“Many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem and to entreat the favor of the Lord. Thus says the Lord of hosts: In those days ten men from the nations of every tongue shall take hold of the robe of a Jew, saying ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”  Zechariah 8:22-23

One of my favorite parts of reading through the Old Testament is finding verses like this where God reiterates and reaffirms the covenant He made with Abraham. In Genesis 12, God sets the stage for the rest of scripture when He promises to bless Abraham, to make him into a great nation, and to bless the nations through him. The rest of the Bible is all about God fulfilling His promise to Abraham and filling the earth, every tribe, tongue, and nation, with peoples who worship His name. Throughout the Old Testament, as Israel continues through a cycle of sinning and repentance, God continually promises to bring redemption for not only Israel, but for all the ends of the earth. And guess what? He does! He sends Jesus to rescue and redeem not just Israel, but every people group. After Jesus rose again, He gave His disciples a very important job, to go out into every people group, every tribe and tongue, and tell them the good news that Jesus has died for our sins. Today, more than 40% of the world still hasn’t heard the good news of the grace and salvation of Jesus, so our job is to keep going out, to keep proclaiming, and to keep reaching the most unreached corners of the earth with the Gospel. The best part is, we know that our work is not futile! Just like this verse and so many others throughout the Old Testament promise, all the ends of the earth WILL hear the Gospel! At the end of the Bible, in Revelation 7, we see God’s covenant with Abraham and Jesus’ command to His disciples fulfilled when people from every tribe, tongue, and nation cry out in worship before the throne of God. What a glorious day that will be! I get so excited about the work Jesus has left us to do when I think about all of the times God promises throughout the Bible that the job will get done. We are able to be so bold with bringing the Gospel to the darkest places of the earth when we know how the story ends – with people from every one of those dark places worshipping our King!

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So many of you have been asking about how I paint the backgrounds on some of my Bible pages and because it’s so simple and easy, so I wanted to give you a quick little tutorial so you can have some fun with it! For the background, all you need is a set of watercolors, any watercolors will do, water and a brush. Pick out one or two sets of colors that you want to emphasize. I chose greens and blues to match the theme of all the earth. Start with one shade of one color with big dabs. There’s no rhyme or rhythm to them, just random sporadic dabs. If some touch, that’s totally fine, but try to leave a bit of space between them.

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The hardest part comes next, wait for it to dry. If you’re as impatient as me, this part can be torture! You can keep going with it wet, but it will look a little bit different and that’s okay too! Once it’s dry, add the same dabs of another color.

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The rest is just repeat! Let the water dry, run a few laps around the block or unload the dishwasher, and then add another color. As you can see in the pictures, I worked through 3 different shades of greens and one shade of blue. The more shades you can use the better it is for the effect. If you have a small watercolor set, don’t be afraid to mix your own colors with just a little bit of black or brown.

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Lastly, I’ll choose one darker shade or contrasting color to add patches of dabs. Here I used a darker blue. I don’t usually cover the whole painted area in the dark dabs because I want the lighter colors to really show and the darker ones to be a highlight. Just pick a few random places to put five or six dabs of that dark color. Play around with different colors to find your favorite combinations. I love adding yellow patches at the end when I’ve created a pink or purple background!

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Finish up by writing out the verse, using some stickers, or adding a verse card to your pretty background! Just remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Watercolors are so forgiving whether they end up blended together or not. Try different colors together, different types of paint or making different shapes with your dabs. I’ve even used this same method to spice up pages in my planner before writing out the day’s to do list. Get creative and have fun with it! I can’t wait to see what you all come up with!

Jess

 

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