Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

No matter the darkness, Jesus and His Light is with you

By Chris Powers at Full of Eyes, making free visual resources for the Global Church. More information about this ministry below

Psalm 13:1,5, “How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever?…But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.

In the darkest night of the soul, our hearts cling to the steadfast love declared on Calvary, and so have invincible hope in future joy.

full of eyesBy Chris Powers at Full of Eyes (fullofeyes.com) and Youtube. About Full of Eyes:

Full of Eyes is a ministry that seeks to create Christ-exalting, Biblically-submitted, heart-haunting imagery about the glory of God in Christ. This looks like creating free animations, study guides, pictures, and tracts intended to serve the Global Church in its work of evangelism, discipleship, and missions.

Check him out at his website or support his art work on Patreon.

Posted in Uncategorized, visual exegesis

Even The Depths of God

Full of Eyes is a support-based ministry of exegetical art that creates still and moving images intended to point people to the beauty of God in the crucified and risen Son. All art and animations are done by Chris Powers. Powers’ goal is to help people see and savor the faith-strengthening, hope-instilling, love-kindling beauty of God in Christ. And he does this by creating free exegetical art in the form of pictures, animations, and discussion guides. His work is at https://www.patreon.com/fullofeyes, Youtube, and his website fullofeyes.com

Chris’ most recent work is below, with his artist’s statement below the picture.

1 Corinthians 2:9-10, “But, as it is written, ‘What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him”–these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.”

Often times verse 9 gets quoted as referring to the eternal state….however, I’m not sure why people do that. The context of Paul’s citation has no immediate bearing on the new heavens and earth etc. Instead, he’s quoting Isaiah 64:4 here (the text immediately following the passage I used for yesterday’s picture).

In Isaiah 64:4, that which “no eye has seen” etc. is not some future blessing for God’s people, rather Isaiah is talking about the absolute uniqueness of YHWH as attested by His acts of redemption on behalf of His people. This original context of the citation fits much more naturally into Paul’s line of argument in 1 Cor.1-2. In this section, Paul has been saying that the preaching of Christ crucified is a message that reveals God to and saves the souls of those who receive it as wisdom and power (1 Cor.1:21,23-24), while it confirms in condemnation those who reject it as folly (1 Cor.1:22).

This–Christ crucified as the saving revelation of the God who cannot be known by worldly wisdom–this is the “secret and hidden wisdom of God” imparted by Paul’s proclamation of the word of the cross (1 Cor.2:7), a wisdom that “God decreed before the ages for our glory. The spiritual understanding to perceiving the saving revelation of God in the crucified Christ is that which God “has prepared for those who love Him,” and this is why Paul supports his argument by citing a passage from Isaiah talking about YHWH’s utter uniqueness as revealed in His works of redemption.

In Isaiah’s day as in Paul’s (and ours) YHWH is made known as the only true God through His works of redemption. This is definitively true of the cross of Christ….a work of redemption so opposed to the fallen bent of humanity’s perceptions that the revelation of God imparted therein cannot be received apart from the merciful foreordination of God and present working of His Spirit.

So, verse 9 is talking about the never-before imagined glories of who God reveals Himself to be through the preaching of the crucified Christ. This–He Himself perfectly communicated in the love of the Son–is what God has prepared for those who love Him. And so, in that sense verse 9 can be seen as anticipation of eternity since ALL the joys of the eternal state can be summarized in that one statement: to know God in Christ.

With this in mind, the “these things” in verse 10 is God made savingly known through the wisdom of Christ crucified. This, then, is what the Spirit of God must reveal to us….If this is true, then the awesome thing to see is that Paul says the Spirit can do this–can reveal God to us in the Son–“For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.” In other words, these “depths of God” are what the Spirit illumined eyes of faith perceive when they look to the crucifixion of the Son who will rise again. The unplumbable depths of God’s infinite heart–truly the beauty into which we will be pressing further up and further in for eternity–this is opened to us on Calvary…..May we, then, by the Spirit, in submission to the word, and in community with other believers, grow in knowing this all glorious Triune God who blessedly surpasses all of our knowledge, imagination, and hopes.

Posted in Uncategorized, visual exegesis

Chris Powers: Shall I Not Drink the Cup?

Chris Powers is creating visual resources for the global church. These include artistic renderings of scripture, animations, and his first book, Visual Exegesis, Vol. 1, available on Amazon. These resources also include study guides for use in small groups.

His work is biblical, moving, and expertly rendered. Please take a look at his work at FullOfEyes.com, or on https://www.patreon.com/fullofeyes/posts

Shall I Not Drink the Cup…

Matthew 26:39, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me…”
Mark 14:36, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me…”
Luke 22:42, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me…”
John 18:11, “Shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?”

