The Tabernacle Scroll

Issue 6

"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like"[Jas.1: 22-24 NIV].

When we look into a mirror we see an exact replica of our faces; every mark, every blemish, every beauty spot; no matter whether what we see is desirable or undesirable, it is reflected exactly as it is on our faces. The image looking back at you in the mirror could just as well be you, if only it had flesh and blood as you have! None of us looks into a good mirror expecting to find a distorted image of our outward appearance (as "trick mirrors" do in amusement parlours!). Having looked into the mirror we can satisfy ourselves as to what action we need to take to "look better"; that's the purpose of a mirror! Undoubtedly our own values, and particular desires for "looking better" will largely determine the extent of the action we take. But turning away without taking remedial action would really defeat the purpose of looking into the mirror!

The Word of God is like a mirror in that it also reflects our real appearance exactly. But that is where the analogy ends. Unlike the physical mirror, which reveals only the outward or material things, the Word of God reveals our inner condition. It exposes the hidden desires and intents of our hearts. When that inner condition is revealed, we are individually faced with the choice of either ignoring what is revealed or doing something about it. James tells us that to ignore what is revealed about the inner condition is to be exactly like the man who sees his outward condition in a mirror but turns way without taking remedial action, choosing rather to "forget what he looks like".

To continue to read the word without following its instructions is to continue deceiving ourselves. Why? Because reading (or hearing) is meant to stimulate us to make up our minds to change; and change does not come until we take the necessary action. Too may Christians are sitting on their 'blessed assurances' waiting for God to solve their problems supernaturally; but they do not want to take responsibility for their lives. "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness" (2 Tim. 3:16).

God's blessings come through obedience. And obedience is action. God helps us in it.

            Devotional                                                                                                                            Preach The Word The Word with Pastor Joseph Rodrigues