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God's Book of Remembrance

by Franklin L. Kirksey TITLE: God's Book of Remembrance BIBLE BOOK: Malachi 3 : 16-18 AUTHOR: SUBJECT: OBJECTIVE: Franklin L. Kirksey Books; Remembers Your Name, God We are reminded by Dr. Franklin Kirksey of the importance of books. But, he also shares that the most important book ever penned is God's Book Of Remembrance." Is your name in that book? It should be!

Introduction I. The Faith Of The Believer II. The Fellowship Of The Believer III. The Future Of The Believer IV. Conclusion

"Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, / And the Lord listened and heard them;/ So a book of remembrance was written before Him / For those who fear the Lord / And who meditate on His name. / 17 'They shall be Mine,' says the Lord of hosts, / 'On the day that I make them My jewels. / And I will spare them / As a man spares his own son who serves him.' / 18 Then you shall again discern / Between the righteous and the wicked, / Between one who serves God / And one who does not serve Him." Libraries are special places. As a pastor, I have spent many hours in the library. Libraries generally contain vast amounts of accumulated knowledge and wisdom. In this computer age, libraries can come on one fully loaded CD-ROM or DVD-ROM. Listen to this word from Dr. Steve Brown of Key Life, "This old preacher who has spent most of his life in libraries just got WORDsearch and I am absolutely astounded with this incredible and 'user friendly' resource for preachers, teachers, scholars and Bible students. What a major contribution this is to the Body of Christ. This complete Biblical library will cause generations of Christians to rise up and call you blessed. I certainly do!" 1 Dad shared this one as told by Donald Barton, "A man bragged that he knew everything. When challenged by a friend, the man said, 'I know everything that is in all the books, in all the libraries, in all the world.' His friend asked, 'What?' He replied, 'Words.'" I read about a woman who went to the library to get a book. A few days later, she returns and says to librarian at the counter, "This book was very boring. It had too many characters and too many numbers, so I would like to return it." The librarian says to the other librarian, "So here is the person who took our phone book!" Did you hear about the schoolgirl who was so excited about a book she found in the library called How to Hug? It turned out to be volume eight of an encyclopedia. Author Emma Bombeck said, "As a child, my number one best friend was the librarian in my grade school. I actually believed all those books belonged to her." Before 1934 Tom Masson (1886-1934) said, "There are 70 million books in American libraries, but the one I want to read is always out."

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It has been said, "Old librarians never die, they just check out." Paul wrote to his son Timothy, "When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, / also the books, and above all the parchments" (2 Timothy 4:13) In an 1863 sermon, "Paul -- His Cloak and His Books"; C.H. Spurgeon said of Paul, "He was inspired, and yet he wants books!He had been preaching for thirty years, and yet he wants books! He had seen the Lord, and yet he wants books! He had a wider experience than most men do, and yet he wants books! He had been caught up into the third heaven, and had heard things that it was not lawful for a man to utter, and yet he wants books! He had written a major part of the New Testament, and yet he wants books!" Francis Bacon (1561-1626) explains, "Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested." Dr. Vance Havner said, "Speed-reading may be a good thing but it was never meant for the Bible. It takes calm, thoughtful, prayerful meditation on the world to extract its deepest nourishment."2 The Bible is a library of 66 books inspired by God. Malachi, the prophet, mentions yet another book in God's library, "a book of remembrance" (Malachi 3:16).

I. The Faith Of The Believer
Malachi writes about "those who feared the LORD. . . those who fear the LORD / And who meditate on His name" (v.16a,d) David M. Levy shares in Malachi: Messenger of Rebuke and Renewal the following about "the fear of the LORD": "It means to recognize God as the 'beginning of knowledge' (Prov. 1:7)-that is, the foundation or starting point of a life that pleases Him." Levy continues, "This was not a fear based on feeling but was the result of hearing, learning, and responding to who God is from His Word. Those who feared God would keep His commandments, walk in righteousness and put aside anything that would hinder worship and service to Him. This demanded total commitment of heart, soul, and body. When Solomon dedicated the Temple, he prayed that not only Israel but 'all people of the earth' would fear the Lord (1 Kings 8:43). Those who feared the Lord received wisdom from God, which brought blessing favor. The Book of Proverbs reveals much about the benefits God's wisdom provides (Prov. 1:7, 29; 2:5; 8:13; 15:33; 14:2; 14:11,14; 10:27; 14:26; 19:23)".3 Job is an example of a man who feared the Lord. We read in Job chapter 1, verses one and eight: "There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil . . . Then the Lord said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?" (Job 1:1,8) In Hebrews 11:1-6 we read, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. 3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. 4 By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks. 5 By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, "and was not found, because God had taken him"; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. 6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." Paul writes in Romans 10:17: "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."

