Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever – Heb 13:8

Growth Through The Word Of God – Part 3 – The Mirror

THE WORD OF GOD AS A MIRROR AND A MOULDER

Heb_4:12  For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Heb 4:13  Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. 

 INTRO

I was born with a congenital heart problem. I had a faulty valve which didn’t operate the best but wasn’t too bad. We discovered it when I as around 14 years of age. They said it should be fine and that many people had such things and lived normal lives. Well I suppose I wasn’t normal. I has a valve which had a slight twist to it which didn’t let it close properly.

A few years ago when I got a flu and was struggling to breath, I went to the doctor who listened to my chest and said that they thought something was wrong with my heart. I told what I knew but they thought it was more serious.

Well, I really didn’t want to go to check it out (typical male) but since they booked me in I went.

I remember that day well. The lady doing the ultrasound on me, out that gel on my chest and started to look into my heart and I could see the screen as she was doing it. AS she asked me to move this way and that and she pointed that device in different directions. She said something along the lines of ‘Oh, this is what’s the problem’. As I looked and she showed me on the screen what she had seen. I literally saw the valve on my heart moving this way and that with each beat .Problem was it was flapping around like a flag and not like a valve at all. My valve had become loosened over the years and was now not working at all. It was not closing when opening but was always opened.

At that point I realised I would need an operation to fix it. As I thought about this my first thought was, how on earth do they get inside a heart to fix such a small thing? Either way, it wasn’t looking good.

Following this I had other tests to see inside and get a clearer picture for the specialist as to what should be done. The specialist spoke with the surgeon and I was booked in for that operation which would fix that problem.

I always find it amazing how they were able to not only see inside my heart but they were then able to determine how to fix the problem and fix it they did. We are blessed to live in such a country and at such times as these.

Over the past two weeks we have examined the Word of God and have seen that it is a textbook, given that we may learn from it, it was a legal document that we might understand our legal position before the judge of the universe and what hope we have been given. Today we see the Word of God as a mirror that reveals the real state of our hearts, that we (like the heart specialist and surgeons) can understand what is going on inside of us and determine what we must do to fix the problems we have.

OUR PROBLEM

Why does one need a mirror in the first place? Well, because it allows us to see ourselves which can then allow us to make decisions to change our look if we want to. The alternative is to rely on what other people have to say about us.

How would you like to rely on other people to tell you how you look? Your hair, your teeth, your clothes and so on?

It would be frustrating wouldn’t it, when you have had the luxury of being able to see yourself in a perfectly polished silver mirror?

The Lord teaches us that the problem we have is not the outward appearance but the inner corruption that we have. The Bible calls this the flesh or the old man. Seeing inside is not something that we do very well and other people may see a little more than us but are also not very good at communicating the real way we are without getting themselves caught up in that picture.

We also cannot see each other’s hearts at all. We can see the outwards signs but we cannot see the inner motives of other people and we can’t see our own hearts either! We are very bad at making real and honest assessments of ourselves let alone others. But there is one who does see and One who does offer us an honest assessment of our hearts.

Jer 17:9  The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? 

Jer 17:10  I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. 

Well, the word of God is like that perfectly polished silver mirror that does not show us superficial or exterior, but reveals our inner nature to ourselves.

The heart which is not just a blood pumping organ but our real inner being, our real selves is not the thing that the world would have us follow or trust in, but a deceitful thing, wicked by nature and the question, who can know it is a rhetorical one to which the answer is NO. We cannot know our own selves because our hearts deceive us a well as trying to deceive everyone else!

But the Lord says that He not only searches our hearts, He also tests us and rewards each person according to the fruit of their hearts. That doesn’t sound too good to be honest with you, especially since there is so much wickedness in there! Listen to how Jesus puts it..

Mar 7:20  And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. 

Mar 7:21  For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 

Mar 7:22  Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: 

Mar 7:23  All these evil things come from within, and defile the man. 

 

Mat 12:34  O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. 

Mat 12:35  A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. 

Mat 12:36  But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 

So does this passage really mean that there are good people in this world who from their good heart bring forth good things. Yes, if there were good people!

Psa_14:3  They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Psa_53:3  Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Jer_4:22  For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.

Mic_7:2  The good man is perished out of the earth: and there is none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net.

Rom_3:12  They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

So how many good hearts are out there?  NONE according to the word of God.

Does this contradict Jesus then? Of course not!

Listen when people would come to Jesus calling Him good to gain favour with Him?

Mar 10:18  And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. 

This is what King David understood about himself as well. David’s heart represents the heart that has been given

 

OUR DESIRE

Psa 139:23  Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: 

Psa 139:24  And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. 

David understood that within his own heart there was evil and weakness. The one the Bible said had a heart after God’s fell into the sin of murder and adultery! He numbered his people when God forbade it! This is the man who had a heart AFTER God’s.

What does this mean? It means that you can have a desire to be good, to be like God even but you will not be able to help yourself to do evil because our hearts are corrupted. And we need the mirror of God’s Word because we cannot truly see how corrupt these old hearts actually are. David understood this and every other holy man in the Bible knew this as well. In fact the holiest of prophets in the Bible knew of their own wickedness. Listen to Isaiah’s response when he sees a vision of the Son of God on the throne in heaven.

Isa 6:5  Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. 

Isaiah thought he was going to die when he saw his own sin in the light of God’s perfect holiness.

