“Great,” “extraordinary,” and “remarkable” are words used to describe the highest of human achievement, merit, or ability. Let’s look at what individuals strive for in this short life, then we’ll contrast these goals and dreams with what God would have us consider with eternity in view.
Where would you desire to see your name listed? Since 1899 Marquis’ Who’s Who has recognized those of great accomplishment in business, medicine, politics, etc. “Marquis’ Who’s Who believes the men and women around the globe whose achievements influence the people of today are worthy of permanent record.”
Many train for athletic excellence. Some endeavor to get their name on a professional roster. Others pursue Olympic glory. The best in nutrition, training, and sports psychology is employed to achieve these goals. The most successful athletes’ dreams go higher; “Might I be inducted into the hall of fame?”
Those in the entertainment world make every effort to see their name in the bright lights of Broadway or Hollywood.
In the halls of academia, secondary school students hope to get their names on the honor roll, university scholars on the Dean’s list.
Often when entering a museum, university, or library, one finds a listing of donors and benefactors. Those with substantial wealth donate to worthy causes and are often pleased to have their contributions recognized.
We should all appreciate those in our military. Cemeteries and memorials are silent reminders of the bravery, courage, and sacrifice many have exhibited for their country.
But human achievement and greatness is temporal and fleeting in the light of eternity. What is truly great is that which has eternal value. The Savior Himself reminded His disciples in Luke 10:20 of something that should make their hearts rejoice: their names are written in heaven.
The “Lamb’s Book of Life” would remind us of precious blood and a finished work at Calvary. The repentant sinner approaches a Holy God understanding that salvation is “not of works.” No doubt Augustus Toplady was thinking of the words of the apostle when he wrote, “Nothing in my hands I bring; simply to Thy cross I cling,” and “’Twas grace that wrote my name in life’s eternal book; ‘twas grace that gave me to the Lamb.”
The contrast between the achievements of men and the work of God is most striking. Some may revel briefly in their success and notoriety, or, it may last a lifetime. Eternal life in God’s record-keeping in heaven is truly permanent. Marquis’ Who’s Who makes mention that its content is verified by those listed. Of how much greater authority is the very Word of God! John warns emphatically (Rev 20:15) of the awful doom of those “not found written in the Book of Life.” The Apostle John writes in the following chapter of those who “are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.” May each reader be able to rejoice that his or her name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life!