Look Closer

Luke 1:46-47 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.”

As a child, the magnifying glass became an excellent tool to explore the world in a new way. Seeing insects up close gave an exciting and sometimes scary look into their world. My biology class allowed us to delve further into the microscopic world of organisms that we usually cannot see.

As a child of God, it is truly a wonder to see the intricacy that God created and the level of detail in every living thing. I marvel at God’s creation!

Every new look brings a deeper appreciation of God’s care for me. It breeds confidence that if He takes such care in the smallest of organisms, I know He cares for me!

Luke 12:6-7 Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.”

It struck me to read Mary’s words. I have seen them hundreds of times.  

“What if God desired to take His magnifying glass to my life for others to see?”

Knowing what that glass would reveal, I quickly recoil from its probing scrutiny. 

Often, we shy away from those who would want a closer look into our lives. We fear that if they knew who we are on the inside, they wouldn’t like us very much.

Those insecurities may have been born from criticism, bullying, or abuse. Many will don a mask to hide their true nature, never revealing it to anyone.

God knows better than anyone who we are on the inside. Yet, He still loves us unconditionally. God accepts us. He secures our future with Him, desiring our presence with Him eternally.

“I could never be like Mary.”

I can hear many saying this in response. I believe that God wants something more than a replica of a unique lady.

Romans 8:29-30 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.”

God does not want a better version of ourselves. We should be more like Jesus.

Impossible?

Luke 18:27 And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”

You and I may not be able to compete with the talents and gifts of another. Often, in comparison, we fail to see what God has for us. 

2 Corinthians 10:12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.”

What we can do is allow God to transform us and change us to be more like Jesus every day. 

It is those very things God chooses to magnify in the eyes of others to reveal His handiwork in our lives.

The addict whose life has been made clean and sober can magnify God’s power that went beyond their ability to quit. A closer look reveals that the behavior that was once worldly, carnal and fleshly, is now transformed into a trophy of grace.

The quiet, unassuming youth who gives their life to God is transformed into a powerhouse of a preacher, a teacher, a deacon, a man or woman of God whose life now displays the handiwork of God’s grace, mercy, and love. 

The parent who lives the same at church and at home, who is real to their children, will reap a genuine love for God in their child’s life. 

The child of God who sees their neighbor as a lost soul in need of Christ will tell of their love for God and share the gospel, lovingly, and sincerely. Their life will be touched when they see us live out our faith. Our actions will show that God can truly change a person.

Most importantly, it is those closest to us whose scrutiny we feel the most. The family knows who we were and now hear that we are different. Unbeknownst to us, they have pulled out their magnifying glass and begun a search for our flaws. 

When we live honestly, humbly, and transparently before others, they will begin to see that the change is real.

We often deceive ourselves into thinking we need to be perfect.

It is not perfection God asks of us. 

It is holiness. 

1 Peter 1:15-16 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”

In the desire for holiness in our lives, we will begin to pull away from those things that dirty our soul and keep us distant in our relationship with God. We set up barriers to warn us of impending temptations and triggers to the sins that so easily beset us. 

Hebrews 12:1-2 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

The magnifying glass ought to reveal where our eyes are looking. Are we viewing more of the world’s goods and amusements, or are we more interested in pleasing our God with every aspect of our life?

The magnifying glass will reveal the direction our steps are leading. Using the Word of God as our guide, we can tell others that we are just following God’s instruction book for life.

Mary stated that her life was going to be a reflection of God’s work in her life. She boldly proclaimed to all and invited us to look more closely at what God desired to do.

May we, with Mary, invite all who look on to view our life as we allow God to mold us and shape us into the image of His dear Son, Jesus.

James 5:8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.”

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