In this article from the journal Territory, artist Bai Yan brings to life our love for specific idols that can overtake our love for the Lord. Each painting contains an “illumination” or insight as well as a verse from Scripture related to the painting.
Do I Love You More Than These?
What has become the love of my heart today? Work, power, money, housing, knowledge, hobbies, beauty, family, praise, service, cellphone . . . Don't I love these things more [than you]?
Illumination in the painting: If some hobbies become my idols, my hardships will increase.
Scripture: Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. –James 1:17
Illumination in the painting: If the Lord is not in it, the accumulation of more knowledge is emptiness.
Scripture: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. -- Proverbs 9:10
Illumination in the painting: Where is my treasure, there my heart is also
Scripture: Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days. --James 5:2-3
Illumination in the painting: I know that I am a pilgrim, am I an exile?
Scripture: For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. --Hebrews 13:14
Illumination in the painting: Is my pursuit of external beauty a serious detriment to the inner pursuit [of beauty]?
Scripture: Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a beautiful woman without discretion. —Proverbs 11:22
Illumination in the painting: Do I love my family more than I love the Lord?
Scripture: If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. —Luke 14:26
Fame and Fortune
Illumination in the painting: Has the work and power in my control become the hindrance to my closeness with God?
Scripture: And the strong shall become tinder, and his work a spark, and both of them shall burn together, with none to quench them. —Isaiah 1:31
Illumination in the painting: Is my satisfaction in my cellphone, or is God my satisfaction?
Scripture: His delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. —Psalm 1:2
Illumination in the painting: Is my love for the glory of man greater than my love for the glory of God?
Scripture: Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. —Galatians 5:26
Illumination in the painting: Don't allow your service to become your satisfaction and pride.
Scripture: But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. —Galatians 6:14
Come Follow Me
Scripture: He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.".... And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.” —John 21:17,19
All image credit:s 我爱祢比这些更深吗? by 境界.
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