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Known by God

Devotions

German chemist Justus von Liebig invented a silver-backed glass mirror in 1835. This new process led to affordable mass-marketed mirrors that could be owned by the average person. Until then, mirrors had been costly and not terribly reflective. It was difficult to see one’s own reflection while indoors, especially if you depended on illumination by candlelight.

 The apostle Paul describes us as image-bearers of our Creator. Our reading for today immediately follows the discussion about diversity in the body of Christ. It’s no accident that Paul transitions from the subject of unity and diversity to an exploration of godly love. The Corinthians were grappling for status. Instead, God called them to reflect His character and to love one another as He has loved us.

Without love, even our spiritual gifts will be diminished. If we do not have love, we are nothing and we gain nothing (vv. 2–3). God’s love, reflected in us, is patient, kind, humble, and enduring (vv. 4–8). Love never seeks to promote one’s own interests or gifts at the expense of another. Love never fights for status or hierarchy.

Verse 12 compares our present existence to looking in a mirror. Just as old mirrors reflected images that were dark and difficult to see, we are not able to fully realize God’s purpose for us in this lifetime. But this vision problem is temporary. Now, we see in part, like looking into a dim mirror. But, when we are reunited with God, our knowledge will be complete. We will know God, and He will know us. While in this present condition, we struggle to understand our own purpose and to feel connected and understood by those around us. One day, we will know fully, just as we are known.

Apply the Word

When you glance in the mirror, use it as a reminder that God sees you exactly as you are—and He loves you. Rather than looking into a mirror with either disappointment or vanity, offer a prayer of gratitude for God’s love. Write 1 Corinthians 13 on a notecard and tape it to your mirror to encourage you to reflect God’s love to those around you.

BY Jamie Janosz

Jamie Janosz serves as a content development manager for Moody Bible Institute. She writes monthly devotionals for Today in the Word and has published non-fiction essays with Christianity Today’s Her.meneutics blog. Recently Jamie wrote a book titled When Others Shuddered: Eight Women Who Refused to Give Up (Moody Publishers). Jamie studied theology and writing at Moody Bible Institute, Columbia College, and Illinois State University. She lives on the Atlantic coast of Florida with her husband, Milt, and daughter, Sabrina.

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