Thursday, May 8, 2014

Book of Life

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. (Revelation 20:12 KJV)

I hope the graphic is clear enough that you can read the typed entry on the left, “Maggie Holley” as well as see the written name, “Maye.” I know it is Maye because that’s my mother, visiting her in-laws during the 1940 census. The third name down on the left is shown as “Woodron”, but I knew the man as “Woodrow,” a much more common name for that time because of President Woodrow Wilson. For people documenting their family history, seeing the written entry is much more important than the man-made index. In the older census records, where many could neither read nor write, even the written records contain errors, as I found my Walden ancestors entered as “Waldon,” “Waldren” or even “Wallon.”

There are books, however, maintained in an atmosphere were there are no errors, according to Revelation. Paul was aware of them before John’s vision:

And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life. Philippians 4:3 KJV)

I feel ashamed and cringe when I realize what is written in those books about me:

But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. (Matthew 12:36 KJV)

Based on what the Bible tells me, I have no fear of God’s judgment when it comes to my salvation. I believe what He gave us in John 3:16-18, Ephesians 2:8-9 and many other verses. My salvation is based on God’s grace, not the good I do nor the errors I make. However, there are other books that will display my idle words. I have no defense, for I’ve made errors after accepting His saving grace. Knowing this, I thank God for His forgiveness and strive to keep my error rate low.

As a noun, shame is a pretty good word: 
a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior
We should feel ashamed by our own foolish or wrong deeds. When it’s a verb, in that we cause someone to be ashamed, it’s not such a good word. Why should we cause painful feelings of humiliation or distress when it is our responsibility to offer correction or instruction?

Throughout the Bible there are explanations as to what we should or should not be doing, and why. Jesus gives two upon which all the others are based:

Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:36-40 KJV)

Yes, I use that verse often. Why not? It is the basis for our relationship to God and mankind – isn’t that important? Keep them in the right order and feelings of shame will lessen. Guaranteed.

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Thank you for taking time to read and comment on the blog. Comments should take into consideration this verse: Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8 KJV)