A Mirror with Two Images
By T. M. Moore|Published Date: May 05, 2010
Reflecting on the Word of God
For 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
Wherefore let us know nothing more profitable for ourselves than to examine ourselves daily
The Bible presents itself to us as a mirror with two images.
The first image is that indicated by the Apostle James: the Bible shows us ourselves. It reveals whats in our hearts. It illuminates the dark recesses of our minds. It leads us to evaluate the priorities and values of our consciences.
The Scriptures affirm the evidence of Christ at work in us; and the Spirit uses the words of Scripture to convict us of shortcomings yet to be remedied. Every day when we come before the Word of God we should be straining carefully to see what God is revealing there concerning our lives. If all were looking for is doctrinal insight or sermon fodder, were missing the point. The Word of God must first speak to us before we can speak the Word of God to His people.
Scripture reflects back to us an image of our souls-in-progress. What could be more profitable than this, to examine ourselves daily in the light of Gods gracious and infallible Word?God in His glory.The second image of Scripture as a mirror comes from the Apostle Paul. In 2 Corinthians 3.12-18 Paul tells us that the Scriptures (here, the Law of Moses) are like a mirror in which we see the glory of God reflected at us. The beauty and holiness of God, His splendor and majesty, power and love, mercy and faithfulness all aspects of His glory as well as His divine and eternal purposes, are clearly revealed to us in the Bible.
As we read and meditate on Scripture, therefore, we need to be thinking and listening and pondering what God is revealing to us of Himself. We should be expecting for Gods very presence to emerge from the pages of His Word, weighing heavily upon us and impressing us of the truth we are reading about the God Who has saved us and Whom we serve.
The image of God and His glory, juxtaposed with the image of our soul-in-progress, can have transforming effects. Paul says that the Spirit uses this encounter with Gods glory to work glory into us, transforming us increasingly into the image of Christ, so that the glory of Christ shows through us. From glory to glory each meeting with Gods glory to each internalizing and expressing of it we are changed, a little at a time, but steadily, increasingly, through all our lives.
Our daily discipline of reading and meditating on Scripture could be greatly enhanced if we took this two-fold approach. You might try journaling on a passage, setting down thoughts and reflections under three headings: My Reflection (what I see here about myself, the world, or humankind in general); The Reflection of Gods Glory (my specific encounter with God, my sense of His presence in this text); and Glory to Glory (how I should go forth from this reading to manifest the transforming power of Gods Word and Spirit).
Under the first two, set down your thoughts as to what the Scriptures mirror back to you, of yourself, in the first place, then of God and His glory. Under the third section put down some thoughts concerning how you might expect to be transformed so that the image of yourself begins to come more into line with the image of God. What steps might you take this day to put off the old man and put on more of the new?
Just as we take time in the morning to inspect our appearance, we need to linger before the mirror of Scripture until it discloses its images of ourselves and of Gods glory in transforming ways. This takes time, to be sure, but, as Columbanus suggests, What could be more profitable.?