VIDEO A True Mirror – Man in the Mirror

A True Mirror

This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. 1 Timothy 1:15

Mirrors help us see ourselves as we are on the outside, but not who we are on the inside, nor the person we might become. Average athletes think they are good until they play against someone who is great—same for musicians, artists, teachers, or any other role in life. To know who we really are we must see ourselves in light of a higher standard.

That happened to the apostle Paul. Before he met Jesus Christ, he had one of the most impressive résumés in Israel. As a young man, he was brilliant, a Pharisee, a law-keeper, a defender of the faith, and destined for greatness (Philippians 3:4-6). But after meeting Christ everything changed. He had one phrase to describe himself: the chief of sinners. He was still profoundly qualified and capable, just in a different way. He suddenly realized that without the grace of God, he was nothing (Philippians 3:7-11).

The more we get to know Christ—“the image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15)—the more accurate picture we have of ourselves. He is our true mirror.

We are transformed into the image of the Lord by beholding it, not by reflecting it.  Charles Hodge


JOYFUL NOISE “Man in the Mirror” full scene 2012

Basin of Love

After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet. John 13:5

One day in physics class many years ago, our teacher asked us to tell him—without turning around—what color the back wall of the classroom was. None of us could answer, for we hadn’t noticed.

Sometimes we miss or overlook the “stuff” of life simply because we can’t take it all in. And sometimes we don’t see what’s been there all along.

Lord Jesus Christ, fill my heart with love that I might roll up my sleeves and wash the feet of others for You

It was like that for me as I recently read again the account of Jesus washing His disciples’ feet. The story is a familiar one, for it is often read during Passion Week. That our Savior and King would stoop to cleanse the feet of His disciples awes us. In Jesus’s day, even Jewish servants were spared this task because it was seen as beneath them. But what I hadn’t noticed before was that Jesus, who was both man and God, washed the feet of Judas. Even though He knew Judas would betray Him, as we see in John 13:11, Jesus still humbled Himself and washed Judas’s feet.

Love poured out in a basin of water—love that He shared even with the one who would betray Him. As we ponder the events of this week leading up to the celebration of Jesus’s resurrection, may we too be given the gift of humility so that we can extend Jesus’s love to our friends and any enemies.

Lord Jesus Christ, fill my heart with love that I might roll up my sleeves and wash the feet of others for Your glory.

Because of love, Jesus humbled Himself and washed His disciples’ feet.

By Amy Boucher Pye

 

New and Living Way

Hebrews 10:19-23

Have you ever considered what a privilege it is to live in the era after the cross? Today every believer has instant access to God through His Son Jesus Christ. We don’t need to adhere to any religious rites before coming to Him in prayer. Wherever we are, we can call on Him for forgiveness and help.

In the Old Testament, the law prescribed exactly who could approach the Lord and how it was to be done. The temple area was divided into a courtyard, an inner chamber called the Holy Place, and the innermost chamber called the Holy of Holies. Any Israelite could come to the temple to pray to God or to bring an offering, but only the priests could sacrifice animals on the altar or burn incense in the Holy Place. The Holy of Holies was entered once a year and only by the high priest to offer blood for his sins and the sins of the nation.

When Jesus Christ died on Calvary’s cross, the curtain in front of the Holy of Holies was torn from top to bottom as God opened a new and living way to approach Him: through the blood of His Son. When we trust in Christ and His sacrifice on our behalf, He cleanses us from all sins and invites us to draw near to Him.

The way to the heavenly Father is open, but are you drawing near to Him? Even those of us who have trusted the Lord for salvation may not be taking advantage of this invitation to come even closer. In James 4:8, the author makes a promise every believer should claim: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”

The Blessed Man

“And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” (Psalm 1:3)

The first Psalm constitutes a contrast between the godly individual who delights in God’s law and the ungodly person who is destined for destruction. “Blessed” literally means “happy,” and the habits of such a happy one are described as not only avoiding the thought patterns and lifestyle of the ungodly (v. 1), but also delighting in and obeying the Word of God (v. 2). Our text describes four results of being blessed or happy in the biblical sense.

First, “he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water,” with the implication being to dwell in a secure, bountiful state. The verb “plant” actually means “transplanted,” now firmly rooted and provided for, no longer vulnerable, tentative, and undernourished.

