Sermons

The Mirror

Sun, May 16, 2021
Teacher: Mark Hull
Passage: James 1:22-25
Duration:25 mins 55 secs

Message text

THE MIRROR
James 1: 22 – 25

After being away for some time on a business trip, ... Bill thought it would be nice ... to bring his wife ... a small gift.
"How about some perfume?" ... he asked the cosmetics clerk.
She showed him a bottle ... costing $60.00.
"That's a bit much," he said, ... so she returned ... with a smaller bottle ... for $30.00.
"That's still quite a bit," ... he complained.
Growing annoyed, ... the clerk brought out a tiny $15.00 bottle.
"You know," ... he said, ... "What I mean is ... I would like to see something ... really cheap."
So the clerk handed him ... a mirror. (Pause)
Today ... I would like us to look ... at who we are.
To take a long hard look in the mirror ... and see who we what is in the reflection.
Not who we act like, ... not who others perceive us to be, ... not what we have been ... in the past, ... but "who we really are".
Corinthians 2 Corinthians 3:18-19 speaks to this mirror and to our image. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as [a]by the Spirit of the Lord.
What is reflected in the mirror ... what do you see in the mirror? (Pause)
Have you ever been out somewhere and then catch a glimpse of yourself in a mirror which causes you to stop dead in your tracks and think...YIKES! Is that REALLY what I look like right now!The mirror reminds us of EXACTLY how others see us at that particular moment.
A certain private school ... was faced ... with a unique problem.
A number of 12-year-old girls ... were beginning to use lipstick ... and would put it on ... in the bathroom.
That was fine, ... but after they put on their lipstick ... they would press their lips to the mirror, ... leaving dozens ... of little ... lip prints.
Every night, ... the maintenance man would remove them ... yet the very next day, ... the girls would put them right back ... on the mirror.
Finally, ... Mrs. Hatcher ... the principal ... decided that something ... had to be done.
She called all the girls into the bathroom and met them there ... with the maintenance man
She explained that all these lip prints ... were causing a major problem for the custodian ... who had to clean the mirrors ... every night.
To demonstrate how difficult it was ... to clean the mirrors, ... she asked the maintenance man to show the girls ... how much effort ... was required.
He took out a long-handled squeegee, ... dipped it in the toilet, ... and cleaned the mirror with it. (Pause)
Since then, ... they have had no problems with lip prints ... on the mirror. (Pause)
Paul in his first letter to the believers gathered in Corinth ... also spoke of ... looking at our image ... in a mirror.
1 Corinthians 13:11-12 tells us " When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
Now, Ancient mirrors, ... which were manufactured in the great city of Corinth, ... were made of metal ... and gave a very dim reflection.
Thus Paul's words ... "Now we see in a mirror, dimly".
This is an illustration ... of our imperfect knowledge ... on this side of eternity.
Now, ... when we cross over to the other side of eternity ... when we are in heaven, .... we will know all things ... knowledge will be full ... it will be complete.
But ... on this side of eternity ... it is dim ... it is imperfect.
Have you ever seen your reflection ... in a metal spoon?
I hope I'm not the only one who has ever done that.
The reflection in the metal spoon ... is a strange image ... isn't it?
It is dim.... It is imperfect.
Mirrors in Paul's time were metal ... and you could not see a very accurate reflection of yourself, ... it was much like looking into a metal spoon.
But in today's age, ... we have mirrors .... that very much display .... what we really look like.
You can clearly see yourself ... your image ... what you look like.
But this too ... is not the mirror ... we should be looking into.
It is not the mirror ... Paul is alluding too.
So.... if we want to know who we really are, ... what mirror ... should we look in?
We need to look into the mirror of God's Word ... The true mirror ... God's Mirror .... which shows us ... who we really are.
We need to examine ourselves ... and ask the question:
Am I being all that God has called me to be?
Am I allowing the Lord to mold me?
Am I doing my best ... Am I giving my best?
When we look into God's mirror ... We may find ... feelings, ... thoughts, ... problems ... attitudes that we hold on to .... and have not allowed God ... to transform.
We need ... we must ... yield to God's Word ... to God's will and allow him ... to mold us ... into the image ... into the reflection of His son.
We need to allow Him ...to impact the way we walk, ... the way we talk, ... the way we think ... the way we act.
It is time ... time to allow him to mold us... to transform us.
It is so easy ... to see the tiny faults of others ..., yet miss the larger faults ... in ourselves.
(Matthew 7:4-5) Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
I have often found ... that when I begin to look at others ... short comings... that God is calling me ...to look at the log in my own eye.
To look at the ... "Man in the Mirror" ... that Person ... in the mirror.
When you get all you want and you struggle for pelf,
and the world makes you king for a day,
then go to the mirror and look at yourself
and see what that man has to say.
For it isn't your mother, your father or wife
whose judgment upon you must pass,
but the man, whose verdict counts most in your life
is the one staring back from the glass.
He's the fellow to please,
never mind all the rest.
For he's with you right to the end,
and you've passed your most difficult test
if the man in the glass is your friend.
You may be like Jack Horner and "chisel" a plum,
And think you're a wonderful guy,
But the man in the glass says you're only a bum
If you can't look him straight in the eye.
You can fool the whole world,
down the highway of years,
and take pats on the back as you pass.
But your final reward will be heartache and tears
if you've cheated the man in the glass.

