Our lives are so brief, they may seem like pebbles dropped in a pond. They create ripples for a moment, tiny wrinkles that smooth out, then are gone forever. Abandoned tombstones with names no one remembers are stark reminders of our eventual anonymity in this world. What do you know about your great-grandparents? What will your great-grandchildren know about you?
Our brief stay here may appear insignificant, but if we spend our lives honoring Jesus and being generous, thereby storing up treasures in Heaven, our lives will have everlasting value. The Bible tells us that although others may not remember us or care what our lives here have been, God will remember perfectly, and He cares very much—so much that the door of eternity swings on the hinges of our present lives.
For he knows our frame;
he remembers that we are dust.
As for man, his days are like grass;
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.
But the steadfast love of Yahweh is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children’s children,
to those who keep his covenant
and remember to do his commandments. (Psalm 103:14-18)
Malachi 3:16-18 is a remarkable passage that tells us God documents the faithful deeds of His children on Earth: “Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name. ‘They will be mine,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘in the day when I make up my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him. And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.’ “
God is proud of His people for fearing Him and honoring His name, and He promises that all will see the differences between those who serve Him and those who don’t. Those distinctions are preserved in this scroll in Heaven.
The king often had scribes record the deeds of his subjects so that he could remember and properly reward his subjects’ good deeds (Esther 6:1-11). While God needs no reminder, He makes a permanent record so that the entire universe will one day know His justification for rewarding the righteous and punishing the wicked.
Other passages describe a scroll in Heaven. Jesus opens a great scroll (Revelation 5:1, 5), and an angel holds a little scroll (Revelation 10:2). The psalm writer David said, “Record my lament; list my tears on your scroll—are they not in your record?” (Psalm 56:8). He asked that his tears be kept in Heaven’s permanent record.
There’s no hint that God will destroy any or all of the books and scrolls presently in Heaven. It’s likely that these records of the faithful works of God’s people on Earth will be periodically read throughout the ages.
The books contain detailed historical records of all of our lives on this earth. Each of us is part of these records. Obscure events, words heard by only a handful of people, will be known. Your acts of faithfulness and kindness that no one else knows are well-known by God. He is documenting them in his books. He will reward you for them in Heaven.
How many times have we done small acts of kindness on Earth without realizing the effects? How many times have we shared Christ with people we thought didn’t take it to heart but who years later came to Jesus partly because of the seeds we planted? How many times have we spoken up for unborn children and seen no result, but as a result someone chose not to have an abortion and saved a child’s life? How many dishes have been washed and diapers changed and crying children sung to in the middle of the night, when we couldn’t see the impact of the love we showed? And how many times have we seen no response, but God was still pleased by our efforts?
God is watching. He is keeping track. In Heaven, He’ll reward us for our acts of faithfulness to Him, right down to every cup of cold water we’ve given to the needy in His name (Mark 9:41). And He’s making a permanent record in Heaven’s books.Browse more resources on the topic of Heaven, and see Randy’s related books, including Heaven.