Friday, March 24, 2023

Sunday Sermon Series 1st Samuel - March 24, 2023

Hello my friends! Today I have drawings from a sermon I heard back on February 12, 2023 at NW Gospel Church. The title is When God Comes To Town. You can listen to that sermon here. The scripture covered is 1 Samuel 5:1-7:1.

At this point in the story the Isrealites brought the Ark of the Covenant with them to a battle without being told to (by God), and it is captured by the Philistines who bring it back to Ashdod (as a trophy, or prisoner of war) and put it in the temple of Dagan (the father of Baal). The next morning the Philistines find that Dagan had fallen face down. So they took Dagan and propped him back up(verse 3). The next morning Dagan is on the floor again, only this time the head and hands have been broken off, only his trunk was left intact. From this point on the Philistines changed their religion to say that no one may step on the threshold of the temple where their god lost his hands, head and feet to Yaweh. Yaweh alone is God.

The Ashdod were then stricken with a plague of tumors. And they got together with the lords of the Philistines and decided to send the Ark to Gath. But God inflicted the people of Gath with the plague, so they sent it to Ekron, where the people panic. They've been following along, they know what is going to happen to them. So they decide to send the Ark back to Isreal. The Philistines are learning that Yaweh is sovereign. God can and will take care of things Himself. We are living in His world.

So the Philistines send the Ark back, making 5 golden tumors, and 5 golden mice as a guilt offering. They put the Ark and the offerings in a cart yoked to a couple of cows (listen to the sermon to hear Pastor Andrew lowing like a cow) who headed straight the border at Beth Shemesh.

C.S. Lewis: "The ancient man approached God (or even the gods) as the accused person approaches his judge. For the modern man the roles are reversed. He is the judge: God is in the dock. He is quite a kindly judge: if God should have a reasonable defense for being the god who permits war, poverty, and disease, he is ready to listen to it. The trial may even end in God's acquiial. But the important thing is that Man is on the Bench and God in the Dock."

No sinner can stand before the Lord, this holy God. We learn about God's judgement in this message, and also about Jesus' provision. Grace, and mercy. This is not the end of the story. There is so much more to this message, that I cannot cover here so be sure to listen to the full sermon.

I hope that you have enjoyed my synopsis of the sermon, and my illustration. I hope that you are challenged or encouraged by my post. May God richly bless you my friends, until next time.--Ryan

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Sunday Sermon Series 1st Samuel 2:12-36

Good day my friends. Today we have a message that will encourage God's people through contrasting the failure of sinful leaders with the ministry of the Great High Priest. The sermon I listened to as I drew this illustration was on January 22, 2023 and can be found here. Please give it a listen, it's a good one. It is both challenging and thought provoking, and most important of all it reveals God's nature to us.

This scripture is very clear "the sons of Eli were worthless men" (2:12). Hophni and Phinehas were using their position and power amongst the people of God for selfish gain. They used food (meat from the animals brought forth for sacrifices) and women however they pleased, and God is clearly not pleased. We are all too familiar with worthless men and failing leaders. The Lord meets us here, as he promises a faithful priest, one who will do His will, cover the sins of his people.

Sadly, those with any window into religion know that the scene of Eli's sons is all too familiar. We have all seen and been burnt by religious hypocrisy and depraved, selfish leaders. The Lord sees it as well. He promises not only to judge the wicked, but to bring a faithful leader to save his people.

The failing of religious leaders is one of the great stains on the reputation of the church. This failure has been happening for thousands of years. The Christian perspective is unique in this sense - it is not about man's search for or journey to God (as all other religions are), it is about God's constant pursuit and faithful provision for us, in his son, Jesus Christ—the only leader who has never failed. Jesus has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins (because he has no sin) and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself on the cross.

Samuel is seen here watching the sons of Eli as mentioned in verse 26. He is growing in stature and in favor with the Lord and man. He sees what they are doing, he knows it is wrong. In the next sermon at Northwest Gospel Chursh we learned about how it worked out for Samuel and Eli, and his worthless sons. Give it a listen too.