If we begin with ... "The Person in the Mirror", ... we will be molded ... we will be transformed.
If we look into the True mirror ... God's mirror... it will reflect back ... a true image ... of who we are.
Each morning ... as we prepare for the day ahead ... we generally do not leave ... without looking ... into a mirror.
The mirror enables us ... to see if there is anything out of place ... and gives us an opportunity to correct ... what is wrong.
So often ... we can get wrapped up in our own ways .... that we set aside ... the ways of the One ... whom we are called ... to be like.
Jesus has the power ... to change ... "The Person in the Mirror"!
Jesus has the power to transform you .... He has the desire to infill you ... with His glory!
(2 Corinthians 3:18 )
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as [a]by the Spirit of the Lord.
If we start with ... "the Person in the Mirror", ... then we can begin to impact our world ... one person at a time!
If we start with ... "the Person in the Mirror", ... and let God mold us, ... we will be transformed!
If we each start with ... "the Person in the Mirror", .... then we can begin to make our church .... a beacon of light ... to those around us!
Praise God ... for his mercy ... and for his provision ... For what He has done .... and will continue to do ...in my life.... And in yours.
Yet ... If we are honest ... There are times ... when we are deceived ... and do not act like ... the man or woman .... God has called us ... to be. (Pause)
A Fellow was sitting at a stop light.
The lady in front of him ... was going through some papers.... That were lying on the passenger's seat of her car, ... and when the light changed to green ... she did not move.
She did not follow ... the instruction ... of the light.
You know ...Stop on Red... Move on Green ... and go real fast on Yellow.
And When the light turned yellow ... then back to red, ... this gentleman began (with his windows up) screaming and beating on the steering wheel ... of his car.
His expressions of distress ... were quickly interrupted by a policeman, ... gun drawn, tapping on his window.
Against his protests of, ...."You can't arrest me for hollering in my car," .... the officer ordered him into the back seat .... of his patrol car.
After about an hour in a holding cell, the officer checked out the individual and then advised him .... he was free to go.
The man said, .... "I knew you couldn't arrest me for what I was yelling ... in my own car. .... You haven't heard the last of this."
The officer replied, ... "I didn't arrest you for shouting in your car.
I was directly behind you at the light. .... I saw you screaming and beating your steering wheel.
Then I noticed the Proud Christian on board sign in your window.... and the John 3:16 bumper sticker, ... and I thought ... you must have stolen that car." (Pause)
The way we actually live our lives may be the only Bible ... some folks ... will ever read.
We need to remember ... who we are ... and what we look like.
And The Scriptures speak to this in our text of (James 1:22-24)"... be doers of the word, ... and not hearers only, ... deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word ... and not a doer, ... he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like."
How can that be?
How can someone look in the mirror...? see themselves, ...and then ... at once ... immediately ...walk away ...and forget .... what they look like?
"Wait a minute? ... Am I balding? ... Am I overweight? ... Am I short? .... Do I have hazel eyes? .... Do I have a scare on my chin?
Yet... It is possible ... to look in the mirror ...and then forget .... what you look like.
And .... There are two reasons why that can happen.
First ... You do not believe the mirror is an accurate reflection ... of who you are.
That is ... You do not trust the mirror... that you are looking into.
Have you ever been to a fun house at a carnival or fair ...and walked through the... Hall of mirrors?
They have certain mirrors ... that are designed to make you look ... not as ... you are.
* You can stand in front of one mirror ...and look extremely muscular... I kind of like that mirror.
* You can stand in front of another and look extremely short and fat.
* You can stand in front of yet another and be ten feet tall .... and as skinny as a rail.
Obviously ... These mirrors are not ... an accurate reflection ... of who you are.
So you walk away from them... and forget ... what you looked like.
So ... You do not believe the mirror is an accurate reflection ... of who you are.
Or the 2nd reason you can look in a mirror and forget what you look like is because you are being deceived.
The enemy is deceiving you ... deceiving you into believing ... that you do not look like ... what the mirror is reflecting.
This often happens to people .... with eating disorders ... or people that are experiencing depression ... or are being oppressed ... by the enemy.
The only mirror of eternal significance ... is the Mirror ... of God's Word.
Remove the veil ... that is covering your eyes ... and look deeply ... into the truth of the mirror.
God's Word ... encompasses the real mirror ... a mirror that we can trust.
God's Word ... God's mirror ... will not only transform you... but reflecting from the mirror ... are wonderful truths ... of who you are in Christ.
Do you trust God's mirror?
Or do you walk away from it ... believing that you are not worthy?
Do you look into the mirror of God's Word ... that proclaims ... you can do all things ... through Christ Jesus?
And yet walk away ... believing ...that you could never be good enough?
Do you look into the mirror of God's Word ... that declares ... greater is he that is in me ... then he that is in the world?
Yet you walk away ... thinking that ... you will fail.
If you do, ... then there is a reason.
Either you do not trust the mirror you are looking into ... or .... You are being deceived.
do not forget who you are...and where you are going.
Do you trust God's Word? .... Do you trust ... it's reflection ... of who you are?
If you do... then do not be deceived ... walk boldly ... be the salt of the earth ... be the light of the world. (Matthew 5:13-14)
Be the reflection of Jesus and yield to his transforming love.
For You are ... a new creation .... in Christ Jesus.

Serrmon Contributor Jeff Smead

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