HAVE WE FORGOTTEN OUR REFLECTION?
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. James 1:22-25
Many times I really think about what I look like from time to time. I mean I know what I see in the mirror and what I see in my minds eyes don't truly give a pure reflection of what I look like to the world and what I look like to God. There are a lot of things that I think I look like by comparison and struggles that I go through to really take a moment and really reflect where I am physically, mentally and spiritually. If you could put each of these reflections before me, I honestly believe that I would not recognize myself at all. I think that in some ways I am worse and other ways I think that I am better, but the truth of God is honestly revealed in the reflection that we have through Christ. As we continue to walk to the cross and the grave, I am reminded that we are all human and continue to strive to do the best that we can to follow through and hold on to God's Word as a guiding light in the darkness that we walk through each day. Some times it may be better to just hide in the darkness and hope that no one will see us. Being doers of the Word is hard and when you are dealing with trying to help others see their true reflection of Christ they don't want to see it and they don't want to hear it. WHY? Because they now better who they are than anyone else, and I wish I could say that was true for me but I am just as guilty as everyone else.
I am asking today that we just a take a step into reality and reflection. I know that I am not perfect and with every day there are people that continue to remind me of the faults and flaws that I have in my life. NONE of us are ever to be put on a pedestal because that place is only reserved for Jesus. No one truly knows our struggles and others try to think that they know who we are and they cannot even begin to realize the pain that they cause by their words or actions. When we try to compare ourselves to the world's standards we will fail
EVERY TIME. Ministry is hard and to follow the teachings of God is going to cause hurt. It is. In fact, I cannot believe that some times people are hurt more by "CHRISTIANS" than by people in the world. That is why so many people are afraid to come to Church and be a part of a community that is looking to throw stones because you do not fit the standards when the case is that they really do not follow the teachings of God at all. They follow only the parts they want to follow and walk away from the mirror with a false sense of what they are to reflect to the world. See, when we truly get to this point, we are to stop seeing our reflections and see the reflection of Christ in the mirror. We should become less and God should become more, but we don't really like that image. We want to be the perfect definition of us instead of realizing that we are not to truly be seen or even heard, but only the truth of God should be revealed in our lives and in our actions.
As we read the words of James today they really do cut to the CORE of the matter. We are called to follow the Word of God and NOT just listen and do only what we want to do. James is very specific and I think that for many of us we only want to read the Cliff or Spark Notes on the Bible and make up our own conclusions. That is not reality at all. That is the reality that we make up and I hope and pray that one day we will not hear these words, "Depart from me you evildoer for I never knew you." We are to apply these life lessons into our daily lives not as suggestions but as applications and action points. James shares two very distinct pictures of people who accept and live out the Word and the ones that merely glance through it to find ways to use it as an attack on others. Context and truth are what the Bible is all about and if you are not going to commit to truly spending the time that God desires, don't be surprised to find yourself lost and confused as you move through your life journey. The first image James gives is one of a person that just looks at God's Word very flippantly or memorizes it for the moment and once they go about their daily life it never impresses into their inner self. Similar to learning the memory verse only for the quiz and three days later it is gone. Just like the parable of the sower, the one that looks in the mirror and immediately forgets their reflection is the one that only uses God's Word as a crutch and not as a foundational truth to stand on. The second image is one who looks in the mirror and sees all of the blemishes and scars. They are able to see truth and recognize the difficulty of life and the need for God's strength given through His Word. This type of person draws strength and hope from God and passes it on to every person that they encounter, because their goal is not about themselves but to help others engage with Christ.
Today I am asking that we honestly take a look in the mirror and have a conversation with God right there. Don't look away, but take a moment to allow God's image of you to burn into your brain. We all need to be able to see truth and watch as God's Word in action will begin to remove the image seen by the world and begin to reflect the love and grace of God in our lives. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and just to let you know God is the one I hope and prays HOLDS me. As I said, I know that I fail EVERY DAY. I know that I am no where near perfection and mostly that is because God is not done with me yet. I continue to
be a DOER of God's Word so that my life will not reflect Jason Wade but Jesus Christ. Sometimes people may forget that and I hope and pray I am not one of them. So for those of you that read this today, I challenge you to take every moment you have to spend with God as more precious than the next. Please realize that people are going to let you down because we are all sinners and fall short of God's glory. There has only been ONE person that has come into this world that lived a perfect example of life and we didn't like that so much. In fact we hated it so much that we crucified Him on a cross so that we would not have to look at our reflections in a mirror. Realize that we are ALL human and that we all fail, but the difference is not in our failures but how we respond. Realize that people are going to let us down, but God's WORD will NEVER change. Some of you today need to really hear this message today and I am one of them. Please take a moment and reflect on what our true purpose is in this world. We are not called to live for the world but to equip disciples for the transformation of the world. I think during this last year of COVID, we may have all lost site of that calling. I have added two videos for today. I pray that you take the time to watch them both and realize what we are reflecting to the world. Father, Here I am. What can I do for You today? Amen.