I hope that you have enjoyed my synopsis of the sermon, and my illustration. I hope that you are challenged or encouraged by my post. May God richly bless you my friends, until next time.--Ryan

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Trusting God Through the Storms of Life

Hello again. Today (February 21, 2023) I have an update for this post. I have created an animation to go along with the illustration. Here we see our character tossed about by the storm. It's startling, but he trusts in God to be there with him through the storm. So many people ask why bad things happen. We live in a fallen world my friends, and despite of our choices and the choices of those around us God is with us and will guide, strengthen, and encourage you through it. Talk to Him, pray-pray-pray, and trust in Him.

Hello my friends. I hope you are all doing well. Today I have a drawing from the beginning of January. I hope to create a short simple looping animation of the main character here floating above the background.

Is Jesus the focus of your life, or just a part? Trials in life force us to deal with this question. Jesus is the reason we are all here, the purpose of life is to figure out what we are going to do about Jesus. But once we figure out we are broken sinners, repent, and ask Him to reign in our lives, our work isn't done. We must live as Christ: "But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." (Matthew 6:33) In good times, easy times, hard times, trials, every decision, everything we do and say should reflect Jesus. We are called "to live as Christ"(Ephesians 4:22-24). Love God, and love one another.

The sky in this drawing is mostly clear, with a few light puffy clouds. It seems tranquil. I drew it that way because many times on the outside things can look fine, but inside they really aren't. A storm is raging. You have to really know someone to know if they are walking through a challenging time. No one knows us better than God. "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations." Jeremiah1:5 He is there, reach out to Him. He loves us so much. Remember that, and talk to Him. Pray. Pray often like Jesus did.

I hope that you are encouraged by my post. May God richly bless you my friends, until next time.--Ryan

Monday, November 28, 2022

Sunday Sermon Series Acts 5

Hello everyone! Today I have my 200th post on this blog. Wow. That seems like a lot. When I started (September 24, 2007) I was just posting so that I could participate in Illustration Friday (a world wide group of artists who would illustrate a topic each week, then critique, encourage and praise each other sadly that site is long gone). Now my posts are mainly sharing the good news of Jesus Christ I hear in church. Today I have an illustration from a sermon I heard back on October 30th, 2022. The title is Rise of the Resistance. You can listen to that sermon here. The scripture covered is Acts 5:12-42.

At this time God's power is growing his people. This is a work of God, not of man. The apostles were not selling a popular movement with charisma. God was saving sinners, the gospel of Jesus was advancing. Jesus is the news, we are to spread the news just as the apostles did.

The spirit was working through the apostles and many signs and wonders were done in Jerusalem. Sick people were healed, and unclean spirits driven out. Even Peter's shadow was used as we are told that it passed over a man and healed him. People start to come from the outlying areas to be healed and to hear the good news, much to the chagrin of the Sadducees.

As the religious leaders bring opposition against the apostles, the witness of Christ is validated as an authentic work of God. But the Sadducees efforts to stop the apostles by arresting them backfires and helps to spread the good news. Every scheme of man bows to God's plan. During the night an angel of the Lord comes and opens the doors of the prison. The angel leads the apostles out and says "Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life." So the Sadducees find the apostles in the temple the next day preaching. They have them arrested and brought before the council again, angry that the apostles refuse to obey. Peter makes a fine speech, laying out the gospel for them, and saying that the apostles must obey God, not men.

Well that didn't sit too well with the Sadducees as you can imagine. They decided to kill the apostles. Old Gamaliel spoke up and said you'd better think about that again. He talked some sense into them, pointing out that killing the apostles would be like pouring gasoline on a fire, but if this was man made plan it would fail. So instead they beat the apostles and kicked them loose.

The final verse in this story sums it up well:Acts 5:42 And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus. So remember, every scheme of man bows to God's plan.

