“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights.” – James 1:17a
If you were a fan of Star Wars you remember that the force, an energy field created by all living things, had both a good side and a dark side. Power for good as well as for evil existed within it. The “force” we encounter in James is the “Father of lights” (v. 17). In God there is nothing but light, no darkness can exist. “Father of light” was an ancient title for God and creation. There was an element of “spirit” present as well, since God breathed life into the world. The Hebrew people understood that great prophets and leaders possessed this spirit and spoke God’s word to his people.
Because God is light, he represents everything that is good in the world. Loyalty, integrity, truth, compassion, and wisdom are all a part of who he is. Because God is truly good, he is unable to tempt us to sin. We tempt ourselves; we become lured by the things we want, things we desire or covet. We lose sight of who we are and make bad decisions or speak hurtful words. How often we allow ourselves to choose the dark side of life! But God, in his grace and mercy, constantly calls us back to himself.
James asks what we see when we look at ourselves in the mirror; who do we see? Do we see in our faces the image of God? Do we want to? And what do we carry with us when we leave the mirror? Do we forget that image and just get on with living the way we want? Probably all too often. James words remind me of the famous song by Michael Jackson, “The Man in the Mirror.” The lyrics begin with these words:
“I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself and make a change.”
We all need to look at ourselves every day. How do our lives reflect what we profess? When we walk out the door in the morning, do we carry the light of Christ with us? We are made in the image of God, to be his people in the world, to be light in the darkness. To carry God into the world each day is a challenge. But if we don’t do it, who will?
When you look in the mirror each morning, what do you see? Remember you are made in the image of the living God and he asks you to be his light in the world. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
In our six-week small group Bible study on the book of 1 John, you are invited to live and celebrate true life in Christ. Throughout his first letter, John wrestles with the assurance of salvation. How do we know that we are genuine Christians, and how can we recognize authentic faith in others? The Apostle John taught that you can enjoy full assurance through believing in the incarnate Son of God, walking in the light of obedience, and loving God and his children. Embark on this study with us today!
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