This also another dividing line between the saved and the unsaved. The unsaved are totally ignorant of God’s holiness and their own sinfulness and the condition of their heart! They are blissfully unaware of their state and their ultimate end unless they are rescued by the Saviour.

If you are a Christian who struggles with sin, rejoice in your battle and don’t despair.  Because while the Lord has shown us our sin and our hearts through His word, we have responded by trusting in Jesus for His cleansing and choosing to resist the corruption that still exists there in our old flesh which we still carry around with us.

But rejoice also in this; that God has given us now a new heart (we now have two spiritual hearts) and we are trying to build up this new heart that He has given us while dealing with the old heart’s devious ways at the same time. The Old heart is still there and this is why we need His word to help us to see what is going on inside of us.

And how well does the Bible reveal what is going on in there?

THE REMEDY

Heb_4:12  For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

The word ‘quick’ means that is a living thing. It is active and it moves.

It is powerful. In that it is able to break through where others cannot.

Jer 23:29  Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? 

It is sharper than ANY sword, and is able to separate soul and spirit. And if you thought that we are only made of a body and soul you are wrong because according to the word of God, the spirit within us can be separated  from our soul. It can separate the joints and bone marrow..

The picture is that much like the best surgeon with the sharpest scalpel, God’s word can reveal what is normally NOT visible about what is going on inside of us and shows us how we actually work and operate.

In other words it is able to discern and reveal our thoughts and not only our thoughts but the very reasons that we had those thoughts in the first place! It reveals our own motives to us if we are ready to receive them.

Every surgeon who operates does so under bright lights so that he or she can see thee details of what they are cutting into and so the word of God is that light. In this was it is able to reveal our hearts and where our feet are going and where we are heading.

Psa 119:105  NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. 

The reason many people will NOT read the Bible is because they are too afraid of what it reveals about them and they would rather not look. Ever had those days when you wake up from a bad night’s sleep and you look at yourself in the mirror and wish you hadn’t? Well, most people in this world are too afraid to see what they’re really like because it is too ugly to deal with and will mean that they have to fix themselves up!

REFUSING TO LOOK AT YOUR INMAGE IN THE WORD OF GOD

Joh 8:42  Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. 

Joh 8:43  Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. 

Joh 8:44  Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. 

Joh 8:45  And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. 

Joh 8:46  Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? 

Joh 8:47  He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God. 

So the first thing a person a person needs in order to grow is the courage to LOOK! Be honest with themselves and not live with the façade that the world’s people display every day of their lives.

If we have been saved from this corruption by the Lord Jesus, then we have no need to play a game anymore, no need to hide behind a disguise, we can be real, honest, open and free because the One who loves already sees what we are like on the inside.

Heb 4:13  Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. 

God is able to see clearly inside of our hearts, He sees our desires, our motives, and He can communicate this reality to us through the Word of God.

BUT SIMPLY LOOKING AT OURSELF IN THE MIRROR IS NOT ENOUGH, THERE MUST BE A DESIRE TO CHANGE AND WANT THAT WORD TO DO ITS WORK WITHIN YOU.

It Transforms the Heart

Psa 119:9  BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. 

Psa 119:10  With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. 

Psa 119:11  Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. 

How shall a person cleanse their way? By paying attention to the Word of God. And what sort of attention does a person need to cleanse their way? By seeking God and His Word with all their heart.

There should be a desire not to wander from the truth if you are saved. If this is true for you then it is simply a matter of keeping that same word inside of your heart. For that thing stored in your heart is a light to illuminate each corener, can discern your thoughts, can reveal the true condition of your heart and make the difference. Jesus says this is a similar way……..

Joh 8:31  Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 

Joh 8:32  And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. 

Being set free from the sins and the weaknesses that still lurk within us come by receiving the truth (the word of God) and then continuing in that word. It is a bit like turning the light on in a room and leaving it on in there. The more you see in that light the better you will be at responding to it and tripping over things. But not continuing in the light is to turn the light on (learning something) and then quickly switch it off again. You will still not be able to sort things out without trying to guess where everything is.

On another level, Continuing does not just mean just learning but learning and doing. Believing and obeying is the key to being a disciple of Jesus and the path to knowing the truth and being set free by it.

Being freed from sin and from weaknesses that we still have, being strengthened in our inner man requires not only the desire to know that truth despite what it may reveal about us but to love that truth enough to apply it and obey it.  The Apostle Peter puts it this way:

1Pe 1:23  Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. 

1Pe 2:1  Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, 

1Pe 2:2  As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: 

1Pe 2:3  If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

In summary James gives us a clear passage of what a person should do to be saved first of all and hen to grow through this word which is able to reveal our hearts and bring light into them.

THE PRACTICE OF LOOKING AND RESPONDING

Give an example of looking at yourself in a mirror and your tie is on backward but then not doing anything about it.

Jas 1:22  But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 

Jas 1:23  For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 

Jas 1:24  For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 

Jas 1:25  But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. 

CONCLUSION

This is the benefit, the blessing of having the word of God in our lives. We can look into this perfect law of liberty, we can be good hearers of the word. But if we wan to grow and defeat the flesh, then we must continue in it. We should not forget it, but instead be doers of it. James says that this person will be blessed in his deed. Would you like your deeds to blessed. Then use the Bible as the mirror of your heart and follow what it tells you to do.