life, your purpose, and everything you thought you knew was being swept out from under you. These times are unfortunately all too common, and they will still hurt. The world is broken, but God is not, and He understands. Hold tightly to Him, even as the sky falls; He is holding on to you.
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#1samuel15 #despair #hope #blessing #care #understanding #artistsoninstagram #jesusart #illustratedfaith

Friday, July 27, 2018

Isaiah 26
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The people of God have never really had an easy time of it, for one main reason: they’re people. People get screwed over by other people, and people screw themselves over. The book of Isaiah talks a lot about both of these, but this chapter is different, because it talks about a God who is different. We are fickle and bounce around on the waves of life; God is steadfast. He is described here as a rock–as something that is powerful, immovable, and eternal–something that these scared and tired people can run towards and cling to. When we’re tossed by the waves of life, who is it that we cling to?
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Thanks to Kayil Torres for the passage suggestion. If you’ve got a passage you’d like to suggest, send me a message or comment below. I’d also like to acknowledge the painting, “Rock of Salvation” by Thomas Kinkade, which gave me the idea for a lighthouse.
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#isaiah26 #steadfast #whoistherock #heistherock #fear #trust #love #lighthouse #stars #mylighthouse #rockofages #rockofsalvation #artistsoninstagram #jesusart #illustratedfaith

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Meditation: Counterfeit (see 1 John 4)
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During a meeting that I attended today, Sarah Burton from Youth Unlimited talked about testing spiritual situations to see if they are from Jesus, and to do so, she talked about money. Specifically, she told us about people who are trained to detect counterfeit money, which they do not by learning everything they can about different types of counterfeiting, but rather by learning about the real thing, so that when they hold or see a counterfeit bill, they can know even by the touch that it’s fake. As Christians, we are to strive for this kind of awareness in our spiritual lives. Seeking out the dark mysteries of the world to find how they don’t relate to Jesus is dangerous and ultimately, beyond our ability. What we can do however, is immerse ourselves in the truth of who He is and what He does, the truth that we can find in the Bible, so that when we come across something that does not fit that, we will know instantly. The passage in 1 John 4 that talks about testing spirits then goes on to detail how God is not only love, but perfect love. I for one would rather spend my time soaking in perfect love than in anything else.
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Thanks to Sarah of course for her inspiring words. Also, for my non-Canadian friends, as great as Wolverine is, he unfortunately does not grace our money.
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#1john4 #truth #falsehood #lies #confusion #trust #faith #love #wolverine #canada #artistsoninstagram #jesusart #illustratedfaith

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Isaiah 25
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I don’t think I’ve quite captured the essence of this one, but really how do you capture God swallowing up death, or as it’s referred to here, “the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations.” It’s at times like these that I’m awed at both the amazing power of God (like come on, how often do we consider that He mightily defeated the thing that literally defeats all of us at some point), but also the prowess of God as a writer (of history). Hundreds of year later, we see this same veil being torn at the death of Jesus so that we can finally meet with God without the boundary. In the face of that, in the face of God, I’m okay that I couldn’t capture it perfectly; I will always be a broken mirror in this life, but because of He did the unimaginable, I will not be broken forever.
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#isaiah25 #art #creation #writing #awe #power #prowess #faith #admiration #artistsoninstagram #jesusart #illustratedfaith

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

John 3
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Nostalgia is really big nowadays. Look at Facebook for more than 5 minutes and you’ll see half a dozen articles, videos, and other various clickbait-y posts talking about how so and so is 20 this year, or how the cast from [Insert random sitcom here] is coming together for a reunion mini-episode. I think this apparent resurgence of nostalgia comes from a problem that is not so new: that change is one of the hardest things we’ll ever have to deal with. Nobody likes leaving good things behind, whether they be tangible items, moments, or even parts of ourselves that we like. However, when God brings change, it is always for the better, and this passage deals with that fact. We see two people, Nicodemus and John, who have very different reactions to the change that Jesus brings. Nicodemus, a pharisee, is of good standing in the community, but is still interested in Jesus, so he meets with Him in secret, where Jesus talks about the change that must happen in our hearts for us to be saved (namely, to be born of the spirit by believing in Jesus). We don’t know how Nicodemus responds, so we can’t rightly judge him, but we can infer by the fact that he met Jesus under the cover of night that maybe he was a little worried about the reactions of his peers if he did anything to go against the established system. On the other hand, John readily makes way for Jesus, saying that he should decrease so Jesus could increase. This scares his followers, because it looks like Jesus is just stealing John’s shtick, but John understands that his work was only a prologue. Both men worked for God, but John realized that it was better to hold fast to God and let Him determine what good things passed in and out of his life than to hold onto good things, even if they are from God, only to risk being swept away with them when they eventually go. God knows what we need, and He doesn’t rejoice in our misery; things will come and go, but God remains. Maybe the boat got you through the sea, and you should never forget the good that it did you, but it makes no sense to lug it up the shore.
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Thanks to Scott Meadows for the passage suggestion!
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#john3 #nostalgia #trust

Monday, July 23, 2018

John 11:1-44
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John 11:35 is the shortest verse in the Bible, but in many ways, it is one that speaks the loudest, especially when you consider the context. At the outset of the chapter, it is clear that Lazarus isn’t doing so hot, and the mood reflects that. Jesus keeps a strong face, assuring the disciples of what He knows–that Lazarus isn’t going to die (at least not for long), and the whole experience will be an amazing moment of God’s power. Yet, the disciples still despair, and so do Mary and Martha, Lazarus’ sisters, when Jesus arrives. By now, Lazarus has died, and the sisters, both very sad and probably pretty pissed ask Jesus “why weren’t you here earlier? You could have saved him.” As they gather around the tomb, the crucial part happens: Jesus starts to cry. It’s clear though that He knows Lazarus will be back soon, so He has no reason for fear, yet He cries anyway. He acknowledges the pain of the people around Him, and His own pain as a human, and cries for His friend. This is the type of King we have: one who knows full well how powerful He is, how much higher above us He is, and yet cries with and for us anyway. Jesus cares about your pain, because He cares about you, so, so much. It’s as simple as that.
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Thanks to Immanuel Cruz for the passage suggestion. If you’ve got a passage that is meaningful to you, send me a message or comment below!
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#john11 #pain #sadness #empathy #compassion #trust #plan #care #love #inks #artistsoninstagram #jesusart #illustratedfaith