While reading in John18 this morning I decided to do a quick word search on the Greek work behind “cup” (using biblearc, which is a wonderful study tool).

What was especially moving about doing this was to see that, while it is used a number of times in the Synoptics, the climactic use of “cup” in Matthew, Mark and Luke is always the prayer in Gethsemane. And then the only use in John is the one above. It’s as if in doing the word search I heard the threefold prayer of Christ to the Father: Father, let this cup pass, yet not as I will, but as you will…Abba, let this cup pass, but not my will, yours be done….Father, if it is possible let this cup pass, but your will be done……….and then, the next time we see the word, Jesus is saying, “put away your sword, Peter, shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”

The Lord’s hope was not granted to Him….His genuine desire and–I think we must say–genuine hope that, perhaps the cup would pass from Him….this was shattered before His eyes as He saw Judas and the others approaching……the cup would not pass, He would have to drink it to its dregs. And see the love and grace and humility with which He receives the cup! “Shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?”

This is the love of the Savior….it is His love for the Father (14:31), and it is His love for His Church (15:9, 13). Love–the enjoyment and communication of God–Love takes the cup of wrath from the Father and drinks it to the final damning drop. Yes, it is love that does this, love that bears this most horrific of sufferings…..what is stronger than love? As the Song of Songs reminds us, it is strong(er) than death and fierce(er) than the grave, the very fire of YHWH.

Indeed, it is the Fire of YHWH, His love IS the fire of His wrath that would consume all that opposes the communion of His Trinitarian life, and His love IS the fire of Christ’s heart that swallows up and extinguishes the flames of wrath in itself. Love has wrought the greatest work of reality, it has borne the greatest burden, faced the greatest test, endured the deepest hardships……what can steel the soul for war and strengthen the mind to endure and drive the body into torments? Love alone. Love alone….only God known and enjoyed. This is what moved our Lord–after pouring out His soul in pleading that it might pass from Him–to reach up and take the cup of wrath that we deserved and to bear it fully in Himself.

Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

Visual Theology: He restores my soul

Chris Powers is creating visual resources for the global church. His resources are free and meant to be shared. Chris creates tract cards, visual exegesis that can be shared separately or through his book Visual Exegesis Vol. 1, study guides and lessons, animations, and more. Please visit his website at fullofeyes.com. He is also on Patreon, and you can donate to his ministry just once or on a recurring basis. He needs $2,000/month to be self-sustaining, and currently the level of giving is $1,947. Won’t you consider being the patron who puts him over the top?

Thank you for reading and if you’re led, sharing his work and/or giving.

Click to enlarge
He restores my soul. He leads me on paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
Psalm 23:3-4

Artist’s Explanation: By Chris Powers

I wanted this image to visually express the transition from the pastures into the valley that takes place between verses 2 and 4. The overall color scheme is much darker and the jagged edges of the valley frame the distant pastures in the background.

Verse 3 emphasizes the sovereign leading of the shepherd. It is he who guides and goes before His sheep. This is significant to note because in verse 4 we find ourselves in the Valley of the Shadow of Death. The implication is that the sheep is in the valley because the Shepherd has led him there. And—because the entrance into the valley of shadow is by the design of the Good Shepherd—I wanted to show that the sheep is no less in the almighty hand of his shepherd in verse 4 than he was in verses 1-3. In fact, the sheep’s intimacy and dependency upon the shepherd is only intensified by the valley.

In the pastures the shepherd’s presence and goodness were mediated by the grass and water, but in the valley the mediators have been removed and the shepherd himself has become the desperate and hope-filled focus of the lamb (“I will fear no evil for you are with me.”).

The attacking wolf represents the onset of the valley and its terrors (It need not be only death. The Hebrew word translated “shadow of death” can apply to various grievous and hard to bear sufferings that come as we live life in a fallen world. Sickness, loss, a season of doubt or darkness in the soul might all be categorized under this shadow). The shepherd’s hand on the wolf’s head is intentionally ambiguous. He could either crush the animal’s skull into the ground….or allow it to continue its trajectory toward the lamb. However—whatever the outcome— the hand on the wolf’s head declares the shepherd’s sovereignty over all that befalls his own (John 10:28, 21:19, 22).

The wounds of the shepherd visible behind the head of both the lamb and the wolf declare two different truths. The wound behind the head of the wolf reminds us that Christ’s death and resurrection has overcome all of His people’s enemies and that—should they be allowed to harm His beloved—it will only be to the enemy’s final downfall and His people’s exaltation (John 16:33, Philippians 1:28-29, 2 Thessalonians 1:5-8, Revelation 12:11).

