Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God

18. Test 3: The Bible Test – Part 4

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James 1:18-27

18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created. 19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. 22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. 26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

After answering the question, are you receiving God’s Word? We need to turn to the second question:

  1. Are you responding to God’s Word?

I want you to picture a pastor preaching a powerful sermon but you are distracted because all you can focus on is his messy hair. You keep wondering didn’t he look in the mirror before he left the house? Well one of two things is true, either he didn’t bother to look in the mirror, or he looked but never made any adjustments. There are those who may receive the Word but they don’t respond to it. They listen but they don’t let it direct their life because they keep scripture on the surface instead of letting it sink deep into their hearts. These are the ones that James says catch a glimpse of themselves but walk away and soon forget. They recognize but they don’t respond, because instead of gazing in the mirror they glance. Notice James tells us to look carefully not casually. Many of us are skimming scripture instead of soaking in scripture. Imagine I wrote out the James 1:25 on a piece of cardboard “But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.” And I held it up for just a second, only enough time for you to glance at it and then ask you what it said verses hold it up and giving you plenty of time to take it. That’s the difference between glancing and gazing. Many of us are God glance’s not God gazers. Why do we need to gaze, because we need to be confronted by the reflection in the mirror. If we don’t, we open ourselves up to the deadly disease of self-deception. We often think that if others think we are responsive to God then that’s good enough. We might think that at worst the danger is that of deceiving others. But look what James says, “You are fooling YOURSELF.” This brings us to an important point what mirror are you looking into? Only one mirror will give you a real reflection of who you are and where you are. The only perfect mirror is the Word of God, the Holy Scriptures. Often, we are tempted to look into the mirror of the World not the Word. Picture yourself looking into a broken mirror. When you look into a broken mirror you get a distorted view of yourself. Many of us are measuring ourselves based on a worldly mirror, as a result you start trying to live up to the worlds standards, possessions, position, power and you end up wasting your life on worthless things. The only perfect mirror is the Word of God and the perfect image …….. is Jesus. We need to look into a perfect mirror to see ……. the real image ……the real person. The only way to see who you really are is to look into that perfect law of liberty, found in the Scriptures, because it’s there that we see who we really are in Jesus. The only way to see who you are is to see whose you are. But you can’t see that in a broken mirror you need the Bible. The truth is you will never understand who you are until you understand whose you are. When we realize who we are in Christ it will affect how we respond. I don’t have to perform for people to be accepted, because I have already been accepted by the Almighty. The Mirror you look in matters, because a worldly mirror will give you a warped view. Either you will think you are better than you are, pride or worse than you are self-deprivation. Are you looking into the right mirror or do you have a broken and distorted picture of who you are?

 

 

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