Malachi 3: 16 Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.17 And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.18 Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.
It makes us all stop and consider. We see it from both sides. God has a book of remembrance that is established in heaven. It’s like a notebook because the Lord adds to it every day. When we were saved our names were written in the Book of Life. God’s Word is settled. It rules heaven and earth. The book of remembrance that God keeps is a personal book which records our lives—every moment of every day how we think, feel, speak, and live. The Lord is daily writing it down. Our page won’t end until we leave this world. Those who have gone on have finished pages. Ours won’t end until we meet the grave or the rapture.
When we come short, it is noted. He’ll show it to us in writing. He does that through the Holy Spirit. We can argue with him, but he’ll show us in the book what we’ve done. Then we can’t say anything. Every mouth will stop. The Bible says if we say we have no sin we make God a liar. If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us of all unrighteousness. He wipes out the sin. That’s what is so wonderful. That’s what a notebook is. I can’t touch it, can’t modify it. Only God holds the eraser. When we change and confess our sins, he changes things for us. He did it for Nineveh because at Jonah’s preaching the people repented.
I asked you Sunday to write down three things that were good and three that weren’t so good about God’s book of remembrance. Would anyone like to share what makes this notebook fearsome? What is disturbing about it? (Person speaks) He keeps an accurate record. We may not, but God’s is right. I might think its smooth sailing when it’s not. The record shows that. In health care documentation is a big thing. If not documented, it wasn’t done. God’s documentation is there. I may document it wrong but God’s documentation is perfect. (Preacher) That means we can trust God’s record implicitly. God won’t misjudge because he puts it down as it is. It’s impartial and 100% right. There is no way we can argue with it. In today’s courts we have a prosecutor, a defending attorney, and a defendant. Many have gotten off free because of two versions of the truth. There is no jury needed with God. He is the judge and rightly so. I’m thankful he’s so honest with us. It hurts but it helps.
(Person speaks) Last week we talked about what if God wasn’t watching. I don’t want to live a day without him. He tells us when we do wrong and makes us aware. If God turned a blind eye for just a day it would be devastating. (Preacher) His continuing consciousness of us is needed more than we realize. Just stop and think. This reminds us how dependent we are on the Lord. We’re more dependent than we realize. God help us when we think we can be independent of the Lord. That’s scary to think “I don’t really need the Lord right now.” How foolish to think we don’t need him at certain times. The demons would devour us. Knowing that God is continually conscious of us helps us to be conscious of him as we go through our day. It steers and helps us. It cautions us, but it consoles us as well.
The book is inferred or referred to many times. Jesus said if we give as much as a cup of water in his name we won’t lose our reward. That means he’s writing it down. He’s taking note and remembering. If we had a choice of whether there is a book of remembrance, probably off- hand we’d say we didn’t want one. What if he said okay and didn’t do it and left us alone until our death or the rapture? There are some who believe that once God saves there is no more interaction until we die. It would be like having a baby and the child not wanting you around until it is 21 years old. No baby does that. It needs mom and dad. As they grow up they may say they don’t need you but they do. I needed my mom and dad till the day they died. That would be like asking God to forget us but remember us when we die. I don’t like the thought of being forgotten by God. If our Christian experience only extends to the intermittent fellowship we have as a church, it is spread out. We’re not always around in each other’s daily life. If God wasn’t there, we wouldn’t have the bond we have. What good would it do to pray? That’s the key to everything. The book of remembrance signals how much we need God.
Is he an intruder? Absolutely not. He’s our Father and our Lord. If we didn’t want him to pay attention to us, it would be asking him to withdraw his lordship. Someone else would step in quickly. I’m thankful he’s willing to remember me. The thief on the cross said “remember me.” King David asked to be remembered many times. It’s for our good.
When I first asked you this last week, what struck your heart? It made me afraid. It put fear in my heart. Verse 16 says “they that feared the Lord.” Knowing God keeps a book of remembrance motivates me to fear and respect the Lord. Because he keeps this book it causes us to be serious and draws us to each other. It’s an awesome thing to know we have such a high and awesome God. It naturally brings a good fear.
It’d be rough to experience it all by ourselves. That’s why we shouldn’t neglect assembling together. Our fellowship helps us. Our speaking often to each other helps. Our bearing one another’s burdens helps. It’s because God is involved in our lives. It makes me feel good in our relationship with each other. A three-fold cord is not quickly broken. That cord is Jesus, you, and me. They that feared the Lord and thought upon his name—it causes us to stop and think about him. It motivates us to pray and causes us to recognize him for the God he is. It naturally reflects on us. He’s elevated us to a wonderful elevation. That’s victorious. It’s better than any other relationship we can have. After I was born mom kept being mom. Dad kept being dad. What if you only saw your spouse once a month? That’s how we treat God sometimes. The daily together is what blesses a relationship. If those who know you aren’t around or within reach, who else cares? We live in a big world. When the people who know us die before us, we are by ourselves. After we die, those that know us will be gone too. Then no one will know us. Graveyards are full of people the world has forgotten, but God hasn’t. It means the world to know God doesn’t forget us. I’m person enough and valuable enough for him to write everything down. Remember writing love notes? God writes us notes every day to let us know he’s there. That’s why the church of Ephesus was told to return to its first love.
A lot of times we forget. We say something we shouldn’t but forget about it. The Lord doesn’t forget and helps us to remember. He rings our bell! (Person speaks) God’s hands won’t get tired of writing.
How do you feel having freshly realized the truth of this passage? It feels good to me. (Person speaks) I’m glad we have a loving God. He’s a gracious and forgiving God. (Preacher) Every morning it makes us mindful of God if we’ll take a moment to pause and thank the Lord that he’ll be with us. He uses what he writes down as a guide for us. His Word is a light unto our path. This book helps make it real personal.