Lists and records.  Such documents, whether they exist in printed or electronic form, are integrally connected to our lives from beginning to end.

The fact that our name appears (or doesn’t appear) in a particular list or within a specific record can be extremely significant: a record of birth at the Office of Vital Statistics, a final roster after all the cuts have been made during try-outs for an athletic team, the honor roll or dean’s list, a list of students who have completed their course requirements for graduation, a record of marriage at the County Clerk’s office at the courthouse, a list of eligible, registered voters, etc.

Maybe you have had the experience of your name not being included in a list where it should have been or erroneously appearing where it didn’t belong (hopefully not an obituary!).  Perhaps it was just an oversight or an explainable misprint.  Beyond human error in the input of data, printed records can be damaged or completely destroyed and electronic ones can vanish forever with the crash of a computer hard drive.

Thankfully, the most important list in which our names appear is not subject to input errors and is in no danger of being damaged or lost.  It is a record that exists in the mind of our omniscient God and Father. We, as God’s children, have our names recorded in the book of life that belongs to the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ (Revelation 3:5; 13:8, 20:11-15; 21:27; et al.)

Throughout the story of the Scripture, we sense a general understanding among people of faith that God knows by name all of those who belong to Him.  See Exodus 32:32; Psalm 69:28; Isaiah 4:3; and Daniel 12:1. 

When 70 of Jesus’ disciples returned to Him from a successful mission of teaching, healing, and casting out demons, the Lord challenged them not to glory in these demonstrations of divine power, but rather to “rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven” (Luke 10:20).

The Lord knows those who are His (II Timothy 2:19)!

“My name is in the Book of Life; O bless the name of Jesus!”  Though I haven’t sung that song in quite a while, its message is still as true and as comforting as ever.