¡°GOD SEES IT ALL¡± By Pastor YAU
Text: Matthew 6:1-6 May 5, 2013.
1) Technological surveillance: The US military uses unmanned aerial vehicles, UAV, or drones, for surveillance and attacks on terrorist for years and is mostly approved by the American public, over 80%. But using UAV inside the United States on citizens is a relatively new discovery. FAA had approved 146 permits to law enforcement agencies in 2009 to use UAV; the number jumped more than double to 313 in 2011. (Yahoo! News) Those who support the move focus on safety and security grounds, while those who oppose the move focus on privacy and liberty. No matter whatever ground you stand, the government is using more advanced technology to ¡°see¡± what people, including you and me, are doing is a scary thought.
2) Supernatural surveillance: Sometimes we think of God the same way: keeping his eyes on us to see what we are doing, especially the wrongs we do. Yes, God sees our sins (Heb 4:13), He also sees the good deeds we do as well. Because God is supernatural, He sees the sacrifice when we give our financial support to his church and those in need (Mark 12:41-44). He also sees the time we spend in reading his word and our prayer in our personal devotional time. He also sees the time and energy we spent in planning and preparing lessons for Sunday School, AWANA and other ministries. You may not get any applause from people but you can be assured that our ¡°Father sees it in secret.¡± (6:18)
SOME FACTS ON GOD SEES IT ALL: (Just from Genesis)
1) First, God saw good things: ¡°God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning the sixth day.¡± (Genesis 1:31) I am very happy to report to you that God was very please to see things he had created. You don¡¯t need to have an advance degree in theology to know that God has a personal interest in things he created and he knows if they are good to bring him the joy. It is encouraging to know that the first things God saw were things he created and he was very happy because they were very good. Our God is not something created by man¡¯s imagination. He is not some kind of power, deity, or supernatural force. He is a personal God who cares so much about what he had created.
2) Then, God saw bad things: ¡°The Lord saw how great man¡¯s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of his heart was only evil all the time.¡± (Genesis 6:5) Remember this is chapter 6 of Genesis, very early in human history after the Great Fall of Eve and Adam in chapter 3. Things had fallen apart rapidly from the Fall. Among many theological principles we may develop, one thing stands clear: God doesn¡¯t just care the physical condition of matters, he also cares the spiritual condition of man, the crown jewel of his creation. God sees the good and the bad; he sees the material and the spiritual. Nothing may hide from the eyes of the Creator.
3) God saw family injustice: ¡°God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her: Don¡¯t be afraid. God has heard the crying of the boy.....I will make him into a great nation.¡± (Gen 21:17-18) It was human injustice at worst in Abraham¡¯s family: the selfish scheme of Sarah and persecution of Hagar, and Abraham who didn¡¯t handle family conflicts fairly. Hagar was used to prosper Sarah and Ishmael was the innocent victim of a family feud. In all human failures and tragedies, God saw and heard the grievances of the oppressed. He came to rescue the weak and the vulnerable. Don¡¯t you ever doubt that God doesn¡¯t see your pitiful situation and he doesn¡¯t hear your cry of pain? He does, and he will open a way for you so you will be able to stand. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
4) He also saw human act of faith: ¡°Do not lay a hand on the boy,¡± the angel of the Lord said, ¡°Do not do anything to him. Now I know you fear God, because you have not withheld from me, your son, your only son.¡± (Genesis 22:12)Many spiritual lessons may derive from this beautiful story. One standout is Abraham had an unwavering faith in God to the point he would sacrifice his only son as he was commanded. His obedience and love to God supercedes his love of his son, the only heir of his family at his old age. This story serves as positive example for countless God¡¯s faithful throughout history on love and obedience to God.
HOW SHALL WE LIVE THEN?
