A look in the Mirror
Years ago in Sunday School, we sang a little Chorus,
that went something like this:
“Gods Word, is like a Hammer, that breaketh the rock in twain,
A Lamp to guide our footsteps, and a Light on the stormy main,
A Sword, that has two edges, and a Mirror, ourselves to see,
Oh yes – it is the Book of Books, the B.I.B.L.E.”
There was something in that Chorus that always puzzled me, the bit that says “A Mirror ourselves to see”, for try as I may,
I could not see myself (Man or Boy) in the Bible. I could see those that were like me, those that told lies, those that got angry, those that were jealous, …but a Mirror does not reveal and reflect something like you, it reflects YOU?
and therein lay my dilemma?
In today’s Sermon entitled “A LOOK IN THE MIRROR“
I want to solve that dilemma, and show you what the Apostle James really meant when he wrote:
“For if any one is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who observes his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, (or continues therein) being no hearer that forgets but a doer that acts, he shall be blessed in his doing”.
My puzzling dilemma focused on those words “he observes himself” for although as I have said, I saw those who were like me, in some respects, I did not however see me? I saw some who had lied and lost their lives over it, for me, I just got a clip around the ear from my Father or Mother. I saw those who in anger had committed Murder, while when I was angry, I threw a
tantrum, and wouldn’t eat my dinner? I saw those who had courage to take on Lions and Giants, yet the biggest thing I ever took on, was Pauline Henry in the playground… ( and that’s another story!) As I’ve said, I saw many like me, but I did not “observe myself” I did not see me? Then I found an answer …
in Hebrews 13: verses 5&6 where we read:
“… for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. 6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me”.
Let me share with you what this Revelation means. In essence, we can translate these words by saying, “He has whispered, so that we might shout” DHG Think of it this way, I look in the Mirror, (in the Bible) and God whispers “I will never leave you”, I turn from the Mirror and can shout “The Lord is my Helper” In the Mirror, I have seen that I am not alone, I have help, I have a companion, I have all of Heaven at my disposal, I need have no fear. I looked in the Mirror and saw ME, only it was not the ME I expected to see, it was the new ME. It was not the ME that is so often helpless and careless, rather it is the ME that I can be, that I should be, that I ought to be, ME in Christ, ME in Gods view and not my own. So that I need not now forget what I look like, the Bible shows me every day what I look like and what I can look like. I am not so much looking at what I am in the natural, but what I am in the Spiritual.
This truth can be truly “revelationary” and revolutionary
if we can grasp it.
So then in the moments left to us today, let us take
“A LOOK IN THE MIRROR”
and focus on what we see there, what reflection there is?
We begin with this note from the Apostle James, who seeing the promise ” I will never leave thee” responds, “I will not fear …man” The Bible says that “The fear of man bringeth a snare” Proverbs 29:25. There are many traps ahead, for those who become men fearers and men pleasers. Thank God, that like James, I learned a long time ago to fear no one. There is no man living that frightens me. I do not fear the Government or the Politicians, I do not fear the Church leaders, I do not fear the Press, nor the Devil himself.
The truth often offends, the Bible says it will, but I would rather offend a man, than offend God. I can live with the displeasure and withdrawal of men, but I could not live with the withdrawal of God. As long as there is a breath in my Body, I shall with Gods help, stand up and speak up for the Saviour, for the Gospel and for the truth and for the right! I may lose the favour of men, but I dare not lose the smile of God. I have said many times in these broadcasts that I was named after David the Shepherd Boy who became King of Israel, and like him, when any Giant steps out to belittle my God, my Church or my faith, I will run for Him and down him, I will not run from him as a coward. May God give us all Holy Boldness, so that we like James can say “The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me”.
Looking again in the Mirror, I read
“… and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit,
which are God’s. 1 Cor 6: 19-20
I turn away and boldly say “I am His, I am Gods bought possession” and again…”Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, … … 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, 1 Peter 1:18-19
This tells me just how valuable I am. The price tag on the garment in the store will reveal whether it is the genuine article or a fake. A real “Rolex” can cost thousands, but a fake can be had for about £40. Look at the price tag on ME, I cant see it back there, but if you look in the Mirror, in the WORD, then you’ll see just how much I am worth. I could not be bought with a bag of silver or one of gold, but I was purchased with the most valuable commodity ever, the precious blood of Jesus Christ.
