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July 9 | Romans 3:9-24

DAILY READING


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REFLECTION


Mirror, Mirror

by Mary Alice McGinnis


How many times have you seen the Disney film, "Snow White"? The evil queen has a “magic” mirror that she gazes into every day. Every day, the queen asks the “magic” mirror the same question:

“Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?”


Her driving need was for the mirror to always tell her SHE was the fairest, most beautiful in all the land. Yet she cared very little about the truth of how evil her heart was.


When the mirror reveals to the queen that there is one fairer than she, the queen is outraged. Consumed with anger and jealousy, she expends all of her energy into planning Snow White's demise.


Throughout the rest of the story, the inner ugliness of the queen's evil heart comes into sharp contrast with the gentleness, kindness, innocence, and inner beauty of the fair maiden, Snow White.


We, just like the queen in "Snow White," we don’t like to be told about the true state of our sinful hearts.


In the verses today from Romans 3, Paul holds up the mirror of God’s word from the Psalms and the prophet Isaiah to reveal our brokenness.


Let’s look into the mirror:

  • Truth - We never seek God. We look for our own ways of “fixing things,” seeking after our own gods. On our own, we will NEVER seek out THE ONLY TRUE God.

  • Truth - We have completely and utterly turned from the One True God. As a result, we are like decomposing fruit. We have become spoiled, rank, rotten, permanently bad, and completely useless.

  • Truth - We are swift to do wrong, even to the point of shedding blood.

  • Truth - When God takes a laser beam of light to our inner being, from head to toe, we are utterly vile. Our throats, tongues, lips, mouths, feet, and eyes are all held captive and hopelessly lost in the ways of sin and darkness.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like seeing myself this way. It makes me squirm. It’s easy to see how messed up everyone else is, “but certainly not me,” I rationalize. "It’s everyone else’s fault, not mine."


Proverbs 20:9 says, “Who can say, 'I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin?’”


If we ever doubt or deny our brokenness, let’s put it in sharp contrast with God’s Glory.


What is God 's Glory? His essence, His very being, who He is, the brilliance of His holiness and pure character, His undeniable supremacy and unsurpassable power. His Glory is far beyond the finite reaches of our tiny comprehension.


In Exodus, when Moses asked God: “Now, show me Your glory,” the merciful and Almighty God said to him, “You cannot see My face, for no one may see Me and live.” (Exodus 33:20)


Today’s reading reminds us in Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”


Our Creator made us in His image. But indeed, how short of His glorious image we surely fall!


Yet, in His glory, God has chosen to redeem us! To buy us back from our hopeless state, our darkness and corruption, even our depravity.


Romans 3:24, Paul completes the sentence by saying, “and all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”


When you look into the mirror today, ponder these truths:


“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

(2 Corinthians 3:18)


“For God, who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,’ made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6)


Thanks be to God!!

 

PRAYER PRACTICE


Praying Scripture: Pray this verse aloud to God today and thank Him for His indescribable gift of redemption through Jesus Christ!


"If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."

(1 John 1:8-9)








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