Wednesday, January 20, 2021

He Knows Your Face!

Dear Friends,

I cringed when I read that churches are using facial recognition technology to keep track of their congregation members. Surveillance cameras in the church lobby scan all faces to automatically identify them in order to monitor attendance. This new technology has been installed in churches as large as 3,000 and as small as 100 members. Call me old-fashioned but I can’t imagine why a pastor of a church of 100 people would need facial recognition technology to let him/her know a member has stopped coming to church!

It’s the same technology used to identify criminals and terrorists. Facial recognition technology is used by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to identify suspects. The FBI and Department of Homeland Security have installed facial recognition software in airports and in most state DMV’s. The FBI’s Facial Analysis database has 641 million images of citizens and the bureau is analyzing over 100,000 pieces of video evidence to identify those involved in the recent attack on the Capitol. 

Facebook has a massive database filled with incredibly personal details on the lives of 1.49 billion people and they have never been good about keeping private details private. When you “tag” a photo with a person’s name, Facebook will automatically match it up with all the previously unidentified photos of that person and their personal information on the internet. The FBI and National Security Agency (the Nation’s intelligence agency) have already added all your social media photos, posts, personal details and your contact list of friends into their database. 

Thankful you’re not on Facebook? Equifax, the largest credit bureau, was hacked into and your credit information is for sale on the internet. If you have health insurance through Anthem Blue Cross or were ever treated at Olive View Hospital your social security number and confidential medical records are now in the hands of computer hackers along with 80 million other people. If you’ve shopped at Home Depot or Target, or stayed at a Marriot your credit card information is now for sale. Shopped or sold on Ebay? Hackers have your credit card information, user name and password. If you ever had Yahoo email, I’m able to buy your user name along with your date of birth, password and security questions that I’m hoping that you, like most people, also use to secure your bank account! Ka-ching!

In today’s technological society we can no longer have an expectation that our personal information will be private, but in the Kingdom of God, our lives have never been “private.” As Jesus said “..there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and nothing hidden that will not be known.” Matthew 10:26 When it comes to God, you can run, but you cannot hide. That’s because you are so important to God, He doesn’t want to let you out of His sight!

And God has been using His own “recognition technology” since His creation of mankind. Jesus tells us that God knows us so well that He recognizes every hair on our head. Matthew 10:30 (Trivia: Did you know that a blonde woman has an average of 140,000 hairs and a woman with black hair has an average of 110,000 hairs?) And God’s “recognition technology” is so sophisticated that He knows every hair and your every thought! 

The psalmist said, “O LORD, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, LORD. You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!” Psalm 139:1-6 NLT

Our Heavenly Father has us under His constant surveillance. Today’s mothers use wireless baby monitors with cameras in the baby’s room that live streams their sleeping baby to their phone. Mothers love their babies and want to keep close watch on them so that if something happens, a mom can be at her baby’s side in an instant. God has us under His surveillance for the same reason.

God sees us. He knows us. He immediately recognizes your face out of the billions of people on this planet. We are not doomed to be faceless souls with endless struggles. We are privileged to be the adopted precious children of a loving Father. We are His created. We are His redeemed and we will be sustained in every difficult moment we will ever have in our lifetime. We joke that someone’s got a face that only his mother could love but God never saw a face that he didn’t love. You are His. Created in His image. And God will never leave or forsake you. God loves your face. He’d recognize it anywhere. He will never forget it. AMEN?

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