We all remember the scene from Snow White. The Evil Queen stands in front of the mirror and says “Magic Mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest one of all?” When the mirror replies that she is no longer the fairest in the kingdom that’s when all the trouble starts for poor Snow White. (Go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-i8zKJaHMA&feature=related to refresh your memory).
You’ve got to hand it to the Queen, at least she knew where to go to evaluate her appearance. She knew the mirror would reveal what she needed to know about herself.
Likewise with us, as Christians, our Lord gives us a “mirror” that we are to use for our self-examination. Unlike the magic mirror of Snow White, this “mirror” reveals our life’s condition in the eyes of God. It is a very powerful, valuable tool that is far too often overlooked.
What is this tool? How often should we use it? We’ll answer these questions in today’s blog…
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. (Jas 1:22-25)
In our text, we can see that the mirror God has given to His people is the Bible, His Word. When we read the Bible and compare it to our lives, we receive an image of what our life looks like in the sight of God.
If you notice also in our text this powerful tool can be misused. Instead of leading us to a more Christ-like life, it can be misused causing self-deceit. If we go to God’s Word, receive its truth but then forget what we have read, we have just deceived ourselves. We are thinking, “Boy, I have really pleased the Lord today, I read His Word! (but then forgot it)”; but, in reality, we have not pleased Him at all.
It is clear to see in our text, that the Lord meant for His Word to be read AND APPLIED. To read His Word without application is like buying a gallon of paint but never putting it on the wall. It is purchased, but it’s not put to use. Likewise, reading His Word. Reading His Word takes an investment of time and energy (in a sense “purchasing it”), but if we never apply it, the Word’s usefulness is ignored.
Notice that our text finishes with a promise of a blessing to those who read and apply His Word. This is incredible display of His grace to us. Don’t we deserve a blessing when we use His Word wisely? Let’s stop and think of some basic truths for just a minute:
Firstly, when God created man, He was NOT obligated to give us His Word to direct our lives. After creation and the fall, He could have just as easily left sinful mankind to go his own way. This would have led mankind into an eternity in the lake of fire. But He didn’t do this. He gave us His Word to lead us to Christ.
Secondly, once again, as newly saved Christians, we did not deserve His Word. But He gave us His Word for the Spirit to use to guide us as we live our life. Please notice, in both cases, He gave to us what we did not deserve; He did it simply because He loved us!
Now to take it a step further, the Lord promises to bless those of us who not only read, but, apply His Word to our lives. This, after he graciously gave us His Word and His Spirit to lead and guide us!!! Now, He rewards us for what is our duty to do (Luke 17:10). We owe it to Him to apply His Word; we are not doing Him any favors when we use His Word in the way it was intended. What an absolutely incredible display of His mercy and kindness to us. This is amazing grace!
THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:
For those of us who are forgiven of our sins…
If we understand how good God has been in giving us His Word, how can we waste this blessing by not applying it to our lives? I am the first to admit, at times, reading His Word and applying it to my life hurts. It’s not easy to see my faults. It’s even harder to overcome them through the power of the Spirit. It’s not easy, it’s painful, but it’s a necessity. We owe it to our Lord. Praise Him, He promises to bless us when we use His Word wisely!
For those who have not come to faith in Christ…
Please remember, one of the greatest reasons the Lord has given His Word to the world is to show mankind its need to be saved from their sin. Also, His Word tells us the way of salvation, placing our God-given faith in Christ. What is your first step to coming to faith in Christ. Look into His Word, see what your condition is and what can be done to remedy that condition. One place you might begin is Ephesians chapter 2. If you have any questions, or you would like to talk to someone about your spiritual condition, feel free to email me or get in contact with any Bible-believing church in your area.
If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.
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“The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike”
May the Lord bless your study of His Word.
Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”