The long, stressful day was behind her. With her favorite steaming cup in hand, she made her way to her soft,”unwinding” chair. She had taken care of everyone else today, so it seemed. Now, this was her time.
Laptop in lap, she was ready to stroll through the neighborhoods, over to the college campus, travel to distant cities, hike across the countryside and into the lives of friends and family. Excitement chased away the fatigue as she anticipated reading about and seeing what was happening with those God had placed in her circle of influence. Oh, what fun to post comments and to share a bit of her day as well. Bible, notebook and pen by her side and with her spiritual radar on high frequency, she would look for ways to pray for her friends and maybe find a special verse to share…. She paused,”Lord, You know I can’t get out much. Even if it is only in a small way, please use me tonight to encourage a friend”.
But wait! What’s this? A new friend request! Hurriedly she read the request and looked intently at the accompanying photo. Speaking to herself, she said,”I know that guy.” Although, the photo didn’t match her memory of him. “We were friends in school…. I think?” Zooming in to try and see his eyes, fingers poised to accept him or send him away, she sat frozen for a moment. Then out loud, as if to affirm the action of her finger, she exclaimed, “DECLINE!”… “Sorry Buddy, same name, Not same guy.”… “Now.” Leaning back with a sigh of relief, she thought to herself,”On with my mission!”…
Has that ever happened to you? If you Facebook much, most likely it has. Did you know the Bible speaks of the first Facebook? Yep! I’m sure you have read about it in the book of Revelation. The Lambs Facebook of Life. OK, OK, so it’s actually “The Lambs Book of Life.” But think about it. Just as you alone have control over who is allowed on your Facebook page as a friend, God alone knows who his friends are and who’s names are written in the lambs Book of life.
Do you suppose God leads us to remarkable discoveries, such as cyber space, computers, world wide communication and surveillance and on and on to remind us of Him? Or maybe to show us how limited we are and how unlimited He is? Or how vital it is for us to trust Him in all things and with all things?
There is a movement across our nation to discount the truth in certain parts of the Bible, such as, the passages about the Lambs Book of Life. In Revelation 20:15, no matter what translation you read, it is clear, “If someones’s name was not found in the book, they were cast into the lake of fire.” Just as with verse 27 in chapter 21. “Only those whose names are written in the book will enter in.” How awesome it was as an angel took the apostle, John, into Heaven where he witnessed sacred events that were happening there. Then God inspired him to write it all down so that you and I can look through the window of the Word and see into Heaven. Now, it is up to each of us to accept or decline it.
In the simple, honest questions of a child, we are often driven to examine our own beliefs and look deeper into God’s Word to find answers. When our girls were little,they liked to ask the “deep” questions at bedtime. Like, “Dad, who writes our names in the Lambs Book of Life? Is it a bookkeeping angel? Are the names written in Jesus blood? How big is the book? How many pages are in it? Will my name be in cursive? Will it be my name I have now or will it be my new name in Heaven?” I’m sure I stumbled around trying to sound like I understood more than I actually did. Andrea, in particular, once asked an intriguing question. “Dad, if two people have the same name, and one is a Christian and one isn’t, how does God know who is in the book? Have you ever noticed how fast you have to think when your kids ask these kinds of questions? Well, isn’t it reassuring to know that we are not only marked by our names, but also by the Holy Spirit when we come to faith in Christ. Paul puts it this way in II Cor., ch. 5. In speaking of our Heavenly dwelling, he says, “God has given us the Holy Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”
Out of curiosity I did a census search the other day to see how many of “me” are in the U.S. alone. I came up with 1,901. That settles it! I’m going to make copy of my fingerprints, get a DNA sample and an image of my retina, put them all in a baggie and keep them on me at all times. Sound a little ridiculous? But is it any more ridiculous than believing that we can write our own name in the Book Of Life? When we trust in God’s Grace through His Son, Jesus, we are also trusting that He will see that our name is written in the Lambs Book of Life as well.
I heard a testimony of a woman and her husband who had been invited to a wedding of a bride and groom who were both from very affluent families. The news media had widely publicized the event and those who were invited wouldn’t have missed it for the world! The woman was honored to have been asked to sing at the wedding, but even more than that, she and her husband were looking forward to the reception which was to be one of the most lavish ever held in their city. They walked up the Victorian staircase that would lead them to the elegant ballroom. One of the two attendants at the ballroom entrance was holding a guest book. The man and woman gave their names. The attendant searched the entire list of names and then said,”I’m sorry, your names are not in the guest book. We can’t let you in” “What!” The woman said in disbelief. “We have to be in there. I sang at the wedding!” The attendant, once again, went through the long list of names and stated with an assuring tone, “your names are not in the book. You will have to leave.” The woman and her husband were escorted down the back stairs to the parking garage. After a few minutes, her husband spoke. “What happened?” The wife answered,”I didn’t send the response card back because I was singing at the wedding.” … “I thought that was enough!”
There will come a day for each of us, as we read in Hebrews, 9:27; “Everyone is destined to die once, then face judgement.” I wonder how many, on that day, will respond by referring to the good deeds they have done, “I thought that was enough!” Why does it seem so hard for us, as people, to believe in the simple truth of the Gospel, even after hearing it over and over? We must trust in what God has done, not in what we can do. We are all sinners, everyone. We are not fit for Heaven because the best we can do is still laced with sin. Only by being forgiven and made clean by the perfect and sinless Son of God, Jesus Christ, in our lives, can we one day say, as we find ourselves before the very presence of God, “I am not worthy to be here, but thank you Jesus for being my Lord and my Savior!” Can you imagine what it will be like on that day? Maybe we will hear a voice say, ” My child, look up!” And as we raise our faces, we may see an angel moving toward us, holding a book. Then we see it! In bold print, our name written in the Lambs book of Life!!!
So, the next time you go on Facebook, be thankful for your many friends. Oh! By the way, if you are not sure that God has accepted you onto His Facebook page as a friend, there is sure way to send your friend request and to know that He will accept you. It is the most remarkable technology ever discovered that can reach beyond what any computer can accomplish in the world of cyberspace. It is called, prayer.
… With the hours till dawn lessening, she closed her laptop. With her arms down to her side, head back and eyes shut, she melted into the soft cushions. ” Oh God, thank You so much for my friends. I am rich because of them. I am content, as difficult as things are, simply because You are in my life and you have given me these friends to love. Thanks for the encouragement they give me. Thank You for what I have been able to do tonight… And … most of all, thank You Lord Jesus, for accepting me as Your friend. … Amen.”
P. S. Remember: always RSVP to important invitations.
Especially the one from God!