II. The Fellowship Of The Believer
Our text continues to tell that they "spoke to one another"(v.16b).

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In Ephesians 5:19 Paul writes, "Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord." This is one of the "one another" passages of the Bible. This is a great study to pursue. Take a Strong's Exhaustive Concordance and look up the phrase "one another." You will discover for example, 1 John 1:1-10, that reads: "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life- 2 the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us- 3 that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4 And these things we write to you that your joy may be full. 5 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us." [Emphasis mine] Hebrews 3:12-13, "Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; 13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called "Today," lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin." [Emphasis Mine] Hebrews 10:24-25,"And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching." [Emphasis Mine] Amos, the plainspoken prophet, writes, "Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?"(Amos 3:3). David recounts the good times of fellowship experienced with one who later betrayed him in Psalm 55:14: "We took sweet counsel together, / And walked to the house of God in the throng." Paul writes to the believers in Rome: ". . .that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me" (Romans 1:12). Since the word 'fellowship' means 'to participate with;' we should not seek our fellowship with those that are not true followers of God. We can be friendly toward unbelievers, but we should not seek fellowship with them (2 Corinthians 6:14-18, 1 John 2:15-17, Titus 1:16, Ephesians 5:11, 2 John 911, Matthew 7:15-20, 1 Corinthians 10:20-22). "Friendship evangelism" can be an effective means of sharing our faith with unbelievers, provided that we define the word "friend" to mean to be kindly interested with goodwill. Fellowship can make a new Christian strong in a short time (1 John 4:1721, 1 Peter 4:8). Jesus said in Matthew 18:20: "For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them." That is fellowship!

III. The Future Of The Believer
We also read in our text that "a book of remembrance was written before Him. . . 'They shall be Mine,' says the Lord of hosts, / 'On the day that I make them My jewels. / And I will spare them / As a man spares his own son who serves him' (v. 16c-17). Malachi writes that God remembered their words and deeds. Dr. Robert Jamieson offers the following insight: "The kings of Persia kept a record of those who had rendered services to the king, that they might be suitably rewarded (Es 6:1, 2; compare Es 2:23; Ezr 4:15; Ps 56:8; Isa 65:6; Da 7:10; Re 20:12)." 4 About the believer, Paul writes, "For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ" (Romans 14:10b) and in 2 Corinthians 5:6-11: "So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. 7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. 9 Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before

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the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 11 Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences." [Emphasis Mine] In contrast, we read the following about the unbeliever: "Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire" (Revelation 20:11-15). [Emphasis Mine] According to the Holman Bible Dictionary the book mentioned in Malachi 3:16 is probably the same as "the Book of Life". Harriet E. Buell penned the following words set to music by John B. Sumner in 1877, "My Father is rich in houses and lands, He holdeth the wealth of the world in His hands! Of rubies and diamonds, of silver and gold, His coffers are full, He has riches untold. I'm a child of the King, A child of the King: With Jesus my Savior, I'm a child of the King. My Father's own Son, the Savior of men, Once wandered on earth as the poorest of them; But now He is pleading our pardon on high, That we may be His when He comes by and by. I once was an outcast stranger on earth, A sinner by choice, an alien by birth, But I've been adopted, my name's written down, An heir to a mansion, a robe and a crown. A tent or a cottage, why should I care? They're building a palace for me over there; Though exiled from home, yet still may I sing: All glory to God, I'm a child of the King." 5 We read in Romans 8:12-17: "Therefore, brethren, we are debtors-not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs-heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together." In a message titled "You Bet Your Life" Steve Zeisler explains, "In Mal.3:18 the Lord makes very clear the point that had been objected to all along throughout this book: 'You will again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him.' It may seem for the present that the wicked escape, that the arrogant, demanding, self-centered people of the world are the most successful. You cannot now distinguish between the righteous and the wicked as to how successful they are, but you will someday; then it will be very plain. The righteous and the wicked will not be indistinguishable forever because the righteous will be made the unique possession of God and treasured as his own Son." 6

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IV. Conclusion
It is exciting to have my book, Sound Biblical Preaching, listed in "How Does a Pastor Build His Personal Library" under the "Books on Sermon Preparation and Delivery" section of The New Guidebook for Pastors (Nashville: B&H Publishing Group, 2007) p.251 by Dr. James W. Bryant & Dr. Mac Brunson; but it is infinitely more exciting to have my name written in God's book of remembrance. 1. Dr. Steve Brown, author and the Bible teacher on the syndicated Bible teaching program "Key Life", Testimonial for WORDsearch Corp., Austin, Texas. Available from: Accessed: 11/22/07 2. The Vance Havner Quote Book: Sparkling Gems from the Most Quoted Preacher in America, Compiled by Dennis J. Hester (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1986 p. 17. 3. David M. Levy, Malachi: Messenger of Rebuke and Renewal (Bellmawr, NJ: The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, Inc., 1992), pp. 92-93. 4. Available from: Accessed: 11/22/07 5. Available from: Available from: 11/22/07 6. Available from: Accessed: 11/21/07 Note - This message was delivered on the occasion of the Dedication of the Library at First Baptist Church of Spanish Fort, Spanish Fort, Alabama, on November 25, 2007. By Dr. Franklin L. Kirksey, pastor First Baptist Church of Spanish Fort 30775 Jay Drive Spanish Fort, Alabama 36527 Author of Sound Biblical Preaching: Giving the Bible a Voice Available on and "Giving the Bible a Voice" on WNSI Sundays @ 10:30 AM Click "Launch Player" to listen on Streaming Internet Radio (251) 626-6210 / (c)November 22, 2007 All Rights Reserved

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