THE MAN IN THE MIRROR

man-in-the-mirror-graphic
The mind can deceive. At times the mind would have us believe that  we are very small—not able, not worthy, not lovable and not forgivable.  It is equally possible that our minds would have us believe that we are very great—more than able, invincible, perfect.

 
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 notes that Satan attacks the mind. He loves to distort our perception so that we either shrink from trying, or are positioned to falter due to overconfidence. In either scenario, a lack of proper perception leads to our falling short of being what God calls us to be.  Therefore, it is important to be able to look in the mirror and see what God sees—to be able to properly assess our strengths, our weaknesses, and our spiritual health.

 
In Ephesians 6:11-17 Paul discusses the spiritual battle currently being waged by Satan. The Apostle Paul writes ominously of, “the fiery darts of the wicked.” The truth is, many of the “fiery darts” Satan hurls toward you are aimed at the mind.  But there is hope and help in the Lord.

 
My prayer is that the teaching noted in the embedded video below will help believers be aware of Satan’s schemes, be more able to see what God sees when they look in the mirror, and position to not give Satan any opportunity (Ephesians 4:27).

NOTES FOR THE VIDEO TEACHING, THE MAN IN THE MIRROR

About Matthew 23 

  • This is the last appeal to the leaders of Israel.
  • This teaching was presented in the temple courts on the Tuesday before Jesus was crucified.
  • The hour was late—the time for self examination (and ‘tough love’) was at hand.  (Hebrews 3:15).

 

Matthew 23:1-3 (Question: Do you walk the talk?)  

  • Incongruent values brings stress, frustration and depression.
    • Of the Pharisees Jesus said: “Do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.” (23:3b)
  • The religious leaders  sought to be known by their titles rather than by their deeds.
  • The religious leaders preached it but did not live it.
    • Action Plan (Getting your walk to match your talk)
      • Be real (those who live on a pedestal are prone to fall)
      • Be quick to admit mistakes, confess wrongs, seek forgiveness and make amends
      • Expect opposition
      • Persevere

 

Matthew 23:4 (Question: Do you lead by example?) 

  • The religious leaders were chastised because they were not willing to do what they expected or encouraged others to do.
  • Those who do not lead by example are not leaders, but dictators. Leaders are respected. Dictators are reviled.  
    • Action Plan (Getting your walk to match your talk)
      • Practice doing
      • Set realistic short and long range goals.
      • Celebrate progress.
      • Take Baby steps.

 

Matthew 23:5-12 (Question: Do you crave the spotlight?) 

  • Of the Pharisees Jesus said: “Everything they do is done for people to see.” (V.6)
  • Of the Pharisees Jesus said: “They love the place of honor…the most important seats…to be greeted with respect…to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others” (V.7)
    • Action Plan (Getting your walk to match your talk)
      • Let others praise you / Let the moment pass.
      • Remember, God sees.
      • Live for an audience of One.  

 

Matthew 23:13-15 (Question: Do you lead others astray?)

  • Of the Pharisees Jesus said: “You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.”  (V.14)
  • Ezekiel 33 and The Watchman 
    • Action Plan (Getting your walk to your talk)
      • Watch where you go—and who follows
      • Mentor
      • Stay busy serving the Lord Matthew 23:16-27 (Do you do what matters?)
  • Of the Pharisees Jesus said:   “You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness.”  
  • Of the Pharisees Jesus said:   “…You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. …First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.”
  • Of the Pharisees Jesus said:   “You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.”  

Key truth: “You have neglected the more important matters…”  (V.23b)

  • Action Plan (Getting your walk to your talk)
    • Don’t do what you can—do what you should
    • Take the long view
    • Remember: The easy way is seldom the best way
    • Remember: “Attitude impacts altitude”
    • Long for the things of God (V.37; Rom. 12:1-2)

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