Summary: The Bible is like a mirror. When we look into it the Bible tells us what we need to change.
“Mirror, Mirror on the Wall”
If you have a Bible today with you I want to encourage you to use it. If you need one there is one in every chair. James 1:19-27. Prayer.
My wife and I made a trip to the beautiful city of Boston a few weeks back to do something that has been on my bucket list for a very long time. Actually before people were even talking about having a bucket list. And that was to see Paul Macartney in concert. Now unless you have lived in a cave all of your life you know that he is one of the Beatles and along with John Lennon wrote most of their music. It was packed and the concert was amazing.
Paul had an incredible band backing him up but it was clear the whole night that the concert was really about him. I’ve been told that he has a pretty big ego. And one comment that has been made is that Paul Macartney never met a mirror he didn’t like. In other words he enjoys looking at himself.
Most of us, probably all of us looked in the mirror at least once this morning. Some of us stood in front of the mirror for some time. We want to look our best. So at least once a day we stand before a mirror and review the way we look. If we need to adjust something… and we usually do, we straighten out our clothes or we comb our hair… all because the mirror tells us we need to.
This morning I want to give you a very important truth that I hope you will hang onto. Here it is.
The word of God is a mirror that the Holy Spirit uses to enable us to see ourselves as we really are.
It is not like a mirror. It is one. When we look into God’s word the view we get is HOW GOD SEES US. Not how our friends see us or how we see ourselves. How God sees us.
But here’s the problem. The problem is that most of us don’t actually read it. It’s not because we don’t have a Bible. The Bible is present in almost every home in America. According to a recent Gallop Poll “eighty-two percent of the Americans believe that the Bible is the “inspired” Word of God… more than half stated they read their Bible at least monthly. Yet half couldn’t name even one of the four gospels [Matthew, Mark, Luke, John] and fewer than half knew who delivered the Sermon on the Mount.” [Jesus].
The truth is we hold the very word of God in our hand. And it is l a mirror. The Bible allows us to see ourselves as we really are. So how do we get the most out of it? James says we must be open to God’s Word. Let’s face it, many people are not. People will ask us as believers, questions about God. That’s a good thing when that happens. But when we turn to the word to give them answers many times they will respond, “I want to know about God, but I don’t want to hear what the Bible has to say.” Because they don’t see the connection between the two.
Sometimes pride gets in the way. So James tells us to “receive the word with meekness” to “humbly accept the word planted in you.” That word means to welcome. It is a word used in the NT that is also used for hospitality. For how we welcome others into our homes. And how we do that says a lot about us.
James is telling us that we need to welcome the word of God into our lives. Here’s how he says to do that. (1) James says we must be quick to hear the Word of truth. James is not talking about just physically hearing the words; he is talking about listening. Have you ever said to someone I don’t think you hearing what I have to say and they respond, oh I hear you, I just don’t agree. You can hear His Word and still not understand it. There are several things that can cause that to happen.
One of those is our tongue. Let’s face sometimes we talk too much. There is a reason God gave us one mouth and two ears. We need to listen more than we speak. James says we must have a controlled tongue. We can’t listen if we are the ones doing all the talking. Some of us are not very good listeners. People ask us how we’re doing and they just expect to hear an answer like "fine." That is what we are programmed to hear. So if someone starts talking about how rough the week has been, we may be talking to someone else already. We are not quick to hear as James tells us to be. Instead we are quick to speak.