Second, he “bringeth forth his fruit in his season.” One does not so nourish a tree without any purpose. Here, following the analogy, the godly individual, nourished and protected by his Maker, can likewise expect to accomplish a purpose—in this case to bear spiritual, eternal fruit.

Third, “his leaf also shall not wither.” Eternal life is the present possession of all who have been “transplanted” by the Lord. Such a one can expect to faithfully bring forth precious fruit in each season of his life.

Fourth, “whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” Success in each endeavor undertaken by one whose delight is the Lord can be expected, such success defined by that which brings spiritual maturity, and eternal fruit, and prosperity, as He defines prosperity.

“For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish” (v. 6). JDM

I must be about my Father’s business

Matthew 2:19-23

Matthew 2:19-23

Every step the Saviour took was a fulfilment of prophecy. How blind were those who would not acknowledge him as indeed the Messiah! Our Lord spent nearly thirty years of his life in a city which bestowed upon him a title of scorn. “The Nazarene” is still his name of contempt among the Jews. How ready ought we to be to endure any measure of reproach for his sake!

Luke 2:40-52

Luke 2:40

What a child was this, with the fulness of divine grace upon him! Lord Jesus, make our sons and daughters to be like thee while they are yet children.

Luke 2:41-47

He did not set up for a teacher, but listened and eagerly enquired. No doubt there was more in his questions than in their replies, and when they catechized him in return, he gave such answers that they marvelled at the wondrous boy, whose surprising intelligence and holiness beamed forth in his countenance, and spoke in every word.

Luke 2:49

He knew the secret of his birth, which perhaps his mother had never told him, and he marvelled that his parents should think him unkind in following his manifest destiny. How sweetly does our Lord here teach us in our earliest youth to serve our heavenly Father!

Luke 2:50-52

For eighteen years longer he continued in the obscurity of Nazareth, a matchless man, in holiness unrivalled, spending his days at his fathers handicraft, and in preparation for his great work. He was for thirty years emptying himself of all glory, that afterwards he might be filled with reproach for our sake. We ought exceedingly to admire our Lord in the lowliness of these preparatory years.

 

How beautiful his childhood was!

Harmless and undefiled;

Oh! dear to his young mother’s heart

Was this pure, sinless child.

 

Kindly in all his deeds and words,

And gentle as the dove;

Obedient, affectionate:

His very soul was love.

 

Oh! is it not a blessed thought,

Ye men of human birth,

That once the Saviour was a child,

And lived upon the earth?

 

Our Own Future Rewards

Every man shall receive his own reward. (1 Corinthians 3:8)

Our motives in the Christian life should be both right and genuine. God is the Faithful One. We are to love Him and serve Him because He is God—not because of the gracious things He does for us or for the rewards He promises us!

However, it should be said that God does not expect us to forget or ignore the gracious future promises He has made to us. It is a glorious truth that if we believe God and honor His Word, if we walk by faith in love and obedience, there will be eternal rewards for each of us in that great coming day. The rewards will differ. Wisdom and knowledge and love reside in Him who is our God. He will make the right judgments for His people.

I for one will not be surprised if some of God’s faithful people serving Him today should rise as high and shine as brightly as the heroes of faith listed in the book of Hebrews.

I say that in all truthfulness because I do not think that all of the heroes of faith are dead and gone!

 

I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee

So long as the Lord had work for Paul to do in Corinth, the fury of the mob was restrained. The Jews opposed themselves and blasphemed; but they could neither stop the preaching of the gospel, nor the conversion of the hearers. God has power over the most violent minds. He makes the wrath of man to praise Him when it breaks forth, but He still more displays His goodness when He restrains it; and He can restrain it. “By the greatness of thine arm they shall be as still as a stone, till thy people pass over, O Lord.”

Do not, therefore, feel any fear of man when you know that you are doing your duty. Go straight on, as Jesus would have done, and those who oppose shall be as a bruised reed and as smoking flax. Many a time men have had cause to fear because they were themselves afraid; but a dauntless faith in God brushes fear aside like the cobwebs in a giant’s path. No man can harm us unless the Lord permits. He who makes the devil himself to flee at a word, can certainly control the devil’s agents. Maybe they are already more afraid of you than you are of them. Therefore, go forward, and where you looked to meet with foes you will find friends.

 

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