1) God knows it all: ¡°I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.¡± (Jeremiah 17:10) One of the attributes of God is his know-it-all ability, omniscience. We may have done things we don¡¯t want anyone to know and we succeed. But no one may hide anything he has done from God. Hebrews 4:13 says, ¡°Noting in all creation is hidden from God¡¯s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.¡±
2) You can run but can¡¯t hide: These were the words of President George Bush who warned the terrorists after the 9/11 attack: the US will find them and bring them to justice. King David knew this long before any one else when he said, ¡°Where can I go from your spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.¡± (Psalm 139:7-8) No human effort may secure a place where God can¡¯t find us or see us.
3) God is fair and just: ¡°He doesn¡¯t leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of their fathers to the third and fourth generation.¡± (Exodus 34:7) These were words of Moses, given to the Israelis to encourage them be faithful in observing the law of God and the consequences they will face if they don¡¯t. Even when we have confessed and repented of our sins and God forgives us we still will suffer the marks of our sin as retribution for the damages we have caused.
4) Seek help from God: ¡°Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.¡± (Ps. 139:23-24) King David thoroughly understood the importance of seeking God's help to search and know his heart, mind and thoughts because God knows us the best. We shouldn¡¯t try to run or hide from God. We should seek God to help us recognize the sin in our hearts and seek his forgiveness to receive mercy. (1 John 1:9)
FOLLOW HIS PRINCIPLES: (Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18)
1) Good deeds we should do: ¡°In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and give praise to your Father in heaven.¡± (Matt 5:16) In today¡¯s text, Jesus wanted us to give to the poor and the needy; he encouraged us to pray with humble hearts. He also loved to see us get real discipline in our spiritual pursuit by fasting. We can not be saved by good work but we are to do good works after we are saved to demonstrate the new life and to glorify God.
2) Good deeds with good intention: ¡°Be careful not to do your acts of righteousness before men, to be seen by them. And when you pray, do not stand in the synagogue and the street corners to be seen by men. When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting.¡± (6:1, 5, 16) Religious showcases may be popular in our society, but it is not popular to God. Any good thing we do, we need to be careful not to draw attention to ourselves or for our own glory or benefit or for selfish purposes. Using God to benefit self is the worst thing in Christian character.
3) Good deeds won¡¯t be missed: Then your Father who sees what is done in secret.¡± (6:4, 6, 18) In this short passage, Jesus repeated three times: ¡°your Father who sees in secret.¡± Each time he used this phrase to emphasize one thing: whatever we do, particularly good deeds, God sees. This is very comforting: God sees and cares all the good deeds we do like giving to the poor, pray in an inner room or exercise our spiritual quality, etc. We need to know: God knows what we give, do, serve, work and all we endeavor in seeking his kingdom. He won¡¯t miss anything. All we have done for him, to him and his kingdom, he sees and knows and is kept in records in heaven. There is no need for any one else to know what we do for God. He is the one we serve.
4) Good deeds will be rewarded: ¡°(And God) will reward you.¡± (6:4, 6, 18) Jesus put this after he said, ¡° Your Father sees in secret¡± to show us that God is just and he won¡¯t neglect to reward those who do good deeds, who give, serve, pray, grow, sacrifice, etc. Paul told us that God will reward us according to what we have done in 1 Corinth 3:8, 14; 9:17; Eph 6:8; Phil 3:14; Col. 3:24; Heb 10:35, and others by James and John. We give, serve and grow not for God¡¯s rewards but because we love God. And God won¡¯t miss the good deeds you do for him.
APPLICATIONS OF TRUTH:
1) God had made it clear: ¡°I, the Lord your God, will show love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.¡± (Exodus 20:6) This promise was made very early in the Bible when He gave the Ten Commandments to the Israelis. Throughout the Bible, we see God is a just God. His righteousness is shown in all he did particularly in his dealing with his chosen people. God blessed them when they obeyed and followed his law and statues. He took away his protection and blessings when the Israelis rebelled against his word, and suffered troubles. God¡¯s promise is still true today.
2) The choice is ours: ¡°Then the Lord said to Cain: Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door.¡± (Genesis 4:6-7) This statement should be a strong reminder and a warning to deter all of us if we are contemplating plans of life that God won¡¯t be please. The choices are clear and we need to remember: God sees it all in our life and we will face the consequences of our deeds.