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Once He Has Looked at Himself and Gone Away

July 23, 2019

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Once He Has Looked at Himself and Gone Away

It’s easy  to want to skip over unpleasant thoughts and facts.     We just want  to feel good about ourselves and hope  that nobody notices  any of our failings.     Sometimes we feel  that if we just forget about our sinful tendencies,  they’ll go away unnoticed.      But,  James tells us  that  we are deceiving ourselves,  when we try  to forget  about our sinful nature.      In James 1:22-25, we read,

But prove yourselves doers  of the word,  and not merely hearers  who delude themselves.

For if anyone is a hearer  of the word  and not a doer,  he is like a man  who looks at his natural face  in a mirror;  for once he has looked at himself and gone away,  he has immediately forgotten  what kind of person he was.

But one who looks intently  at the perfect law,  the law of liberty,  and abides by it,  not having become a forgetful hearer  but an effectual doer,  this man shall be blessed in what he does.

We all know what we look like  in the mirror  first thing in the morning — hair disheveled,  unshaven beard,  eyes half-open,  rumpled pajamas…….      We are far from being presentable  in public.      We hear the message.      It’s time to get washed up,  dressed up,  shaven,  neatly combed.      We hear that.      We know that.

But,  if we just walk away  from that mirror  without cleaning up,  and purposely forget what we look like,  we’re being either lazy,  silly,  or both.      So,  what is James telling us?

As people who have come to faith  in the redemption from sin  through Jesus Christ,  we now live with  “the perfect law,  the law of liberty”.      Before we came to faith,  we were under the kind of law  that demanded our perfection  and many sacrifices  to pay for sins.      There were all sorts  of obligations,  regulations,  and traditions  that had to be followed.      To mess up on any of it  was considered a sin.

But,  “the perfect law, the law of liberty”  is based  on the love of God for us.      Then, because God has loved us so dearly  in Jesus Christ,  we have freely come  to love our Lord — and have a desire  to show our love  by the way we live.      We are no longer following rules and regulations.      We are following love — and honestly loving the LORD  with our whole heart,  soul,  and mind  in our everyday  living.

With  “the law of liberty”  we change our way of living  in this world  because we are loving God,  our Savior.      Now we want  to change our old sinful ways.      Now we want the freedom  of living honestly,  with all gentleness,  meekness,  love,  and humbleness,  in the grace of God (not in self-righteousness).      When we let God’s love  change our attitude  and reasons  for living the way we do,  we will find ourselves gladly  doing the things  that please our Lord.      Living a godly life  is not a burden.      It’s a freedom.

All cleaned up,  we are free  from the slavery  of this world — free to serve the living Lord.      In freedom,  we say,  “Hallelujah!      Lord,  let us daily confess all our sins  and receive the forgiveness You grant   through the merits  of Jesus Christ.      Then,  let us serve You with clean hearts  and a right spirit.”

Love,
Margaret

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A Christian devotional to glorify the LORD of lords and God of gods

 

Pray for our country.

 

This is the day which the LORD has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

 

The word of the LORD is tried;
He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.
Psalm 18:30

 

Sing for joy in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming  to the upright.
Psalm 33:1

 

How blessed are those  who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee.
Psalm 84:4

 

Just as a father has compassion  on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
Psalm 103:13

 

Oh give thanks to the LORD,  for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Psalm 107:1

 

Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Psalm 105:3

 

Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that
I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12

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