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: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 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. James 1:23-25
Most of us before we begin our day take a look in a mirror to be sure we are presentable. I want us to check ourselves in another mirror—the Word of God.
The Bible is so marvelous, so rich and varied, that Jeremiah said it’s like a hammer, David said it’s a lamp, Moses said it’s like bread, the writer of the Book of Hebrews said it’s a sharp sword, and Jesus said the Word is like a seed. James says the Word of God is a mirror.
As such it serves two important purposes:
We must see both of these clearly and the contrast they reveal. Both are vital to our Christian walk.
The person in James 1:23 who just “beholds” his face in a mirror is one who gets up in a hurry and runs past the mirror. The word behold here means he only glances, then he’s gone.
We do that a lot. We glance at the Word of God. Many people even call this glance their “morning devotions.” We open the book, glance, say “I’ve done my duty—a dose a day keeps the devil away” —then we’re on our way. But we’ve not really looked into the Word of God. We snatch a look in the Book. We don’t pause because we don’t really want to see. We’re like a gnat flitting from place to place. God doesn’t reveal much truth to people who glance.
In contrast, James 1:25 describes the person who “looks into” and “continues therein.” The word look here means to peer into, scrutinize—like the disciples peering into the empty tomb, focused, searching, intent.
This is how we should “look” into the mirror of the Word of God. We must do more than take little spiritual sandwiches out of the Word. We must sit down and absorb the Word, because the Word is the mirror exposing our true selves to us. We can lie to ourselves, we can see what we want to see in an earthly mirror. But when we peer intently into the mirror of God’s Word, we see our true reflection and can begin dealing with what we see.
When we gaze intently into the Word of God, we see the reflection of Jesus Christ. The Bible mirrors Jesus, showing Him to us in His regal glory and splendor. Without that revelation in the mirror of His Word, we cannot know fully know Him or be changed into His likeness. Did you know you can be changed into the likeness of Jesus Christ? Second Corinthians so beautifully tells us:
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass [mirror] the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Corinthians 3:18
Through His Word, God wants to show you what you are by nature and what you can be by grace. He wants to make you like the Lord Jesus Christ. As you look in the Word, you become like what you look at.
“WITH OPEN FACE”
Come before the Lord with no veil or covering. Don’t attempt to hide anything. Come in honesty and openness. When you think about it, why should you hide things ─ He knows it all anyway!
The same word is used in Matthew 17:2 to describe Jesus’ appearance, changed into radiant light on the Mount of Transfiguration. The more we look upon Him in the Word of God, the more we are changed—transfigured—into the image of Christ by the Spirit of God.
“FROM GLORY TO GLORY”
When you first get saved, that’s glorious. When you learn the ministry of the Holy Spirit, that’s more glorious. Then you learn death to self—again, glorious. God wants to lead you from one level of glory to another.
As you look into the Bible and see the glorious Savior, that inner nature of Jesus in you responds to what you see, and you’re changed from glory to glory, transfigured into His likeness.
The Bible is not a “mirror, mirror on the wall”, but a mirror in your hand and in your heart, transforming you from the inside out by the Word of God.