If you’re feeling energetic today you should try reading an entire book in the Bible. In less than 15 minutes you could read the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippians – and believe me, you won’t be disappointed. It’s rich and beautiful. If you underlined every phrase or verse you enjoyed, there would be more underlined than not underlined. One of the phrases that caused me to slam on my brakes this morning and back up to read and re-read the words was this one:
In lobbies of hospitals and universities you often see wall plaques mounted with names inscribed on them. They represent donors who have given large chunks of cash to that institution. In a sense, they bought their way on to the walls of those institutions. My name will probably never be engraved on a bronze plaque on any wall on this planet – but I don’t really care because my name is recorded where it really counts. And there’s another place where my name is not likely to be found – ever! The Forbes annual listing of the world’s richest people – the who’s who of the world. As I write this there are 793 billionaires in the world from 49 different countries. Leading the pack is Bill Gates and he has been in the lead for several years.
Bill Gates is from the United States. He was born in 1955 in Seattle, Washington. He is the owner/founder of Microsoft, the world’s most successful software company. He is the world’s richest person. He is a philanthropist, donating millions of his dollars to worthy causes around the world. Perhaps you are wondering why I bothered to state the obvious. Everyone knows about Bill Gates, you say. Today they do but tomorrow they won’t. Soon all the iszzes will be changed to waszzes. Mr. Gates will disappear from the Forbes List. He will no longer be in the news. He will be gone and his place on the world’s current list of movers and shakers will be replaced with a new name.
If you weren’t such a self conscious and shy christian, I can almost imagine you clapping your hands with joy as you think: “Hey – their names may disappear from the lists of earth; they may be upstaged by more successful entrepreneurs, their names may be bumped from #1 spot or dropped from the Forbes registry completely but my name is written in the Book of Life in Heaven – never to be upstaged or bumped, accidentally deleted or erased or deliberately removed. I am among the ranks of those Paul mentioned in Philippians 4 – those whose names are written in the book of life!”
The Lord Jesus said to His disciples: “Rejoice, because your names are written in Heaven.” Luke 10:20. We didn’t have to buy our way on to Heaven’s list by giving a huge gift – our names are recorded in the Lamb’s Book of Life (Rev. 21:27) because we accepted the gift – not because we gave a gift!
That though He was rich,
Yet for your sakes He became poor,
That ye through His poverty might be rich.
2 Corinthians 8:9
Am I on the Billionaires’ List? Of course I am! Heaven’s Billionaires – riches that will never be diminished or devalued throughout the eternal ages.