What Ought To Be

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James 1:23-24 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer 

James made it very clear what we are to do and not to do with what we hear in the Word of God. Why? Because there are many believers who sit under sound preaching and teaching and nod their heads in agreement but never do anything about it. Sad is the condition of the church in general in America today! James is warning the church that even a public commitment to do the will of God, as declared in the Word of God, is of little value if it isn’t followed by deliberate obedience to it.

The Lord made the point perfectly clear in His parable of two sons…

Matt 21:28-31 “But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go, work today in my vineyard.’ 29 He answered and said, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he regretted it and went. 30 Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘I go, sir,’ but he did not go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said to Him, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you.

James makes the point with respect to the second son…

… he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.

John Phillips gives us a good example… A man wakes up in the morning and looks at himself in the mirror and sees an unshaven face and unkempt hair. But instead of doing anything about it he goes into the kitchen to fix breakfast. He then realizes that he is late for work and rushes to the office whereupon his boss comes by his desk and asks: “Don’t you have a mirror in your house?” “Yes, he responds.” His boss then asks him if he has a comb and a razor in his house. Again he responds that he does. His boss starts to turn away and says… “The next time you look in the mirror, do something about it. That’s my advice to you.”

There is sound wisdom in James’ statement. The next time we look into the Word of God, and God shows us something about us, we’d better do something about it. Paul also brought home the same point…

 2 Cor 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 by the Spirit of the Lord.

It begs the question. How are we going to be “conformed into the image of Jesus Christ” (Rom 8:29) if we look at ourselves in the mirror and just walk away? I am slowly learning that I need to do more than “glance” at myself in the Word of God, I need to take a long look and not only see myself but also Jesus. And in the process, catch a vision of not only what I see but what ought to be.

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