NASHVILLE (BP) — This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.
This week’s Bible study is adapted from the Explore the Bible curriculum.
Bible Passages: James 1:19-27, 2:1-4
— When you see a mirror, what is your first response? What makes a mirror such an irresistible item?
— How is God’s Word like a mirror? What are the dangers of ignoring God’s Word and failing to act on what we find in His Word?
Food for thought:
Not long ago on a shopping excursion with my wife, I walked past two mirrors sitting side by side. In the smaller one I could only see my face, but in the other mirror I could see my entire body. I caught myself stopping to take a look.
Noticing one sock was a little higher than the other sock I reached down and made the necessary adjustments. It just seemed like the right thing to do at the moment. As much as I tried to resist, I looked again in the mirror to make sure the socks were now even, and for any other required adjustments that had been missed at first glance. Mirrors seem to have that effect on us, always requiring an action.
James compared God’s Word to a mirror in James 1. He identified two kinds of people, those who glance at a mirror and move on without taking any action and those who study what they see so they can take action. James encouraged his readers to be the latter, with God’s Word being the mirror that reveals the adjustments needed in our lives.
Those who glance at God’s Word and never do anything in response, he called hearers of the Word and not doers. James emphasized that God’s Word requires an obedient response especially from believers.
Scripture reveals our flaws but it can also encourage us as we see our spiritual growth. Both are important. By revealing our flaws, we come to understand our need for Christ and His grace. These flaws also show us areas in which we may need to give concentrated prayer and attention for our spiritual growth to continue. We can see where and what we once were, recognizing that Christ is working in and through us. We find encouragement in the progress.
The travesty is seeing these things through God’s Word and yet never acting on what we see even with a glance. A greater offense may be having access to God’s Word and never looking in to get a clear picture of who we are.
Explore the Bible
Explore the Bible is an ongoing Bible study curriculum that helps groups dig into the key truths of each Bible book, while keeping the group on pace to study through the Bible books in a systematic way. More information can be found at LifeWay.com/ExploreTheBible .