What Do You See in the Mirror?

Introduction:     

     Probably every one of us looks at the individual staring back at us in the mirror every day.  When you do this, do you do so pleased with what you see or with an unfavorable perception?  Whether pleased or not we say, “That person looking back at me is just like me!”  But that is not exactly so!  From our perspective we see that which we perceive to be symmetrical.  Symmetrical is a fancy word for balanced proportionally in every way.  This would include:  size, shape, and relative position of parts on opposite sides.  Even though the person looks like us, there is a difference.  As you look in the mirror raise your right hand.  What does the person do that’s looking back at us do?  Why that person raises their left hand!  Or, look right into those eyes and wink with your right eye.  The image in the mirror winks back at us with their left eye.

     That which is the opposite of being balanced is asymmetrical.  The “a” added to the word symmetrical means “not.”  In other words, it is not balanced. 

     In like manner we may not have a true perception of other people.  That is, we may “jump to conclusions” before we have adequate evidence to make a right judgment.  At Matthew 7:1-5 our Savior warns about making preconceived judgments.  He states:  “Judge not, that ye be not judged.  For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged:  and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.  And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?  Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?  Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”

     We should use righteous judgment.  Jesus at John 7:24 urges us to use righteous judgment, with these words:  Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”  He also reveals how to do this at Matt. 7:20In that passage the Son of God declares:  Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”

     In Like manner, we want others to so judge us.  But the BIG QUESTION is how do we judge our self?  It is possible for you or me to deceive our self.  At least the following two passages reveal this possibility. 

I Cor. 3:18, “Let no man deceive himself.  If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.”

I John 1:8, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” 

Discussion:

I.                   WHEN WE LOOK INTO THE MIRROW OF GOD’S INSPIRED WORD, WHAT DO WE SEE?

James 1.23-25, “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.”

A.     We are to conform into the image of the Godhead.

1.      We were created in the image of the Godhead.

Gen. 1:26-28, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:  and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.  And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it:  and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

2.      Unfortunately many do not wish to be in the image of the Godhead.

Rom. 1:20-23, “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:  Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.  Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.”

B.     As we look deeply into the mirror of the Bible we’re able to see our faults and shortcomings.

1.      And in doing this we are able to perfect our lives. 

II Corinthians 13:5, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”

II.                JESUS CHRIST AND HIS INSPIRED WORD PROVIDES US WITH THE PERFECT IMAGE AND PRINCIPLES FOR OUR LIVES.

A.     Jesus Christ lived a perfect life while here upon earth.

Heb. 4:15, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”

B.     And His inspired Word guides us in partaking of the divine image of the Godhead.

II Pet. 1:3-11, “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.  For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.  Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:  For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

III.             WE ARE TO PORTRAY HIS LIFE AND PRINCIPLES IN OUR OWN LIVES.

Phil. 1:20-21, “According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.  For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

A.     We do this by following the example of His life here upon earth and by adhering unto the principles of His Will, the New Testament.

I Pet. 2:21-25, “For even hereunto were ye called:  because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:  WHO DID NO SIN, NEITHER WAS GUILE FOUND IN HIS MOUTH:  Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:  Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness BY WHOSE STRIPES YE WERE HEALED.  FOR YE WERE AS SHEEP GOING ASTRAY; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.”

ROM 12:1-2, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

IV.              BY PARTAKING OF THE IMAGE OF GOD WE CAN BE AN EXAMPLE UNTO OTHERS.

Matt. 5:13-16, “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

Acts 4:13, “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.”

Conclusion:

James 1.22-25, 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.”

You and I need to ask ourselves:

“What kind of a congregation would this be if every member was like me?”

They will be motivated to follow our example as we in turn allow Christ to direct our life.

I Cor. 11:1, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.”

--Dub Mowery

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