Sunday Sermon 11.28.20
As I am writing this, we just finished celebrating Thanksgiving a few days ago.
Thanksgiving is an important celebration for alot of good reasons, but I would like to suggest one – because we humans forget, we are forgetful. So to help us remember the good, positive and even bad and troublesome things, we give thanks, we intentionally choose to remember and not become a victim of forgetfulness.
We “forget” the pain of childbirth even though we swear it was so bad we will never forget.
We “forget” abuses of people and keep walking back into the same ole situation.
We “forget” the positive words and remember only the negative ones.
We “forget” the painful consequences of sin and remember the moments of pleasure.
We say we will never forget, and yet there is a generation who has never even heard.
We are a forgetful people.
The Bible uses the word forgot or one of its forms over 110 times. I’d like to share one of them with you.
” … and after looking at himself in the mirror, (he) goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like…”James 1:23-24
In this passage, James is talking about a person who looks at himself in the mirror and afterwards goes away from the mirror and forgets what he looks like. Who does that? That’s crazy, right?
We all can remember what we look like, isn’t that why we generally don’t like even looking in the mirror in the first place? But no…
I used to explain this verse as a guy looking into the mirror, seeing he has broccoli stuck in his teeth, and walking away, doing nothing about it – sharing his broccoli smile with everyone he meets.
But that’s not really accurate.
You see, in the context of what James is teaching, the mirror isn’t a glass, painted with Rustoleum Mirror Effect. He was not referring to a typical mirror, mirror on the wall.
He tells us that the mirror is actually The Word (of God), the Bible. (verses 22-25)
So here’s the picture James is creating for us – a man looks into the bible, reads it, sees an image of himself, and walks away from the mirror and forgets the image he saw.
I always thought the image the man saw of himself was “the broccoli man” – you, know, the one with sin, blemishes and tons of imperfections, including broccoli in his teeth. So of course, he’s gonna walk away and forget! He doesn’t want to remember what a sinner he really is. Duh.
Alas, again I was wrong.
Listen to what James is really trying to tell us –
“…You become like the person who looks in the mirror of the Word to discover the reflection of his face in the beginning. You perceive how God sees you in the mirror of the Word, but then you go out and forget your divine origin.“James 1:23-24 TPT
What broccoli man really sees in the mirror, the Word, is an image of his own divine origin, created in the image of God. In that reflection, broccoli man sees himself as God sees him, before the broccoli, before all sin, before the consequences of sin.
He sees the man created in the image, beauty and glory of God. No broccoli whatsoever. He sees the reflection of Jesus in him.
Now THAT’S amazing and confusing. Broccoli man looks into the Word and sees an image of himself that he doesn’t recognize. An image unfamiliar. A new creature.
In the mirror (the Word) broccoli man sees himself in God’s light:
- God sees his heart and not his outer, physical appearance 1 Sam.16:7
- as having a hopeful future Jer. 29:11
- as a masterpiece for good Eph. 2:10
- as a loved child of God 1 Jn. 3:1
- as chosen, royal, holy 1 Pet. 2:9
- as worthy of Jesus’ sacrifice Jn. 3:16
- as a new creation 2 Cor. 5:17
- as chosen, loved, compassionate, kind, humble, meek and patient Col. 3:12
- as light the darkness Mat. 5:14
- as a son or daughter and heir of all heavenly blessings Gal. 4:6-7
- as being wonderfully made Ps. 139:13-16
- as a friend of God Jn. 15:15
- as a place where Jesus and His Spirit lives 1 Cor. 6:19-20
THAT is the image broccoli man sees in the mirror. He can’t believe it. That is not who he lives with, who he struggles with, who he thinks about. That is not what plays over and over in his mind. That image is not one that sticks with him easily…
So as he walks away from the mirror (Word), it is not long before he forgets what he saw.
We are a forgetful people. We tend to easily forget the image in the mirror/Word that God is wanting to become implanted in our memory. Over and over God reminds us of how He really sees us. Time and time again, as we gaze into the Word/mirror we catch a glimpse of what He sees for us.
There are times of encouragement, confidence, and strength. Then we forget, wander away from the true image of who we are and who we are meant to be.
Not one of us will maintain the divine image of who he has meant for us to be without returning to the mirror, over and over and over and over. It is by the constant viewing of His image for us, and that image being mixed into our daily actions and thoughts, that helps us to actually remember who we really are.
You are so much more than what you see reflected in that glass mirror!
Turn to the mirror of the Word to see the truly valuable, beautiful, worthy, loved and chosen image of you, that He sees.
Don’t forget it. Work it into your thoughts, words, and lifestyle.
No more broccoli man. His image of you is way beyond that.
Lord, help us to NOT forget our divine image of who you have made us to be.
Go with God.