Clouds Parting Revealing the Heavens

A daily devotion for September 25th

The Books

And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.

Rev 20:12

Books are used as symbols here. The whole record of every life is made known before all, and judgment will be based upon that. We have seen in history a President of the United States who was forced to resign because of the tapes he made when he thought no unfriendly ear was listening. Here we learn that if your name is in the book of life, your deeds will have been righteous. Only those whose names are in the book of life can do righteous deeds. Such deeds are done by the power and energy of the Spirit of God, not by the person himself. All other deeds are burned with fire, and only righteous deeds remain.

If your name is not in the book of life, it reveals that evil deeds have been done. They may look good on the outside, but inwardly are tainted by the selfish, self-centered desire for prominence or power, influence or recognition. So the ultimate question put here is the words of an old song,

     Is my name written there,
     On the page bright and fair?
     In the book of God's kingdom,
     Is my name written there?

When Jesus sent out the twelve disciples to minister to other cities and towns in Israel, they came back reporting great victories, and especially that the demons were subject to them. They came back very excited about that. Jesus said to them, Do not rejoice over that, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven (Luke 10:20). That is the central question of life: Is my name written there in the Lamb's book of life? It is written when you believe in Jesus. No one needs to go to the lake of fire. No one is thrown into it against his or her will. They have refused the Savior, and there is no other choice. Jesus knows our hearts. Nothing has been hidden from his view. If we come to him, we will be given life. In his first epistle, John writes, This is the testimony, that God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son! He who has the Son has life, but he who does not have the Son of God, does not have life (1 John 5:11-12).

The ultimate issues of life are all settled here. If your name is written in the book of life, you enter into eternal life. If you refuse him, then your ultimate fate is the lake of fire, the second death, along with the devil and the beast and the false prophet. That is a most sobering scene. I dislike writing about these matters, but it is wonderful to write against this dark background and offer to all what Jesus offers — eternal life by faith in him, as you receive him into your heart and life. May all who hear or read these words be included in the Lamb's book of life.

Lord, thank you for your grace and mercy which has brought me to faith in you, and for the Holy Spirit who is transforming me into your image. Amen.

Life Application

Is your name written in the book of life? Do you live with the confidence that your name will be found there?

This Daily Devotion was Inspired by one of Ray's Messages

One Thousand Years of Peace

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