See that man that looks like me in the Mirror, He is unique, He’s no ordinary man, He’s not merely human, He’s priceless, He’s valued, He’s precious, He’s loved, He’s treasured, He’s blessed, He’s highly favoured, He’s the Son of the King, He’s heir to the Promises, He’s Rich….? I’ve seen it all in the mirror.
Hold on a moment, lets stop there. RICH? have you seen my Bank account. No don’t look there, look in the Mirror, that’s where you’ll see my wealth. Again the apostle James writes:
“Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith,
and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them
that love him? James 2:5
Rich in Faith is what I see, So I come away and shout “I’m Rich, I’m Rich, I’m Rich”. Thank God, I recon myself to be amongst the Richest men in Banbridge, and before you all line up for a loan, let me clarify the point.
In the Kingdom of God, after all that’s where the Mirror, the Word tells me I have membership, ownership and partnership;
in that kingdom, wealth is not measured in Money, Pounds, Euro or Dollars. There, wealth is measured in FAITH. In my experience, I have been forced to conclude that those who are wealthy in this worlds economy, are usually paupers in the Kingdom. Even those who the world sees as “Wealthy Christians” are not often considered wealthy in Gods eyes?
For while God does bless us and give us wealth, it is not so that we should hoard it up for ourselves, but rather that we should share it with others. Jesus spoke scathingly to those who
“laid up treasure for themselves and were not rich towards God”. If you have wealth today, a great sum in a Bank or Building Society account with you name, or your wife’s
name on it, don’t image for one moment that it is yours?
(If you do, then you do not know the Bible,
and you are not looking in the Mirror)
The Mirror says: “For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. 11 I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine. 12 If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine,
and the fullness thereof”. Psalm 50:10-12
Moreover, and listen carefully, it says:
“The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts” Haggai 2:8 …and there you were thinking that just because your name was on it, it belonged to you?
Look in the Mirror!
I heard a disturbing report recently about a Church in which the members were giving “loans” to the Church funds until such times that they could afford a particular addition. Sadly, some of the Church-going folks in that place probably think themselves as doing God a favour, when all the time they should be hanging their heads in shame. Instead of honouring God, they de-throne Him, rob Him of His power and efficacy, and rob Him of His Glory! Some honestly think that God needs a loan?
Instead of doing God a favour, they do Him a great disservice,
when if they can afford to give a loan, they can afford to give a gift. They just have not learned to let go. Sadly there is still a carnality in the mind of some believers, that trusts in the money,
and not in God. Yet such folk may happily sing “All to Jesus I surrender, all to Him I freely give” without a thought that they might just be singing a lie? … look in the Mirror.
Gods word says He will restore whatever we give to Him in “good measure, pressed down, shaken together and overflowing” (Luke 6:38) Paul says: “it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful”. 1 Cor 4:2 We are all only stewards,
we only HOLD it, we never OWN it, any of it!
Would it not be more God honouring and glorifying, if that Pastor or Priest could climb the Pulpit steps and say “To God be the Glory, our debt has been paid. This is the Lords doing and it is marvellous in our eyes” Then God will get what was His in the first place, His place in the Church, His power in the Church and His presence in the Church.
Be careful that your failing to look in the Mirror of His Word, and to act upon it, results in the withdrawal of His Presence. Jesus does not ask the New Testament Church to obey His word, He asked them to DO His word. It all visible in the Mirror!
So what else do I see in the Mirror today?
Most of us look in the mirror hoping to see that our reflection and therefore our image is okay, and perfectly presentable to the world outside. Men will consider their physique, while women will more likely consider their panache, their style?
Speaking for myself, I regularly conclude that when it comes to “muscle” I need more time in the Gym. Yet in Gods Mirror
I can see another kind of muscle, another kind of strength, greater than any of the physical ability I may possess.
