Have you ever looked into one of those magnifying mirrors? Scary, huh? I could see every blemish, clogged skin pore, and stray hair! Each morning I usually do something about what I see in the mirror, unless I’m doing yard work or going fishing. If I am going to be around people, I do something about my appearance.
James says, “If anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.” James 1:23-24
Here’s an unforgettable illustration of how forgetful we can be when we hear God’s word. It is pure self-deception to think hearing a sermon is enough. We must also do what God reveals in His word. It’s like looking into a mirror but also doing something about what we see.
Some say they are believers in Jesus Christ as their Lord, but do not participate in “organized religion.” Often the reason is they were hurt by someone who did not obey God’s word. So one or maybe a few hypocrites or an unsaved church goer or two keep them from worshiping and serving with other believers.
Since someone else looked into the mirror of God’s word and did not do it, then does that clear me to chunk the whole church thing?
The Bible says, “Forsake not the assembling of yourselves” (Hebrews 10:25), “Bear one another’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2); “You are the body of Christ, and each one of you is part of it” (1 Corinthians 12:27), and Jesus said, “Go … make disciples …, baptizing them …, teaching them to observe all I have commanded you …” (Matthew 28:19-20). How do you do these as a “Lone Ranger” Christian?
Can you really take seriously what you see in the perfect mirror of God’s commands and not participate with a congregation? Yes, every congregation is imperfect. But does someone else’s disobedience justify your disobedience?
I encourage you to look into the mirror of God’s word with a congregation who struggles together to obey it together while asking God’s forgiveness when they don’t get it right. Look within, is your faith in Jesus Christ genuine? Look without, is there evidence of the working of that faith?
Want to know more? This Sunday at 9am, Pastor Denny will continue the series, “A Faith that Works.” Find messages at BalboaBaptist.Church, click “Media.” Our mission is to bring all people to the saving grace of Jesus Christ and help them grow toward Christian maturity. Contact Pastor Denny at firstname.lastname@example.org.