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Covid-19 Devotionals

Watching

I spent some time in between doing admin work, Bible study prep and sermon prep hanging cameras outside the side of the house that faces the road today. This is because of all the crime in the area. There are no windows on the road side, so we cannot see if anyone is outside.

I have had this camera/monitor set for many years and have always wanted to install it but never got to it. So, today I did a temporary installation job with the hope of doing a permanent installation soon. Now, from the study we are able to see more of the road and all the gates. The monitor changes from one camera to the other every few seconds. I suppose the question I ought to have asked myself is, “What is the use of having this security feature when it remained in the box all these years?” The idea is to track noises and when in the study one can see vehicles or pedestrians going past the house.

What was interesting after the burglary next door and down the road last Wednesday is that further down the road on the other side from where the robberies were, a family has cameras monitoring the roads both ways. They are able to do recording. Although they were on holiday in KwaZulu Natal, they were able to retrieve the recoding for that day when they returned and found a white Volvo travelling slowly past their house. This is the same vehicle that has been seen in our street on a few occasions. It is also the one whose occupants tried to access a house in another suburb, saying they were contractors.

It’s amazing what can be seen. From the study today, I could see motorbikes, scooters, people, motorcars, double cabs and bakkies passing. I could see birds playing on and near the bird bath in our garden. One can even see the trees being blown by the wind. What you would see with the naked eye when outside the camera sees and relays the “picture” to the monitor to be seen. The thing with this set up is that you can switch it off … and see nothing … or be away from the monitor … and see nothing. When you are not around, you see nothing … and not having a recording system, I cannot see what happened when I am not around.

Some Christians are extremely sensitive about sin and others are less so. Maybe the difference is when one realizes how holy God is and how evil sin is. At times though, all of us could be too casual with certain sins … especially those we enjoy, want to do and feel they are not too “bad”. Just as all crime is bad, so all sin is bad. Whether the robber has tried to break open the gate unsuccessfully or has broken it open; whether the robber has stolen a laptop, TV, ring, watch, money or raped or murdered someone … it’s equally bad. Crime is crime and sin is sin. So whether it’s a glance, a word, a thought, a desire, an intention or the actual deed; whether it’s a “big” sin or a “small” sin … sin is sin and sin displeases God intensely.

One ought never to forget the Gospel, for it spells out extremely loudly the magnitude of God’s terrible holiness! I use the word “terrible” because nothing impure is able to stand in God’s presence and survive. You see, the Gospel does not only speak of God’s holiness, it speaks of God’s punishment for sin. Sin’s end is eternal damnation in the Burning Lake of Fire that is never extinguished for all eternity. But praise the Lord … the Gospel also sends out the message of grace … forgiveness of sin for all who receive Jesus as Lord confessing their sin and committing to a life of repentance.

My reason for spelling this out is because all too often as believers we want to sneak in a sin here and there that is deliberate! It’s bad enough that we struggle with unplanned and unintentional sin … but deliberate sin is surely holding the fist at God saying, “even if You can see me, I’m going to do it!” The truth is that God can see and does see. He is sovereign! By His Holy Spirit He is everywhere all the time. Maybe deliberate sin thinks God cannot be everywhere … especially when I am in my private space … doors closed, windows and curtains closed and I’m all alone. God is present wherever a Christian is … present … not just near or around … but inside! That is why when we sin we feel bad … guilty … and struggle with our conscience! Remember Jesus saying:

Mat 15:19 “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.”

This list is not exhaustive, but it certainly makes the point. How can these things come out of the heart if The Holy Spirit is resident in the heart? Yet they do because whatever we do in private and secret by using the eye, ear, nose, mouth and touch gates relays information to the mind which when not filtered by Scripture channels to the heart and then sin happens!

Apart from the fact that the Spirit is resident in the heart of the believer … the eyes of the Lord (Holy Spirit) sees everything! Not like my security cameras that only see when switched on or reveals pictures when someone is watching the monitor … God sees everything all the time!

Evil:

Jud 2:11 Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD and served the Baals.

Good:

2 Chr 16:9 For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.

Grace:

Gen 6:8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.

The word “favor” is also translated “grace”. God’s monitoring system is always switched on. He is always watching. Consider:

Jer 1:12 The LORD said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.”

This was not a once off “watching”. God is watching all the time. Surely this ought to motivate us to a greater level of intentionality in holiness!

Dear God our Father, You know our feeble frames and our sinful hearts. You are aware how often we try not to sin, yet it is so halfhearted. Lord help us in two areas, first to understand Your supreme and majestic holiness … Your complete otherness, and then instill within us the passion to want personal holiness for Christ’s sake. Amen.

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