I drew the dramatic scene of the angel of the Lord releasing the apostles from prison. As you can see I didn't go for the modern "winged baby angel" in a diaper but a grown warrior type. I gave him a glow, as they are often referred to as hard to look at because they are so bright.

I hope that you have enjoyed my synopsis of the sermon, and my illustration. I hope that you are challenged or encouraged by my post, and that you will go and listen to the sermon, it's another good one. May God richly bless you my friends, until next time.--Ryan

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Sunday Sermon Series Acts 4:32-5:11

Hey howdy hey buckaroos!  Today I have drawings from a sermon I heard back on October 23, 2022, on the book of Acts.  I highly recommend that you listen to it  here.  Today we learn that Jesus is deadly serious about his people's witness.

As the story begins here we see that the early church is growing, flourishing. The members are living out "love one another" by helping each other with daily needs, to the point of selling land and sharing the proceeds of the sale with those in need. Radical generosity. Mt. Saint Helens May 18th style generosity.

Hypocrisy in the ranks of those associated with God's people has been one of the great scourges of church history. In this stark story, we see that the Lord is not OK with it.

But... "But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira...: Acts 5:1 Ananias and his wife lied about the price of the property they sold. They didn't have to give any of the proceeds of the sale, they didn't have to lie about what they gave, they chose to be deceitful.

Hypocrisy in the ranks of those associated with God's people has been one of the great scourges of church history. In this stark story, we see that the Lord is not OK with it. As we see God's justice swiftly punish sin, we are confronted by the grace of Jesus, who bore the weight of divine judgment on the cross. He paid the debt for ALL sin, for EVERY person, for ALL time. "Look what the Lord did to Ananias and Sapphira!" No! Look what Jesus did for you.

If you think Christian hypocrisy is a massive issue, so does Jesus. It's his name and reputation that falls into disrepute when people falsely claim allegiance to him.

The Lord fiercely guards his people's integrity because the church would carry on the witness of Jesus in the world.

I hope that you will listen to the sermon, and that this post has challenged and or encouraged you. May God richly bless you my friends, until next time.--Ryan

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Sunday Sermon Series: Acts 2:1-41

Hello my friends! Today I have drawings from a sermon I heard back on September 18, on the book of Acts. I highly reocommend that you listen to it here. I hope this illustration draws you in, and leaves you wanting to hear more about the joyous topic: the Pentecost!

Pentecost happened 10 days after Jesus' acension into Heaven, 50 days after the Passover. Pentecost was a day of feasting for the Israelites, as they gave thanks to God for their harvest. I have 12 men here representing the apostles, (with Matthais, the recently anointed apostle from Acts:1:26) but according to the sermon, all the followers of Jesus were gathered there. That puts the actual number at about 120. So there they were... and then the miracles happened. When Jesus returned to His place on the throne next to the Father, the Holy Spirit was sent to Earth. Those gathered heard a sound like rushing wind; something like fire appeared above their heads, and they spoke in foreign tongues.

Peter clarifies in Acts 2:14 that this day was prophesied and was a fulfillment of God's promise: That this Jesus was God, was delivered up to death, was raised from the grave, and was exalted on the throne.

I was so happy when the movie Risen came out. I love movies about Jesus, but I had been anxiously waiting for a movie to be made about AFTER the cross. The cross is where Jesus worked out our salvation, but it doesn't stop there. He is RISEN! And then He was seen! AND THEN... He ROSE into heaven!! Yeah, I got excited there. The day of Pentecost is an exciting part of the story -- His story. I'm excited to depict it here. I drew the apostles amazed here, and I still get a chuckle now and then because they look sort of like Simpsons characters having a bright idea if you have no concept of what the story actually is. They should look *gasp* amazed! They heard a miracle, saw a miracle, and then they spoke a miracle!

