Monday, August 18, 2008

The Books.

I was finishing the book of Daniel and a verse jumped out at me and pulled me in deeper to search other scriptures and find out more of it's beauty and meaning.
I think before I start this post, I need to tell you that I believe the whole Bible is true. Not just parts of it. Not that it is just a bunch of fables or stories but that it is God's written love letter to His children that is absolutely, 100% reliable and factual. I base this belief on evidence and scripture itself.
"All scripture is God-breathed." 2 Timothy 3:16
Ya'll, scripture is the greatest treasure apart from God that we have been given. The Bible is God revealing to us Who He is, His character, His love for us, & His wisdom that we desperately need to navigate through this world until we meet Him face to face, and how to spend eternity with Him.
He used His Holy Spirit in a group of men to write down these infallible words for us.
"but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit." 2 Peter 1:21 The idea this verse portrays is that of a sail boat catching wind in it's sails. The men were the sails, God is the wind. Another example is out of the book of Jeremiah (1:9), "'Lord, I do not know how to speak; I am only a child'... Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, 'Now I have put MY words in your mouth'."
All that to say, I believe it ALL to be truth. That is where I am coming from when I write these posts-when I teach it to my kids- when I open my Bible. That it is truth... Jonah, Jesus, Lazarus- all of it. So, follow me through the giant Wizard of Oz door :) as we learn about some amazing books that God is keeping.
"...But at that time your people-everyone whose name is found written in the book-will be delivered." Daniel 12:1
"That time" is the end times before Christ comes back to totally redeem this place. It will not be a fun time but that is a whole nother post. It will be a time of great distress and suffering. I, personally, believe this time is soon.
Back to the verse,
what is the book and whose names are in it?
The Bible talks about this book in other places.
"He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels."
That word for overcomes means...Christians, that hold fast their faith even unto death against the power of their foes, and temptations and persecutions.
So the book is full of names of people who have received Christ as payment for their sins and have lived by faith according to this act.
Here is where it gets even cooler. There are other books.
"And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books."
Revelation 20:12
Before becoming Christians, all of our sins were kept in books. I probably had my own library of sins. When I accepted Christ, not only was my name written in the book of life but ALL that was written in the other books was erased. Not really erased- more like nothing was ever there. Christ took my novels of sin and paid for them by His death on the cross in order for it to be possible for me not to face the consequences of my sin. If that doesn't bring you to your knees in gratitude, I don't know what will. But here is the bad news, if you have never trusted in Christ and placed your faith in Him, when you stand before God, He will open YOUR books recorded with every sin you have ever comitted for which you will be able to give no answer. There must be penalty for sin. That penalty was paid on the cross for all who will believe.
"without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness". Hebrews 9:22
All God will see when a believer stands before Him, is HIS SON because we have been covered and washed clean by Christ's blood.
But, guess what?!?!?!?
There are more books. This is REALLY COOL.
"Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another,
And the Lord listened and heard them;
So a BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE was written before Him
For those who fear the LORD
And who meditate on His name."
Malachi 3:16
This is too much for me to handle!! I cannot believe that when Christians sit around talking about how much they love God... or what He is doing in their lives... or just meditating on His name- that He has it written in a book! It is like God is keeping a scrapbook for us! How amazing is that? Can you believe how much He loves us and how He even treasures our conversations!?
WAIT, there is another book!!
"You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book." Psalm 56:8
Isn't it easy to think God doesn't care when we are crushed by sorrow? Whenever you think that, you have to first look at the cross and then look at THIS VERSE! Not only has he collected EVERY single one of your tears in a bottle, but he has recorded all of our sufferings and tears in a book too!
Are you not just blown away by the love of our heavenly Father?
So, to wrap this post up, if your name is not in the Lamb's Book of Life... please accept Christ and have your novels erased before you have to give an account before a righteous God. You are so special to God but He is Holy and we are not... we have to have a mediator and His name is Jesus. Have your sins washed away by His death for you. And if you do know Christ as your savior, be encouraged by His passion and devotion toward you. He loves you so much and cannot wait to see you face to face to show you His scrapbook (or maybe it's a blog!)of your life and how He has not taken His eye off you once.
God, thank you that you sent your Son to make it possible for us to have our names moved into the Lamb's book of Life. Thank you that you can completely erase the old books and separate them from us (and You) as far as the east is from the west. Thank you that we don't have to fear standing before you on judgment day because of Christ. Give us a hunger and passion for your Word. May we dive in deeper to see
Your beauty and Your glory.
Be blessed~
"The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands forever."
Isaiah 40:8


Anonymous said...

Amen, dear sister. Humbling beyond words.

Anonymous said...

First of all let me tell you guys how in love I am with this beautiful girl who just continues to grow toward Christ through this extremely difficult and uncertain trial of health. Thanks to all who have supported and encouraged her. Second of all, thanks to all of you who stroked my I-think-I-can-take-pictures ego (it was me, not the self-timer) ;)
Steph's husband (aka Tim)

Hatfields said...

Glad you are feeling better Steph! I hope the coming weeks get easier and easier. Since you compared your shots to your labor I thought I would share with you that when I had Abe, in addition to my focal point, I also made a compilation of my favorite Christian/Inspirational songs and listened to it during the labor. My all time favorite though..."Thou, O Lord" by Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. All I can do is fall to my knees in praise when I hear that song. AMAZING!

Thanks for the beautiful meditation on God's word.

In Christ,


Anonymous said...

What an amazing post, Steph! I still have tears in my eyes. Thank you so much for reaching out to us (the tons of people who LOVE your blog and check it almost daily!) with your inspirational stories and scriptures. You are such a blessing in my life and have been for the past 8 years! I am praying for your health!
--Abby Davis

Erin Southwell said...

Hi Stephanie, I am not sure how I stumbled on your blog but I have been very blessed by it and want to thank you for your beautiful witness. I am 28, have been married for 5 years, and am hoping to soon begin the wonderful journey to motherhood- I so appreciate "seeing" someone who is such a beautiful mother, raising her children in the Lord. You are an inspiration to me as I continue to step out in faith daily and seek His Face. Erin.

Anonymous said...

So...I'm not sure how I found your blog and probably could not find it again if I tried...which is why I bookmarked it. I love your posts about Scripture though. So insightful. I will definitely be back.

AG said...

great song to go along with the Book of Daniel.

Love the way The Lord is using you.

Taylor said...

This does encourage me! I remember reading it when you posted it, but it so helps to read it again. You are such a sweet friend!

But stay tuned to my blog... I've got some good news coming!!! :)