I became a servant of this Gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of His power. Ephesians 3:7
God sent the prophet Samuel to Bethlehem to anoint one of the sons of Jesse as king of Israel. The prophet was impressed by the size and outward demeanor of the firstborn. But he was not God’s choice. The Lord said, “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).
What if we could see ourselves as we really are? This is hard to do. The Scottish poet Robert Burns said in his quaint English, “Oh wad some power the giftie gie us to see oursel's as others see us.” We may not actually be what we seem to be in the eyes of others. Some emotions as expressed in one’s face can be misinterpreted. Fear is easily misread as anger. Shyness can be confused with pride or self-centeredness. If we could see ourselves through the eyes of others, we could make improvements in our outward appearance.
It is much better, however, to try to see ourselves as God sees us. God’s Word is a mirror in which we can see a true image of ourselves. The Law reveals us as sinners, but the Gospel assures us that through faith in Jesus Christ as Savior, God forgives us and accepts us as His beloved children. To be loved by God and to love Him in return makes us changed people, a people of a pure heart. This is how we should be able to see ourselves. God looks on us as His forgiven children.
Saint Paul realized that he had no personal merit before God. He had formerly persecuted Christ’s church. In great humility he considered Himself “less than the least of all God’s people” (Ephesians 3:8). That was the self-image he saw in the mirror of God’s law. But he saw himself also in the light of the Gospel. God gave him the grace to preach the Gospel of salvation totally in Christ. It was the same grace by which he was also saved and at peace with God. This faith gave him inner strength. Never mind that some said, “In person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing” (2 Corinthians 10:10). He saw himself not as unfriendly people did, but as God saw him.
The Gospel enables us also to see ourselves through the eyes of God.
PRAYER: Lord God, give me grace in Christ so that I may see myself as a person fully forgiven and as a walking witness of Your peace. Amen.
(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)