This morning we have heard from our Gideon ministry representative concerning the distribution of the Bible around the world. This is an important ministry and one that is worthy of our support. As people of God, we are to be people of the Word! Amen? Now that sounds good, but what does it mean? It means we are to spend time in the Bible. We may carry this book in our hands and have it on the table at home, but it means more than that!
Ps 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
People of the Word will treasure the Scripture in our hearts, not just our heads. The verse tells us that it will impact our lives in such a way that we will live for Him and not sin against Him, if we are people of the Word. Consider these thoughts:
We are born through the Word.
1Pe 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
We grow by the Word.
De 8:3b "…Man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live."
We are rebuked by the Word.
2Ti 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
We are equipped for service by the Word.
2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteous-ness:
Jesus is the living Word.
Joh 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
a. This is the living Word in book form.
b. Jesus is the Holy Son of God and this is the Holy Word of God.
c. He is the eternal Son of God and forever O Lord your Word is settled in heaven. This is the eternal Word of God.
d. Jesus is the Bread of Life and this is the bread of life because it feeds us.
e. The way we treat our Bible is the way we treat Jesus.
f. When we neglect the Bible, we are neglecting Jesus in our lives.
g. Don't tell me how much you love Jesus if you do not love the Word!
There are many comparisons made in the Scripture to help us understand the importance of God's Word in our lives. It is compared to light, fire, hammer, nail, bread, seed, shield and sword. In the book of James it is compared to a mirror.
As we get older we try to avoid mirrors. Maybe you are at that stage in life as well. But when it comes to God's spiritual mirror we had better pay close attention.
Jas 1:22-24 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.
Just hearing the Word or even understanding the Word is not enough; we must become doers of the Word. Consider with me this morning three important thoughts concerning God's Word as a mirror.
I. A Mirror for Examination.
A. This is a common purpose.
1. I am sure most of us before we left home looked in the mirror to make sure our hair was combed … well, there are some who do not worry about that as much anymore.
2. There is nothing wrong with looking in a mirror to make sure you look good.
3. I know God looks on the heart, but man does look at us on the outside.
4. It is good to look our best, as Christians we represent Christ to this lost and dying world.
5. If I didn't know better, looking at some Christians, I might come to the conclusion that the Lord was a mess!
B. The Bible helps us examine the outward person, but also the inward man as well.
1. My greatest problem is on the inside.
2. Some may think otherwise…
3. They might think my biggest problem is losing a few more pounds…
4. Others might think I need to stand closer to my razor!
5. But the mirror of God's Word reveals to me the areas of my life that need special attention.
C. This book is the only thing I know of that helps me see myself as I truly am.
1. Our friends seldom tell us the truth about ourselves.
2. Even our mates are not always truthful.
3. But God's Word always reveals the truth about my life!
4. We need that in order to correct the problems.
5. I don't want to be like the first man James speaks about that looked in the mirror and saw himself and walked away and forgot it and did nothing.
6. That happens way too often!
7. We have so many in church today that come to Sunday school and church.
8. They hear the Word, but do nothing.
Ps 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
II. A Mirror for Restoration.
A. Consider the Tabernacle and the Temple
1. In the building of these two places of worship, God gave the instructions down to the smallest of details.
2. He didn't need an architect or a building committee.
3. He simply delivered the instructions to man through His Word.
4. You cannot read about the building of the tabernacle and the temple without understanding that God was very specific.
B. Consider the Laver of Brass. Cf. Ex. 30:17-21
1. As the priest entered into the tabernacle he would first come to the altar of sacrifice, for the Scripture explains that without the shedding of blood there is no remission.
2. Next there was the laver of brass, this was where the priests would wash their hands and feet before entering into the holy place.
3. The picture is clear…we are washed in the blood of the lamb and forgiven of our sins; but we need to come to the Word of God for daily cleansing.
C. Moses used mirrors to make the laver.
Ex 38:8 And he made the laver of brass, and the foot of it of brass, of the lookingglasses of the women assembling, which assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
1. God's Word is a mirror for restoration and cleansing.
2. The same Word that reveals the sin in our life also provides the way for cleansing.
Ps 119:9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.
3. Thank God for daily cleansing by and through His Word!
III. A Mirror for Transformation.
2Co 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
A. God wants to make us like Jesus.
1. When the child of God looks into the Word of God he sees the Son of God and is transformed into the image of God for the glory of God.
2. As a matter of fact, that is the ongoing purpose of God in our lives.
3. Everything that comes our way, every trial, every difficulty, every blessing, everything comes into our lives that we might be transformed into the image of His dear Son.
Ro 8:28-29 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
B. To be like Him we must come to the Word of God.
1. We must not just read it and hear it…we must do it!
2. We must live out the principles in this Book.
3. When we do we are transformed! Changed!
C. It all starts when we come to Him in faith.
1. God isn't in the reformation business…He's in the transformation business!
2. He doesn't want us to try to reform or turn over a new leaf!
3. He wants us to come to Him in faith and allow Him to totally transform our lives.
2Co 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Whatever our need is this morning? God will meet it! Do you need to come to Christ today and be born again? Do you need to come this morning for cleansing? Come now…do not delay! Is God calling you to prayer? Whatever the need, come.