Devotion based on Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflower paintings

One of my children’s art classes once began a sunflower project based on Van Gogh’s sunflower paintings. They looked at the flowers up-close, and saw that sunflowers have huge round centers and large petals. The children decided they should use curvy lines to draw the petals, and that some had rounded ends, while others came to a point.

Sunflowers, 1889, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, public domain

 

While the children drew large sunflowers, they chattered about the bright yellows and oranges they’d add next time.

 

But then we missed class for 2 weeks. And in those two weeks, all the sunflowers lining our roads and looming tall over gardens had mostly disappeared and those that were left looked like this painting of sunflowers done by Van Gogh.

Sunflowers, 1887, by Vincent van Gogh, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC, public domain

Have you ever started an art project but for some reason, couldn’t finish it right away?

Do you sometimes wish summer and the colorful flowers God has created could last a little longer?

Isaiah may have wished that, too, but the changing seasons reminded Him of something that doesn’t change and will stand forever—God’s Word. He wrote, “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.” (Isaiah 40:8, NIV)

Even though we had to use photos to finish the pictures, they turned out beautiful. God has made flowers beautiful to look at. They satisfy our love of color, but a flower’s beauty does fade. The beauty of the Word of God never fades, though, because it teaches us about the Lord and leads us to the living Word, Jesus Christ, and His love and forgiveness.

Match the following verses to what they tell us about God’s Word:

Psalm 18:30                                    We must correctly handle God’s Word

2 Timothy 2:15                                Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.

Psalm 119:11                                  God’s Word is a light for our path

Psalm 119:105                                God’s word is flawless (perfect)

Matthew 4:4                                     We must hide God’s Word in our hearts

Discuss why we need God’s word even more than bread (food) and how:

  • To correctly handle God’s Word
  • To hide it in our hearts
  • It is a light to our path.

Activity: choose one of the verses to hide in your heart this week. To help you memorize it, write it out and decorate it with bright colors.

Prayer: We thank you, Lord for Your Word that lights our path and tells us of the hope we have in Jesus, the Living Word. In His name we pray, amen

Van Gogh’s father was a minister and not long after his death, Vincent painted this still life of his father’s Bible.  Vincent, himself had once ministered to poor coal mining families in the Netherlands.

Still Life with Bible, 1885, by Vincent Van Gogh, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, public domain

Before You Go

My fall newsletter is all about a time when beautiful copies of God’s Word were threatened, and a courageous man and woman rescued one book, the Codex Aureus. Over a thousand years later, we can still see the Codex Aureus! Sign up above for my newsletter, and I’ll see that you not only get the free guide to help make museum visits a fun masterpiece for the whole family, but also my fall newsletter.

You may also want to visit the kids’ corner page on my website to download a template for writing and decorating a Bible verse.

Molly and I hope you enjoyed this devotion based on Van Gogh’s sunflower paintings. We hope you’ll come back next week for a fun art project also based on the paintings. Better yet, subscribe to our blog and never miss another post!

8 thoughts on “Devotion based on Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflower paintings

  1. Sally Matheny

    This is a wonderful post, Kathy! I wish I were still teaching a children’s class so I could share this lesson. 🙂

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  2. JD Wininger

    Oh my, but how I loved this devotion Ms. Kathy. I do pray you publish this; CBN, Refresh, and in your own artsy devotional. What a wonderful lesson I took from this ma’am. My “take-away” was how important it is for us to hide God’s word in our heart. We never know when, like the beautiful sunflowers, it might be taken away from us. If we hold it in our hearts and minds, it’s always with us. I thought about those who are elated at praise and worship services on Sunday mornings, but if you ask them what the lesson was about that evening, they can’t seem to recall. If we carry God with us everywhere we go, then we never have to be without His joy, peace, and comfort. Amen sweet friend; and thank you so much for this post.

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    1. Kathy The Picture Lady Post author

      Oh, you are so right, J.D.! We sure do need to hide God’s Word in our hearts so it’s always with us for guidance and comfort and joy and peace! I loved this great lesson from the sunflowers, just as I love the stories and lessons you give us from the Cross Dubya! May you have a blessed day, my friend!

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  3. Katherine Pasour

    I always want the flowers to last longer. I’m never ready for their blossoms to fade and fall. But, I know it is part of God’s plan and the lovely display of nature’s beauty will come again. We are so blessed that God’s love never fades, His Word is always available for us, and His grace and mercy never fail us. God isn’t seasonal–He’s forever. You message blessed me. Thank you, Kathy.

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