REFLECTIONS. In the mornings when the sun is bright and the wind is still I can look across the little lake outside our home and in the water is reflected the homes and landscape across the lake from us. It is a very pleasant sight. No change is needed. But when I make my way to the bathroom in the morning and look in the mirror, no matter the conditions outside my home, I immediately realize some changes are needed in what is reflected in the mirror. Sometimes I do the minimum required and save the rest for another day. Think with me for a moment about reflections as noted in God’s Word.
“Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like,” (James 1:23-24 NIV). Too often Christians read their bible and admire what they see reflected there. Maybe they even memorize some of it. But God uses His Word as a mirror to show us what is in our heart and life so that we can make necessary adjustments in our heart, attitudes and actions. God’s Word is not given to use just to increase our knowledge of what God is revealing to mankind but it is also given to change us inwardly and our actions outwardly. Too often, I believe, Christians seize the Word in the moment and are convicted by God’s Spirit but they don’t take immediate action to put it into practice. When the moment passes; leaving the church building, home, bible study group, etc., what God has revealed is soon forgotten or suppressed and life continues as it was. It is easy in our society for a Christian to continue to ignore what God is saying to them. Most people around us would never notice. But God does. And God encourages us in His Word to follow up on the Spirit’s convicting work and do what God is asking us to do.
“But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it - not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it – they will be blessed in what they do,” (James 1:25 NIV). The reflection shining out from God’s Word should produce instant and continuing change in the Christian. The fact that so many Christians seem to have instant memory loss is alarming. A lot of Christians seem to have the ability to remember every iota of information about the medical prescription drugs they take but can’t seem to remember for more than a few moments what God has revealed to them about their heart condition and continuing actions on this day. But the sincere Christian who is willing to look into God’s Word and respond to what God reveals there, “not forgetting what they have heard” but actually making the changes prescribed by God by, “doing it”, will receive God’s blessing in what they do.
I don’t know about you but I am always looking for and rejoicing in God’s blessings. But in this case James is talking about those conditional blessings God offers. If we will act in obedience to what God’s Word reveals to us then God will bless us in what we are doing in obedience to Him. If you want real freedom in life God’s Word promises you can have it through what is revealed in His Word. If you want God’s blessings in life respond to your reflection as God reveals it in His Word. Looking in the bathroom mirror and refusing to do anything about what it reveals on one day may be acceptable under certain conditions. Looking into God’s Word and refusing to change what the Word reveals that needs to be changed is unacceptable at any time on any day. “If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is a sin for them,” (James 4:17 NIV). Check your reflection today and respond correctly to receive God’s blessing.