The wound behind the lamb’s head is a reminder that our Lord and God and Shepherd Himself has suffered equivalent to and greater than any suffering He may ordain for us. The hand wounded in sovereign love authors our sorrows, and because He Himself is a slain yet living Lamb, He has infinite compassion on those whom He leads. The shepherd who laid down his life as a lamb is the one who goes before us (Isaiah 49:10, Micah 2:12-13, John 10:4, Hebrews 2:18, Revelation 7:17). And since he has led the way through suffering into glory, He has transformed all of our suffering into an avenue for deeper fellowship with Him, fuller joy in Him, and greater exaltation of Him (2 Corinthians 12:9, Philippians 3:10, 1 Peter 2:21).

Notice also that, if the wolf is to attack the lamb, it must pass the through the cross (represented in the staff). This is yet another reminder that the death and resurrection of our Good Shepherd has “de-fanged” the enemy. Because of Christ’s victory on Calvary, tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger, sword—and whatever else might assail the people of God—cannot separate us from the love of God and, indeed, can only serve our ultimate good and His ultimate glory (Romans 8:28. 31-39).

Lastly for verse 4, I wanted to really emphasize the intimate fellowship with the Savior that often comes in the context of suffering (though it might not feel like it in the moment). First, notice that the lamb is intently focused on the shepherd and that the shepherd’s head is inclined toward the lamb. Though the wolf is slathering and raging, it is not the focus, rather, its onslaught has driven the sheep closer to the master. Second, the light of the two halos forms a sort of quiet, personal space—shared by the sheep and shepherd—amidst the darkness and motion in the rest of the image. And lastly, notice that the distant green pastures and still waters are visible through the face and torso of the Shepherd. The soul-restoring kindness of the shepherd, previously mediated through grass and water, is now accessed directly—and only—through communion with the Shepherd Himself.

In conclusion, I want to point back to verse 3. There we read that YHWH leads His people in paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake. There is much to say about that statement, but for this image the main thing I tried to emphasize is that the paths into which YHWH sovereignly leads His own are intended to make the goodness and beauty of His Name known to them and to those who observe their lives. This is true even (and especially) of those paths that lead through dark valleys because the Name of YHWH is most perfectly communicated in the death and resurrection of Christ, and when the Christ-follower is led through a time of hardship, the glory of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection is—in a sense—echoed in their lives.

Christ’s love-borne death reverberates in His people’s sufferings as they entrust themselves humbly into the hand of God to do with them what He will for His glory (1 Peter 2:19-21). And the joy of Christ’s resurrection radiates from His Bride’s face as she endures hardship with hopes set, not on the things that are seen, but on the unseen, blood-bought, and resurrection-assured glory that is to come (2 Corinthians 4:14-18).

So, by making the practical implications of Christ’s death and resurrection visually apparent in this image, I am attempting to show that the valley experiences of God’s people bring the crucifixion and resurrection to the foreground and, consequently, glorify the name of our Shepherd and God who is climactically declared at the cross (Psalm 23:3, John 17:26).

Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

YHWH is my Banner

As you head to worship today, if you are reading this on a Sunday, raise your banner of the LORD before you and praise Him, exalt Him, and love Him. If you’re reading this on a weekday, raise your banner of the LORD before you and share His Light in your sphere by your words and deeds.

Chris Powers is an artist, animator, and Bible study writer who makes his products available for free. Please visit his page at fullofeyes.com, or support him on Patreon. Mr Powers is drawing an illustration to a verse per day. I will post them frequently, because they are beautiful, scriptural, and edifying. Visual theology at its beautiful best. Read below for artist’s explanation.

YHWH is my Banner

Mr Powers said:

Today’s verse picture is more of a visual word study (thus the inclusion of verse references within the picture, which I don’t typically do for these). You can take a look at the verses and how they intertwine below:
________

Notice the repeated Hebrew word for Banner/Signal (נס) in the following verses:

Exodus 17:15, “And Moses built an altar and called the name of it, ‘YHWH Is My Banner (נס)” – YHWH as נס

Numbers 21:8, “And YHWH said to Moses, ‘Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole (נס), and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.” – Serpent set on נס

Isaiah 11:10-12, “In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal (נס)…[the Lord] will raise a signal (נס) for the nations and will assemble the banished of Israel…” – The Messiah as נס raised to gather the nations…

John 3:14-15, “…as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life.”

John 3:14-15 unites the imagery of YHWH, the curse, the Messiah, and the beacon raised to gather the nations into one–the crucified Son…