I see in the Mirror, the Word, I see that NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE Luke 1:37, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”
What a statement! If we just believed this, how different our lives would be! From birth we are trained to know our limitations. You can’t have this. Don’t touch that. Don’t put things in your mouth. You can’t touch the fire. On and on the list goes. As we grow up, it’s actually a sign of maturity to recognize our limitations and learn to live within them.
There are limits to everything. It’s a fact of life.
But the Word, the Mirror shows us that God has no limits. When we enter into the realm of the supernatural, we have to take off all of the limits. We have to renew our minds with the truth, that God is not like us. He can do anything. We have an awesome God whose power is so great that we cannot even comprehend it.
He created the universe and it didn’t even tax His ability.
Yet many times we find ourselves wondering if our situation
is too hard for the Lord. We can’t see how even God can pull
us through, or get us out of some current crisis.
The Lord said to Jeremiah, “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?” (Jer. 32:27) The answer is a resounding NO! The only thing that limits God is our unbelief, and lack of faith. Today, let’s honour God by believing that nothing is too difficult for Him, its in the Mirror.
Furthermore, GOD’S WORD HAS NO LIMITS, no impossibilities. In John Chapter 4, we read of a certain Court Official, whose son was ill and dying at home. John 4:50,
“Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way.” Jesus didn’t have to touch the child. He didn’t have to send anything home with the father to affect the cure. All He did was speak and the son was instantly healed (v. 53).
This man had travelled over fifteen miles from Capernaum to Cana to find Jesus. Therefore, the son was not within earshot so that Jesus’ words sparked some cord of hope in his heart, thereby releasing God’s power. No, Jesus’ spoken word had so much power that no barriers (such as time or space) had any affect
on it whatsoever.
This is hard for us to understand. We spend our entire lifetime learning our physical limitations and adapting to them. But there are no limits to the power of God’s word. Jesus created everything in this physical universe by His words, and that creation will respond to anything He says.
The Lord gave His Word to the Jews but they didn’t believe it. Hebrews 4:2 says, “…the word preached did not profit them,
not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.”
We have been given God’s word too, in this Mirror – the Bible. If we will speak God’s Word in faith, we will get the same results that Jesus did here. That’s Spiritual Muscle!
THAT’S THE POWER (the strength) OF GOD’S WORD.
In Luke 8:11, Jesus says “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.” It is through the reading of the Word and the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit that Christ in His fullness is known. What a privilege it is today to have God’s Word in our own language. Six hundred years ago there was no English translation of the whole Bible. Thanks to the efforts of men like John Wycliffe (1384) and William Tyndale (1523),
today we are able to read and understand the writings of the apostles for ourselves. Men gave their lives to bring us God’s Word. We should take advantage of this wonderful privilege.
Paul describes it as ARMOUR?
The piece of armour known as the “sword of the Spirit” the word of God – is the only piece of armour that has the ability to cut, wound, and hurt our enemy, the devil. It’s not the Bible lying on your coffee or bedside table that makes the enemy flee, but it is the Word of God hidden in your heart, activated by the power of the Holy Spirit, and spoken in an appropriate situation. It’s similar to what is spoken when Jesus said in John 6:63, that “…the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.” The Word by itself doesn’t make us free. It is the Word we know and speak that will deliver us (John. 8:32).
And why is the Word so effective? It is because it is the WORD of God. God’s Word supersedes all the authority of the state, the church, of reason, of intellect, and even of Satan himself.
NOW THIS FINAL THOUGHT
The story is told of a woman who went to a dieting centre to lose weight. The director of the Centre took her to a full-length mirror. And on it, he outlined a slim and shapely figure
with a black marker, … and told her,
“This is what I want you to be like at the end of the program.”
Days of intense dieting and exercise followed, and every week the woman would stand in front of that mirror, discouraged because her bulging outline didn’t fit the director’s ideal.
But she kept at it, and finally one day she conformed to
that shapely and longed-for image.
Today our Heaven Father desires each one of us, to line up in front of the Mirror which is His Word. To AIM at what we see in that Mirror, so that by the end of each day, you and I might reflect a little more of the image there, the likeness of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.