. . . with Long Lasting Implications
JEFF MULLIGAN cupped both hands around his eyes to look through the store's front window. He wasn't much for fancy shops, but his girlfriend's birthday was coming up. As he entered, the door chimes announced his arrival and from a back room emerged the store's merchant.
"Good day, Sir; welcome to my fine shop. My name is Tai. Can I be of service?"
"Yeah, I need a gift for a girl."
Tai motioned with his right hand, "Then you have come to the right place, for we specialize in the one thing no woman can be without."
Jeff glanced around, "All you have is mirrors?"
"Yes Sir; we have some of the finest mirrors in town."
"Well I don't want to spend a lot; I'm not married to her or anything like that."
"Ah, yes, I understand. Come, allow me to show you our selection."
Jeff followed the merchant through-out the shop.
"We have this fine Victorian Cheval, it has . . ."
"Too rich for my blood," Jeff said, letting the price tag swing away from his hand.
"Then perhaps this French provincial. It can be mounted on most vanities."
"Look, haven't you got something cheaper?"
Tai paused to think, "Perhaps we can find something. Right this way."
The two headed toward the back room when Jeff stopped to gaze at the only framed, non-mirrored, object in the shop.
"Hey, you guys frame things? You know, like posters and stuff?"
"No Sir, I'm afraid we only sell mirrors."
"Then what's this?"
"A mirror, Sir."
"Hey, look, that ain't no mirror. Somebody framed the Ten Commandments and didn't even do a good job--the frame's cracked."
"But Sir, it is very much a mirror - it is God's Mirror."
"What are you talking about?"
"Look into it. Do you see your reflection?"
"Look, Mr. Knot. . ."
"That's Tai, Sir."
"Whatever! I don't see no reflection. It's just a framed piece of paper with the Ten Commandments on it."
"But keep looking, Sir. Read every line of God's law. Consider the insurmountable standard each one represents and the inhuman perfection required to follow them. Do you not see your reflection, the reflection of a sinner, a man incapable of following them an entire lifetime without breaking one? The Bible says, For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. (James 2:10) It further warns, that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. (Rom. 3:19)"
Jeff continued his gaze, half hearing the words of the merchant. After several moments a smirk broke across his face. "Sorry pal, I don't see a sinner. Your mirror must be broke."
"Ah, but it is not broken. In your case it is reflecting self-righteousness."
The smirk disappeared as Jeff faced Tai, killing him with an angry look. Without saying a word he turned and headed out the door. . . .
The next day Mr. Tai heard the familiar chimes announcing someone's arrival.
Jeff had come back and was standing in front of the Commandments.
"This paper mirror thing put some sort of curse on me."
"Oh, no Sir, there is nothing cursed about it. It is simply God's way of exposing our sinful. . . ."
"I couldn't sleep last night," Jeff said, rubbing his eyes, "You knew this would happen didn't you? You old man, you set me up!"
"Sir, I simply hung it there for all to see. Everyone has the option of turning their eyes from it. However, you chose to look and allow your Maker to show you the sinner that you really are. And now, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. (Luke 13:3)"
Jeff suddenly faced Mr. Tai, shaking his fist in the air, "SHUT UP! SHUT UP YOU STUPID OLD MAN!"
Mr. Tai drew back as Jeff yanked the paper mirror off the wall, raising it above his head to smash it.
"WAIT!" Mr. Tai said, "The way to obtain peace with God can also be seen within that mirror! Don't destroy it!"
Jeff stopped, letting the Mirror, of its own weight, land on the ground face up.
He stood limp, exhausted from lack of sleep, overwhelmed by guilt.
Mr. Tai stood by him, pointing down at the Mirror, "Look, look at it. The Bible says, Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. (Gal. 3:24)"
"What are you talking about?" Jeff said.
"God's Mirror not only exposes your helpless sinful state before God; but in doing so, it points out your need for Christ. You can't save yourself; you can't possibly keep those commandments--no one can. That's why you need a saviour, and that saviour can only be Christ because, the wages of sin is death; (Rom. 6:23) and, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Rom. 5:8)"
Jeff looked up at Tai.
"Repent! Forsake your self- righteousness, humble yourself as a hell-deserving sinner before God and trust Christ, asking Him, to save you because, if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (Rom. 10:9)"
"NO!," Jeff said, "I won't give up my freedom!"
"Sir, what freedom do you have now with God's judgment looming over you?"
"I don't care!"
"Then you choose to continue living in guilt, having no peace with God? How unnecessary, when simply trusting Christ to pay for your sins will settle your sin debt. The Bible says, Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: (Rom. 5:1)."
"I don't need anyone; I'll save myself!"
"But you can't Sir, the Mirror has made that clear."
Jeff gave the frame a farewell kick, and stormed out the door.
Days passed by, but Tai never heard from him again . . .
Leonard wasn't impressed by the shop, but his wife Martha marveled at the variety of mirrors.
"Honey, isn't this one lovely?"
"It's okay, I guess," Leonard said, forcing a smile.
"Mr. Tai," she said, "Do you have anything in a French provincial?"
"As a matter of fact I do; right this way."
Leonard looked at his watch in disbelief. Left alone, he wandered around the shop casually glancing at the merchandise. One tattered frame, however, caught his attention.
"Honey?" Martha approached him from behind, "Mr. Tai, here, has just the French provincial we'll looking for . . . Leonard, did you hear me?"
"What's this?" Leonard asked, eyes fixed, pointing at the frame.
"That, Sir, is God's Mirror," Mr. Tai said.
Tai stood beside him, "Keep looking at it, Sir, and you will see a reflection of yourself . . ."
Dear Reader, The Bible says: "if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." (Gal. 2:21) Think about it, if you could earn your way into Heaven then Christ died for nothing. However, His death was not in vain, it served an important purpose. It provided a reconciliation to God that was not possible any other way. Here's why:
The Bible teaches that, "your iniquities [SINS] have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear." (Isa. 59:2) "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" (Rom. 3:23). And there is a price to pay for having sinned before God, and that price is death. "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Rom. 6:23)
"and without shedding of blood [DEATH] is no remission [FORGIVENESS]." (Heb. 9:22)
Of course, this means that BAPTISM cannot pay for your sins since no one dies while getting baptized, nor can CONFIRMATION, COMMUNION, KEEPING THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, CHURCH MEMBERSHIP, SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS, or GOOD DEEDS. Anything other than death CANNOT and WILL NOT pay for any of your sins. That's why:
"Christ died for our sins" (1 Cor. 15:3).
He paid the price. He died in our place and if we don't put our trust in His death to save us,
Jesus warned that: "ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he," (John 8:24). And that means eternity in the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:15). To claim what Christ has done on the cross for you, you must REPENT. That means: change your mind, and agree with what you have just read from the Bible and place all your trust in Jesus Christ, and Him alone, to save you. So "if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus [i.e. REPENT], and shalt believe in thine heart [TRUST] that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved" (Rom. 10:9).
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