I hope that you will listen to the sermon and learn more about this amazing day when God's promise was fulfilled. On the day of Pentecost, God delivered on His promise, birthing the church through the power of the Spirit bearing witness to the work of the Son.

May God richly bless you my friends. Until next time... --Ryan

Friday, September 2, 2022

Sunday Sermon Series Proverbs 7 and 8

Hello everybody! Today I have drawings from the last couple of Sundays. August 21, and 28th, 2022 to be precise. We are still in the book of Proverbs, chapters 6, 7, and 8. I highly reocommend that you listen to them, here for chapter 7, and here for chapter 8. I felt that these drawings had merrit, even though they are still roughs. I will try to describe the concept for each of these illustrations below.

"Bind [your father's commandments] on your heart always; tie them around your neck." Proverbs 6:21 I start out with this image, which represents binding God's wisdom to our hearts. I had some rough sketches of the sheep that Noah speaks of, but I kept coming back to this idea/image. God's wisdom keeps us safe, gives us guidelines for how we are to live as followers of Christ in God's world. The Lord sees all, and his wisdom brings freedom.

If I were to do a finished drawing of this I would research what a nice pretty bow looks like, and replace the clumsy one depicted here, which gets the point across, but leaves me wanting more. The heart is not symetrical, but I like that. The lettering isn't perfect either, but that works for me too. The main point of this scripture is to warn about the perils of sexual sin while calling the listener to respond to the grace of Jesus. Listen to God's wisdom, and act. Illicit sex entices the eyes, but it steals your soul. The path of fidelity is the place of flourishing. The Lord sees all, and his wisdom brings freedom. Bind His wisdom on your heart. It is the best way to live in the universe He created. It is there to protect us from ourselves, and from sin in the world.

This illustration is pretty straight forward with both the tagline and imagery. I've sketched this concept before. I think this is the best version I've done so far though. Jesus loves us. Jesus provides a way, through his death on the cross, for us to be with the Father. Our sin costs us our life. Jesus paid the debt for all our sin, all at once. So we can be with the Father in eternity. Jesus gives us a new heart, because ours is full of sin. And once we are given that new heart we are welcomed.

Once again we see Cartoon Ryan as the sinner accepting Jesus love. I frequently use myself as the sinner described in the scripture being discussed. I do this as a constant reminder to anyone reading that I realize I am a broken sinner, just like everyone else. Let's keep the hypocrisy to a minimum. My beady cartoon eyes are quite close together here. Nothing symbolic in that, just making myself look a bit more comical. I'm wearing my usual costume: baseball shirt, shorts, and a pair of Chuck Taylor All Stars. I just noticed that Cartoon Jesus has on two different sandles. That isn't symbolism either, just an honest mistake. Rough illustrations indeed.

In chapter 8 one of the things that caught my attention was that God's wisdom was right there in the beginning with Jesus and the Father. This was something I had never considered before, and I recommend listening to this one as Jake uses scripture to back up this point. Why is that important? Because that means that it is more than just suggested rules for how to live a good life. It was interwoven into our world, from the beginning. Which makes sense considering who created our world, but something I hadn't thought about.

And here we have the final illustration for this week. Wisdom, with Jesus as he forms the earth.
John 1-
1. [1] In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. [2] He was in the beginning with God. [3] All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. [4] In him was life, and the life was the light of men. [5] The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it...[14] And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:1-5, 14)

What does all that mean? Obviously, John is writing about Jesus. Jesus was there in the beginning with God. See, Paul says this more clearly, that Jesus is the wisdom of God!
1. 1 Corinthians 1:24- “but we preach Christ...the power of God and the WISDOM of God.”
2. 1 Corinthians 1:30- “And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God...”
3. Colossians 2:1-3- “For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, 2 that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

I hope that this post has encouraged you, and or challenged you. I hope that you will go and listen to the sermons from Northwest Gospel Church that I listened to as I drew them, they are good sermons, and good for you. May God richly bless you my friends, until next time.--Ryan